« March 24, 2011 | Main | March 26, 2011 »

March 25, 2011

Man, the Insomniac Animal — E.M. Cioran

Whoever said that sleep is the equivalent of hope had a penetrating intuition of the frightening importance not only of sleep but also of insomnia! The importance of insomnia is so colossal that I am tempted to define man as the animal who cannot sleep. Why call him a rational animal when other animals are equally reasonable? But there is not another animal in the entire creation that wants to sleep yet cannot. Sleep is forgetfulness: life's drama, its complications and obsessions vanish completely, and every awakening is a new beginning, a new hope. Life thus maintains a pleasant discontinuity, the illusion of permanent regeneration. Insomnia, on the other hand, gives birth to a feeling of irrevocable sadness, despair, and agony. The healthy man—the animal—only dabbles in insomnia: he knows nothing of those who would give a kingdom for an hour of unconscious sleep, those as terrified by the sight of a bed as they would be of a torture rack. There is a close link between insomnia and despair. The loss of hope comes with the loss of sleep. The difference between paradise and hell: you can always sleep in paradise, never in hell. God punished man by taking away sleep and giving him knowledge. Isn't deprivation of sleep one of the most cruel tortures practiced in prisons? Madmen suffer a lot from insomnia; hence their depressions, their disgust with life, and their suicidal impulses. Isn't the sensation, typical of wakeful hallucinations, of diving into an abyss, a form of madness? Those who commit suicide by throwing themselves from bridges into rivers or from high rooftops onto pavements must be motivated by a blind desire to fall and the dizzying attraction of abysmal depths.



Note: this post originally appeared here on March 17, 2005. Its encore republication is a result of a reader's interest in the subject.

March 25, 2011 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Welcome to Cyrenaica (and Tripolitania and Fezzan)


What's old could become new again if Libya breaks up.


At the top, how what is now Libya looked on the map until January 1, 1934, when Cyrenaica, Tripolitania, and Fezzan were united as the Italian colony of Libya.


Above and below,


other informative maps.


March 25, 2011 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Say hello to "Think" — Google's new online quarterly


From Mashable: "Google has quietly launched its own full-length online magazine, a quarterly publication whose aim is to create a 'breathing space in a busy world.'


"The first edition of Think Quarterly, based in the U.K., is a 68-page dive into the world of data and its impact on business. The first thing most people will notice is that it's a visually stunning piece of work. It's a rich Flash app with Google’s quirky sensibilities and the in-depth writing you might find in BusinessWeek or Salon.


"The articles themselves are thought pieces about major business and technology topics from a variety of freelancers and contributors. Google was able to snag Simon Rogers (editor of The Guardian's Datablog), Ulrike Reinhard (editor of WE Magazine), and other journalists for the project. Many of Think Quarterly's articles feature interviews with Google executives and technology leaders. Some of the people featured include Vodafone U.K. CEO Guy Laurence, Google chief economist Hal Varian and famed psychologist Peter Kruse.

"Google doesn’t describe its newest project as a magazine or a publication. Instead, Google calls it a book on its website and a 'unique communications tool' on its Twitter account."

Update: Google says that Think Quarterly is designed as useful information for its business customers. Here's the company’s statement:

Like most companies we regularly communicate with our business customers via email newsletters, updates on our official blogs, and printed materials. This short book about data was sent to 1,500 of our UK partners and advertisers.

There are only a limited number of copies, and they aren’t for sale or designed for anyone other than our partners – but anyone who’s interested can visit the companion website at www.thinkquarterly.co.uk.

Shades of IBM back in the day.

Free, the way we like it.

March 25, 2011 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Chanel Liquidated Logo T-Shirt


I'm thinking that once this hits the innertubes Chanel's lawyerbots will be out in force with their motion for a cease-and-desist order so if this appeals to you better hop on it soonest.




March 25, 2011 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Beijing, China 2030 A.D. — "Now they work for us"

Fantastic commercial, which I saw for the first time yesterday.


March 25, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Sardine Paper Clips


30 clips in a sardine tin.



[via LikeCOOL]

March 25, 2011 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Get an iPad 2 today without waiting in line

You think I'm being cute or disingenuous, don't you?

Well, I'm not.

Yesterday I got an iPad 2 configured just the way I wanted with little effort — a total of ten minutes from start to finish.

OK, OK, I hear you — stop teasing us and dish, joe!

Just follow these steps:

1. Go to the Best Buy and/or Target iPad 2 finder websites.

2. Put in the color/capacity/±3G/carrier you want.

3. When the page comes up, put in your ZIP code.

4. A list of nearby stores and whether or not that model is available will come up.

5. Call that store and ask if they have that iPad 2. Yesterday I saw that my Podunk town Best Buy had the 32GB AT&T black model in stock [top], so I called them and sure enough they did. They said they'd hold if for me for 10 minutes at Customer Service (I got there in 6).

6. Voilà, there it was and here it is at bookofjoe World Headquarters™, easy as pie.

Disclosure: I've known about the Best Buy and Target iPad 2 websites since Sunday evening but there was no way I was gonna post this information until I had mine in my hot little hands. I mean, I love my UVA-MESS homeys to death but even love has to take a back seat sometimes.

[via Obama Pacman and a reader who prefers to remain deep black and whose wish will be my command]

March 25, 2011 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Silk and crystal necklace


Elegant simplicity.


Simply elegant.


Hand made by


Kathryn Blackmore.



March 25, 2011 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

« March 24, 2011 | Main | March 26, 2011 »