Brink: A Poem


What is the surface?

Spastic unfurling, reflection

of the tiniest orbit

into a compact orb.

Undulating, rolling out

dancing and reacting.

Painting of orange, painting of black,

backwash of blue,

a receiver and demystifier,

everything is quantum.

Bits lay about, bits

that make a whole, a form, a figure.

Rounded fractals that sparkle

and others floating in

murkier mutterings.

The throbbing pulse,

the proffered answers, not entirely prophetic,

the call to challenge

join me.

Rocking, cradel, lullaby, torment––

across the rocks to the floor,

away from the surface. Far below.

And the emptiness,

as it surges,

is realised to have been there all along.

The heartbeat was only a façade

for the vast

and the endless

and the unstoppable forces

that knowledge cannot conquer.

There is no other beauty

like the worshipped binary

existing as a comfort, if only

to hold back ugly honesties.

 

And that is what we think now,

sinking.

Below the layers

of sunlight creeping in,

there is an admirable serenity.

There is no black

no white,

only undertones and overtones of gray.

Finally, to lack is to have.

Finally, we possess all things.

Happy National Science Fiction Day!


384443-divergent-movie-five-things-to-know-about-the-next-hunger-gamesAuthor’s note:  I neglected to post about Christmas or New Years, but I can make up for it. This holiday seems worthy of the task. Scifi is, without a doubt, a thing worth celebrating, and I hope that my small contribution here will shed light on its importance.

Science fiction is a real force in pop culture. Some of the most popular books, movies, and TV shows today take place in a futuristic landscape. The technology is usually ambitious, and the fashions are outrageous, but there is more to the genre than force fields and Effie Trinket. In each of these stories, the writer’s dreams for and beliefs about humanity shine through, and that’s what makes the scifi realm so riveting.

hunger-games-movie-wp_trio01Take, for example, one of the greatest literary explosions of the century so far: The Hunger Games. It’s true that the romance scene and the idea of teenagers brutalizing one another are enticing, and perhaps part of the success of the dynasty, but there are messages in between the lines. Collins is talking about more than mockingjay pins and love triangles. She is trying to have a conversation about the first-world mindset, and is doing a pretty good job of it, too. The citizens of the Capitol pay little attention to anything outside their utopian bubble. They prefer thinking about their hairstyles, manicures, and what’s for dinner, while the people in the districts starve and die providing for them. It illustrates an ugly picture of what may come, or what has already started to come.

Star-Trek1The same goes for what is perhaps the most iconic science fiction series, Star Trek, which offers a more sugary future. On its five-year mission, the crew of the Enterprise explores a landscape where people coexist. Gene Roddenberry has both men and women, of all races and creeds, working on board as equals. He promotes the end of intolerance with this simple concept. Famously, Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura share the first interracial kiss ever broadcasted, and TV shows of every genre have followed in suit. The show presents a rosier future, which may seem unlikely, but is certainly not impossible. It proffers the idea that everyone could get along if only they opened their arms in acceptance.

451-neary_wide-8e97cfe5174fb467ab94d52a9b9681588d0eaead-s6-c30However, given that we do not live in a perfect world, such happy interpretations of our fate are less common than the darker possibilities. Dystopia is now prevalent in YA literature and devoured by people of all ages, in books such as The Hunger Games and Divergent. One of the greatest and most popular dystopian stories, Farenheit 451, was published way back in 1953. The public’s obsession with a vicious, frightening world may have roots in the issues on our planet today–including strong class divides, unmovable political leaders, and climate change–all of which bring the probability of a dystopia skyward. Gems such as Snowden’s revelation on the NSA make the burning of books and, as in Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s Harrison Bergeron, censorship of the individual person. The dystopian thought forces people to question not only the society they live in, but also their participation in it. Many literary works written in the twentieth century, and even more recently, call into question what people are allowing to happen to mankind. It is hard to determine whether pessimism, brutal honesty, or a combination of the two pulls dystopia into the forefront, but it is perhaps the most potent strain of science fiction.

Science fiction writers have been blowing whistles since Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, and will continue to do so as long as there are whistles to blow. The genre has so much more to offer than entertainment and complex plots: it brings to light questions and answers that may have otherwise gone unnoticed, thereby affecting the thought processes of all it touches. The scifi realm may seem to be a galaxy far, far away, but it often hits us closer to home than we would like to admit.

Science fiction should not be underestimated, and it refuses to be overrated.

So long and thanks for all the fish,

MikkidolphinNN3

Twelve: A Poem


121212_16x9_430x242

i’ve never had much faith in astrology

or ancient messages,

or unreliable things like that.

i’ve never thought much of

hearsay.

but something about the way

someone said,

“never again, for a hundred years,”

made me think differently.

“not until after we’re dead,”

made me want to cry.

“just this last time in our lives,” reached my spirit.

i crossed my fingers and

toes,

and squinted my eyes,

and held my

breath,

and my eyes opened

after

the second had passed.

i began to worry,

maybe my clock had been off by some

fraction of a fraction,

maybe i had missed it in its entirety. but

some part of me believed

that it had

worked.

never again, for a hundred years. not until after we’re dead. just this last time in our lives.

the inner wanted more from

the maybe.

the adult wanted to let it go.

astrology can be unreliable.

some things,

we’re not made to know.

Why Science Is Letting Christmas Start Early This Year


I’ve always told myself (among others) that I’m the type who hates commerical prematurity when it comes to the holidays. But I won’t lie any more.
Unofficial studies that have yet to be conducted prove that about 91.31% of the fun of Christmas comes from the anticipation. Everything else is really nothing more than a byproduct of our addiction to material things (which I’m not going to criticize; I LOVE material things!)
Only…what makes it so great? Why do we anticipate Christmas so much after disappointment and bitterness year after year after year? Here’s my theory:

filler!
Aaron’s 100% Scientifically-Backed Theory on Things i.e. Christmas and the Anticipation Thereof

filler!
1. Buying presents.
The reason we like to buy presents for people is because we like to think we can always understand them and anticipate how they will react in given situations. We also feel charitable and self-sacrificing through this action. Throughout our lives, we have been trained to believe that this is a good thing to do and if you don’t enjoy giving presents, then you are a Scrooge.

5565190-a-man-presenting-several-christmas-presents
2. Putting up decorations.
The human mind likes to be creative. Color schemes, ornaments with dates, and blinky lights activate the section of the brain that controls creativity. Very young people can get the same reaction by running in circles around the tree and putting up every ornament (that was once) in the cardboard box labeled “Christmas.” Also, trees and exterior decorations can be a source of compliments, which are a form of instant gratification necessary for some parts of patience to function.

purple-blue-christmas-lights-wallpapers-1024x768
3. Watching Christmas Specials.
Movies dubbed “classic” by film gurus, but are only viewed once a year (by the Laws and Properties of Social Acceptability, article VIII) are treasured by the public. Well-written and entertaining movies/shorts, and those with sentimental value, stimulate the “Aww” parts of the brain, the same as is provoked by cat images. This is due to the small children, morals, and lovey-dovey scenes within the movies/shorts. If you do not enjoy these movies/shorts, then you are a Scrooge.

charlie_Linus

4. Looking at Others’ Decorations.

Certain types of decorations are recognized “Beautiful” or “Inspirational.” Although often said to move the heart, it is not fatal. Science is still at odds as to the cause of this phenomenon.

27-christmas

5. Santa Claus

Christmas presents are always tied to a single rotund old elf who resides on the North Pole. Although studies show that only the very foolish and the very wise believe in this elf, Santa Claus, all tell of the wonders of his journeys in the night. An almost religious reverence is tied to his arrival, mainly because of commercialism and wanting what is called “cool” stuff. This stuff is brought to every house on Earth by the elf. The roots of these beliefs are the same as all religions: evolution giving humans a way to connect. Those who do not believe in Santa Claus can be called non-believers, Santatheists, or Scrooges.

big_santa

filler!

This is my theory, but I would LOVE to hear yours! Leave it in the comments. Just make sure you have evidence; it took excruciating research to produce this article and I’m a bit of an expert now.

Ciao for now,

Mikki

The Miracle of Science


(I realize that not all my readers believe in evolution. That’s okay, I’m not asking you to.)

Millions of years ago, billions of years ago, everything living was all tiny phytoplankton that drifted and didn’t do much.

Before that, there was no life, at least not on Earth. Everything was bits of elements that would someday be some life form. And somehow, when those strands of carbon and hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen combined in a specific way, they created something that could collect energy from the sun. the first living thing.

Isn’t it amazing that that is possible?

And then these things somehow made bits of nucleotides and double helix structures and things communicate with the outside world to improve themselves. How is that possible? How can combinations of atoms communicate? The communications created evolution. It made things with instincts, and complex body structures, then to things with emotions and motor skills. All from some phytoplankton.

Those things evolved into things with independent minds. Then to things with imaginations and theories and theories on theories on imaginations.

It’s a miracle. Whether you believe it’s a miracle of science or a miracle by other means, it still is a miracle.

You are the most miraculous thing in the universe. Your existence is amazing and unfathomable.

Don’t forget it, don’t take it for granted, don’t abuse it. And most importantly, don’t let anyone tell you it’s not true.

Ciao for now,

Mikki

What Are We?


I was near Lake Michigan recently and I looked out at the blue-green surface.

It was so big. It never seemed to end. I couldn’t see what was on the other side, or even what was a few miles out. It was blank, smooth, yet I could not see past it. I felt so tiny, next to that lake, so pointless and insignificant.

And then I thought: this lake is big, but the earth is huge. Compared to the mass of the planet, I’m less than nothing. Every person on this planet is so tiny and trivial that they can’t be seen from space. And then, establishments, societies, borders– none of that can be seen from the moon. And they don’t matter either.

And then, if you go farther from the planet, you can’t see it, either. Go farther, and you can’t see our solar system. And at the farthest reaches of space, you can’t see our galaxy, or nay of the galaxies around it.

After realizing this, how can anyone think we are the most important place in the universe?

We are a tiny nothing.

The Human Miracle


Humanity is an amazing thing.

One thing that humans can do which is nearly miraculous is look at pictures and see them as hat they depict. Most species, including apes, are not capable of looking at a photograph and putting two and two together, like, “Oh, that’s a ball,” or, “Oh, that’s a toy.” Not only can humans look at direct representations that looks exactly like the object, like a photograph, and recognize the object, but we can also look at things that only vaguely look like the object and recognize the object. We see a stick figure and think, “Oh, that’s a person.” A stick figure does not look like a person at all, but we still recognize the scarcely alike features, and those tiny similarities click together in our brain.

Another thing that humans do which is amazing is building things. Apes can build tools for breaking rocks and coconuts, and that’s about as advanced as it gets for a non-human species. But humans an make little grooves on a black piece of vinyl sound like Elvis Presley. We can make words, sounds, and images into numbers and put those numbers onto tiny strips of metal so that they can be transferred and then again viewed as words, sounds, or images.

It’s really amazing, once you think about it.

There are so many things that humans can do that we can barely understand ourselves. And it’s fascinating, astounding, beautiful, maybe even miraculous.