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No Cost Software

I was wondering if I could put together a suite of software applications for producing professional documents FOR FREE that functioned pretty much as well as a combination of Microsoft Office and Adobe CS. Yep.

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Ingri And Edgar d’Aulaire

323.jpg I found this note in a description of a children’s book:
“It is something of a shock to discover in the d’Aulaire’s fine picture-book life of George Washington (1936) for the youngest children the repellent phrase, “He learned to be good and honest and never tell a lie.”
Children and Books, May Hill Arbuthnot

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Crocodile

— The crocodile almost ate me.
— That’s okay. If he ate you, you’d be a legend.

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Cute

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My daughter at three had an unwavering addiction to cute that has matured now that she is five into a kind of cynical consumption of “cute.” We spent a painful hour for me (joyful hour for her) browsing a Web site with hundreds of adorable pictures of kittens and puppies. There is a Japanese sensibility (kawaii) for this kind of cuteness, and cuteness it seems is not merely cute in a kind of purely innocent way but cute in a way that camouflage looks natural, cute as a deliberate confusion of signifiers. At three my daughter bought cuteness; at five she is fluent in cute. I am merely confused by cute. I did, however, find an The Aesthetics of Cute.

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On Violence

Finding a motive is important to reassure the public — Capt. Tag Gleason, head of the violent-crimes unit, quoted in today’s Seattle Times.

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Chewbacca in Narnia

I also saw Chewbacca in Narnia. This has been a widely observed phenomena. Weird. I forget who was saying* that Santa Claus is part of a training myth for the post-modern mind and our belief in a monetary system based on faith. 1) Santa Claus [leaves presents] 2) Easter Bunny [leaves chocolate] 3) Tooth Fairy. [leaves American currency with the words “in god we trust”.] And the gradual de-masking of each of these myths is also important. At the center of dialogue is the question “is santa claus/god/money real?” undercut with the understanding, “I don’t want to question it too deeply because I don’t want to destroy the value added by faith.” This is post-mod deconstruction at its height. There has also been a recent argument put forward by The Republican War on Science that post-modern theory has been embraced by right wing think tanks and that the kind of dialectic explored by post-mod theorists is central to the practical blinding of the american public.

It was very revealing recently to hear people bring up the “War on Christmas,” as in “Merry Christmams” vs “Happy Holidays,” as a way of obstificating any sense behind 1) the president breaking the law and 2) the fact that the US has declared war on the rest of the planet. While the poeple I was with knew it was a frivilous topic, these lab tech liberals I work with, they were also completely absorbed about talking about it because it became a kind of interplay between various value systems. In the same way, I think to have cross references in movies like Narnia and Star Wars develops a kind of mythological dense cloud that displaces a real engagement with the world. Narnia‘s director created Shrek and Shrek II which I think are the most overt offenders in this regard. These movies would be almost completely incomprehensible if we didn’t live in a world crowded with Chewbaccas. It’s kind of like a game of Three Card Monte with objective reality beind the thing being carted around.

A review of the movie: I thought The White Witch was scary, and the movie a kind of crusader-in-training movie for the kindergartner set. Very weird to see children in combat. I hope it becomes even more odd and not the way things are in the future. The movie confirms once again that the root of the fantasy genre is always a tale of genocide. C++ (B- with extra credit)

* Ah. It was Chuck Palahniuk. Always a source of thoughtful and reliable theories.

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How Do Birds Publish Bird News?

“This abatement kills a couple of birds and sends a message to the birds to not come here,” said Freyda Stephens, general manager of the center. “It’s not intended to kill everything.”

I wondered on reading this, how do birds recieve this “message?” Do they publish news? Smoke signals? How?

— From The Seattle Times

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Jack, don’t touch that.

Jack, don’t touch that.

But Jack, never one to listen to the rules, put his hand right into the blazing fire. His hand burned right to the bone. His sleeves caught on fire. He jumped and hollered and cried, “I shouldn’t touch that.”

Jack don’t touch that.

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Regional Typeface?

New York City has a typeface, and several foundaries. In this case the Hoefler Typefoundaries face, Gotham, could be said to be a New York face. London has Times New Roman. California has a typeface and the foundary, Emigre. Perhaps Modua could be a said to be a Californian face, although I think the entire Emigre set would be better representation. Does Seattle, with Adobe (aka Aldus) have a typeface?

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The Form and Deformed Knock Knock Joke

Knock Knock
Who’s There
Racoon.
Racoon who?
Racoon pushing a shopping cart.

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