Saturday, May 18, 2013

Brand new day...................................

The Rascals..........................A Beautiful Morning

Shine............................






















“However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.” 
― Stanley Kubrick

via

Quote of the day.........................

"There is no bigger inequality than that between ruler and ruled."
-Mungowitz, as excerpted from here

Where's Waldo...............................?



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

Jan and Dean..........................Drag City

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

     The memories materialized slowly...like bubbles surfacing from the darkness of a bottomless well.
-Dan Brown, Inferno

Works for me...................................















thanks

Damn it.............................





















Quote is from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, although he may have said "a" guest instead of "the" guest.  I will not be checking the quote in its original Russian.  Sorry.   Art work from here

I can.........................................






















via

Friday, May 17, 2013

Good look.....................

Linda Ronstadt.......................Tracks Of My Tears

Fairy tale..................................



















“Life is a fairy tale. Live it with wonder and amazement.” 
― Welwyn Wilton Katz

via

Mystery...................................






















“I don't know the meaning of life. I don't know why we are here. I think life is full of anxieties and fears and tears. It has a lot of grief in it, and it can be very grim. And I do not want to be the one who tries to tell somebody else what life is all about. To me it's a complete mystery.” 
― Charles M. Schulz

Molded.................................

























“Each man must look to himself to teach him the meaning of life. It is not something discovered: it is something molded.” 
― Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve

Call off the search............................























“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”
-Albert Camus

via

Responsible..........................



















“I believe that I am not responsible for the meaningfulness or meaninglessness of life, but that I am responsible for what I do with the life I've got.” 
-Hermann Hesse

via

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

Dusty Springfield......................I Only Want To Be With You

Learn..................................

















“I'm starting to think that maybe this world is just a place for us to learn that we need each other more than we want to admit. ” 
-Richelle E. Goodrich

via

Suffering...............................



















“If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in suffering.” 
― Viktor E. Frankl

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Color...................................














"In our life there is a single color, as on an artist's palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love."
Marc Chagall 

via

As far..........................................















“What is the meaning of it, Watson? said Holmes solemnly as he laid down the paper. "What object is served by this circle of misery and violence and fear? It must tend to some end, or else our universe is ruled by chance, which is unthinkable. But what end? There is the great standing perennial problem to which human reason is as far from an answer as ever.” 
-Arthur Conan Doyle

Music...................................


















If not for music, I would probably be a very frustrated scientist. It's one way to answer the question, 'What is the meaning of life?' I feel music answers it better.
-Paula Cole 

via

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Have patience with this one.........................

Alex DePue and Miguel De Hoyos performed for an hour at the fabulous Midland Theatre's fundraiser, Ovation, last Saturday night.  They were wonderful.  Talented, funny, creative, and hardworking.  Good combination.  They played this little tune, which if my ears are working segues from Stairway to Heaven to Don't Fear the Reaper to Hotel California.  At the end of their performance they got a resounding standing "O."   At least ten people within my hearing simultaneously said "WOW."Enjoy.

So, salt is now good for us.......................




















I knew that.  My body tells me so.  Now the ever-so-sage Walter Russell Mead points to a study that warns of the danger of too little salt. It's that darn moderation thing again.  Full post is here.  Excerpt here:

Nutrition is far from a settled science. Indeed, experts are still in the dark about some very important questions in other disciplines—such as, to pick completely at random, climate science. Not surprisingly, when you try to predict future developments of an immensely complicated system involving countless variables using relatively simple models, sometimes you get it wrong.

image via

Schpleadership.....................








via

The historian notes.......................

"There are not many Washingtons, Jeffersons, or Madisons in the annals of revolutionary history."

Victor Davis Hanson writes that the events and politics of the last fifteen years, as well as the wider sweep of history, suggest that any American involvement in the current mess that is Syria will only end badly.

"A nearly bankrupt and divided America after Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya is not up for Syria - and an Arab Spring that on its own chose Winter does not deserve any more American blood."

Full essay is here

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

The Ronettes................................Baby I Love You

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

After the end of the World War of 1914 there was a deep conviction and almost universal hope that peace would reign in the world.  This heart's desire of all the peoples could easily have been gained by steadfastness in righteous convictions, and by reasonable common sense and prudence.  The phrase "the war to end war" was on every lip, and measures had been taken to turn it into reality.  President Wilson, wielding, as was thought, the authority of the United States, had made the conception of a League of Nations dominant in all minds.  The British delegation a Versailles moulded and shaped his idea into an instrument which will for ever constitute a milestone in the hard march of man.  The victorious Allies were at that time all-powerful, so far as their outside enemies were concerned.  They has to face grave internal difficulties and many riddles to which they did not know the answer, but the Teutonic Powers in the great mass of Central Europe which had made the upheaval were prostrate before them, and Russia, already shattered by the German flail, was convulsed by civil war and falling into the grip of the Bolshevik or Communist Party.
-Winston Churchill,  The Gathering Storm

A different shortcut..................................













via

From the wide, wide world...................

.................of Bits & Pieces



































Even the tough Russian judge gave him a 9.5 for the dismount














Just remember, whites are white.........................


Hate it when that happens.................


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Different times.........................

Mott the Hoople..............................Sweet Jane

Restraint............................

If humanism were right in declaring that man is born to be happy, he would not be born to die. Since his body is doomed to die, his task on earth evidently must be of a more spiritual nature. It cannot be unrestrained enjoyment of everyday life. It cannot be the search for the best ways to obtain material goods and then cheerfully get the most out of them. It has to be the fulfillment of a permanent, earnest duty so that one's life journey may become an experience of moral growth, so that one may leave life a better human being than one started it. It is imperative to review the table of widespread human values. Its present incorrectness is astounding. It is not possible that assessment of the President's performance be reduced to the question of how much money one makes or of unlimited availability of gasoline. Only voluntary, inspired self-restraint can raise man above the world stream of materialism.
-Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn, as excerpted from his 1978 Harvrard commencement address

The "art spirit".............................

     "When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature.  He becomes interesting to other people.  He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and he opens ways for a better understanding.  Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it, shows there are still more pages possible."

     "Museums of art will not make a country an art country.  But where there is the art spirit there will be precious works to fill museums."

-Robert Henri,  The Art Spirit

I believe the Intertunnel in general, and my wee corner of the blogosphere specifically, is full of the "art spirit."  
And I thank you all kindly for it.

Disney on art and animation.....................

This is rather longish, perhaps better suited for a classroom rather than the Intertunnel, but worth watching nonetheless.  Back in the old days, before computers say, animation was a team effort with egos set aside.  "The entire operation puts one in mind of a symphony orchestra, where men who are good enough to be soloists in their own right are thinking only of the effect they are producing on the whole." The last half of the video shows four animators as soloists, as they each paint their own interpretation of an old oak tree.  Striking.



thanks greg

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

The Beatles..................From Me To You
(crowd noise warning)



Written in 1963 by McCartney-Lennon (one of the last to be credited that way instead of Lennon-McCartney), this song was released in the U.S in May of that year.  It was only a middling success, although it was covered immediately by Del Shannon.  From Wikipedia comes this excerpt about song writers:
John and Paul were sitting at the back of the coach and Kenny Lynch, who at this time fancied himself as a songwriter, sauntered up to the back of the coach and Kenny Lynch ... decided he would help them write a song. After a period of about half-an-hour had elapsed and nothing seemed to be coming from the back, Kenny rushed to the front and shouted, 'Well, that's it. I am not going to write any more of that bloody rubbish with those idiots. They don't know music from their backsides. That's it! No more help from me!'[5]

Fun paragraphs...................

     Fort Myer is a small base located on Arlington Heights, a big lump of earth with a commanding view of the majestic city of Washington, D. C.  The land was once part of the ancestral estate of a certain Anna Washington Custis, who married a certain Robert E. Lee, whose southern sympathies made it suddenly difficult for him to appear in Washington to pay the land taxes.  The property fell into arrears, the government promptly seized the homestead, and somebody in the federal government with a sense of humor and/or irony converted the family homestead into a Union military base and a cemetery.  Not amused, Lee did his best to fill the cemetery.
-Brian Haig,  Private Sector

How to organize and do stuff...............................

Two of my favorite blogger people were highly complementary yesterday.  

Cultural Offering suggested we complete "ten things every day for a happier you."  Not wanting to leave us hanging, Kurt defines what can, and what can't, be counted towards our ten.   Read it here.

The Execupundit suggested we can only accomplish stuff if we reduce distractions.  Michael says, "Let's face it. Many of us have attention spans only slightly better than that of a hummingbird."   Not being overly familiar with the attention span of a hummingbird, the Oracle Google was consulted.  If you trust Answers.com, "I found that mostly hummingbirds pay attention for about a third of a second and then they're gone."  Ouch. Unfortunately, the reduction of distractions depends on our self-discipline.  Read  it here.

I am hoping the blogging counts towards completing ten things every day for a happier you and is not on the distraction list.  What say you?

An "Attaboy".........................

......goes out to Ray Visotski,  as The Not-So-Simple Village Undertaker reaches a blogging milestone.  Please continue.

Not only meaningful, but sacred....................

A video set to David Foster Wallace's 2005 commencement address at Kenyon College.  It is the "capital 'T' truth...........



thanks

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Excellence................................

Carole King..................................It's Too Late



Friend Anonymous wrote after yesterday's post about the King/Goffin song, Will You Love Me Tomorrow:
"Coincidental timing on the Carole King posts? She received an Honorary Doctorate from the Berklee College of Music Saturday when daughter Kayleigh received her Bachelors Degree from said College! Also receiving Honorary Doctorates -- Willie Nelson and Annie Lennox."  Strictly a coincidence.  Here, and here, is more on the very talented Carole King.  Here is a post about King and Goffin.  And, finally, here is a list of  King/Goffin songs

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

The small jet bumped down hard on the runway in Portland, Maine.  It rose up in the air and banged down again harder.  Even the pilot was probably wondering if he could keep the twenty-five ton jet on the tarmac.  Because he was trying to beat a storm in, the young aviator had made his approach at a steeper trajectory and a faster speed than the airline's manual recommended.  The wind shear culled off the leading edge of the cold front had caused the jet's wings to pendulum back and forth.  The copilot had warned the passengers that the landing would be bumpy and a bit more than uncomfortable.
-David Baldacci,  The Sixth Man

Working in retirement blues..............................


Have we saved enough for retirement?  Some have, most haven't.  Nothing new here. The Motley Fool suggests that is new is the attitude that we should leave the work force before we die.  Full post is here.  Key excerpt here:
The notion that these challenges are new -- that there was some golden era when Americans were prepared to kick up their feet and enjoy retirement in financial security -- is a myth. By some measures, retirees are in a better position today than at any other time in modern history.
Let's start with something simple. The entire concept of retirement is unique to the late-20th century. Before World War II, most Americans worked until they died.









Nope..............................






















via

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

Skeeter Davis........................I Can't Stay Mad At You




Another Goffin/King tune.  Skeeter recorded this in the fall of 1963 as a follow-up to her classic, The End of the World.  I Can't Stay Mad At You peaked at #7 on the pop charts.

The kids are doing just fine..............

Along time ago we bought an old, and fairly large, building that housed a closed lumber yard.  Finding a prospective tenant who had a bit of imagination, we were able to convert said 23,000 square foot closed lumber yard into "Flying Colors," the Licking County Educational Service Center's public school pre-school. As their landlord we got invited to their annual art show.  If you don't take in the occasional pre-school art show, you are missing something special.  It's a color riot.  A few highlights from yesterday:






If you are going to accept advice.......................

......it ought to be good advice.  A few samples of good advice for kids of all ages, found on the walls yesterday at the Flying Colors pre-school:



The Mad Farmer......................

       Prayers and Sayings of the Mad Farmer

                        I
It is presumptuous and irresponsible to pray for other people.  A good man would pray only for himself - that he have as much good as he deserves, that he not receive more good or more evil than he deserves, that he bother nobody, that he not be bothered, that he want less.  Praying thus for himself, he should prepare to live with the consequences.

                      II
          At night make me one with the darkness.
          In the morning make me one with the light.

                    III
If a man finds it necessary to eat garbage, he should resist the temptation to call it a delicacy.

                    IV
          Don't pray for the rain to stop.
          Pray for good luck fishing
          when the river floods.

                    V
Don't own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.

                    VI
Beware of the machinery of longevity.  When a man's life is over the decent thing is for him to die.  The  forest does not withhold itself from death.  What it gives up it takes back.

-Wendell Berry

On communication...............................

Always remember that it is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood: there will always be some who misunderstand you.
-Karl Popper
























via

Monday, May 13, 2013

Number one #1...............................

The Shirelles.......................Will You (Still) Love Me Tomorrow



The first hit song by written by the very young husband and wife team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin.  Written and released in 1960, it topped the charts in 1961.  The song has been covered about a hundred times.

I had to look up "Korzybski"...............

Ayn Rand abuses C. S. Lewis (or his writings, anyway).  Highlights here.

thanks tyler

Sharing knowledge. It's what we do...........

If you followed the link on the previous post, you may remember that Ayn Rand wrote of C. S. Lewis, in a disparaging tone, "Here’s  where the Kor­zybski comes out in him."  Not having a clue who Korzybski was, or, how to take what was surely intended as an insult, the Oracle Google was consulted.  To save you from having to follow the link:

Alfred Habdank Skarbek Korzybski ([kɔˈʐɨpski]; July 3, 1879 – March 1, 1950) was a Polish-American philosopher and scientist. He is remembered for developing the theory of general semantics. Korzybski's work argued that human knowledge of the world is limited both by the human nervous system and by the structure of language.

Korzybski thought that people do not have access to direct knowledge of reality; rather they have access to perceptions and to a set of beliefs which human society has confused with direct knowledge of reality. Korzybski is remembered as the author of the dictum: "The map is not the territory".

I'm glad we cleared that all up.

On governments..........................

You can choose whatever name you like for the two types of government. I personally call the type of government which can be removed without violence "democracy", and the other "tyranny".
-Karl Popper

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

Freddie Scott.....................................Hey Girl



Another Goffin and King song.  More to follow.

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

     The Axial Age was over.  It had lasted three hundred years - from the late seventh century B.C. to the late fourth - a very long time.  In Confucian China, it had seen the burgeoning of reasonableness and courtly moderation, as well as the mystical depths uncovered by the Tao of Lao-Tsu.  In India, the great age had produced the ineffable example of Gautama Buddha, reforming the chaos of more ancient systems and revealing the steps to personal peace.  In Iran, the priest Zarathustra had spoken to the Persians, who carried the fire ceremony and the Zoroastrian vision of the cosmic battle between good and evil beyond the borders of Mesopotamia, situated between the legendary Tigris and Euphrates in the fertile delta where civilization had first shown itself.  Just west of Mesopotamia, in the tiny, unstable kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the Hebrew prophets rose, giving to the bizarre monotheism of their singular people and ethical foundation so profound that the Jews could never entirely forsake it.  In the isles and peninsulas of Greece, the Axial Age saw the flowering of what would come to be called "philosophy" - love of wisdom for its own sake - and of a noble "politics" (another Greek term) that took the name "democracy."  This same time and place saw the invention of drama and its division into "tragedy" and "comedy" in a theater that has never been equaled, as well as the first attempts to write what the Greeks called "history."
-Thomas Cahill, Desire of the Everlasting Hills:  The World Before and After Jesus

Thief.........................................

Don't become a victim of yourself.  Forget about the thief in the alley; what about the thief in your mind?
-Jim Rohn

I was out of ideas...........................


Sunday, May 12, 2013

I think.............................

Matchbox Twenty.........................If You're Gone

Re-visiting Escher....................










































There is just something about M. C. Escher. From the archives comes this postthat has some additional Escher's drawings and links to more information about him.  Here are some quotes attributed to the man:

“I don't use drugs, my dreams are frightening enough.”

"My work is a game, a very serious game."

“Are you really sure that a floor can't also be a ceiling?” 

“Originality is merely an illusion”

“Only those who attempt the absurd...will achieve the impossible. I think ...I think it's in my basement...Let me go upstairs and check.” 

“Order is repetition of units.   Chaos is multiplicity without rhythm.”

“What I give form to in daylight is only one per cent of what I have seen in darkness.” 

cartoon via

Uh-oh........................

“In light of the current low interest rate environment, we are watching particularly closely for instances of ‘reaching for yield’ and other forms of excessive risk-taking, which may affect asset prices and their relationships with fundamentals,” 
-attributed to Ben Bernanke via this WRM post

If today's ultra-high stock indexes in the good old US of A aren't classic examples of "excessive risk-taking" I, for one, will be very surprised.  Sounds like the Fed is getting ready to change its mind on super-low interest rates.   Heads up, y'all.

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

The Drifters.............................Up On The Roof



Written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, this little tune was released in 1962.  In the first quarter of 1963, it reached #5 on the US pop singles charts.

Paradox........................

Buddhists tend to ignore the Buddha's suffering and Christians forget Christ's joy.  Buddha and Christ were not different men.  The suffering of Christ letting go on the cross and the joy of Buddha letting go under the bo tree are one.
-Scott Peck,  The Road Less Traveled

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

History must be learned in pieces. This is partly because we have only pieces of the past - shards, ostraca, palimpsets, crumbling codices with missing pages, newsreel clips, snatches of song, gaces of idols whose bodies have long since turned to dust - which give us glimpses of what has been but never the whole reality.  How could they?  We cannot encompass the whole reality even of the times in which we live.  Human beings never know more than part, as "through a glass darkly"; and all knowledge comes to us in pieces.  That said, it is often easier to encompass the past than the present, for it is past; and its pieces may be set aside one another, examined, contrasted, and compared, till one attains an overview.
-Thomas Cahill,  Sailing the Wine Dark Sea:  Why the Greeks Matter

True confessions.............................

     Having bought the colours, and easel, and a canvas, the next step was to begin.  But what a step to take!  The palette gleamed with beads of colour; fair and white rose the canvas; the empty brush hung poised, heavy with destiny, irresolute in the air.  My hand seemed arrested by a silent veto.  But after all the sky on this occasion was unquestionably blue, and a pale blue at that.  There could be no doubt that blue paint mixed with white should be put at the top of the canvas.  One really does not need to have had an artist's training to see that.  It is a starting-point open to all.  So very gingerly I mixed a little blue paint on the palette with a very small brush, and them with infinite precaution made a mark about as big as a bean upon the affronted snow-white shield.  It was a challenge, a deliberate challenge; but so subdued, so halting, indeed so cataleptic, that it deserved no response.  At that moment the loud approaching sound of a motor-car was heard in the drive.  From this chariot there stepped swiftly and lightly none other that the gifted wife of Sir John Lavery.  "Painting!  But what are you hesitating about?  Let me have a brush - the big one."  Splash into the turpentine, wallop into the blue and the white, frantic flourish on the palette - clean no longer - and then several large, fierce strokes and slashes of blue on the absolutely cowering canvas.  Anyone could see that it could not hit back.  No evil fate avenged the jaunty violence.  The canvas grinned in helplessness before me.  The spell was broken.  The sickly inhibitions rolled away.  I seized the largest brush and fell upon my victim with Berserk fury.  I have never felt any awe of a canvas since.
-Winston Churchill,  Painting As A Pastime






















painting via

Frail..........................


















What a monument of human smallness is this idea of the philosopher king. What a contrast between it and the simplicity of humaneness of Socrates, who warned the statesmen against the danger of being dazzled by his own power, excellence, and wisdom, and who tried to teach him what matters most — that we are all frail human beings.
-Karl Popper

cartoon via

Happy Mothers' Day y'all..................