Burst Brain Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Burst Brain. Here they are! All 100 of them:

What is an "instant" death anyway? How long is an instant? Is it one second? Ten? The pain of those seconds must have been awful as her heart burst and her lungs collapsed and there was no air and no blood to her brain and only raw panic. What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
The terrified men did not move. Then Nadia Fedin did something instinctive; she drew her Nagant revolver and fired three short bursts into the head of the nearest soldier. Stepan Ivanovich’s skull burst like a ripe cabbage showering his horrified comrades with viscous brain and bits of bone.
K.G.E. Konkel (Who Has Buried the Dead?: From Stalin to Putin … The last great secret of World War Two)
Around us, life bursts with miracles--a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, laughter, raindrops. If you live in awareness, it is easy to see miracles everywhere. Each human being is a multiplicity of miracles. Eyes that see thousands of colors, shapes, and forms; ears that hear a bee flying or a thunderclap; a brain that ponders a speck of dust as easily as the entire cosmos; a heart that beats in rhythm with the heartbeat of all beings. When we are tired and feel discouraged by life's daily struggles, we may not notice these miracles, but they are always there.
Thich Nhat Hanh
When the river of emotions bursts its banks and expectations go over the edges of reality, the brain creates hallucinations. Ringxiety-stricken people feel illusive vibrating alerts and hear phantom phone rings, since absence of ringing generates scaring emptiness and destroys their self-esteem. ("Kein Schwein ruft mich an" )
Erik Pevernagie
It seems to me that we can’t explain all the truly awful things in the world like war and murder and brain tumors, and we can’t fix these things, so we look at the frightening things that are closer to us and we magnify them until they burst open. Inside is something that we can manage, something that isn’t as awful as it had a first seemed. It is a relief to discover that although there might be axe murderers and kidnappers in the world, most people seem a lot like us: sometimes afraid and sometimes brave, sometimes cruel and sometimes kind.
Sharon Creech (Walk Two Moons)
Nothing happened. And everything did. Your whole life you can be told something is wrong and so you believe it. Why should you question it? But then slowly seeds are planted inside of you, one by one, by a touch or a look or a day skateboarding in a park, and they start to burst out of old hulls shells and they start to sprout. And pretty soon there are so many of them. They are named Love and Trust and Kindness and Joy and Desire and Wonder and Spirit and Soulmate. They grow into a garden so dense and thick that it starts to invade your brain where the old things you were once told are dying.
Francesca Lia Block (Wasteland)
Light bursts behind my closed eyes, so intensely I nearly hear the popping sound. It's my brain melting, or my world ending, or maybe we've just been hit by a meteor and this is the rapture and I'm given one last perfect moment before I'm sent to purgatory and he;s sent somewhere much, much better. It isn't his first kiss - I know that - but it's his first real one.
Christina Lauren (Autoboyography)
At the back of our brains, so to speak, there was a forgotten blaze or burst of astonishment at our own existence. The object of the artistic and spiritual life was to dig for this submerged sunrise of wonder.
G.K. Chesterton
Tiffany knew what the problem was immediately. She'd seen it before, at birthday parties. Her brother was suffering from tragic sweet deprivation. Yes, he was surrounded by sweets. But the moment he took any sweet at all, said his sugar-addled brain, that meant he was not taking all the rest. And there were so many sweets he'd never be able to eat them all. It was too much to cope with. The only solution was to burst into tears.
Terry Pratchett (The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30; Tiffany Aching, #1))
Write poorly. Suck. Write Awful. Terribly. Frightfully. Don’t care. Turn off the inner editor. Let yourself write. Let it flow. Let yourself fail. Do something crazy. Write 50,000 words in the month of November. I did it. It was fun. It was insane. It was 1,667 words per day. It was possible, but you have to turn off the inner critic off completely. Just write. Quickly. In bursts. With joy. If you can’t write, run away. Come back. Write again. Writing is like anything else. You won’t get good at it immediately. It’s a craft. You have to keep getting better. You don’t get to Juilliard unless you practice. You want to get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. Practice. Practice ..or give them a lot of money. Like anything else it takes 10,000 hours to get to mastery. Just like Malcolm Gladwell says. So write. Fail. Get your thoughts down. Let it rest. Let is marinate. Then edit, but don’t edit as you type. That just slows the brain down. Find a daily practice. For me it’s blogging. It’s fun. The more you write the easier it gets. The more it is a flow, the less a worry. It’s not for school, it’s not for a grade, it’s just to get your thoughts out there. You know they want to come out. So keep at it. Make it a practice. Write poorly. Write awfully. Write with abandon and it may end up being really really good.
Colleen Hoover
It’s getting closer,” Tristan said. Ayden nodded. “So let’s track it.” “No,” Ayden snapped. “She’s our priority.” “I know, but it’s following her, so,” Tristan held one hand up, “find the demon,” he held up the other, “find Aurora. It could work.” The itching intensified. Invisible claws grazed up the back of my neck, wrenching every nerve to painful attention. Another hungry screech sent spikes piercing my brain. Lights shattered my vision. I couldn’t breathe. I burst out of the suffocating space just as the engine roared to life and gunned the car forward. With a violent curse, Ayden slammed on the brakes but not before the Maserati rammed my hip. I hurtled into the air and rolled a fast spin onto the hood. “Or you could just hit her with the car,” Tristan said. “Real smooth.
A. Kirk (Demons at Deadnight (Divinicus Nex Chronicles, #1))
And what is an "instant" death anyway? How long is an instant? Is itone second? Ten? The pain of those seconds must have been awful as her heart burst adn her lungs collapsed adn there was no air and no blood to her brain and only raw panic. What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
I could see you drop dead this minute from paralysis of the brain cells and burst into uninhibited applause.
Dorothy Dunnett (The Game of Kings (The Lymond Chronicles, #1))
His brain was simmering and bubbling within the cracking tenement of the skull.Flames burst forth from his skull like a corolla,shrieking like voices: -Hell! Hell! Hell! Hell! Hell!
James Joyce (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
Even after a peak parenting experience, children never transition to a fully self-tuning physiology. Adults remain social animals: they continue to require a source of stabilization outside themselves. That open-loop design means that in some important ways, people cannot be stable on their own - not should or shouldn't be, but can't be. This prospect is disconcerting to many, especially in a society that prizes individuality as ours does. Total self-sufficiency turns out to be a daydream whose bubble is burst by the sharp edge of the limbic brain. Stability means finding people who regulate you well and staying near them.
Thomas Lewis (A General Theory of Love)
Pompeii has nothing to teach us, we know crack of volcanic fissure, slow flow of terrible lava, pressure on heart, lungs, the brain about to burst its brittle case (what the skull can endure!)
H.D.
This is the hour I hide everything Behind my eyes To see if you can see All the trouble my brain's been brewing. Yes, I feel I am the worst and you are the best And yet, and yet, Nothing bad unfolds as we sit, Young and nervous, Alive and bursting, With futures that may not entwine. Who am I? Who am I to sabotage what may be too small For even chaos to notice And disassemble?
Evan Roskos (Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets)
His scent burst onto her brain like a rain of lights, causing her to know him perfectly. This is how moths speak to each other. The wrong words are impossible when there are no words.
Barbara Kingsolver (Prodigal Summer)
Her room was warm and lightsome. A huge doll sat with her legs apart in the copious easy-chair beside the bed. He tried to bid his tongue speak that he might seem at ease, watching her as she undid her gown, noting the proud conscious movements of her perfumed head. As he stood silent in the middle of the room she came over to him and embraced him gaily and gravely. Her round arms held him firmly to her and he, seeing her face lifted to him in serious calm and feeling the warm calm rise and fall of her breast, all but burst into hysterical weeping. Tears of joy and relief shone in his delighted eyes and his lips parted though they would not speak. She passed her tinkling hand through his hair, calling him a little rascal. —Give me a kiss, she said. His lips would not bend to kiss her. He wanted to be held firmly in her arms, to be caressed slowly, slowly, slowly. In her arms he felt that he had suddenly become strong and fearless and sure of himself. But his lips would not bend to kiss her. With a sudden movement she bowed his head and joined her lips to his and he read the meaning of her movements in her frank uplifted eyes. It was too much for him. He closed his eyes, surrendering himself to her, body and mind, conscious of nothing in the world but the dark pressure of her softly parting lips. They pressed upon his brain as upon his lips as though they were the vehicle of a vague speech; and between them he felt an unknown and timid pressure, darker than the swoon of sin, softer than sound or odour.
James Joyce (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
There are so many people. It is easy to forget how full the world is of people, full to bursting, and each of them imaginable and consistently misimagined. I feel like this is an important idea, one of those ideas that your brain must wrap itself around slowly, the way pythons eat...
John Green (Paper Towns)
Memories die as soon as they are plucked from their surroundings, they burst, lose color, lose suppleness, stiffen like corpses. All that remains are shells with translucent edges. Half-erased brain platelets are a slippery terrain, deceptive. One’s mental archive is locked, it languishes in the dark. The past is riddled with holes, souvenirs can’t help here. Everything must be thrown away. Everything. And perhaps everyone as well.
Daša Drndić (Belladonna)
She saw the light again. With some irony in her interrogation, for when one woke at all, one's relations changed, she looked at the steady light, the pitiless, the remorseless, which was so much her, yet so little her, which had her at its beck and call (she woke in the night and saw it bent across their bed, stroking the floor), but for all that she thought, watching it with fascination, hypnotised, as if it were stroking with its silver fingers some sealed vessel in her brain whose bursting would flood her with delight, she had known happiness, and it silvered the rough waves a little more brightly, as daylight faded, and the blue went out of the sea and it rolled in waves of pure lemon which curved and swelled and broke upon the beach and the ecstasy burst in her eyes and waves of pure delight raced over the floor of her mind and she felt, It is enough! It is enough!
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
So often we use the word snapped when we don’t know where a burst of anger is coming from or why someone is having a violent reaction. Well, now we know: Something has happened in the moment that triggers one of the brain’s trauma memories. And because the lower, non-rational parts of the brain are its first responders, they immediately set off stress responses that then shut off the reasonable part of the brain. And so that “burst” of violence is actually the result of some highly organized processes in the brain. And in this case, the first thing the school is going to say is, What’s wrong with him?
Bruce D. Perry (What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing)
My response burst out of the base of my throat without taking the usual route through my brain. “And you’re very handsome.
C.D. Reiss (HardBall)
It seems to me that we can’t explain all the truly awful things in the world like war and murder and brain tumors, and we can’t fix these things, so we look at the frightening things that are closer to us and we magnify them until they burst open. Inside is something that we can manage, something that isn’t as awful as it had at first seemed. It is a relief to discover that although there might be axe murderers and kidnappers in the world, most people seem a lot like us: sometimes afraid and sometimes brave, sometimes cruel and sometimes kind. I
Sharon Creech (Walk Two Moons)
Often, when forced from his hammock by exhausting and intolerably vivid dreams of the night, which, resuming his own intense thoughts through the day, carried them on amid a clashing of phrensies, and whirled them round and round in his blazing brain, till the very throbbing of his lifespot became insufferable anguish; and when, as was sometimes the case, these spritual throes in him heaved his being up from its base, and a chasm seemed opening in him, from which forked flames and lightnings shot up, and accursed fiends beconed him to leap down among them; when this hell in himself yawned beneath him, a wild cry would be heard through the ship; and with glaring eyes Ahab would burst from his state room, as though escaping from a bed that was on fire.
Herman Melville (Moby Dick)
The human brain comprises 70% water, which means it's a similar consistency to tofu. Picture that for a second - a blob of tofu the size and shape of a brain. Now imagine taking that piece of tofu, and forcing your thumbs into it hard. It would burst wouldn't it? Okay, now imagine those thumbs weren't thumbs but thumb-shaped pieces of bad news. And there weren't two of them, they were about half a dozen. Imagine you were forcing all six pieces of bad news - a divorce, multiple career snubs, accusations from the family of a dead celebrity, estranged kids, borderline homelessness, that kind of thing - into a piece of tofu. With me? Good. Now imagine it's not tofu, but a human brain. And they're not pieces of bad news but six human thumbs. That's what happened to me. In 2001, my brain had half a dozen thumbs pushed into it.
Alan Partridge (I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan)
Calm, focused, undistracted, the linear mind is being pushed aside by a new kind of mind that wants and needs to take in and dole out information in short, disjointed, often overlapping bursts—the faster, the better.
Nicholas Carr (The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains)
I lie and repeat these words over to myself, and find that they are capital. Little by little others come and fit themselves to the preceding ones. I grow keenly wakeful. I get up and snatch paper and pencil from the table behind my bed. It was as if a vein had burst in me ; one word follows another, and they fit themselves together harmoniously with telling effect. Scenes piles on scene, actions and speeches bubble up in my brain, and a wonderful sense of pleasure empowers me. I write as one possessed, and fill page after page without a moment’s pause
Knut Hamsun (Hunger)
GO BACK TO DALLAS!” the man sitting somewhere behind us yelled again, and the hold Aiden still had on the back of my neck tightened imperceptibly. “Don’t bother, Van,” he demanded, pokerfaced. “I’m not going to say anything,” I said, even as I reached up with the hand furthest away from him and put it behind my head, extending my middle finger in hopes that the idiot yelling would see it. Those brown eyes blinked. “You just flipped him off, didn’t you?” Yeah, my mouth dropped open. “How do you know when I do that?” My tone was just as astonished as it should be. “I know everything.” He said it like he really believed it. I groaned and cast him a long look. “You really want to play this game?” “I play games for a living, Van.” I couldn’t stand him sometimes. My eyes crossed in annoyance. “When is my birthday?” He stared at me. “See?” “March third, Muffin.” What in the hell? “See?” he mocked me. Who was this man and where was the Aiden I knew? “How old am I?” I kept going hesitantly. “Twenty-six.” “How do you know this?” I asked him slowly. “I pay attention,” The Wall of Winnipeg stated. I was starting to think he was right. Then, as if to really seal the deal I didn’t know was resting between us, he said, “You like waffles, root beer, and Dr. Pepper. You only drink light beer. You put cinnamon in your coffee. You eat too much cheese. Your left knee always aches. You have three sisters I hope I never meet and one brother. You were born in El Paso. You’re obsessed with your work. You start picking at the corner of your eye when you feel uncomfortable or fool around with your glasses. You can’t see things up close, and you’re terrified of the dark.” He raised those thick eyebrows. “Anything else?” Yeah, I only managed to say one word. “No.” How did he know all this stuff? How? Unsure of how I was feeling, I coughed and started to reach up to mess with my glasses before I realized what I was doing and snuck my hand under my thigh, ignoring the knowing look on Aiden’s dumb face. “I know a lot about you too. Don’t think you’re cool or special.” “I know, Van.” His thumb massaged me again for all of about three seconds. “You know more about me than anyone else does.” A sudden memory of the night in my bed where he’d admitted his fear as a kid pecked at my brain, relaxing me, making me smile. “I really do, don’t I?” The expression on his face was like he was torn between being okay with the idea and being completely against it. Leaning in close to him again, I winked. “I’m taking your love of MILF porn to the grave with me, don’t worry.” He stared at me, unblinking, unflinching. And then: “I’ll cut the power at the house when you’re in the shower,” he said so evenly, so crisply, it took me a second to realize he was threatening me… And when it finally did hit me, I burst out laughing, smacking his inner thigh without thinking twice about it. “Who does that?” Aiden Graves, husband of mine, said it, “Me.” Then the words were out of my mouth before I could control them. “And you know what I’ll do? I’ll go sneak into bed with you, so ha.” What the hell had I just said? What in the ever-loving hell had I just said? “If you think I’m supposed to be scared…” He leaned forward so our faces were only a couple of inches away. The hand on my neck and the finger pads lining the back of my ear stayed where they were. “I’m not
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby Dick. He piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart's shell upon it.
Herman Melville (Moby Dick: or, the White Whale)
I don't pretend to understand the mystery of love, but this time it was more than sex, more than using a woman's body. It was being lifted off the earth, outside fear and torment, being part of something greater than myself. I was lifted out of the dark cell of my own mind, to become part of someone else -- just as I had experienced it that day on the couch in therapy. It was the first step outward to the universe -- beyond the universe -- because in it and with it we merged to recreate and perpetuate the human spirit. Expanding and bursting outward, and contracting and forming inward, it was the rhythm of being -- of breathing, of heartbeat, of day and night -- and the rhythm of our bodies set off an echo in my mind. It was the way it had been back there in that strange vision. The gray murk lifted from my mind, and through it the light pierced into my brain (how strange that light should blind!), and my body was absorbed back into a great sea of space, washed under in a strange baptism. My body shuddered with giving, and her body shuddered its acceptance.
Daniel Keyes (Flowers for Algernon)
It doesn't matter what form she takes - a living spirit, an illusion - but you have to see her, have to have her beside you. Your brain is so full of her it's ready to burst, your body about to explode into pieces. Still, no matter how much you want her to be here, no matter how long you wait, she never appears. All you hear is the faint rustle of wind outside, birds softly cooing in the night. You hold your breath, staring off into the gloom. You listen to the wind, trying to read something into it, staring to catch a hint of what it might mean. But all that surrounds you are different shades of darkness. Finally, you give up, close your eyes, and fall asleep.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
CELL Now look objectively. You have to admit the cancer cell is beautiful. If it were a flower, you'd say, How pretty, with its mauve centre and pink petals of if a cover for a pulpy thirties sci-fi magazine. How striking: as an alien, a success, all purple eye and jelly tentacles and spines, or are they gills, creeping around on granular Martian dirt red as the inside of the body, while its tender walls expand and burst, its spores scatter elsewhere, take root, like money, drifting like a fiction or miasma in and out of people's brains, digging themselves industriously in. The lab technician says, It has forgotten how to die. But why remember? All it wants is more amnesia. More life, and more abundantly. to take more. to eat more. To replicate itself. To keep on doing those things forever. Such desires are not unknown. Look in the mirror.
Margaret Atwood
With morning came visitors. An hour after the Colonel left, resident stoner Hank Walsten dropped by to offer me some weed, which I graciously turned down. Hank hugged me and said, "At least it was instant. At least there wasn't any pain." I knew he was only trying to help, but he didn't get it. There was pain. A dull endless pain in my gut that wouldn't go away even when I knelt on the stingingly frozen tile of the bathroom, dry-heaving. And what is an "instant" death anyway? How long is an instant? Is it one second? Ten? The pain of those seconds must have been awful as her heart burst and her lungs collapsed and there was no air and no blood to her brain and only raw panic. What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
Before you let your doctor give you testosterone shots or pills, try to boost it naturally by dramatically decreasing or even eliminating sugar, wheat, and processed foods from your diet. A sugar burst has been found to lower testosterone levels by up to 25 percent. If you and your sweetheart share the cheesecake at the restaurant, no one is likely to get “dessert” when you get home! Another way to naturally boost your testosterone level is to start a weight-training program. Building muscle helps your body increase its testosterone levels. The supplements DHEA and zinc can also help. Zinc is necessary to maintain
Daniel G. Amen (Unleash the Power of the Female Brain: Supercharging Yours for Better Health, Energy, Mood, Focus, and Sex)
Total self-sufficiency turns out to be a daydream whose bubble is burst by the sharp edge of the limbic brain. Stability means finding people who regulate you well and staying near them.
Thomas Lewis (A General Theory of Love)
And where is the speaker?  Is it only a voice?  Oh!  I cannot see, but I must feel, or my heart will stop and my brain burst.  Whatever—whoever you are—be perceptible to the touch or I cannot live!
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Write poorly. Suck Write awful Terribly Frightfully Don't care Turn off the inner editor Let yourself write Let it flow Let yourself fail Do something crazy Write fifty thousand words in the month of November. I did it. It was fun , it was insane , it was one thousand six hundred and sixty-seven words a day. It was possible. But you have to turn off your inner critic. Off completely. Just write. Quickly. In bursts. With joy. If you can't write, run away for a few. Come back. Write again. Writing is like anything else. You won't get good at it immediately. It's a craft, you have to keep getting better. You don't get to Juilliard unless you practice. If you want to get to Carnegie Hall, practice, practice, practice. ...Or give them a lot of money. Like anything else, it takes ten thousand hours to master. Just like Malcolm Gladwell says. So write. Fail. Get your thoughts down. Let it rest. Let it marinate. Then edit. But don't edit as you type, that just slows the brain down. Find a daily practice, for me it's blogging every day. And it's fun. The more you write, the easier it gets. The more it is a flow, the less a worry. It's not for school, it's not for a grade, it's just to get your thoughts out there. You know they want to come out. So keep at it. Make it a practice. And write poorly, write awfully, write with abandon and it may end up being really really good.
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
I would take in vast amounts of technical information that my brain somehow put together into bursts of insight that felt more like music or wind than mathematical combinations. Increasingly, I had the sense that the key to these leaps was interconnectedness—some part of my being was harmonizing all my relevant knowledge, making it gel into one potent eruption, and suddenly the enigmatic was crystal-clear. But what was really happening?
Josh Waitzkin (The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance)
...watching it with fascination, hypnotised, as if it were stroking with its silver fingers some sealed vessel in her brain whose bursting would flood her with delight, she had known happiness, exquisite happiness, intense happiness, and it silvered the rough waves a little more brightly, as daylight faded, and the blue went out of the sea and it rolled in waves of pure lemon which curved and swelled and broke upon the beach and the ecstasy burst in her eyes and waves of pure delight raced over the floor of her mind and she felt, It is enough! It is enough!
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
Humanity is experiencing an extraordinary burst of evolutionary change, driven by good old-fashioned Darwinian natural selection. But it is selection among ideas, not among genes. The habitat in which these ideas reside consists of human brains.
Matt Ridley (The Rational Optimist (P.S.))
You knew me well enough to find me here,' she said. And his scent burst onto her brain like a rain of lights, and his voice reached across the distance without words: 'I've always known you that well.' He wrapped her in his softness, touched her face with the movement of trees and the odor of wild water over stones, dissolving her need in the confidence of his embrace.
Barbara Kingsolver (Prodigal Summer)
Q: Do you have any advice for upcoming writers who want to pen weird stories? A: READ, damn it. Fill your brain to the bursting point with the good stuff, starting with writers that you truly enjoy, and then work your way backward and outward, reading those writers who inspired the writers you love best. That was my path as far as Weird/Horror Fiction, starting with Lovecraft, and then working my way backward/outward on the Weird Fiction spiderweb. And don’t limit your reading. Read it all, especially non-fiction and various news outlets. You’d be surprised by how many of my story ideas were born while listening to NPR, perusing a blog, or paging through Vanity Fair. Once you have your fuel squared away, just write what you love, in whatever style and genre. You’ll never have fun being someone you’re not, so be yourself. When a singer opens their mouth, what comes out is what comes out. Also, don’t be afraid to fail, and don’t be afraid to walk away. Writing isn’t for everyone, and that’s totally fine. One doesn’t need to be a writer to enjoy being a reader and overall fan of genre or wider fiction.
T.E. Grau
It doesn't matter what form she takes - a living spirit, an illusion - but you have to see her, have to have her beside you. Your brain is so full of her it's ready to burst, your body about to explode into pieces. Still, no matter how much you want her to be here, no matter how long you wait, she never appears. All you hear is the faint rustle of wind outside, birds softly cooing in the night. You hold your breath, staring off into the gloom. You listen to the wind, trying to read something into it, staring to catch a hint of what it might mean. But all that surrounds you are different shades of darkness. Finall, you up, close your eyes, and fall asleep.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
There were in the camp a number of Mexican slaves and these ran forth calling out in spanish and were brained or shot and one of the Delawares emerged from the smoke with a naked infant dangling in each hand and squatted at a ring of midden stones and swung them by the heels each in turn and bashed their heads against the stones so that the brains burst forth through the fontanel in a bloody spew and humans on fire came shrieking forth like berserkers and the riders hacked them down with their enormous knives and a young woman ran up and embraced the bloodied forefeet of Glanton's warhorse.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or, the Evening Redness in the West)
The Grim Reaper sneaks up behind you and squeezes you until shit fills your adult diaper and an artery bursts in your chest. He works his bony fingers in your guts and makes your own cells eat you alive from the inside. He skull fucks you until your brain retreats inside itself and you forget how to even breathe.
S.A. Cosby (Blacktop Wasteland)
Passion sits on the skull Of Humanity, And this infidel enthroned Laughs shamelessly, And gaily blows round bubbles That will fly, As if to join with worlds Deep in the sky. Rising on high, the frail Luminous globe, Shatters and bursts its slim soul Like a dream of gold. I hear at each bubble, the skull Moan and contend: 'This vicious, ridiculous game, When will it end? What you are blowing away Again and again, You murderous fiend, is my body My blood and my brain!
Charles Baudelaire (Les Fleurs du Mal)
Small reason was there to doubt, then, that ever since that almost fatal encounter, Ahab had cherished a wild vindictiveness against the whale, all the more fell for that in his frantic morbidness he at last came to identify with him, not only all his bodily woes, but all his intellectual and spiritual exasperations. The White Whale swam before him as the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating in them, till they are left living on with half a heart and a lung. All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby Dick. He piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart's shell upon it.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, The Whale)
The end of my penis is still a bit sore and stings a little when I take a leak. The tip’s red. My fresh-from-the-foreskin cock is still plenty young and tender. Condensed sexual fantasies, Prince’s slippery voice, quotes from all kinds of books—the whole confused mess swirls around in my brain, and my head feels like it’s about to burst.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
We have become so inundated with information that the average person in the United States now reads daily the same number of words as is found in many a novel. Unfortunately, this form of reading is rarely continuous, sustained, or concentrated; rather, the average 34 gigabytes consumed by most of us represent one spasmodic burst of activity after another.
Maryanne Wolf (Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World)
I was trying to understand my grandmother feelings. Why, when I looked at and held the baby, I felt I was floating, that I was on a high.... I keep wanting to burst into song! So I wasn't crazy, & I wasn't alone. When a grandmother holds the baby, her brain, like a new mother's, can also be drenched in the bonding hormone oxytocin. Aha! There it was. We grandmas literally, actually fall in love.
Lesley Stahl (Becoming Grandma: The Joys and Science of the New Grandparenting)
It is impossible to tell what proportion is memory and what exists here and now--so that a strange compound is formed of memory and reality; past and present; response to stimuli stored in my brain centers, an response to stimuli in this room. It's as if all the things I've learned have fused into a crystal universe spinning before me so that I can see all the facets of it reflected in gorgeous bursts of light...
Daniel Keyes (Flowers for Algernon)
Picnic, Lightning It is possible to be struck by a meteor or a single-engine plane while reading in a chair at home. Safes drop from rooftops and flatten the odd pedestrian mostly within the panels of the comics, but still, we know it is possible, as well as the flash of summer lightning, the thermos toppling over, spilling out on the grass. And we know the message can be delivered from within. The heart, no valentine, decides to quit after lunch, the power shut off like a switch, or a tiny dark ship is unmoored into the flow of the body’s rivers, the brain a monastery, defenseless on the shore. This is what I think about when I shovel compost into a wheelbarrow, and when I fill the long flower boxes, then press into rows the limp roots of red impatiens— the instant hand of Death always ready to burst forth from the sleeve of his voluminous cloak. Then the soil is full of marvels, bits of leaf like flakes off a fresco, red-brown pine needles, a beetle quick to burrow back under the loam. Then the wheelbarrow is a wilder blue, the clouds a brighter white, and all I hear is the rasp of the steel edge against a round stone, the small plants singing with lifted faces, and the click of the sundial as one hour sweeps into the next.
Billy Collins (Picnic, Lightning)
Behold now, let the Dead and Living meet! Across the gulf of Time they still are one. Time hath no power against Identity, though sleep the merciful hath blotted out the tablets of our mind, and with oblivion sealed the sorrows that else would hound us from life to life, stuffing the brain with gathered griefs till it burst in the madness of uttermost despair. Still are they one, for the wrappings of our sleep shall roll away as thunder-clouds before the wind; the frozen voice of the past shall melt in music like mountain snows beneath the sun; and the weeping and the laughter of the lost hours shall be heard once more most sweetly echoing up the cliffs of immeasurable time. Ay, the sleep shall roll away, and the voices shall be heard, when down the completed chain, whereof our each existence is a link, the lightning of the Spirit hath passed to work out the purpose of our being; quickening and fusing those separated days of life, and shaping them to a staff whereon we may safely lean as we wend to our appointed fate. - Ayesha
H. Rider Haggard (She: A History of Adventure (She, #1))
It is impossible to tell what proportion is memory and what exists here and now—so that a strange compound is formed of memory and reality; past and present; response to stimuli stored in my brain centers, and response to stimuli in this room. It’s as if all the things I’ve learned have fused into a crystal universe spinning before me so that I can see all the facets of it reflected in gorgeous bursts of light. . . .
Daniel Keyes (Flowers for Algernon)
The paper comes in plastic, a little thinner each week, a few more ads. Pretty soon there'll be no news. We'll be underwhelmed, over-bored & all storied out. The clouds ready to burst with our blue-skinned memories. Everyone with a blog, a website, an online store, dedicated server & two-dimensional quick-response-coded documentary made about their precious life. Our brains at maximum capacity, running optimization programs to recover what's left of our sanity. Still, we hope. We go see the latest blockbuster, buy the latest iPhone, zone out in front of our schizo-screens drinking jugs of moonshine corn syrup with our latent mutant meals. Facebook keeps us chained to our pasts, our posts, screwed in our seats... Scarecrows surrounded by night soil & spirits. Your acid shield may protect you from outside threat, but it'll never protect you from yourself.
Eric Erlandson (Letters to Kurt)
As part of the animal sentinel program, going back to 1999, scientists had been making great progress training honeybees to locate bombs. Bees have sensing capabilities that outperform the dog’s nose by a trillion parts per second. Using Pavlovian techniques, scientists cooled down groups of bees in a refrigerator, then strapped them into tiny boxes using masking tape, leaving their heads, and most of their antennae, poking out the top. Using a sugar water reward system, the scientists trained the bees to use their tongues to “sniff out” explosives, resulting in a reaction the scientists call a “purr.” After training, when the scientists exposed the bees to a six-second burst of explosives, some had learned to “purr.
Annie Jacobsen (The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency)
I spent the rest of my day picturing how I’d kill Amy. It was all I could think of: finding a way to end her. Me smashing in Amy’s busy, busy brain. I had to give Amy her due: I may have been dozing the past few years, but I was fucking wide awake now. I was electric again, like I had been in the early days of our marriage... Andie had screwed me over, Marybeth had turned against me, Go had lost a crucial measure of faith. Boney had trapped me. Amy had destroyed me. I poured a drink. I took a slug, tightened my fingers around the curves of the tumbler, then hurled it at the wall, watched the glass burst into fireworks, heard the tremendous shatter, smelled the cloud of bourbon. Rage in all five senses. Those fucking bitches.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
smile again, something older, colder than reptilian, cold as the oldest brain of all speaking, short wordless bursts, the back of the back of the skull: “Let’s see,” she said, “who can keep the most secrets. And be the most surprised in the end.
Kathe Koja (Skin)
Roosevelt's productivity resulted from how he chose to spend his time. He read frequently due to his belief that efficiency did not come from packing in scheduled activities down to every last minute of the day. Rather, it was through the regular feeding of his intellect. Even during the height of a presidential campaign, he packed in nearly four hours of reading a day. He enjoyed works of fiction, science, political philosophy, and history. One can imagine a nervous political aide bursting in his study, telling Roosevelt to put down his copy of Cicero because he was scheduled to begin the day's fourth speech in only two minutes. Researcher Robert Talbert notes that a second explanation for Roosevelt's productivity was his method of splitting up his schedule. His reading times were broken up into 45 minute-increments, divided between three half-hour time slots and three one-hour time slots. There is no way that Roosevelt could have known this, but such a segmented approach to reading is the best way for the brain to retain information. A 2008 study from the University of Illinois found that the brain's attentional resources drop after a long period of focusing on a single activity. Even brief diversions can significantly increase one's ability to focus on a task for a long period of time.
Michael Rank (The Most Productive People in History: 18 Extraordinarily Prolific Inventors, Artists, and Entrepreneurs, From Archimedes to Elon Musk)
the six of us are supposed to drive to the diner in Hastings for lunch. But the moment we enter the cavernous auditorium where the girls told us to meet them, my jaw drops and our plans change. “Holy shit—is that a red velvet chaise lounge?” The guys exchange a WTF look. “Um…sure?” Justin says. “Why—” I’m already sprinting toward the stage. The girls aren’t here yet, which means I have to act fast. “For fuck’s sake, get over here,” I call over my shoulder. Their footsteps echo behind me, and by the time they climb on the stage, I’ve already whipped my shirt off and am reaching for my belt buckle. I stop to fish my phone from my back pocket and toss it at Garrett, who catches it without missing a beat. “What is happening right now?” Justin bursts out. I drop trou, kick my jeans away, and dive onto the plush chair wearing nothing but my black boxer-briefs. “Quick. Take a picture.” Justin doesn’t stop shaking his head. Over and over again, and he’s blinking like an owl, as if he can’t fathom what he’s seeing. Garrett, on the other hand, knows better than to ask questions. Hell, he and Hannah spent two hours constructing origami hearts with me the other day. His lips twitch uncontrollably as he gets the phone in position. “Wait.” I pause in thought. “What do you think? Double guns, or double thumbs up?” “What is happening?” We both ignore Justin’s baffled exclamation. “Show me the thumbs up,” Garrett says. I give the camera a wolfish grin and stick up my thumbs. My best friend’s snort bounces off the auditorium walls. “Veto. Do the guns. Definitely the guns.” He takes two shots—one with flash, one without—and just like that, another romantic gesture is in the bag. As I hastily put my clothes back on, Justin rubs his temples with so much vigor it’s as if his brain has imploded. He gapes as I tug my jeans up to my hips. Gapes harder when I walk over to Garrett so I can study the pictures. I nod in approval. “Damn. I should go into modeling.” “You photograph really well,” Garrett agrees in a serious voice. “And dude, your package looks huge.” Fuck, it totally does. Justin drags both hands through his dark hair. “I swear on all that is holy—if one of you doesn’t tell me what the hell just went down here, I’m going to lose my shit.” I chuckle. “My girl wanted me to send her a boudoir shot of me on a red velvet chaise lounge, but you have no idea how hard it is to find a goddamn red velvet chaise lounge.” “You say this as if it’s an explanation. It is not.” Justin sighs like the weight of the world rests on his shoulders. “You hockey players are fucked up.” “Naah, we’re just not pussies like you and your football crowd,” Garrett says sweetly. “We own our sex appeal, dude.” “Sex appeal? That was the cheesiest thing I’ve ever—no, you know what? I’m not gonna engage,” Justin grumbles. “Let’s find the girls and grab some lunch
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
A burst of high-frequency TMS pulses applied over Broca’s area on the left side would shut down the ability to speak, Shirley told me. This wasn’t what they were doing in the autism study—what they proposed was a much subtler tweaking. But I was intrigued by her comment and didn’t let it go. “Did you actually try it yourself?” I asked her. It turned out that she had—in fact, quite a few of the researchers, as part of their training to work in the lab, had experienced the speech-suppression TMS. They offered to show me what it felt like.
John Elder Robison (Switched On: A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening)
The manager thunks down a couple of steps, glares at her, glares at her for rather a long time. The manager, clearly, is tempted. That momentary glimpse of flesh has been ricocheting around in his brain for half an hour. He is wracking his mind with vast cosmological dilemmas. Y.T., hopes that he does not try anything, because the dentata's effects can be unpredictable. "Make up your fucking mind," she says. It works. This fresh burst of culture shock rattles the jeek out of his ethical conundrum. He gives Y.T. a disapproving glower -- she, after all, forced him to be attracted to her, forced him to get horny, made his head swim -- she didn't have to get arrested, did she? -- and so on top of everything else he's angry with her. As if he has a right to be. This is the gender that invented the polio vaccine?
Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash)
Gregori brought Savannah's hand to the warmth of his mouth,his breath heating the pulse beating in her wrist. The night is especially beautiful, mon petit amour.Your hero saved the girl, walks among humans, and converses with a fool.That alone should bring a smile to your face.Do not weep for what we cannot change.We will make certain that this human with us comes to no harm. Are you my hero,then? There were tears in her voice, in her mind, like an iridescent prism. She needed him, his comfort,his support under her terrible weight of guilt and love and loss. Always,for all eternity, he answered instantly,without hesitation, his eyes hot mercury. He tipped her chin up so that she met the brilliance of his silver gaze.Always, mon amour.His molten gaze trapped her blue one and held her enthralled. Your heart grows lighter.The burden of your sorrow becomes my own. He held her gaze captive for a few moments to ensure that she was free of the heaviness crushing her. Savannah blinked and moved a little away from him, wondering what she had been thinking of.What had they been talking about? "Gary." Gregori drawled the name slowly and sat back in his chair,totally relaxed. He looked like a sprawling tiger,dangerous and untamed. "Tell us about yourself." "I work a lot.I'm not married. I'm really not much of a people person. I'm basically a nerd." Gregori shifted, a subtle movement of muscles suggesting great power. "I am not familiar with this term." "Yeah,well,you wouldn't be," Gary said. "It means I have lots of brains and no brawn.I don't do the athlete thing. I'm into computers and chess and things requiring intellect. Women find me skinny,wimpy,and boring. Not something they would you." There was no bitterness in his voice,just a quiet acceptance of himself,his life. Gregori's white teeth flashed. "There is only one woman who matters to me, Gary, and she finds me difficult to live with.I cannot imagine why,can you?" "Maybe because you're jealous, possessive, concerned with every single detail of her life?" Gary plainly took the question literally, offering up his observations without judgement. "You're probably domineering,too. I can see that. Yeah.It might be tough." Savannah burst out laughing, the sound musical, rivaling the street musicians. People within hearing turned their heads and held their breath, hoping for more. "Very astute, Gary.Very, very astute. I bet you have an anormous IQ." Gregori stirred again, the movement a ripple of power,of danger. He was suddenly leaning into Gary. "You think you are intelligent? Baiting the wild animal is not too smart.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
BORN TO RUN In his book Racing the Antelope: What Animals Can Teach Us about Running and Life, biologist Bernd Heinrich describes the human species as an endurance predator. The genes that govern our bodies today evolved hundreds of thousands of years ago, when we were in constant motion, either foraging for food or chasing antelope for hours and days across the plains. Heinrich describes how, even though antelope are among the fastest mammals, our ancestors were able to hunt them down by driving them to exhaustion—keeping on their tails until they had no energy left to escape. Antelope are sprinters, but their metabolism doesn’t allow them to go and go and go. Ours does. And we have a fairly balanced distribution of fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers, so even after ranging miles over the landscape we retain the metabolic capacity to sprint in short bursts to make the kill.
John J. Ratey (Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain)
Caitlyn, s’il vous plait!” Madame said, whacking the blackboard with her stick, its end pointing to the irregular verb devoir, “to have to.” She wanted Caitlyn to conjugate it. Caitlyn felt the class’s attention turn to her, and a clammy sweat broke out in her armpits. Her brain stopped in its tracks, unable to move under the pressure. A vague sense of having known how to speak French in her dreams tickled at her brain, but the skill was as lost to her in the waking world as was Raphael. “Devoir,” Caitlyn croaked. “Er. Je dev? Tu dev?” Madame gaped at her, horrified. Caitlyn shook her head; she knew those words were wrong. “Er … I mean, uh …” And then out of nowhere came, “Egli deve, lei dovrebbe …” These words felt right. He must, she must … Several girls burst into laughter. “What?” Caitlyn demanded. “You’re speaking Italian!” one girl shrieked, and collapsed into hysterical giggles.
Lisa Cach (Wake Unto Me)
And the bubbles of light again rose and fell, and in their disordered, irregular, turbulent maze, mingled with the wan moonlight. And now from these globules themselves as from the shell of an egg, monstrous things burst out; the air grew filled with them; larvae so bloodless and so hideous that I can in no way describe them except to remind the reader of the swarming life which the solar microscope brings before his eyes in a drop of water - things transparent, supple, agile, chasing each other, devouring each other - forms like nought ever beheld by the naked eye. As the shapes were without symmetry, so their movements were without order. In their very vagrancies there was no sport; they came round me and round, thicker and faster and swifter, swarming over my head, crawling over my right arm, which was outstretched in involuntary command against all evil beings. ("The House And The Brain")
Edward Bulwer-Lytton (Reign of Terror Volume 2: Great Victorian Horror Stories)
It doesn't matter what form she takes - a living spirit, an illusion - but you have to see her, have to have her beside you. Your brain is so full of her it's ready to burst, your body about to explode into pieces. Still, no matter how much you want her to be here, no matter how long you wait, she never appears. All you hear is the faint rustle of wind outside, birds softly cooing in the night. You hold your breath, staring off into the gloom. You listen to the wind, trying to read something into it, straining to catch a hint of what it might mean. But all that surrounds you are different shades of darkness.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
if one keeps climbing upward in the chain of command within the brain, one finds at the very top those over-all organizational forces and dynamic properties of the large patterns of cerebral excitation that are correlated with mental states or psychic activity…. Near the apex of this command system in the brain…. we find ideas. Man over the chimpanzee has ideas and ideals. In the brain model proposed here, the causal potency of an idea, or an ideal, becomes just as real as that of a molecule, a cell, or a nerve impulse. Ideas cause ideas and help evolve new ideas. They interact with each other and with other mental forces in the same brain, in neighboring brains, and, thanks to global communication, in far distant, foreign brains. And they also interact with the external surroundings to produce in toto a burst-wise advance in evolution that is far beyond anything to hit the evolutionary scene yet, including the emergence of the living cell. Who
Douglas R. Hofstadter (I Am a Strange Loop)
The golem is for Franz Kafka big headache.." The ache, he confided, grew in Kafka's head, spreading throughout his bones, his joints swelling until there was no longer room in the writer's skin for both himself and the golem; then his skin split at the seams, and the creature burst forth like the Incredible Hulk, thereby expelling Kafka from his own body. What do you have in common with Jews?" Svatopluk was whispering in my ear. "This, Kafka us asked at a crucial point in his life, and replies, 'I have nothing in common with myself, and should sit quietly in corner content that I can breathe.'" Highly suggestible, I saw the monster born from Kafka's brain not as a magical or supernatural creation but a behaimeh member of the community that trafficked in the impossible. I saw the creature lumbering gumby-like behind his plodding master just as I had followed Svat, or poor dead Billy or Aunt Keni Shendeldecker, the only woman I'd ever loved; I saw the citizens of the rabbi's courtyard gossiping, making lame jokes about the golem's marriageability and his alleged prowess in bed.
Steve Stern (The Angel of Forgetfulness)
Often, when forced from his hammock by exhausting and intolerably vivid dreams of the night, which, resuming his own intense thoughts through the day, carried them on amid a clashing of phrensies, and whirled them round and round and round in his blazing brain, till the very throbbing of his life-spot became insufferable anguish; and when, as was sometimes the case, these spiritual throes in him heaved his being up from its base, and a chasm seemed opening in him, from which forked flames and lightnings shot up, and accursed fiends beckoned him to leap down among them; when this hell in himself yawned beneath him, a wild cry would be heard through the ship; and with glaring eyes Ahab would burst from his state room, as though escaping from a bed that was on fire.
Herman Melville (Moby Dick (Illustrated))
Neurons on the two ends of the log-normal distribution of activity organize themselves differently. Fast-firing neurons are better connected with each other and burst more than slow-firing neurons. The more strongly connected faster firing neurons form a “rich club” with better access to the entire neuronal population, share such information among themselves, and, therefore, generalize across situations. In contrast, slow firing neurons keep their independent solitude and elevate their activity only in unique situations. The two tails of the distribution are maintained by a homeostatic process during non-REM sleep. The emerging picture is that a simple measure, such as the baseline firing frequency, can reveal a lot about a neuron’s role in computation and its wiring properties. The
György Buzsáki (The Brain from Inside Out)
Neanderthals had all of these: huge brains, probably complex languages, lots of technology. But they never burst out of their niche. It is my contention that in looking inside our heads, we would be looking in the wrong place to explain this extraordinary capacity for change in the species. It was not something that happened within a brain. It was some thing that happened between brains. It was a collective phenomenon. Look
Matt Ridley (The Rational Optimist (P.S.))
Words exist. What are they made of? Air under pressure? Ink? Some instances of the word "cat" are made of ink, and some are made of bursts of acoustic energy in the atmosphere, and some are made of patterns of glowing dots on computer screens, and some occur silently in thoughts, and what they have in common is just that they count as "the same" (tokens of the same type, as philosophers say) say in a system of symbols known as a language. Words are such familiar items in our language-drenched world that we tend to think of them as if they were unproblematically tangible things - as real as teacups and raindrops - but they are in fact quite abstract, even more abstract than voices or songs or haircuts or opportunities (and what are they made off?). What are words? Words are basically information packets of some sort, recipes for using one's vocal apparatus and ears (or hands or eyes) - and brains - in quite specific ways. A world is more than a sound or a spelling. For instance, fast sounds the same and is spelled the same in English and German, but has completely different meanings and roles in the two languages. Two different worlds, sharing only some of their surface properties. Words exist. Do memes exist? Yes, because words exist, and words are memes that can be pronounced.
Daniel C. Dennett (Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon)
The presence of the central governor may explain why interval training—short bursts of high intensity exercise interspersed by recovery periods—works so well. According to Noakes, regular sprints that push us close to our limit of maximum performance don’t just increase physical fitness, they also retrain the brain. They teach the central governor that pushing ourselves that hard was fine, so next time it’s safe to push ourselves a little bit further.
Jo Marchant (Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body)
Anything perceived as a threat trips the amygdala—the brain’s hand-wringing sentry—to set in motion the biochemical cascade known as the fight-or-flight response. Bruce Siddle, who consults in this area and sits on the board of Strategic Operations, prefers the term “survival stress response.” Whatever you wish to call it, here is a nice, concise summary, courtesy of Siddle: “You become fast, strong, and dumb.” Our hardwired survival strategy evolved back when threats took the form of man-eating mammals, when hurling a rock superhumanly hard or climbing a tree superhumanly fast gave you the edge that might keep you alive. A burst of adrenaline prompts a cortisol dump to the bloodstream. The cortisol sends the lungs into overdrive to bring in more oxygen, and the heart rate doubles or triples to deliver it more swiftly. Meanwhile the liver spews glucose, more fuel for the feats at hand. To get the goods where the body assumes they’re needed, blood vessels in the large muscles of the arms and legs dilate, while vessels serving lower-priority organs (the gut, for example, and the skin) constrict. The prefrontal cortex, a major blood guzzler, also gets rationed. Good-bye, reasoning and analysis. See you later, fine motor skills. None of that mattered much to early man. You don’t need to weigh your options in the face of a snarling predator, and you don’t have time.
Mary Roach (Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War)
The people cast themselves down by the fuming boards while servants cut the roast, mixed jars of wine and water, and all the gods flew past like the night-breaths of spring. The chattering female flocks sat down by farther tables, their fresh prismatic garments gleaming in the moon as though a crowd of haughty peacocks played in moonlight. The queen’s throne softly spread with white furs of fox gaped desolate and bare, for Penelope felt ashamed to come before her guests after so much murder. Though all the guests were ravenous, they still refrained, turning their eyes upon their silent watchful lord till he should spill wine in libation for the Immortals. The king then filled a brimming cup, stood up and raised it high till in the moon the embossed adornments gleamed: Athena, dwarfed and slender, wrought in purest gold, pursued around the cup with double-pointed spear dark lowering herds of angry gods and hairy demons; she smiled and the sad tenderness of her lean face, and her embittered fearless glance, seemed almost human. Star-eyed Odysseus raised Athena’s goblet high and greeted all, but spoke in a beclouded mood: “In all my wandering voyages and torturous strife, the earth, the seas, the winds fought me with frenzied rage; I was in danger often, both through joy and grief, of losing priceless goodness, man’s most worthy face. I raised my arms to the high heavens and cried for help, but on my head gods hurled their lightning bolts, and laughed. I then clasped Mother Earth, but she changed many shapes, and whether as earthquake, beast, or woman, rushed to eat me; then like a child I gave my hopes to the sea in trust, piled on my ship my stubbornness, my cares, my virtues, the poor remaining plunder of god-fighting man, and then set sail; but suddenly a wild storm burst, and when I raised my eyes, the sea was strewn with wreckage. As I swam on, alone between sea and sky, with but my crooked heart for dog and company, I heard my mind, upon the crumpling battlements about my head, yelling with flailing crimson spear. Earth, sea, and sky rushed backward; I remained alone with a horned bow slung down my shoulder, shorn of gods and hopes, a free man standing in the wilderness. Old comrades, O young men, my island’s newest sprouts, I drink not to the gods but to man’s dauntless mind.” All shuddered, for the daring toast seemed sacrilege, and suddenly the hungry people shrank in spirit; They did not fully understand the impious words but saw flames lick like red curls about his savage head. The smell of roast was overpowering, choice meats steamed, and his bold speech was soon forgotten in hunger’s pangs; all fell to eating ravenously till their brains reeled. Under his lowering eyebrows Odysseus watched them sharply: "This is my people, a mess of bellies and stinking breath! These are my own minds, hands, and thighs, my loins and necks!" He muttered in his thorny beard, held back his hunger far from the feast and licked none of the steaming food.
Nikos Kazantzakis (The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel)
So, you admit you’re an animal killer.” She gaped. Did he just say that? Did he actually . . . “Go for it, Addie!” Tay yelled. She glanced up. There was the ball plummeting at a fierce velocity, triggering a burst of adrenaline. And there was Kris, the words still on his lips. Her fingers rolled into a fist. She threw her arm back and made contact, executing a follow-through to ensure that the sucker landed—smack!—square in the face. “Whoa!” Ed yelled as Kris went backward, hands over his nose, from which streamed a line of bright-red blood. “Awesome!” Tay slapped her on the back. “You knocked him out cold. We won!” Addie lifted the net and went over to where Kris was sitting in the mud, blood on his shirt. “Is that enough closure for you?” he asked, wiping blood off his chin. She breathed heavily, trying to think what she thought, and was delighted to realize that, actually, it had helped to knock the stuffing out of him. “Yeah. That’ll work. See you tomorrow, at noon.” She turned and marched off. “I’m going back to the lab.
Sarah Strohmeyer (This Is My Brain on Boys)
FIGARO. Such a fantastic chain of events! How did it all happen to me? Why those things and not others? Who pointed them in my direction? Having no choice but to travel a road I was not aware I was following, and which I will get off without wanting to, I have strewn it with as many flowers as my good humour has permitted. But when I say my good humour, how can I know if it is any more mine than all the other bits of me, nor what this ‘me’ is that I keep trying to understand: first, an unformed bundle of indefinable parts, then a puny, weak-brained runt, a dainty frisking animal, a young man with a taste for pleasure and appetites to match, turning his hand to all trades to survive—sometimes master, sometimes servant as chance dictated, ambitious from pride, hard-working from necessity, but always happy to be idle! An orator when it was safe to speak out, a poet in my leisure hours, a musician as the situation required, in love in crazy fits and bursts. I’ve seen it all, done it all, had it all. Then the bubble burst and I was too disillusioned… Disillusioned!
Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (The Barber of Seville / The Marriage of Figaro / The Guilty Mother)
I did it again, Robert Childan informed himself. Impossible to avoid the topic. Because it's everywhere, in a book I happen to pick up or a record collection, in these bone napkin rings -- loot piled up by the conquerors. Pillage from my people. Face facts. I'm trying to pretend that the Japanese and I are alike. But observe: even when I burst out as to my gratification that they won the war, that my nation is lost -- there's still no common ground. What words mean to me is a sharp contrast vis-à-vis them. Their brains are different. Souls likewise. Witness them drinking from English bone china cups, eating with U.S. silver, listening to Negro style of music. It's all on the surface. Advantage of wealth and power makes this available to them, but it's ersatz as the day is long. Even the I Ching, which they've forced down our throats; it's Chinese. Borrowed from way back when. Whom are they fooling? Themselves? Pilfer customs right and left, wear, eat, talk, walk, as for instance consuming with gusto baked potato served with sour cream and chives, old-fashioned American dish added to their haul. But nobody fooled, I can tell you; me least of all.
Philip K. Dick (The Man in the High Castle)
Here am I, a little animal called a man--a bit of vitalized matter, one hundred and sixty-five pounds of meat and blood, nerve, sinew, bones, and brain,--all of it soft and tender, susceptible to hurt, fallible, and frail. I strike a light back-handed blow on the nose of an obstreperous horse, and a bone in my hand is broken. I put my head under the water for five minutes, and I am drowned. I fall twenty feet through the air, and I am smashed. I am a creature of temperature. A few degrees one way, and my fingers and ears and toes blacken and drop off. A few degrees the other way, and my skin blisters and shrivels away from the raw, quivering flesh. A few additional degrees either way, and the life and the light in me go out. A drop of poison injected into my body from a snake, and I cease to move--for ever I cease to move. A splinter of lead from a rifle enters my head, and I am wrapped around in the eternal blackness. Fallible and frail, a bit of pulsating, jelly-like life--it is all I am. About me are the great natural forces--colossal menaces, Titans of destruction, unsentimental monsters that have less concern for me than I have for the grain of sand I crush under my foot. They have no concern at all for me. They do not know me. They are unconscious, unmerciful, and unmoral. They are the cyclones and tornadoes, lightning flashes and cloud-bursts, tide-rips and tidal waves, undertows and waterspouts, great whirls and sucks and eddies, earthquakes and volcanoes, surfs that thunder on rock-ribbed coasts and seas that leap aboard the largest crafts that float, crushing humans to pulp or licking them off into the sea and to death--and these insensate monsters do not know that tiny sensitive creature, all nerves and weaknesses, whom men call Jack London, and who himself thinks he is all right and quite a superior being.
Jack London (The Cruise of the Snark)
At night, my own century-old wooden floors creaked while I dreamed of her, as she looked before radiation destroyed her famously enormous hair and removed all evidence of her addiction to homemade brownies. I woke to clammy sheets and the grim reminder that Liz’s soul was not, in fact, speaking to me from beyond the grave. Rationally, I knew that memory synapses of plump, frizzy Liz were bursting forth from the depths of my brain. Emotionally, I wanted Liz back with me, no matter what her form—but getting her back would require a leap of faith that the rest of me (the stuff surrounding that Liz-shaped hole) just couldn’t take.
Shannon Drury (Atheist Voices of Minnesota: An Anthology of Personal Stories)
The sorceress walked a short distance away, her rounded hips swaying. She lifted her hands, fingers moving as if plucking invisible strings. Bitter cold flooded out, the sand crackling as if lit by lightning, and the gate that erupted was massive, yawning, towering. Through the billowing icy air flowed out a sweeter, rank smell. The smell of death. A figure stood on the threshold of the gate. Tall, hunched, a withered, lifeless face of greenish grey, yellowed tusks thrusting up from the lower jaw. Pitted eyes regarded them from beneath a tattered woollen cowl. The power cascading from this apparition sent Equity stumbling back. Abyss! A Jaghut, yes, but not just any Jaghut! Calm – can you hear me? Through this howl? Can you hear me? An ally stands before me – an ally of ancient – so ancient – power! This one could have been an Elder God. This one could have been…anything! Gasping, fighting to keep from falling to one knee, from bowing before this terrible creature, Equity forced herself to lift her gaze, to meet the empty hollows of his eyes. ‘I know you,’ she said. ‘You are Hood.’ The Jaghut stepped forward, the gate swirling closed behind him. Hood paused, regarding each witness in turn, and then walked towards Equity. ‘They made you their king,’ she whispered. ‘They who followed no one chose to follow you. They who refused every war fought your war. And what you did then – what you did—’ As he reached her, his desiccated hands caught her. He lifted her from her feet, and then, mouth stretching, he bit into the side of her face. The tusks drove up beneath her cheek bone, burst the eye on that side. In a welter of blood, he tore away half of her face, and then bit a second time, up under the orbitals, the tusks driving into her brain. Equity hung in his grip, feeling her life drain away. Her head felt strangely unbalanced. She seemed to be weeping from only one eye, and from her throat no words were possible. I once dreamed of peace. As a child, I dreamed of—
Steven Erikson (The Crippled God (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #10))
I want to.” That was it. Choice. The idea hit him like a defibrillator burst—spreading out from his chest in hot, sure waves that tore past the indecision and stagnation of the last week. The roar in his head crackled, then calmed, sanity returning like oxy gen to his starved Hulk brain. He didn’t have to, but he was choosing to. And may be that was what was missing from his life—choice. He hadn’t chosen to be gay. Hadn’t chosen to come out to the world. Hadn’t chosen where he’d go to college—free tuition from two professor parents made that a nondiscussion. Hadn’t chosen to come here. Hadn’t chosen to stay. But this? He was choosing this, and the freedom made his nerves jangle.
Annabeth Albert (Treble Maker (Perfect Harmony, #1))
I stare at my freakish eyeball, gaze into the distorted pupil until it expands and fills the mirror, fills my brain and I’m rushing through vacuum. Wide awake and so far at such speed I flatten into a subatomic contrail. That grand cosmic maw, that eater of galaxies, possesses sufficient gravitational force to rend the fabric of space and time, to obliterate reality, and in I go, bursting into trillions of minute particles, quadrillions of whining fleas, consumed. Nanoseconds later, I understand everything there is to understand. Reduced to my “essential saltes” as it were, I’m the prime mover seed that gets sown after the heat death of the universe when the Ouroboros swallows itself and the cycle begins anew with a big bang.
Laird Barron (The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All)
Why two (or whole groups) of people can come up with the same story or idea at the same time, even when across the world from each-other: "A field is a region of influence, where a force will influence objects at a distance with nothing in between. We and our universe live in a Quantum sea of light. Scientists have found that the real currency of the universe is an exchange of energy. Life radiates light, even when grown in the dark. Creation takes place amidst a background sea of energy, which metaphysics might call the Force, and scientists call the "Field." (Officially the Zero Point Field) There is no empty space, even the darkest empty space is actually a cauldron of energies. Matter is simply concentrations of this energy (particles are just little knots of energy.) All life is energy (light) interacting. The universe is self-regenreating and eternal, constantly refreshing itself and in touch with every other part of itself instantaneously. Everything in it is giving, exchanging and interacting with energy, coming in and out of existence at every level. The self has a field of influence on the world and visa versa based on this energy. Biology has more and more been determined a quantum process, and consciousness as well, functions at the quantum level (connected to a universe of energy that underlies and connects everything). Scientist Walter Schempp's showed that long and short term memory is stored not in our brain but in this "Field" of energy or light that pervades and creates the universe and world we live in. A number of scientists since him would go on to argue that the brain is simply the retrieval and read-out mechanism of the ultimate storage medium - the Field. Associates from Japan would hypothesize that what we think of as memory is simply a coherent emission of signals from the "Field," and that longer memories are a structured grouping of this wave information. If this were true, it would explain why one tiny association often triggers a riot of sights, sounds and smells. It would also explain why, with long-term memory in particular, recall is instantaneous and doesn't require any scanning mechanism to sift through years and years of memory. If they are correct, our brain is not a storage medium but a receiving mechanism in every sense, and memory is simply a distant cousin of perception. Some scientists went as far as to suggest that all of our higher cognitive processes result from an interaction with the Field. This kind of constant interaction might account for intuition or creativity - and how ideas come to us in bursts of insight, sometimes in fragments but often as a miraculous whole. An intuitive leap might simply be a sudden coalescence of coherence in the Field. The fact that the human body was exchanging information with a mutable field of quantum fluctuation suggested something profound about the world. It hinted at human capabilities for knowledge and communication far deeper and more extended than we presently understand. It also blurred the boundary lines of our individuality - our very sense of separateness. If living things boil down to charged particles interacting with a Field and sending out and receiving quantum information, where did we end and the rest of the world began? Where was consciousness-encased inside our bodies or out there in the Field? Indeed, there was no more 'out there' if we and the rest of the world were so intrinsically interconnected. In ignoring the effect of the "Field" modern physicists set mankind back, by eliminating the possibility of interconnectedness and obscuring a scientific explanation for many kinds of miracles. In re-normalizing their equations (to leave this part out) what they'd been doing was a little like subtracting God.
Lynne McTaggart (The Field)
Hope, though; now there’s a real pest. Hope doesn’t just nibble your cheese and chew holes in your skirting boards. Hope keeps you plodding on when it really is time to call it quits. Hope drags you to sixteen auditions in a single day, when there’s a nice job in your brother-in-law’s tannery just waiting for you. Hope keeps you going in Old Stairs or Paradise, even though there’s no money and nothing to eat and the landlord just took your chair and your chamber pot. Personally, I can see no great merit in simply being alive if you’re miserable and in pain, but Hope won’t let you go. She’s a tease, like bad children teasing a dumb animal, and I’ve made a point of avoiding her whenever I can. Still, sometimes she runs you down and there’s nowhere left for you to go. You can turn and fight her and lose, or let her scoop you up and turn your brain to mush. Hope against hope. We had human chains shifting those blocks with levers and rollers, through the narrow alleys where carts couldn’t go. We had shifts digging the ditch by lamplight, in the rain. And in every working party there was at least one man who cheerfully announced that it wasn’t going to work, the whole idea was stupid, the enemy’ll find a way round this in two shakes, just you see; and even he didn’t really believe it, because of Hope. Hope turns a hundred men and women ripping the skin off their hands on a coarse hemp rope into a street party. Someone tells a joke, or clowns around, or starts singing a favourite song from one of the shows, and Hope bursts through, like sappers, and next thing you know she’s everywhere, like smoke, or floodwater, or rats. We’re going to beat Ogus, she whispers in every ear, and this time it’ll be different.
K.J. Parker (How to Rule an Empire and Get Away with It (The Siege, #2))
Imagine yourself having a fight with your romantic partner. The tension of the situation makes your limbic system run at full throttle and you become flooded with stress hormones like cortisol and adrenalin. The high levels of these chemicals suddenly make you so damn angry, that you burst out in front of your partner saying, “I wish you die, so that I can have some peace in my life”. Given the stress of the situation through highly active limbic system, your PFC loses its freedom to take the right decision and you burst out with foul language in front of your partner, that may ruin your relationship. In simple terms due to your mental instability, you lost your free will to make the right decision. But when the conversation is over, and you relax for a while, your stress hormone levels come down to normal, and you regain your usual cheerful state of mind. Immediately, your PFC starts analyzing the explosive conversation you had with your partner. Healthy activity of the entire frontal lobes, especially the PFC suddenly overwhelms you with a feeling of guilt. Your brain makes you realize, that you have done something devilish. As a result, now you find yourself making the willful decision of apologizing to your partner and making up to him or her, no matter how much effort it takes, because your PFC comes up the solution that it is the healthiest thing to do for your personal life. From this you can see, that what you call free will is something that is not consistent. It changes based on your mental health. Mental instability or illness, truly cripples your free will. And the healthier your frontal lobes are, the better you can take good decisions. And the most effective way to keep your frontal lobes healthy is to practice some kind of meditation.
Abhijit Naskar (What is Mind?)
Could I but acquaint the world with Robert G. Ingersoll's humanity, with his ideas and his sentiments of love, patience and understanding, a renascence would automatically take place that would give life and living on this little earth of ours some semblance of what we call paradise. And this great and wonderful man had to die! I do not know the purpose of life, nor do I understand why death should come to all that is; but this I do know -- that when Robert G. Ingersoll died, on July 21, 1899, then you and I, and the whole world, suffered a mortal blow. When the mighty heart, of his mighty body, that supplied the blood to his mighty brain, burst, never again was there to fall from his eloquent lips the pearls of thought that had been so wondrously formed in his brain. The mightiest voice in all the world was silenced, forever. No wonder the people wept when they heard that Ingersoll was dead. He was the greatest of the Great -- the Mightiest of the Mighty. He was 'as constant as the Northern Star whose true fixed and resting quality there is no fellow in the firmament.' He was the indistinguishable star whose brilliance never dimmed. When Robert G. Ingersoll died, his death was 'the ruins of the noblest man that ever lived in the tide of time ... When shall we ever see another?' When Robert G. Ingersoll died, the sky should have been rent asunder, and Nature should have gone into mourning. When this man died, Nature's masterpiece was destroyed, and hot tears of grief should have fallen from the heavens. Robert G. Ingersoll no longer belongs to his family; He no longer belongs to his friends; He no longer belongs to his country; Robert G. Ingersoll now belongs to all the world -- the whole universe -- He is immortal and eternal. Among the galaxies of Nature's masterpieces, none shine with a greater brilliance than the babe who was born in this house 121 years ago today, and named Robert Green Ingersoll.
Joseph Lewis (Ingersoll the Magnificent)
Good thing for you I don’t like typical, predictable, boring bedtime stories. I like mine with a few unexpected turns, game-changing twists, and—instead of the dreaded happily-ever-after—I prefer it’s less-well-known, not so spilling-over-with-shit cousin, reality-ever-after.” “Reality ever after?” He lifted a brow, still keeping his eyes down. “I don’t need the promise of happy from a prince or pauper or villain or whoever it is in the story.” That’s what we were still talking about, right? Bedtime stories? “Bursting at the seams happiness all the time isn’t reality. However, I’ll keep the ever-after part. Princes and princesses? Can you say tired cliché? Dragons and demons? There are monsters all around us, so why profile such a small minority? Love at first sight and true love’s kiss breaking spells? Stop dropping acid, reread your shit when you’re done riding the LSD snake, and tell me if that’s the kind of crap we should be filling young girls’ brains with, past fairytale writers.” At
Nicole Williams (Hard Knox: The Outsider Chronicles)
Child Whisperer Tip: Their quick movement from idea to idea often earns these children the label of “childish” or “silly.” So Type 1 children long to be respected as they grow up. In order to be taken seriously, they commonly attempt to slow down their energy and change who they are. Take your Type 1 child’s thought process seriously and listen to what they have to say, no matter how scattered it may appear at times. Their brains work quickly and their language has a hard time keeping up with how quickly thoughts move through their mind. Be willing to just try to make the jump from thought to thought with them sometimes. When it comes to a Type 1s feelings, everything is larger than life. Little joys are huge delights. Hurt feelings can lead to bursts of emotion. Both expressions may sound quite loud, as they express their emotions vocally, especially as young children. Type 1 toddlers are either screaming in delight or screaming in frustration. The highest squeal you hear from teenage girls is most likely to come from a Type 1.
Carol Tuttle (The Child Whisperer: The Ultimate Handbook for Raising Happy, Successful, Cooperative Children)
Karl was the last to be with him. He found him calm and almost gay. After he had gone, Ludwig put his few things in order and wrote for some time. Then he drew a chair to the window and set a basin with warm water on the table beside him. He locked the door, sat himself on the settle and with his arm in the water, he cut the artery. The pain was slight. He saw the blood flowing, a scene he had often thought on—to let this hateful, poisoned blood pour out of his body. His room became very clear. He saw every hook, every nail, every glint of the quartzes, the iridescence, the colours; he absorbed it: his room. It gathered about him, it passed in with his breath and was one with his life. Then it receded, uncertain. His youth began, in pictures. Eichendorff, the woods, homesickness. Reconciled, without pain. Beyond the woods rose up barbed-wire entanglements, little white shrapnel clouds, the burst of heavier shells. But they alarmed him no longer. They were muffled, almost like bells. The bells became louder, but the woods were still there. The bells pealed in his head so loudly that he felt it must burst. Then it grew darker. The pealing sounded fainter, and the evening came in at the window, clouds floated up under his feet. He had wished once in his life to see flamingoes; now he knew; these were flamingoes, with broad, pinkish-grey wings, lots of them, a phalanx—Did wild ducks not once fly so toward the very red moon, red as poppies in Flanders? —The landscape receded farther and farther, the woods sank deeper, rivers rose up, gleaming, silver, and islands; the pinkish-grey wings flew ever higher and higher, and the horizon became ever brighter—Now, suddenly, a dark cry swelled in his throat, hot, insistent, a last thought spilled over out of the brain into the failing consciousness: fear, rescue, bind it up! —He tried to rise, staggering, to lift his hand; the body jerked, but already it was too weak. —It spun round and spun round, then it vanished; and the giant bird with dark pinions came very gently with slow sweeps and the wings closed noiselessly over him. A
Erich Maria Remarque (The Road Back)
So Dad was a tedious, well-connected workaholic. But the other thing you need to understand is that Mom was a living wet dream. A former Guess model and Miller Lite girl, she was tall, curvy and gorgeous. At thirty-eight, she had somehow managed to remain ageless and maintained her killer body. She’s five-foot-nine with never-ending legs, generous breasts and full hips that scoop dramatically into her slim waist. People who say Barbie’s proportions are unrealistic obviously never met my stepmother. Her face is pretty too, with long eyelashes, sculpted cheekbones and big, blue eyes that tease and smile at the same time. Her long brown hair rests on her shoulders in thick, tousled layers like in one of those Pantene Pro-V commercials. One memory seared in to my brain from my early teenage years is of Mom parading around the house one evening in nothing but her heels and underwear. I was sitting on the couch in the living room watching TV when a flurry of long limbs and blow-dried hair burst in front of the screen. “Teddy-bear. Do you know where Silvia left the dry cleaning? I’m running late for dinner with the Blackwells and I can’t find my red cocktail dress.” Mom stood before me in matching off-white, La Perla bra and panties and Manolo Blahnik stilettos. Some subtle gold hoop earrings hung from her ears and a tiny bit of mascara on her eye lashes highlighted her sparkling, blue eyes. Aside from the missing dress, she was otherwise ready to go. “I think she left them hanging on the chair next to the other sofa,” I said, trying my best not to gape at Mom’s perfect body. Mom trotted across the room, her heels tocking on the hard wood floor. I watched her slim, sexy back as she lifted the dry cleaning onto the sofa and then bent over to sort through the garments. My eyes followed her long mane of brown hair down to her heart-shaped ass. Her panties stretched tightly across each cheek as she bent further down. “Found it!” She cried, springing back upright, causing her 35Cs to bounce up and down from the sudden motion. They were thrusting proudly off her ribcage and bulging out over the fabric of the balconette bra like two titanic eggs. Her supple skin pushed out over the silk edges. And then she was gone as quickly as she had arrived, her long legs striding back down the hallway.
C.R.R. Crawford (Sins from my Stepmother: Forbidden Desires)
Here’s how to do it: First, sit down, get comfortable, and close your eyes. Make sure you’re in a position where you can freely expand your lungs. Wim suggests doing this practice right after waking up since your stomach is still empty. Warm up by inhaling deeply and drawing the breath in until you feel a slight pressure. Hold the breath for a moment before exhaling completely, pushing the air out as much as you can. Hold the exhalation for as long as you can, and then repeat this fifteen times. Next, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth in short, powerful bursts, as if you’re blowing up a balloon. Pull in your belly when you’re exhaling and let it expand when you inhale. Do this about thirty times, using a steady pace, until you feel that your body is saturated with oxygen. You may feel light-headed or tingly, or you may experience a surge of energy that’s literally electric. Try to get a sense of which parts of your body are overflowing with energy and which ones are lacking it—and where there are blockages between these two extremes. As you continue breathing, send the breath to those blockages. When you’re done, take one more big breath in, filling your lungs to maximum capacity, and then push all of the air out. Hold this for as long as you can and try to feel the oxygen spreading around your body. When you can’t hold it anymore, inhale fully and feel your chest expanding. Hold it again, sending energy where your body needs it. Bonus points if you do what Wim had me do when we demonstrated this technique onstage at our Bulletproof conference—as you are holding your lungs empty, count how many push-ups you can do before you have to breathe again. I got to twenty! It seems impossible, but you can do it, and that short bit of low oxygen forces your body to better deal with lower-oxygen environments. I recommend you research Wim’s work and watch one of his many videos online demonstrating his breathing technique. I don’t think it works as well as mechanically filtering oxygen out of the air you breathe, but the Wim Hof technique is absolutely free, totally portable, and Wim is capable of things I could never do! His breathing method helps your body adapt to bursts of oxygen and puts you more in tune with the way your body uses your breath to create energy. It also makes you more resilient to cold temperatures, but there is evidence that cold temperatures themselves are good for your mitochondria.
Dave Asprey (Head Strong: The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster-in Just Two Weeks)
How had I come to this? I had kept unswervingly to the path placed before me, had tried to be exactly what I was expected to be, had done exactly what I was expected to do -- yet, instead of winning the expected reward, here I was stumbling along, holding on desperately to one of my eyes in order to keep from bursting out my brain against some familiar object swerved into my path by my distorted vision. And now to drive me wild I felt suddenly that my grandfather was hovering over me, grinning triumphantly out of the dark. I simply could not endure it. For, despite my anguish and anger, I knew of no other way of living, nor other forms of success available to such as me. I was so completely a part of that existence that in the end I had to make my peace. It was either that or admit that my grandfather had made sense. Which was impossible, for though I still believed myself innocent, I saw that the only alternative to permanently facing the world of Trueblood and the Golden Day was to accept the responsibility for what had happened. Somehow, I convinced myself, I had violated the code and thus would have to submit to punishment. Dr. Bledsoe is right, I told myself, he's right; the school and what it stands for have to be protected. There was no other way, and no matter how much I suffered I would pay my debt as quickly as possible and return to building my career . . .
Ralph Ellison (Invisible Man)
Oedipa spent the next several days in and out of libraries and earnest discussions with Emory Bortz and Genghis Cohen. She feared a little for their security in view of what was happening to everyone else she knew. The day after reading Blobb's Peregrinations she, with Bortz, Grace, and the graduate students, attended Randolph Driblette's burial, listened to a younger brother's helpless, stricken eulogy, watched the mother, spectral in afternoon smog, cry, and came back at night to sit on the grave and drink Napa Valley muscatel, which Driblette in his time had put away barrels of. There was no moon, smog covered the stars, all black as a Tristero rider. Oedipa sat on the earth, ass getting cold, wondering whether, as Driblette had suggested that night from the shower, some version of herself hadn't vanished with him. Perhaps her mind would go on flexing psychic muscles that no longer existed; would be betrayed and mocked by a phantom self as the amputee is by a phantom limb. Someday she might replace whatever of her had gone away by some prosthetic device, a dress of a certain color, a phrase in a ' letter, another lover. She tried to reach out, to whatever coded tenacity of protein might improbably have held on six feet below, still resisting decay-any stubborn quiescence perhaps gathering itself for some last burst, some last scramble up through earth, just-glimmering, holding together with its final strength a transient, winged shape, needing to settle at once in the warm host, or dissipate forever into the dark. If you come to me, prayed Oedipa, bring your memories of the last night. Or if you have to keep down your payload, the last five minutes-that may be enough. But so I'll know if your walk into the sea had anything to do with Tristero. If they got rid of you for the reason they got rid of Hilarius and Mucho and Metzger-maybe because they thought I no longer needed you. They were wrong. I needed you. Only bring me that memory, and you can live with me for whatever time I've got. She remembered his head, floating in the shower, saying, you could fall in love with me. But could she have saved him? She looked over at the girl who'd given her the news of his death. Had they been in love? Did she know why Driblette had put in those two extra lines that night? Had he even known why? No one could begin to trace it. A hundred hangups, permuted, combined-sex, money, illness, despair with the history of his time and place, who knew. Changing the script had no clearer motive than his suicide. There was the same whimsy to both. Perhaps-she felt briefly penetrated, as if the bright winged thing had actually made it to the sanctuary of her heart-perhaps, springing from the same slick labyrinth, adding those two lines had even, in a way never to be explained, served him as a rehearsal for his night's walk away into that vast sink of the primal blood the Pacific. She waited for the winged brightness to announce its safe arrival. But there was silence. Driblette, she called. The signal echoing down twisted miles of brain circuitry. Driblette! But as with Maxwell's Demon, so now. Either she could not communicate, or he did not exist.
Thomas Pynchon (The Crying of Lot 49)
You said to step on the brake to put us into drive, then to step on the right one to-" "Not at the same time!" "Well, you should have told me that. How was I supposed to know?" I snort. "You acted like the freaking Dalai Lama when I tried to tell you how to shift gears. I told you, one was for go and one was for stop. You can't stop and go at the same time! You have to make up your mind." From the expression on her face, she's either about to punch me or call me something really bad. She opens her mouth, but the really bad something doesn't come out; she shuts it again. Then she giggles. Now I've seen everything. "Galen tells me that all the time," she chortles. "That I can never make up my mind." Then she bursts out laughing so hard she spits all over the steering wheel. She keeps laughing until I'm convinced an unknown force is tickling her senseless. What? As far as I can tell, her indecisiveness almost got us killed. Killed isn't funny. "You should have seen your face," she says, between gulps of breaths. "You were all, like-" And she makes the face of a drunk clown. "I bet you wet yourself, didn't you?" She cracks herself up so much she clutches her side as if she's holding in her own guts. I feel my lips fracture into a smile before I can stop them. "You were more scared than me. You swallowed like ten flies while you were screaming." She spits all over the steering wheel again. And I spew laughter onto the dash. It takes a good five minutes for us to sober up enough for another driving lesson. My throat is dry, and my eyes are wet when I say, "Okay, now. Let's concentrate. The sun is going down. These woods probably get pretty creepy at night." She clears her throat, still giggling a little. "Okay. Concentrate. Right." "So, this time, when you take your foot off the brake, the car will go on its own. There, see?" We slink along the road at an idle two miles per hour. She huffs up at her bangs. "This is boring. I want to go faster." I start to say, "Not too fast," but she squashes the gas under her foot, and my words are snatched away by the wind. She gives a startled shout, which I find hypocritical because after all, I'm the one helpless in the passenger seat, and she's the one screaming like a teapot, turning the wheel back and forth like the road isn't straight as a pencil. "Brake, brake, brake!" I shout, hoping repetition will somehow penetrate the small part of her brain that actually thinks. Everything happens fast. We stop. There's a crunching sound. My face slams into the dash. No wait, the dash becomes an airbag. Rayna's scream is cut off by her airbag. I open my eyes. A tree. A freaking tree. The metal frame groans, and something under the hood lets out a mechanical hiss. Smoke billows up from the front, the universal symbol for "you're screwed." I turn to the rustling sound beside me. Rayna is wrestling with the airbag like it has attacked her instead of saved her life. "What is this thing?" she wails, pushing it out of her way and opening the door. One Mississippi...two Mississippi... "Well, are you just going to sit there? We have a long walk home. You're not hurt are you? Because I can't carry you." Three Mississippi...four Mississippi... "What are those flashing blue lights down there?
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Beauty Void lay the world, in nothingness concealed, Without a trace of light or life revealed, Save one existence which second knew- Unknown the pleasant words of We and You. Then Beauty shone, from stranger glances free, Seen of herself, with naught beside to see, With garments pure of stain, the fairest flower Of virgin loveliness in bridal bower. No combing hand had smoothed a flowing tress, No mirror shown her eyes their loveliness No surma dust those cloudless orbs had known, To the bright rose her cheek no bulbul flown. No heightening hand had decked the rose with green, No patch or spot upon that cheek was seen. No zephyr from her brow had fliched a hair, No eye in thought had seen the splendour there. Her witching snares in solitude she laid, And love's sweet game without a partner played. But when bright Beauty reigns and knows her power She springs indignant from her curtained bower. She scorns seclusion and eludes the guard, And from the window looks if doors be barred. See how the tulip on the mountain grown Soon as the breath of genial Spring has blown, Bursts from the rock, impatient to display Her nascent beauty to the eye of day. When sudden to thy soul reflection brings The precious meaning of mysterious things, Thou canst not drive the thought from out thy brain; Speak, hear thou must, for silence is such pain. So beauty ne'er will quit the urgent claim Whose motive first from heavenly beauty came When from her blessed bower she fondly strayed, And to the world and man her charms displayed. In every mirror then her face was shown, Her praise in every place was heard and known. Touched by her light, the hearts of angels burned, And, like the circling spheres, their heads were turned, While saintly bands, whom purest at the sight of her, And those who bathe them in the ocean sky Cries out enraptured, "Laud to God on high!" Rays of her splendour lit the rose's breast And stirred the bulbul's heart with sweet unrest. From her bright glow its cheek the flambeau fired, And myriad moths around the flame expired. Her glory lent the very sun the ray Which wakes the lotus on the flood to-day. Her loveliness made Laila's face look fair To Majnún, fettered by her every hair. She opened Shírín's sugared lips, and stole From Parvíz' breast and brave Farhád's the soul. Through her his head the Moon of Canaan raised, And fond Zulaikha perished as she gazed. Yes, though she shrinks from earthly lovers' call, Eternal Beauty is the queen of all; In every curtained bower the screen she holds, About each captured heart her bonds enfolds. Through her sweet love the heart its life retains, The soul through love of her its object gains. The heart which maidens' gentle witcheries stir Is, though unconscious, fired with love of her. Refrain from idle speech; mistake no more: She brings her chains and we, her slaves, adore. Fair and approved of Love, thou still must own That gift of beauty comes from her alone. Thou art concealed: she meets all lifted eyes; Thou art the mirror which she beautifies. She is that mirror, if we closely view The truth- the treasure and the treasury too. But thou and I- our serious work is naught; We waste our days unmoved by earnest thought. Cease, or my task will never end, for her Sweet beauties lack a meet interpreter. Then let us still the slaves of love remain For without love we live in vain, in vain. Jámí, "Yúsuf and Zulaikha". trans. Ralph T. H. Griffith. Ballantyne Press 1882. London. p.19-22
Nūr ad-Dīn 'Abd ar-Rahmān Jāmī
Cannabinoids relax the rules of cortical crowd control, but 300 micrograms of d-lysergic acid diethylamide break them completely. This is a clean sweep. This is the Renaissance after the Dark Ages. Dopamine—the fuel of desire—is only one of four major neuro modulators. Each of the neuromodulators fuels brain operations in its own particular way. But all four of them share two properties. First, they get released and used up all over the brain, not at specific locales. Second, each is produced by one specialized organ, a brain part designed to manufacture that one potent chemical (see Figure 3). Instead of watering the flowers one by one, neuromodulator release is like a sprinkler system. That’s why neuromodulators initiate changes that are global, not local. Dopamine fuels attraction, focus, approach, and especially wanting and doing. Norepinephrine fuels perceptual alertness, arousal, excitement, and attention to sensory detail. Acetylcholine energizes all mental operations, consciousness, and thought itself. But the final neuromodulator, serotonin, is more complicated in its action. Serotonin does a lot of different things in a lot of different places, because there are many kinds of serotonin receptors, and they inhabit a great variety of neural nooks, staking out an intricate network. One of serotonin’s most important jobs is to regulate information flow throughout the brain by inhibiting the firing of neurons in many places. And it’s the serotonin system that gets dynamited by LSD. Serotonin dampens, it paces, it soothes. It raises the threshold of neurons to the voltage changes induced by glutamate. Remember glutamate? That’s the main excitatory neurotransmitter that carries information from synapse to synapse throughout the brain. Serotonin cools this excitation, putting off the next axonal burst, making the receptive neuron less sensitive to the messages it receives from other neurons. Slow down! Take it easy! Don’t get carried away by every little molecule of glutamate. Serotonin soothes neurons that might otherwise fire too often, too quickly. If you want to know how it feels to get a serotonin boost, ask a depressive several days into antidepressant therapy. Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac, and all their cousins leave more serotonin in the synapses, hanging around, waiting to help out when the brain becomes too active. Which is most of the time if you feel the world is dark and threatening. Extra serotonin makes the thinking process more relaxed—a nice change for depressives, who get a chance to wallow in relative normality.
Marc Lewis (Memoirs of an Addicted Brain: A Neuroscientist Examines his Former Life on Drugs)