Last week, this blog turned 1 year old. 1 year older, 1 year wiser. In so many ways, the blog has helped prep me for what already seems to be a year of incredible change.
Life has been strange these past ten years. The cusp of my 20’s never prepared me for the turmoil of my 20’s themselves. The cusp of my 30’s made me feel like I’m prepared for anything. Continue Reading
This is hardly the first time this blog talks about love. Nor will it likely be the last. Love is that mysterious thing, elusive and difficult to grasp, even when you’re in it and especially when you’re out of it.
But being that this blog is all about the past, present and future, about change and technology and ranges of intangible human emotion and ways in which they’re all connected, love and its ever-changing rituals (and therefore our ever-changing attempts to understand it) seemed an apt topic. Continue Reading
In exactly one month, I will turn 30.
See, you’re doing it too! I can practically hear you doing it. Something as subtle as one raised eyebrow or a slight widening of the eyes, an uncomfortable shuffling of the feet. Or something a little more vocal: “The Big 3-0!” you’ll boom. Or “wow, the dirty thirty!” My turning 30, it seems, holds more weight, more momentous heft for everyone else than it does for me. Continue Reading
Reading Brian Christian’s “The Most Human Human” makes me think not only of what it means to be human, but how technology is ever defining us as a species – the more technologically advanced we become, the deeper we delve into questions of the soul, of human nature. Christian talks about chatbots and the effort to randomize chats with programs like Chatroulette – but I remember the age of random chats with real people. Which of course took me back to the early days of the Internet, to the serendipity that seemed to define the ’90’s. Continue Reading
Neil deGrasse Tyson has achieved much in his life – a renowned astrophysicist, Director of the Hayden Planetarium, a frequent commentator on NOVA, an author, logical successor to Carl Sagan, and a celebrity scientist with his own radio show, Startalk Radio. But more than anything else, his descriptions of science have connected with my amorphous dreams of the universe. Continue Reading
I found myself at home last week, knocked out by an infection that wouldn’t go away. Though a number of posts twirled through my head like so many pirouetting ballerinas, looking at a computer for too long made my head hurt.
Maybe it was the delirium, maybe part of me was going stir-crazy, but I found myself thinking a lot about stars. Continue Reading
Memory loss does funny things to people. In Radiolab’s podcast “Loops,” a woman talks about having Transient Global Amnesia – a form of temporary amnesia in which a person loses the ability to form new memories, an affliction that lasts up to 24 hours and which has no known cause. For 3 or 4 hours, her brain was stuck on a 90 second loops – she would ask the same sets of questions of her daughter, and make the same comments and observations for 90 seconds before her brain reset and began again, from the beginning. Once the brain starts to recover however, the loops of time grow longer….90 seconds to 5 minutes to half an hour to a day, until the brain recovers enough to remember things once more.
Back in December, there was this on Slate.com.
I talk a lot about Heidelberg, the town in Germany where I went to University. But there was a prequel. Just like Lord of the Rings had The Hobbit, I had Stuttgart. If Heidelberg was the mesmerizing lover that stole your heart and kept it for life, Stuttgart was the comfortable best friend that kept your heart in a different way: by willing to let it go and seeing if you came back. Continue Reading
One of my oldest and dearest friends from childhood moved out to Portland, OR with her husband about a year and a half ago. Though we lived not too far from each other, we rarely got together to see each other – something about being nearby enough to see each other when we wanted to see each other lulled us into the comfort that meant we never saw each other. But before Liz and Jeff left for parts West, they began a goodbye tour, visiting and spending quality time with people on the East Coast before they shipped out. They came over one warm night in early September and we sat out on my deck, under the stars and a full moon. It was one of those sweet nights, where conversation steers itself and silences are comfortable, and at one point, we found ourselves talking about the future. We were supposed to be among the stars by now, we querulously opined. Where is the Jetsons lifestyle we imagined as kids and fully believe in even now? Where is our exploration of Mars? Where are our flying cars? Where is our Rosie the robot? Continue Reading
I was never the coolest kid when I was younger. Partly because my parents (and technically I) were first generation immigrants who thought everything in this strange new world was the devil, and partly because I was the only child for 11 years (after which I became the eldest child, still not the coolest kid on the cool totem), I was always behind on stuff. I didn’t have my own proper taste in music until I was in 8th grade (with the purchase of my first CD – Alanis Morrisette – and a bunch of blank cassette tapes with which I could record music off the radio). Prior to that it was long car rides with my dad, where he tried to explain the poetry of Abida Parveen’s manly wailing, or with my mom, where she got all misty-eyed over songs from the Bollywood movie “Sholay.” And as TV shows went, A) between homework and extracurriculars (drama club and newspaper), I only ever had time to catch Jeopardy at 7 pm while eating dinner and B) my parents disapproved of every single TV show I would possibly want to watch. The first child is always the test subject, the guinea pig – with us, everything is a shock to our parents. I don’t even want to dare to think about what their reaction to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” would have been.