Saturday, September 27, 2014

The purple piper plays his tune......................

King Crimson.....................Court of the Crimson King




John Wetton, now the lead singer for Asia, was part of King Crimson in the early 1970s and on this video.

The people would sing................................

Emerson, Lake & Palmer..............................Lucky Man

Whenever I start feeling too smart.............

.................I check out the xkcd cartoons.  That cures me.


Because I know you're curious..........................


































Sodium borohydride, also known as sodium tetrahydridoborate, and sodium tetrahydroborate[2] is an inorganic compound with the formula NaBH4. This white solid, usually encountered as a powder, is a versatile reducing agent that finds wide application in chemistry, both in the laboratory and on a technical scale. Large amounts are used for bleachingwood pulp.[3][4] The compound is soluble in alcohols and certain ethers but reacts with water in the absence of a base.[5]
The compound was discovered in the 1940s by H. I. Schlesinger, who led a team that developed metal borohydrides for wartime applications.[6] Their work was declassified and published only in 1953.

Discontents..............................................























“Those people cannot enjoy comfortably what God has given them because they see and covet what He has not given them. All of our discontents for what we want appear to me to spring from want of thankfulness for what we have.” 
-Daniel DeFoe

Tolerance...................................






















"Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them."
-Karl Popper

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

Sonny & Cher....................................Baby Don't Go

Speaking of retirement..............................

"We're just not going to go away as fast as you would like us. We're not old, we're vintage, we're mid-century modern. You're gonna have to drag our cold dead bodies from the workplace. Besides, we can't afford to retire anymore like they used to."
-Doug Fine

Timeless commentary...............................

...............from Mark Twain and a bunch of other cool folk.

I swear..................................................


The virtuous cycle..................................

Rock-star good..........................................................
If you get good at something you tend to enjoy it. If you enjoy something you tend to get good at it.  Which comes first? Doesn’t matter too much…just know there’s plenty of free pleasure out there from developing an expertise.
-as excerpted from this Nicholas Bate post

Friday, September 26, 2014

You see it's all clear.................................

Emerson, Lake & Palmer.................From The Beginning

Hometown pride........................................

It's a good thing................................................................



A choice.......................................................























thanks Todd

If there must be rules..............................

........................................this one should be among them:






















thanks pat

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

Lou Johnson..............Always Something There To Remind Me

Then, it must be amazing.............................
















"There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul."
-Victor Hugo

photo via APOD.  Breathtaking enlargement here

Hard to figure what this doesn't include........

















via Swiss Miss

On deadlines............................................


















“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
-Douglas Adams

cartoon via

Three I've never heard before............................

..................................................Scott's in his groove.

Maybe......................................

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” 
-Jack Kerouac

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ride the dragon's wings..........................

Asia......................................................Heat of the Moment

How we spent our Wednesday evening.............

............At the Asia concert at Newark's fabulous Midland Theatre.  A very good time was had by all.




















Carl Palmer has to be the best 64 year old drummer on the planet.

























The essential Asia mix is here.

Thanks Kurt

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

In the predawn darkness of August 26, 1929, in the back bedroom of a small house in Torrence, California, a twelve-year-old by sat up in bed, listening.  There was a sound coming from outside, growing ever louder.  It was a huge, heavy rush, suggesting immensity, a great parting of air.  It was coming from directly above the house.  The boy swung his legs off the bed, raced down the stairs, slapped open the back door and loped onto the grass.  The yard was otherworldly, smothered in unnatural darkness, shivering with sound.  The boy stood on the lawn beside his older brother, head thrown back, spellbound.
-Laura Hillenbrand,  Unbroken

Why democracy is messy........................

Contrary to popular opinion, us Americans probably  have a federal constitutional republic form of government as opposed to a democracy.  Arnold Kling has an interesting take on direct democracies.  Two excerpts:

I doubt that direct democracy is feasible. For example, we know that poll results depend on how questions are worded.  So who will decide how questions are worded in a direct democracy?  If it is a small group of experts, then that sort of defeats the point of direct democracy.  So before people vote on a question, they have to vote on the wording of the question.  And before they can do that, they have to vote on the wording of the question of how to word the question. etc.

 “The whole issue boils down to who is more over-confident.  If the people are over-confident, then you may want decisions made by the elite.  If the elite are over-confident, then you may want decisions made by the people.”   I go on to raise the Hayekian point that the elite are likely to be over-confident and hence markets are to be preferred.

Sometimes........................................













via

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

On the TV.........................................Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.

Hate it when that happens...................














source, and more fun with explosives, here!

Interesting take on competition.......................

"Political affiliations generally do not impact population growth.  However, our research reveals that a key to growth is a 'competitive' political environment.  Areas dominated by a single party (either Democrats or Republicans) tend to grow more slowly than communities where political control is tenuous.  Thus, political competition, similar to economic competition, fuels growth."
-Dr. Peter Linneman, NAI Global Chief Economist, as excerpted from here

Picking my saying.........................................
























Looking forward to more from this inexhaustible source

thanks kurt

One of these actually saved my life one night...

Phantom cell phone vibrations: an attempt at an explanation here.

While driving home late one night (sober, mind you), I came to a stop after getting off the expressway ramp.  Just as I was starting to pull into the intersection, my cell phone vibrated in my pocket.  I braked to pull the phone out of my pocket just in time to watch another car come speeding through the intersection.  If I had not braked, I would have been t-boned on the driver's side for sure.  I never saw him coming.  Of course, the  phone registered no call, no message, no e-mail, no text, no nothing; just a phantom vibration.  It is a mysterious universe we inhabit, thank God.

thanks glenn

Trouble ahead......................................


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Gold in them hills................................................

The Marshall Tucker Band...................Fire On The Mountain

Just something to think about.............................

NEW YORK—Leading writers, scholars, and publishers gathered this week at Fordham University for a literary conference and panel discussion on God, the widely praised but reclusive deity who has not published a book since His landmark debut 2,000 years ago.
     Hailed by critics as one of the most important authors in recent millennia, the eccentric divinity is said to have long ago retreated from the public eye, eschewing a life of celebrity for one of solitude and quiet. To this day, experts confirmed, His artistic reputation rests exclusively upon His bestselling and highly acclaimed first work, the Bible.

Randomness......................................

After all of the various special group "studies" programs at universities, it is high time to have Departments of Success Studies. We long for home runs but win with base hits.  Beware of action for action's sake. Doing nothing is also doing something.  Each day is a voyage. We need to grab the helm and watch for pirates and typhoons.
-more from Michael Wade

End of an era.............................................

Sadness.  One of my favorite Intertunnel writers calls it a day.

On retirement.......................................

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

"The first thing to remember is that retirement is a modern concept. That the world existed without retirement for over 5000 years may mean that it is not a necessary institution."
-David Merkel, from his Aleph Blog

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

The Warren Commission delivers its report.............




The Warren Commission was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson to find the truth about the assassination of John F. Kennedy (and Jack Ruby).  The Report concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald, on his own, assassinated Kennedy and that Jack Ruby, on his own, assassinated Oswald on live TV. Conspiracy theorists have had a field day ever since.

The Warren Commission members were Chief Justice Earl Warren, Richard Russell (Democrat Senator from Georgia), John Sherman Cooper (Republican Senator from Kentucky), Hale Boggs (Democrat House Majority Leader from Louisiana), Gerald Ford (Republican House Minority Leader from Michigan), Allen Dulles (head of the CIA), and John J. McCloy (former president of the World Bank).  Here is a video, without very good audio, of the delivery of the Report by the members.

Mythology distracts us................................

“The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived and dishonest--but the myth--persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.  Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations.  We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."
-John F. Kennedy, June 11, 1962 as excerpted from here

Who knew..............................................?

...Napoleon and Josephine had a prenuptial agreement.

Should be easy enough........................

“For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals.  Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen.  Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind's greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn't have to be like this.  Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future.  With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded.  All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.” 
-Stephen Hawking

Hmmmm................................................















“There's a lot of difference between listening and hearing.” 
-G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Your quiet way.........................................

The Lovin' Spoonful..............You Didn't Have To So Nice

Whew.................................................

























Bless you, whoever posted this. Sorry for not remembering

Opening paragraphs.............(History itsownself)

History is what survives.  Memories and documents, buildings and roads, images and ceremonies, artifacts, tree rings, furniture, clothes, corpses, and fossils - all are caught in a web of meaning and interpretation, which is our understanding of the past.  But much of the understanding contains great gaps because of the inadequacy or disappearance of these raw materials of history.  And so, much of what we think of  as history is a matter of educated assumption at best;  at worst, wild surmise.  A dedicated biographer tries with all his strength to achieve the first and avoid, even abjure, the second, in hopes of writing a real approximation of his subject's true life.
-Vincent Curcio, from the Introduction to Chrysler:  The Life and Times of an Automotive Genius

Opening paragraphs..........(taking the long view)

A hundred and twenty million years ago, before time began, the entire middle of what is now the United States of America was covered by the vast Niobrara Sea.  For aeons flying reptiles swept over it and swimming ones dwelt in its waters.  But eventually this sea dried up and a huge chalky plain developed in the remains of its basin.  The name Niobrara now is attached to a small river wending its way east from Wyoming though Nebraska and into the Missouri River.  But the alkaline alluvial plans remain, stretching eastward for hundreds of miles from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River.
-Vincent Curcio,  Chrysler:  The Life and Times of an Automotive Genius

Walter P. Chrysler.....................................

Walter P. Chrysler (1875-1840) was one of the titans of the early automotive industry.  The son of a railroad locomotive engineer, Chrysler's first employment was as an apprentice machinist and mechanic.  By 1910 he was the works manager for the American Locomotive Company in Pittsburgh.  An ALCO board member then got him interested in taking a production management job with Buick.  The rest, as they say, is history.  This excerpt from Chrysler's wiki might give you an idea of how talented he was:

In 1916, William C. Durant, who founded General Motors in 1908, had retaken GM from bankers who had taken over the company. Chrysler, who was closely tied to the bankers, submitted his resignation to Durant, then based in New York City.  
Durant took the first train to Flint to make an attempt to keep Chrysler at the helm of Buick. Durant made the then-unheard of salary offer of US$10,000 (US$165,000 in today's dollars) a month for three years, with a US$500,000 bonus at the end of each year, or US$500,000 in stock. Additionally, Chrysler would report directly to Durant, and would have full run of Buick without interference from anyone.   
 Apparently in shock, Chrysler asked Durant to repeat the offer, which he did. Chrysler immediately accepted.
Chrysler ran Buick successfully for several more years. Not long after his three year contract was up, he resigned from his job as president of Buick in 1919. He did not agree with Durant's vision for the future of General Motors. Durant paid Chrysler US$10 million for his GM stock. Chrysler had started at Buick in 1911 for US$6,000 a year, and left one of the richest men in America.

In January of 1929, Walter Chrysler was named Time Magazine's Man of the Year:



























Here are a few quotes attributed to Chrysler:

“The reason so many people never get anywhere in life is because when opportunity knocks, they are out in the backyard looking for four-leaf clovers.” 

"To me every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle."

"To allow wasteful practices to continue after they have been analyzed and proved wasteful is to sap the energy of your organization at its source."


"I feel sorry for the person who can't get genuinely excited about his work. Not only will he never be satisfied, but he will never achieve anything worthwhile.


"I always want to know how things work.  Had I been Aladdin, I am certain that after just one wish or two, I’d have taken that old lamp apart to see if I could make another, better lamp."


"Highly paid workmen should be busy with accomplishment, not useless motion."


"I don't care how raw the ability is, that can be developed through experience. But unless a man is loyal and honest, I don't want him associated with me."


"I am concerned first of all with executives, because if their principles are not right it is useless to look for results from the men."


"When railroad engineers come to a mountain they do not always go through it; sometimes it is best to go around it."


"Whenever there is a hard job to be done I assign it to a lazy man;  he is sure to find an easy way of doing it."

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

The Beatles.............................................From Me To You

Ideas.....................................................
























“I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.” 
-John Cage

Ideas................................................






















“Libraries were full of ideas – perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.” 
-Sarah J. Maas

cartoon via

Ideas............................................






















"Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen."
-John Steinbeck

The basics...............................................

"The more you produce and the more needs you meet, the more freedom you earn."
-Seth Godin

Happy Fall.................................................



















via

Monday, September 22, 2014

Come and talk.................................................

The Lovin' Spoonful...........................Darling Be Home Soon

Correlations and causations.......................

Prudence requests we not confuse the two:



















Lots more fun with charts and statistics here.

Thanks Greg

Hunches.................................................


Enduring lessons................................

Lessons learned along the way:



















It’s OK to be wrong, just don’t stay wrong. A lack of humility and self-awareness has caused many market commentators to go from pundits to charlatans because they’re afraid to admit they were wrong and are too stubborn to face the facts. Everyone makes mistakes in the financial markets. It’s best to learn from them and move on.

Envy might be an investor’s worst enemy. We can’t stand missing out when everyone else is making money. It’s nearly impossible for investors to buy when everyone else is selling. Envy causes us to search for lottery tickets instead of investment plans. It makes us confuse our time horizons and risk profiles with other people’s. It makes us take on debt we can’t possibly pay back. And it causes booms and busts because we just can’t help ourselves.

Eleven other lessons here.

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

The Yardbirds..................................Smokestack Lightning



Howlin Wolf wrote the song.  Here is his version.

Nice work if you can get it............................

"The pursuit of perfection is usually foredoomed, but the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, which has a latitudinarian understanding of ethical behavior, has a perfectly awful idea. It is urging the City Council to consider ways of paying — starchier ethicists might call it bribing — people to vote.

"Some ideas are so loopy that they could only be conceived by governments, which are insulated from marketplace competition that is a constant reminder of reality. And governments are generally confident that their constituents need to be improved by spending the constituents' money. The supposed problem for which the 'pay the voters' idea purports to be a solution is this: Few Los Angeles residents are voting."


Learned a new word today............................


I believe it should be one............................















cartoon via

Really........................................................?

...........Why am I the last person to know these things?   Count me among the unionists.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The whole world is watching....................

Chicago Transit Authority..................................Someday




The "whole world is watching" chant comes from here.  Just one more interesting time in our nation's history.  And yes, Chicago Transit Authority soon after changed its name to Chicago.

Something beautiful...............................


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

The seers say truly
That he is wise
Who acts without lust or scheming
For the fruit of the act:
His act falls from him,
Its chain is broken,
Melted in the flame of my knowledge.
Turning his face from the fruit,
He needs nothing:
The Atman is enough.
He acts, and is beyond action.

Not hoping, not lusting,
Bridling body and mind,
He calls nothing his own:
He acts, and earns no evil.

What God's Will gives
He takes, and is contented.
Pain follows pleasure,
He is not troubled:
Gain follows loss,
He is indifferent:
Of whom should he be jealous?
He acts, and is not bound by his action.

-The Song of God:  Bhagavad-Gita

If you like the sound..................................

..............................of the Memphis Horns, and who doesn't, be sure to visit Jetboy, where Skip has been featuring a retrospective on their work.   If I might add one to the mix, here they are giving an assist to Robert Cray on Nothin' But A Woman.

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

A city gets traumatized:  Chico Ruiz steals home and the Phillies lose 1-0.  I was only twelve, but I remember it like it was yesterday.  It was a wound that didn't heal until 1980 (with many thanks going out to Pete Rose and Tug McGraw).


















Part of the story is here:

Before the game against the Reds, the Phillies were a comfortable six and a half games up in the NL pennant race, and with only 12 games left in the season, their first appearance in the World Series since 1950 seemed imminent. But the loss to the Reds was merely the first of ten straight games tanked by the Phils, as the team blew the lead and the playoffs (in what has come to be known as either the Philly Phlop or Philly Phold), earning manager Gene Mauch an infamous spot in baseball history.

Tomorrow is not promised..................


Oh no......................................

More extremist threats:
“In the name of the Great Teacher, we will stop at nothing to unleash a firestorm of empathy, compassion, and true selflessness upon the West,” said Rinpoche, adding that all enemies of a freely flowing, unfettered state of mind will be “besieged with pure, everlasting happiness.” “No city will be spared from spiritual harmony. We will bring about the end to all Western pain and anxiety, to all destructive cravings, to all greed, delusion, and misplaced desire. Indeed, we will bring the entire United States to its knees in deep meditation.”

Full scary post is here.

Hope so..............................................


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

Two dead men changed the course of my life that fall.  One of them I knew and the other I'd never laid eyes on until I saw him in the morgue.  The first was Pete Wolinsky, and unscrupulous private detective I'd met years before through Byrd-Shine Investigations, where I'd served my apprenticeship.  I worked for Ben Byrd and Morley Shine for three years, amassing the six thousand hours I needed for my license.  The two were old-school private eyes, hard-working, tireless, and inventive.  While Ben and Morley did business with Pete on occasion, they didn't think much of him.  He was morally shabby, disorganized, and irresponsible with money.  In addition, he was constantly pestering them for work, since his marketing skills were minimal and his reputation too dubious to recommend him without an outside push.  Byrd-Shine might subcontract the odd stretch of surveillance to him or assign him a routine records search, but his name never appeared on a client report.  This didn't prevent him from stopping by the office without invitation or dropping their names in casual conversations with attorneys, implying a close professional relationship.  Pete was a man who cut corners and he assumed his colleagues did likewise.   More problematic was the fact that he'd rationalized his bad behavior for so long it had become standard operating procedure.
-Sue Grafton, from the Prologue to W Is For Wasted