Life teaches you how to live it -- if you can live long enough. 

This is what Tony Bennett says at the end of Amy, the documentary about Amy Winehouse produced in 2015. I've been watching and reading about the movie over the last few days, in reverse order. It's a beautiful film. 

Image result for beautiful film clapping audience

I don't have anything to add to that sentiment. I just think Bennett's insight should be postered everywhere. Once more:

Life teaches you how to live it -- if you can live long enough. 

Amy couldn't live long enough. She seemed to try, though. 

Bennett believes her voice was in league with Ella Fitzgerald and Etta James. And he would have told her, had she lived, to slow down. He would have told her

Image result for tony bennett amy winehouse

Life teaches you how to live it -- if you can live long enough. 

Maybe a slow pace helps. 

Image result for turtle


I've been picking up recently on what seems like a more widespread use of the term "artificial," at least as regards children's television, and I'd like to muse on that briefly. 

One instance: the (quite real) possibility that the gem race in Steven Universe are an advanced form of artificial intelligence created by another species. Even if this is not so, the parallels are enough to raise the topic of what defines articiality. 

Image result for gem artificial intelligence

Another: in the Adventure Time finale, there is a visual flash when a character, a ruler, is swayed by the plea of an old friend. The ruler is about to go to war, and the friend asks her to give the enemy a final chance to lay down arms. The princess, the ruler, looks at the outstretched arm of her friend, a robotic one with many advancements, and for a moment sees the arm he had once, long ago, still already many years into their friendship. It had been a simple metal claw, one which he could not even clasp, and which he had only acquired after a stretch of trauma and loss. Time and the princess's blinking eye was all that lay between the two models: one grating, a piss-poor replacement to a lost cause; the other a true-to-form part of her friend, and a symbol, now, of their long friendship. 

Image result for finns arm adventure time

There is a possibility that these are just examples of the baader meinhof phenomenon in action, but if not, the question becomes: 

why is this special leniency toward the artificial most evident in children's content? 

Is it aimed at an audience that writers already know will be familiar with "technology" in a way past generations are not? That would mean the stories are just tailored to please. Or perhaps the writers themselves are, intentionally or unconsciously, working the thread of 'artificial doesn't have to be the opposite of natural' into their narratives. 

What implications do these insertions carry? In the grown-up world, a now chatterbox, now burbling topic is that of artificial intelligence. We're working toward it steadily on many fronts. Unless we reach a turtle-less bottom, as with Feinberg's uncertainty, we're likely to have artificial intelligence creations moving amongst us, regularly and ubiquitously, in ways that blur lines. With care and cultural familiarity, perhaps it can be that we move amongst each other, even as each other, instead of against. 

Image result for robot slavescredit jackfisherbooks

The narrative around artificial intelligence, like most hot-to-trot technology topics, is constantly changing. More volatile than Tesla stock. Now you hear one expert say we're heading toward a Matrix-like civilization crisis. Now another says that's ridiculous, it's a technology like any other, well within our control. Then there are those people waaaaaaaaaaaaayyy on the other side of the gate entirely. 

No matter which way events unfold, though, it's the future generations who will have to live with most of the fallout. Does it seem more likely that we're reaching the end of the "natural" age, or that the definition of "natural" as we know it is changing? 

Feel free to share thoughts on this one in the comments. 


Everyone needs rest. Sleep is the biggest part of that (for most of us) but a lot of us (also most of us) do our best to ignore that fact. 

Image result for not enough sleep

I definitely have. For most of my life. 

Now as I get older, I find that I can't just motor through the days like I used to. In fact, this past weekend I needed a whole day of nothingness just to get my reboot. 

I could write a whole long post on the benefits of sleep, but you know what? Many people already have. Just google it. Not everyone's right, but everyone has an opinion. 

Image result for opinions on sleep

My opinion tonight? The eternal flame of creativeness will keep burning through a singular evening of skiving off. 

So tonight, I'm giving myself the gift of rest. Try it for yourself. You'll see -- it's dreamy. 

Image result for dreamy

How to Talk

For today's thoughts, I was watching Star Trek Voyager's episode "Mortal Coil." It's a fascinating look into a character who, having been brought back from the dead, must grapple with whether to believe in the afterlife (or not). I won't touch on any of its themes of identity or morality or hope in this post. Instead, I'm here today to write concerning a small turn of phrase during the party scene. 

In the episode, a character struggling with social conduct is told, after approaching some people at the party and listening in, to join the group in conversation; 

"to chime in."

During the past writing bet (which I won!)

Image result for party poppercredit to

I was advised to publicize the work I did on my Twitter account, @LindseyPipesUp. My whopping 46 followers as such got an earful (eyeful?)(awful) and, having been seeing a lot of the "pipes up" phrasing, I was drawn to the expression "chime in" today. 

People talk. A lot. Some more than others, and those in my family more than most. We humans have a lot of words for talking, because it's kind of a solipsistic thing, and because it makes us happy to talk about things we like (and ourselves) and also about other people we like who talk about things we like (and themselves). Today I'd like to list out all of the expressions I can think of (and maybe a few I'll look up) for people talking, and try to suss out a few unobvious nuances. 

Image result for talking
  1. to pipe up
  2. to chime in
  3. to talk
  4. to chat / chatter / chit chat
  5. to converse
  6. to bring up / to come up 
  7. to squawk
  8. to mention
  9. to put forth
  10. to insert
  11. to speak up
  12. to gush
  13. to gab
  14. to gossip
  15. to give up
  16. to reveal
  17. to blab
  18. to prate / prattle
  19. to intone
  20. to offer
  21. to say
  22. to tell
  23. to iterate
  24. to sing -- as like a canary, giving up potentially damning information
  25. to spit -- at the edge of a sound and not a word (notice I didn't include warble, trill, chortlehiccup, harrumph and others which are more tonal cues than true "talking"); however, to spit in the context of conversation is to say something in an aspirated fashion (with a hiss). To spit is more talk than noise because, by nature, words spat at someone have to be understood as words, not just as noise, for the full brunt of the term's meaning to hit.  
  26. to address -- as when directed your full, formal attention at the other person in your choice of words (and presentation)
  27. to explain
  28. to jaw away
  29. to elocute
  30. to banter
  31. to bicker
  32. to comment
  33. to communicate
  34. to lecture
  35. to orate
  36. to negotiate
  37. to profess
  38. to exaggerate
  39. to lie (I almost didn't include this, but lying is talking untruthfully -- language is a requirement)
  40. to sound out
  41. to articulate
  42. to speak

Image result for exhaustive

I think I'll end here. Always good to be left searching for a new question. 

If another word for talking comes to mind that I didn't mention, please comment below! Happy to add credit for new additions up to 50. 

Day 15

Maybe a year ago, I heard a parable (which I recounted in another post) that deals with the nature of endings. 

The primary wisdom gained is that a story's root lies in its ending, and that the only certainty is that all of our stories end the same way: in death. 

Image result for picasso cervantes

At first, the thought seems a morbid one, and is certainly intended this way within the framing of the story in which I heard it. But there are many sides to the two-sided coin, it turns out. Every inverted angle as the coin flips through the air is a different shade of the story. The story's ending -- the landing of the coin -- can be averted so long as the flipper keeps clasping the coin out of the air and, again, flipping. As long as we keep telling the story, no matter the ending, we keep making our meaning for now. The present narrative is, after all, moment by moment, what we are seeking.

And so long as the story ends, from our perspective, during the telling -- the outcome seems to matter less, now, than it once did. 

'Til next time.