Then the final time arrived. He had himself carried to his own monastery of SS Cosmas and Damian, stripped off his imperial clothes and diadem, and donned the robes of a simple monk.Read More
Michael Psellus (left) with Byzantine Emperor Michael Ducas
"The Nile may water the land of the Egyptians, but it is my golden words that nourish their spirit. Ask the Persians and the Ethiopians: they will tell you that they know me, that they admire me and seek me out. Only recently there arrived a Babylonian, impelled by an insurmountable desire to drink at the fountain of my eloquence." (Michael Psellus)Read More
The game is 33% + 33% + 33% + 1%, yet the average player thinks it only consists of the first 33%, and the club coach reinforces this delusion by teaching only that which the average player demands.
Note to self 1: don’t use the court as feedback mechanism
Note to self 2: technique is only 33% of the game
Note to self 3...Read More
Emperor Justinian | Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna
The terrified boy was clutching the altar with one hand and a fragment of the True Cross with the other. One of the agents, John Strouthos 'the Sparrow’, “wrenching the fragment from Tiberius’s [the boy] grasp, he reverently laid it upon the altar. Next he untied a box of other saintly relics from the Prince’s neck and transferred it to his own. Only then did he drag his small prisoner to the porch of a neighboring church..."Read More
I found surfboards, bodyboards, diving equipment, empty and abandoned fish tanks, an ancient color TV... but no Ron Allen. It had somehow, sometime, escaped.Read More
"The strangest, saddest city thou can’st see"
I listened and couldn't help but feel that the vessel that I had abandoned 16 years ago had not changed course. Poverty, ignorance, globalization, zombie institutions, and a succession of corrupt bureaucrats had eroded the moral compass of the nation. The friends and family members that I would see during my journey all seem to respond to a set of values that is dislocated from any idea of nation or collective direction.Read More
Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns
driven time and again off course, once he had plundered
the hallowed heights of Troy.
We are living in times in which religion is not only prescindible and obsolete, but also harmful. An ethical life can be and is lived without religion. As Hitchens puts it rather eloquently "Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake."Read More
So I read its 495 pages. It has given me the much sought sense of timeline and context and, of course, as with any good book, it has opened leads to pursue and continue my education in the realms of biology, ethics, and policy.
The book provides a historical sequence of events and discoveries in the world of genetics, starting with metaphysic postulates of Pythagoras and Aristotle, moving next to actual experimentation conducted by Gregor Mendel, all the way to the latest technologies of the present day, such as CRISPR/Cas9 and embryonic stem cell research, and their potential to cure grievous illnesses. The Gene does a great job in helping us understand not only where we are today and where we come from, but also where the arrow of the future of life sciences seems to be pointing to.
I took some notes. Here they are.Read More
When I confided to my good friend and mentor Reynaldo that I had been sucked into a vicious cycle of internet “research” - anxiety - fear - more research - anxiety - and so on… after having been experiencing an assortment of physical, non-imaginary and imaginary symptoms without a diagnosis, with each cycle pointing to a more morbid condition, he curtly responded with the following verses:
Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come
Those are the words of Julius Caesar, as penned by Shakespeare, when Caesar was alerted not to go to the capitol because death may be awaiting.
Why die many times as a cyberchondriac coward in front of a computer screen?
“I remember once, in a concert, that we began playing Presente and, on the second stanza, people stood up and started clapping. We had never seen anything like that, we didn’t really understand, and we were paralyzed. We were shocked, we had trouble keeping on playing. We were distracted because the audience took part in what they saw, and it wasn’t because they’d heard it on the radio, because they had never heard it before.”
A tip of the hat Ricardo, so many memories, teary eyes, gratitude, love. A song that came to our hearts and stays there forever.Read More