Saturday, March 15, 2014

It turns me on..........................................

The Beatles...............................................................Because

 

How would like this pressure...................

"In short, the future of malaria depends on bed nets, mosquito control, anti-malarial drugs, better housing and Bill Gates."

Your faithful blogger cherry-picked that sentence out of this blog post from Matt Ridley, the most rational optimist I know.  The post is about the good news that often goes unreported:  the success the clever humans amongst us have had in rolling back the diseases that used to lay waste to us.  Do read it.

Bookmarks.................................

..........................Guilty as charged.  Back story here.

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

The Hondells......................................................Little Honda

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

So far as the ancients of China are concerned, 1906 was a year of the Fire Horse - a time of grave unpredictability that comes along every six decades, and a time when all manner of strange events are inclined to occur.  So to the seers and the hermits in their faraway mountain aeries such events as unrolled during the year would have come as no surprise.  The rest of humankind was less well prepared, however, and were caught unawares.  And what instruments we have agree that, so far as matters of the earth were concerned, 1906 was, yes, a very bad year indeed.
-Simon Winchester,  A Crack In The Edge Of The World:  America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906

Took me forever.............................

............to learn #4 (and sometimes I still forget).  Some valuable reading right here.

thanks maggie's

There are many ways to make music......

.................................this may be one of them.

Ed. Note:  My technology must be dated.  I felt a little silly following the  "touch the screen" instructions.  Eventually figured out to click the old mouse.

Thanks Craig

No fair tennis without a net.........................

Mrs Lockwood told her English class to write an author and ask for advice.  Five of the students apparently wrote Kurt Vonnegut.  Vonnegut answered their letters.  Were I you, I would abandon all hope of reading said letter below and instead follow this link to the easier-on-the-eyes version.  I think you will enjoy it.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Volume up...................................!

The Outlaws................................Ghost Riders In The Sky

 

SEE...................................................

Gustave Courbet      Self Portrait (The Desperate Man)   1843-45



















“It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.” 
-Henry David Thoreau

While idly scrolling through the "My Pictures" thing on my laptop, it became clear that it was time for another photo dump. Here goes:































Not so simple.............................

.........................................and with a huge heart.

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

The Beatles......................................You Can't Do That

For those of us who remember 2002......................

.........residential property values have finally returned to those levels.   Just pretend the last twelve years didn't happen.  The 2002-2006 real estate bubble caused real and lasting damage.  How about we avoid another one?















enlargeable chart can be found here.

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

     She was tall and lanky and wore an expensive white summer suit with a complementary cream-colored shoulder bag and jet-black wraparound fuck-you sunglasses.  Her ash blond hair just touched her shoulders.
-John Sandford,  The Fool's Run

Careful what you wish for.................................


The fine art of letter writing................................

AN OPEN LETTER TO MEN ON THE SUBWAY, SPECIFICALLY DURING MORNING RUSH HOUR ON THE A TRAIN BETWEEN JAY STREET AND CANAL.

Dear MTA Riders of the Male Persuasion,

I know you like to spread your chests wide, inhaling deeply and filling your lungs with that special patriarchal air that is your birthright. I know you need to place your legs in wide stances to give ample room to your massive testicles, which you have inherited after generations of Darwinism have assured only the largest and best scrotum survive. I know you need to mount your body against the entire center subway pole, claiming your land like Columbus. I get that.

Therefore, as a woman who is subordinate to your powerful Y chromosome, I will happily stand in the middle of the subway car, rudderless. A ship out at sea, if you will. Perhaps if I were a little taller, I could reach the bars that run across the ceiling of the cars. Alas, I am diminutive in stature, the result of poor nutrition during a starved adolescence in which I maintained the lowest possible body fat percentage in order to please and honor your standard of beauty in the hopes that you would choose me as your prom date.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Just because....................................

The Outlaws............................Green Grass and High Tides

I do appreciate...................................

The Beatles.......................................................Help!

)

What old books do when no one is watching....

Ray opened the book on Jonathan Wolstenholme's work the other day.  Whimsical art just tickles my fancy.  Here are a few more examples:
























Lessons learned the hard way.........................

From Megan McArdle:
But silencing your critics is a good way to set yourself up for total disaster. That doesn’t mean letting critics shut you down. But it does mean taking everything they say as seriously as the rah-rah sentiments of the policy cheerleaders.

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

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy."
-attributed to both Alexis de Tocqueville and Alexander Fraser Tytler, but maybe said by Elmer T. Peterson


















chart from this blog post

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

Gerry and The Pacemakers...................How Do You Do It?

 

Jokes for smart folk.................

Bilbo points to this list of twenty jokes  "that only intellectuals will understand."  Two samples:

It is hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they  always take things literally.

 Jean-Paul Sartre is sitting in a Parisian sidewalk cafe, revising his draft of Being and Nothingness. He says to the waitress, "I'd like a cup of coffee please, with no cream."  The waitress responds, "I'm sorry, sir, but we're out of cream. Would you like it with no milk instead?"

Hoping this is still true.....................























16 other "burns" from Winston may be found here.

Indomitably...............................

"...if the single man plant himself indomitably on his instincts, and there abide, the huge world will come round to him   Patience, - patience;..."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson,  The American Scholar

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Your basic 1970 protest song..............

Quicksilver Messenger Service..............................What About Me

 

lyrics here

Daydreaming....................................

















via

One last post on Aaron Burr......

     Burr was, in fact, the "odd man out," but not because he lacked character.  He was truly odd because he was the only founder to embrace feminism.  He was the only one who truly believed and adhered to the ideal that reason should transcend party differences.  He was unique in that he refused to slander his political enemies behind their backs.  He displayed an insatiable intellectual curiosity and read widely;  his faith in Utilitarianism made him remarkably modern in imaging daring possibilities for social and political change.  He consequently embraced an inclusive definition of democracy, defending freedom of speech, promoting the expansion of suffrage and economic rights to the middling classes, and battling prejudice against aliens, free blacks, petty criminals, and women.  His moving words (in opposition to a law to disenfranchise aliens) before the New York Assembly in 1799 are worth repeating, for they remind us of his idealism:

"America stood with open arms and presented an assylum to the oppressed of every nation;  we invited them with the promise of enjoying equal rights with ourselves, and presented them with the flattering prospect of presiding in our councils and arriving at honour and trust; shall we deprive these persons of an important right derived from so sacred a source as our constitution?"

The evidence shows that as a proponent of equal rights, there was no one among the founders any more enthusiastic -any more genuine- than Burr.

-Nancy Isenberg,  Fallen Founder:  The Life of Aaron Burr

That clarity of vision thing..................

The Strategic Learner recommends we recognize our very own "mixed messages."  (And a big Thank You to John for giving me a reason to re-post my favorite Doonesbury cartoon panel)






Hmmm.................................

The history major in me thinks that, while this quote may be correct,  no previous powerful state has ever tried to be fair or just.  Discuss it among yourselves:

Putin assumes the world, for all its pretensions, is amoral. He assumes it  looks up to states that show power and confidence rather than fairness and justice.
-Victor Davis Hanson

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

The Searchers..............................................Needles and Pins

 

I often told my growing-up kids that................

..........they should seek to become a "friend worth having."  Here is one example of what that might look like.

The unfortunate thing..................................

............is that something that is your "friend" right now, may turn out to be your "foe" tomorrow (and vice versa).   The Execupundit has the list to keep you thinking.

Tough day in the blogosphere......






















via

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

In my time....................................

Kris Kristofferson..................................Loving Her Was Easier

"...better than nothing is a high standard."

-an aphorism from Ann Althouse.  Back story here.

River Otters eating alligators...............?

Show of hands:  Who knew those cute little otters could do this?

















Back story is here.  Mother Nature takes no prisoners.

thanks maggie's

Nothing to see here...............................

...........................ignore that man behind the curtain.














thanks jess

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

Roger Miller.............................................................Dang Me

 

Of one and all..........................

"Rely not on the teacher/person, but on the teaching. Rely not on the words of the teaching, but on the spirit of the words. Rely not on theory, but on experience. Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe anything because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything because it is written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and the benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."
-Buddha

Interesting paragraphs......................

The Burr trial featured some of the greatest oratory of the age amid heated exchanges, exhibitions of wit, and incisive demonstrations of legal logic.  Though Burr's capture would receive numerous romantic retellings, it was his treason trial that gained the most attention, even acclaim, as one of the great criminal trials in American history.  Spectators flocked to Richmond's House of Delegates from places near and distant, jamming the courtroom to witness the prosecution of the former vice president for the high crime of treason.  The state summoned over 140 witnesses, though only a few actually took the stand and testified.  This was a political prosecution, and so it naturally enflamed public opinion, and consumed more newsprint than any other American court proceeding ever had.  Burr's trial was never simply about the law.  It was political theatre, and elaborate performance designed to mold public opinion as much as to defend public reputations.
-Nancy Isenberg,  Fallen Founder:  The Life of Aaron Burr

More information on the Burr treason trial can be found here.

Will O' Wisp Treason....................

"If I were to name this, I would call it the Will o' wisp treason.  For though it is said to be here and there and everywhere, yet it is nowhere.  It only exists in the newspapers and in the mouths of the enemies of the gentleman for whom I appear;  who get it put in the newspapers."
-Luther Martin, defense counsel for Aaron Burr, 1807

We were young and sure to have our way...

























via

Speaking of clocks................................


Monday, March 10, 2014

This happened once before......................

The Beatles............................................................No Reply

 

Two weeks till Spring.........................

Andrew Sullivan celebrates by posting this time lapse video of flowers blooming.  Enjoy!

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

The Kingdom of Morocco has on its most widely used currency bill neither a camel nor a minaret nor a Touareg in desert blue, but the representation of the shell of a very large snail.  The shell of this shore-living marine beast - a carnivore that uses its tongue to rasp holes in other creatures' shells and sip out the goodness - is reddish brown, slender, and spiny, with a long spire and an earlike opening.  It is in all ways rather beautiful, the kind of shell not to idly thrown away by anyone lucky enough to find one.
-Simon Winchester,  Atlantic:  Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries , Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories


As a convenience to those of you curious enough to wonder what the Moroccan 200 Dirham bill looks like, here 'tis:


Unfortunately, elusive the truth is........



















thanks Joe

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

Martha & The Vandellas..........................Dancing In The Streets

 

Sowing and reaping.....................

      Haidt realized that he'd made a mistake when he thought that conservatives cared less about fairness than liberals;  rather, they cared about different fairness.  Liberals worried about the fairness of equality.  Conservatives were animated by the fairness of proportion:   Are people being rewarded according to the effort they put it?  Haidt realized he would need a sixth moral foundation, one that would capture what these conservatives were talking about.  "It was the fairness," writes Haidt, "of the Protestant work ethic and the Hindu law of Karma:  people should reap what they sow."
-Megan McCardle,  as excerpted from The Up Side of Down:  Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success

A to-do list.........................