"Don't let your cell phone rest
against your ear or any other body part. Don't use the same ear
For every conversation. Don't use your cell phone
while you're driving
since it must continnualy reconnect with antennas,
which uses more power,
and the signal is reflected by the metal around you.
All of the above doubles the chances for salivary glands anomalies, gliomas
and acoustic tumors.
Don't own a cell phone.
Never leave the house
without a cell phone
because you never know when you'll need someone.
Digitally Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT's)
constantly emit radiation.
Try never to use one while you are using one.
Don't use computers, printes, iPhones, iTouches, Blackberries, etc.
Wireless signals are a source of electromagnetic radiation.
Don't doubt the truth of this; Google it for yourself.
Don't ever use the internet.
Every search you execute exposes you to viruses.
Even if you don't have wireless
service, don't leave your Wifi setting in the on position;
the device will emit electromagnetic energy
in a continuous search
for the nearest available router.
Don't own a computer.
try never to breathe on Ozone Alert days.
Don't stand within twenty feet of an operating microwave.
Don't believe you're safe.
Set your cell phone inside your microwave.
to test it for radiation leakage. Call it.
with another cell phone. If you can hear it ringing,
it means that microwaves can pass through the walls
of your microwave oven.
your cell phone.
Don't own a microwave.
Don't forget to microwave leftovers to kill bacteria. Try not eat leftovers.
Don't waste food.
If can help it, don't eat.
Don't own a a plasma TV
which generate high levels
of dirty electricity,
linked to fatigue,
and cardiac symptoms
in sensitive people
(known as electrohypersensitivity).
Don't forget to watch programs on your plasma TV about household safety.
Dont, if you can avoid them, own a television or a home.
Don't put your feet up while relaxing; we don't know why yet, just don't.
don't forget to try to relax.
Don't do anything stressful.
Don't forget that stress is a sign that you're probably living.
Don't wake up; don't sleep.
Don't do anything that feels good.
Don't do anything that feels bad.
Don't do anything.
Don't forget to breathe. Don't forget to eat vegetables.
Don't forget to t remember that the fertilizers they use to grow vegetables can leave
trace amounts of carcinogenic nitrates in those salads you eat.
Don't forget there's nothing you can do about any of this.
This poem is already outdated.
This poem will never get old.
Don't try to avoid reading this; it could save you.
Don't ever read this poem...it's a proven killer."
Rattle, edição impressa, nº 36
"The childs hums as he carries, too late,
the grandmother's sugar-dusted lemon-glazed cake.
down the street to the neighbor who needs to be cheered,
too late for the neighbor
who's stepped into the air
of her silent front hall from a ladder-backed chair
her church dress just pressed, her head in a loop she tied into the clothesline, too late
he unlatches the gate,
walks up the brick walk on his tiptoes, avoiding the cracks
toward the door she unlocked, left ajar, who know why,
or for whom, if on purpose
or not, because he's too late
she's gonne still when he reaches the door and because
he's too late, as he calls out and looks, brilliant sun
burns through the haze
pours through sidelights and bevels
through chandelier prisms, strikes white sparks and purples
on ceiling and walls, on the overturned chair, on her stockings
her brown and white
spectator shoes on the floor
and because it's too late he remembers both terror and beauty
but not which came first. But enough of the one
that he ran
and enough of the other
to carefully lay down the cake at her feet."
Rattle, versão impressa, nº 36
"Today at the glass factory I fell in love with a blue-veined reticulated glass
hand. Heavy, cold and translucent, it is not a hand held out in love of or forgiveness.This hand is simply a hand, simply itself
devoid of intention, I admire most, beyond its heft and cool
presence, its detachment. As was Kant; his devotion do desinterest
Spawns beauty like Athena sprung from the head of Zeus. Across the way
men with overalls dismantle an old house-whining power tools
mix with wood's hollow call. I should be reading
Lorca but instead I'm flipping through a book on ornament, page after page of hand-wrought symmetry in gilt and finely wrought intricacies;
the knots, the flowers, the pendulous, hanging and spotted
pointillistic moments of pure color and form. Today I sent my daughter a new pair of gloves-black, supple leather with a cashmere lining. I can still feel the the weight and smoooth elegance of that blue hand, cold
as my mother's the day she died. I wasn't with her though I recall the March day. I make myself picture touching her hands, cool and a little
blue, the veins full of the motionless tide that just seconds before
had rocked to a halt after the pump stilled. For Lorca, the darkenss of death
is the light of the imagination. I'm not sorry to be devoid
of feeling. It's absence leaves the mind's blue light
cool and composed, yet even it struggles against the infinite which is without reason. There is nothing of use to say about our private
losses. The house across the way is now merely mounds of stacked
bricks-clay and straw molded by men gone to dust long before the cool
calculation of economy judged it
extraneous. The book's heft contains millennia we've strived against disorder, constructing geometry's repeatable patterns-
squares the haven of protection, lines the predictable journeys
and a good end; countless lotus baptizing us over and over in pure
radiance. How we make whole the fragments of reason-a vase, a a wall,
a stone relief...things that call to mind
what is lost. My talisman is the body's enactments: a blue hand
standing in a pool of light. And my daughter's-warm, thriving."
Rattle, versão impressa, nº 36
"Gramps, through all the years of layoffs
And callbacks, you worked in
The factory laboring endless
From your first day in Detroit until you retired
From the Dodge Main line 33 years later.
Gramps, I sometimes wondered
What your life could possibly have been
With the exact same breakfast every day at 5:30 a.m.:
Two fried eggs, bacon, toast and coffe with condensed milk.
They say a man is
Measured by his soul.
I did know that yours was dark and blue,
But I never really understood much more
Of who you really were.
Gramps, who loved me more
Than any real father loves a son,
I see you now in an old black & white
Photograph standing next to
The neighbor's brand new Desoto
And their new small new travel trailer. All the while I knew
You were only dedicated to one woman
Whom you loved for over 50 years.
Gramps, you were always
The one I admired-
You lived exactly what you believed: hard work,
A paycheck to keep life
Balanced and going,
And an occasional, small, treasured kiss.
You never needed much, Gramps, because you knew,
as I am learning now, it was never
About you. How silent
Your joy must have been alone
In your old battered Chysler
That you drove back and forth
To work at the plant-
Like your own life-
It was enough to get you from here to there,
With nothing at all waiting for you
At the end other than a life
Well lived and complete."
Rattle, edição impressa, nº36
I frequently get asked in America why India’s caste system, a pre-feudalistic division of labor that assigns one’s line of work at birth, has persisted into the 21st century. I typically answer: the need of the privileged upper castes for cheap labor. But there is an even more tragic explanation, as I discovered during a recent visit to New Delhi while talking to Maya, the dalit or untouchable — the lowest of the four castes — who has serviced my family for 35 years. Maya herself clings to her caste because it still offers her the best possible life in India.
What’s puzzling about the caste system is that it endures without legal force. Unlike slavery, where whites actively relied on authorities to maintain their slave holdings, the caste system is an informal, self-perpetuating institution.
How? Consider Maya’s story.
Maya assigned herself to our house in 1977. We had no choice. If we wanted our trash picked up, bathrooms scrubbed and yards cleaned, Maya was it. Indians find dealing with other people’s refuse not just unpleasant, but polluting. Hence only dalits are willing to do this work, something that both stigmatizes them and gives them a stranglehold on the market. And they have transformed this stranglehold into an ironclad cartel that closes all other options for their customers.
When Maya got married at 16, her father-in-law paid another dalit $20 for her wedding gift: the “rights” to service 10 houses in our neighborhood, including ours. Maya has no formal deed to these “rights,” yet they are more inviolable than holy writ. Maya’s fellow dalits, who own the “rights” to other houses, can’t work in hers, just as she can’t work in theirs.
Doing so, Maya insists, would be tantamount to theft that would invite a well-deserved beating and ostracism by the dalit community. No one would help a “poacher” or attend her family functions like births, weddings or funerals.
This arrangement has guaranteed Maya a monthly income of $100 that, along with her husband’s job as a “gofer” at a government lab, has helped her raise three children and build a modest house with a bathroom, a prized feature among India’s poor. But Maya’s monopoly doesn’t give her just money. It also hands her clout to resist the upper-caste power structure, not always for noble reasons.
None of Maya’s employers dares challenge her work. Maya takes more days off for funerals every year than there are members in her extended family. Complaining, however, is not only pointless but perilous. It would result in stinking piles of garbage outside the complainer’s home for days. Every time my mother gets into spats with Maya over her sketchy scrubbing, my mother loses. One harsh word, and Maya boycotts our house until my mother cajoles her back. Nor is Maya the only sweeper, or jamadarni, with an attitude. All of New Delhi is carved up among Maya-style sweeper cartels and it is a rare house whose jamadarni is not a “big problem.”
But the price for this clout is the loss of inter-caste acceptability. Segregation has loosened considerably among the first three castes. But dalits are allowed to socialize with other castes only if they abandon trash-related work. Otherwise, every interaction involving them becomes subject to an apartheid-like social code.
Some of Maya’s houses, for example, have separate entrances that allow her to access bathrooms without having to enter the main house. Although the families have formed a genuine bond with her and treat her generously, plying her with lavish gifts during festivals, there are limits. They give her breakfast and lunch, but in separate dishes. Sitting at their table, sharing a meal, is forbidden. Not even my mother’s driver, a higher caste, would visit Maya and accept a glass of water, even though he is poorer than she.
Maya is resigned to such discrimination, but not her oldest son, 36. He holds a government job, works as a sales representative for an Amway-style company and dreams big. He is embarrassed by his mother and lies to his customers about her work. He makes enough money to support Maya and wants her to quit, but she will have none of it. She fears destitution and poverty more, she says, than she craves social respectability.
But the choice may not be hers much longer.
Upon retirement, she had planned to either pass her “business” to her children or sell it to another dalit for about $1,000. But about six months ago, municipal authorities started dispatching vans, Western-style, to collect trash from neighborhoods, the one service that protected Maya from obsolescence in an age of sophisticated home-cleaning gadgetry.
Maya and her fellow dalits held demonstrations outside the municipal commissioner’s office to stop the vans. They finally arrived at a compromise that lets Maya and her pals collect trash from individual homes and hand it to the vans for disposal. But Maya realizes that this arrangement won’t last. “I got branded as polluted and became unfit for other jobs, for what?” she wept. “To build a business that has now turned to dust?”
Her son, however, is pleased. He believes that this will finally force his siblings to develop skills for more respectable work instead of joining their mother. But Maya shakes her head.
And she might be right. Post-liberalization, the most dogged and determined dalits are able to escape their caste-assigned destiny and get rich. But for the vast majority, as Maya says, opportunities are better within the caste system than outside it.
When that changes, the system will die, but not until then.
AN ARTIFICIAL brain has taught itself to estimate the number of objects in an image without actually counting them, emulating abilities displayed by some animals including lions and fish, as well as humans.
Because the model was not preprogrammed with numerical capabilities, the feat suggests that this skill emerges due to general learning processes rather than number-specific mechanisms. "It answers the question of how numerosity emerges without teaching anything about numbers in the first place," says Marco Zorzi at the University of Padua in Italy, who led the work.
To investigate ANS, Zorzi and colleague Ivilin Stoianov used a computerised neural network that responds to images and generates new "fantasy" ones based on rules that it deduces from the original images. The software models a retina-like layer of neurons that fire in response to the raw pixels, plus two deeper layers that do more sophisticated processing based on signals from layers above.
The pair fed the network 51,800 images, each containing up to 32 rectangles of varying sizes. In response to each image, the program strengthened or weakened connections between neurons so that its image generation model was refined by the pattern it had just "seen". Zorzi likens it to "learning how to visualise what it has just experienced".
Infants demonstrate ANS without being taught, so the network was not preprogrammed with the concept of "amount". But when Zorzi and Stoianov looked at the network's behaviour, they discovered a subset of neurons in the deepest layer that fired more often as the number of objects in the image decreased. This suggested that the network had learned to estimate the number of objects in each image as part of its rules for generating images. This behaviour was independent of the total surface area of the objects, emphasising that the neurons were detecting number.
"Every day there is some kind of darkness,
That just won't go away,
No matter how hard I try.
Crawls into your system while your guard is down,
Becomes the ball that you drag around to,
At every function,
To give to people with written instructions,
Don't try to get away,
I'm here to stay,
My name is fate."