Life is like a person in a boat. Aboard the boat, one uses a sail, holds a tiller, poles the boat along. Yet the boat carries you and without the boat you are not there. Riding the boat is what makes it a boat. You must study and penetrate this very moment. In this moment, the whole world is this boat. Thus “life” is what I live and “I” is life living me. Getting aboard the boat, this bodymind and all that is around are all the complete activity of the boat. Both the whole world and the vast sky are the boat’s complete activity. This I that lives and the life that is I is just like this.

from "Zenki: Complete Activity"
by Dogen zenji
translated by
Yasuda Joshu Dainen and Anzan Hoshin

A board game where you choose a career, get married, have kids, and drive a car around and doing various things that either cost or make money. You have periodic paydays where you get paid according to your job salary. You can do things like play the lottery and buy insurance. You eventually get to the end of the road where you are assessed on how much money and kids you have (just like in real life). Then you either lose or live in a millionaire home. Instead of dice, you use a Wheel of fortune wheel in order to choose the number of spaces you move ahead.

One of the three Pattern Spheres in Mage the Ascension (along with Matter and Forces), the Sphere of Life allows a mage to fiddle with living creatures. Those with this skill are usually well-respected members of a chantry, because not only can they use their skill to inflict paralysis and other, more dangerous injuries upon their enemies, they are also capable of rebuilding and healing the damaged Patterns of their friends.

Basic levels in this Sphere allow one to observe the patterns of other creatures and to change said patterns when they belong to simple creatures- allowing a Dreamspeaker to make holly berries non-poisonous, or permitting one of the Sons of Ether to induce a silkworm to grow three feet long with growth additives- while Masters of this Sphere can turn vampires into lawn chairs (with a conjunctional Matter effect), change themselves into trees and tigers, and even bring inanimate objects to conscious awareness.

The Verbena are the masters of this Sphere.

By George Herbert

I made a posie while the day ran by:
Here will I smell my remnant out and tie
My life within this band.
But time did becon to the flowers, and they
By noon most cunningly did steal away,
And wither'd in my hand.

My hand was next to them, and then my heart:
I took, without more thinking, in good part
Time's gentle admonition:
Who did so sweetly deaths sad taste convey,
Making my mind to smell my fatal day;
Yet surging the suspicion.

Farewell dear flowers, sweetly your time ye spent,
Fit while ye liv'd, for smell or ornament,
And after death for cures.
I follow straight without complaints or grief,
Since if my sent be good, I care not if
It be as short as yours.

KANJI: SEI SHOU i (life, birth, grow)

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Character Etymology:

From a pictograph of a growing plant, symbolizing vitality.

A Listing of All On-Yomi and Kun-Yomi Readings:

on-yomi: SEI SHOU
kun-yomi: i(kiru) i(kasu) i(keru) u(mareru) u(mare) umare u(mu) o(u) ha(eru) ha(yasu) ki nama nama- na(ru) na(su) mu(su) -u

Nanori Readings:

Nanori: asa iki iku ike ubu umai e oi gyuu kurumi gose sa jou sugi so sou chiru naba niu nyuu fu mi mou yoi ryuu

English Definitions:

  1. SHOU, SEI: birth, life, existance, living; subsistence; student.
  2. ha(eru): grow; spring up; cut (teeth).
  3. ha(yasu): grow, cultivate, wear (a beard).
  4. i(kasu): revive, resuscitate; restore to life; let live; spare a life; make the most of; give life to.
  5. i(keru): keep alive; arrange flowers (in a vase); living.
  6. i(kiru): live, subsist, exist; be safe (on first, as in baseball).
  7. na(rasu): cause to bear (fruit).
  8. na(ru): grow (on a plant), bear (fruit).
  9. na(su): bear (a child).
  10. o(u): grow.
  11. shou(jiru), shou(zuru): produce, yield, create, give rise to, bear, breed; happen, result from.
  12. u(mareru): be born.
  13. u(mu): bear, give birth to, spawn, breed; produce, yield.
  14. nama: raw, uncooked, fresh; unripe; rare; hard cash; conceited; inexperienced; (beer) on tap; crude (rubber), unprocessed.
  15. i(ki): living; freshness; setting.
  16. u(mare): birth, origin, lineage; birthplace.
  17. u(mi): childbirth.
  18. -fu: grassy place; woods.
  19. ki-: pure, undiluted, genuine; raw, crude.

Character Index Numbers:

New Nelson: 3715
Henshall: 42

Unicode Encoded Version:

Unicode Encoded Compound Examples:

(sensei): teacher, doctor; master; elder; honorific suffix.
(gakusei): student.
生き方 (i(ki)kata): way of life, how to live.
生生 (seisei): lively, vivdly.
生化 (seikagaku): biochemistry.

  Previous: correct  |  Japanese Kanji  |  Next: blue

lexiphage = L = Life is hard

life n.

1. A cellular-automata game invented by John Horton Conway and first introduced publicly by Martin Gardner ("Scientific American", October 1970); the game's popularity had to wait a few years for computers on which it could reasonably be played, as it's no fun to simulate the cells by hand. Many hackers pass through a stage of fascination with it, and hackers at various places contributed heavily to the mathematical analysis of this game (most notably Bill Gosper at MIT, who even implemented life in TECO!; see Gosperism). When a hacker mentions `life', he is much more likely to mean this game than the magazine, the breakfast cereal, or the human state of existence. 2. The opposite of Usenet. As in "Get a life!"

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.


A CRUST of bread and a corner to sleep in,
A minute to smile and an hour to weep in,
A pint of joy to a peck of trouble,
And never a laugh but the moans come double;
And that is life!

A crust and a corner that love makes precious,
With the smile to warm and the tears to refresh us;
And joy seems sweeter when cares come after,
And a moan is the finest of foils for laughter;
And that is life!

-from Lyrics of Lowly Life, Paul Laurence Dunbar (1896)

Life is a brand of cereal make by Quaker Oats. It consists of latticed squares of sweetened wholegain oat cereal. It is very similar to Shreddies in appearance.

The added sugar is the chief draw of the cereal for kids; the taste is nothing to write home about otherwise.

Like most cereals, Life is an excellent source of Iron. (However, if you're eating cereal for the Iron content, drink some orange juice with it. Grains have non-heme iron, which isn't as easily absorbed as heme iron, but which is better absorbed when taken with vitamin C.) Life is also a good source (ie, more than 10% of daily recommended intake per serving) of Calcium, which is an unusual claim for a cereal to make. (And maybe worth ignoring the 21% sugar by weight for..)

There is also a sister cereal called "Cinnamon Life", identical but for the addition of cinnamon.

1995 album by The Cardigans

Track listing

1. Carnival
2. Gordon's Gardenparty
3. Daddy's Car
4. Sick And Tired
5. Tomorrow
6. Rise and Shine
7. Beautiful One
8. Travelling With Charley
9. Fine
10. Celia Inside
11. Hey! Get Out of My Way
12. After All...
13. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

The Cardiganss second album, in part a rehash of Emmerdale, as it includes five tracks from that album which was released a year before (1994), but some have been rerecorded (and given a slightly more acid feel).

Life and Emmerdale make up the first part of the band's style up to this moment. Jazzy pop at it's finest, slightly dated and, above all, sweet sound with bitter lyrics and Tore Johansson's production.

As most of The Cardigan's records, the presentation is quite interesting. The booklet and cover portrays the band members characterised. Nina's on the cover as a skater, Peter is a secret agent, Magnus is a boxer, Bengt and athlete and Lasse a submarine captain. This tries to capture the spirit of Life magazine, as Nina Persson says:

The aim of Life was to be a sixties album. We wanted originally to make the booklet like a piece of Life, the magazine. Life is a 60s magazine (I think it still exists) about celebrities, extraordinary people... We wanted to make something like it, so we chose different characters that could have been in Life.

The booklet also includes detailed instructions on opening the case and retrieving the disc (instructions found inside, of course) and a list of the instruments used to make the album including feet, fingers, hands and pernod bottles.

All in all, a polished version of Emmerdale, losing some of its original innocency but gaining some quality. After this one, the band would go on to First Band on the Moon, less of a happening and more of a rock ditty, so this is the album to get to taste the original The Cardigan's sound (though the later albums are interesting in their own ways).


This is my favourite (spot the Brit) quote about life, unparalleled only by Matthew Arnold's poem:

'Weary of myself, and sick of asking
What I am, and what I ought to be,
At this vessel's prow I stand, which bears me
Forwards, forwards, o'er the starlit sea.'

I find it incredible that Matthew Arnold is so accessible, despite being a Victoriana.

Anyway here is Alfred De Souza:

'For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But here was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, or a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that this was my life.'

Some might find this depressing, but I think it's beautiful; I defy anyway who has struggled at some point in their life not to find beauty and resonance in it.

Life is just one of those must-play experiences, with an unheard of addiction rate of 99.95% of anyone who's ever played it. However, merely because it is addicting does not make it good. Therefore, I present to you an in-depth review of Life.

Let's start from the very beginning: Life is played on 6 continents, five of which are spawning grounds for characters. These continents are vast -- approximately 100,000 - 150,000 times bigger than those in the second largest MMORPG, World of Warcraft. In order to play Life, however, one must be invited. This is not a game where the purchase guarantees entry to the game world itself; instead, two characters must decide that they will allow a third in, and complete an in-game ritual verifying this fact. But the nitty-gritty of character generation is a complete surprise to even the most hardened MMO veteran: it's completely and totally random. When you're invited to the game world, you have no say over your opening race, your stats such as strength, intelligence, soul, and ethics, faction, or starting location. Instead, these are determined by your invitees, just as when you invite someone in, your stats assist in the creation of their stats.

Life comes with an extensive tutorial period taking approximately 14 to 25 years to complete. This is simply massive in terms of a learning curve for any MMO. However, the characters who invited you in are also responsible for teaching you the basics of the game; their performance in tutorial delivery can be exceptional or non-existent, or they could just hand you off to someone else if they feel they can't do the job. Although the tutorial is widely considered to be the most difficult part of the game, the rest of the game is by all means worth it.

The graphics in Life are nothing short of stellar, complete with seamless anti-aliasing, bump mapping across millions of textures, and the detail is simply astounding. Best played at a resolution of 8192 x 6144 (termed 20/20 in game), even the very threads in a character's clothing are rendered with extreme accuracy. However, there is a catch. The way you handle your character and the events that happen to him or her can affect the graphics in game as well. The resolution in game can drop as low as 80 x 60, rendering you, the player unable to see virtually any detail in the game world at all; the visual component may even permanently turn off if enough damage is sustained to the eyes.

In the same fashion, the audio component is also easily adjustable. By experiencing high volumes, the in game volume will decrease, and inversely, low volumes will cause it to increase. As your character levels up, past audio experiences will affect the quality of future audio experiences, and if the audio is traumatic enough, the game may set the volume to 0, and since these options can't be reached by the player, there's nothing you can do.

Life is the first MMO to offer its own physics system, although this physics system does cover everything down to heat transfer at the atomic level (quite a departure from the inaccurate system of Half-Life 2), there is always an unaccountable error of about 3%. However, this physics system was worked out and formulated by players with in-game tools.

When Life was first released, the developers had guided the players through the game, supplying player tutorials, and creating the plot. However, over the beta of Life and all through the development cycle, the offerings of plot and events had gradually fell away, eventually leaving only the players interacting with the engine.

Because the entire world is now player driven, with players setting objectives and paying the respective rewards to each other upon completion of the goals (for example, receiving a set amount of one of many currencies depending on the player's region every month for working for another player). This results in a near-combatless environment, as most players are too preoccupied with inter-player interaction to grind the wildlife for levels.

In addition, since the developers are no longer supplying new content to Life, the new content is player driven. Some players can elect to be musicians, for example, and there are player controlled and created mechanisms in game to distribute and play music.

Life is not without its negatives, though. Oftentimes the player created campaign seems long and unnecessary, and once a player logs out, they can never log back in again. In addition, once a character dies, after three minutes the character can no longer be revived. Ever.

Life is a good game that makes itself available for people of all sorts and skill levels, crossing all sorts of genres. Life is a must play game.

I don't get two things about life:


a) There is no manual.

I understand that if humans were simple turing machines, fun ( the fun of life ) would have an entirely different definition ( GLaDOS ).  But seriously, the method by which our brain performs processes is generally unknown to us.  Not giving a manual describing self-operation, or even self-knowledge, to a fairly intelligent being with the added bonus of emotion and consciousness just seems dangerous.


b) I am somehow conscious enough to ask this question.

Not in the sense that I am conscious enough because I simply didn't drink enough today.  In all of humanity, considering all of the stupid things we have done and thought, and all of the smart things we have done and thought, it is still very unobvious what we can and can't do.  A lot of the definitions for what we can't do are defined by humans, which mostly involve protection and self-preservation.  So what happens when I think?  Is someone listening?  Is my brain a little, self-contained universe?  Should I wear a tin-foil hat?  Did I ( a persona ) ask this question, or am I enabled to do so by virtue of my DNA code?  If I didn't have this code, would I still be able to ask this question, or at least be able to derive this question?  These are desperately important questions that need to be answered.

Life is a cop drama (sort of) that currently is airing in the United States on NBC. Short version of this review: it's the best drama NBC has fielded in years.

Layer 1:
Charlie Crews was a homicide detective in Los Angeles, but the heinous murder of a family connected to him resulted in him going to prison for life. Lucky for him, his lawyer was very, very good at her job, and he ended up being pardoned after serving twelve years, most of that in solitary confinement.

Layer 2:
Twelve years is a very long time for a person to spend alone, but Charlie was lucky - he had a book with him: a book on Zen meditation. It became the closest thing he had to a friend apart from:

Layer 3:
Ted. Charlie met Ted in prison. Ted was doing time for swindling millions of dollars from various people and organizations. White collar criminals aren't usually the toughest of people, and Charlie ended up saving his life in jail.

Layer 4:
Not only was Charlie pardoned, but he successfully sued the city of Los Angeles. His settlement came in two parts - he was given his old job back in the homicide division, and he was given an undisclosed cash settlement. Judging from the size of his house and the cars he drives, it was a very, very large settlement. He needed somebody to keep an eye on the money, so he let Ted move into his garage.

Layer 5:
Charlie was partnered with Dani Reese in homicide, a former undercover narcotics officer who went a little too far undercover and emerged blinking into the California sun an alcoholic and drug addict. Her job, ostensibly, was to find a reason, any reason, to get Crews fired.

It sounds preposterous, right? And I admit I approached the thing with trepidation, but get this: it's stylish. It's gorgeously shot. The dialogue is this weird combination of zen theory and barely-constrained violence, and the thing that sells it is that the murders that Crews ends up having to solve are so entirely twisted and weird that you can almost taste how much fun the writers are having with the thing - there's the guy whose bottom half got vaporized by a gas explosion who, it turned out, had two completely separate families and worked for the IRS. There's the homeless hippie woman found dead in a forest, still clutching her acoustic guitar with a dancing bear carved into its front. There's a truly inspired chase sequence involving the sound distortion from a flash-bang, a 350 pound Samoan and a pair of custom car builders, one of whom only repeats the other one's lines.

Tying the whole thing together is the Zen thread that weaves its way through the thing - Crews sublimates his frustrations with fruit. A woman compliments him on his car and he gives it to her because it's only an object. He keeps a crime wall hidden in his closet to track the interconnectedness of all things as they relate to the murder he was put away for. It's energetic and fanciful and fun and, for now at least, the entire series is available on Hulu.

It's called, "Life," get it? Life was what Crews was sentenced to, and Life was what he was given back. The Zen never ends.

Give it a try.

The meaning of life is pretty simple. There are three main rules:

  1. Eat
  2. Don't get eaten
  3. Reproduce

That's basically it. There are also some finer points such as breathing, but the main gist is to steal as much energy as possible without letting anyone else steal yours, in order to live long enough to have children.

You have to keep eating so that you don't die of starvation. For endothermic lifeforms, this means eating occasionally. For exothermic ones (that means you), you really need to do it daily. As Neil deGrasse Tyson said in a presentation at the Beyond Belief convention1, "We have to eat constantly because we're warm blooded. A crocodile'll eat a chicken a month, it's fine."

You have to keep running away from other lifeforms trying to eat you, or defend yourself in some other way. Since we humans invented things like weapons and walls, this is pretty easy to forget, but the natural way of living is to die at a young age by, for example, being eaten by a lion.

Reproduction is where the magic happens. One or two lifeforms combine to make a new one. The parents are eventually discarded so that the child can take their place, and the whole cycle continues. In the process, the child has some random new piece of genetic code to try out. With any luck, it might give this new lifeform some advantage that improves the chances of her or his reproduction. If she's unfortunate, it'll give her a disadvantage that'll get her eaten before she can reproduce. More likely, it won't make any noticeable difference. In this manner, all lifeforms are very slowly refined.

To make the game interesting, any lifeform can have its energy stolen by being eaten by another lifeform. If your random mutations happen to have given you the inclination and the body parts necessary to steal someone else's energy in a new and interesting way, it's considered fair game. Nature is ruthless, and nothing will get you disqualified from the game on grounds of cheating.

As you might expect, this has resulted in some pretty nasty survival techniques that would give horror writers a run for their money. For example, there's a genus of wasp which injects her offspring into a caterpillar. The larvae then eat the caterpillar from the inside out, and as if that's not gruesome enough, the behaviour of the caterpillar is somehow modified to make it defend them2.

Wasps aren't alone in their ability to alter the behaviour of others to suit their own agenda. Another example is the Lancet liver fluke, which has developed an astonishingly elaborate life cycle in which it gets eaten by a snail, then an ant, which it gets to climb up to the top of a blade of grass in order to be eaten by a cow or sheep.

In case this seems too depressing, or even downright scary, there are plenty of examples of symbiotic, cooperative survival techniques. For example, plants reproduce via bees, giving them nectar, in exchange for which the bees carry their pollen from one plant to another. Crocodiles and hippos let birds clean their teeth. They forgo the temptation to eat the bird because it's more useful to have clean teeth.

So life itself is about eating and reproducing, and a side effect of life is the refinement of all lifeforms to make them better suited to their current environments, otherwise known as evolution by means of natural selection.

This is what life is about. It needn't be what we're about, now that we're clever and knowledgeable enough to have developed a society, a culture. We now have the choice of making up our own purpose, our own personal reason for getting out of bed in the morning. That's what I prefer to do. We're so privileged to live in a society, that it's an insult not to take advantage of our wonderful situation. But don't kid yourself: it's not natural. It's better than natural.

If you're looking for a clever, thought provoking point to being alive, you're going to be sorely disappointed or forever searching for something that isn't there. It all boils down to food and sex.


  1. YouTube: revtyson: What does Neil Tyson think about Intelligent Design?
  2. New Scientist: Zombie caterpillars controlled by voodoo wasps

I slipped into bed late last night, next to Madame, when suddenly she shrilly cried "There's an insect up there!". "So there is" I said and turned over to sleep. A small beetle of some sort was crawling slowly across the ceiling above our heads.

"Well kill it!" she said.

I was not inclined, at that late hour, to embark on dangerous gymnastics so I said "it's okay, just keep your mouth closed until it goes away". Needless to say, this was rejected as a solution. So I found a jar to collect the infiltrator, and released it through the window into the garden.

"Why didn't you squash it" demanded my reclining Princess.

Apart from the fact that leaving a smear of organic chemicals on the ceiling in a difficult place to be cleaned up later, I have uneasy feelings about extinguishing a Life, however insignificant. I fell asleep, wondering why.

It's not spiritual, not even moral: I'll happily squash a mosquito which tries to rob me of my sleep. But not without a brief thought about the miniscule brain that takes input from some sensors and co-ordinates the flight of this tiny insect towards a source of food (my blood), and a set of tools to extract it.

What is the difference between a dead insect, and a living insect? A living insect follows ZoeB's 3 rules:

  1. Eat
  2. Don't get eaten
  3. Reproduce

If the insect is squashed, all the same molecules and chemicals remain present, for a while. So what goes away?


I don't have any other answer.

Life (?), n.; pl. Lives (#). [AS. lyf; akin to D. lijf body, G. leib body, MHG. lyp life, body, OHG. lyb life, Icel. lyf, life, body, Sw. lif, Dan. liv, and E. live, v. . See Live, and cf. Alive.]


The state of being which begins with generation, birth, or germination, and ends with death; also, the time during which this state continues; that state of an animal or plant in which all or any of its organs are capable of performing all or any of their functions; -- used of all animal and vegetable organisms.


Of human being: The union of the soul and body; also, the duration of their union; sometimes, the deathless quality or existence of the soul; as, man is a creature having an immortal life.

She shows a body rather than a life. Shak.

3. Philos

The potential principle, or force, by which the organs of animals and plants are started and continued in the performance of their several and cooperative functions; the vital force, whether regarded as physical or spiritual.


Figuratively: The potential or animating principle, also, the period of duration, of anything that is conceived of as resembling a natural organism in structure or functions; as, the life of a state, a machine, or a book; authority is the life of government.


A certain way or manner of living with respect to conditions, circumstances, character, conduct, occupation, etc.; hence, human affairs; also, lives, considered collectively, as a distinct class or type; as, low life; a good or evil life; the life of Indians, or of miners.

That which before us lies in daily life. Milton.

By experience of life abroad in the world. Ascham.

Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime. Longfellow.

'T is from high life high characters are drawn. Pope


Animation; spirit; vivacity; vigor; energy.

No notion of life and fire in fancy and in words. Felton.

That gives thy gestures grace and life. Wordsworth.


That which imparts or excites spirit or vigor; that upon which enjoyment or success depends; as, he was the life of the company, or of the enterprise.


The living or actual form, person, thing, or state; as, a picture or a description from, the life.


A person; a living being, usually a human being; as, many lives were sacrificed.


The system of animal nature; animals in general, or considered collectively.

Full nature swarms with life. Thomson.


An essential constituent of life, esp: the blood.

The words that I speak unto you . . . they are life. John vi. 63.

The warm life came issuing through the wound. Pope


A history of the acts and events of a life; a biography; as, Johnson wrote the life of Milton.


Enjoyment in the right use of the powers; especially, a spiritual existence; happiness in the favor of God; heavenly felicity.


Something dear to one as one's existence; a darling; -- used as a term of endearment.

Life forms the first part of many compounds, for the most part of obvious meaning; as, life-giving, life-sustaining, etc.

Life annuity, an annuity payable during one's life. -- Life arrow, Life rocket, Life shot, an arrow, rocket, or shot, for carrying an attached line to a vessel in distress in order to save life. -- Life assurance. See Life insurance, below. <-- no life boat?--> -- Life buoy. See Buoy. -- Life car, a water-tight boat or box, traveling on a line from a wrecked vessel to the shore. In it person are hauled through the waves and surf. -- Life drop, a drop of vital blood. Byron. -- Life estate Law, an estate which is held during the term of some certain person's life, but does not pass by inheritance. -- Life everlasting Bot., a plant with white or yellow persistent scales about the heads of the flowers, as Antennaria, and Gnaphalium; cudweed. -- Life of an execution Law, the period when an execution is in force, or before it expires. -- Life guard. Mil. See under Guard. -- Life insurance, the act or system of insuring against death; a contract by which the insurer undertakes, in consideration of the payment of a premium (usually at stated periods), to pay a stipulated sum in the event of the death of the insured or of a third person in whose life the insured has an interest. -- Life interest, an estate or interest which lasts during one's life, or the life of another person, but does not pass by inheritance. -- Life land Law, land held by lease for the term of a life or lives. -- Life line. (a) Naut. A line along any part of a vessel for the security of sailors. (b) A line attached to a life boat, or to any life saving apparatus, to be grasped by a person in the water. -- Life rate, rate of premium for insuring a life. -- Life rent, the rent of a life estate; rent or property to which one is entitled during one's life. -- Life school, a school for artists in which they model, paint, or draw from living models. -- Lifetable, a table showing the probability of life at different ages. -- To lose one's life, to die. -- To seek the life of, to seek to kill. -- To the life, so as closely to resemble the living person or the subject; as, the portrait was drawn to the life.


© Webster 1913.

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