Owl kills 70+ lemmings and made a nest from their carcasses pic.twitter.com/7HThR7c7Ht
— Nature is Scary (@TheScaryNature) September 27, 2016
… in this pervasive virtual world, the online clamor grew louder and louder. Although I spent hours each day, alone and silent, attached to a laptop, it felt as if I were in a constant cacophonous crowd of words and images, sounds and ideas, emotions and tirades — a wind tunnel of deafening, deadening noise. So much of it was irresistible, as I fully understood. So much of the technology was irreversible, as I also knew. But I’d begun to fear that this new way of living was actually becoming a way of not-living.
The smart money is on the Big Freeze, since nothing about the data indicates otherwise. But when it comes to the Universe, remember the golden rule: anything that hasn’t been ruled out is physically possible. …
Kusozu (image sequence at the link):
I think I might be obsessed with kusozu, Japanese watercolor paintings that graphically depict human decomposition, which were popular between the 13th and 19th centuries; Body of a Courtesan in Nine Stages is another series in this genre featured previously on this site. Kusozu works of art were inspired by Buddhist beliefs and these paintings were meant to encourage people to ponder the temporary nature of the physical world. Kusozu watercolors also happen to be fantastic early studies of human decay and taphonomy, which is why one series, titled Kusozu: the death of a noble lady and the decay of her body, is currently on display as part of the Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime exhibit in London.
According to the Wellcome Collection, Kusozu: the death of a noble lady and the decay of her body was painted some time in the 18th century. The below scenes include: (1) the woman’s impending death and her preparation for it; (2) the noble woman has just passed away and her loved ones are seated around her; (3) slight skin discoloration (maybe some liver mortis) and a bit of bloating of during early decomposition; (4) the onset of putrefaction with bloating and marbling; (5) advanced decomposition as seen by pervasive marbling, leakage of purge fluid from the mouth, and the abdominal cavity has burst open (6) caving of abdominal cavity and scavenging animals; (7) start of skeletonization and the disappearance of soft tissue; (8) complete skeletonization and scattering of remains; (9) finally human remains have been completely scattered or consumed by unseen animals so all that remains is a memorial for the deceased woman. …
From Nandita Biswas Mellamphy’s Ghost in the Shell-Game:
Technical objects are ‘mediators’ (mediations) between ‘man’ and ‘nature’ not only in an ‘instrumental’ sense but also in an altogether ‘constitutive’ sense; from this vantage (as Oshii, for instance, suggests), rather than ‘bodies’ and ‘souls’ we see instead ‘shells’ and ‘ghosts’. In Oshii’s Inosensu, death is not the cessation of life; rather, bodily life is the technical animation, individuation and articulation of death (inertia). Life (æmæth in the Hebrew text at the heart of Inosensu: the animating ‘truth’) is portrayed as an artifice of death (mæth) embodied in the ningyō — literally ‘human-shaped figures’, anthropoid forms — without consciousness. “By inscribing æmæth upon the Golem’s brow, the clay man lived, drawing energy from the word for ‘truth’. But simply removing the æ to form mæth or ‘death’ returned the Golem back to inanimate clay” (Hebrew Kabbalah paraphrased in Oshii’s Inosensu). Only the puppet truly experiences both life and death: life as the animation of death (something impossible for human self-consciousness). “People die simply because it is inevitable. But death is a condition of life for a doll.”