if you made a slide show with pictures of the faces of every single person who died in the holocaust, and you decided to look into the eyes of each individual victim for five seconds each, it would take 1 year, 271 days, 13 hours, 46 minutes, and 40 seconds (without stopping, that is).
let me break it down for you: roughly 11 million people died in the holocaust. so five seconds per person, that’s 55 million seconds, divided by 60 seconds to a minute, divide by 60 minutes to an hour; thats 15277 hours and 48 minutes. divided by 24 hours in a day, divide by 365 days in a year equals 1 year, 271 days, 13 hours, 46 minutes, and 40 seconds.
(calculations courtesy to my TI-89)
i’m a math person, this is how my brain works. it seems it helps for me to visualize destruction and devastation in a quantitative, rather than a qualitative, manner.
i learned that kamikaze pilots were often symbolized by cherry blossoms, with their young deaths equated to the falling flowers.
this disturbed me. diving your plane through the sky so that you may end your life and the lives of hundreds of other ‘enemies’ in no way resembles a beautiful flower falling from a tree. the cherry blossom falls when its life is naturally over. the seeds will spread, possibly germinate, and maybe grow into a new tree. the kamikazes kill. they end life, where as cherry blossoms are the epitome of fertility.
it sickens me that the truth of the kamikazes— death, that is— was masked by a euphemistic comparison to a cherry blossom. does embodying a flower make your death seem more justified, your murder more moral?
“There will come a time, when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristole or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this…will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but if we survive the collaspe of the sun, we will not survive forever. There was a time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”—
Hazel Grace (The Fault in our Stars, by John Green)
aka all of my thoughts about everything right now.
“Hank, it seems to me that one of the points of being alive is that we get to pay attention. We get to both participate in and observe this weird universe that is simultaneously, like, stunningly elegant and completely heartless.”—John Green
so all i can do is read. and i just keep reading, more and more, because these authors create these stories where no it’s not always beautiful, and no it’s rarely ever fair, and no it’s not necessarily happy, but at least it makes sense, even if not in the way you want it to.
how many unitarian universalists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
i have heard many hilarious answers, so here are some of my favorites:
It’s about 5 or 6, isn’t it? Whatever the quorum is for the church board meeting. Well, plus, of course a couple of members of the Building and Grounds committee to actually get the ladder and DO it — and of course the chair and vice-chair of the committee to supervise - oh, they can’t come Saturday? Well, how about Sunday just before the service? Oh, the choir’s rehearsing? Oh God! No, I’m not praying! It’s just an expression!
Two - one to change the bulb, the other to make sure that the power doesn’t go to her head.
Nine. Three to form the committee “For” change; three to form the committee “Against” change; two to abstain; and someone to make coffee.
We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the light bulb. However, if you have found in your own journey that light bulbs work for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your personal relationship with your light bulb and present it next month at our annual light bulb Sunday service in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, three- way, long-life, and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.
(and my personal favorite) NONE! We don’t screw in light bulbs. We screw in sleeping bags.
i believe it really isn’t that complicated- the “purpose of life” is to be alive; and look at that! there you are! living! i encourage you to quit rushing around in search of something when you can simply look at the world and smile at the miraculous phenomenon that you are alive.
i have no right to support the mistreatment of other living things.
yes, i believe humans are naturally born omnivores, but no, i do not believe it is natural to turn the meat/dairy industry into a mass production torturing system where animals are kept in cages and injected with hormones.
so, hey guys, i’m trying veganism. the only reason i’m not already vegan is because it would be hard. and that is about the worst excuse for anything.
when i say that we are all finite, i don’t really mean that. well, i don’t mean that, exactly. what i mean is that we are finite when it comes to time. but that is all. for when it comes to capacity, opportunity, possibility, beauty, the less tangible things, we are infinite. and so, what i am saying, in the round-about, over-analytical way in which my brain seems to function, is that the applicability of the word finite is finite.
so it’s something like a candle, i think. an individual’s life, that is.
it’s insignificant (in the larger scale of things), it’s linear, and most importantly, it’s finite.
the wick burns down and nothing remains but the products of the combustion reaction.
that is all. there is nothing left.
the candle is gone.
when we die, our life is over. there is nothing more.
ah but what about the products of the combustion reaction? those are merely a corpse.
we burn away our whole lives slowly and surely; but i don’t mean that in a morbid way, rather, the burning is a constant. it’s something that we can always count on- it’s always happening, that is. we are dying our whole lives; but once again, i don’t mean that in a morose way, just simply as a reminder that we are all finite.