Blog Main Archive - Oct 2008

Posts Below
10/16/2008 - Blog Action Day 2008 - Poverty (Finances)
10/17/2008 - Bleak Ocean (Wallpaper - Second Life)
10/18/2008 - River North of Port Atlantis (Wallpaper - Entropia Universe)
10/20/2008 - Tetanus Shot (Astrology - Minor Events)
10/21/2008 - Starry Discordian Sky (Wallpaper - Second Life)
10/22/2008 - The End of Sun in Libra (Pictures - Second Life)
10/23/2008 - Sun Now In Scorpio (Pictures - Second Life)
10/24/2008 - Oct. 24th: Take Back Your Time Day (Finances)
10/25/2008 - Top of Innsmouth Church (Wallpaper - Second Life)
10/27/2008 - Bay at Innsmouth (Wallpaper - Second Life)

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Blog Action Day 2008 - Poverty
Thursday, October 16th, 2008
03:50:35 GMT

Finances

Today, as part of Blog Action Day 2008 (October 15th), thousands of bloggers are already addressing numerous aspects of poverty like starvation, homelessness, and so forth. Those issues are extremely important to me as well, but, before I repeat a lot of things that have already been said, I'd first like to draw your attention to something less obvious.

I think a rather less-acknowledged and yet epidemic form of poverty, especially in the developed world, is the lack of time. Far too many people are trapped on a treadmill or hamster wheel, enslaved to the daily grind of doing their mind-numbing, soul-killing, pointless, dead-end jobs giving them hardly any hope of improvement or advancement either for themselves or for the world at large.

If you think about it, the fact that so many people are pressured into living this way is exceedingly bizarre. In our modern society, with all our advanced and labor-saving technology, and the immense production of goods and services, more than ever before throughout history, why is it that average people have ended up having to work more and more instead of less and less?

A quote from an interesting article I found on the web today, Screwing Future Retirees...Again by David Lindorff:

If productivity is rising, as the economists insist it is always doing, which means each worker is producing more goods and services, then shouldn't the workweek be shortening, and the retirement age be moving forward, not back?

I think possibly one of the many causes of the problem of the ever-increasing workload for the average person is the widespread but highly illogical attitude that work for its own sake is virtuous, no matter how much of a mind-numbing, pointless waste of time that work is, and no matter how much your job takes you away from more important things, such as self-education and self-improvement, creative pursuits, taking care of your loved ones, and so forth.

If you're slaving away 8 hours a day or more at a mindless job, then, oddly enough, that act is frequently and irrationally considered more respectable than being unemployed but spending most of your time and energy on improving and educating yourself, and gradually becoming capable of performing far more useful services to humanity than flipping hamburgers, mopping floors, or any number of other mindless, idiotic jobs that could easily be performed by a robot instead.

I'm not sure what it's like in other countries, but here in the United States, our society seems permeated with the ideology that work is good no matter how pointless or even harmful it is, as long as it's profitable; and meanwhile, engaging in any activity which isn't financially profitable, or is believed to be of uncertain financial benefit in the future, is frequently considered bad, inefficient, lazy, useless, worthless, reckless, risky, etc.

An interesting web page I ran across today by Andre Gorz essentially says, among other interesting things, that the ideology of endless work being good no matter what has been rendered obsolete by the advance of technology. Here's a quote:

In actual fact the work ethic has become obsolete. It is no longer true that producing more means working more, or that producing more will lead to a better way of life.

The connection between more and better has been broken; our needs for many products and services are already more than adequately met, and many of our as-yet- unsatisfied needs will be met not by producing more, but by producing differently, producing other things, or even producing less. This is especially true as regards our needs for air, water, space, silence, beauty, time and human contact.

Neither is it true any longer that the more each individual works, the better off everyone will be. The present crisis has stimulated technological change of an unprecedented scale and speed: `the micro-chip revolution'. The object and indeed the effect of this revolution has been to make rapidly increasing savings in labour, in the industrial, administrative and service sectors. Increasing production is secured in these sectors by decreasing amounts of labour. As a result, the social process of production no longer needs everyone to work in it on a full-time basis. The work ethic ceases to be viable in such a situation and workbased society is thrown into crisis.

This makes a great deal of sense to me. In a society where technology has made it possible for much less work to be done for everyone's basic needs to be met, with quite enough food and goods manufactured for everyone to be quite well taken care of, I think it's absurd for people to have to slave away increasingly longer and harder. Especially since many people are not even prospering as a result of their tremendous diligence - they're just barely treading water financially, living from paycheck to paycheck.

Here's another quote I thoroughly agree with. This is from the aforementioned Screwing Future Retirees...Again article by David Lindorff:

There is, let's face it, no logic or virtue in an economic system which, having produced the richest society in the history of the human race, now tells us we have to work harder and longer, instead of having more time to relax and enjoy our lives, or to do something creative and life-affirming.

So, what are some solutions? Well, I don't know for sure. But, for one thing, I think it would be good for people in general to stop mindlessly believing that every kind of work is inherently good and the optimal use of your time despite the fact that many jobs are the equivalent of totally wasting your life on meaningless trivialities that will do little or nothing to improve the world in the long run.

Here's a wonderful article to help unbrainwash compliant wage-slaves: 10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job by Steve Pavlina.


On the topic of economic issues in general, such as monetary reform, debt, usury, poverty, etc. - here are two brilliant, fascinating articles by Richard C. Cook. One of the many notable ideas stated in these articles is the idea of a cash stipend for every citizen.

An Emergency Program of Monetary Reform for the United States by Richard C. Cook

Monetary Reform and How a National Monetary System Should Work by Richard C. Cook


One of the things I've been up to in the past several months is spending way too much time hanging around forums, oftentimes discussing financial and economic issues. Here are some of the threads I participated in on the Personal Development for Smart People Forums which have some relevance to the issue of poverty:

An Emergency Program of Monetary Reform for the United States

Usury

US Bank Collapse?

Some countries obese others malnourished.

Are You Afraid To Be Rich? (Blog)

Finding a Charity


I believe that taxation is a major contributing factor to poverty in many places. Here's an interesting essay on the topic of income taxes: The Income Tax: Root of All Evil by Frank Chodorov.

The broken child support system is another major issue - in the United States, legally up to 65% of your paycheck can be taken for child support (source: http://www.dol.gov/compliance/guide/garnish.htm). I really don't see how people who pay child support are expected to live on a tiny fraction of their earnings - possibly considerably less than 35% of their paycheck, since not only can 65% be taken for child support, but there's also a hefty percentage taken for taxes.

Another thing that can befall people who owe child support is that they can have their driver's licenses and professional licenses revoked, which can totally wreck their ability to make a living. Also, throwing a child's mother or father in jail because that mother or father couldn't pay child support definitely traumatizes children.

Wage garnishment, bank account levies, and eminent domain are also problems. And then there are the problems of economic inflation, and usury. I discussed some of the foregoing topics a bit in the forum threads above.

I especially loathe usury, since I regard it as despicably profiting from someone's continued misfortune of not being able to pay back a loan. Also, credit cards contributed enormously to my financial ruin, not to mention the ruin of millions of other people - which is why I support a credit card boycott.


Another form of usury that I find absolutely deplorable is the fact that when "aid" is given to Third World countries, it often is given in the form of a loan that has to be paid back with interest. Here's a shocking statistic from GlobalIssues.org - Poverty Facts and Stats:

For every $1 in aid a developing country receives, over $25 is spent on debt repayment.

And according to this page, the country Mali paid 8 times the amount it owes to creditors, and still continues to pay.

In my opinion, that kind of "aid" shouldn't even be called "aid" - to me it seems like it's just an excuse to despicably and usuriously profit from giving loans to those who can't afford to pay the loans back all at once, thus keeping the recipients of the loans in continual indentured servitude.

So, I think grants, not loans, should be given to impoverished countries, and all existing debt should be cancelled.


However, I think it would be good to be very cautious even about giving grants, because even true grants with no strings attached could potentially be harmful. According to this article, Spiegel Interview with African Economics Expert: "For God's Sake, Please Stop the Aid!", apparently the floods of clothing and food from abroad damage the local economies and reduce their self-sufficiency, since local farmers and tailors can't compete in price with the free food and clothes and hence end up going out of business.

Another reason to be cautious about giving grants is because grants that are given to corrupt, oppressive rulers would most likely do more harm than good.

I really liked this video, with its emphasis on empowering the common people: Iqbal Quadir says mobiles fight poverty | Video on TED.com


Also on the topic of usury - before any of you out there decide it's a good idea to lend money through Kiva, I highly recommend that you read this first: Why Kiva doesn't work for me And also this.

Whew, I'm almost out of things to say here. Anyone who has explored this website thoroughly will have already seen the following already, but, since it's on topic, I guess I might as well also toss in this link to my comments to BusinessWeek.com in May-June 2007 on The Debate Room topic "Stop Fleecing Poor Americans".



By the way, here are a few unimportant notes. I know it says October 16th above this blog post, but, my time zone is EDT, not GMT, so actually, this post is in fact not late for Blog Action Day 2008. :-) It is approaching midnight, though, so it is almost late. I would actually prefer to edit it a while longer, but if I do that it will be late. So, I guess I'll just post now, edit later (if needed).

I didn't have much time to write this post, since I only got started it on it at about 2:53 PM (after several hours of gathering the above links and searching the web), so, I had to rush through it to get it done.

So, it's probably not my best work, but I hope it provided some good food for thought, at least. Poverty is definitely a very complicated issue, with tons of different possible causes. I know I haven't covered everything here, but, I guess the above is OK for about 12 hours of work (plus all the hours I spent writing all those forum posts months ago, etc).


Click this link to display the blog comment thread hosted at the Eryss.Com Forum:

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Bleak Ocean
Friday, October 17th, 2008
20:52:10 GMT

Wallpaper
Second Life


1024 x 717 - 294 KB

Here is a Second Life screenshot I took on Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 9:42:12 AM at the Innsmouth roleplaying game section of the October Country sim.

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River North of Port Atlantis
Saturday, October 18th, 2008
23:54:05 GMT

Wallpaper
Entropia Universe


1024 x 768 - 628 KB

1024 x 768 - 664 KB

Here are a couple Entropia Universe screenshots I took. The left one was taken Sunday, June 1, 2008 at 12:20:38 PM, and the right one was taken the same day at 12:19:50 PM.

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Tetanus Shot
Monday, October 20th, 2008
15:43:49 GMT

Astrology
Minor Events

Last week, on Thursday, Oct. 16th, I had the first vaccination I've had since I was a child - a tetanus shot. The reason I decided to do that is because I got a small gash on the top side of my right foot on Oct. 6th because of the sharp point of a spring poking out of my old mattress. Usually I have all the numerous little sharp points on my bed covered up with a blanket, but unfortunately, that one was temporarily exposed. Ouch.

Fortunately, it wasn't a very deep wound, and it also didn't bleed much. I'm also glad it was on the top of my foot instead of the bottom of it, since otherwise, it would have made walking around rather difficult.

Anyhow, I noticed something sort of amusing in the astrological chart for my appointment to get the shot.

-qa Oct 16 2008 14:00 EDT 80:34W 41:09N
Location: Hubbard, OH

+-------<11> 0Sag54----<10> 7Sco24-----<9> 6Lib18-----------+
|              | Mar  8Sco33  |              |              |
|              | Ven 27Sco33  |              |              |
|              |              | Sun 23Lib44  |              |
|              |              | Mer  7Lib38  | Sat 17Vir04  |
<12>21Sag12----|-----------------------------|-----24Leo52<8>
| Lil 21Sag13  |                             |              |
| Jun 25Sag02  |     Astrolog 5.40 chart     | Cer 23Leo30  |
| Plu 28Sag52  |   Thu Oct 16 2008  2:00pm   | Ver 20Leo11  |
|              |  ST -04:00,  80:34W 41:09N  | For  8Leo31  |
<1>12Cap22-----|   UT: 18:00, Sid.T: 14:20   |-----12Can22<7>
| Jup 14Cap49  |       Placidus Houses       |              |
| Nod 15Aqu00r |    Tropical / Geocentric    |              |
| Chi 16Aqu04r |  Julian Day = 2454756.2500  |              |
| Nep 21Aqu33r |                             |              |
<2>24Aqu52-----|-----------------------------|-----21Gem12<6>
| Ura 19Pis26r |              |              |              |
|              |              |              |              |
|              |              | Moo 19Tau54  |              |
|              |              | Ves 10Tau11r | Pal 20Gem05  |
+----------- 6Ari18<3>----- 7Tau24<4>----- 0Gem54<5>--------+

This chart has Mars in Scorpio conjunct the Scorpio midheaven (with a 109' orb) - which seems amusingly appropriate for an appointment whose entire point (pun intended) was for me to get a shot, since Mars is associated with sharp, pointy things like needles, Scorpio is the sign of the scorpion (and scorpions have stingers), and the midheaven, being the highest point of the chart, could, I guess, be associated with some of the most prominent, obvious features of an event.

I didn't choose the time for the appointment. I had a cold, with a stuffy nose and a cough, so, instead of me calling to make the appointment, I had a relative make the call (which happened Tuesday, Oct. 14th, sometime in the morning soon after 9 AM). So, the chart just turned out this way without any attempt on anyone's part to select that time on the basis of astrology. I had actually been hoping to get the shot on the day we called (simply because I hate shots and just wanted to get it over with), but I guess that was the earliest available appointment.


Of course, after I arrived for my appointment, there was a pretty long wait, so the shot didn't happen right at 2 PM. I'm actually not sure what time it happened exactly, but, when my relative and I started driving home I noticed the time was 3:21 PM, so the shot definitely happened shortly before that time.

Since a nurse had given me the shot, and I was aware that Venus (associated with women) was currently in late Scorpio, I wondered if maybe Venus in Scorpio was conjunct the midheaven by that time. So, when I got home, I checked out the chart for the time I noticed on the car's clock after my appointment.

-qa Oct 16 2008 15:21 EDT 80:34W 41:09N

+-------<11>19Sag04----<10>27Sco38-----<9> 1Sco00-----------+
| Lil 21Sag13  |              |              |              |
| Jun 25Sag03  |              |              |              |
| Plu 28Sag52  |              | Ven 27Sco37  | Sun 23Lib48  |
|              |              | Mar  8Sco36  | Mer  7Lib39  |
<12> 9Cap55----|-----------------------------|-----23Vir15<8>
| Jup 14Cap50  |                             | Sat 17Vir04  |
|              |     Astrolog 5.40 chart     | Ver  4Vir50  |
|              |   Thu Oct 16 2008  3:21pm   | For  2Vir33  |
|              |  ST -04:00,  80:34W 41:09N  | Cer 23Leo31  |
<1> 5Aqu37-----|   UT: 19:21, Sid.T: 15:41   |----- 5Leo37<7>
| Nod 15Aqu00r |       Placidus Houses       |              |
| Chi 16Aqu04r |    Tropical / Geocentric    |              |
| Nep 21Aqu33r |  Julian Day = 2454756.3063  |              |
| Ura 19Pis26r |                             |              |
<2>23Pis15-----|-----------------------------|----- 9Can55<6>
|              | Ves 10Tau10r |              |              |
|              | Moo 20Tau44  |              |              |
|              |              |              |              |
|              |              |              | Pal 20Gem05  |
+----------- 1Tau00<3>-----27Tau38<4>-----19Gem04<5>--------+

I was quite astonished when I saw that in this 3:21 PM chart, Venus was 001' away from the midheaven!

Again, 3:21 PM wasn't the exact moment I got the shot - the shot happened maybe three or four minutes before that, so when the shot actually took place, Venus wasn't as close to exactly conjunct the midheaven.

Still, though, I thought it was sort of neat that at the exact time I noticed on the clock after my appointment, Venus in Scorpio was just about exactly conjunct the midheaven.



And now, a non-astrological note, for anyone curious about the shot itself and how I felt afterward. The shot I got was the ADACEL vaccine, which apparently protects you against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). It doesn't have mercury, but it has "small amounts" of aluminum phosphate and formaldehyde, which I'm not too enthused about.

However, I've been feeling fine. The only side effect that I noticed was that the spot where I got the shot (on my upper left arm) swelled up a bit for about a day or so. I found it reminiscent of a mosquito bite, with the difference that it was sore instead of itchy. I still feel a small firm lump around that spot, but it's no longer visibly swollen or sore.

Overall, I'm glad I got this shot. Sure, I don't like being injected with any amount of formaldehyde or aluminum phosphate, but I haven't noticed any really bad effects from this shot. I'm glad for the peace of mind of knowing that I should be safe from tetanus for about 10 years. Also, one thing that scared me about tetanus was its potentially long incubation period. I'm glad I now won't have to worry for 2 months after I hurt my foot that a case of tetanus might sneak up on me after a long incubation period.

The shot was close to painless, just a little pinprick for about a second, and the shot was over in literally about 3 or 4 seconds. My abject terror of shots when I was a child seems pretty ridiculous to me now.



Unfortunately for me, October 2008 has been a month notable for more annoying health issues afflicting me than usual (besides my typical insomnia, poor appetite, etc.). Not only have I had this foot thing to deal with, but since about 9/29/2008, I had a cold - the lengthiest (though not the most unpleasant) cold I've had since I was a teenager. I think today has been the first day I've felt mostly normal.

I wonder if an astrologer would think these health issues (my cold and my sudden foot injury) might correlate with transiting Uranus (associated with sudden disruptions) in Pisces (the sign associated with feet) in my 6th house (of health issues) square my natal Mars. (Here's my natal chart). To my surprise, I found that transit was exact for me on Sept. 30th, a day or so after my cold began. (That transit was also exact for me earlier this year, on April 1st, 2008 - but nothing notable that was health-related happened to me back then that I can recall.)

Hard aspects between Uranus and Mars are thought to be associated with accidents, recklessness, impatience, etc. I guess I can see how that might be appropriate for my foot injury, at least - because if I had been more cautious, instead of just rushing to get up off my bed, naively assuming all the springs' sharp points were adequately covered up by a blanket, this wound probably wouldn't have happened.

As for my cold - I don't know if I had any way to prevent that. Though, on the other hand, I might not have been as susceptible to getting a cold if I hadn't been so stressed out and under pressure, endlessly pushing myself to work on various projects, and feeling guilty whenever I neglected them. I have to admit, I really am too hard on myself, to the point where getting a cold was almost like a vacation - not that it was fun, but it was at least a relief to have a legitimate guilt-free excuse to be unproductive. (Come to think of it, being unproductive is something I associate with Pisces - the opposite sign of Virgo, the sign associated with work).

Fortunately, after the first few days, the cold didn't get in my way that much. I suppose in the end it has even downright benefited me in at least one way - it helped give me a bit more insight into how ridiculous and self-defeating my own work ethic is, since it's more like an overwork ethic.

(Addition, 11:30 PM: After glancing at the charts a bit more, I have to add that I think probably another thing an astrologer would notice is transiting Saturn in Virgo in my 12th square my natal Mars with a 4°01' orb (at the time of the chart for my foot injury) or less (at the time of the later charts). In fact, in my chart, transiting Saturn, transiting Uranus, and my natal Mars are currently forming a stressful aspect configuration known as a T-square - Saturn opp. Uranus, both square my natal Mars.

This T-square wasn't present last April, the last time transiting Uranus was exactly square my Mars - so perhaps that's how an astrologer would explain the fact that nothing as remarkable or bad happened to me back then, and also the fact that back then, I didn't feel anywhere near as stressed out as I have of late).


I don't feel like interpreting this next chart (or even the previous two charts) in depth, but, just in case anyone finds it interesting, here's the astrological chart for the moment I hurt my foot.

-qa Oct 6 2008 22:41 EDT 80:34W 41:09N

+-------<11> 7Ari14----<10> 3Pis54-----<9> 8Aqu53-----------+
| Ves 12Tau15r | Ura 19Pis45r |              |              |
|              | For  1Ari07  | Nep 21Aqu40r |              |
|              |              | Chi 16Aqu13r |              |
|              |              | Nod 15Aqu31r |              |
<12>18Tau53----|-----------------------------|-----18Cap13<8>
| Pal 18Gem51  |                             |              |
|              |     Astrolog 5.40 chart     | Jup 13Cap50  |
|              |   Mon Oct  6 2008 10:41pm   | Moo 11Cap18  |
|              |  ST -04:00,  80:34W 41:09N  | Plu 28Sag42  |
<1>28Gem13-----|   UT:  2:41, Sid.T: 22:23   |-----28Sag13<7>
|              |       Placidus Houses       |              |
|              |    Tropical / Geocentric    | Jun 22Sag26  |
|              |  Julian Day = 2454746.6118  | Lil 20Sag08  |
|              |                             | Ver 17Sco40  |
<2>18Can13-----|-----------------------------|-----18Sco53<6>
|              | Cer 19Leo49  |              | Ven 15Sco50  |
|              |              |              | Mar  1Sco59  |
|              |              |              | Sun 14Lib12  |
|              |              | Sat 15Vir58  | Mer 13Lib41r |
+----------- 8Leo53<3>----- 3Vir54<4>----- 7Lib14<5>--------+

By the way, I didn't look closely at this chart until writing this post, so, don't worry, I didn't scare myself silly with astrology, I just scared myself silly about tetanus on my own, with a little help from health websites. :-)

I didn't start getting scared until I got some neck cramps a couple days after the wound. I had some vague knowledge that something like that was a possible symptom of tetanus (also known as lockjaw), so I decided to look it up on the internet - whereupon I found such horrifying accounts of what tetanus was like, it inspired me to get the shot. Fortunately, the neck cramps weren't very bad, and they also soon went away, so by the time I had my appointment I wasn't nearly as scared anymore.

I'm rather glad I didn't look at this chart too closely before I got this issue taken care of. Pluto (the planet associated with death, terror, etc.) being prominent in this chart (conjunct an angle: the descendant), and Taurus (the sign associated with the neck) being on the cusp of the 12th house (associated with hospitals and serious health issues) might have scared me - even though I know hardly anything about how astrologers are supposed to interpret the chart of a small injury. Practically all I know is that a chart for when a person fell ill or was injured is called a "decumbiture chart", and I have yet to read anything detailed about how to interpret such charts.

Even so, I find it kind of interesting that Pisces (the sign associated with the feet) is at the midheaven of this chart for a foot injury, and also that the ruler of this chart's 6th house (the house of health issues), Pluto, is prominent in this chart. Pluto being prominent here also seems appropriate in light of how scared I got for a little while.


(I edited these next few paragraphs at 11:02 PM.)
Perhaps I should end this post with a disclaimer - simply because this article discusses health issues a bit and who knows, it might be misconstrued if I don't. I hate disclaimers and other legal nonsense - the idiotic supposed necessity of having to state stupidly obvious things like "this is not advice from a professional, everything you do or don't do with this info is at your own risk, blah, blah, blah". Perhaps it's not really necessary, but in any case, I've been itching to vent my spleen about this annoyance for some time, so, regardless of whether or not it's really needed, here's a disclaimer. :-)

Disclaimer: As far as I know, none of astrology is yet objectively proven to really work, and, understandably, it is commonly regarded as sheer nonsense. In my opinion, many things that are referred to as "astrology" are almost certainly empty nonsense, but some parts of astrology might not be nonsense - I'm not sure. I don't claim that astrology definitely works, nor do I claim that astrology definitely doesn't work.

I am not a health professional, and I'm not even sure I'd qualify as a really good astrologer. Also, this isn't medical advice, but I suggest that you do not rely on astrological advice regarding health or any other important issues, and if you have health concerns, I think you should talk to your doctor. Also, please notice that the above contains no astrologically-based health advice whatsoever - I was simply pointing out some amusing apparent coincidences between the symbolism of the charts and what actually happened. None of this post is medical advice, legal advice, or even astrological advice, neener neener. So there. :-)

By visiting this website, you agree that if you are a litigious moron who is prone to sue people for exercising their freedom of speech rights to talk about medical, legal, or other issues without including a disclaimer, you are hereby obligated to think deeply about your actions and why those actions are wrong, to reimburse me for any amount you try to sue me for, plus legal expenses and any other expenses I want you to pay for, and you are also obligated to read this page in full: OvercomingBias.com - Against Disclaimers. ;-)

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Starry Discordian Sky
Tuesday, October 21st, 2008
22:25:41 GMT

Wallpaper
Second Life


1024 x 768 - 89 KB

This is a Second Life screenshot I took on Sunday, August 5, 2007 at 3:58:54 AM at the Discordia sandbox sim.

It's just a picture of the sky there, as it used to look sometimes - relaxing, gentle shades of orange, flecked with stars. I don't know if there's an easy way to make it look like that anymore, but, you could probably make some sky settings that look similar by fiddling with Second Life's WindLight graphic features.

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The End of Sun in Libra
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008
23:59:27 GMT

Pictures
Second Life


1024 x 768 - 474 KB
3/11/2008 5:25:28 AM

1024 x 768 - 436 KB
3/11/2008 5:22:34 AM

Aquarius sculpture in background.


1024 x 768 - 440 KB
3/11/2008 5:24:38 AM

Today, the transit of the sun through the sign of Libra ends, and sun in Scorpio will soon commence - at 9:09 PM EDT, to be exact. (I found this out by using the free astrology software Astrolog 5.40).

So, here are some screenshots I took last March in Second Life of a prim sculpture of Libra, the sign of the scales, at a wonderful exhibit of prim sculpture art by Madcow Cosmos.

There were many other sculptures at the exhibit besides this one, and of course I took other pictures besides these - but I'm going to share them gradually, when they seem timely, or when the mood strikes me, instead of all at once.


You can visit the shop of the artist, Madcow Cosmos, at the Lie sim.

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Sun Now In Scorpio
Thursday, October 23rd, 2008
22:18:04 GMT

Pictures
Second Life


1024 x 768 - 692 KB
3/11/2008 5:15:50 AM

As of October 22, 2008, 9:09 PM EDT, the sun has begun its transit of Scorpio. So, here's another screenshot I took last March in Second Life at a fantastic exhibit of prim sculptures by Madcow Cosmos.

This is a prim sculpture of Scorpio, the sign of the scorpion (with part of Taurus, the bull, visible to the left of it).

You can visit the shop of the artist, Madcow Cosmos, at the Lie sim.

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Oct. 24th: Take Back Your Time Day
Friday, October 24th, 2008
07:43:04 GMT

Finances

Today (October 24th) happens to be "Take Back Your Time Day". I first heard about this a few days ago when I ran across an interesting article called Working to Live has Been Overtaken by Living to Work by Barbara Sumner Burstyn.

That article contains plenty of interesting info. According to it, Take Back Your Time Day (Oct. 24th) is the day when "the average American will have worked the equivalent of a full European work year." And, apparently, Americans "spend nearly nine full weeks more a year on the job than their counterparts in Western Europe."

The article also states that "Americans work more now than they did in the 1950s," (...) "more than medieval peasants did, and more than the citizens of any other industrial country."

I knew things were bad, as far as how much people have to work just to scrape by, but I didn't know things were that bad! I wonder if things have gotten even worse since that article was released - it's a bit old, dated September 22, 2003.

Here's another interesting article: PBS.org - Livelyhood - How the Weekend Was Won, by Joe Robinson, editor of Escape magazine.

I found this quote particularly interesting: "Opponents of a mandated vacation law always trot out the myth that it would hurt productivity. While the United States does rule in productivity, it's not by much compared to Germany, for instance. The difference in output per hour is almost negligible and Germans manage to do it in two months less work. Think about that one."

Lastly, here's the most official-looking website I was able to find related to Take Back Your Time Day: TimeDay.org.

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Top of Innsmouth Church
Saturday, October 25th, 2008
08:22:22 GMT

Wallpaper
Second Life


1024 x 717 - 419 KB

A Second Life screenshot I took on Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 9:33:16 AM at the Innsmouth roleplaying game section of the October Country sim.

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Bay at Innsmouth
Monday, October 27th, 2008
03:53:46 GMT

Wallpaper
Second Life


1024 x 717 - 569 KB

A Second Life screenshot I took on Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 9:24:02 AM at the Innsmouth roleplaying game section of the October Country sim.

Ordinarily that area would appear to be lined with buildings, but, when I turned my Second Life client's draw distance down, they vanished. Overall, a pretty wallpaper, though the reflections in the water could look a bit better and maybe ought to be photoshopped a bit. Looks fine in the thumbnail image, at least.

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