Warning. The following publications may induce intense reasoning.

Friday, June 20, 2014

An Eternal Nemesis - Space Pirates

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It does not take much to be free. Actually, it takes very little, as any space pirate would testify, outside of a court of law, of course. It is doing that makes us free; not having.

Captain Silvarre of the Union Prominence fleet, a registered subdivision of the Coalition, reviewed the results of their recent success. A venture into a renegade planet near Saturn. A planet that had not been known to the public, for most of its' colonized days.

"Gold," the captain requested.

"Five hundred," a rough voice answered from below the captain's deck, aboard the Cut Mink. The ship was named after an accident involving the First Lieutenant's pet, and the Captain's pet lizard.

"Five hundred?" the captain demanded, in a curious, but friendly voice.

"Oh," the voice of the First Lieutenant apologetically announced, "that number is wrong."

"Wrong?" The captain asked. "Who has left our friendly company, in recent days, Kirk?"

"Jamison, Captain," Kirk said, after approaching the captain's chair.

Depicting the renegade pirate Jamison.
Photography: Nuno Silva, Makeup & Hair: Cheri Chung, Model: Bradly James
"Let me guess, oh no, let me guess," the captain interrupted condensing arguments from the lower deck. "Deck Hand Jamison, and maybe two more friends, decided to take an early vacation. Right, Kirk?"

"Yes, sir," Kirk answered, and quickly replaced it with, "Yes, Captain."

In the lower levels of the Cut Mink, were imprisoned the previous 'maintainers' of the now captain Silvarre's glorious business vessel. The Lieutenant approached those cells, followed by a group of young recruits, full of confidence.

"Watch your step," he warned one of the younger recruits, as the lad walked precariously near to the cages. The boy stepped away, and felt a quick tug at his coat.

"Help," the miserable creature inside the cell cried. The boy ignored it. "I can get you gold," it growled the name of the precious metal, and insisted. The Lieutenant paused mid-step, and so did the group behind him.

"You say, err, gold? Gold, my friend?" He turned towards the cell holding the creature.

"Yes," it failed to pronounce its' affirmation. But the meaning was not lost.

"You two," Kirk pointed at two of the boys. "Take our esteemed guest to the captain, for further examin... for a chat. Now!" The young recruits approached the cell, opened it with their identifying tags, imprinted on their hands, and grabbed the creature, forcefully.

As the group continued through the hall of the ship's prison, Kirk received a private transmission from the captain, which said, "Take five, keep two." Kirk knew it was solid advice.

When they reached the requested cell, Lieutenant Kirk ordered to, "bring five out, and if any of them resist, beat them as hard as you can." The lads moved into action, with the sound of bodily harm, echoing from the cell.

Five thin and tall creatures, composed mostly of tentacles, crouched before Kirk. Three of them were selected to lead the scouting mission, after the renegade Jamison. Well, renegade as much as any pirate can be.

"The other two will be brutalized every half an hour, for one minute, until we get the prize. Got it?" Kirk asked the prisoners, not expecting any misunderstandings from the aliens. The creatures drooled thick watery liquids, now supposedly cajoled into compliance, and bobbed their heads in a rather circular motion.

Using remote surveillance equipment, the captain and his primary crew were able to hear and see everything that went on, during the reconnoiter.

"Never trust someone with kids, I say," the captain warned, and murmurs of agreement surfaced from behind him, on the deck. "Those aliens should have known better, than to let their kids on board. Now, all they know is my orders and fear," he finished with a merciless laughter that regularly caused his crew to become enamored to his methods.

The vessel that Jamison had stolen, in order to transport his stolen gold, well, as stolen as any gold can ever be from pirates, did indeed have some combat capabilities. However, it was no match against the vast matrix of laser shields that a mining vessel operated; specifically, the Cut Mink.

The encouraged aliens managed to locate and attach to Jamison's boat, and as they dragged him back towards the Cut Mink, Jamison tried, in a last attempt of bravado, to fire his magnetic pulse canons at her.

"I brought you back the gold, from these thieving aliens, captain," Jamison saluted in a serious manner, as he was put inside the command deck.

"Oh, indeed, you did, my Hand," the captain fondly referred to Jamison.

Evidently, the corpses of two aliens, last seen in their duty as boat maintainers, were found on the vessel stolen by Jamison. Without pause, Jamison used them to his favor.

"Killed them with my own two hands, captain, and proud of it," he said with an accent that attached itself to no specific colony.

"Give me one reason not to send you to alien duty, Jamison," the captain nodded at Kirk, to escort the younger man down below, where no duty was ever favorable.

"I," Jamison hesitated for a brief moment and contrived, "I am the only one signed on the new artifact contract, Captain."

The captain hesitated. It was, after all, a very valuable contract. And it really was Jamison's work that got them that contract. There was a lot of competition for it, as well. A lot of messy competition, that gave them even less friends in the fleet, than they had before.

"Kirk," the captain ordered.

"Yes sir," Kirk answered, and once more his previous military service had derailed the space manners required from him on board. "I mean, yes captain," he mended.

"Assign Hand Jamison a lower rank, and remove his privileges from the boating deck."

"Right away, captain."

"And Jamison," the captain added.

"Yes, captain?" Jamison turned back, as Kirk's massive hand started moving him backwards.

"No more vacations." The captain's eye glimmered against the shine of the information screens, and a twinkling of a smile surfaced. Jamison, for just that moment, felt some real concern churning up in him. But only for a moment.

The Cut Mink and its' unrecorded space escort were last seen heading towards the moons of Jupiter. Official reports tell of an upcoming ancient alien artifact transport deal, but for some reason, only a minor clerk was signed on it, instead of the expected signatures of the Captain of the vessel and his second best. The signature read, "Dougler Jamison, Head of Accounting, in the name of the Cut Mink."

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Hugelkultur & Plant Friends

Enjoy these pictures of my garden work, as inspired by Permaculture and nature. :-) Click on any of the images, to get an enlarged view!

My rather new Hugelkultur bed.
Some cucumbers appear to have taken root.

I kept the top branches, if any plant would like to climb them.

I was lacking soil for this, as my town is all rocks & stones.

I have finally changed my pots into large unperforated tubs,
that hold the water in this dry and arid climate. It's working great!

On the right, a rescued fat plant.
On the left, a left-over from the transition into tubs.
I'm using a bowl to help it hold the water, and it works well.

Need to get more soil and seeds, for this one.

A corner of empty soil. I experiment with different seeds and potatoes on it. :=P

My watering bucket. It also catches the drain from the table.

My compost bin.
I put holes in its' bottom, which was a bad idea, because of smelly leakings.
Still, works fine.

I just throw in any organic leftovers from the kitchen, and some leaf matter from the garden.

My window-sill pot, which has not been a great success, yet.
And an experiment!
Some soil and water in a bottle, with its' cap off, and some cherry-tomato seeds.
I'm waiting for the tomato plants to reach out of it!
This was inspired by various terrariums.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I Am Going To Tell You How To Think

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Thinking is important. Not just the occasional burst of thought that we encounter in very dangerous or just boring situations. Organized and systematic thinking is how we reach conclusions that are not immediately evident to us.

For example, trees grow upwards, towards the sun, sure, but without that extra thought, we would never realize that trees also grow according to their root mass! What an intriguing idea!

We use thoughts to understand our emotions. Emotions, our feelings, such as dislike, anger, love, happiness, and sadness are how we define our priorities. Being hungry makes us feel bad, so it's very important! Some random video on the web might be amusing, but it is hardly as important, in our personal scale of priorities, right?

This fact, that thinking is important, is how we can start to choose the tools that work best for us, when it comes to figuring out ideas. Which idea is good and which is bad? Our tools can help us figure that out, without having to try every single idea that comes across us.

I hold two philosophical tools, and they both fall under the category of Logic; which dislikes anything random in the thinking process.

One method is to attempt to find a practical solution to a very specific problem. Do I want something changed? Do I dislike something in my life? Do I want to add something into my life? To use this tool most efficiently, I define the question in the most practical way, so that the answer can be very precise.

So, if I want to learn, say, Japanese, then I would define it: "How can I know Japanese, to the extent where I can understand most parts of the online series that I watch, and understand the general meaning of most Japanese conversations?" And then I put some effort into defining an answer that is within those boundaries, such as: "I will use a nice website that teaches basic and intermediate Japanese, and I will do this for about one-hour, every day or two, for about three-months, mixing both reading and listen-and-repeat exercises." Simple, eh?

The second method is to raise my own general curiosity, and then aim it at a topic, gradually becoming more concise and specific. We do this most often with games - with puzzles. So, let's say that I take an interest in gardening, which I do. I would begin by generally educating myself about it, through the more popular channels: Google, popular websites for gardening, and people near me, who take interest in this.

Slowly and surely, this quest of curiosity will lead me to narrower sub-topics, under the same category of gardening. This means that I would connect to those people who find those specific sub-topics as interesting, and that I would dedicate more time only studying these sub-topics. And so, I will have obtained a new intellectual hobby, which is bound to turn into me planting tomatoes in a pot on my window sill; which I am.

As I enjoy life & beauty, so do I enjoy truth & wisdom.

I have not read her books,
but she does make for great quotes,
so she gets some free advertising from me!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

FREEDOM! by Adam Kokesh

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Adam, from the radio show Adam VS The Man, has just now released his new book!

This book is a non-fiction about the meaning of freedom. I feel that his writing combines the best arguments, from the most popular modern minds, in the freedom or anarchy genres. And it does so concisely and plainly!

Visit the book's page, over at AdamVSTheMan.com.
My only criticisms are towards the audiobook quality, which I chose to enjoy - and not bother reading lots of text. And also with my already great familiarity with the topic, meaning I got bored a lot.

For the former, Adam shared with me by email that he did rush the completion of the audiobook, so the resulting mistakes are not surprising. It is still a nice listen and very audible. He promised to edit it, too! Well done, Adam, keep it up for all of us.

And, for the latter, it is just my fault for taking so much interest in my own liberty and morality, already. I can't blame anybody for that. I do thank a lot of people for it.

Enjoy the book as an eBook PDF, AudioBook (Single File or by Chapters), Plain Text RTF or TXT, and even a Kindle version on Amazon, or the Android App!

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