Saturday, April 12, 2014

Time stood still............................

Alan Jackson.............................................Remember When

On measuring........................

"The only man who behaves sensibly is my tailor;  he takes my measurement anew every time he sees me, while all the rest go on with their old measurements, and expect them to fit me."
-George Bernard Shaw

Ex-slackers of the World, Unite....Part 2

A week or so ago, we noted this Megan McArdle post on the importance of hiring "slackers."  As someone who skipped more than the appropriate number of 1:30 Modern European History classes to finish up lunch time euchre games at the fraternity house, I have a soft spot in my heart for "ex-slackers."  One of my favorite writers in the Intertunnel is The Epicurean Dealmaker.  He weighs in on the subject here.   His classic take on recent graduates with a perfect 4.0 grade point average and perfect resumes with perfect lists of extracurricular activities is here:

Most of them, if they ever had a personality or original thought in their head in the first place, have hammered it down so deep into their subconscious they couldn’t summon it on pain of death. Their résumés, their bearing, and their polished interview patter render them about as distinguishable and interesting to talk to as Brooks Brothers mannequins. Nothing in their conversation or revealed background indicates any appetite for adventure, risk, or enlightenment. Nothing they can relate indicates they have tried something they didn’t know they could succeed at, risked failure for a good reason (or any reason at all), or simply gave themselves up to powers greater than themselves—love, fate, chance—just because. They haven’t lived at all. They’ve followed a career path.

I call them carbon sinks.2

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

Napoleon Bonaparte was born on 15 August 1769 at Ajaccio on the island of Corsica.  It is a paradox that this man who thought in terms of conquering entire continents should have had his life bounded by three islands:  Corsica, less than half the size of Wales, no bigger than Vermont;  Elba, much smaller, where a parody of his glory was enacted;  and Saint Helena, a mere speck on the ocean, his death prison.   It was a vintage time to be born:  1769 was also the birth year of Bonaparte's nemesis, the duke of Wellington, and the politician who backed him, Viscount Castlereagh;  and in and around this date were born many of the greatest spirits of the coming age:  Chateaubriand and Madame de Stael, two more of Bonaparte's dedicated enemies;  Wordsworth and Coleridge, who cursed him in prose and verse;  Beethoven, who dedicated his Eroica Symphony to the First Consul, then tore out the page in anger when he became emperor;  and a host of others - Hegel and Schlegel,  Andrew Johnson and John Quincy Adams, George Canning, Metternich, and Sir Walter Scott.
-Paul Johnson,   Napoleon

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

Chris Montez..................................................Let's Dance




All you purists out there who want to remind me that this song dates from fifty-two years ago can relax.  I'm going with the idea that, judging from clothing styles, haircuts, and the dancing itself,  the video dates to early 1964.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Let's dance.........................



















art work via

Some sweet writing......................

     On the 29th of April, as I was fishing from the bank of the river near the Nine-Acre-Corner bridge, standing on the quaking grass and willow roots, where the muskrats lurk, I heard a singular rattling sound, somewhat like that of the sticks which boys play with their fingers, when looking up, I observed a very slight and graceful hawk, like a night-hawk, alternately soaring like a ripple and tumbling a rod or two over and over, showing the underside of its wings, which gleamed like a satin ribbon in the sun, or like the pearly inside of a shell.   This sight reminded me of falconry and what nobleness and poetry are associated with that sport.  The Merlin it seemed to me it might be called:  but I care not for its name.  It was the most ethereal flight I have ever witnessed.  It did not simply flutter like a butterfly, nor soar like the larger hawks, but it sported with proud reliance in the fields of air;  mounting again and again with its strange chuckle, it repeated its free and beautiful fall, turning over and over like a kite, and then recovering from its lofty tumbling, as if it had never set its foot on terra firma.  It appeared to have no companion in the universe, - sporting there alone, - and to need none but the morning and the ether with which it played.  It was not lonely, but made all the earth lonely beneath it.  Where was the parent which hatched it, its kindred, and its father in the heavens?   The tenant of the air, it seemed related to the earth but by an egg hatched some time in the crevice of a crag; - or was its native nest made in the angle of the cloud, woven of the rainbow's trimmings and the sunset sky, and lined with some soft midsummer haze caught up from earth?   Its eyry now some cliffy cloud.
-Henry David Thoreau,  Walden (as excerpted from Spring)

It was mighty fine.............................






















via

Better.....................................


























"Whether or not you can never become great at something, you can always become better at it.  Don't ever forget that.  And don't say, 'I'll never be good.'  You can become better, and one day you'll wake up and you'll find out how good you actually became."
-Neil deGrasse Tyson

art via

Music Central................................

...............................................here.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spending 90 minutes or so with the Count......

Count Basie.................................................Basie Boogie

Influx of better thoughts.......................

     A single gentle rain makes the grass many shades greener.   So our prospects brighten on the influx of better thoughts.  We should be blessed if we lived in the present always, and took advantage of every accident that befell us, like the grass which confesses the influence of the slightest dew that falls on it; and did not spend our time in atoning for the neglect of past opportunities, which we call doing our duty.  We loiter in winter while it is already spring.
-Henry David Thoreau,  as excerpted from Walden

Success vs. Happiness.................


Thriving on.............................

..................................................our drug of choice.

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

     Maybe this will help.   For years I have been stalked by a bad reputation.  Actually I have been pursued by people who regard me as the Death and Dying Lady.  They believe that having spent more than three decades in research on death and life after death qualifies me as an expert on the subject.  I think they miss the point.
     The only incontrovertible fact of my work is the importance of life.
-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross,   The Wheel of Life:  A Memoir of Living and Dying

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

The Dovells..................................One Potato, Two Potato



In many ways, 1964 was a simpler time.  The Dovells were a Philly group, perhaps best know for the Bristol Stomp.   This video comes for an April 1964 American Bandstand show with Dick Clark

The simple necessities for a good life.................


















via

A matter of context.......................
















"Lots of people think, well, we're humans;  we're the most intelligent and accomplished species;  we're in charge.  Bacteria may have a different outlook:   more bacteria live and work in one linear centimeter of your lower colon than all the humans who have ever lived.  That's what's going on in your digestive tract right now.  Are we in charge, or are we simple hosts for bacteria?   It all depends on your outlook."
-Neil deGrasse Tyson

cartoon via

Confusopoly..............................................

Scott Adams on "How the Robots Will Take Over" in 7 easy steps:

Step one in the computer's mission to control the environment is moving all money into a digital currency that humans can't fully understand and computers can manipulate. This is similar to how cellphone companies use complexity to prevent consumers from comparing products, also known as a confusopoly. The first post-singularity computer would recognize the pattern and its success and presumably borrow the idea.

As excerpted from this blog post

I especially liked this comment::


Thursday, April 10, 2014

The old classics.........................

Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, Walter Brennan....Cindy Cindy

Friends worth having...................

They went to church or to the temple and although they didn't always agree with what was said, they were serious about the larger message. They could yell and they could cry and one of their glances could convey more than the average college professor does in a week of lectures. They had jobs, not careers, and you rarely found one with the smooth ruthlessness that emerges from today's pool of management interns. 
-as excerpted from the Execupundit

On right and wrong................................

"Right is right, even if nobody does it.  Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong about it."
-G. K. Chesterton


























all cartoons except baloo from here

THE To-Do list........................

The good news is that Nicholas Bate has generously shared his 101 Secrets of Success.  The bad news is that we are responsible for handling each and every one of 101 steps - one day at a time.

#14:  Drive (all day if necessary) until you find a light pollution free area. Stare at the night sky and remind yourself: what a fu**ing gift to have received! Don't waste it.

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

Beach Boys.........................................Little Honda

Science to the rescue................


















Grilling meat gives it great flavor.  This taste, though, comes at a price, since the process creates molecules called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHS) which damage DNA and thus increase the eater's chances of developing colon cancer.  For those who think barbecues one of summer's great delights, that is a shame.  But a group of researchers led by Isabel Ferreira of the University of Porto, in Portugal, think they have found a way around the problem.  When barbecuing meat, they suggest, you should add beer.
-full story here


Beyond................................

From the A Source of Inspiration blog............



































                     How big is big, or even small?
                     A stone, rock, mountain, star.
        Universes beyond what we can comprehend.
                     How big is big or even small?
     We perceive so little, yet think we know so much.
             Until we understand we are One with All.
                     How big is big, or even small?
                     A stone, rock, mountain, star.

Surprise...................................






"The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock.  The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, the generate their own motivation.   For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday.  And lessen the suffering of others.  You'd be surprised how far that gets you."
-Neil deGrasse Tyson






image via

And it is a feast...........................!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Always giving, never asking back...

Alison Krauss............................................Simple Love




#29 on the essentially eudaimonic list

The wonder of it all.........................























thanks joe

Unsettled.......................


























"My view is that if your philosophy is not unsettled daily then you are blind to all the universe has to offer."
-Neil deGrasse Tyson

art work via

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

In the summer of the Roman year 699, now described as the year 55 before the birth of Christ, the Proconsul of Gaul, Gaius Julius Caesar, turned his gaze upon Britain.   In the midst of his wars in Germany and in Gaul he became conscious of this heavy Island which stirred his ambitions and already obstructed his designs.  He knew it was inhabited by  the same type of tribesmen who confronted the Roman arms in Germany, Gaul, and Spain.  The Islanders had helped the local tribes in the late campaigns along the northern coast of Gaul.  They were of the same Celtic stock, somewhat intensified by insular life.  British volunteers had shared the defeat of the Veneti on the coast of Brittany in the previous year.  Refugees from momentarily conquered Gaul were welcomed and sheltered in Britannia.  To Caesar the Island now presented itself to be and integral part of his task of subjecting the Northern barbarians to the rule and system of Rome.  The land not covered by forest or marsh was verdant and fertile.  The climate, though far from genial, was equable and healthy.  The natives, though uncouth, had a certain value as slaves for rougher work on the land, in mines, and even about the house.   There was talk of a pearl fishery, and also of gold.  "Even if there was not time for a campaign that season,  Caesar thought it would be of great advantage to him merely to visit the island, to see what the inhabitants were like, and to make himself acquainted with the lie of the land, the harbours, and the landing-places.  Of all this the Gauls knew next to nothing."  Other reasons added their weight.  Caesar's colleague in the Triumvirate, Crassus, had excited the imagination of the Roman Senate and people by his spirited march towards Mesopotamia.  Here, at the other end of the known world, was an enterprise equally audacious.  The Romans hated and feared the sea.  By a supreme effort of survival they had two hundred years before surpassed Carthage upon its own element in the Mediterranean, but the idea of Roman legions landing in the remote, unknown, fabulous Island of the vast ocean of the North would create a novel thrill and topic in all ranks of Roman society.
-Winston S. Churchill,   The Birth of Britain

Two...............................





































Thanks Todd

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

The Rolling Stones........................................Walking The Dog

Wrong...................................






















"We spend the first year of a child's life teaching it to walk and talk and the rest of its life to shut up and sit down.  There's something wrong there."
-Neil deGrasse Tyson

Yet another random photo dump....

Random stuff found on my computer that has more than likely appeared (and been credited) on this blog before: