Saturday, June 14, 2014

A few of my favorite things........................

Jeff goes old school:  ... the primary tools are still paper and pen. My preference is still quality over quantity… Do click on the Doonesbury cartoon to see the whole thing. Trudeau is a bit of a genius.

From Scott Adams' blog:  The creator of Dilbert is also a pioneer of "trigger warnings."  Read his just for the fun of it.   In the same place, you will find this addition to the gun violence debate:  "So let me state my position as clearly as possible:  I am pro-data."  Followed by this truism:  "And the data is incomplete."

Bits and Pieces:  Weighing in nicely on the "grammar police."  

From Cultural Offering comes two posts offering wisdom and guidance:  "A good agenda is poetry.and "a key secret to success in life is to NEVER be a victim."  

Nicholas Bate expands his vision of the Future:  The latest installment here.  My favorite from his second installment is:  #4.  Catch 22 is implemented. If you want to be a politician you are clearly not suitable and can't become one.

Try and try...............................

Jimmy Cliff........................You Can Get It If You Really Want

Great dismounts, redux..............................














courtesy of.  Previous great dismounts here.

The Dancing Cry of the Soul


Love is the dancing cry of the soul, calling the body to worship
Like a shining whirlpool, or a spinning mayfly
So is love among the skies.


I leap across the mountaintops, madly singing the song of all songs
I float through the ether, intoxicated, thrilled
I think only of your love, your calling to me
And I dance the thousand dances of love, all returning to you.


It is not the play of children, nor the detached unity of wise sages
Unreal! Unnecessary!
Where is the beauty?


When I, like a glowing comet, may flash around your sun
Laughing, singing, with the joy of loving you!


Wine makes drunk the mind and body
But it is love which thrills the soul
When I approach you, I feel the mad pounding of love
The singing wonder
The joy which opens blossoms on the trees of the world.


Come to me, and I shall dance with you
In the temples, on the beaches, through the crowded streets
Be you man or woman, plant or animal, slave or free
I shall show you the brilliant crystal fires, shining within
I shall show you the beauty deep within your soul
I shall show the path beyond Heaven.


Only dance, and your illusions will blow in the wind
Dance, and make joyous the love around you
Dance, and your veils which hide the Light
Shall swirl in a heap at your feet.

-Rumi

Floats........................

"Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea;   reason seeks to cross the sea, and so make it finite.   The result is mental exhaustion ... To accept everything is an exercise, to understand everything is a strain.  The poet only desires exaltation and expansion,  a world to stretch himself in.  The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens.  It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head.  And it is his head that splits.
-Gilbert Keith Chesterton

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

The Beatles...........................................................If I Fell

Quiz time.................................

About how many operational satellites are orbiting Earth today?

One answer, which includes thoughts about the future of satellites, may be found here.

Reading lists...........................

From Michael Wade:   here and here and here.

From Jeff Kopito:   here.  Actually, his whole blog is a reading list

Kurt Harden:   here.

Mine:






A little slice...........................

.....................................................................of Americana.











A comment on this post.  True at my school as well.

Friday, June 13, 2014

A few of my favorite things.......................

Kurt Harden's roughly ten minute commencement address:


















Samizdata takes a look-see at the intervention in Iraq:  "Dreaming about what might be accomplished by gods is insufficient. One must instead discuss what is actually achievable by men."

Ka-Ching! adds his two cents on the situation in Iraq.

Joe Hanson offers an explanation for the mysteries of the Universe.  Works for me.

The Astronomy Picture of the Day blog.   A scroll through the archives is a delight.

Each one believing.....................................

The Beatles..................................Here, There and Everywhere

Twist.............................................





















“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” 
-Sherlock Holmes, as channeled by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

cartoon via

Careful...........................

















"Big Data may mean more information, but it also means more false information."
-Nassim Taleb

cartoon via

Known................................



















“The problems are solved, not by giving new information, but by arranging what we have known since long.” 
-Ludwig Wittgenstein

Seek.......................................

















“I became a journalist because I did not want to rely on newspapers for information.” 
-Christopher Hitchens


cartoon via

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

Bobby Kennedy with Jack Parr.    Wish it were longer.

Sorting it out....................



















"The internet is not a source of information it is a source of disinformation.” 
-Craig Ferguson

cartoon via

Smart, though.....................................
























“I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.” 
-Bill Watterson

Consult..........................................























“Information is not knowledge.” 
-Albert Einstein

cartoon via

It's no wonder we all get so confused.................


















from the Heartland

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A few of my favorite things.........................-

From Eclecticity Light:   A daub here ... a stroke there ... and pretty soon it's art.

From Via Meadia:   A bridge too far.  The FDA has it in for cheese.  Say it isn't so!

From Arnold Kling:  A question mark on the valuation of Uber at $17B.  "But, hey, I’m just an old man who doesn’t understand technology."   Me too.

From the not-so-Simple, Village Undertaker:   "Well, today I didn't do it."

From Seth Godin:  Thoughts on problems and opportunities. "It's interesting how we recoil from the idea of creating problems. Of course, progress is about creating opportunities, and opportunities always bring along their close colleague, problems."

Two drummers having fun....................

The Ventures.................................................Wipe Out




The original version (circa 1963) can be found here.

I hate to nit-pick............................

........................................but I'm going to anyway.

Stuart Schneiderman, whose blog I read regularly, has a post up noticing, with grudging acceptance, that AA and other twelve step movements actually work.   If you are interested in that sort of thing, it is worth reading.   Back to the nit needing picked.   He says:

"After all, what good was all of their advanced scientific training when a couple of drunks from Akron, Ohio could cobble together an effective treatment for alcoholism… not based on science but based on religion."

As a seasoned veteran of a 12-step program, let me assure you that religion has absolutely nothing to do with it.  Spirituality, yes.  Higher Power, absolutely.  Religion, no.   That distinction was critically important to Bill W. back in Akron all those years ago and it remains critically important to the success of 12-step programs today.  Further elaboration on the importance of that distinction can be provided, if desired.   Just saying.

On providing service.................

 "Envy is a bad guide to life and public policy.  If you want a poor society, encourage envy.  If you want a rich society, encourage service."
-David Merkel, as excerpted from this blog post

On fixing symptoms......

    But the big problems that society cares about - crime and disease and political dysfunction, for instance - are more complicated than that.  Their root causes are often not so nearby, or obvious, or palatable.  So rather than address their root causes, we often spend billions of dollars treating the symptoms and are left to grimace when the problem remains.  Thinking like a Freak means you should work terribly hard to identify and attack the root cause of problems.
     Of course, this is far more easily said than done.  Consider poverty and famine:   What causes them?  A glib answer is the lack of money and food.  So theoretically you can fight poverty and hunger by airlifting vast amounts of money and food into poor and hungry places.
     This is pretty much what governments and aid groups have been doing for many years.  So why do the same problems persist in the same places?
     Because poverty is a symptom - of the absence of a workable economy built on credible political, social, and legal institutions.  It's hard to fix that even with planeloads of cash.
-as excerpted from Levitt and Dubner's Think Like A Freak

One day at a time..................

"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.  Do not lose courage by considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them;  every day begin the task anew.
-St. Francis de Sales

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

The Beatles.........................................She's A Woman

Lampposts...................................






















"Smartphones have been ubiquitous for years, of course - but much more recently, there seems to have been a shift in social norms.  For many people, the unwritten rules of sidewalk choreography now include this:  If what I'm reading or watching on my phone is sufficiently interesting to me, it's entirely up to you to get out of my way, just as if I were very frail, or three years old, or blind.  Or a lamppost."
-Oliver Burkeman

cartoon via

So, did I choose this blogging habit........

....................................................or, did it choose me?

Our friend John E. from the Heartland takes a long look at habits.

“Habits both determine our behaviors and define us … so choose wisely when creating a habit.”

His full post is here.

Retire the penny.......................................?

















.....................................You may help answer that question here.

Getting real...............................

Megan McArdle, who has forgotten more about the burden of student loan debt and the eating of ramen and cheese doodles than I ever knew, thinks it is high time the Democrats in government to stop fiddling with student loans.  Read her whole post here.  Interesting excerpt here:

"If we wanted a program to help the majority of the population, we’d offer loan guarantees to help poor people get access to reliable cars so that they could have a better shot at getting -- and keeping -- a well-paying job. I know you’re thinking that sounds crazy, but if you spend any time listening to the problems of working-class people -- many of whom lacked the opportunity, the interest or the academic ability to get through college -- you’ll get an earful about the problems of driving a beater that constantly breaks down. A small amount of capital could make a much bigger difference in their lives than extra student loan relief for middle-class college kids would."

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Two friends having fun.......................

Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin just messing around

A few of my favorite things.................

From the Journal of a Nobody:    An optimistic quote from an unlikely source.

From Bilbo:  An observation that we all make trade-offs, but there is no way to classify electric cars as environmentally friendly.  "But riddle me this, Batman: where does the electricity to charge those batteries come from in the first place?"

From the Everyman Blog:  A final installment to the Calvin and Hobbes story.

From Michael Wade:  When he gets around to publishing a collection of his "Random Thoughts," I'd like to buy an autographed copy.

From David Kanigan:   Driving off into the sunset.

I need to laugh.............................

The Beatles..............................................Good Day Sunshine

Good advice.........................

..................................................from Cultural Offering


"Barriers"..................................

     All of us face barriers - physical, financial, temporal - every day.  Some are unquestionably real.  But others are plainly artificial - expectations about how well a given system can function, or how much change is too much, or what kinds of behavior are acceptable.  The next time you encounter such a barrier, imposed by people who lack your imagination and drive and creativity, think hard about ignoring it.  Solving a problem is hard enough;  it gets that much harder if you've decided beforehand it can't be done.

     "It is the brain, not the heart or lungs, that is the vital organ," said the esteemed neurologist Roger Bannister, best know as the first human being to run the mile in less than four minutes.

-as excerpted from Dubner and Levitt's Think Like A Freak

On grappling and chewing.........

Andrew Sullivan denounces the Campus Thought Police.   Full post here.  Excerpt here:

This plea in a university to be free of hearing things that might hurt, offend, traumatize or upset you is an attack on the very idea of education itself. And don’t get me started about “trigger warnings.” So many things worth thinking about, grappling with, and chewing over can be offensive at first or second blush. That’s what a real education is about: offending your pre-existing feelings and prejudices with reason and argument and sometimes provocation. Education is not and never should be about making you more comfortable and more safe within your current worldview. It should not be about accusing someone with whom you might disagree of a hate crime.

thanks stuart

An ordinary man...........................
















"Mysticism keeps men sane.  As long as you have mystery, you have health;  when you destroy mystery you create morbidity.  The ordinary man has always been sane because the ordinary man has always been a mystic.  He has permitted the twilight.  He has always had one foot in the earth and the other in fairyland.  He has always left himself free to doubt his gods but (unlike the agnostic of today) fee also to believe in them.  He has always cared more for truth than for consistency ...
     "It is exactly this balance of apparent contradictions that has been the whole buoyancy of the healthy man.  the whole secret of mysticism is this:  that man can understand everything by the help of what he does not understand."

-Gilbert Keith Chesterton
image via

We hope.................................


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

Beach Boys......................................Warmth of the Sun

Just trying to do my part.......................

"Life is not a monotone but a many-stringed harmony, and to this harmony is contributed a distinctive note by each individual."
-Annie Besant

Two Truths went walking down the street.......









via

A follow up on good intentions.........................





















































most images found here.  One here.  One here

Torrent......................................

"The world wants another flood - a great mental torrent to wash away the accumulations of false ideas, the obstacles, the traps, which trip an hold fast against progress."
-Harry Gordon Selfridge (1858-1947), as excerpted from Mr. Selfridge's Romance of Commerce

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A few of my favorite things.......................

From Via Meadia:  Noticing the trend toward "energy security,"  also known as "a good thing."

From McSweeney's Internet Tendency:  Some feedback to the Creator on the Creation.

From The Coyote Blog:  A few thoughts on the importance of historical context.

A twofer from Madame Scherzo:   Two cool old guys. (I checked.  They were wily veterans of this planet long before I was born). And,  you don't see the moon doing this everyday.

From the GSElevator twitter account:   Not a claim that I'll be making.

Every single day....................................

The Beatles...................................Got To Get You Into My Life

Checking in with Aesop............................

A traveler hired an Ass to convey him to a distant place.  The day being intensely hot, and the sun shining in its strength, the Traveler stopped to rest, and sought shelter from the heat under the Shadow of the Ass.  As this afforded only protection for one, and as the Traveler and the owner of the Ass both claimed it, a violent dispute arose between them as to which of them had the right to the Shadow.  The owner maintained that he had let the Ass only, and not his Shadow.  The Traveler asserted that he had, with the hire of the Ass, hired his Shadow also.  The quarrel proceeded from words to blows, and while the men fought, the Ass galloped off.

In quarreling about the shadow we often lose the substance.

-Aesop's Fables, as translated by George Fyler Townsend

What could possibly go wrong...............?

.............and nary a history major amongst them.  Full post here.

But nine students in North Carolina — eight from Duke University and one from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — have taken an unusual step to lessen the pain on their wallets: They're sharing a bank account.
The Chronicle of Higher Education profiles the students, some of whom call themselves the "Duke Collective," and explains that the group, made of literature and English students, pools their money for each member to access as needed.

courtesy of KPC

Resistance.........................

     "The source of resistance to spiritual endeavor is the narcissistic core of the ego itself, which secretly claims sovereignty and authorship of one's existence, decisions, and actions.  Thus, despite one's best efforts, willfulness and desire for gain or control continue to erupt repetitiously.  This pattern can be diminished simply by accepting that it is natural for the ego to be vain, greedy, hateful, prideful, resentful, envious, and more.  These were learned accretions to the ego during its evolutionary development over eons of time.  Therefore, it is not necessary to feel guilty because these primitive emotions merely need to be outgrown and discarded in the transition from self-interest to Self-interest."
-David R. Hawkins,  Reality, Spirituality, and Modern Man

But................................

"Spirituality involves not magic but miracle and mystery;   not willfulness but willingness."
-Kurtz and Ketcham,  The Spirituality of Imperfection:  Storytelling and the Search for Meaning

thanks doug

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

The Tams...................What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am)

What can we know..............................



































"What can we know?  What are we all?  Poor silly half-brained 
things peering out at the infinite, with the aspirations of angels 
and the instincts of beasts."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

photo via

Weight.......................................

"I should dearly love that the world should be ever so little better for my presence. Even on this small stage we have our two sides, and something might be done by throwing all one's weight on the scale of breadth, tolerance, charity, temperance, peace, and kindliness to man and beast. We can't all strike very big blows, and even the little ones count for something."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Still trying to wrap my mind around the big bang....


The Hubble Space Telescope captures an "open cluster."   Located about
200,000 light years away in a "neighboring" galaxy.

Monday, June 9, 2014

A few of my favorite things............

From Nan at Jade Page Press:   offers a poem about The List

From the Source of Inspiration blog:   Cornucopia

From the Journal of a Nobody:   The wonder of the Baobab tree

From the Onion:  An interview with the Creator of Heaven and Earth

From the Execupundit:   As usual, Michael asks a good question


Doesn't get much better than this...

Warren Haynes and the DMB.........All Along The Watchtower

On liberty.............................................

"Liberty is a great celestial Goddessstrong, beneficent, and austere, and she can never descend upon a nation by the shouting of crowds, nor by arguments of unbridled passion, nor by the hatred of class against class."
-Annie Besant

Same goes for sixty and forty...............

"To hold the same views at forty as we held at twenty is to have been stupefied for a score of years, and take rank, not as a prophet, but as an unteachable brat, well birched and none the wiser."
-Robert Louis Stevenson, as excerpted from here

Great dismounts..........................




























some courtesy of here

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

Sarah Vaughan..................................................Misty

Not their finest hour..........................

"Be scared, the experts tell us, be very scared. Well there is certainly cause for concern, but not about those “rising” temperatures, which refuse to confirm researchers’ computer models. A far bigger worry is the corruption that has turned ‘science’ into a synonym for shameless, cynical careerism."
-Walter Starck, as excerpted from this post

How science is supposed to work...............

What we see here is a very important part of scientific methodology, researchers holding conflicting theories spurring each other on to new discoveries and deeper knowledge of the field under examination. The heuristics of the two are almost irrelevant, what is important here is the disagreement as research motor. Also very nicely illustrated is discovery as an evolutionary process spread over time rather than the infamous eureka moment.

-as excerpted from this post at the Renaissance Mathematicus blog

Short cuts.....................................

"Oversimplifying complex phenomena to promote your hobby horse doesn’t fool anybody who matters, and it sure doesn’t help your agenda."
-The Epicurean Dealmaker, as excerpted from this interesting post

Yes, and it's huge....................















via

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A few of my favorite things.......................

From Nicholas Bate:   A Brave New World

From Mark J. Perry:   A game changing chart

From David Kanigan:   The endless creativity of artists

From Matthew Ferrara:   Re-thinking his comfort zone

From Head Like an Orange:  Hey, I'm talking to you

Miles away..........................................

The Beatles...............................................I'm Only Sleeping



From the wondrous Revolver album....................

That vision thing......................

Now You See It

What you don’t see
helps you see what
you do see:  the keyhole
sharpens the thrill
in your brain,
even if there is
no one
in the room,
shadows
wafting across
the white sheets
as a song drifts in
the window,
her voice so pure
you can see
the face it rises from,
for what you see
helps you see what
you don’t see.


-Ron Padgett

Please...................................
















I know that I have life
only insofar as I have love.

I have no love
except it come from Thee

Help me, please, to carry
this candle against the wind.

-Wendell Berry
Sabbath Poems, 2006 I

Back to square one.........................

Looks like the employment levels have returned to their pre-The Great Recession form.  Wonder why it took so long?
















thanks michael

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

The Beatles............................I Saw Her Standing There



Released in the UK in March of 1963, this fine little tune came to America in December of 1963.  It was the B side to I Want To Hold Your Hand.   It peaked at #14 in 1964.  Rolling Stone ranked it #139 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  Who am I to argue?

A full time job..........................

“I would like my life to be a statement of love and compassion - and where it isn't, that's where my work lies.” 
-Ram Dass

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

Does one scent appeal
more than another?
Do you prefer this flavor,
or that feeling?
Is your practice sacred and 
your work profane?
Then your mind is separated:
from itself, from oneness, from the Tao.

Keep your mind free of divisions
and distinctions.
When your mind is detached, simple,
quiet, then all things can exist
in harmony, and you can begin to
perceive the subtle truth.

-Verse 11
Hua Hu Ching:  The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu
Brian Browne Walker

On grasping the reality......................

But we ought to remember that religion uses language in quite a different way from science. The language of religion is more closely related to the language of poetry than to the language of science. True, we are inclined to think that science deals with information about objective facts, and poetry with subjective feelings. Hence we conclude that if religion does indeed deal with objective truths, it ought to adopt the same criteria of truth as science. But I myself find the division of the world into an objective and a subjective side much too arbitrary. The fact that religions through the ages have spoken in images, parables, and paradoxes means simply that there are no other ways of grasping the reality to which they refer. But that does not mean that it is not a genuine reality. And splitting this reality into an objective and a subjective side won't get us very far.
-Niels Bohr

Puzzle.........................................

For all his holiness, the Master seemed vaguely opposed to religion.  This never ceased to puzzle the disciples who, unlike the Master, equated religion with spirituality.

"Religion as practiced today deals in punishments and rewards.  In other words, it breeds fear and greed - the two things most destructive of spirituality."

Later he added ruefully, "It is like tackling a flood with water;  or a burning barn with fire."

-Anthony de Mello,  One Minute Wisdom

Happen.......................................

“Whatever is destined not to happen will not happen, try as you may. Whatever is destined to happen will happen, do what you may to prevent it. This is certain. The best course, therefore, is to remain silent.” 
-Ramana Maharshi