Saturday, March 29, 2014

Picking me a bouquet.....................

Darius Rucker.................................................Wagon Wheel

 

 Checking in at #26 on the essentially eudaimonic list

Well, yeah.........................................


Thriving........................

..................................It is a thing of beauty.   Start here.

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

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.
     "Whenever you feel like criticizing any one," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."
     He didn't say any more, but we've always been unusually communicative in a reserved way, and I understood that he meant a great deal more than that.  In consequence, I'm inclined to reserve all judgments, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few bores.  The abnormal mind is quick to detect and attach itself to this quality when it appears in a normal person, and so it came about that in college I was unjustly accused of being a politician, because I was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men.   Most of the confidences were unsought - frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon;  for the intimate revelations of young men, or at least the terms in which they express them, are usually plagiaristic and marred by obvious suppressions.  Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope.  I am still a little afraid of missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth.
-F. Scott Fitzgerald,  The Great Gatsby

Are we...........................

........losing the war on jargon?  Read on here



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

Jimmy Hughes...............................................Steal Away

Training...........................














via

Privacy...................

In the winter of 1961, Cummings's familiar world was threatened when Hugh Keenan, the owner of Patchin Place, decided he was sick of paltry rents from dozens of tenants and planned a complete renovation of the ancient mews, with its narrow curbs and lush ailanthus trees and rent controlled apartments.  Thanks to the generosity of friends and Cummings's furious sensitivity to sounds and smells - he refused to let Marion clean with bleach - Cummings controlled all the rooms at 4 Patchin Place except for the second floor in the front.
     This wasn't the first attack of the tiny mews, which had become Cummings's refuge from the dirtier, nosier city.  Robert Moses had designated Patchin Place as well as the brick spire of Jefferson Market for demolition, but that edict had been overturned.  Now, Marion went to court to fight Hugh Keenan.  Finally, someone apparently alerted Mayor Robert Wagner to the fact that the famous poet E. E. Cummings was being evicted, and Keenan's permits were revoked.  "To a human being, nothing is so important as privacy - since without privacy, individuals cannot exist:  and only individuals are human."  Cummings gratefully wrote the Mayor in March of 1962.  "I am unspeakably thankful that the privacy of 4 Patchin Place will be respected:  and shall do my best to be worthy of this courtesy."
-Susan Cheever,   e. e. cummings:  a life

Betcha didn't know.....................

Today's geography question:   How big is Africa?

BIG

















Larger that the combination of the United States, India, China, Japan and most of Europe.  Enlargeable map is here

Friday, March 28, 2014

My, My, My.............................

Colin Hay.......................................Beautiful World



Number 10 on the essentially eudaimonic list

The Four Freedoms of Norman Rockwell....


Freedom from Want                 1943
Freedom of Worship               1943

Freedom of  Speech                   1943

Freedom from Fear                    1943























































































Back story is here

Let go.......................................





















thanks lance

It's magic.......................

Compound interest.   If our educational system (and government) really wanted to help youngsters (and society-at-large), they would spend more time teaching disciplined savings and compound interest.  While they're at it, they ought to explain it to parents as well.


















Back story and much larger chart is here

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

At the movies................Pajama Party with Annette Funicello

Cried...................................


Results....................................


The limits...................

..........of our knowledge are actually fairly impressive.  Here is a list of seven unanswered questions about the Universe.  In face of what we don't know (and all that we thought we knew that turned out to be wrong), one would think we should be hearing a lot less about "settled science."   From the list:
5. We don’t know how the Earth works: Let’s lurch back to a grander scale. No human, or robot, has ever physically traveled deeper than a few miles into the Earth’s crust, everything else is extrapolation and interpolation from ‘remote sensing’ and clever physical analyses. It took us a ridiculously long time to figure out that the outer planetary skin is moving and sliding around; plate tectonics was not generally accepted until the mid-20th century! We’re still not sure exactly how the inner dynamo works, how rolls of convecting magma generate our planetary magnetic field.
There’s also so much mess after 4.5 billion years of geophysics that some of our best information about the planet’s origins come from meteorites and the cratering of other worlds — outsourced. Speaking of other worlds, we’re not even sure we understand where the Moon came from, maybe it was a giant impact, maybe not. For an allegedly clever species on a small rocky planet this is a bit of an epic fail.
For those of us who like their endings happy, here is the conclusion to the article:
There’s an awful lot we don’t know (far more than just the examples here). But the point is not to get despondent, because this ignorance is a beautiful thing. It’s what ultimately drives science, and it’s what makes the universe truly awe-inspiring. After the hundreds of thousands of years that Homo sapienshas loped around, the cosmos can still elude our fidgety, inquisitive minds, easily outracing our considerable imaginations. How wonderful.

Apples are oranges...........................

































He dried out a Granny Smith apple and Sunkist Navel orange in an oven, ground them up and put each into a mass spectrometer.  In fact, he found apples and oranges are pretty similar.

      "Not only was this comparison easy to make, but it is apparent
      from the figure that apples and oranges are very similar,  This
      it would appear that the comparing apples and oranges 
      defense should no longer be considered valid.  This is a 
      somewhat startling revelation.  It can be anticipated to have 
      a dramatic effect on the strategies used in arguments and 
      discussions in the future."
-as excerpted from here

enlargeable cartoon here

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Some kind of ecstasy has a hold on me...

Bruce Cockburn..................Wondering Where The Lions Are

    

Number 3 on the list of  essentially eudaimonic songs

Here's to Eudaimonia...............

The Call......................................................Let The Day Begin

 

as extracted from Essential Mixes - #45 Eudaimonia Mix

The goal............................

“the goal of the future is full unemployment so we can play”.
-Arthur C. Clarke

Context is important....................

The context for the above Arthur C. Clarke quote is this Matt Ridley blog post.  Excerpt here:

In 1700 nearly all of us had to dig the soil from dawn to dusk or everybody starved (and some did anyway).  Technology liberated us from that precarious and awful world.   If it does so again, so that our grandchildren never have to think in terms of “jobs” at all, but merely in terms of how they can fill their days fulfilling their wishes and helping others, mixing bits of work with bits of leisure, while drawing on the output of Stakhanovite machines for income, will they envy us our daily commutes and our office politics? I don’t think so.

Whatever...............................


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

On the television............................The Addams Family

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


Waste..............................

"Our lust for future comfort is the biggest thief of life."
-as excerpted from this wonderful David Kanigan post

The oceans aren't cooperating..........

Walter Russell Mead's blog points out that sea levels are not rising as predicted.   That prediction business sure is hard.  Excerpt here:

But knowing this set of facts doesn’t do much for our predictive powers, at least within a time frame useful to policymakers. Natural variabilities in everything from seasonal winds to oceanic currents make the climate prognosticator’s job extraordinarily difficult. These fiddly bits confound climate models, and make fools of those who take their predictions as gospel. The green movement’s determination to stuff short-term climate predictions down the public’s throat has been the main driver of climate change skepticism.

When art and science get all snuggly.................



































-May Swenson

"I love this poem. May Swenson invokes both the form of a DNA helix with her stacked, bulged lines of text, AND pays homage to a Marcel Duchamp painting in both words and shape. Ain’t it great when art and science get all snuggly?"
In case you forgot, the Marcel Duchamp painting is here

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

    The house band from Sippican Cottage.......... .........nothing but treble.............

    Unorganized Hancock.........................Blister In The Sun




    Back story and tip jar can be found here......................

    You mean it's not the alcohol.......................

    Business Insider presents a scientist's view on "How To Be A Better Dancer."    After watching it, I'm sure alcohol will still help.

    thanks craig

    It will be OK with me if...................................

    .....................the next time I look at fresh snow on the pine trees and think "wow, that's really pretty" is eight months from now.


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

    Cassidy drove contentedly through the evening sunlight, his face as close to the windshield as the safety belt allowed, his foot alternating diffidently between accelerator and brake as he scanned the narrow lane for unseen hazards.  Beside him on the passenger seat, carefully folded into a plastic envelope, lay an Ordnance Survey map of central Somerset.  An oilbound compass of the newest type was fastened by suction to the walnut dashboard.  At a corner of the windshield, accurately adjusted to his field of view, a copy of the Estate Agent's particulars issued under the distinguished title of Messrs. Grimble and Outhwaite of Mount Street W. was clipped to an aluminum stand of his own invention.  For the attention of Mr. Aldo Cassidy ran the deferential inscription;  for Aldo was his first name.  He drove, as always, with the greatest concentration, and now and again he hummed to himself with that furtive sincerity common to the tone-deaf.
    -John Le Carre,  The Naive & Sentimental Lover

    It's a wonder.........................


















    Do dogs ever wonder what we're thinking?
    -Michael Wade, as excerpted from "Random Thoughts"

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























    John Cheever (1912-1982) was featured in the March 27, 1964 issue of Time magazine.  The cover story is here, but it is gated to keep us non-Time subscribers from reading the old issues.  Sorry.  Cheever, a American fiction writer of great renown, led an interesting life.  You can read more about him here.   While I'd like to tell you I had read some of his works ... I haven't.  What caught my attention is the fact that he is the father of Susan Cheever, author of my favorite new book, e. e. cummings:  a life.

    Artificial........................

    "We attempted to manage volatility through layers and reviewers.  Like many companies we were guilty of countering complexity with complexity ... more inspectors, multiple reviewers."  The result was "higher cost structure, an artificial sense of risk management, and we were insulating our people from the heat of the market."
    -Jeffrey Immelt, the boss at GE, as excerpted from here

    And it is always Now..............................


    Without......................

    "Access without understanding and facts without context have become our daily diet."
    -Susan Cheever

    Could................................


    Should...............................

















    via

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

    Warmth.................................

    The Beach Boys with Willie Nelson.....The Warmth of the Sun

    Who you gonna call..........................?


    Opening paragraphs...........One of Two

    October 1931, Memphis, Tennessee

    Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra are performing at the Peabody Hotel, giving local jazz fans a chance to finally see and hear in person the singer-cornetist whose records they have been collecting and whose radio broadcasts they have been tuning in to.  "Master of Modernism and Creator of His Own Song Style" is how he is billed, and no one dismisses it as mere marketing hype.  Few performers, black or white, are more exciting or innovative.  Armstrong has been packing them in on his tour of the South, in city after city, segregated white hall after segregated black hall, with an occasional thrill of mixed patronage now and then, carefully guarded by the police.
    -Thomas Brothers,  from the Introduction to Louis Armstrong:  Master of Modernism

    Opening paragraphs.................Two of two

    August 8, 1922

    Twenty-one-year-old Louis Armstrong is riding on a train bound for Chicago, having boarded at the Illinois Central Railroad station in New Orleans.   He sits next to a lady with three children.  The lady recognizes him, says she knows his mother.  This comforts him, not least because she has packed a large basket of fried chicken, enough to last all the way to California in his estimation.  Trains in "Galilee" - African-American slang for the South - do not include dining facilities for Negroes, so passengers must bring their own food.  His mother bagged a trout sandwich for him, but it feels good to be sitting next to an overflowing basket of chicken.  Underneath his long coat and clothes he wears long underwear, even though it is August, and he is lugging a small suitcase in one hand, a little case for his cornet in the other.
    -Thomas Brothers,   Louis Armstrong:  Master of Modernism

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

    As early as his 1915 Harvard College graduation valedictorian speech, Cummings told his audience that "the New Art, maligned though it may be by fakirs and fanatics, will appear in its essential spirit ... as a courageous and genuine exploration of untrodden ways."
         Modernism as Cummings and his mid-twentieth-century colleagues embraced it had three parts.  The first was the exploration of using sounds instead of meanings to connect words to the reader's feelings.  The second was the idea of stripping away all unnecessary things to bring attentions to form and structure:  the formerly hidden skeleton of a work would now be exuberantly visible.  The third facet of modernism was an embrace of adversity.  In a world seduced by easy understanding, the modernists believed that difficulty enhanced the pleasure of reading.  In a Cummings poem the reader must often pick his way toward comprehension, which comes, when it does, in a burst of delight and recognition.  Like many of his fellow modernists (there were those who walked out of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, and viewers were scandalized by Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase), Cummings was sometimes reviled by the fakirs and fanatics of the critical establishment.  Princeton poet Richard P. Blackmur said Cummings's poems were "baby talk," and poetry arbiter Helen Vendler called them repellent and foolish:  "What is wrong with a man who writes this?" she asked.
    -Susan Cheever, as excerpted from the Introduction to e. e. cummings:  a life

    Modernism............................

    Marcel Duchamp     Nude Descending a  Staircase, No.2     1912



































    To listen to Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, please go here

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

    Louis Armstrong................................................Hello Dolly

     

    More fun with blog headers...................

    From the wide, wide world of the Mighty E comes another round of creativity.  Scroll down the "Labels" (on the bottom right hand side of the blog) to Eclecticity for a whole host of others.  Smile will you.















































    Does America hate libertarians.......?

    Kevin Williamson thinks so.   Full essay here.  Conclusion here:

    Paul’s challenge is to seek a smaller state while not advocating cuts to anything anybody’s grandmother cares about, to sell a live-and-let-live social policy to busybodies and bluenoses on both sides and to articulate a foreign policy that is less reliant on the projection of national strength without projecting weakness instead. Trouble is, he has to do all that to the satisfaction of an electorate whose members mostly think that a libertarian is somebody who works in a library, courting the debased descendants of Patrick Henry as they shout with one voice: “Give me liberty, or give me a check!”
    In 2016, they’re going to vote for the check.

    Choices.......................


    Monday, March 24, 2014

    Home to you............................

    Poco.............................................Good Feelin' To Know

     

    The essential Poco can be found here.

    antiartists in spacetime.......................

         Every artist's strictly illimitable country is himself.

         An artist who plays that country false has committed suicide; and even a good lawyer cannot kill the dead. But a human being who's true to himself — whoever himself may be — is immortal;and all the atomic bombs of all the antiartists in spacetime will never civilize immortality.


    -e e cummings, as excerpted from Nonlecture Four

    It's like magic...............
















    The casual reader may have noticed a recent increase in things e e cummings.  While I have been fascinated by Cummings since high school, this recent interest stems from a comment friend Jeff made a week or so ago about Susan Cheever's new book on the fellow.  It has been my experience that Jeff's recommendations are worth following.  Since my Amazon budget for March has already been used up, the Newark Public Library was visited.  While the nice people there do not have said book in their collection, they promised delivery within a few days.  And so it came to pass.  The copy of Cheever's book now in my possession belongs to the Highland County District Library in Hillsboro, Ohio.  Without checking with Google, it strikes me that Hillsboro is in southwest Ohio, more than two hours away.  Libraries are like magic!


    Good coaches know a thing or three.......

    "So, if you're hired to do a job for a nickel, give them a dime's worth."
    -Bo Ryan (Wisconsin basketball coach) as excerpted from here

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

    Robert Maxwell.............................................Shangri-La
    I know the video says 1963, but this little tune rests at #92 on the 1964  Billboard Hot 100 singles.   Have a pretty good idea why it didn't chart higher.

    While walking in the 100 aker wood................

    ........we hoped to surprise and sight one of the very rare, and very shy, graffiti tree sprites.  But to no avail, we only found trace evidence...........




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

    Meyer came aboard The Busted Flush on a dark, wet, windy Friday afternoon in early December.  I had not seen him in nearly two months.  He looked worn and tired, and he had faded to an indoor pallor.  He shucked his rain jacket and sat heavily in the biggest chair and said he wouldn't mind at all if I offered him maybe a little bourbon, one rock, and a dollop of water.
    -John D. MacDonald, The Green Ripper

    There's a few who question that I have........

















    via

    Trust issues.......................

    So, what is the alternative? At the very least, a large dose of humility is in order. When evaluating policies, our elected leaders are wise to seek advice from economists. But if an economist is always confident in his judgments, or if he demonizes those who reach opposite conclusions, you know that he is not to be trusted.
    -N. Gregory Mankiw, as excerpted from here

    Sunday, March 23, 2014

    Many years later................................

    The Ventures...........................................................Apache

     

     back story

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

    There was no aged dog to welcome him, and no murderous suitors for him to deceive, but E. E. Cummings was a nervous wreck.  Professor John H. Finley Jr., introducing Cummings at Memorial Hall, kept saying that Cummings's return to Harvard after more than thirty years was like Odysseus' return to Ithaca, but the fifty-eight-year-old Cummings, held together by a neck-to-hip corset that he called "the Iron Maiden," and attended by his beautiful, homesick common-law wife, did not feel at all victorious or Homeric.
    -Susan Cheever,   e. e. cummings:  a life

    Ed. Note:  For the curious, a version of Odysseus' return to Ithaca is here 

    Uses for rope.........................

    What I propose, then, is this:  that you give Mr. Cummings enough rope.  He may hang himself;  or he may lasso a unicorn.
    -Edna St. Vincent Millay

    Shines....................................















    "Very luckily for you and me, the uncivilized sun mysteriously shines on 'good' and 'bad' alike."
    -e. e. cummings

    painting by Cummings via

    For additional paintings by Cummings, you might visit here

    Most this amazing..................................

    i thank You God for most this amazing
    day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
    and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
    which is natural which is infinite which is yes
    (i who have died am alive again today,
    and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
    day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
    great happening illimitably earth)
    how should tasting touching hearing seeing
    breathing any–lifted from the no
    of all nothing–human merely being
    doubt unimaginable You?
    (now the ears of my ears awake and
    now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
    -e. e. cummings

    Verse..........................Part One

    He who desires the admiration of the
    world will do well to amass a great 
    fortune and then give it away.
    The world will respond with admiration
    in proportion to the size
    of his treasure.
    Of course, this is meaningless.

    Stop striving after admiration.
    Place your esteem on the Tao.
    Live in accord with it,
    share with others the teachings
    that lead to it,
    and you will be immersed in the blessings
    that flow from it.

    -Chapter 9
    Hua Hu Ching:  The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu
    Brian Brown Walker

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

    The Ventures.............................................Walk Don't Run

     

    Verse.........................Part Two

                   Which means more to you,
                       you or your renown?
                  Which brings more to you,
                     you or what you own?
                      I say what you gain
             is more trouble than what you lose.

                   Love is the fruit of sacrifice.
                Wealth is the fruit of generosity.

           A contented man is never disappointed.
    He who knows when to stop is preserved from peril,
               only thus can you long endure.

    -44th Verse
    Tao Te Ching, as channeled by Wayne Dyer

    One of the beauties of the Tao is the variation between translations.  Here are two additional translations of the 44th Verse of the Tao Te Ching:

    Which is more vital
    fame of health
    which is more precious
    health or riches
    which is more harmful
    loss or gain
    the deeper the love
    the higher the cost
    the bigger the treasure
    the greater the loss
    who knows contentment
    suffers no shame
    who knows restraint
    encounters no trouble
    and thus lives long
    -as translated by Red Pine


       What really matters most,
    Your image or your soul?
       What do you care about
    Your money or your life?
       What's actually the best,
    Making it - or losing?

    If you pour all your energy into on thing,
    You're sure to harm the rest of your being
    And if you invest it all in profit -
    You'll end up losing the whole lot.

    If you're not always wanting, you can be at peace.
    And if you're not always trying to be someone
    You can be who you really are
                   
                             and go the whole way.
    -The Illustrated Tao Te Ching

    Through.......................................



















    "looking through the stars to see if I could see God beyond them."
    -Henry David Thoreau

    photo via

    Sleepy...........................

















    via and via



















    via