Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Quint Buchholz

StareI stumbled into Quint Buchholz's artworks in Talvez Te Escreva's blog, which is, by the way, flooded by Ben Harper's "When She Believes" - lends it a whole lot of magic, imho, half in Portugese and all.Woman_reading_1

Mr. Buchholz, a German pointillist, just put my life on ink and paper - me with my flights of fancy, with my worlds of books, I, who am often lost to common space and time. I am the woman levitating, the girl flying, the one sleeping with a book for a blanket, the one who sees the world with a tower of books, the one lost in pages when my husband comes looking for me.Book_blanketBook_towerFlying_child

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Somewhere along Roxas Boulevard, 1992, the red light stopped us. An unkempt girl tapped the passenger window: my side. Pretty Sampaguita garlands, would I buy ten pesos ($0.25)Picture_1_2 worth please. Ten pesos equals three garlands, each containing a dozen or so of the small flowers carefully strewn by those small hands with dirty nails. Neil and I scrambled for some change, "three, four, ah.. nuts..", we came up short.

We were giving apologetic shrugs but she was looking at something else - Neil's snack - the half eaten Jollibee cheeseburger on the dashboard. Has she eaten that day at all, we haven't got a clue. "Here you go, little one." and she smiled from ear to ear. She beamed like Christmas day.

She was so happy she wanted to give me three strings of her garlands anyway. I was floored. I know her story: her family is so poor she has sell flowers to eat. Hunger would wake up a girl of six at the crack of dawn so she could hurry off to Luneta to pick those flowers among other kids like her. What she was giving me would have bought her two cups of rice or a cheap plastic toy or half of what it would cost to get her new slippers.

Her generosity shook me to the core. My poor soul. Then the light turned green and she was gone.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Einstein and The Eddington

The sun was setting on the links,
The moon looked down serene,
The caddies all had gone to bed,
But still there could be seen
Two players lingering by the trap
That guards the thirteenth green.
The Einstein and the Eddington
Were counting up their score;
The Einstein's card showed ninety-eight
And Eddington's was more.
And both lay bunkered in the trap
And both stood there and swore.
I hate to see, the Einstein said;
Such quantities of sand;
Just why they placed a bunker here
I cannot understand.
If one could smooth this landscape out,
I think it would be grand.
If seven maids with seven mops
Would sweep the fairway clean
I'm sure that I could make this hole
In less than seventeen.
I doubt it, said the Eddington,
Your slice is pretty mean.
Then all the little golf balls came
To see what they were at,
And some of them were tall and thin
And some were short and fat,
A few of them were round and smooth,
But most of them were flat.
The time has come, said Eddington,
To talk of many things:
Of cubes and clocks and meter-sticks
And why a pendulum swings.
And how far space is out of plumb,
And whether time has wings.
I learned at school the apple's fall
To gravity was due,
But now you tell me that the cause
Is merely G_mu-nu,
I cannot bring myself to think
That this is really true.
You say that gravitation's force
Is clearly not a pull.
That space is mostly emptiness,
While time is nearly full;
And though I hate to doubt your word,
It sounds like a bit of bull.
And space, it has dimensions four,
Instead of only three.
The square of the hypotenuse
Ain't what it used to be.
It grieves me sore, the things you've done
To plane geometry.
You hold that time is badly warped,
That even light is bent:
I think I get the idea there,
If this is what you meant:
The mail the postman brings today,
Tomorrow will be sent.
If I should go Timbuctoo
With twice the speed of light,
And leave this afternoon at four,
I'd get back home last night.
You've got it now, the Einstein said,
That is precisely right.
But if the planet Mercury
In going round the sun,
Never returns to where it was
Until its course is run,
The things we started out to do
Were better not begun.
And if before the past is through,
The future intervenes;
Then what's the use of anything;
Of cabbages or queens?
Pray tell me what's the bally use
Of Presidents and Deans.
The shortest line, Einstein replied,
Is not the one that's straight;
It curves around upon itself,
Much like a figure eight,
And if you go too rapidly
You will arrive too late.
But Easter day is Christmas time
And far away is near,
And two and two is more than four
And over there is here.
You may be right, said Eddington,
It seems a trifle queer.
But thank you very, very much,
For troubling to explain;
I hope you will forgive my tears,
My head begins to pain;
I feel the symptoms coming on
Of softening of the brain.

This nonsense poem was written by Dr. W. H. Williams for a faculty club dinner on the eve of the physicist Eddington's departure from Berkeley in 1924.

- W.H. Williams

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


War doesn't determine who is right. War determines who is left. -- Bertrand Russel


This photo showing a starving Sudanese child being stalked by a vulture won South African photographer, Kevin Carter, the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography. Kevin committed suicide three months after.