the difference between terror and horror…

Amazing Amazon by Katerina Babanovsky

Ann Radcliffe
 In an essay that Radcliffe’s husband released after her death, she writes of the difference between emotional terror (which she embraced) and physical horror (which she refuted): “Terror and Horror are so far opposite, that the first expands the soul and awakens the faculties to a high degree of life; the other contracts, freezes, and nearly annihilates them.”

an integrated circuit…


On this date in 1952, Geoffrey W.A. Dummer  first presented the concept of the integrated circuit, also known as the microchip, which is the basis for all modern electronic equipment.
Geoffrey Dummer was born in Yorkshire in 1909 and studied electrical engineering at Regent Polytechnic in London. He held a series of jobs in the 1930s, including a post with the Ministry of Defence; his group was responsible for the first radar screen ever built. During World War II, he trained American and Canadian forces in ground-based aircraft detection training. Throughout his career, he was always looking for a way to make electronic components more reliable.
The integrated circuit is an advanced form of the electrical circuit, which is made up of a set of components — a transistor, a resistor, a capacitor, and a diode — linked together in a variety of ways. The transistor, which controls the electrical power — turning it on and off — was a big advance over the vacuum tubes used in the first computers. Vacuum tubes are like light bulbs: they generate a lot of heat, and they eventually burn out. They’re also much bigger than their successors, the transistors. Early computers powered by hundreds of vacuum tubes were unreliable and required a lot of room, and the invention of the transistor in 1947 solved those problems. The transistor had a few problems of its own, though, since each connection in the circuit had to be intact for it to work, and soldering all the circuits required to power a huge supercomputer was a very big job indeed. It also took time for the signal to travel through all the wires connecting the various components.
Dummer came up with the idea of making the various parts out of a single piece of silicon, which would eliminate the distance between components, speed up the signal, and do away with the need for precise soldering. It would also be smaller, enabling it to be fit into much smaller devices. He presented his paper at the U.S. Electronic Components Symposium in Washington, D.C. He told his audience, “It now seems possible to envisage electronic equipment in a solid block with no connecting wires.” Dummer’s talk is considered the first public description of an integrated circuit. Five years later, Dummer presented a prototype of his idea, and tried to get the British government to invest in the integrated circuit, but to no avail. He later said: “The plain fact is that nobody would take the risk. The Ministry wouldn’t place a contract because they hadn’t an application. The applications people wouldn’t say we want it, because they had no experience with it. It was a chicken-and-egg situation. The Americans took financial gambles, whereas this was very slow in this country.” Meanwhile, American scientists beat Dummer to the punch, patenting their own circuit in 1958, and it would be years before the United Kingdom had a semiconductor industry. While Dummer didn’t get a patent for his concept, he did earn the title “The Prophet of the Integrated Circuit.”
Today, we rely on integrated circuits to run our computers, our phones, our watches, and our calculators. They’re also used in microwaves, TVs, stereos, cars, refrigerators, kids’ toys, and musical greeting cards. Pretty much anything you plug in is going to have at least one microchip in it.
5/7/23 The Poetry Almanac

Time with You
by Gary Soto
We’re thirteen, almost fourteen,
And so much in love
We want the years to pass—
Clouds roll at super speed, rains fall,
Flowers unfold and die at the snap
Of our fingers. I want to stuff sand
Through a fat hourglass,
And rip the pages from the calendar.
Let me blow candles from my cake.
Let my puppy stretch to full size.
When we turn eighteen,
Time will become a canoe on a still lake.
“Time with You” by Gary Soto from Partly Cloudy. © Harcourt, 2009. Reprinted with permission



 “If in our hearts we are carrying some burden or suffering that seems to crush us, it is the moment to go out to meet Jesus, who is close, to open the tomb of our problems and look beyond the threshold toward his light. If you don’t have much time to pray, there is a wise spiritual practice that can help you. Often throughout the day, you can repeat very short prayers, so-called aspirations, to remain “in harmony” with the Lord.” 
Pope Francis

In the word “aspirations” is the word aspirate.

To breathe.

Our breath is the Holy Spirit.


The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.

While some Christians accept these as a definitive list of specific attributes, others understand them merely as examples of the Holy Spirit’s work through the faithful.

When I realize I am a creature, I can get creative…


 “Self-knowledge means to be able to recognize our limitations and to curb the presumption of self-sufficiency. This proves beneficial because, once we realize that we are creatures, we become creative. We learn to immerse ourselves in the world instead of attempting to dominate it. Saint Joseph teaches us that, in the midst of life’s tempests, we must never be afraid to let the Lord steer our course.” 
Pope Francis

It’s the birthday of Israeli poet and novelist Yehuda Amichai, born Ludwig Pfeuffer in Würzburg, Germany, in 1924. He moved to Palestine in 1936 and later became an Israeli citizen. He was one of the first poets to write in colloquial Hebrew. He wrote: “A man needs to love and to hate at the same moment, / to laugh and cry with the same eyes, / with the same hands to throw stones and to gather them, / to make love in war and war in love.”

all that light in her arms like a blanket, taken with her…


Girl in the Doorway
by Dorianne Laux
She is twelve now, the door to her room

closed, telephone cord trailing the hallway

in tight curls. I stand at the dryer, listening

through the thin wall between us, her voice

rising and falling as she describes her new life.

Static flies in brief blue stars from her socks,

her hairbrush in the morning. Her silver braces

shine inside the velvet case of her mouth.

Her grades rise and fall, her friends call

or they don’t, her dog chews her new shoes

to a canvas pulp. Some days she opens her door

and musk rises from the long crease in her bed,

fills the dim hall. She grabs a denim coat

and drags the floor. Dust swirls in gold eddies

behind her. She walks through the house, a goddess,

each window pulsing with summer. Outside,

the boys wait for her teeth to straighten.

They have a vibrant patience.

When she steps onto the front porch, sun shimmies

through the tips of her hair, the V of her legs,

fans out like wings under her arms

as she raises them and waves. Goodbye, Goodbye.

Then she turns to go, folds up

all that light in her arms like a blanket

and takes it with her.

“Girl in the Doorway” by Dorianne Laux from Awake. © Eastern Washington University Press, 2007. Reprinted by permission. 

never mind your body sounds…….



Mind your business
That comes to mind

Do you mind if I hold the door for you?
Do you mind if I drive from the back of the car?

Private schools develop a regal mind.
Mind your p’s and q’s!

No I don’t mind.
I mind revenge.

You fill my mind with rainbows!
You empty my mind with heart beats.

You are mindfully polite.
I am mindfully thoughtful.

I never mind your body sounds.
God bless you for them!


Only goodness and kindness follow me, all the days of my life…


 “The matter of equality in dignity asks us to rethink many aspects of our relations, which are decisive for evangelization. For example, are we aware of the fact that with our words we can undermine the dignity of people, thus ruining relationships within the Church? While we try to engage in dialogue with the world, do we also know how to dialogue among ourselves as believers? Or in the parish, one person goes against another, one speaks badly of another in order to climb up further? Do we know how to listen to understand another person’s reasons, or do we impose ourselves, perhaps even with appeasing words? To listen, to be humble, to be at the service of others: this is serving, this is being Christian, this is being an apostle.” 
Pope Francis

If you see Psalm 23, you feel watched and cared for. “You are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” A crisis can break our defenses. There is green water in time of struggles.The holy shepherd calls us each by name.The sheep intermingle with the shepherd. He calls and they follow. I am a follower of Christ on still water. We are attentive to God and have life in abundance.We are called to reconciliation, trust and courage. We find rest in His peace!

We are brothers and sisters…


 “We discover we are children of God at the moment we discover we are brothers and sisters, children of the same Father. This is why it is essential to be part of a journeying community. No one goes to the Lord alone. In God, no act of love, no matter how small, and no generous effort will ever be lost. Just as we recognize a tree by its fruit, so a life filled with good deeds is enlightening and carries the fragrance of Christ into the world.” 
Pope Francis

When I first heard the Buddhist description of hungry ghosts….


Come Home to Yourself

When I first heard the Buddhist description of hungry ghosts — beings with stomachs as big as caves and throats as narrow as pins — I was positive I was going straight to hell as a hungry ghost. After all, this was an exact description of my experience with food. And not just with food, but also with life.

After years of being haunted by this image, I think I’ve figured out what the hunger is about. It’s about missing my own life. It’s about having food (both physical and emotional) right there, and not being able to taste it because my attention is somewhere else. We’re all walking around hungry for an elusive something, and we’re missing the very thing that could fill us: showing up, being present in our own lives.

My friend James, a frequent curmudgeon and always successful businessman, recently told me he was amazed to realize that when he was lifting his foot and was actually aware of lifting it, he was completely happy. He said, “I know this sounds odd, but I feel the kind of happy I only thought I could be if the deal I am working on were to come through next week. I mean, the kind of happy that gives happiness its good name.”

James was talking about showing up for his own life, feeling alive. When he was aware of his everyday movements, he felt that all of him was living his life, instead of his mind being off planning his next meeting while his body was walking, riding in the car, or climbing stairs. James was talking about a quality that we already have because we are born with it. It is called presence — being (body, mind, and soul) where you are and feeling it.

Every day, we open our eyes, get out of bed, eat breakfast, brush our teeth, talk to our families, do our work. And most of the time, our minds are somewhere else. When we get out of bed, we are thinking about something we should have done yesterday; when we talk to our children, we are thinking about the phone call we need to make; when we walk to the bathroom, we are thinking about the chocolate we shouldn’t have eaten. Or want to eat. Or are going to eat. Or how great our lives are going to be when we lose weight or get a promotion or fall in love.  …

But Geneen Roth tells us: “When you are present, nothing is missing. Time seems to stretch. A day seems like a week, like a year”

there is an orb around us, tightening……


At the Station
by Anya Krugovoy Silver

When the girl got off the train at the college town,

she leapt up and wrapped her legs around the waist

of the boy she’d come to visit, and they spun

around, embracing and shrieking with joy.

Their love set off a piccolo’s vibration.

Those years are gone for us—I see you every day,

we eat meals together from decades-old plates.

But when we lie in bed at night, you take my hand

and I feel the orb that’s formed around us tighten,

while you and I, like knitting needles in a ball

of yarn, lie beside each other, fingers touching.

“At the Station” by Anya Krugovoy Silver from nothing. © Louisiana State University Press, 2016. Reprinted with permission. 

 “The Lord is happy whenever we open ourselves to him. There is a good way of doing this, it consists of dedicating some time, every evening, to a brief examination of conscience. We can begin today, to dedicate this evening a moment of prayer during which we ask ourselves: how was my day? What were its joys, what were its sorrows, what were its mundanities, what happened? What were the pearls of the day, possibly hidden, to be thankful for? Was there a little love in what I did? And what are the falls, the sadness, the doubts and fears to bring to Jesus so that He can open new ways to me, to learn gradually to look at things with different eyes, with his eyes and not just our own. May Mary, wise Virgin, help us to recognize Jesus who walks with us and to reread- the word: re-read – every day of our life in front of him.” 
Pope Francis

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