The odds in favour of you being born were slim | Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan

The odds in favour of you being born were slim

“Imagine a speck of dust next to a planet a billion times the size of the earth. The speck of dust represents the odds in favor of your being born; the huge planet would be the odds against it. So stop sweating the small stuff."

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Travel: Ryoan-ji, Kyoto

And the people stayed home by Kitty O’Meara

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. A terrace house in Sevilla, Spain. © Content Catnip 2010 And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the…

Welcome to Starlink Express brought to you by Elon Musk

Welcome to Starlink Express brought to you by Elon Musk!

It turns out that Wellington CBD and Mount Victoria close to where I live is prime viewing for the Tesla Starlink Satellites as they cruise through the sky after dark. Starlink taken from the top of Mt Victoria Blink and you'll miss it though. It's all over in about 2 minutes. They rocket past in…

Strange Victorian Journeys Into the Fourth Dimension

Strange Victorian Journeys Into the Fourth Dimension

The last gasp of Victorian spirituality infused cutting-edge science with old-school mysticism. Theosophy was all the rage; Many weird and and wonderful ideas being developed at the turn of the century around death, ghosts, the fourth dimension filled the Victorians with a palpable sense of possibility.

Travel: Eileann Donan Castle, Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland. Copyright Content Catnip 2010

Ancient Word of the Day: Kawaakari

Kawaakari (Japanese) The glow of a river or stream in darkness or dusk, the gleaming surface of a shadowed river (Japanese 川明かり). Kawaakari can refer to the reflection of the moonlight off flowing water, or the gleam of late sun at dusk. Obumbro (Latin) To shadow over and over: to make dark with shadow; to…

The Enlightenment of Everyday Objects

Japan’s 72 gossamer-light and poetic microseasons

The traditional seasons in Japan are marked out by impercetibly small changes in nature across 72 miniature seasons in a year, each lasting 5 days and reflecting the fleeting, impermanent and diaphanous beauty of nature and all of its wonders. There are 24 divisions or sekki in the calendar that are split into 72 kō…

Cosmic Cuttlefish by Sylvia Ritter

Ancient words of the day: Glamour and grammar

Glamour is an 18th Century corruption of the word grammar. Or the occult processes that were traditionally associated with learning during the middle ages. The words grammar and glamour are also associated with the word grimoire - a spell-book. Glamourie: witchcraft, magic, fascination or a spell Glaumerify: to cast a spell over or bewich Glamour-bead:…

Lenticular Cloud, Lake Ohau, Otago, New Zealand

The ruthless Unspoken

At night I lie awake In the ruthless Unspoken, knowing that planets come to life, bloom, and die away, like day-lilies opening one after another in every nook and cranny of the Universe... Diane Ackerman Wild woman quote: show your soul ''Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.'' Maya AngelouInside of the walls of…

Film Review: High Life

Film Review: High Life

I saw this one at this year's NZIFF in Wellington. Directed by Claire Denis, High Life is about a group of prisoners who are used as guinea pigs in sexual experiments by an evil nurse played by Juliette Binoche on board a space mission. I don’t normally speak in such plain terms about the plot…

Emerging Artist Profile: Eleonor Piteira @_eleonorp

Content Catnip recently interviewed established Portuguese artist Eleonor Piteira. She once wanted to be an astronaut as a child, but instead has allowed her imagination to wander all over the galaxy through her striking an beautiful art, impressing people like director Guillermo del Toro along the way...

Ambient Album Review #1: 'Everything' by Lukas Boysen & Sebastian Plano

Ambient Album Review #1: ‘Everything’ by Lukas Boysen & Sebastian Plano

Here are a collection of my favourite ambient, dub, experimental and drone albums of all time. They are in no particular order because they're all brilliant. I hope you will give them a listen, let me know if you enjoy them! Everything is a spawling, epic atmospheric soundtrack that echoes the enormity of the universe.…

The beautiful poetry of the Maori/Polynesian Star Compass - Atea a Rangi

Atea a Rangi: Star Maps of the Maori and Pacific Peoples

In the past, I've written about Maori sea navigation by the stars and the legend of Matariki. Although nothing prepared me for the utterly beautiful Maori star compass which has been carved and placed on a remote and wild beach in the Hawkes Bay, between Hastings and Napier. The Star Compass - Atea a Rangi…

Short film: Celestial wonders in downtown London

Short film: Celestial wonders in downtown London

In this stunning short film called Sun Moon London by filmmaker Luke Miller, we witness otherworldly visions of the interplay of the moon, sun and bustling central London. Luke captured the harvest moon on the 5th of October 2017, when the moon was at its zenith of autumnal equinox. Along with footage of the 1st…

David Bowie’s Top 100 Favourite Books http://wp.me/p41CQf-3R

Starman, Bowie and the symbolism of SpaceX’s new world

Bowie needs no introduction in his ability to induce wonder, awe and beauty in anyone he touches. And now even after death, his legacy lives on in the form of a mannequin Star Man set to take a silence-filled orbit around our dark solar system and towards its final destination of Mars. The poetry and…

The strange streetscapes in a Tokyo without ads

360 degree VR film of Tokyo: A hyper-creepy and darkly enjoyable feast

【360° Movie】Tokyo Light Odyssey (Full) from WOW inc on Vimeo. If Pink Floyd and Stanley Kubrik were to have a baby in 2017 - this is what it would look like. Be taken on a sublime journey of immersive 360 degree Tokyo in a most unsettling mood. The immersive short film is filled with the…

Verner Panton: The Daring Spirit of 60's Design https://wp.me/p41CQf-JFr

Verner Panton: The Daring Spirit of 60’s Design

Verner Panton (1926-1998) is remembered for his bold, daring furniture design and aesthetic which embodied the fun and turbulent times of the 60's and 70's. His most famous pieces are the S chair, which became the world´s first one-piece moulded plastic chair, the cone chair and the flowerpot lamps. Born in 1926 Panton initially began his…

Every Picture Tells A Story: Who made the world?

Who made the world? The billowing clouds heading southward. The pillowed reef and a thousand animals beneath my feet. Who made the wind bracing my ankles. The shadows behind and through it all. Who makes the light dance in one part of the world. While other places cut like a frozen blade through flesh. Who…

Grandscale Beauty: The Overview Effect: Cyanobacterial Bloom in the Baltic Sea

Map makers, Google Earth developers, astronauts and those who gaze at the earth and universe for a living are already convinced of the tremendous beauty of large places seen from space. For most of us mere mortals we won't ever get the chance to see the earth from space.  The 'Overview Effect' was a term coined…