Smoke & Mirrors

New Englander in Seattle, pleb philosopher, aspiring writer, I Ching follower, ex-Buddhist monk, mental rebel raging against paradigms high and low, gregarious nerd ruthlessly seeking the good life...
~ Thursday, April 17 ~
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comedycentralstandup:

Aziz Ansari is your Stand-Up Month Comedian of the Day. Watch his stand-up highlights here. 

comedycentralstandup:

Aziz Ansari is your Stand-Up Month Comedian of the Day. Watch his stand-up highlights here


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theatlantic:

This Is Big: Scientists Just Found Earth’s First-Cousin

Right now, 500 light years away from Earth, there’s a planet that looks a lot like our own. It is bathed in dim orangeish light, which at high noon is only as bright as the golden hour before sunset back home. 
NASA scientists are calling the planet Kepler-186f, and it’s unlike anything they’ve found. The big news: Kepler-186f is the closest relative to the Earth that researchers have discovered. 
It’s the first Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of another star—the sweet spot between too-hot Mercury-like planets and too-cold Neptunes— and it is likely to give scientists their first real opportunity to seek life elsewhere in the universe. “It’s no longer in the realm of science fiction,” said Elisa Quintana, a researcher at the SETI Institute. 
But if there is indeed life on Kepler-186f, it may not look like what we have here. Given the redder wavelengths of light on the planet, vegetation there would sprout in hues of yellow and orange instead of green.
Read more. [Image: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech]

theatlantic:

This Is Big: Scientists Just Found Earth’s First-Cousin

Right now, 500 light years away from Earth, there’s a planet that looks a lot like our own. It is bathed in dim orangeish light, which at high noon is only as bright as the golden hour before sunset back home. 

NASA scientists are calling the planet Kepler-186f, and it’s unlike anything they’ve found. The big news: Kepler-186f is the closest relative to the Earth that researchers have discovered. 

It’s the first Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of another star—the sweet spot between too-hot Mercury-like planets and too-cold Neptunes— and it is likely to give scientists their first real opportunity to seek life elsewhere in the universe. “It’s no longer in the realm of science fiction,” said Elisa Quintana, a researcher at the SETI Institute. 

But if there is indeed life on Kepler-186f, it may not look like what we have here. Given the redder wavelengths of light on the planet, vegetation there would sprout in hues of yellow and orange instead of green.

Read more. [Image: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech]


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theatlantic:

In Focus: Battling for Control of Eastern Ukraine

For the past few weeks, armed groups of pro-Russian men have been storming and seizing government buildings in towns across eastern Ukraine. Angered by the new pro-western Ukrainian government and emboldened by Russia’s annexation of Crimea, these groups are demanding separation from Ukraine. Ukraine’s new government has asked for western assistance, as it tries to recapture police stations, airbases, and other government properties — without resorting to violence that may trigger a Russian response. Meanwhile, thousands of Ukrainian soldiers are deploying in eastern Ukraine, with even more Russian soldiers massed on the other side of the border. NATO officials said they planned to deploy more forces in eastern Europe and called for Russia to stop “destabilizing” the former Soviet satellite, which has been in deep turmoil since the ouster of the pro-Kremlin leadership in February.

Read more.


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This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.
— Alan Watts (via arrogantswami)

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~ Wednesday, April 16 ~
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guardian:

These high-quality images may look like photographs of world cities at night taken by astronauts from the International Space Station – but they are painstakingly constructed from public map data and finessed by artist Marc Khachfe. See more


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(Source: )


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beingblog:

This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
~Rumi, as quoted in Parker Palmer’s reflection on hospitality and welcoming the unexpected visitor.

beingblog:

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~Rumi, as quoted in Parker Palmer’s reflection on hospitality and welcoming the unexpected visitor.


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