Monday, March 19, 2007


(free translation of CecĂ­lia Meireles' poem: Despedida. Suggestions for improvements are welcome.

to a friend who reminds me of her)

For me, and for you, and for all that
that is where others will never be,
I leave the angry sea and the peaceful sky:
I want loneliness.

My path has no signs nor landscapes.
And how do you know it? - they will ask me.
- By not having words, by not having images.
Not a single enemy and not a single brother.

What do you look for? - Everything. What do you want? - Nothing.
I travel alone with my heart.
I don't walk lost, but unfound.
I carry my way on my hand.

The memory flew off my face.
Flew my love, my imagination.
Maybe I'll die before the horizon.
Memory, love and the rest where to be found?

I leave my body here, between the sun and the earth.
(I kiss you, body of mine, all delusion!
Sad banner of a strange war...)

I want loneliness.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Pratchett's notes on physics

I'm currently reading Terry Pratchett's Discworld. The mere fact that I hadn't done so in 25 years is an unforgivable character flaw. Anyway, aside from all other objects of his sarcasm, he seems to have a special warm place in his heart for advanced physics... So, here are a couple quotes from the books I've already read, to share the wisdom.

"While I'm still confused and uncertain, it's on a much higher plane, d'you see, and at least I know I'm bewildered about the really fundamental and important facts of the universe." Treatle nodded. "I hadn't looked at it like that," he said, "But you're absolutely right. He's really pushed back the boundaries of ignorance." They both savoured the strange warm glow of being much more ignorant than ordinary people, who were only ignorant of ordinary things.

[Terry Pratchett - Equal Rites]

The only thing known to go faster than ordinary light is monarchy, according to the philosopher Ly Tin Weedle. He reasoned like this: you can't have more than one king, and tradition demands that there is no gap between kings, so when a king dies the succession must therefore pass to the heir instantaneously. Presumably, he said, there must be some elementary particles -- kingons, or possibly queons -- that do this job, but of course succession sometimes fails if, in mid-flight, they strike an anti-particle, or republicon. His ambitious plans to use his discovery to send messages, involving the careful torturing of a small king in order to modulate the signal, were never fully expanded because, at that point, the bar closed.

[Terry Pratchett - Mort]