Reading Allie Brosh’s latest post about depression was extremely difficult for me. While it was amazing and truthful and beautifully done, I found my mouse pointer hovering to close the tab. I read the whole thing, but there were many times I just wanted to click the button and go look at kittens on the internet.
Her recent experience with depression very closely mirrors how I was many years ago. Before this blog. Before I knew I had a way to reach people and entertain them. My emotions stopped working. I found it impossible to care about anything. Especially myself. I would interact with people who expected me to be “funny comedy guy!” and at that point in time I thought that part of me was dead. But I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. So I tried very hard to pretend to be “funny comedy guy!” which resulted in some of the most horrific attempts at humor ever known to this earth.
I put on the faces I thought people wanted to see.
But I’ve worked hard to get my emotional self back. My journey through depression is further along than Allie’s. But being reminded of that time brought me to tears several times. In the end, I’m glad I didn’t close the tab. Reading her story helped remind me how far I’ve come. It reminded me how glad I am that I stuck around.
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Mantis Shrimp = BADASS :D
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NEON GENESIS EVANGELION // 新世紀エヴァンゲリオン
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The public has no shortage of enthusiasm for fictional spacefarers, as this weekend’s box-office win by the newest “Star Trek” film proves. Yet the real-life U.S. space agency finds itself strapped for cash these days. With federal budgets tightening and NASA feeling the pinch, some space advocates are asking, “Can humans afford to reach the stars?”
Believe it or not, experts are looking into the finances of not just relatively short-term missions to Mars and the moon, but also long-term prospects of ‘Trek’-ian proportions. It may be possible to find the money, they say, but it would likely take some policy changes — and those changes could start today.
Captain, we don’t have the funding!
“Star Trek: Into Darkness” brought in about $84 million in its opening weekend — just a month after NASA cut $200 million from its planetary-sciences budget. (In an odd move, NASA’s newest budget explicitly states that it will notfund any missions to Europa, the ice-moon of Jupiter that stands as one of the solar system’s best candidates for supporting life, noted Casey Dreier, an advocacy and outreach strategist at The Planetary Society, a nonprofit organization devoted to planetary exploration.)
Those cuts come as NASA and the rest of the federal government negotiate sequestration cuts, which could trim $7 billion from NASA’s ledgers next year if the reductions are maintained.
But even without the sequester, NASA hasn’t commanded the kind of money needed for real, ambitious space travel in decades, said Marc Millis, a former NASA propulsion physicist and founder of the Tau Zero Foundation, which is dedicated to interstellar travel.
After hitting an apex with the Apollo moon program, NASA’s purse shrunk considerably and has stayed stagnant since, Millis said. NASA’s funds reached about 4.5 percent of the total federal budget during the Apollo era, Millis calculated. By 2009, NASA’s share had fallen to about 0.5 percent. “The amount that’s devoted to NASA now is enough to keep it going,” he said. “But to do really cool space travel is not possible now.”
Essentially, the agency has floated along on autopilot, clutching at relatively low-hanging fruit, like the space-shuttle missions, said Paul Gilster, who researches and writes about interstellar technologies for Tau Zero. “We should have something else than just going ‘round and ‘round the Earth,” he said.
i have never typed this before in my life
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If there ever was tragically visceral evidence of how remix culture fuels creativity and copyright hinders it, it is this: Despite – or perhaps because of – millions of views in less than a week, The David Foster Wallace Literary Trust has filed a copyright claim against the wildly popular YouTube version of the wonderful short film adaptation of Wallace’s timeless 2005 commencement address, This Is Water. (Luckily, you can still watch the film on Vimeo – but that’s beside the point.)
Here is an example of a project made out of love, the existence of which harms the estate in no way, financial or otherwise, but serves the public good by way of cultural preservation and celebration of Wallace’s spirit and legacy, extending his message and allowing it to touch more lives. That the estate finds any of this harmful is gobsmacking, at once an aberration of the law and a complete failure of cultural duty.
Better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy.
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