Saturday, January 25, 2014

Stay in control..............................

The Kinks..................................................Destroyer



from Essential Mixes:  #36

Gentlemanliness....................................

     Gentleness is indeed the best test of gentlemanliness.  A consideration for the feelings of others, for his inferiors and dependants, as well as his equals, and respect for their self-respect, will pervade the true gentleman's whole conduct.  He will rather himself suffer a small injury, than by an uncharitable construction of another's behavior, incur the risk of committing a great wrong.  He will be forbearant of the weaknesses, the failings, and the errors, of those whose advantages in life have not been equal to his own.  He will be merciful even to his beast.  He will not boast of his wealth, or his strength, or his gifts.  He will not be puffed up by success, or unduly depressed by failure.  He will not obtrude his view on others, but speak his mind freely when occasion calls for it.  He will not confer favours with a patronizing air.
-Samuel Smiles,  Self help;  with illustrations of conduct and perseverance

Sound....................................


Speaking of Malthus....................

Malthus's theory had a quite simple statistical basis.  Without restraints, the reproductive forces in nature increased in geometrical progression.  Food supplies, by contrast, increased only in arithmetical progression.  At the rate we were going, he argued, the number of mouths would double every twenty-five years.  The amount of food would rise only marginally.  The result:  mass starvation, famine, pestilence, war, and every kind of catastrophe.
     Malthus's aim was to discourage charity and reform the existing poor laws, which, he argued, encouraged the destitute to breed and so aggravate the problem.  That was not Darwin's concern.  What struck him was the contrast between geometrical progression (breeding) and arithmetical progression (food supplies).  Not being a mathematician, he did not check the reasoning and accuracy behind Malthus's law.  Was he not a Cambridge wrangler?  In fact, Malthus's law was nonsense.  He did not prove it.  He stated it.  What strikes one reading Malthus is the lack of hard evidence throughout.
-Paul Johnson,  Darwin:  Portrait of a Genius

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

The Temptations............The Way You Do The Things You Do

Ponder this one for a while.......

Great minds think alike, and fools seldom differ.  You shouldn’t buy Ensco after reading this unless you have studied it out.  Just because I agree with a comrade does not mean you should take action.  We could both be wrong.
-David Merkel, via The Aleph Blog

True for the non-professional as well...................

"Investing in your mind is one of the most important activities you can engage in as a business professional."
-Fred Schmidt, Coldwell Banker Commercial

Is this a great country, or what.......?

A car built for the driver who demands performance:

This is really cool........................

.........and makes odd sense in an eerie kind of way.   But, where's the ice cream?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Anglin' for my own copy.....................

Bruce Springsteen..........................................Rosalita




From the Essential Mixes collection:  #36

Build...................................

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
-Tom Asacker, The Business of Belief:  How the World's Best Marketers, Designers, Salespeople, Coaches, Fundraisers, Educators, Entrepreneurs and Other Leaders Get Us To Believe

Why Malthusians will always be wrong...........

They never have caught on to just how ingenious and resourceful us humanoids can be:























original blog post is here

Onion worthy............................

North Korea confirms it has landed a man on the Sun.

"Hung traveled in the cover of darkness, as it would protect him from the harsh, and extreme temperatures of the Sun."

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

CBS executive vice president James T. Aubrey, Jr., who on May 9, 1963, warned the network's affiliates the high cost of rights for professional sports could price them off television, nevertheless in January 1964 agreed to pay $28.2 million to air the games of the National Football League for two years, seventeen games each season. "We know how much these games mean to the viewing audience, our affiliated stations, and the nation's advertisers," Aubrey told The New York Times.
-Wikipedia

Just to put some context to that, Tom Brady's 2013 contract with the New England Patriots significantly exceeded CBS's price tag for broadcasting rights for the 1965 and 1966 NFL seasons.  Many things have changed since 1964.

On quieting "shrill voices"............................

Here is an interesting blog post hoping that common sense might become more common in the "climate change" debate.  Excerpt here:
Instead of focusing on querying public beliefs and condemning (or praising) "nonbelievers", let us instead focus the dialogue on constructive solutions to both adopt a sensible path to alternative energy (e.g. algae, nuclear power, solar), so that when fossil fuel supplies do near exhaustion, we're prepared.  And let's acknowledge that climate change -- manmade or not -- has always been occurring on planet Earth.


On common sense and science.............

















Source for image and quote is here.  More on T. H. Huxley here.

I'm liking Thomas Henry Huxley.........................

A few saying attributed to Thomas Henry Huxley:

Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.

Not far from the invention of fire... we must rank the invention of doubt.

God give me strength to face a fact though it slay me.

Science ... commits suicide when it adopts a creed.

Indeed, if a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger?

Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men.

The great tragedy of Science — the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.

I can assure you that there is the greatest practical benefit in making a few failures early in life. You learn that which is of inestimable importance — that there are a great many people in the world who are just as clever as you are.

All truth, in the long run, is only common sense clarified.

The great end of life is not knowledge but action.

We're persevering..............................

“Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance.” 
-Yoko Ono

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Broadening my horizons...................

Fun..................................................Some Nights



from Essential Mix #36

Union......................................

St. Francois de Sales used to say, "I hear of nothing but perfection on every side, so far as talk goes; but I see very few people who really practice it.  Everybody has his own notion of perfection.  One man thinks it lies in the cut of his clothes, another in fasting, a third in almsgiving, or in frequenting the Sacraments, in meditation, in some special gift of contemplation, or in extraordinary gifts or graces -- but they are all mistaken, as it seems to me, because they confuse the means, or the results, with the end and the cause.
     "For my part, the only perfection I know of is a hearty love of God, and to love one's neighbor as oneself.  Charity is the only virtue which rightly unites us to God and man.  Such union is our final aim and end, and all the rest is mere delusion."
-Jean Pierre Camus

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

At a time when Islamist extremists strap bombs to themselves and blow up women and children; when American has just come staggering out of the searing thirty-year-plus embrace of the reactionary, dumb-as-mud Religious Right; and when some people are bullying, harassing, and persecuting gay men and women in the name of religion, ti's understandable that the sort of decent people most of us would want for neighbors run from religion.  There is a problem, though, for those who flee religion expecting to find sanity in unbelief:  The madness was never about religion, let alone caused by faith in God.  It was and is about how we evolved and what we evolved into.
-Frank Schaeffer, Patience With God: Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion {or Atheism}

Eleven gentle reminders.........................

Tanmay Vora noticed I don't listen as well as I could and kindly offered 11 tips for improvement. Working at it.  Two samples:

2.   Effective listening starts with an intention to understand. When you constantly listen with intent of answering or replying, you miss on a lot of non-verbal clues in communication process.

9.   Listening is not practiced only when we are with others. You can (and you should) spend time listening to your inner self. It raises self-awareness!

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

Bobby Freeman...................................C'mon and Swim

I would if I were you..........................


















via

President Obama and the Middle East.................

Adam Garfinkle, who thinks harder and deeper than most, offers a long and thoughtful essay on the state of affairs in Iran, Iraq, Syria, et. al., and the role of the U.S. of A.   Who knows what the right thing to do is?  One thing for certain is that Obama is taking a vastly different approach than Bush.   The history major in me can't wait to find out what happens.   An excerpt from Garfinkle's latest:

The truth is that we have a classical Goldilocks problem: We don’t want to do too little, because that runs risks, and we don’t want to do too much, because that runs risks, too. Finding the level and specific focus that’s “just right” is hard, and even honest and well-informed people can disagree about it. Personally, I think the President underestimates the cumulative costs and risks of doing too little, which need not be limited to the Middle East. But I don’t think it moves the ball to ascribe very ambitious and controversial goals to those who do not have them. Way too many presidential “doctrines” have been created by outside observers trying to impose more coherence on an Administration’s views than really exists. Let’s please not invent an Obama Doctrine out of mostly thin air.

Andrew Sullivan weighs in with his observation - as of today.  Who knows what tomorrow brings?

Us history majors........................

..........were never big on taking Econ classes, mostly because they started at 8:30 A.M., but also because of this issue:

"Microeconomics concerns things that economists are specifically wrong about, while macroeconomics concerns things economists are wrong about generally."
-P. J. O'Rourke

A worthy goal.........................................

"If economists could manage to get themselves thought of as humble, competent people on a level with dentists, that would be splendid."
-John Maynard Keynes

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Midnight train............................

Journey...........................................Don't Stop Believing
(as always, please click on through to YouTube Central)



Ed. Note:  Near as I can tell, this is the first Journey cut to be aired on this blog.  It shows up here because I've been looking at Kurt's Mix #36:  Songs to sing Loudly in the car.  While it is a tad light on rap or Motown, it certainly has to qualify as a diverse list.  Thinking we may return to it in the very near future.

In praise of The Bernank..............

Full thank you note here.  Wee excerpt here:

Bernanke threw the kitchen sink at the problem in 2008 and it worked. The money supply did not fall, the banking system did not fail, we made it through.

And the extraordinary/unconventional policy actions of the Fed did not unleash the inflationary genies we were warned would follow.

First they came for..........................


















The back story on "First they came for........." can be found here

cartoon via

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

ROOSEVELT IS COMING HOME, HOORAY!  Exultant headlines in mid-June 1910 trumpeted the daily progress of the Kaiserin, the luxury liner returning the former president, Theodore Roosevelt, to American shores after his year's safari in Africa.
     Despite popularity unrivaled since Abraham Lincoln, Roosevelt, true to his word, had declined to run for a third term after completing seven and a half years in office.  His tenure had stretched from William McKinley's assassination in September 1901 to March 4, 1909, when his own elected term came to an end.  Flush from his November 1904 election triumph, he had stunned the political world with his announcement that he would not run for president again, citing "the wise custom which limits Presidents to two terms."  Later, he reportedly told a friend that he would willingly cut off his hand at the wrist if he could take his pledge back.
-Doris Kearns Goodwin, The Bully Pulpit:  Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and the Golden Age of Journalism

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

Debuting on TV.......................The Man From U.N.C.L.E



Interesting intro.........fifty years later it feels a bit creepy

Power.................................























Blame is about giving away one's power.  Responsibility gives us the power to make changes in our lives.
     Responsibility is our ability to respond to a situation.  We always have a choice.  It does not mean we deny who we are and what we have in our lives.  It merely means that we can acknowledge that we have contributed to where we are.  By taking responsibility, we have the power to change.  We can say, "What can I do to make this different?"  We need to understand that we all have personal power all the time.  It depends on how we use it.
-Louise L. Hay,  The Power Is Within You

cartoon via

The Cold......................

How exactly good it is
to know myself
in the solitude of winter,

my body containing its own
warmth, divided from all
by the cold; and to go

separate and sure
among the trees cleanly
divided, thinking of you

perfect too in your solitude
your life withdrawn into
your own keeping

--to be clear, poised
in perfect self-suspension
toward you, as though frozen.

And having known fully the
goodness of that, it will be
good also to melt.


-Wendell Berry

It's Wednesday, why do you ask...................?

















via  for friend David

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Unlikely pairings............................

Wilson Pickett/Duane Allman...........................Hey Jude

Spiraling out of control.....................









via 

I don't usually read Time Magazine...............

....................but when I do, I read P. J. O'Rourke's essay.

     The majority of Americans alive today hadn't been born yet in the 1960's.  But we of a certain age (the age that grips the levers of power, pulls strings of purse and has the biggest mouth) can't stop reliving each moment.
     Partly it's the poignancy of the decade.  It started so well.  Handsome young couple in the White House, recovery from the 1960 recession, the Pill, upbeat message movies like 101 Dalmations and Spartacus, Hugh Hefner's illuminating "Playboy philosophy" and the clean-cut Kingston Trio leading sing-alongs in short-sleeve shirts with big, wide, cheerful stripes.
     Then it went so wrong.  Shooting and killing and troops in combat gear, not only in Watts and Detroit but all the way over in Khe Sanh, South Vietnam.  Feminists were suddenly angry for some, as far as men could tell, feminine reason.  I had to maintain a C average to avoid the draft.  Turns out you can't fly after you take LSD.  There was a war on poverty.  We lost.  And it rained at Woodstock.

-Full essay can be found here

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

Jan and Dean........................................Dead Man's Curve

The Given Note...............................

The Roscommon Fiddler       JB Vallely











On the most westerly Blasket
In a dry-stone hut
He got this air out of the night.
Strange noises were heard
By others who followed, bits of a tune
Coming in on loud weather
Though nothing like melody.
He blamed their fingers and ear
As unpractised, their fiddling easy
For he had gone alone into the island
And brought back the whole thing.
The house throbbed like his full violin. 
So whether he calls it spirit music
Or not, I don't care. He took it
Out of wind off mid-Atlantic. 
Still he maintains, from nowhere.
It comes off the bow gravely,
Rephrases itself into the air. 
-Seamus Heaney

Here's hoping this is true.....................

     Economic and social shifts have provided added momentum for startups.  The prolonged economic crisis that began in 2008 has caused many millennials - people born since the early 1980's - to abandon hope of finding a conventional job, so it makes sense for them to strike out on their own or join a startup.
     A lot of millennials are not particularly keen on getting a "real" job anyway.  According to a recent survey oaf 12,000 people aged between 18 and 30 in 27 countries, more than two-thirds see opportunities in becoming an entrepreneur.  That signals a cultural shift.  "Young people see how entrepreneurship is doing great things in other places and want to give it a try," notes Jonathan Ortmans of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which organized an annual Global Entrepreneurship Week.
-as excerpted from A Cambrian Moment special report on tech startups in The Economist

Confrontational gaze.......................

Edouard Manet               Olympia                         1863
















In 1865, the Salon, surprisingly, accepted a painting by Manet of a prostitute, called Olympia, and the painting sent all of Paris into an uproar.  Guards had to be placed around the painting to keep the crowds of spectators at bay.  "An atmosphere of hysteria and even fear predominated," the historian Ross King writes.  "Some spectators collapsed in 'epidemics of crazed laughter' while others, mainly women, turned their heads from the picture in fright."
-Malcolm Gladwell, as excerpted from David and Goliath:  Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

What shocked contemporary audiences was not Olympia's nudity, nor even the presence of her fully clothed maid, but her confrontational gaze and a number of details identifying her as a demi-mondaine or prostitute.[1] These include the orchid in her hair, her bracelet, pearl earrings and the oriental shawl on which she lies, symbols of wealth and sensuality. The black ribbon around her neck, in stark contrast with her pale flesh, and her cast-off slipper underline the voluptuous atmosphere. "Olympia" was a name associated with prostitutes in 1860s Paris.[2]
-Wikipedia, as excerpted from this entry

I hate it when this happens.............................

Cherished and long held beliefs are exposed as myths.  Apparently us history majors get fooled just as much as those science majors.  Of course, I never directly studied The War To End All Wars in college.  Reckon I just accumulated a bunch of incorrect facts by osmosis.  Here is a debunking sample:

Versailles was not harsh but was portrayed as such by Hitler who sought to create a tidal wave of anti-Versailles sentiment on which he could then ride into power.

thanks

I don't always agree with President Obama............

...............but when I do, it sometimes looks like this:

But Obama urged a cautious approach to changing marijuana laws, saying that people who think legalizing pot will solve social problems are "probably overstating the case."

Full "pot is not more dangerous than alcohol" story is here.

thanks mungo

Monday, January 20, 2014

I'll be the rainbow.........................

Taj Mahal.....................That's How Strong My Love Is

Watching, always watching...........

If you don't check in the the Astronomy Picture of the Day site on a regular basis....well, you should.




Get your shape on...........................

...............................with Geometry Daily.  Who knew?

True Confessions..................................

I don't have a Twitter account, but find GSElevator somewhat amusing.  "Things heard in the Goldman Sachs elevators do not stay in the Goldman Sachs elevators."




When life gets to be a bit much...................

.......and you just need a breather, visit Head Like an Orange.  It's a guaranteed stress reliever.


Zen in the Heartland...................

John E. Smith asks one of life's most important questions:

What are you missing right now?

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

At the movies..........................................Topkapi

The view is pretty good...................

Jeff's backstory is here:

But the most important lesson I learned:
That in order to create something – you must first imagine it.

On parenting............................

Confronting life itsownself at Sippican Cottage:

"Every man wants his son to be a better man than himself, but how are you going to produce that which you can't manage for yourself?"

It was........................

............"Cartoon Sunday" at Nan's Jade Page Press.  The Dog lives the middle one.

As penance for this.....................

............they will probably run 52 stories about the horrendous problem of "income inequality."  Regardless, if only because of the photography, check out the NYT and 52 Places To Go in 2014.














thanks craig

Battle cry..................................

Hear some mighty fine Trombone Shorty music from the Wizard of NOLA.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Got to be good.............................

Pearl Jam................................................Last Kiss

And this is news because why....................?

"Good evidence now exists that there is a body of management practices which is strongly associated with better performance, regardless of time or place."

-as excerpted from Schumpeter's latest essay on Measuring management in the latest The Economist.  You can find it here.

Fun with the language...........................

Can anybody tell me why..............................

..............we drop the "e" when spelling judgment, but we leave the "e" when spelling management?  Just wondering.

Verse.............................


"Earthrise"    Photo by William Anders while orbiting the moon 12/24/68



















3.  What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?

4.  Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.

5.  The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.

6.  The wind blows to the south and turns to the north, round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.

7.  All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full.  To the place the streams come from, there they return again.

8.  All things are wearisome, more than one can say.  The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.


9.  What has been will be again,what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
10 


10.  Is there anything of which one can say,“Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago;  it was here before our time.
11 
11.  No one remembers the former generations, 
and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.


Ecclesiastes 1:3-11
The Holy Bible
New International Version

Speaking of fairness.....................

















29 29.  Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you.

-Proverbs 3:29
The Holy Bible
New International Version

Interests......................................

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

J. Frank Wilson.......................................Last Kiss

The double-edged sword of Equality..................

"There is, in fact, a manly and lawful passion for equality which excites men to wish all to be powerful and honored. This passion tends to elevate the humble to the rank of the great; but there exists also in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to attempt to lower the powerful to their own level, and reduces men to prefer equality in slavery to inequality with freedom.”
-Alexis de Tocqueville
as excerpted from this blog post

A variation on a theme......................






















courtesy of

Finding something beautiful...................

............and miles to go before I sleep.