Saturday, February 2, 2013

For Jeff.....................

I think the white Ferrari must have been blown up before this episode.

Baptisms..........................

Dire Straits............................................Brothers In Arms
(From the Miami Vice episode Out Where the Buses Don't Run)

The ways we've listened to music...........Or, how Steve Jobs dethroned the compact disc............





















courtesy of

Oh wow, man. Far out.................

"All those buzzing text messages and email chimes can reduce mental ability by an average of 10 IQ points. For men, it’s about three times the effect of smoking marijuana."

Full story is here.

On financing a war...........















Cotton bonds, murkiness, suspect accounting, interesting fine print, and of course, the commissions.  Quite the financial tale from 1863.  One wonders what would have happened if the deal was structured differently. Another little piece of Americana that slipped through this history major's education.  Fun essay here.

thanks KPC

Fifty years ago...................

The Rooftop Singers..............................Walk Right In

Opening paragraphs....................

An author ought to consider himself, not as a gentleman who give a private or eleemosynary treat, but rather as one who keeps a public ordinary, at which all persons are welcome for their money.  In the former case, it is well known that the entertainer provides what fare he pleases; and though this should be very indifferent, and utterly disagreeable to the taste of his company, they must not find any fault; nay, on the contrary, good-breeding forces them outwardly to approve and commend whatever is set before them.  Now the contrary of this happens to the master of an ordinary.  Men who pay for what they eat will insist on gratifying their palates, however nice and whimsical these may prove; and if everything is not agreeable to their taste, will challenge a right to censure, to abuse and to d-n their dinner without control.
-Henry Fielding, Esq., The History of Tom Jones: A Foundling

Good moon rising................

The real-time rising of a full moon. Very cool.

 


Courtesy of APOD

Today's True or False questions......

True or False:  Each day the moon rises about fifty minutes later than it rose the day before.

True or False:  A full moon always rises at sunset.

True or False:  The answers to the above questions can be found here.

Happy Groundhog's Day.........


Friday, February 1, 2013

Then, then, and then...................

Bobby Darin..............................Dream Lover             1959





Billy Crash Craddock...................................Dream Lover    1971





John Lennon (with some serious attitude).....Dream Lover   1980

Opening paragraphs....................

     I am almost ashamed, right well-beloved Peter Giles, to send unto you this book of the Utopian commonwealth, well-nigh after a year's space, which I am sure you looked for within a month and a half.  And no marvel; for you knew well enough that I was already disburdened of all the labor and study belonging to the invention in this work and that I had no need at all to trouble my brains about the disposition or conveyance of the matter; and therefore had herein nothing else to do but only to rehearse those things which you and I together heard Master Raphael tell and declare.  Wherefore there was no cause why I should study to set forth the matter with eloquence, forasmuch as his talk could not be fine and eloquent, being first not studied for but sudden and unpremeditate, and then as you know, of a man better seen in the Greek language than in the Latin tongue; and my writing, the nigher it should approach his homely, plain, and simple speech, so might the nigher should it go to the truth, which is the only mark whereunto I do and ought to direct all my travail and study herein.
Thomas More, Utopia  (introductory letter)

Reasonable..................

"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words."
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

50 years ago.........A little song.....

Doris Troy............................Just One Look

Rent...................A good poem

If you want my apartment, sleep in it
but let's have a clear understanding:
the books are still free agents.

If the rocking chair's arms surround you
they can also let you go,
they can shape the air like a body.

I don't want your rent, I want
a radiance of attention
like the candle's flame when we eat,

I mean a kind of awe
attending the spaces between us -
Not a roof but a field of stars.

-Jane Cooper

A fine picture...............

From the archives of the Journal of a Nobody blog, a store house of treasures worth a daily visit.


Resonates...........................






















via

Be your own guru...................

Jonathan Fields brings us a "Living Creed":

Yep.....................









via

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Top songs from 1975...................Go figure

Earth Wind & Fire.........................Shining Star



John Denver.........................Thank God I'm A Country Boy




Carl Douglas................................Kung Fu Fighting



Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds......Fallin' In Love

Actually it could be....................






















via

Opening paragraphs..................

August 13,1859 was a hot day in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  The settlement was on the western boundary of the state, just across the Missouri River from the Nebraska village of Omaha.  A politician from the neighboring state of Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, went to Concert Hall to make a speech.  It attracted a big crowd because of Lincoln's prominence after the previous year's Lincoln-Douglas debates and the keen interest in the following year's presidential election.  Lincoln was a full-time politician and a candidate for the Republican nomination for president.  The local editor called Lincoln's speech - never recorded - one that "set forth the true principles of the Republican party."
-Stephen E. Ambrose, Nothing Like It In The World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869

Holmes on problem solving..............
























It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment.

In solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backward. That is a very useful accomplishment, and a very easy one, but people do not practise it much. In the everyday affairs of life it is more useful to reason forward, and so the other comes to be neglected. There are fifty who can reason synthetically for one who can reason analytically.

Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth.

I never guess. It is a shocking habit — destructive to the logical faculty.

You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear.

Education never ends Watson. It is a series of lessons with the greatest for the last.

It is quite a three pipe problem, and I beg that you won't speak to me for fifty minutes.

Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.

There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.

You know my method. It is founded upon the observation of trifles.

"Data! Data! Data!" he cried impatiently. "I can't make bricks without clay."

Nothing clears up a case so much as stating it to another person.

There can be no question, my dear Watson, of the value of exercise before breakfast.

I'm off.  The game is afoot.

Ed. note:  Picture source here.  Choosing which Holmes to use was the challenge.  The three most recent ones are truly great, but, for me, Jeremy Brett is still the best match to Conan Doyle's work.  Feel free to disagree.

Fifty years ago.................

Charlie and Inez Foxx................................Mockingbird

Bound......................























"Sixty minutes of thinking of any kind is bound to lead to confusion and unhappiness."
-James Thurber

via

My Sweetie asked what we should do this weekend............

.........I'm thinking we should be going to a Tupperware Party.



thanks Gerard

Broaden your horizons................

.........by reading Walter Russell Mead on a regular basis.  To wit:

Policy needs to be about the future, but politics often reflects the patterns of the past.    Full essay here.

Corn-based ethanol fails every metric a fuel could hope to pass. It is the archetypal pig in green lipstick.  Full essay here

But it’s been clear from the beginning that this is the kind of thing you get with a massive, centralized health care “fix” like Obamacare: 15 unhappy people in a room making enormously important but impossible to predict decisions affecting a broad and diverse industry (not to mention the lives and health of millions). It’s hard to imagine a centralized approach getting all the nuances of health care right—and we certainly haven’t stumbled onto the miracle cure here.  Full essay here.

Poverty is getting richer all the time.  Full essay here.

Cynics, paranoids and conspiracy theorists—which is to say the Egyptian political and intellectual classes—may even be wondering if the military has allowed or even provoked the present violence precisely to check the Brotherhood’s power.  Full essay here.

Hmmmmm............................






















via

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

1972 was a verrry different era...............

Jimmy Castor Bunch...................Troglodyte

Advice.........................


Fifty years ago.........................

The Rockin Rebels........................Wild Weekend

What.........................?


Does feel that way.........................


















thanks hugh

Life its ownself..........................


Life tips...................

A top ten list from Nicholas Bate.  Here is #9:

9.  1 or 2 or 3 dip recession? Doesn't matter: stay focused, work hard and delight customers.

New job descriptions all around..............

......Seth Godin knows that showing up is no longer enough


Meanwhile, while waiting at the grocery.......

.............Jeff wants to go a few rounds:
I didn’t have my gloves with me. Otherwise I would have challenged him right there. I shrugged it off – didn’t make sense without anyone to lay down a bet….I could’ve knocked him into next Thursday…

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hey Sweetie..............................

Opening paragraphs.........................

From the west-facing window of the room in which Meriwether Lewis was born on August 18, 1774, one could look out at Rockfish Gap, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, an opening to the West that invited exploration.  The Virginia Piedmont of 1774 was not the frontier - that had extended beyond the Allegheny chain of mountains, and a cultured plantation life was nearly a generation old - but it wasn't far removed.  Traces of the old buffalo trail that led up Rockfish River in the Gap still remained.  Deer were exceedingly plentiful, black bear common.  An exterminating war was being waged against wolves.  Beaver were on every stream.  Flocks of turkeys thronged the woods.  In the fall and spring, ducks and geese darkened the rivers.
-Stephen E. Ambrose, Undaunted Courage

50 years ago......................

The Cookies..........Don't Say Nothing Bad About My Baby



bonus feature:  film clip from here.  Nice parenting.

Tuesday's poem................


Holy Sonnets 10
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then, from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke.  Why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more, Death, thou shalt die.

-John Donne

On the allocation of talent.............

...and why sending all the rocket scientists to Wall Street is not such a good idea.  Oh, and while you are at it, let failing banks fail.



thanks Maggie's Farm

Question of the ages................

Not sure this settles it, but.................I agree.




thanks gerard

Not so fast........................






















via

Monday, January 28, 2013

This is how life is...................

A bit longish, but a world record Kazoo band attempt

Time to celebrate..................!

From the Heartland, news you can use - here.
(Checking in with The Strategic Learner is always a good idea)

Somehow...............................

William Bell......................I Forgot To Be Your Lover (1968)

 


 Robert Cray........................I Forgot To Be Your Lover (2005)

 

Dissing the weatherpeople.............

Compared to our friends at Sippican Cottage, where they have been coping with some serious cold, we are having positively balmy weather here in Central Ohio.  While coping, Greg has taken notice of the annoying tendencies of the weatherpeople, as in:

"There's some sort of IMPENDING DOOM banner displayed most every day, and they've taken to naming snowstorms that bring a half-inch of snow that's not worth shoveling as if they're arctic typhoons."

If you enjoy wordsmithing, check out his essay here.

50 years ago..........................

Hippy Hippy Shake...................The Swinging Blue Jeans

 

The gift that keeps on giving..............

The gift of imperfections.........






















Thanks Todd

Opening paragraphs......................

The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting.  As the landscape changed from brown to green, the army awakened, and began to tremble with eagerness at the noise of rumors.  It cast its eyes upon the roads, which were growing from long troughs of liquid mud to proper thoroughfares.  A river, amber-tinted in the shadow of its banks, purled at the army's feet; and at night, when the stream had become a sorrowful blackness, one could see across it the red, eyelike gleam of hostile camp fires set in the low brows of distant hills.
-Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage

Curious..............................






















"Disinterested intellectual curiosity is the lifeblood of real civilization."
-George Macaulay Trevelyan


image via

Question of the day......................

If spammers go to all the trouble of inundating us with their "check out my website at ...." messages, why don't they take the time to write (or to program their computer to write) a coherent message, or at least one appropriate to the post they attach the comment to?

A typical sample:

Hey There,  I found your blog the usage of msn.  That is a really well written article,  I'll be sure to book mark it and return to read extra of your helpful info.  Thanks for the post.  I'll definitely return. Also visit my page - http://etc.etc.etc.

My really well written article referred to in the spam was the YouTube video of the Rocky Fellers singing Killer Joe.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

History..............................

Bob Marley & the Wailers..............Buffalo Soldier

Life.......................

















         Dreams

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

-Langston Hughes

image via

If this is Sunday..............

...then one of my heroes will be suggesting that we "find
something beautiful today."   Just doing my part.


50 years ago.....................

The Rocky Fellers..................Killer Joe

Opening paragraphs...................

My Father had a small Estate in Nottinghamshire; I was the Third of five Sons.  He sent me to Emanuel-College in Cambridge, at Fourteen Years old, where I resided three Year, and applied my self close to my Studies:  But the Charge of maintaining me (although I had a very scanty Allowance) being too great for a narrow Fortune; I was bound Apprentice to Mr. James Bates, and eminent Surgeon in London, with whom I continued four Years; and my Father now and then sending me small Sums of Money, I laid them out in learning Navigation, and other Parts of the Mathematicks, useful to those who intend to travel, as I always believed it would be some time or other my Fortune to do.  When I left Mr. Bates, I went down to my Father; where, by the Assistance of him, and my Uncle John, and some other relations, I got Forty Pounds, and a Promise of Thirty Pounds a Year to maintain me at Leyden:  There I studied Physick two Years and seven Months, knowing it would be useful in long Voyages.
-Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels

Ed. Note:  One has to admire Swift's aggressive use of Capitalization, colons, and semi-colons.  Miss Francis never taught us to write like that back in the Eighth Grade.

Trivia question of the day...................

What was Gulliver's first name?

Non-partisan.....................

"One part of government action is non-partisan:  force.  All government officials believe that their efforts to control people, observe people, and force people to bend to their will is justified."
-Mungowitz, from here

Cure-all..........................................















"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature, and God."
-Anne Frank

image via

It's an unfair world......................

......and us bricks and mortar people are a bit nervous about this:


Further proof.................

....of an unfair world.  The instinct to chase squirrels,
but no ability to climb trees.