Friday, January 21, 2011

So Glad the Sun Rises in the East

If I have to be driving, at least
My windshield is facing the East
Where the sun's pointed rays
Crack open my days
And pour out a magnificent feast

(Yes. I did pull over to take this picture on Friday morning. No. I was not late to work.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Let There Be

Saturday, my grandchildren were playing a new game on their Nintendo DS systems, an educational game, of sorts, which allowed them to type a word and immediately see a corresponding figure on the screen. For instance, if they typed "pirate" a stereotypical pirate would appear, armed and ready to murder the hapless, unsuspecting seaman they typed next. We tested it a little, creating such characters as a zombie--who bit the other characters and turned them into his minions, and a psychiatrist who brought his couch so he could analyze any confused people left on the screen. When Mim typed dog and cat on the same screen, there was a chase, and she had to type tree to save the cat from certain torment. It's a fascinating game with some profound applications.

How can words typed onto a screen produce creatures which follow their own instincts? Simple. Every image on the computer is really just a string of commands, written in code: It's a language. It's consistent; it's mathematical, and if symbols or letters are deleted, it breaks down in an error.

 God spoke a language far more complex than anything we've been able to imitate in our virtual worlds, and yet we are beginning to understand its grammatical anatomy and physiology.
He used four letters:
A, G, T, C.
God spoke DNA.

And here we all are, walking around and doing our own thing, insisting that we existed before
the instructions.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Nearly Invisible

Alice and the Cat
Quotes: Alice in Wonderland 

Alice: Would you tell me, please,
which way I ought to go from here?

The Cat: That depends a good deal
on where you want to get to.

Alice: I don't much care where.

The Cat: Then it doesn't much matter
which way you go.

Alice: …so long as I get somewhere.

The Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that,
if only you walk long enough.

(Take a message from an invisible cat: So many people rush along, making sure the road they travel is a good road, a safe road, a popular road, an easy road...but not enough give thought to their destination, and, after all, that's the most important goal of a road...oh I know all about stopping and smelling roses. That's important too, but it pales beside the real purpose. Upon arrival, where are you?  It seems almost facetious to hide an important message like that in the fantasy words of an invisible cat...but I think Carroll was a subtle writer. )