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Southern Cross Review

Review of fiction, education, science, current events,
essays, book reviews, poetry and Anthroposophy

Number 82, May - june 2012

"Separation"

Edvard Munch (12 December 1863 – 23 January 1944) was a Norwegian Symbolist painter, printmaker and an important forerunner of expressionist art. His best-known composition, The Scream, is part of a series The Frieze of Life, in which Munch explored the themes of love, fear, death, melancholia, and anxiety.


Editor's Page

"We are the Lucky Ones..." by Z

  
When I moved with my family to the country from Buenos Aires 14 years ago, we lived in an old house, once the core building of an estancia. There were ten acres of what was once farmland, but had turned into what my son, ten years old at the time, rather romantically and with his flair for exaggeration called a jungle. After a few days of snooping around in the “jungle” with his dog, he found a rusty old lunch pail. It had no lock on it, but it was rusted tightly shut, so he brought it to me to open, which I did with the help of a chisel and hammer. Instead of a rotted chicken leg, we found a...what should I call it? An essay, or simply an unfinished manuscript. Translated into English, it reads as follows. ...Continue


"Nosotro somos los afortunados..." por Z

  
Cuando nos mudamos con mi familia al campo desde Buenos Aires hace 14 años, vivimos en una casa antigua, edificio central de una estancia en una época. Había cuatro hectáreas y media de tierra que alguna vez había sido de cultivo, pero que se había convertido en lo que mi hijo, de diez años en ese momento, llamaba , con su tendencia a exagerar y mucho romanticismo, una selva. Al cabo de unos días de curiosear por la “selva” junto con su perro, encontró un viejo portaviandas herrumbrado. No tenía cerradura, pero la tapa estaba firmemente atascada por la herrumbre, así que me lo trajo para que se lo abriera, y así lo hice con ayuda de un cincel y un martillo. En vez de una pata de pollo podrida, encontramos un…¿cómo debería llamarlo? Un ensayo, o simplemente un manuscrito inconcluso. Decía lo siguiente. ...Continuar


Science

Some comments on Albert Einstein's paper
“On the Effects of External Sensory Input on Time Dilation
by Z. K. Silagadze

  
Einstein’s famous 1938 experiment to test the relativity of time is plagued by too many ambiguities and does not prove anything. Nevertheless, it is a landmark experiment at the foundation of the modern theory of time perception. The Relativity of Time, which is at the heart of many special relativistic paradoxes, is difficult to understand. First of all, we all are brainwashed by Newton during our schooldays. Furthermore, to learn relativity requires time and effort, and a layman usually lacks both. “The active person lives in the world of phenomena. He does not require logical proofs, indeed he often cannot understand them” . Why should we try to change such a state of affairs and force active people to understand a bit of modern physics? The reason is simple: Irrationality and ignorance are proliferating worldwide, and such a situation is very alarming because “a stupid person is more dangerous than a bandit” .. Continue


Little Men and Flying Saucers by Lauren Eisley

  
Today, as never before, the sky is menacing. Things seen indifferently last century by the wandering lamp-lighter now trouble a generation that has grown up to the wail of air-raid sirens and the ominous expectation that the roof may fall at any moment. Even in daytime, reflected light on a floating dandelion seed, or a spider riding a wisp of gossamer in the sun's eye, can bring excited questions from the novice unused to estimating the distance or nature of aerial objects ... Continue



Features

The New Jim Crow - How the War on Drugs Gave Birth to a Permanent American Undercaste by Michelle Alexander

  
Ever since Barack Obama lifted his right hand and took his oath of office, pledging to serve the United States as its 44th president, ordinary people and their leaders around the globe have been celebrating our nation’s “triumph over race.”  Obama’s election has been touted as the final nail in the coffin of Jim Crow, the bookend placed on the history of racial caste in America. Obama’s mere presence in the Oval Office is offered as proof that “the land of the free” has finally made good on its promise of equality. .. Continue



The Titanic’s 3D Centennial - Rescuing Myth From History by Gisela Wielki

  
The two Titanic events, the actual disaster in 1912 and the movie version in 1997, now reissued in 3D for the centennial, are like bookends of the twentieth century. The sinking of the great ship, hailed as “unsinkable,” became something of a harbinger for the imminent and greater twentieth-century disasters to follow: Revolution, World Wars I and II, the Holocaust, famines, the invention and use of the atomic bomb, new diseases, and other human tragedies .. Continue


Children's Corner

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by The Brothers Grimm

  
Once upon a time in the middle of winter, when the flakes of snow were falling like feathers from the sky, a queen sat at a window sewing, and the frame of the window was made of black ebony. And whilst she was sewing and looking out of the window at the snow, she pricked her finger with the needle, and three drops of blood fell upon the snow. And the red looked pretty upon the white snow, and she thought to herself, would that I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood of the window-frame. Soon after that she had a little daughter, who was as white as snow, and as red as blood, and her hair was as black as ebony, and she was therefore called little Snow White. And when the child was born, the queen died. ..Continue


Fiction

El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan por Jorge Luis Borges

  
“... y colgué el tubo. Inmediatamente después, reconocí la voz que había contestado en alemán. Era la del capitán Richard Madden. Madden, en el departamento de Viktor Runeberg, quería decir el fin de nuestros afanes y —pero eso parecía muy secundario, o debería parecérmelo— también de nuestras vidas. Quería decir que Runeberg había sido arrestado o asesinado. Antes que declinara el sol de ese día, yo correría la misma suerte. Madden era implacable. Mejor dicho, estaba obligado a ser implacable. Irlandés a las órdenes de Inglaterra, hombre acusado de tibieza y tal vez de traición ¿cómo no iba a abrazar y agradecer este milagroso favor: el descubrimiento, la captura, quizá la muerte de dos agentes del Imperio Alemán? Subí a mi cuarto; absurdamente cerré la puerta con llave y me tiré de espaldas en la estrecha cama de hierro... Continuar


The Garden of Forking Paths by Jorge Luis Borges

  
". . . and I hung up the receiver. Immediately afterwards, I recognized the voice that had answered in German. It was that of Captain Richard Madden. Madden's presence in Viktor Runeberg's apartment meant the end of our anxieties and-but this seemed, or should have seemed, very secondary to me-also the end of our lives. It meant that Runeberg had been arrested or murdered. Before the sun set on that day, I would encounter the same fate. Madden was implacable. Or rather, he was obliged to be so. An Irishman at the service of England, a man accused of laxity and perhaps of treason, how could he fail to seize and be thankful for such a miraculous opportunity: the discovery, capture, maybe even the death of two agents of the German Reich? I went up to my room; absurdly I locked the door and threw myself on my back on the narrow iron cot... Continue


The Innocent and the Beautiful by by Iftekhar Sayeed

  
"The death of 1.7 million children through sanctions in Iraq has aroused no interest whatsoever in the drawing rooms of Bangladesh, as far as agent Maryam has been able to judge." Something seemed to trouble Maryam, as her fingers hovered above the keyboard; the hum of the air-conditioner rose above the tap-tap of her fingers; she smelled the starched pillows and breathed heavily; in the light from the quite redundant lamp, she deleted 'death' and typed 'murder'. She sighed relief, turned off the laptop, disengaged the wireless modem, switched off the lamp, and turned on her side to get some sleep. Continue



Anthroposophy


Esoteric Lessons for the First Class of the School for Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum -
Lesson Four
by Rudolf Steiner

In the previous lessons we were concerned with meeting the Guardian of the Threshold. And we must understand this meeting well, to the extent that its earnestness can really occupy our minds. For here we enter an area which is essentially different from other areas of spiritual life, what is called spiritual life by today's civilization, that is. The encounter with the Guardian of the Threshold is the first thing one experiences when a relationship with the spiritual world truly and earnestly takes place... Continue



Karmic Relations, Volume II, Lecture 3 by Rudolf Steiner

I have been laying particular emphasis on the fact that study of the historical development of the life of mankind must lead on to study of the human being himself. All our endeavours aim in the direction of placing man at the centre of our study of the world. Two ends are attained thereby. Firstly, it is only in this way that the world can be studied as it truly is. For all that man sees spread around him in nature is only a part — gives as it were one picture of the world only: and to limit study of the world to this realm of nature is like studying a plant without looking beyond root, green leaf and stem, and ignoring flower and fruit... .. Continue



Anthroposophists in the Time of National Socialism in Germany by Uwe Werner

Anthroposophists belonged to the many groups of people who were persecuted under the Nazi regime. Hitler's own disdaining remarks regarding Rudolf Steiner and the Anthroposophists appeared as early as 1921.(1) By spring of 1933, articles criticizing the movement began appearing more frequently in National Socialist newspapers. By the summer of that year, Steiner's books were banned from public libraries in Bavaria, and study groups and branches of the General Anthroposophical Society, along with other cultural organizations, were ordered to submit to National Socialistic leadership. .. Continue





Poetry

Desolation Row
by Bob Dylan

   
They’re selling postcards of the hanging
They’re painting the passports brown
The beauty parlor is filled with sailors
The circus is in town
Here comes the blind commissioner
They’ve got him in a trance
One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker
The other is in his pants
And the riot squad they’re restless
They need somewhere to go
As Lady and I look out tonight
From Desolation Row ... Continue



Collegium Musicum by Frank Thomas Smith

  
Taking my son to the Collegium Musicum
Is good for his musical future, no doubt;
For me it has advantages, too.
The hour and forty minutes spent
Waiting at the outdoor cafe
Give me a chance to think in circles ...Continue



Letters to the Editor

  
I was moved by this poem. I love how the two parts of the poem are almost identical.  It made me go back and forth, comparing the two and contemplating the differences.  The poem is evocative and I could live into and experience the mood.  Thank you! ...
continue




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