1/2 Cantaloupe, 1/2 Lassie




I

I have had the same motto up for some time now, waiting for someone to figure it out. I cannot wait any longer, as I desperately want to put new mottoes up all the time!

So, I am offering
125.4 Hyperion Institute Points, or HIPpies, usable in all our venues, for the first comment to CORRECTly figure out the motto.

C'mon, people; it is not that hard.


1/2 Cantaloupe, 1/2 Lassie

You will KNOW if you figured it out.

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II

This week is simply Mango with holidays, holidays that frankly: YOU NEED TO BE CELEBRATING. Yesterday (besides being a very important day in History) was International Buggs Potter Day & International Intentionally Misunderstand Day. (You can still celebrate that all week.)


Today is International Have Sex with a Coworker Day (On an unrelated note, Hyperion is hiring for a temporary "position")

June 25 -
International Those Wacky Nazis Day (from the mind of Schrodinger, and no, it is not a coincidence that she has a German name)

June 26 -
International Take a Nude Picture Day (If you need someone to judge your work...)

June 27 -
International Don't Ask Day (Not associated with June 26)

June 28 -
International Be Yourself Day (as opposed to the rest of the month, when you pretend to be Guyana Cricket player

June 29 - International Pirates for Picard Day (one of the most commented days on EVER)

And next Monday is
International Half Year's Eve Day. More on that as we get closer to it.

All of these days can be found over at
International Day. It's there for you, people. Please party responsibly.

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III

I was almost ten months behind, but finally (FINALLY!), I got The Hyperion Chronicles updated.

If you take a gander, you will see that we are up to 499 columns. (These don't include movie reviews, rankings or blog posts, but regular columns.)

One could spend a lifetime catching up, and I encourage it!


Also, on the right part of the Hyperion Chronicles, you will notice that I have collated all the Potpourri columns into one group. Some of them have funky text (they are from a time when the column was emailed, and transferred over), but the potpourri columns were BY FAR the most popular genre.

If you have been reading for some time, I would love for you to pick out your favorite 10 columns. I would be willing to give you a place of honor over on the right as well.

Anyway, that's THE HYPERION CHRONICLES. Check it out.


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IV

I do my best to write fiction. I really do. I know I haven't written a great short story in awhile, but I'm always trying. However, this morning I saw how far I have to go. Originally printed in the New Yorker 60 years ago, Vladamir Nabokov's "Symbols and Signs" is so good it will take your breath away.

The story is simple (only 2200 words), and easy to follow, yet there is so much going on underneath the surface. It is about a Russian immigrant couple going to visit their insane child in an institution. I shook as I listened to it. It's that good.


The New Yorker did a podcast, with Mary Gaitskill reading, and then discussing the story with a moderator.
You can listen to the story here. (The entire podcast is about 30 minutes, but only the first 17 minutes are the story. The discussion is illuminating too, though.)

If you simply refuse to listen, there is also a
text version here. I know you're busy, people, but if you care about powerful literature in a simple story, you owe it to yourselves to make some time today for Nabokov.


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V


Edward R. Murrow used to have a five minute radio program called "This.....I Believe." One of his guests was Robert Heinlein, who wrote these words for the program in 1952. They were re-read aloud by Heinlein's wife when she accepted NASA's Distinguished Public Service Medal posthumously for her husband in 1988.

Heinlein was one of the most forward-thinking people ever, as witnessed in this thought-provoking and ground-breaking science fiction. Yet, in some ways his words here speak to a more innocent and less cynical time. Other than the politics one, though, I think he may be on to something.


"I am not going to talk about religious beliefs, but about matters so obvious that it has gone out of style to mention them."

"I believe in my neighbors."

"I know their faults and I know that their virtues far outweigh their faults. Take Father Michael down our road a piece --I'm not of his creed, but I know the goodness and charity and loving kindness that shine in his daily actions. I believe in Father Mike; if I'm in trouble, I'll go to him. My next-door neighbor is a veterinary doctor. Doc will get out of bed after a hard day to help a stray cat. No fee -- no prospect of a fee. I believe in Doc."

"I believe in my townspeople. You can knock on any door in our town say, 'I'm hungry,' and you will be fed. Our town is no exception; I've found the same ready charity everywhere. For the one who says, 'To heck with you -- I got mine,' there are a hundred, a thousand, who will say, 'Sure, pal, sit down.'

"I know that, despite all warnings against hitchhikers, I can step to the highway, thumb for a ride and in a few minutes a car or a truck will stop and someone will say, 'Climb in, Mac. How how far you going?'

"I believe in my fellow citizens. Our headlines are splashed with crime, yet for every criminal there are 10,000 honest decent kindly men. If it were not so, no child would live to grow up, business could not go on from day to day. Decency is not news; it is buried in the obituaries --but it is a force stronger than crime."

"I believe in the patient gallantry of nurses...in the tedious sacrifices of teachers. I believe in the unseen and unending fight against desperate odds that goes on quietly in almost every home in the land."

"I believe in the honest craft of workmen. Take a look around you. There never were enough bosses to check up on all that work. From Independence Hall to the Grand Coulee Dam, these things were built level and square by craftsmen who were honest in their bones."

"I believe that almost all politicians are honest. For every bribed alderman there are hundreds of politicians, low paid or not paid at all, doing their level best without thanks or glory to make our system work. If this were not true, we would never have gotten past the thirteen colonies."

"I believe in Rodger Young. You and I are free today because of endless unnamed heroes from Valley Forge to the Yalu River."

"I believe in -- I am proud to belong to -- the United States. Despite shortcomings, from lynchings to bad faith in high places, our nation has had the most decent and kindly internal practices and foreign policies to be found anywhere in history."

"And finally, I believe in my whole race. Yellow, white, black, red, brown --in the honesty, courage, intelligence, durability....and goodness.....of the overwhelming majority of my brothers and sisters everywhere on this planet. I am proud to be a human being. I believe that we have come this far by the skin of our teeth, that we always make it just by the skin of our teeth --but that we will always make it....survive....endure. I believe that this hairless embryo with the aching, oversize brain case and the opposable thumb, this animal barely up from the apes, will endure --will endure longer than his home planet, will spread out to the other planets, to the stars, and beyond, carrying with him his honesty, his insatiable curiosity, his unlimited courage --and his noble essential decency."

"This I believe with all my heart."


HINT: Hamlet

5 comments:

Koz said...

"Hmmmmm Praise Olmec," he said in his melancholy state.

Sea Hag said...

Uh, I figured it out long ago, I didn't realize we had to give it a shout-out or anything.

DeeDee said...

I am feeling quite "MELANCHOLY" today!!

Bear said...

1/2 Cantaloupe + 1/2 Lassie = 1 Whole lotta fruits in trouble at the Old Mill!

Hyperion said...

Koz - I'm pretty sure I told you. You only get half points.

Sea Hag - I would like to believe you, but without the documented shout out, I have to rely on your good word. In which case, 3.5 points.

Dee Dee - I'm not sure who you are, but full points!

Bear - three-quarters points, for the funniest answer of the day!