The Muse

Showing posts with label study. Show all posts
Showing posts with label study. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

How Long Since You've Used Pi?


 

 Pi, you know that magic number 3.1416 is conveyed by the symbol p. No pie crust, berries, or lemon custard, nothing as great as that, just a mathematical formula.

Why am I concerned with pi? My real Estate Studies made me do it. When calculating the Area of a circle, it is Area =p r2, where r is the radius of a circle multiplied by itself.

Who discovered these things--and long, long ago?

I suppose it will be handy should I ever need to find the area of a geodesic dome. Some irregular rooms can use a circle, but I don't want to go there.

 If someone asks me to calculate the area of their irregularly shaped bathroom because they are putting down linoleum, I will scream and run in the opposite direction.

One of the questions the makers of this course asked before I began it was, "Can you stay calm when everybody else is going bonkers?"

 Nope. I'm already bonkers.

 My brain has turned to oatmeal this week in Junction City.

 

And how was your week?

 

Let's clear the brain... Did you read about the Finnish fellows having a pint in a pub and talking about their country?

They lamented that people didn't want to travel to Finland, their beautiful country with great utilities.

"But it's quiet," said one.

Well came the brilliant other, "The world is too noisy, and people are stressed by noise, so let's sell silence."

They agreed that people would pay to go to a spa and have a respite from the world's noise. Now their slogan is "Silence, please."

 

Sue, how long has it been since we visited Mother Meera, the silent Avatar in Germany?

Two friends and I had read about this young woman acclaimed as an Avatar, that is defined as a Deity in human form, and we wanted to experience her. She gave silent darshan. A darshan is simply being in the presence of a holy person. We three climbed aboard a jet plane, rented a car, and rummy from travel, with me as the designated driver, I drove in circles until we found a rot iron gate with a peacock shape built within it. That was Mother Meera's house. Why this Indian lady lived in Germany was a question we asked each other, but no one knew the answer.

Come evening, we attended a gathering of maybe 100 (maybe more) silent people sitting shoulder to shoulder on cushions. No one coughed, sniffed, cleared their throat, whispered, or talked. Silence spilled over us like syrup. One by one, we went up to the beautiful young woman dressed in a vibrant sari sunset colored. In turn, we knelt before her. She placed her hands on our heads, and it was said she was removing blocks.

When the evening was over, and we exited into the evening, as I moved my hands through the air, it felt soft and smooth and thick as though infused with gelatin. And the air pressed back at me just as softly. I thought, "I'm never going to speak again."

Well, that didn't last long.

However, the memory of that evening did.

 

This moment of silence was brought to you by someone who has 3.141592653589793238 running through their brain, not to mention what in the heck is a habendum clause?

 

1949 — The first time a computer was used to calculate pi: the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was able to determine pi to 2,000 places. The calculation took 70 hours to complete.


 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

This is The Work


 “Put your ass where your heart wants to be and don’t ask anything else of yourself.”—Steven Pressfield.

 

 

I began to write this post for my other blog https://www.bestdamnwritersblog.com), and then I realized Pressfield’s advice applies to many endeavors, not just writing.

 

For Pressfield, it is writing.

 

He says he doesn’t worry about how many words he will write, about punctuation, or anything. He knows that if he sits for his allotted time per day (his is about 3 hours), in six months, he will have a book. In a year, two books. 

 

Cool! It helps that he has some writing skills at his disposal. 

 

True, I could probably write a book in six months, but from my experience, then it will take 6 years of rewriting and editing, and proofreading. Then does anyone what to read it? (Diabolical laughter.)  

 

Maybe I need an attitude adjustment.

 

This morning, as I often do, I opened a book on writing as an oracle. I open the book to a random page, read a couple of paragraphs, and it sets me up for the day. Read an entire book on writing in one sitting, and your brain will go out to lunch, leaving you behind to starve. No, I take that back, read the entire book, then keep it around for a refresher.

 

This morning it was Steven King/On Writing:.

 

“Description is what makes the reader a sensory participant in the story. Good description is a learned skill.” (Oh, goodie.) “One of the prime reasons you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot.”

 

I don’t know what sensory experience. I want you guys to gain from reading this. It is non-fiction, which some successful writers say ought to be crafted as though it’s fiction. 

 

I’m simply talking. 

 

You are sitting in front of your computer. I am in front of mine. I use an external keyboard, for I simply cannot type on the computer’s keyboard--it drives me nuts. Maybe it’s because I learned to type on a typewriter. I like keys that pack a punch. And I have raised my screen to about eye level, as my Chiropractor suggested, so my back is straight. Whoops, I just straightened up. 

 

I sit in front of a window, my favorite spot for writing. 

 

I like to look up and see the green trees, the birdies flipping about, and if I raise up a bit, I can see my four chickens as they are in the backyard now. The area where they used to be behind the Wayback gave ample opportunity for the marauding raccoon to use them for snacks.

 

 

 

 Safe house


The pink dogwood tree I see out my window is replacing flowers with leaves. I really praise that ancient tree for recovering from its extreme cut-back. See how we can recover even if we are ancient. 

 

Remember how in Hawaii, I sat at my desk by the window and watched the Morning Goddess slowly meticulously adjust the morning sunlight until it totally enlivened the acre of green between me and the Tiki room. Oh, maybe you weren’t reading me at that time—it’s been ten years. (Really? It seems like last week.) 

 

And now, I open Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, a book I read when?? In 1986?! I don’t know; that’s when her book came out. Since I left the book behind in California, I re-bought it in Oregon. The following is from the 30th Anniversary Edition.

 

“If you capture that reality around you, your writing needs nothing else. You don’t only listen to the person speaking to you across the table but simultaneously listen to the air, the chair, and the door. Take in the sound of the season, the sound of the color coming through the windows.” (Color has a sound?) “The deeper you can listen, the better you will write the truth about the way things are… Jack Kerouac, in his list of prose essentials, said, ‘If you can capture the way things are, that’s all the poetry you will ever need.’”

 

I wonder how this meshes with my reading Joe Despensia’s book, Be Your Own Placebo, where I learned that the brain has “Plasticity, that is it re-invents itself according to what you experience and learn.

 

Isn’t that great? We aren’t “stuck” in anything.

 

My movie/book suggestions:

Movie: Operation Mincemeat, about a fantastic clandestine operation during WWII.

Book: David Michie’s The Dali Lama’s Cat; Awaken the Kitten Within.

 

“As kittens, all it takes is a windblown feather, an unexpected delicacy, or the alluring rush of water, and instantly we are caught up in it. Wonderment. Enchantment. Being fully absorbed in the here and now.”

 

Is it possible to recover the unaffected zest for life?

  

“Be clearly aware of the stars and infinity on high. Then life seems almost enchanted after all.”

—Vincent  Van Gogh