Scientists found one preserved in amber. And as expected, it has feathers.
Things like this from the impossibly distant past always give me a strange feeling. This is a piece of what was once a living, thinking, feeling being. It lived and thought and felt differently than us to be sure, in ways we can’t rightly imagine, but it existed, it was real and alive, and a part of it still exists, and is in our hands. This is part of a creature from before humans existed.
It’s boggling to think about, and that feeling is probably why some people choose to believe in the fantasy that the earth is five years old, or whatever. Because the truth is so grand and awe inspiring and humbling that they’d rather stick with their own fantasy that existence is only composed of what they can fit in their head.
I’ve been reading Burial Rites by Hannah Kent with a book club I just started with some friends. It’s much more enjoyable to read a book when you have people to discuss it with, but how can anyone ever get their friends to read the same books… if you’re even fortunate enough to have friends who read at all!
So we each submitted some choices, and voted on those choices (can’t vote for your own submissions!) and ended up with a book that everyone at least kind of wanted to read. Success! It wasn’t my top choice, but I was interested!
The novel is based on the true story of an Icelandic woman sentenced to death for murder in 1829, and her last days living on a farm with a family, who are tasked with watching over her while she waits her execution.
This sounded appealing to me, because I always am curious about the mind states of people in extreme situations. What would it be like, knowing you are doomed to die, awaiting the inevitable end day by day… Because it is like a magnified version of all our lives, all will end, all will end definitely, but we pretend they won’t. I find myself curious of what it would be like when you can’t pretend anymore.
I’m about 40% done with it now, and while it is an intriguing read, it’s not what I’d hoped it would be. The story seems to focus more on the family’s perception of her, and her interactions with a priest, and doesn’t delve much into her internal feelings on death. Not so far anyway. It seems to be more about perceptions, and how we decide a person is one way, just because of what others say of them, or judge their entire life and being all based on a single action, a single mistake.
An interesting read so far!
Another terrific read by Nabokov, I have yet to be disappointed by his novels. This one follows a chess player, but you don’t have to know a single thing about how to play chess in order to enjoy it. It’s more about the mental states, and how imagining all the possible outcomes in a game can send your brain down an unending maze of possibilities.
Aside from Nabokov’s usual wonderful prose and lovable characters, I found the slow, creeping insanity that Luzhin endures to be very believable and a bit unsettling. And even though I saw the end coming, that didn’t lessen the impact and effectiveness of it.
Another great read, and anyone who hasn’t read Nabokov please pick up one of his books, you won’t regret it!
Happy May Day! Workers’ rights are important, and are ignored quite a bit in this capitalistic country (one of the few countries that doesn’t have May Day as a day off for workers… quite ironic.)
Here, it seems, even workers treat other workers like crap. And I don’t think it’s necessarily because they are bad people, but because they’ve been trained to be assholes by this ‘customer is always right’ idea.
Imagine going out to eat, and always being given your food free if you complain and yell about it enough. Imagine getting pulled to the front of the line if you scream and make a fuss. Imagine being apologized to profusely and groveled before if you howl and threaten convincingly enough—this is the state of customer service in America. He who screams and yells the loudest is given the quickest, best service.
It’s not hard to imagine this spreading to other, non-consumer areas of society. After being trained for their entire lives that yelling gets you your way, why shouldn’t someone take this strategy home, and yell at their wife or kids? Or at someone online in an argument? Or any other area of life?
We’ve trained people to be assholes by rewarding them for shitty behavior, at the cost of our workers’ sanity. It has to stop!
No one should be given a free meal for yelling and treating the server like shit, they should be thrown out and banned from the restaurant. They should not get to talk to the supervisor before everyone else in line because they started screaming, they should be thrown out and not allowed back in. People need to learn to behave civilly if they want to be helped and served by another human being.
But until we stop worshiping the dollar above all else, no company will change their ‘customer is always right’ policy–which translated, is really ‘the dollar is always right.’
Even more right than the rights of your workers to be treated like a human being.