wow annita, just wow!
New Illustration: Space Sirens
The last remaining astronaut watched helplessly as his comrades left the ship one by one and were carried away. He told himself that he would not succumb the way his shipmates had; he knew he would struggle. But the creatures, if they could even be called that, somehow seemed to know him, and when his turn came and the singing of the cosmos reached a crescendo in his ears, his mind emptied of all but the desire to join them in the void. Gazing into the creature’s face, he mused on how tender, how gentle its embrace seemed to be, and even as his oxygen supply dwindled he did not resist.
This is glorious.
With the sad news of Nelson Mandela’s death, my thoughts went back to a glorious February afternoon in 1990.
What will he say? What will Mandela say after 27 years in prison?
That was the feverish question infecting the multitudes who had gathered in the center of Cape Town on the day when the leader of the African National Congress walked to freedom. I was in the crowd, as the South African-based correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. For hours we waited as Mandela, who had been freed earlier that day, reunited with his family, friends and comrades in the struggle against apartheid.
Suddenly, he appeared — a thin, gray stranger, for nobody except a precious few had seen him in nearly three decades. And then he spoke, and a familiarity settled in.
In a deliberate, thoughtful cadence, he uttered pretty much the same words that had landed him behind bars all those years earlier. He repeated the tenets of the ANC’s Freedom Charter, the words he spoke the last time he had been heard in public, at his treason trial: Above all, the end of exclusive white rule, the abolishment of apartheid and racial oppression and the government that enforced it, the demand for equality, dignity, freedom; but also, the continuation of the mass struggle until a new democratically elected government would be formed and the economy reordered to share the country’s great natural wealth for the benefit of all races. Though more than one-third of his life had been taken away from him, he spoke not of revenge but of reconciliation. South Africa needed to come together, not remain apart.
It was a masterful performance, I thought, a demonstration that he hadn’t lost his touch. Mandela needed to convince his supporters, and his foes as well, that he hadn’t changed during all those years away. Physically yes, but in substance certainly not; he was still the same.
This was imperative to maintain the support of the ANC’s hard-edged youth, who knew Mandela only as an imprisoned myth and who had been raised on a campaign of resistance to authority. Here standing before them now wasn’t an old man who had sold out, who had gone soft. The white government hadn’t gotten to him. Nelson Mandela would still be their champion; like the boxer he had once been, he hadn’t backed down. Now he exhorted his countrymen of all races to seize the moment, to be strong and move forward with him.
Read the rest of Pulitzer Center grantee Roger Thurow’s piece about Mandela.
Adiós a uno de los grandes maestros de la humanidad.
I want you to know
You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.
If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.
if each day,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.
Pablo Neruda, If You Forget Me (via all-adventurous-women)
Una de las pocas veces en que la traducción de un poema me parece tan linda como la versión original.
SI TÚ ME OLVIDAS (Pablo Neruda)
QUIERO que sepas
Tú sabes cómo es esto:
la luna de cristal, la rama roja
del lento otoño en mi ventana,
junto al fuego
la impalpable ceniza
o el arrugado cuerpo de la leña,
todo me lleva a ti,
como si todo lo que existe,
aromas, luz, metales,
fueran pequeños barcos que navegan
hacia las islas tuyas que me aguardan.
si poco a poco dejas de quererme
dejaré de quererte poco a poco.
Si de pronto
no me busques,
que ya te habré olvidado.
Si consideras largo y loco
el viento de banderas
que pasa por mi vida
y te decides
a dejarme a la orilla
del corazón en que tengo raíces,
que en ese día,
a esa hora
levantaré los brazos
y saldrán mis raíces
a buscar otra tierra.
si cada día,
sientes que a mí estás destinada
con dulzura implacable.
Si cada día sube
una flor a tus labios a buscarme,
ay amor mío, ay mía,
en mí todo ese fuego se repite,
en mí nada se apaga ni se olvida,
mi amor se nutre de tu amor, amada,
y mientras vivas estará en tus brazos
sin salir de los míos.
A few months ago, physicist Harold White stunned the aeronautics world when he announced that he and his team at NASA had begun work on the development of a faster-than-light warp drive. His proposed design, an ingenious re-imagining of an Alcubierre Drive, may eventually result in an engine that can transport a spacecraft to the nearest star in a matter of weeks — and all without violating Einstein’s law of relativity.
HOLY SHIT WARP DRIVE IS PLAUSIBLE AGAIN
ALL ABOARD THE WARP DRIVE
Did nobody think of Cowboy Bebop??