Friday, October 20, 2017

Word from Mythology: Colossal

The English word colossal is from the Latin colossus, a word that is in turn borrowed from Greek kolossos. The Greek word meant a gigantic statue, originally the Colossus of Rhodes. The English word now refers to anything that is huge in size.

The Colossus of Rhodes was a gigantic statue of the Greek god Helios, one of the Titans. It was erected in the year 280 B.C.E. and was regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. You can read more about the Colossus of Rhodes at Wikipedia.

The caption to the illustration below reads "The Colossus of Rhodes, a prodigious brass statue dedicated to the Sun, which, holding fire in its right hand, served for a sea light to ships; for lighting the fire there was a staircase (that) went through one of his legs, through the inside of the body and arm."

Sanskrit Word in English: Mandala

You may know the word MANDALA, which is a Sanskrit word meaning disc or circle, especially a charmed circle with mystical powers. Mandalas are used as objects of meditation in Hinduism, Buddhism and other religions, and also in Jungian psychology. You can read more about mandalas in this Wikipedia article.

The image below shows a Hindu mandala:

This image shows a Tibetan Buddhist monk creating a sand mandala:

The image below is a mandala painted by one of Jung's patients:

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

You can't use up creativity.

And yes, the quote really is by Maya Angelou!

You can't use up creativity.
The more you use, the more you have.

Metal kaleidoscope spinner by Patrick Hoesly.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Written? Kitten! ... or anything!

I have been a fan of Written? Kitten! for a long time. This simple text typing box rewards you with pictures of kittens for every 100 words you type (or you can set the rewards for different numbers of words):

Now they have a new feature! You can just type whatever you want to be rewarded with in the URL, like this:

Written? Chocolate!

Written? Beach!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Technology is Magic

Arthur C. Clarke is one of my favorite writers (I would rate his book Childhood's End as one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written), and he is famous for these "three laws" as they are called:
  1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
  2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
  3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
As someone who still feels like the Internet is magic, I am a fan of the third law in particular:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.