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Jenna Leng
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The dragonfruit flower only blooms at night and usually wilts by morning. I caught it just in time.
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The geometry of music revealed!  The red lines connect notes that are a major third apart.  The green lines connect notes that are a minor third apart. The blue lines connect notes that are a perfect fifth apart.

Each triangle is a chord with three notes, called a triad.  These are the most basic chords in Western music.   There are two kinds:

A major triad sounds happy.  The major triads are the triangles whose edges go red-green-blue as you go around clockwise.

A minor triad sounds sad.  The minor triads are the triangles whose edges go green-red-blue as you go around clockwise.

This pattern is called a tone net, and this one was created by David W. Bulger.  There's a lot more to say about it, and you can read more in this Wikipedia article:

and this great post by Richard Green:

The symmetry group of this tone net is important in music theory, and if you read these you'll know why!

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The rotifer, a multi-cellular micro-animal smaller than amoebas. Scientific American has a couple videos of this guy and others, all amazing.

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Glass chain maille!

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"I wish I could be as impulsive as you are," he said to me. He said it with a slight smile, but it was an insult. It meant: you’re a child. You’re out of your mind.

We were sitting at a cafe over­loo­king the islands around Stockholm. I’d suggested going to a pier that night and sleeping under the stars.

"Your feet are planted so firmly in reality that frankly, I'm amazed you can walk," I res­pon­ded, lighting a cigarette.

He took a sip of his cof­fee: "Wake up and grow up."

"Let go and live for a change."

"Anaiis, you have to rea­lize that your inde­pen­dence and self are not sepa­rate from cul­tu­ral and social norms," he told me, putting the small cup on the table between us. "You can't go around thinking you don’t belong within the social and cultural borders that, unfor­tu­na­tely, do exist. You think you are above that and you’re not. No one is."

That was our last real con­ver­sa­tion. We finished our cof­fees in silence. Afterward, we strolled back to the house, where we dined -- still in silence, without turning on any lights. When we were finished, I went upstairs and packed.

"I love you, but I hate the way you are," he said as I pulled my suit­ ca­ses down the stairs. Then he turned to the piano and started to play Beethoven’s Quasi una fantasia.

I left Europe that night, and Mag­nus with it. But I didn’t leave full of con­vic­tion that I preferred to be alone than entangled in someone who couldn't embrace the possibilities of life, the freedom that we have to sleep in a warm bed or a cold pier. Instead, I left crippled with the weight of having said too much and having wanted too much.

At every airport I walked, on every plane I boarded -- as I made my way across two incontinent and two oceans -- I looked at the peo­ple around me, moving like cattle through security and boarding lines. Docile, herd-like. No one stared or even looked at anything for too long, or -- hea­ven for­bid! -- struck up conversations. No one inva­ded anyone's space or time.

In the elite line, we were all seasoned tra­ve­lers. We knew the deal: how to open our carry-ons quickly, what to remove and how to set the items on the tray and we did it fluidly, without incon­ve­nien­cing anyone around us. In the plane, we were quiet, we buc­kled our seat belts, tur­ned off our pho­nes and pulled out something to read. We knew the rules and remained firmly within them.

During a brief layo­ver in Hous­ton, I found a cafe and sat down to read. A few minu­tes later, I was inte­rrup­ted by the sense that someone was watching me. It was a little girl, seven or eight years-old, sit­ting across from me at one of the gates. I clo­sed my book and smi­led at her.

She came to me, messy brown hair and big green eyes, and a Cheshire cat stuffed ani­mal in her arms.

"What are you rea­ding?" she asked me.

"The Bell Jar," I told her.

"What’s it about?"

How do you explain this to a child? "Um. It’s the journey of a girl who is con­fu­sed with who she is," I replied.

"What chap­ter are you on?"


"What's the girl doing?"

"Esther -- that's her name -- is a model in New York and even though she has become friends with the girls around her, she feels all alone."

"That's sad," said the little girl, "I'm not lonely, I'm with my mommy."

Her mother see­med to mate­ria­lize at the words, carr­ying a clear Sub­way bag with sand­wiches inside.

"Alyssa," she called, visibly unsett­led by the sight of her daugh­ter tal­king to a strange woman at an airport.

Alyssa rose and ran to her, but in the middle of the walk­way, she pau­sed and turned back around.

"Alyssa!" her mother called again.

The little girl wal­ked back to me slowly and han­ded me her stuf­fed animal.

"Don't get lonely, okay?" she said to me. "Talk to the cat."

In a sea of people who know where they've been and where they’re going, who have every aspect of their trips planned to the minute, people who get in nobody’s way and expect everyone to extend the same courtesy, a little girl handed a stranger her stuffed animal.

I have never believe children are born pure in the standard sense of the word, but I do believe they’re born without the constructs and norms we impose on ourselves later as a society -- and perhaps this does make children "pure."

Though perhaps a better term is "free."

A child would not hesitate to pack up a sleeping bag and sleep on a pier under the stars with you.

Since that flight, whenever people asked me what I wanted to do with my life, I liked to respond, "I want to be a child."

So if you ever wonder why I share so much of myself with the world, from the sacred to the profane, the answer is that I think everyone could use this license to be who they are and enjoy what that means. We do live in a society with norms about what we can and cannot share, what we can and cannot do -- and every thing I share and do is an act of resistance. 

Your wants are beautiful, your truths are powerful. Maybe you want to sleep on a pier or share a passionate kiss under every triumphal arch in the world. Maybe you dream of diving the wreckage of a galleon or quitting your job and starting your own company.

They'll say you’re crazy. They’ll say, "I wish I could be as impulsive as you are," and that you should grow up. Life isn't like that -- there are norms, you know. There are ways to do things. You don't talk to people at the security line at the airport. You get through it as fast as possible, go to your gate, wait to be boarded, sit down and be quiet. You go to your job, bust your ass, go home, change, go to some social thing, entertain the same questions about your square footage, your portfolio, your industry, your wife's health, go home, watch bad television and do it all over again. Polite, proper, efficient. That’s life, right? Then you get old and maybe play some golf, then you die.

Fuck no.

The only way to remember who you are is to refuse to let anyone or anything dictate what you want. I write to share my triumphs and defeats and to remind you that wanting something other than herd-like, soul-crushing monotony is not only natural, but necessary.

And I’ll tell you something: for every e-mail I receive that says I'm out of my fucking mind, I have two more from people sharing their deepest desires. People that much closer to remembering who they are.

And every time, I think, "you don’t have to be lonely -- I'll be your cat."
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