Lullaby of Lies (Urban Fantasy) (Levels # 3)

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As I wander window to window, tab to tab, my digital extensions are in action, structured linearly, housed in platforms with inherent intentions for a specific interaction. The platforms set regimes for a mechanized static set of social interactions. The virtual city is a sum of its extensions, constantly updating, and shifting in its malleability.

Each platform program is embedded with a systematic set of tensions, negotiations, and subverted objectives. To engage in a digital global society, the mask of services hides an underlying voyeur of surveillance and activity monitoring. Our bodies become distracted by mass media and thoughts increasingly polluted by the slow drone of endless sharing and internet thread conversations. Users construct their virtual identities in an iterative fashion, and engage others in spaces bound by host platforms for ulterior purposes.

The editable bodies are malleable and ever-changing, chained to specific functions and subjugated to sporadic edits and updates from its physical user. The whole body becomes a web of cyclical activity utilized with stable relationships but fluctuating populations. At each moment live sections through the city accurately spatialize the repetitive dynamics of experiences while surfing the web. The notion of loneliness is not familiar to the connected society of virtual cities. The virtual citizen seeks a constant interaction; building and socializing in search of reassurances to reinforce a sense of individualism built around the approval of a collective.

The virtual city is a manifestation of a diverse and connected society. The authenticity of bodies is disregarded as these extensions are each in their own right separate shells for inhabitation. Each body is an apparatus pristinely molded in an ideal state of values and aesthetics, cast forth as mobile narratives of individuals. Contractors work around the clock to ensure high speed circulation, and impeccable organization.

The archive is the best in the world. Recently our new building the Wikipedia Library has become an integral addition to our resource services with full integration into the database of our search centers. Instagram and Amazon has merged to provide an unparalleled set of stores and viewing avenues encompassed in one navigable interface location; the Insta-Amazon Mall.

The mall has countless stores of tech devices, apparel, image galleries, food court, and even a Facebook cafe. This is a destination for any virtual citizen seeking to participate in the ultimate shopping experience under a warm and comfortable environment, with stores displaying products and images of culture catered to the interest of the shopper.

It is the only mall with a generative escalator technology allowing users to individualize their shopping experience by constructing their own personalized pathway to hit up a specified set of stores, giving shoppers an intimate, efficient, shopping experience. Facebook allows you to personalize your interactions and social group. Connect and prosper! Tinder empowers users to look for a connection. It is a destination where your complex life focuses into finding a relationship. At Tinder we believe in efficiency, speed, and quality.

By utilizing assembly line planning we provide as many opportunities for a match as possible. Millions of people from all around the world come in to our host facilities every day, your perfect partner is only a swipe away! They are islands of worlds giving a full immersive narrative and fantasy with millions of others who share a similar passion. People come to live out a different life, in an entirely different universe. This out of body experience is highly recommended for any visitor. Upon waking he felt he had a firm recollection of the whole experience, and taking his laptop, quickly, almost feverishly, typed out the lines that are here recorded.

From the lingering recollections of his vision, the poet has repeatedly thought to finish for himself what had been, originally, as it were, handed to him, but that day has yet to come. As a contrast to that unanswered proposal, he has roughed in a fragment that conveys with fidelity what might have been. For the past years that I have lived, this envelope remained the biggest mystery of all. And it marks the beginning for me to learn about the program, the world, and the time we are living in. This is a time when human life is virtually infinite. The medical advancement in the 21st century practically creates a new world where when to die became a personal choice.

Mankind celebrated this new idea of immortality for centuries until we finally realized the devastating global breakdown it was leading us to. An irreversible destruction first predicted by Thomas Malthus. Malthus, the name known to absolutely everyone, was an English mathematician, who first published his notorious essay of Malthusian Curve in When such a point is reached, not only nature could become hostile to us but mankind will become his own worst nightmare.

The competition for resources in order to survive would make human unthinkable…. As if the planet has its own consciousness, it started to eliminate the parasite inhabiting it. The unbalanced environment rendered devastated chain effects which caused nature to disappear and the habitable ground for all living beings severely shrunken. We survived this catastrophe by channeling eighty percent of our energy consumption into generating life-sustaining necessity. The dazzling Time Square in old time postcards no longer shine.

The night can never fall darker, all to ensure we will have enough power to produce fresh air and clean water for tomorrow. To save energy, if not generate more, becomes the only focus of our everyday life. However, despite all the efforts to keep ourselves alive, with the population still growing in a non-forgivable speed, we soon realized that the population needed to be controlled or even reduced… somehow.

The program is aiming for a solution beyond birth control, a solution for true population reduction. In the time like ours where nature environment no longer exists in the natural state, the program recreates a pristine natural wonderland, far away from the human settlement, where air flows, river runs, forest grows, animal lives freely. As a result, the REturn-ee will experience the last stage of his life and eventually forever rest in this peaceful Elysium.

On the other hand, by detaching the dying people from the living society, the program altered the perception and idea of death fundamentally. Since we never have to witness the passing away of our love ones, for us, death is no longer painful and fearful. Instead, it is fulfilling and celebratory. Despite the unimaginable amount of resources and capital needed to forge this natural environment, the government launched the program in the year of It has proven to be one of the most rewarding and successful government operation ever established.

The world population was reduced significantly in the first few decades and the growth rate was finally calmed to a sustainable level ever since. So as always, life goes on. My great-grandson, Noah, was born when I was years old. Because this was the day I had waited for my whole life; the day the largest mystery of my life will be resolved; the day that I can finally open the sealed envelope from Alexander after more than 15 decades of guessing what could be in it.

And I certainly did. Not long after Noah was born and the envelope was opened, I decided to embark on my own REturn. REturn is the word officially used by the program. I always assumed it means to return myself back to Mother Nature, but the truth is nobody knows exactly what it is referring to.

Instead, it marks the departure. It was a beautiful winter morning the day I REturn. As always, it was a joyful day with a hint of sorrow. REturn is sorrowful for the fact that this departure platform represented the very last place and moment that I could have contact with my beloved family and friends.

But it was indeed way more celebratory. Before I board the departure pod and commence the last one-way journey of my life, there was just one last thing I need to do. There are countless life decisions during our lifetime, some easier while some tougher; what profession to choose, where to live, whether and when to get married, to have a child, and so on and so forth. However, when to die, is no doubt the hardest decision we ever have to make. I saw many people baffling with the idea and eventually got lost in their way to the decision. Some had lost their purpose of living but still find no courage to go beyond.

Women's Songs: The Lullaby in the Spanish Autonomous Region of Valencia

Therefore, I definitely feel blessed that I was able to make up my mind in my early s. Now, I have been living in this long lost paradise for a bit more than two years. Without any medical attention, I can certainly feel my physical body getting weaker and weaker by the minute and I am getting closer and closer to my own completion. But my mind cannot be clearer. Aristotle once described circle as a perfect geometry.

He was also the first person in history to define the meaning of perfection. He characterized perfection as being that which is so good and cannot be better, where all purposes are fulfilled and completed. Have I lived a life without regrets? Have I fulfilled all my responsibilities and purposes? Do I consider my life journey completed? I believe these are the three qualities Alexander was challenging me with his card. I certainly found my own enlightenment through the perfect circle.

I was born in a time where the only thing worth a true celebration is to die. This is a time where the conception of death is fundamentally altered. To be able to undoubtedly know your death will offer a brighter tomorrow back to the world is the most gratifying knowing one could ever wish for. To be able to willingly decide your own ending, and consciously witness your own completion, is the most fortunate decision one could ever dream of. This little building came humbly into the world. There was no silver spoon from a signature architect parent, and there was little celebration of its arrival, aside from a handful of toll booth workers happy to have a place to sit.

It was simply a tollbooth. Though a valuable building — useful in the busy, high-traffic, motorway system — and sturdy, with decent proportions and a pretty snazzy blue color; it was of sheer practical use. It had no spatial quality to speak of and was in no way glamorous. Its acrylic glazing was already scuffed and hazy. And with every passing vehicle the tollbooth wondered what other kind of building it might like to become:. Now after quite some time of toll-by-toll daydreaming, the tollbooth had made up its mind to change its path and become a world-renown building, something special — like on the cover of all those fancy architecture magazines.

Celebrated not only for its amazing spaces and illuminating light but its incredible, articulate details. With its vent-space in the clouds it was easy to ignore the many passing customers through the toll-way. Just when the building thought there was nothing more in this world for him other than the glamorous museum in the center of the architecture universe, he was struck cold.

The building was quite smitten and invited the woman inside. Over time the building and the woman formed a relationship and before they knew it, the woman had moved in. The following summer the building had added some sleek columns for a backyard portico for outdoor get-togethers instead of the bold, broad museum exterior they were originally for; it would get to it next year.

But as time passed the building and the woman spoke less and less about the grand museum plans and more and more about their common interests — cooking, watching films, making things, music. As their relationship grew so did their family and before long they had children of their own: Francis and Darlene. The time Francis broke her leg so the building created a track through the house she could use to roll along….

When they outfitted the family room with high ceilings like a chapel so Darlene could practice her cello…. The tollbooth — now the family home — was a complete reflection of their lives; it evolved as the family did. Sooner than they thought, however, the children had grown up and moved out of the house. Darlene was off to teach music at a middle school, and Francis off to work for an architect.

The building and the woman rested. They had friends over for dinner and talked about old times. It would remember its big dream of becoming that glamorous, edgy-yet-stoic museum. It had many spaces, mixed and varied. No particular theme to speak of, no grand halls, no breathtaking artwork. It was most definitely not fit for any magazine cover….

Asian & Asian American Children's Books for ages 0 to 18

Time went on and Francis had made quite a name for herself as an architect. Francis became known for her innate sensibility to space and light tied together with her rather oddball formal styling. It was then when the building realized that, in a way, it became what it had always set out to be. A building of inspiring spaces, comforting rooms hosting countless stories, an exquisite example of architecture to be copied the world over.

But because of you, I have been granted all those dreams and thousands more. Freedom for small Vera Lee. Her bag skids across the Formica counter as she sheds her burdens and reaches for a glass in one movement. The water sparkles in the red plastic, reflecting the deep blue autumn sky. They skip down the hall over the brown and patchy carpet. A hop and arabesque, Vera presses the elevator button down! Across the lobby she slams open the front door.

Her eyes are assaulted with sunshine and a piercing glint off the sidewalk. Her fingers create a lattice across her eyes and, suitably shielded from the brilliance, she bends toward the gum-marked concrete. The small, round object takes form as her eyes adjust to the blue and orange fall day. Vera reaches out her delicate fingers to rescue a quarter from a life of grime and demise in the sewer system. It does not budge. She kneels down to inspect it more closely.


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It is stuck! She picks at it with her fingernails. She kicks at it with the toe of her tennis shoe. She drags the treads of her sole across it. She pokes her finger in her cheek and contemplates the dilemma. In the gutter lays a piece of metal from an unknown object. It is thin, rigid and sharp: the perfect tool. Vera works her little fingers around the metal object, slicing at the quarter, prying, poking, until she frees it. In triumph, she holds it up to the sun. She admires it before slipping it into her pocket along with the very handy tool.

Satisfied with her accomplishment, she continues her walk to the park, her purposeful steps interrupted with the occasional skip. The oasis of imagination built with steel and paved with wood chips lies kitty-corner across the street. Vera eyes the traffic as her feet tap impatiently for their park adventure. She balances on the curb as she weighs the likelihood of cars stopping for a little girl in a green dress and purple leg warmers. She hears footsteps, laughing and gum popping. Turning, she finds a trio of girls lounging down the block. Oh, the smack of that gum! Vera negotiates with the giggling girls for a stick of gum in exchange for her quarter.

She makes two for the price of one by tearing the gum in half. She slips half in her mouth and half in her pocket. How wonderful to be such a big, powerful girl! Still giggling, the girls step into traffic, confident of their ability to stop cars with a toss of the head as they make their way diagonally across the intersection. Vera, also confident in their supergirl powers, follows them, imitating the wiggle of their hips and set of their arms. She waves to the oblivious girls and skips onto the grass. Running as fast as she can, Vera leaps onto a red-white-and-blue merry-go-round sending it into a crazy whirl.

She leans back and watches the apartment buildings and skyscrapers whiz by upside down. She shakes her head and her hair goes in a hundred different directions, scattering the intense, orange, late afternoon light bouncing off her glossy hair. She gets off and propels the metal disc faster and faster. The stray wood chips fly off it followed by the slightly heavier pop tabs and bottle caps, the remainder of some past conclave of neighborhood teens.

She pushes it around and around until she is dizzy just watching it. She falls backward and lays, staring at the deep blue sky. Michael, a boy from a nearby building, finds her. Help me. The centrifugal force of the merry-go-round has spun half a piece of gum into a pocketful.

Vera offers Michael a piece in exchange for his hand. Taking it, Vera allows herself to be pulled to her feet. She races Michael to a great, big oak on the far edge of the park. The massive tree has a low branch on the park side and leans far out over the street. Vera hoists herself up onto it and Michael climbs up after her. The sun slants in and it looks like her hands have disappeared in a glowing, magic froth. Vera and Michael wave to her. His mother smiles and waves back, the magic stuck to her fingers. She motions for Vera to wait a moment and produces a bubble wand from somewhere beyond the window.

Bubble follows bubble as her puckered lips direct her breath steadily through the wand and out the window. Vera reaches for the first bubbles as they float by but they pop on her fingertips. As the bubbles flow out of the building, so do the people: heads poke out of windows, people open their doors. They occupy the stoops, then the sidewalk. Someone flips on a car stereo.

The booms of the stereo punctuate the rising voices and laughter.

Article excerpt

She grabs a neighbor and shimmies into the street. Wiggle, bounce, kick goes Vera, making the oak leaves dance. Hop, spin, leap! The music lifts her off the branch and she jumps into the middle of the neighborhood below. Many years ago, far away in the small town of Onsted, Michigan, the board of the famed honey packer Groeb Farms, huddled together to come up with a new, inventive initiative. They racked their brains for weeks on end, struggling to materialize an unprecedented vessel for their sweet product.

The next several months were a mad rush of inspired planning and organization. For, you see, Honey Street was a concept meant to make a tidy profit from the bee industry by centralizing several necessary honey-producing components in Highland Park, whose Combined with the fact that Michigan was already home to an incredible amount of backyard beekeepers, the synthesis suited the community and the board quite well.

And so, three nearby buildings were picked: a church, a strip club, and a hotel. Each was given an aspect of honey production while retaining its initial program. The church proved just as capable to inspiring its followers with faith as it did serving as a honey deposit and storage facility, replete with well-trained bee-monks carrying out their tasks with solemn pride.

The hotel was overjoyed to be beautified with a bee garden in the courtyard, with patrons more than willing to share the space with their hungry, new apian neighbors. For a while, all seemed well, and all were content. Groeb Farms, however, was also using Honey Street as a means of smuggling federally banned Chinese honey into the country for a low cost. The board was caught in the largest food crime of all time, Honeygate. It drove them to bankruptcy. Percy McAllister was shamed into obscurity, and sentenced to a weighty prison stint.

Their Honey Street initiative had to be abandoned, and the buildings were eventually vacated and left unoccupied for years. Their contribution never stopped. In the church, as its walls weakened and fell apart, hives within began to become visible underneath. The honey bulbs, once meant to store and carefully dispense honey to be stored in barrels for sale, kept dripping with abandon. Massive pools of the substance began to form. Some of the floors eventually gave out under the weight of the confection.

The culprit was never found, as is too often the case. Hives on the roof sat, burnt but still sturdy, unoccupied. Down the street, the hotel had been transformed utterly.

Levels, no. 3

The bee garden had overtaken the building itself, growing wildly and suffocating the former structure with foliage and greenery. Within the now empty rooms lived massive hives, unbridled in their growth by all but the dimensions of the rooms themselves. The bees had turned them into pollen storage, as a result of the banquet they enjoyed in the courtyard. Once a somber space with cultured, controlled plots, the garden had grown wild with flowers and leaves and nature. It overwhelmed the senses, and sustained the apian gardeners.

Favourite Urban Fantasy Novels - Top 5 Wednesday

Soon, the residents of Highland Park began to notice the completely remade structures. This fresh pasta restaurant near Old Street is centred on a spianatoia, a traditional wooden work-bench, where chefs make the food Mediterranean and Japanese influences can be seen in everything from the food to the design at Bloomsbury Street Kitchen Fondue, raclette and rosti are just three of the Swiss dishes on the menu at The spacious and light-filled centre Triyoga Chelsea is located on the King's Road offering an idyllic sanctuary and three light filled studios Triyoga in Camden has five yoga studios housed in a beautifully renovated Victorian warehouse which National Theatre.

Electric Brixton. O2 Academy Brixton. After a lengthy period away from the limelight, London-based four-piece Bombay Bicycle Club celebrates ten The Comedy Pub. Comedian Nick Helm, a familiar face from his Pleasance Theatre. The award-winning stand-up trials his latest routine Hackney Empire. The actor and comedian best known for Tiswas, Self-taught butcher Charlie Carroll continues the expansion of his popular Flat Iron steakhouse with this Coming from Los Angeles, where it has a huge fan base, Eggslut puts the humble Redesigned by architects, Orms, The Hallmark Building has been elegantly updated to become a bright office space with tall ceilings Lina Stores, a long standing and much loved Soho institution, comes to King's Cross London is marking the 50th anniversary of Follow the rainbow flags to find out where With the arrival of more skyscrapers comes the Sundown over the city skyline is best enjoyed With four glorious days off work, the Get advice and assistance from a London Expert.

Your message:. Phone on London Directory London events Theatre Lullaby. From Jun 24, Tue-Sun Email to a friend. Book tickets at Barbican Centre. View Deals. Visitor Information. Tube Line. HotelMap for Lullaby. Underground Stations. Barbican Tube Station. Moorgate Tube Station. Railway Stations. Shoreditch High Street Overground Station. Hoxton Overground Station. Car Parks. Barbican Centre 22 Legion. The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi. She tells them that she will choose a name later.

Her classmates are fascinated by this no-name girl and start filling a glass jar with names for her to pick from. After trying some names, Unei decides to stick with her real name. The Name Jar is a beautifully illustrated, engaging story about valuing your roots and your uniqueness.

Dear Juno by Soyung Pak. Juno and his grandmother love writing letters to each other. Juno sends drawings, his grandmother letters in Korean and photos. One day she even sends a miniature aeroplane to let Juno know that she is coming to visit. Dear Juno is a warm and tender story about family far away. The richly illustrated picture book won the Ezra Jack Keats award.

Spunky little Suki wears her favourite kimono on her first day back to school. Initially, her classmates laugh but Suki soon wins them over by telling them about the street festival she attended with her grandmother and even doing an impromptu dance. Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji by F. His grandfather, Dada-ji, is the best storyteller, and Aneel loves hearing about how in his youth, adventurous Dada-ji shook mangoes off trees and tied knots into wild cobras.

Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji is a sweet family story as well as a rollicking tall tale, energetically told with exuberant acrylic illustrations. Cora cooks Pancit by Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore. Together they prepare pancit, her favourite Filipino noodle dish. Cora helps with all the grown-up jobs, from shredding the chicken to stirring the noodles carefully in the pot. At dinner time Cora waits anxiously to see what everyone thinks of her cooking. Cora Cooks Pancit is a delightful picture book that captures the warmth between mother and daughter beautifully.

King for a Day by Rukhsana Khan. The Pakistani spring festival Basant has arrived, and Malik is getting ready for the traditional battle of kites. He is the king! But when the bully tries to take a kite from a little girl, Malik finds a generous way to help her. With stunning collages made of traditional Pakistani fabric, handmade paper, burlap, silk, and ribbon, King for a Day introduces young readers to a centuries-old festival and the tradition of kite fighting.

Lok Yeay tells of the fruits and plants that grew there, and how her family would sit in their yard and watch the stars that glowed like fireflies. Little Dara becomes determined to bring her grandmother back to a place of happiness. A Path of Stars is a touching story about family and loss.

The Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan. When Rubina comes home with her first birthday-party invitation, her mother asks why people in the US celebrate birthdays, as in Pakistan they do not. Big Red Lollipop is a fresh picture book with a clever storyline and irresistible illustrations. Inspired by her grandfather in Japan who used to play in an orchestra, Hana starts studying violin and after only three lessons signs up for the school talent show.

At the show, Hana surprises everyone — even herself. Hana Hashimoto Sixth Violin is a delightful picture book that celebrates music, individuality and the special bond between a child and a grandparent. The latest book in the popular and hilarious Alvin Ho chapter book series! Second-grader Alvin takes his fears to a whole new level on a family trip to China, from kung fu lessons and acupuncture treatment to the crowds at tourist attractions.

With an unforgettable main character and delightful illustrations, this series will appeal even to reluctant readers. Dumpling Days by Grace Lin. At first, Pacy is excited about a month-long family trip to Taiwan and the Chinese painting class that awaits her there. The third in the Pacy series, Dumpling Days is a thoughtful and often funny book about identity and learning what matters most.

Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly. Twelve-year-old Apple grapples with being different from her classmates. She and her mother immigrated from the Philippines when she was little. Acclaimed Blackbird Fly is a heartfelt story about family, friendship, identity and finding your own way. Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park.

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Spunky Julia and her friend Patrick are trying to decide on a project for the country fair. Project Mulberry is a fun story about prejudice, acceptance, and finding a good source of Mulberry leaves, framed by an entertaining dialogue between Julia and the author herself.


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This award-winning book explores the issues of identity and belonging, stereotypes and perceptions, love and friendship. Eleven-year-old Bollywood movie fan Dini is excited that her family will be moving to India for two years. Her disappointment is huge when she learns that the family is moving to a tiny village in the middle of nowhere.

But she soon finds out that small villages can have surprises! The Grand Plan to Fix Everything is a vibrant novel with a charming protagonist and colourful descriptions of Indian culture and daily life. Sixth Grader Stanford Wong is in trouble.