Tuesday, August 30, 2016
But I don’t generally trust people who place all of the credit or all of the blame on a single variable when we’re working with complex adaptive systems. It’s never that easy.
-Ben Carlson, as excerpted from here
Monday, August 29, 2016
..................................the Anthropocene Epoch was upon us.
Faithful readers will know that while pessimism sells books and makes for punchy headlines, optimism has always been the correct bet.
Kris Kristofferson....................................Loving Her Was Easier
I have seen the mornin' burnin' golden on the mountain in the skies
Achin' with the feelin' of the freedom of an eagle when she flies
Turnin' on the world the way she smiled upon my soul as I lay dyin'
Healin' as the colors in the sunshine and the shadows of her eyes
Wakin' in the mornin' to the feelin' of her fingers on my skin
Wipin' out the traces of the people and the places that I've been
Teachin' me that yesterday was somethin' that I'd never thought of trying'
Talkin' of tomorrow and the money love and time we had to spend
Lovin' her was easier than anything I'll ever do again
Comin' close together with a feelin' that I've never known before in my time
She ain't ashamed to be a woman or afraid to be a friend
I don't know the answer to the easy way she opened every door in my mind
But dreamin' was as easy as believin' it was never gonna end
And lovin' her was easier than anything I'll ever do again
Sunday, August 28, 2016
That's is correct. $1.60 to fill the car up. Not $1.60 per gallon, $1.60 for 14.707 gallons. Perhaps an explanation is due: a month or so I got something in the mail from a credit card company. I've had their card for ages, but rarely use it. Their advertisement suggested riches awaited me if I would but use their card. (You should know, faithful reader, that we pay our credit card balances off in full promptly when the bills arrive. No credit card interest rates at this house, but please don't tell them that.) So, trusting to the fates, for the past month their card has been the only one I've used. If they keep this up, it will likely be the only one I ever use. Stay tuned.
Colliding galaxies..........................and you thought global warming was a problem.................
Explanation: Will either of these galaxies survive? In what might be dubbed as a semi-final round in a galactic elimination tournament, the two spirals of NGC 7318 are colliding. The featured picture was created from images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. When galaxies crash into each other, many things may happen including gravitational distortion, gas condensing to produce new episodes of star formation, and ultimately the two galaxies combining into one. Since these two galaxies are part of Stephan's Quintet, a final round of battling galaxies will likely occur over the next few billion years with the eventual result of many scattered stars and one large galaxy. Quite possibly, the remaining galaxy will not be easily identified with any of its initial galactic components. Stephan's Quintet was the first identified galaxy group, lies about 300 million light years away, and is visible through a moderately-sized telescope toward the constellation of the Winged Horse (Pegasus).
The challenge is to get people to admit what they do not know. A non-economist who is quite ignorant is only dangerous if he or she tries to engineer the economy. Most economists, believing that they can engineer the economy, are dangerous.
-as excerpted from this Arnold Kling post
Yes: the distinction between good and bad angels. For the former tell the truth, even when we don’t want to hear it, and they intend our happiness. But the latter tell us lies, and do not intend our happiness. That is why it is so important, why it is even in one’s personal interest, to distinguish the former from the latter.
-David Warren, from this post "On discernment"
That God of the clergymen, He is for me as dead as a doornail. But am I an atheist for all that? The clergymen consider me as such - be it so; but I love, and how could I feel love if I did not live, and if others did not live, and then, if we live, there is something mysterious in that. Now call that God, or human nature or whatever you like, but there is something which I cannot define systematically, though it is very much alive and very real, and see, that is God, or as good as God. To believe in God for me is to feel that there is a God, not a dead one, or a stuffed one, but a living one, who with irresistible force urges us toward aimer encore; that is my opinion.
-Vincent van Gogh, from a letter to brother Theo van Gogh, December 1881
Ed note: aimer encore = love again
We have men of science, too few men of God. We have grasped
the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount.
The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours
is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know
more about war than we know about peace, more about killing
than we know about living. If we continue to develop our
technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may
prove to be our executioner.
-General Omar Bradley, 11/11/48
Saturday, August 27, 2016
The origin story typically goes something like this: On September 12, 1956, a rhythm-and-blues aspirant named Jalacy Hawkins, twenty-seven years old, native of Cleveland, entered a New York recording studio to cut a handful of sides for Okeh Records, a subsidiary of the Columbia label. One of the songs Hawkins brought to the session, an original he'd penned himself, followed a heartbroken protagonist who, in a fit of desperation, turns to black magic to beguile the strayed object of his affection.
He'd actually recorded another version of "I Put a Spell on You" months earlier. It's difficult to imagine, considering the sturdiness of Hawkins' baritone, but at that time he crooned the number entirely straight. His model was Johnny Ace, the Memphis preacher's son with the impossibly tender voice - specifically, the hit single "Pledging My Love," a favorite of Hawkins', with its syrupy arrangement, heavy on the tinkling vibes, Johnny purring the lyrics like a lullaby.
Forrrrever my darrrrling ....
"I Put a Spell on You" was a sweet ballad when I wrote it.
-Mark Binelli, Screamin' Jay Hawkins' All-Time Greatest Hits: A Novel
You may listen to Johnny Ace here