Inspiration – Albert Einstein

One of people that always inspire me is Albert Einstein.  I believe everybody in this world knows who is Albert Einstein is, so i would not have to describe his whole life story.

I never get tired of reading his quotes and think about their meaning and application to everyday life.

So today i will quote some of his sayings that inspired me and hopefully they can inspire you also:

  • “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Quoted in interview by G.S. Viereck , October 26,1929. Reprinted in “Glimpses of the Great”(1930)

  • “Why is it that nobody understands me, yet everybody likes me?”—Albert Einstein — Quoted in an interview with New York Times, March 12,1944.

  • “Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.”—Albert Einstein — To Fred Wall, 1933. AEA 31–845
  • “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”—Albert Einstein — To Carl Seelig – March 11,1952. AEA 39–013
  • “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” —Albert Einstein — To J. Dispentiere – March 24, 1954. AEA 59–495
  • “It is not a lack of real affection that scares me away again and again from marriage. Is it a fear of the comfortable life, of nice furniture, of dishonor that I burden myself with, or even the fear of becoming a contented bourgeois.” —Albert Einstein — To Elsa Löwenthal, after August 3, 1914. CPAE, Vol. 8, Doc.32.
  • “I am truly a ‘lone traveler’ and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart. In the face of all this, I have never lost a sense of distance and the need for solitude.”—Albert Einstein — From “The World As I See It” (1930), reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 99.
  • “Music does not influence research work, but both are nourished by the same sort of longing, and they complement each other in the release they offer.”—Albert Einstein — To Paul Plaut, October 23, 1928. AEA 28–065
  • “Try to become not a man of success, but try rather to become a man of value.”—Albert Einstein — Quoted by William Miller in Life Magazine, May 2, 1955
  • “The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”—Albert Einstein — Quoted by William Miller in Life Magazine, May 2,1955
  • “The most important endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity for life.”—Albert Einstein — To Reverend C. Greenway, November 20,1950. AEA 28–894.
  • “I am not only a pacifist, but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace…. Is it not better for a man to die for a cause in which he believes, such as peace, than to suffer for a cause in which he does not believe, such as war?”—Albert Einstein — From an interview 1931. Reprinted in Einstein on Peace, 125
  • “It is difficult to say what truth is, but sometimes it is so easy to recognize a falsehood.”—Albert Einstein — To Jeremiah McGuire, October 24,1953. AEA 60–483
  • “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects.”—Albert Einstein — Quoted by Ernst Straus in French, Einstein: A Centenary Volume, 32
  • “Marriage is but slavery made to appear civilized.”—Albert Einstein — Quoted by K. Wachsmann in M. Grüning, Ein Haus für Albert Einstein, 159
  • “God gave me the stubbornness of a mule and a fairly keen scent.”—Albert Einstein — Quoted in G.J. Whitrow, Einstein: the man and his achievement, 91
  • “Although I am a typical loner in my daily life, my awareness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has prevented me from feelings of isolation.”—Albert Einstein — From “My Credo” 1932. AEA 28–218
  • “It is not so important where one settles down. The best thing is to follow your instincts without too much reflection.”—Albert Einstein — To Max Born, March 3,1920. AEA 8–146
  • “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”- Quoted in interview by G.S. Viereck, 1929

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Kiev Ukraine

I feel nostalgic today… So i decided to talk about my hometown… Kiev.
I hear that some people get used to new country new environment very fast, and some keep longing for their hometown… I always wondered why this happens… why people perceive change so differently… After living in US for 10 years, i still long for the culture, churches, for the stone paved streets, especially my favorite – Andriyivskyy Descent, for the long walks in Kiev parks, for the nature and all the trees, for summer rain (which i probably love the most 🙂 ) and even for the snow… I don’t really miss people in particular… Of course every city has its good sides and bad sides, beauties and vices. Every time i come to Kiev i see its metamorphosis, it changes, people change, culture started to become something different, i think that is the reason i do not miss people, but only the City. I guess for now i can say, i am deeply in love with Kiev:)

Sapiosexuality

Recently i came across the word “sapiosexual” and i was curious to find out what does this word mean. I found a lot of different opinions on this topic online, so i picked the most logical explanation to this theory-word, which i think makes sense at least to me 🙂

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Sapiosexual is a recently constructed word (neologism) that has come into common usage, particularly on social networking sites where people are self-identifying as sapiosexual. It is a concatenation of the latin root sapio-from sapiens meaning wise or intelligent (itself derived from sapere which means to taste, or rather, to discern) and the latin root -sexualis as it pertains to sexual preferences.

What does Sapiosexual mean?

Sapiosexual (n): a person who is sexually attracted to intelligence in others.

Sapiosexual (adj): of, or relating to, finding intellectual stimulation sexually arousing.

I am not sure if i would add myself to the term “sapiosexual”, but i would like to quote my favorite quote on love …(i am not sure about the author though:))

“It’s beautiful if you find someone that is in love with your mind. Someone that wants to undress your conscience and make love to your thought. Someone that wants to watch you slowly take down all the walls you’ve build up around your mind and let them inside.”

 

Talking Sarcasm…

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Sarcasm is “a sharp, bitter, or cutting expression or remark; a bitter gibe or taunt.” While many authors assert that sarcasm involves irony, or employs ambivalence, one author in particular has distinguished sarcasm from irony.

The word comes from the Greek σαρκασμός (sarkasmos) which is taken from the word σαρκάζειν meaning “to tear flesh, bite the lip in rage, sneer”.

It is first recorded in English in 1579, in an annotation to The Shepheardes Calender by Edmund Spenser: 

Tom piper, an ironicall Sarcasmus, spoken in derision of these rude wits, whych …

However, the word sarcastic, meaning “Characterized by or involving sarcasm; given to the use of sarcasm; bitterly cutting or caustic,” doesn’t appear until 1695.

Dictionary.com describes the use of irony thus:

In sarcasm, ridicule or mockery is used harshly, often crudely and contemptuously, for destructive purposes. It may be used in an indirect manner, and have the form of irony, as in “What a fine musician you turned out to be!,” “It’s like you’re a whole different person now…,” and “Oh… Well then thanks for all the first aid over the years!” or it may be used in the form of a direct statement, “You couldn’t play one piece correctly if you had two assistants.” The distinctive quality of sarcasm is present in the spoken word and manifested chiefly by vocal intonation …

Distinguishing sarcasm from, and referring to the use of irony in sarcasm, Bousfield writes that sarcasm is:

The use of strategies which, on the surface appear to be appropriate to the situation, but are meant to be taken as meaning the opposite in terms offace management. That is, the utterance which appears, on the surface, to maintain or enhance the face of the recipient actually attacks and damages the face of the recipient. … sarcasm is an insincere form of politeness which is used to offend one’s interlocuter.

Hostile, critical comments may be expressed in an ironic way, such as saying “don’t work too hard” to a lazy worker. The use of irony introduces an element of humor which may make the criticism seem more polite and less aggressive. Sarcasm can frequently be unnoticed in print form, oftentimes requiring the intonation or tone of voice to indicate the quip.

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Understanding the subtlety of this usage requires second-order interpretation of the speaker’s or writer’s intentions; different parts of the brain must work together to understand sarcasm. This sophisticated understanding can be lacking in some people with certain forms of brain damage, dementia and autism (although not always), and this perception has been located by MRI in the right parahippocampal gyrus. Research has shown that people with damage in the prefrontal cortex have difficulty understanding non-verbal aspects of language like tone, Richard Delmonico, a neuropsychologist at the University of California, Davis, told an interviewer. Such research could help doctors distinguish between different types of neurodegenerative diseases, such as frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, according to David Salmon, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego.

In William Brant’s Critique of Sarcastic Reason, sarcasm is hypothesized to develop as a cognitive and emotional tool that adolescents use in order to test the borders of politeness and truth in conversation. Sarcasm recognition and expression both require the development of understanding forms of language, especially if sarcasm occurs without a cue or signal (e.g., a sarcastic tone or rolling the eyes). Sarcasm is argued to be more sophisticated than lying because lying is expressed as early as the age of three, but sarcastic expressions take place much later during development (Brant, 2012). According to Brant (2012, 145-6), sarcasm is

(a) form of expression of language often including the assertion of a statement that is disbelieved by the expresser (e.g., where the sentential meaning is disbelieved by the expresser), although the intended meaning is different from the sentence meaning. The recognition of sarcasm without the accompaniment of a cue develops around the beginning of adolescence or later. Sarcasm involves the expression of an insulting remark that requires the interpreter to understand the negative emotional connotation of the expresser within the context of the situation at hand. Irony, contrarily, does not include derision, unless it is sarcastic irony. The problems with these definitions and the reason why this dissertation does not thoroughly investigate the distinction between irony and sarcasm involves the ideas that: (1) people can pretend to be insulted when they are not or pretend not to be insulted when they are seriously offended; (2) an individual may feel ridiculed directly after the comment and then find it humorous or neutral thereafter; and (3) the individual may not feel insulted until years after the comment was expressed and considered.

Cultural perspectives on sarcasm vary widely with more than a few cultures and linguistic groups finding it offensive to varying degrees. Thomas Carlyle despised it: “Sarcasm I now see to be, in general, the language of the devil; for which reason I have long since as good as renounced it”. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, on the other hand, recognized in it a cry of pain: Sarcasm, he said, was “usually the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.” RFC 1855, a collection of guidelines for Internet communications, includes a warning to be especially careful with it as it “may not travel well.” A professional translator has advised that international business executives “should generally avoid sarcasm in intercultural business conversations and written communications” because of the difficulties in translating sarcasm.

 

“The sacred book of the Werewolf” by Victor Pelevin

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I’ve advised to read this book by a friend that thought that i would really like it. After reading it in one evening, on one breath, i have to agree – this book is very interesting! Reading this book was very easy, writers style was easily understood and definitely not boring.

The heroine of the story is a fox whose name (A Hu-Li) unfortunately translates in her adopted homeland, Russia, as something approximating  ‘what the f**k’. A Hu-Li has the appearance of a luscious 14-year-old girl, the mind of a particularly sly Buddhist monk and an endearing habit of name-dropping all the famous people she’s met over past 2,000 years. Originally from China, she’s now playing her vulpine trade at Moscow’s National Hotel. But A Hu-Li’s version of turning tricks is not exactly conventional (she was a virgin), she hypnotizes her willing victims, feeding off his energies with the help of her secret weapon, “a fluffy, flexible, fire-red” tail.

Though she claims an aversion to the messy business of sex, A Hu-Li is also engaged  in a passionate affair with federal security agent who just happens to be well-endowed werewolf with lucrative ability to conjuring oil from earth. The problems came when lone conflicts with duty: moved to kiss her furry shapeshifter, the fox unwittingly triggers his transformation into a five-legged black dog, that may or may not be the super werewolf of the title.

What is the secret of A Hu-Li’s immortality? What is the difference between the transformation of perception and the perception of transformation, and what does either have to do with werewolf’s, werefoxes and modern marketing techniques? How does A Hu-Li ultimately achieves her freedom?

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P.S. Here is my drawing of A Hu-Li

by LinaWay
by LinaWay

The “scariest” haunted painting by Bill Stoneham

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by Bill Stoneham, 1972

Not long ago I saw a photograph of this painting on one of the forums, people were calling this painting the “scariest” painting they have ever seen. I must say that intrigued me, and as to what people saw on it that i do not find “scary” or “creepy”… So i decided to look into it.

The name of the painting is “the hands resist him”. It was painted by Bill Stoneham in 1972. On the picture is a young boy and female doll standing in front of a glass paneled door against which many hands are pressed. According to the artist, “the boy is based on the photograph of himself at age five, the doorway is a representation of the dividing line between the walking world and the world of fantasy and impossibilities, while the doll is a guide that will escort the boy through it. The titular hands represent alternative lives or possibilities”

The painting was first displayed at the Feingarten Gallery in Beverly Hills, CA during the early 1970s. A one-man Stoneham show at the gallery, which included the piece, was reviewed by the art critic at the Los Angeles Times. During the show, the painting was purchased by actor John Marley, notable for his role as Jack Woltz in The Godfather.

At some point in time after Marley’s death, the painting was reported to have come into the possession os a California couple, after being found on the site of an old brewery, as stated in their original eBay listing in 2000. According to the seller, the painting carries some sort of curse. Eventually the painting got sold.  The buyer, Perception Gallery in Grands, Michigan contacted Bill Stoneham and related the unusual story of its auction and people’s interpretation, which surprised the artist.

An individual who saw the story about original painting contacted Stoneham about commissioning a sequel to the painting.  Stoneham accepted and painted a sequel called Resistance at the Threshold. The sequel depicts the same characters 40+ years later in the same style as original. A second sequel, Threshold of Revelation, was completed in 2012 and can be seen on Stoneham’s website. http://www.stonehamstudios.com/haunted.html

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Resistance at the Threshold
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Threshold of Revelation

Dante Alighieri “Divine Comedy” illustrated by Salvador Dali.

Today I will continue with my Salvador Dali fascination. 

Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri is an epic poem, that is accepted world wide as one of the greatest masterpieces of art. It comes as no surprise that  in 1950 another great artist, Salvador Dali, would have been asked by the Italian government to produce a series of illustrations for a full-text, deluxe edition of the Divine Comedy. Ultimately, the illustrations were not well received by the Italians, as it was deemed inappropriate for a Spanish painter (rather than Italian painter) to have illustrated the masterpiece of Italy’s greatest poet. 

Even though the project was dropped in Italy, Dali and French publisher Joseph Foret continued to pursue publication of The Divine Comedy. Mr. Foret acted as a broker between salvador Dali and Les Heures Claires, a French editing and publishing house that ultimately took full charge of the project. Jean Estrade, the Artistic Director, worked closely with expert engravers to create the works under Dali’s supervision. Wood engraving was the medium chosen due to its ability to recreate subtle washes and delicate lines.

The Divine Comedy suite consists of 100 color wood engravings created between 1960 and 1964 after 100 watercolors painted between 1951 and 1960. Mr. Raymond Jacquet and his assistant Mr. Tarrico created the engravings with the participation and final approval by Dali. More than 3 000 blocks were necessary to complete the engraving process. 

Once the project was complete, all the Divine Comedy blocks were distorted. the engraving process required the block to be cut, a single color applied, than printed to the substrate (e.g. paper, silk, etc.). The block was then cleaned and cut away for the next color. As the engravings were made, the image was progressively “printed”, and the block was progressively distorted. The process required great skill and resulted in works of spectacular beauty which can not be reproduced in a manner that is not detectable as a reproduction, even to the casual observer.

So here is the actual illustrations of the engravings grouped in 3 chapters: Inferno – Purgatory – Paradise

Inferno:

 

Purgatory:

 

Paradise:

Source of illustrations: http://www.rogallery.com/Dali_Salvador/divine_comedy/sdalihm-hell.htm

Mixed medium painting/collage

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Here is my other attempt at the mixed medium painting.

The girl was painted with acrylic paints

The top part of the painting has a french quote written on it. It says: “La Douleur Exquise…”, which means “exquisite pain; (n.) the heart-wrenching pain of wanting the affection of someone unattainable.”

On the bottom, the quote says ( i will translate into english) “In my life, I lived, I lost, I hurt, I thought, I’ve made mistakes, but especially … I learned”. I apologize if translation is not very accurate, i used a french translator on my MacBook.

Gustav Klimt, Philosophy

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I have been really sick this week so i had some time on my hands to experiment, read, roam the app store and internet. One of my other favorite art pieces is Philosophy by Gustav Klimt.

Philosophy was one of the paintings out of series of paintings made by Gustav Klimt for the ceiling of the University of Vienna’s Great Hall between the years of 1899-1907. The original series contained paintings: Philosophy, Medicine and Jurisprudence. Upon presenting his paintings Klimt came under attack for ‘pornography’ and ‘perverted excess’ in the paintings. None of the paintings went on display in the University. In May 1945 all three paintings were destroyed by retreating SS forces.

In my opinion all three paintings were amazing, but my favorite always will be Philosophy.

“Philosophy had been awarded a gold medal at the World Exhibition in Paris, but was attacked by those in his own country. Klimt described the painting as follows: ‘On the left of the group of figures, the beginning of life, fruition, decay. On the right, the globe as mystery. Emerging below, figure of light; knowledge’. Critics were disturbed by its depiction of men and women drifting in an aimless trance. The original proposal for the theme of the painting was ‘The Victory of Light over Darkness’, but what Klimt presented instead was a dreamlike mass of humanity, referring neither to optimism nor rationalism, but to a ‘viscous void’”

Since i am in a feverish state of mind, i was “playing” with this painting on my Mac, and here is what came out of it:

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