Saturday, November 1, 2014

11.01.14 | Apophenia

The universe is trying to tell me something, she thought, when she finished her shower gel and shampoo on the same night. The bottles sighed pomegranate and mint when her fingers embraced them, but they oozed no fluids—they were dry. Empty.
Both of them.
This is rarer than cosmic alignment, she thought.
It’s like— like emptying a jar of peanut butter on the same sandwich as a jar of jam.

And three days later, it happened.
She did not have time to wash the jars before work, so she left them to soak in the sink. She did, however, have time to make coffee and discover that—of course—the lone coffee filter remaining in the carton would contain the last of her coffee ground.

No doubt about it, the universe was definitely trying to tell her something.

Everything’s dying.
In pairs.

And I will die alone.

When predicting a series of coin flips, one typically would not predict more than five heads in a row. The coincidence would be too absurd.
But when a coin is actually flipped and yields ten consecutive heads, people flip.
Statistically speaking, any permutation of such binaries would have the same probability. Heads-tails-heads-heads-tails is just as likely as heads-heads-heads-heads-heads.

That was what she told herself.

Assuming a fair coin, at least.
Coincidences aren’t supposed to mean anything.

The next morning, two doors down.

He held his milk carton vertically over the bowl, and shook it slightly, examining the white beads as they fell. The cereal crumbs that had been at the bottom of the bag now floated at the top of the bowl, trembling as the milk drops struck the surface.

He blinked.
Finishing these on the same day—what could this possibly mean?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

04.15.14 | Blood Moon

I used to see the sky as a ceiling. I was on the Earth, the ground, the world. The moon and sun were just passersby in this skylight window.
But seeing the blood eclipse today—my first eclipse—my perception changed. I imagined the moon there, and the sun behind us, behind the Earth.
I am science-literate. I have learned about the solar system in school and I understand how it works, how there are planets and planetoids revolving around a star, and how moons revolve around these planets. But I never realized how ignorant I was to the astronomical implications regarding the human condition. (Pun not intended.)
The idea that we are now standing between the moon and the sun is profound to me. I stood on the Parkside lawn and looked up. The sun was no longer out there, above our heads, but directionally beneath our feet. But that would be the wrong perspective. "Beneath" implies that I am the center. I am not the center. We Earthlings are not the center. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that our feet are pointing toward the center of not just the Earth, but also the sun and thus the Solar System.
The universe is magical and I am glad to be here, even if we are just "tiny specks on a planet particle".

Saturday, January 18, 2014

01.18.14 | 算命

In Chinese, fortune-tellers are known as calculators of fate. Every person is born under a specific alignment of stars. The fortune-tellers read this. Each canvas of constellations is mapped onto the fetus, forming its skin and skull. The ridges on a palm or the arch of an eyebrow can reveal much more than a résumé.