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Words continued + my newest theory for the proliferation of boy bands and irritating girl twits, along with a question about where the movies is taking us.

January 20th, 2001 - 2 am...more or less

I'm Currently Avoiding:

Word of the Day

Zen [n. ZEN]

Zen is a mystic religion, largely associated with the Japanese, which emphasizes the importance of meditation. One clears the mind of thoughts to accomplish enlightenment. This is done instead of reading sacred texts.

The chief aims of Zen Buddhism are mental tranquility and

fearlessness. The practice arose in the 6th century in China (where it was called chan) and fully developed later in Japan where it has had a lasting influence.

The word Zen, which is often capitalized, is ultimately derived from the Sanskrit word dyana (meditation, thought, sense).

Frequently asked questions about Zen:

http://www.ibiblio.org/zen/faq.html

Hmmm...first, Inaugeration Day commentary (even though it hasn't exactly occured yet, seeing as how it's 3 am, and they do the Inaugeration thing in the Daylight (why, I have no idea...seems silly not to do it in the dead of night, but they get to do it when they wish)), and then we shall continue the previously interrupted diary entry, which was interrupted due to my computer being frelled. Hmmmm...my diary entry thing now has a lot of odd streaks on it, which are not doing anything to the buttons, but which are freaking me out nonetheless. We shall try to prevail and write the rest of our admittedly long diary entry, but if it creeps me out too much, I'm going to post this, and then delete this particular entry later, after I copy the entire thing and add the rest of what I want to say here. Oh wow...it fixed itself. Now if it'll only behave long enough for the rest of it to be written...(I wouldn't hold my breath about that if I were you, but if you really want to you can try.) Oh yeah, now I should stop ranting and comment on the whole thing, right? I think Bush is a certified moron and that a trained monkey would probably do just as good a job as he would, only he'd be less verbal, so it'd actually be better. Clinton was a twit, and sure, cheating on his wife wasn't exactly a good thing to do, but it was a personal decision, not something that really affects the Presidency, so it doesn't need to be a whole 'scandal' and issue that just drags on and on and on... Besides, it's not like Clinton is the first President to ever do such a thing, it's not anything novel or even particularly interesting, except from the point of view that Sex Sells. Anyway, so now we have 4 more years of a small shrub person...and not even the original small shrub person, but his miniature clone son who has drug problems and isn't even as intelligent (only by comparison, Bush Sr. wasn't a very bright bulb either) as the original was. Anyway, now on to continued NEWS snippets.

HUMPBACK WHALES FOLLOW THEIR OWN DRUMMER

New research conducted by animal epidemiologists working out of the University of Sydney say they have discovered that "singing" among whales is a more important form of communication than many experts have thought over the years. More than 80 humpback whales have been observed in what is called a "bioacoustical research program" which eavesdrops on the sounds made underwater by whales while on their way to annual breeding grounds.

Researchers say when they played back tape recordings of the migrations they realized that two of the whales sang a markedly different song than the others. Even more surprising was the fact that over the years other whales picked up the tune and embellished it in the same way jazz musicians take the kernel of a song and produce variations. New research would seem to indicate that some whales are natural leaders and use their "songwriting" abilities to help the herd move successfully as it migrates.

(I just have to say, this is one of the coolest things I've ever heard. That's all the commenting I wanted to do for this...it's just spiffy, that's all.)

ALABAMA SCIENTISTS ATTEMPT TO THWART GRAVITY

Scientists at a laboratory at the University of Alabama are working with tanks of liquid nitrogen in an attempt to cancel out the effects of gravity. Inside the tanks -- with an atmosphere at 390 degrees below zero -- a disk of ceramic material the size of a phonograph record is floated in mid air.

According to the Discovery Channel, although the experiment may look clumsy and rudimentary, it could be the start of eventual efforts to discover how to thwart gravity. Any practical antigravity device could allow rockets to run without propellant and power plants to run without fuel.

By the way, another group of scientists using powerful electromagnets focused into a tiny hole within a steel plate, has been able to suspend non-metallic objects. There is documented film footage of a strawberry being floated and even a tadpole. The technology plays on the fact that everything contains some moisture, witnessed by the success of magnetic resonance imaging of the human body.

Scientists involved in the "tadpole" experiment say the animal was apparently not harmed by the intense magnetism and predict that someday they will be able to float a human, if they can find two things: A powerful enough magnet and a willing subject.

(Only in Alabama.)

To be continued at a slightly later date....



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