Bartleby Productions

Filled with the profound conviction that the easiest way of life is the best.

Month: May, 2013

Celebrate Biological Diversity and Maritime Industry!!

by joegio

Hello!  Long time no see.  Have you been well?  Me too.  Thanks for asking.

Sometimes, two holidays fall on the same day and they totally have nothing to do with each other.  Sometimes they have a lot to do with each other in a good way.  But sometimes they have a lot to do with each other.  In a bad way.  Regretfully, today is kind of one of those days.

1) International Day for Biological Diversity

Diverse

International Day for Biological Diversity has kind of a troubled past.  It was sanctioned by the U.N. in 1993, basically to call awareness to the fact that there are a lot of things on the planet and tradition indicates we (people, internationally speaking) tend to extinct a lot more of them than we save.  In fact, some biologists suggest that about 1-3% of all the species that have ever existed are still existing.  “That’s just evolution!” you might say.  “Sure, fair enough, whatever, I don’t really want to talk about this all that much anyway, it’s just what day it is,” I would reply.  Then maybe we’d both have a good laugh and our friendship would deepen.  I don’t know, or not, whatever.

Okay, so originally, International Day for Biological Diversity was observed on December 29 to commemorate the adoption of the Convention of Biological Diversity.  However, it quickly (7 years later) dawned on the U.N. that December actually already has a pretty fair share of holidays.  And a lot of the biggies at that.  So the moved it to May 22, the day they voted to adopt the Convention of Biological Diversity.  Each year has it’s own theme.  Last year was “Maritime Biodiversity.”  This year, it’s “Water and Biodiversity,” which is a little bit broader.

And frankly, as a world, we’re not actually doing so hot in the water and biodiversity department.  In fact, the U.N. has also declared the period of 2005-2015 the year of “Decade of Water Cooperation.”  A cooperative study out of Southern Cross University suggests that as much as 80% of people on the planet are currently experiencing some level of threat to their water supply.  And as wealthy nations devise technology to address the threat without addressing the underlying issues, the threat level both to the waterways of poorer nations and the lives in that water increase.

So be aware!

2. National Maritime Day

Today is also the day for Americans to celebrate our merchant marines.  The merchant marine in the U.S. is made up of privately held maritime shipping companies.  They move stuff and people on ships.  During wartime, they may also be called on to move warthings.  They are also a big threat to our water biodiversity, particularly due to the constant dredging of inland waters necessary to make way for large ships carrying tomatoes from Chile (yum!) for us to eat in the winter.

Not only that, but they’re also pretty prolific dumpers of garbage (which is often found washing up on the shores of Scotland) and fuel.

That being said, the merchant marine are also super useful.  Our top two imports and exports are the same (fuel, nuclear stuff), but while the rest of our major exports (TV stuff, iron and steel, machine parts) are the sort of major industrial components that you and I never really need to think about that hard, the remainder of our top imports are all things worth loving: clothes, toys, electronics, winter fruits.  It’s a classic “everything we do destroys something, and I love my iPhone” situation.

I mean, I do love getting my tomatoes in the winter, so I’m not trying to harp on the people and large tankers that make that necessary.  But maybe we should just combine these holidays into one major holiday called “All Human Activity Threatens Our Ecosystem Day” and uh, call it a day.

 

There are many Constitution Days, but today is Micronesia’s!

by joegio

There are a lot of constitutions on this big blue Earth, but only one was ratified May 10, 1979: the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia.

micronesia

Those states, incidentally, are Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae.  In lieu of making stupid jokes about constitutions or about islands or anything, here’s the preamble to that constitution.  It is pretty great:

  WE, THE PEOPLE OF MICRONESIA, exercising our inherent sovereignty, do hereby establish this Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia.

     With this Constitution, we affirm our common wish to live together in peace and harmony, to preserve the heritage of the past, and to protect the promise of the future.

     To make one nation of many islands, we respect the diversity of our cultures. Our differences enrich us.  The seas bring us together, they do not separate us. Our islands sustain us, our island nation enlarges us and makes us stronger.

     Our ancestors, who made their homes on these islands, displaced no other people.  We, who remain, wish no other home than this.  Having known war, we hope for peace.  Having been divided, we wish unity.  Having been ruled, we seek freedom.

     Micronesia began in the days when man explored seas in rafts and canoes. The Micronesian nation is born in an age when men voyage among stars; our world itself is an island.  We extend to all nations what we seek from each: peace, friendship, cooperation, and love in our common humanity.  With this Constitution we, who have been the wards of other nations, become the proud guardian of our own islands, now and forever.

Today is the 63rd Anniversary of Dianetics!

by joegio

Real science

Today is the 63rd Anniversary of Dianetics!  Like most things scientology, there isn’t a lot of information out there about the actual celebration of this day.  It seems like maybe if you’re a scientologist, you might go to your Scientology Center today for a “cup of coffee” for “ten minutes, maybe two hours”, but beyond that, it is unclear what you might do.  Maybe watch Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol.  It’s surprisingly good!

But never fear!  In the true tradition of Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard, I have undertaken years of (unverifiable) pain-staking research into the rites of celebration for the Anniversary of Dianetics.  I am now an expert in the rites of this particular holiday.  I’d like to share with you my findings.

1) L. Ron Hubbard, the author of Dianetics lo these 63 years ago, was (among other things, and according to a movie on Scientology’s website) a master mariner, the youngest Eagle Scout of all time, and a “giant in the golden age of pulp fiction.”  That’s why on the Anniversary of Dianetics, all scientologists sleep in tents in their backyards and read back issues of Marvel’s Sub-Mariner with a flashlight.  JUST LIKE A REAL EAGLE SCOUT!

Just like L.Ron

2. 

This is the Scientology Tree.  Maybe they decorate it for the Anniversary of Dianetics!

3. Scientology on the whole is as as spoiler-averse as the cast and crew of Mad Men.  So it’s hard to know exactly what they believe, what they do, what they like, what their vision for the world is, or why they are called “scientologists.”  Among other things!  But if we know nothing else about what Scientologists actually do and think all day, we know this: above all else, scientologists are AWESOME at making videos.  Seriously, so many well-produced videos in the House of Xenu.  There are even digital displays at the scientology churches with “play” buttons and “pause” buttons so that in as little as two minutes you can have “a handle on that concept.”  Which could be anything!  Like, that you DO NOT have ghosts in you.  Or maybe the concept is that you have super powers.  WHATEVER.  Videos will show you how to get down.  That is why on the Anniversary of Dianetics, scientologists all go see Oblivion.

Tom!

4. Another thing you might do on the Anniversary of Dianetics is maybe have another scientology family over to your house for a light supper and maybe everyone can take a walk afterwards.

Going clear

There you have it!

A final word: special thanks to everyone who came out for Bartleby’s Ocho De Mayo celebration last night.  It was a blast.  Mark your calendars for June 14th and Bartleby Productions Presents: Flag Day!

QUESTION OF THE DAY: In what ways is a thetan like or unlike a wheat thin?

 

It is a beautiful morning after Walpurgis Night!

by joegio

Once again, we check in with our foreign correspondent an Kathy Palm.  Thanks for taking time off from sun bathing to post for us, Kathy!!

Walpurgis Night, is held on the eve of April 30 going into May 1st in many countries in Europe.

While this is a common holiday in many northern and central European countries lets focus on Sweden’s version commonly know as Valborg, or technically known as Valborgsmässoafto. (Literally  Walpurga mass eve).

This holiday celebration is generally accompanied with dancing and bonfires!

No, this is a party. Trust us.

It also happens to be exactly six months from All Hallow’s Eve!!

This holiday goes all the way back to Viking fertility celebrations where the goal of the fire was to drive off evil spirits (witches, ghouls, those sorts of things). The vikings called this Walpurgisnacht (not very different from waht we call it now) and followed it with the Viking festival of Thrimilci on May 1st. They considered this the beginning of Summer.  After the scary rituals and conquering of evil spirits it is time for Joy and fertility! (Not to mention time for the snow to melt in the North!)

So what’s the big deal about Walpurga?  If you suffer from rabies, she is your patron saint!

Saint Walpurga (also spelled Walburga and even Valderburg), was an english missionary who’s “day” just happens to be May day. Her relics were transferred from her burial site in Heidenheim, Bavaria, to  Eichstätt (also in Bavaria) on May 1st which is why Sweden (and Finland) celebrates when they do. She is the patroness of Eichstätt and several other cities in the area.

The beginning of May symbolizes a plethora things, including the need for bonfires to clear the air before real joy can begin! Now is the time to send out your livestock and let them feast on the fresh grass and enjoy that almost summer weather. So go outside and feast on May!

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Do you suffer from rabies?