The Thriller Is Gone


Michael Jackson, Who’d
Be 59 Moonwalks Today

When he used to pop and flare up his dance moves and magnetism, no one could touch him. And when he crashed and burned, his ashes spread out quickly, and took with them the legend of a tainted Peter Pan. Still his talents remain unmatched.
He shot to fame during what now looks like tamed times, but just as he ascended, he was taking the unwitting steps that brought him down, like a defective Icarus. Musically, his legacy may have been all but relegated to obsolescence.
As he stretched that Motown sound that could be no longer, the deconstruction of rap was prescribing his irrelevance. But only a spiritual black son of Fred Astaire, breakthrough brother of Prince, and perennial stardust pixie, could reach such heights of divine entertainment.
Today we won’t remember the grotesque caricature he crafted, which ultimately consumed his gifts. Nor his despicable tabloid reign, or the misguided dream of racial reengineering. We’ll believe, for a moment, in that elusive delusion of eternal youth he pursued with abandon.
That he failed is the personal tragedy which he ultimately shared with the humanity that he fought so hard to be free of. He had already passed and gone way before the June, 2009, headlines that finally confirmed. At that point, he just switched coffins.
The moment in time he’s seized so brilliantly, though, has no expiration date. That’s why once, we all wanted to be Michael Jackson, the boy wonder who, despite captive to a nightmare, still managed to create a fairy tale out of pure dreams and sheer magic.

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Aroma Holiday

Space Smells & the   
Scent of Being Human

Will the odor of outer space ever be defined? For fifty years, astronauts have been at loss to precisely describe this overlooked angle of interstellar travel, or even tell us whether it’s good or bad. And at least for a while, those who took a hike out there are the only ones capable of offering us any clues about it, as no one is about to follow them anytime soon.
Something utterly unthinkable here on Earth, to be sure. Our sense of smell is a crucial part of how we, and every organism, experience life and, as it turns out, even plants sniff each other. While some inscribe the nose within the sensual realm, others link the olfactory sense to youth or old age. As for us, we couldn’t live in a world without the scent of old books.
Compared to other species, though, our own capabilities in this department are rather meek and limited. While every animal could theoretically find their way through life by using only their noses, we have a considerably harder time when deprived of any of our senses, smell included. Pheromones? Quantum physics? we’re yet to even find out where or how come about either of them.
Some studies show that a few among us do have a ‘nose for directions,’ and point to a few inconclusive studies about the amount of iron inside the tip of our nose. We honestly couldn’t tell. Most of us would like to think of ourselves as natural GPS masters, but the reality is that we act exactly like bugs coming out the woodwork, Continue reading

In Plants

Want Your Geraniums to Grow Fast?
Have Them Listen to Classical Music

What a difference 40 years make. In the 1970s, they were fond of Steve Wonder music. Now only the Royal Philharmonic will do.
When “The Secret Life of Plants” was published in 1973 by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, it became a instantaneous hit and a pop culture phenomenon.
In it, with the use of sophisticated audio technology, the Continue reading