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Last Build Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2017 15:49:18 -0800

Copyright: Copyright 2017
 



Fried Gnocchi: Don't Try This at Home. Or Anywhere.

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 15:49:18 -0800

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Wait for it.




"Imagine a Future Planetary Exploration"

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 09:40:47 -0800

By B. Lewis Imagine a future planetary exploration team is surveying the surface of Mars. During an excavation, they are astonished to discover what appears to be a computer chip embedded in the rock. Further investigation reveals the object to be a functional integrated circuit device. "This is the most momentous discovery in the history of science, " says the team leader. "Finally, proof positive that an intelligent creature has existed on Mars at some point in the past. We are not alone!" "Not so fast," says the chief scientist. "Just because we found a piece of silica that happens to be in the form of a computer chip doesn't necessarily imply that any extraterrestrial intelligence exists." "It certainly does," says the team leader. "Micrographs show definitively that this is an integrated circuit chip. Since no human beings have ever been to Mars, and none of our probes have penetrated to this area, logic dictates that an extraterrestrial intelligence exists." "Nope," says the scientist. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. What evidence have you that this 'chip' was made my an intelligent being?" The Team Leader is nonplussed. "I -- it's a circuit, Chief. A functional electronic circuit! The computer says it could be made to run like any IC chip. Integrated circuits don't just create themselves. Someone designed this!" "That's an interesting statement of belief," replies the Chief Scientist, "But not a demonstrable fact." He examines his nails nonchalantly. "I can't accept your faith in some invisible sky person as a scientific theory, Team Leader. All I can know from what we have here is that we have found a functional circuit chip. Where it comes from, how it came to be -- all of this remains unknown." "But somebody had to make it!" The Team Leader is incredulous. "It's obviously an artifact. Complex structures like computer chips don't just appear out of thin air!" "Sure they do, Team Leader," says the Chief Scientist. "Biological cells. A single living cell is billions of times more complex than this chip we've found, and yet cells just 'appeared', without the aid of some fantastic 'designer' in the sky." He looks up from his nails. "Like a living cell, this chip merely appears to be the product of an intelligent designer. In fact, it's complexity is probably just the result of the random actions of wind, water, and radiation upon local geology over eons of time." He stands, looks the Team Leader in the eye. "Just as we have learned that we need not invoke the supernatural to explain life, we need not posit a race of chip-designing Martians to explain this object. Like us, this chip was produced by the action of natural forces upon natural materials over billions of years of time. It, for lack of a better word, evolved into its present state." He points toward the airlock. "In fact, there are probably ancestors of this chip -- transitional forms -- buried in the rock beneath us right now." "Sir!" cries a nearby technician. "We've finished the circuit analysis. The computer says this is a data storage chip -- and the data is readable!" "What's it contain?" the Team Leader asks. "A raster image sir," says the tech. "I'm calling it up now." On a nearby screen, an image appears: a creature utterly inhuman in form, but wearing what can only be the Martian equivalent of a clean-room suit. In one hand -- tentacle -- the creature holds a small box containing a duplicate of the found IC chip. "Holy cow," says the Team Leader. "It's a photo. A photo of a Martian -- and he's holding the chip. I just won a freaking Nobel Prize!" "Coincidence," scoffs the Chief Scientist. "Over billions of years, local radiation probably flipped the bits on that chip randomly into this configuration. It only appears to our pattern-sensitive brains to be a clear, color image of a blue-eyed extraterrestrial creature in a clean room suit holding in its appendage a copy of the so-called 'chip' we've found." The tech and the Team Leader stare at the Chief Scientist open-mouthed. "Wha[...]



Something Wonderful: Molecular Visualizations of DNA

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 23:35:50 -0800

"There lives the dearest freshness deep down things"

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At 2:21: "It spins the DNA as fast as a jet engine as it unwinds the double helix into two strands. One strand is copied continuously and can be seen spooling off to the right. Things are not so simple for the other strand, because it must be copied BACKWARDS."

Dude.

DUDE.

Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipoténtem, factorem cæli et terræ, visibílium ómnium et invisibílium.
["I believe in one God, the Father Almighty Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible."]-- Anne Barnhardt

God's Grandeur
by Gerard Manly Hopkins

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.




God's Grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 02:23:44 -0800

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

(image)

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

(image)




Something Wonderful for "Earth Day": George Carlin, the Arrogance of Mankind, and the Big Electron

Sat, 22 Apr 2017 06:04:14 -0800

width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2cjRGee5ipM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> Lest we forget how minuscule we really are. CARLIN: "Let me tell you about endangered species, all right? Saving endangered species is just one more arrogant attempt by humans to control nature. It's arrogant meddling. It's what got us in trouble in the first place. Doesn't anybody understand that? Interfering with nature. Over 90%, way over 90% of all the species that have ever lived on this planet, ever lived, are gone. They're extinct. We didn't kill them all. They just disappeared. That's what nature does. "We’re so self-important. So self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these fucking people kidding me? Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven’t learned how to care for one another, we’re gonna save the fucking planet? “I’m getting tired of that shit. Tired of that shit. I’m tired of fucking Earth Day, I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for their Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. They don’t care about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t.  You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future, they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me. “Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are fucked. Difference. Difference. The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years. Did you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We’ve been here, what, a hundred thousand? Maybe two hundred thousand? And we’ve only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion. And we have the CONCEIT to think that somehow we’re a threat? That somehow we’re gonna put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that’s just a-floatin’ around the sun? “The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles…hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worlwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages…And we think some plastic bags, and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet…the planet…the planet isn’t going anywhere. WE ARE! “We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Thank God for that. Maybe a little styrofoam. Maybe. A little styrofoam. The planet’ll be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas. A surface nuisance. “You wanna know how the planet’s doing? Ask those people at Pompeii, who are frozen into position from volcanic ash, how the planet’s doing. You wanna know if the planet’s all right, ask those people in Mexico City or Armenia or a hundred other places buried under thousands of tons of earthquake rubble, if they feel like a threat to the planet this week. Or how about those people in Kilauea, Hawaii, who built their homes right next to an active volcano, and then wonder why they have lava[...]



Dance Like Nobody's Watching and the Whole World Will

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 12:39:02 -0800

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Nellia Ehrentraut, 64, and husband Dietmar, 70, are drawing accolades online after a YouTube video showed them energetically dancing to Johan Blohm & The Refreshments. The video was filmed at an event called the Boogie Woogie Veterans Tournament in Landshut, Germany. The couple, who married in 1070, said they have been dancing together for more than 30 years, and have won numerous awards for dancing in styles from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. "We still have a lot of fun," the couple told ABC News.

That's the news of the day and the week and we are out of here for a beautiful Friday afternoon. Hope you have one too. Come back when you can. We'll be here all week month year decade.




Come Be PC: "Come to our prison / Look what you're missin' / Come be PC"

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 10:59:14 -0800

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[HT: The once more ice cold Never Yet Melted]




PEWSLAG: The American Progressive’s Monopoly on the Seven Deadly Sins

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 12:34:26 -0800

“We are all lying in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” -- Oscar Wilde If you could pick up the Northwestern US by the southeast corner of Idaho and shake it, everything loose would roll down into Seattle. So many loose bipeds have rolled into town over the years that the city boasts not one angry and twisted little “alternative paper” but two: The Seattle Weekly and The Stranger. Of the two, The Stranger is the stranger, the more angry, and the more spiteful. Strangely, The Stranger -- in this age of Obama and “springtime for progressive Hitlers" -- grows more angry and peevish every week since the November elections. It no longer competes with the Seattle Weekly to see who can be more revolting. It won that dubious contest long ago. These days The Stranger seems to mostly compete with itself; trying every week to put out more slime and bile than the week before. Most weeks, it wins. This week was no exception. No matter what the standard Democrat/Progressive line may be, it is never quite good enough for The Stranger. This may be because of it’s editor, one Dan Savage by name, a man who seems to live to reveal that for some, when it comes to being intellectually twisted, there really is no bottom. It may be because The Stranger’s infected bloodlines run from from the ancient wheezings of The Daily Worker, down through The East Village Other, and out onto the news stands of Planet Moonbat with classifieds courtesy of The Berkeley Barb. Or it may be because the editor is simply an awful person with a full load of obsessive-compulsive disorders.It’s difficult to know when it comes to this perfect storm of spit, spite, and smut. All one can know is that, with The Stranger, you see deeper into the soul of today’s post-modern American quisling than any other “alternative” weekly. And what you see is the utter lock this mindset has on what once we called “The Seven Deadly Sins.” It is positive for all of them and takes no medication. Instead, it showcases them in order to effectively infect every freshman class that arrives in Seattle looking for an “education” in how to be fashionably depraved in worn fleece. I read the paper every so often to keep in touch with how dementia, depravity and degradation are progressing in progressive America. These days it would seem that the 7 deadly sins are now the 7 cardinal virtues of the progressive left. As I shall demonstrate.... Indeed, the progressive left has cast off all pretense of “progress” and simply reverted to a rag-tag slop bucket brimming over with Americans that hate children, success, happiness, liberty, and life itself. All the local “progressive heroes” will sooner of later get their close-up in The Stranger. Their faces and their ever-extending list of physical and mental diseases will unfailingly reveal the state of souls that have committed to personal and social devolution. Along the way, they've bagged the seven deadly sins with the zeal of hunters, never knowing that it was themselves that was the hunted. Theirs is the socialist Utopian view of life fueled with poppers and propaganda. Those who have the tragic view of life accept that all humans are flawed. We all, to a greater of lesser extent, have touched on all of the 7 deadly sins. It is in our nature. But those with the tragic view at least struggle against this and strive to leave the world brighter and better than when we came into it, not more depraved and darker. I see this split and this struggle in myself and hold myself more guilty of the 7 sins than is perhaps strictly true, for I know that when you put yourself on trial the verdict is always “guilty.” At the same time, I think I struggle in my small way to overcome these tendencies in myself and if I do not succeed, I still struggle. What I do not do is revel in them and constantly seek to[...]



Instructions For Wayfarers

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 18:35:01 -0800

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They will declare:Every journey has been taken.
You shall respond: I have not been to see myself.
They will insist: Everything has been spoken.
You shall reply: I have not had my say.
They will tell you: Everything has been done.
You shall reply: My way is not complete.
You are warned: Any way is long, any way is hard.
Fear not. You are the gate – you, the gatekeeper.
And you shall go through and on . . .

Alexandros Evangelou Xenopouloudakis




Something Wonderful: Mr. T's Waltz

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 12:50:50 -0800

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In the episode called “Most Memorable Year Week,” the celebrity participants chose the most important year in their lives and danced to a song that represents that year for them. The sixty-four-year-old Mr. T (“My first name is ‘Mr,’ my middle name is ‘period,’ last name is ‘T.’”) chose 1995, the year he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

The scowling ex-boxer and ex-bodyguard—real name Lawrence Tureaud—grew up in a Chicago ghetto, became a college athlete, then a pro wrestling personality before going on to star in Rocky III and The A-Team TV series. His signature Mohawk haircut, gold chains, and lines like “I pity the fool!” and “Prediction: pain!” turned him into a lovable pop culture icon of gruff masculinity.

Then came the cancer diagnosis. “Back in the day, I had money, cars,” he said in the introductory video to the DWTS performance. “I had achieved what I wanted to achieve and then everything really stopped.”

He suddenly found himself helpless in the face of an antagonist he didn’t know how to fight. “I called on God,” Mr. T says in the video. “I said, ‘God, give me strength to do your will.’ That’s when it really hit me: What’s really real? My faith in God. That was real, because only God could save me.” It worked, because twenty years later he stands as a humble testament to his faith, courage, and perseverance. - - ‘Tough and Tender’ Mr. T’s Amazing Grace




Pre-Owned Jeans [For Less Than $500]

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 09:50:05 -0800

The PRPS NOIR Collection is not about black denim. Noir utilizes the best selvedge denim fabrics available anywhere in the world– with incredibly extensive washes and old school wear, tear & repair details that are authentic to genuine vintage jeans painstakingly collected over the years worn by real miners, mechanics, and laborers alike. Each jean is handmade and can take up to a week to produce. [Price: $300 -- $500]-- The Selvedge Yard One of the small economies about living in New York City for years and relocating to the West Coast is to be had in clothing costs. If one of your jobs in New York was being a men's fashion editor for a magazine, you find that you don't buy clothes so much as have them. In any case, I dumped clothes by the cartload before I moved, and I still had far too many when I arrived. Since I don't ski, the usefulness of items that would put Nanook of the North into a sweat during January in Greenland are pretty dubious. As a result, I've been pretty much out of the clothing shopping cycle for years and I find it, to say the least, refreshing. In Seattle if you hold some fleece jackets, a couple of hooded sweatshirts, a few work shirts and two pairs of jeans for "formal occasions," you're pretty much done. But "wear happens" and I've noted that my Levis have been getting -- even for Levis -- fairly grotty in the last couple of months. Yesterday, I decided they about to be redefined as "rags," and I so set off to purchase my first new pair of jeans in at least six years. Since I'm a hit-and-run shopper I did what any American male in search of jeans-to-go would do, I turned left into the parking lot of the first Gap I saw and sauntered inside confident of my mission. Unlike women of my acquaintance who practice "catch and release shopping" in order to increase their collection of designer shopping bags, I knew what I wanted. I also knew how much I was going to spend. This was in sharp contrast to many women who never really spend any money on clothes, but only "save" money on clothes. [ Me: "You look great in that new outfit with the shoes and the hat. How much did they cost?" Her: "Would you believe I saved over $800 on this? How great is that?" Me: "That's really great."] I firmly believe that if you have to spend more than 15 minutes in a clothing store, you don't need what you think you need. My list was short. I wanted one pair of five pocket denim jeans, blue, crisp, and coming in at no more than $50. The Gap was the place for me. Fool. Yes, fool. For if you want to find a pair of crisp, new blue jeans in trendy grunge Seattle, you'd better pack a lunch, because you are about to find yourself trapped inside an episode of "Shop Trek." It's not that you can't buy some new jeans at the Gap, it is just that you can't buy any new new jeans. Yes, it would seem that sometime in the last decade, the American people have become so fat and so happy and so inordinately lazy that they no longer want to put their own wear, sweat and stress into their Levis. Nope, it seems that the entire country will only buy jeans that have already been worn into a shambles, reduced, as new, to the rags I already had at home. You've got new jeans at the Gap that look like they've had non-union and unlucky sweatshop employees of Sri Lanka of all shapes and sizes stuffed into them and then dragged for miles along country roads. They've got jeans with the off -the-rack look as if they've been sandblasted at a construction site in Tijuana -- after Happy Hour. You've got jeans that look as if the person inside them was persuaded to run through a scene of "Dirty Dancing" with a belt-sander . You've got jeans that seem to have been stolen out of a wedding reception in Afghanistan after a predator strike went terribly wron[...]



The Sea of Faith

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 09:31:19 -0800

(image)

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night

-- Mathew Arnold

(image)




Climbout on Easter Sunday

Sun, 16 Apr 2017 00:43:37 -0800

      "If I take the wings of the morning,       and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea...." -- Psalm 139 WE RISE in a banking curve of pure velocity over fallow fields and grids of neighborhoods, arcing over ponds painted with slick scum oozing -- from the oil pans of countless sunken cars, -- from punctured sacks of toxic trash, -- from fleshless graves of abandoned murders, of missing persons filed in muck. WE RISE embraced by first-class armchairs, pondering the crisply printed histories of yesterday's most meaningless events. We rise up above our lives and lies, above, alone, away, alas, good-bye to families and to friends, to all terrestrial ties. Our very cellulars, by strict law silenced so that our murmurs not disturb the delicate electronics on which so much at this tremulous moment depends that we dare not think on it, and so select music of our choice from mid-heaven's jukebox. WE RISE in the faltering dark into the pale flicker of a cosseted sun slatted in flashes through fingers of cloud, up into the white blood of the sinewed sky, and so our day and world slips by. WE RISE UP to where all breath is snow, so far that all above becomes below, up until the sky is seen as vapor, smeared white on blue construction paper and framed by dark remorseless space. WE RISE UP until from Earth we seem only a fading gesture, some echoed trace of fog, distinguished only by our direction, out over arid ancient seas, past all reflection. AND STILL WE RISE, our lush ascent powered by ageless diatoms' descent into the ooze between the fossiled stones, the shattered crypts of shells and bones; above the planned sere autumn fields of pasture, silage, grain that yields the bread we break in this, our floating world. AND STILL we rise, resurrected, through the thinning strands of sky reflected, until the edge of day the stars deny, where all the worlds we knew slip by, tangled in a mapless maze of rivers, our passing but a whisper that shivers the dream of a drowsing owl, a silver splinter caught in a facet of the eye of winter, and, unremarked or written, quickly glides beyond the reach of records or of guides. WE RISE until at last held still in that blue hand which grasps all sky, awake within our tube of paper steel, our long ascent levels and we slide onto a gleaming lake of granite ink, reflecting now the empty gaze of God, beyond warm hands and done with Earth. NEVER NOW to stagger or to slip back into the shadows and the rain, back into the warm musk of the day, but, keen as an iron blade touched to the tongue, we sail forever on these slate seas out to the far edge of imagine, and on, and still on beyond into the heart of the stars, into the silence of their song. [...]



A Cut-Rate Resurrection

Sun, 16 Apr 2017 00:05:01 -0800

"Why seek ye the living among the dead?" -- Luke 24 KJV Beginning on October 13th of 2011 I spent eleven days among the dead and then was returned to life. Why and for what I still cannot say. What I can say is that, in some brief and infinitesimal way, I have had a small shimmer of resurrection shine upon my dead shadow and raise me back into the light. It was a tiny touch and yet it would seem that was all it took. This time. Next time I have no doubt it will require divine intervention. Perhaps it did this time. I have no way of knowing. Nor can I say that I know what it "was like" to be dead because of my death I have neither shred of memory, nor the slightest sense of a blank space between one moment of life and the next moment of life. My mind holds only two instants; the one enjambed against the other. In the first I am standing on the front porch of my house looking across the road at the playground sometime on the afternoon of October 13, 2011. There is the impression of small children running about in bright clothing. The sky is clear and there is sunlight from overhead. Shadows are small pools moving beneath the children. It is in the high 50s neither warm nor cold. Then, in the very next instant, I am cold. I am lying in a bed covered with only a sheet. I am looking past my feet in a room ringed with drapes hanging on rails from a ceiling. At the foot of the bed a man in a blue tunic is sitting in a pose similar to Rodin's "The Thinker." His arm is bare to the shoulder and he has a Maori tattoo on it. I think, for a moment, that someone is speaking to me from the side, something about being in a coma. Then I am gone again. Those are the two moments. One is right next to the other. There is nothing in between. I lose track of what happens next and come to know it is not an instant between memories but eleven days and that I have spent that time in a medically induced coma after spending some unspecified number of minutes dead. It was nothing so dramatic as a crucifixion. It was simply a ceasing to be of which I had no awareness. What followed, as dramatic as it was for those around me, was a blank to me; something available to my soul only via hearsay. There were, it would seem, heroic measures involving tubes, machines, drugs, and methods of lowering the temperature of the human body and maintaining it lower for some days. For some minutes I was, it would seem, dead and for some days after that I was, it would seem, as good as dead. I was kept cold and under the stone of coma. Then, after eleven days, that cold stone was rolled away and I was returned to life. It was, I suppose, a kind of cut-rate resurrection. Yet it was mine and I was, and am, glad to have it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in this world. I’ve spent no small amount of time wondering what it is I am to do with this “resurrection.” It seems as if I should do something; something more than I was doing before, something that is somehow “better.” I ask about this "purpose" in passing in the daylight and more formally in prayer, but I have to date received no answer, no voice out of the whirlwind or the burning bush. I don’t expect such although I would not be utterly unprepared if it happened. I’m used to the mysteries of the universe or the tricks of the monkey mind at this point. Still, it would be nice to get a message neatly laid out, sent in from God’s great cosmic sign factory in the clear and in a crisp typeface. It would be nice but it is clearly asking too much. “Still not satisfied” is not a good attitude to have if one has been resurrected. As they say in meetings, “The attitude is gratitude.” I had that for a long time. It slipped away. M[...]



Holy Saturday: When This World Waits On the Next

Sat, 15 Apr 2017 08:49:15 -0800

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Magnified, sanctified
Be thy holy name
Vilified, crucified
In the human frame
A million candles burning
For the love that never came
You want it darker
We kill the flame