Saturday, July 19, 2014

Say a prayer.............................

Eric Clapton...............................................Got To Get Better

Fireside.....................................

"Happiness grows at our own fireside, and is not to be picked in strangers' gardens."
-Douglas Jerrold

Loopholes............................................


There are many ways.....................

....................................................of being smart.

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

The Yardbirds...........................................................Louise
(A young Eric Clapton makes the scene around 2:10)

Music...............................................























“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” 
-Aldous Huxley

On the wisdom of crowds......................

"The wisdom of crowds in the market, as everywhere else, does not arise from the wisdom of each and every member of the mob. It comes from the diversity of idiotic, ill-considered, and just plain dumb opinions held by everybody, which, by some thankful magic of human nature, usually tend to cancel each other out and supply a workable if not entirely transparent answer. It’s when we have only one lunatic, or a small handful, making value decisions that we tend to get the silly answers."

-as excerpted from this post from The Epicurean Dealmaker

Science....................................................


















“Science may be described as the art of systematic oversimplification.”
-Karl Popper

cartoon via

Literally speaking.......................


Friday, July 18, 2014

A check up with Dr. Sardonicus........

Spirit..............................................................Nature's Way

If you don't read................................

........Walter Russell Mead's take on Iran, well, shame on you.

"...history’s worst decisions are made by people with blinkers on, who ignore the wider implications of the choices they are making and concentrate of a limited and narrow set of considerations."

Full essay here.

So, lately I've started following...........

...............The History Blog.  Actually they could have called it the Archaeological Blog, as most of the posts deal with very old and interesting stuff that has been found or cleaned up.  If you like old stuff (and who doesn't?), consider taking a peek at The History Blog.

History.......................

"We don’t know whether Napoleon did or did not try to get across there and I don’t care. I don’t know much about history, and I wouldn’t give a nickel for all the history in the world. It means nothing to me. History is more or less bunk. It's tradition. We don't want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker's damn is the history we make today."
-Henry Ford

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” 
-George Orwell

“History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books-books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe. As Napoleon once said, 'What is history, but a fable agreed upon?'”
-Dan Brown, from The Da Vinci Code

“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” 
-Winston Churchill

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.”
-Aldous Huxley

“There's an old saying about those who forget history. I don't remember it, but it's good.” 
-Stephen Colbert

“History is the fiction we invent to persuade ourselves that events are knowable and that life has order and direction. That's why events are always reinterpreted when values change. We need new versions of history to allow for our current prejudices.” 
-Bill Watterson

“If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree. ” 
-Michael Crichton

“History is a vast early warning system.” 
-Norman Cousins

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

Terry Stafford............................................I'll Touch A Star

Can I get an Amen............................?

"In recent years I've come to see religion as a valid user interface to reality."
-Scott "Dilbert" Adams, as excerpted from this blog post

Samizdata tries to make sense of Britain's....

.............lack luster performance in recent (since 1966) World Cups, as opposed to the wondrous showings by the German side.  A wee sample:

"The superiority of German football culture over ours can be summed up as an obligation to always put the greater good over any individual needs, a philosophy that applies not only within the 11 players on the pitch but across every level of their game."

"Our sporting ineptitude is a symbol of our love of freedom and is something to be cherished. In future we should take pride in every stray pass, long ball, defensive mix-up and lack-lustre performance. It shows that we alone amongst the footballing nations honouring freedom, liberty and the individual above all other things, are prepared to let the single, solitary individual have his say, do his own thing and show the world what he can do: to try, to fail, to try again, to dare to be different."

Full essay is here.


The technological equivalent....................

......of rolling over and going back to sleep.  The fun is here.  

No regrets here..........................

............................................27 ways to keep regret at bay.

thanks

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Conducting.................

Victor Borge leads the way...................................

Work...............................................























"I like work;  it fascinates me.  I can sit and look at it for hours."
-Jerome K. Jerome

cartoon via

Science..................................











via

But, has he tried The Balvenie...................





























"As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey."
-Thomas Alva Edison

This probably counts...............................

..................................as global warming.   Full story here.
The Newbeats........................................Bread & Butter

What is success.................................?

"He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much;  who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children, who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;  who has left the world a better place than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;  who has never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty or failed to express it, who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had, whose life was an inspiration, whose memory a benediction."
-Bessie Anderson Stanley

If you follow the link, you will find this and more:
Her poem was written in 1904 for a contest held in Brown Book Magazine,[7] by George Livingston Richards Co. ofBoston, Massachusetts[3] Mrs. Stanley, of Lincoln, Kansas, submitted the words in the form of an essay, rather than as a poem. The competition was to answer the question "What is success?" in 100 words or less. Mrs. Stanley won the first prize of $250.[8]

Not sure who has more nerve, the jumper or the driver. Please don't try this at home.



via

Fun with book covers.......................





































Back story, and more book covers, here.

via

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Random Thoughts....................

..............from the Execupundit.   Today's sampler:

Equality should be a springboard so people can rise and not a hook for dragging people down. Beware of those who adopt politics as their religion....The world is yours and magic can be found in small things. Perhaps it is only in small things.

Full post is here.


On meditation.....................................


















"Meditation is the only intentional, systematic human activity which at bottom is about not trying to improve yourself or get anywhere else, but simply to realize where you already are.  Perhaps its value lies precisely in this.  Maybe we all need to do one thing in our lives simply for its own sake."
-Jon Kabat-Zinn

cartoon via

Nobody's listening..................................

Ryan Tennis...................Already Been Down This Road Before



lyrics here

Costa Rica................................

Casual observers of this blog may have figured out that our family recently spent a week in Costa Rica.  The occasion was the wedding of my wife's best friend's daughter.  They thought it would be nice if 125 of their closest friends spent a week together celebrating life before celebrating the wedding.  They were right.  In planning the event, the nearly newly weds learned that if they wanted a really good band for their reception, they should bring one with them.  So they did.  Ryan Tennis and The Clubhouse Band, true sons of Philadelphia, were enticed to make the trip.  All I can say is, that if you ever want a band to make you want to dance the night away, bring Ryan Tennis and his friends.  Only because of the wonder of the Intertunnel, you can watch the band work through one of their songs while sitting on their front porch just prior to the wedding.  Nice view, eh?

Outsourcing...........................................























"It seems to me that stealing is always wrong, and that you can't outsource it to a third party, like a congressman, and expect to feel better about your actions."
-Matt Kibbe

cartoon via

The Intertunnel fiddles........

.........................with the Law of Supply and Demand.  Adjustments are being made on the fly.  To wit:

But on the internet, there's no scarcity:  there's an endless amount of everything available to everyone. The laws of supply and demand don't work terribly well when there's infinite supply. Swift is right that "important, rare things are valuable," but she's failed to understand that the idea of rarity simply doesn't exist in the digital marketplace.

Full essay here.

So......................................



























via

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

Barry Goldwater's acceptance of the Republican nomination

On credit and debts..........................................

"As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit.  One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible:  avoiding occasions of expence by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it;  avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expence, but by vigorous exertions in time of Peace to discharge the Debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burthen which we ourselves ought to bear."
-George Washington, as excerpted from his Farewell Address

Fun with cameras......................................











via

Ah, Grasshopper.............................

"A student once said:  'When I was a Buddhist, it drove my parents and friends crazy, but when I am a buddha, nobody is upset at all.' "
-via

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Deeds.....................................

"Good actions enable us, and we are the sons of our own deeds."
-Cervantes

Do read Michael Wade's post, 7 Thoughts on Good Deeds.


The harvest..............................

"Sow a thought, reap an act;  sow an act, reap a habit;  sow a habit, reap a character;  sow a character, reap a destiny."
-via

Realise........................................

"Men do not sufficiently realise that their future is in their own hands. Theirs is the task of determining first of all whether they want to go on living or not. Theirs the responsibility, then, for deciding if they want merely to live, or intend to make just the extra effort required for fulfilling, even on their refractory planet, the essential function of the universe, which is a machine for the making of gods."
-Henri Bergson

.....what is it good for..........?

Edwin Starr.................................................................War

I don't have a clue about what's really going on.....

...........in the Middle East. Acknowledging that it is difficult to distinguish between the "good guys" and the "bad guys,"  it would be nice to think our government was on top of the situation.  However, watching from afar for the past thirteen years, one develops the notion they are clueless as well.   If you are interested in the topic, Adam Garfinkle is someone who may add to your understanding.  He can also string words together in an interesting fashion.  He ought to be on your reading list.  A few samples from his latest essay:

"No, he isn’t right, and his de facto pro-Assad view is to serious realpolitik what “Risk” is to real strategic planning. He’s rarely been right, and the fact that he worked for many years as Joe Biden’s principal foreign policy adviser echoes the fact. When Bob Gates hauled out the commonly spoken Washington line in his recent memoir that Biden has been wrong about everything over the years, he tacitly implicated Blinken as well. (Actually, Biden hasn’t been wrong about everything, only nearly everything…no one is perfect. And his “wrong rate” has dropped sharply in recent years, which is a good thing, seeing as how he is now but a heartbeat away from the Oval Office.)

"He isn’t right because, as I have been at pains before to note, ISIS is not a particularly dangerous force, at least not yet. It is barely institutionalized in any form, including its recently proclaimed Islamic State. Even with “acquired” U.S. military equipment and some money from Mosul banks, its order-of-battle is extremely modest. High-end estimates of its troop strength hover around 10,000, but most of those are probably loosely affiliated tribesmen on a romp or common criminals grasping an opportunity. It has shown no capability for governing anything, it cannot think except in a fevered ideological cant, and it is arrayed in tribal alliances that are more fragile than oasis spider webs in a desert dust storm."

Full essay is here

It stinks...................................















via

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

The Rip Chords.............................................Hey Little Cobra

Letting........................................

"Wisdom is graciously letting go of the things you are not."
-Lance Senn

On understanding...........................

"Some people will never learn anything, for this reason, because they understand everything too soon."

Monday, July 14, 2014

Most likely true...............................


Sure....................................

"It is the dull man who is always sure, and the sure man who is always dull."
-H. L. Mencken

On big and small things...................

"You've got to think about 'big things' while you're doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction."
-Alvin Toffler

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

From View From the Ledge:  "...sometimes you have to look at the opposites in order to appreciate both."

From Cultural Offering:  Building the perfect day

From  Nicholas Bate:  Pause and Consider 101: The First Fifty:   #39:  Productivity is not an app. It's an explicit decision.

From Jetboy:    Playing dedications.

From Guanciale:  Continuing his hot streak.

From The Execupundit:  The Re-Read List.

When the warm wind blows...............

Enter The Haggis...........................................Let Me Go

On answers and questions........................

"The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a creative mind to spot wrong questions."
-Sir Antony Jay

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

Lyndon Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act (and sharing pens)

On peace...........................

"Where there is one religion, there is despotism;  where there are two, civil war.  Let there be thirty religions and they will all live together in peace."
-attributed to Voltaire

......the power that language imparts......

Tim Minchin.........................................................Prejudice