” Dreams ”

7 August 2011
Contributor: Gypsy

She awakes unspoken –after she’s tossed and turned all night like the sea.

A hand covers her face;a hand that lays her down again, ” There now. Better. ”

Paige licks that hand; a hand that tastes like sugar but, has the bite and effects of Novocaine.

Her Owner tells her eyes directly, ” I’m going to take all your dreams away, baby girl — I’m going to bang them out of you.”

His hand holds her; his fingers push deep into her mouth and perform the role of a gag.

She speaks with only her eyes and the spread of her legs when he deploys the tactics of a General, ” I don’t want all of my dreams taken away, my Owner — I need you to push dreams inside of me. “

1 May 2011
Contributor: Haystack


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Perseid Meteor Shower (August 12, 13)

12 August 2010
Contributor: Haystack

Perseid Meteor Shower

The Perseids is one of the best meteor showers to observe, producing up to 60 meteors per hour at their peak. This year’s shower should peak on the night of August 12 and the morning of the 13th, but you may be able to see some meteors any time from July 23 – August 22. The radiant point for this shower will be in the constellation Perseus. The thin, crescent moon will be out of the way early, setting the stage for a potentially spectacular show. For best viewing, look to the northeast after midnight.


” It’s Only A Dream ”

23 July 2010
Contributor: Gypsy

” Good Morning, ” she awakes and smiles; her eyes smile as she finds the palm of his hand kissing her cheek.
His lips descend, ” I’m leaving. I just wanted to see those eyes one last time. You truly are beautiful. “
With a tongue determined, a silence between them reigns. — It interrupts the muted sounds of the lips descent.
Across the chest and beneath the ribs, a racing beat of the heart is found; the softness of a tummy that clenches with need.
His other hand joins another and it is then that she realizes that the hand that kisses her cheek is only a hand that caresses her dreams.
The silhouette and it’s hand that joins another fade beneath the lids of her eyes as she falls back to sleep, ” I’m glad that I could, at least, keep him company in her absence. “

An Exploration of Woodcut Collage

30 June 2010
Contributor: Haystack

Six Woodcut Collages

This collection of woodcut collages appears in Harter’s Picture Archive for Collage and Illustration, published by Dover. Each was composed entirely of images contained within the book, demonstrating the possibilities of antique line engravings as source material for compelling, original art. “Lyrehc” was composed strictly by cutting and pasting. The other five compositions were enhanced by a photoprint technique. After being assembled they were enlarged to twice their original size in order bring out details. The artist then used pen, ink and white paint to clean imperfections in the lines, blend them together, outline figures, shade areas, and so on. One can imagine the possibilities of hand-rendered color, or of incorporating fabrics, pressed plants, and other materials.

“In Vatican Fresco, Visions of the Brain”

29 June 2010
Contributor: Haystack

It has been hiding in plain sight for the past 500 years, and now two Johns Hopkins professors believe they have found it: one of Michelangelo’s rare anatomical drawings in a panel high on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Michelangelo was a conscientious student of human anatomy and enthusiastically dissected corpses throughout his life, but few of his anatomical drawings survive. This one, a depiction of the human brain and brain stem, appears to be drawn on the neck of God, but not all art historians can see it there.

Read more at NY Times

6S: ” Love Hurts ”

25 June 2010
Contributor: Gypsy

Sonny stepped into the hallway of luminous light of their home and says in a singsong voice,” I love you, Daddy. “

She wore a grease-stained shirt – floor-length and white as a nun’s habit — she appeared weathered, frail but still, bright as an angel’s halo.

He nods at Sonny’s confession, folding back the fly of his pants; The belt taps her heart and chimes. ” You love me most of all, baby girl. Yes, you do. Now, show Daddy just how much you love him. I’ll show you how much more I love you. “

” Is it going to hurt again? ” she asked, bracing herself, tiny clenched fists toward her father’s direct and uncompromising tone.

” Yes, baby girl. We must love and give to each other until it hurts. It isn’t enough for us to say ” I love “. And so it is very important for you, us, to realize that love, to be true, has to hurt, ” his sermon-heavy; like script meeting blank paper.

” Okay, Daddy,”  she whispers, lifting his shirt from off her nudity.

6S: ” Silence ”

25 June 2010
Contributor: Gypsy

Pressed to the bay window in silence, she looked over of a sea of green fields interspersed by little islets of trees and edges.

” I love you, my reflection,” He remained focused on the book open in front of him and he shifted in his comfortable desk chair, and she only stirred within.

” My reflection, I said I love you,” He smiled so brilliantly, turning the book face down upon his lap.

She did not respond, only watched over the shadowy gray escarpment that blocked her view of the sea itself and heard the waves throwing themselves against the cliff-face under the heavy skies.

” Sometimes,” He stood from his chair, “I simply need what only a gag can provide: your silence — You can admire the scenery, while I admire your obscenity. “

She delighted in his knowledge of her posture, how it pressed against the open window, and how her silence spoke volumes, of how much more she loved him back.

6S: ” Another Reflection ”

25 June 2010
Contributor: Gypsy

” The clearing appears empty, ” he says looking over a fine layer of snow covering every surface – powdery and chill underfoot. The smooth stump of the old felled oak is covered with a layer of frost.

” I am here, you are here and that is all that matters, ” she shivers, looking up at the thin pin pricks of stars up above on this cloudless night and over the dark lake waters spreading out beyond the last of the evergreen pines; firs that only give ground at the very edge of those lapping waters.

” Only in our dreams and once in a blue moon are we here, my reflection, ” his voice carrying over waters whose lapping is locked beneath a sheen of ice, winter holding the entire forest in her fingers, denuding the branches like a handmaid by her master.

” One day, a reality and you are always in my heart – my every day is one step closer to you, ” she smiles a smile that carves its way between ice flows.

” You have quite the journey then, ” he says, turning and looking around to see, once again, her smile faded and how the clearing appears.

Have This book? Solve a Famous Murder Mystery.

21 June 2010
Contributor: Haystack

The Rubaiyat, First Whitcombe and Tombs Edition.

In December 1948 an unidentified man dressed in a shirt and tie was found dead on Somerton beach in Adelaide, Australia. He carried no identification, his dental records matched no known person, and all of the labels on his clothes were missing. An inquest determined that the man’s death could not have been natural, and though no foreign substances were detected, pathologists were led to suspect poison.

Around the time of the inquest, a secret pocket was found in the man’s trousers, containing a small scrap of paper. On one side, it was blank. On the other, the words “Taman Shud” were printed. This phrase, translating to “ended” or “finished,” appears on the last page of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

The Somerton Man's Cipher

Following an unsuccessful search for a copy of the Rubaiyat with pages blank on the reverse side, a photograph of the scrap was released to the public. A man subsequently came forth with a rare first edition of the book, translated by Edward Fitzgerald and published by Whitcombe and Tombs in New Zealand. He had found it in the back seat of his unlocked car on November 30, 1948, but had been unaware of its significance. The words “Taman Shud” were missing from the last page, and five lines of capital letters were written in faint pencil on the back of the book. Code experts were called in to analyse these letters, but were unable to descry their meaning.

Though police were ultimately unable to solve the mystery of the Somerton man, researchers have remained interested in the so-called Taman Shud case ever since. Recent efforts to crack the code have suggested the possibility that it represents a one-time pad encryption algorithm; a type of substitution cipher that is impossible to break without access to a unique key. Given that the code matches the quatrain format of the Rubaiyat, a strong possibility is that the book itself was the “one-time pad” necessary to decipher the message. The original copy, however, has since been lost by police.

In this case, all that would be required to crack the code would be a copy of the Whitcombe and Tombs first edition of the Rubaiyat…so, have you got one? It was a rare edition in 1948, and over 60 years later, researchers have been hard pressed to find another, but a copy is bound to be gathering dust in some old lady’s attic somewhere. If you are this old lady, Professor Derek Abbott would like to hear from you.

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