Saturday, March 14, 2015

Happy National Pi Day.........................

Once in a lifetime:  3.14.15.............................................

3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286208998628034825342117067982148086513282306647093844609550582231725359408128481117450284102701938521105559644622948954930381964428810975665933446128475648233786783165271201909145648566923460348610454326648213393607260249141273724587006606315588174881520920962829254091715364367892590360011330530548820466521384146951941511609433057270365759591953092186117381932611793105118548074462379962749567351885752724891227938183011949129833673362440656643086021394946395224737190702179860943702770539217176293176752384674818467669405132000568127145263560827785771342757789609173637178721468440901224953430146549585371050792279689258923542019956112129021960864034418159813629774771309960518707211349999998372978049951059731732816096318595 and so on and so forth.

Leave the lights on....................................

Edward Bear.......................................................The Last Song

Turns......................................

Let go and you snare God.  But letting God go too
Is more than any but the rarest man can do.

Sin is no more than this;  that a man turns his head
away from God, and looks towards death instead.

Friend, you have read enough.  If you desire still more
Then be the poem yourself, and all that it stands for.

-Angelus Silesius, as translated and excerpted from The Cherubic Wanderer

What did you say.....................................?

For a minute there I thought you said the Vatican was calling for the use of force against ISIS.  Holy Sermon on the Mount, Batman.

Have I ever told you..............................

......................................that I'm a fan of Robert Downey Jr.?

more on Downey here

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

Castaways..............................................................Liar Liar

Color me doubtful............................


The headline reads:   How Uber’s Autonomous Cars Will Destroy 10 Million Jobs And Reshape The Economy by 2025.   

Full post is here.  A few cherry-picked quotes here::

The effects of the autonomous car movement will be staggering. PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts that the number of vehicles on the road will be reduced by 99%, estimating that the fleet will fall from 245 million to just 2.4 million vehicles.17

Ancillary industries such as the $198 billion automobile insurance market,18 $98 billion automotive finance market,19 $100 billion parking industry,20 and the $300 billion automotive aftermarket21 will collapse as demand for their services evaporates. We will see the obsolescence of rental car companies, public transportation systems, and, good riddance, parking and speeding tickets. 

The environmental impact of autonomous cars has the potential to reverse the trend of global warming and drastically reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Passenger cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, and minivans account for 17.6% of greenhouse gas emissions26 – a 90% reduction of vehicles in operation would reduce our overall emissions by 15.9%. As most autonomous cars are likely to be electric, we would virtually eliminate the 134 billion of gasoline used each year in the US alone.

Like I said, color me doubtful.

Within.....................................

All Heaven is within thee, Man,
And all of Hell within thy heart:
What thou dost choose and will to have,
That hast thou wheresoe'er thou art.


All thou wouldst have lies now within thee, every whit
'Tis thine—so long as thou dost never strive for it.

Heaven is within thee. Stay! 
Why runn'st thou here and there?
Thou seekest God in vain seekest thou Him elsewhere.

Travel within thyself! The Stone
Philosophers with wisest arts
Have vainly sought, cannot be found
By travelling in foreign parts.

Christian, dost thou demand to know
Where God hath set His Throne?
Even there within thyself, where He
Gives birth to thee, His Son.


-Angelus Silesius

Thought I ought to post this.....................

.............while it still could be construed as amusing:

















Maybe some context would be useful for our younger readers.  The film clip below was produced by the Federal Government to teach kids to "duck and cover" in case of a nearby nuclear explosion.




It was a very different time.  I can remember doing this drill in the second grade:



















original gif courtesy of Gerard

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

      She was tall and lanky and wore an expensive white summer suit with a complementary cream-colored shoulder bag and jet-black wraparound fuck-you sunglasses.  Her ash blond hair touched her shoulders.
-John Sanford, The Fools Run

Friday, March 13, 2015

........I think it is when somebody is sick..............

Tom Clay...............................What The World Needs Now

Seem like we did this last month.............



What did Arkansas ever do to him...............?

Friend Bilbo posts the "Arkansas Engineering Exam."  With a great deal of confidence, I believe I could correctly answer only one of the ten questions.  Had fun pondering them though. Your results may vary.

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

     For the most wild yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief.  Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence.  Yet, mad am I not - and very surely I do not dream.  But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburden my soul.  My immediate purpose is to place before the world, plainly, succinctly, and without comment, a series of household events.  In their consequences, these events have terrified - have tortured - have destroyed me.  Yet I will not attempt to expound them.  To me, the have presented little but horror - to many they will seem less terrible than barroques.  Hereafter, perhaps, some intellect may be found which will reduce my phantasm to the commonplace - some intellect more calm, more logical, and far less excitable than my own, which will perceive, in the circumstances I detail with awe, nothing more than the ordinary succession of very natural causes and effects.
-Edgar Allan Poe,  The Black Cat

You might think this is a close-up snap-shot of.......

......................Kurt's grilling-ready charcoal, but actually it is a photo of the rarely-seen center of our very own Milky Way galaxy:


















People, can you get your mind around the notion that, according to scientists' estimates, there are 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe - and,  "the Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy some 100,000–120,000 light-years in diameter which contains 100–400 billion stars. It may contain at least as many planets as well."?  The mind reels.

larger photo and description is here

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

Jackie DeShannon.........What The World Needs Now Is Love

Spring is in the air................................

..........................................My Sweetie is forcing the forsythia.


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

" ... generally speaking, when you look at the 20th century, it’s the era of the masses, mass politics, mass economics. Every human being has value, has political, economic, and military value, simply because he or she is a human being, and this goes back to the structures of the military and of the economy, where every human being is valuable as a soldier in the trenches and as a worker in the factory.
"But in the 21st century, there is a good chance that most humans will lose, they are losing, their military and economic value. This is true for the military, it’s done, it’s over. The age of the masses is over."
-as excerpted from here.

Denouement........................................























as borrowed from the Journal of a Nobody

Since this is the second day in a row that the word denouement has appeared in this blog, thought this might be helpful:











via

Me neither..............................























via

Thursday, March 12, 2015

To entertain her king.......................................

Renaissance.....................................Scheherazade (a version)



Annie Haslam has a most remarkable voice.  Full version here.

Opening paragraphs (and remarkable sentences)...

      Having had occasion, lately, in the course of some Oriental investigations, to consult the "Tellmenow Isitsoornot," a work which (like the "Zohar" of Simeon Jochaides) is scarcely known at all, even in Europe;  and which has never been quoted, to my knowledge, by any American - if we except, perhaps, the author of the "Curiosities of American Literature", - having had occasion, I say, to turn over some pages of the first-mentioned very remarkable work, I was a little astonished to discover that the literary world has hitherto been strangely in error respecting the fate of the vizier's daughter, Scheherazade, as that fate is depicted in the "Arabian Nights"; and that the denouement there given, if not altogether inaccurate, as far as it goes, is at least to blame for not having gone very much farther.
-Edgar Allen Poe, The Thousand-And-Second Tale of Scheherazade

Many thanks to Scott.............................

......................................for the introduction to The College of Rock and Roll Knowledge.

We just don't make things the way they used to....






















The Licking County Courthouse, built in 1878 for $190,000.

Old school..............................................






















via

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

Sonny & Cher...........................................But You're Mine

At last, thank God................................


Simply....................................................


















via

Except in the arena of gadgetry.....................

......................change often seems to be difficult for us.  Why is that?   John Kay shares his thoughts on the subject - here.

"It is often well founded doubt as to whether the “change agents” actually know what they are doing."

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


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Come on, come on, come on.............................

Janis Joplin................................................Piece Of My Heart

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


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























via

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

Sonny & Cher..............................................I Got You Babe

About that foundation.....................................






















"It's easy to defend the status quo, except when the very foundation you've built everything on disappears. Incrementalism ceases to be a good strategy when there's a cliff on the route."
-Seth Godin

Don't count on it................................

















"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
-attributed to George Bernard Shaw

cartoon via

The greatness of being misunderstood............?

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson, as excerpted from Self Reliance

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

      Walter Wriston was born on August 3. 1919, without a silver spoon in his mouth but with a leather-bound copy of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, the bible of free enterprise, near his cradle.
-Phillip L. Zweig,  Wriston:  Walter Wriston, Citibank, and the Rise and Fall of American Financial Supremacy

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Some pretty fair guitar work..................

Luca Stricagnoli...................................................Thunderstruck

Fun with the language............................

Here are twenty-five examples of the flexibility inherent in the English language.  Here is one sample:

12. Weather can mean ‘to withstand or come safely through,’ as in “The company weathered the recession,” or it can mean ‘to be worn away’: “The rock was weathered.”

And we wonder why communication can be difficult.

Singin' fee, fie, fiddly-i-o.........................























“You got infinite channels and limitless rhymes, but the riddles of livin' stay undefined” 
-David Mutti Clark

Hide not................................................























“Hide not your talents, they for use were made.   What's a sundial in the shade?” 
-Ben Franklin

Picking the Top Ten..................................

.................Clint Eastwood movies is like choosing your favorite breath of air.  How can you do it?   Here is one man's attempt.   Not to be picky - it is a pretty good list, but he left off High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josie Wales, Kelly's Heroes, and Play Misty For Me.  You might even want to add to the list.  Clint has had a pretty good run.

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

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

Studies have shown....................................


Still rooting for inflation............................

Believe it or not..............................................

Back in Jerry Ford's early post-Nixon era, one of the hot issues of the day was inflation.  The rate was scary.  We were all encouraged to think WIN and wear these cool buttons.  Laugh if you want, but when Ford was elevated to the presidency upon Nixon's resignation, the inflation rate was 10.9%, when he left office to make way for Jimmy Carter, the rate was 5.2% (after dipping to a low of 4.9% in November of 1976).  The damned buttons worked.  Handy inflation chart is here.
























The worry these days is that the rate of inflation is too low.   The Fed has targeted 2% as their hoped for rate, but we just can't get there.   Deflation is now the concern (especially with those of us owning real estate investments).  Angus is on the story, and offers this chart:
















I think it is time we all start wearing SIN buttons (Start Inflation Now)


Yours.........................................................


It gets so confusing..............................






















via

Hot streaks.......................................

.......when it comes to visual stimulation, our boy is on one.




Monday, March 9, 2015

Invest a dime.............................................

The Turtles......................................................Happy Together

Well, if you insist.....................................























via

An essay on life..........................................

If I had my life to live over.........................
I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.
I’d relax, I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances.
I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would perhaps have more actual troubles,
but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I’m one of those people who live
sensibly and sanely hour after hour,
day after day.
Oh, I’ve had my moments,
And if I had it to do over again,
I’d have more of them.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing else.
Just moments, one after another,
instead of living so many years ahead of each day.
I’ve been one of those people who never goes anywhere
without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat
and a parachute.
If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.
If I had my life to live over,
I would start barefoot earlier in the spring
and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
I would pick more daisies.

A historical fact...................................























The above was posted by Kurt Harden.  He's a youngster.  Back in my day, the photo would have included at least one of these beauties:













Just another word...............................


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

Gary Lewis & The Playboys........................This Diamond Ring

Another reason I like.............................

........being self-employed:  I'm not eligible for one of these:

























via

They're pretty amazing actually....................


Necessary...............................................























“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.” 
-Claude Monet

Encouragement..................................















How did the rose ever open its heart
and give to this world all of its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light against its being,
otherwise we all remain too frightened.

-Hafiz

Caught me..............................................

via

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Tell it to the blind...............................

Mason Proffit...................................................Michael Dodge

Staggering..............................................

Apple's growth record is staggering.  The company's share price has risen more that 300-fold since flotation.  It recently became the first company in history to reach a market capitalisation of $700 billion, giving it a bigger value then the entire  stock exchanges of Mexico, Russia, or Saudi Arabia.  In the first quarter of its current fiscal year, Apple generated more than $30 billion of cash.  At that rate, it could pay off Greece's entire debt burden within three years.

Nothing is more dangerous than the tendency to extrapolate from a recent trend.

-Buttonwood, two excerpts from the "The curse of the top dog" essay

The Dow Jones Industrial Average..................

Just because you always wanted to know...................

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is the "most widely quoted equity index in the world. For decades, it has been considered a benchmark of the fortunes of America's economy."  Created in 1896 by Charles Dow and Edward Davis Jones, the original index contained twelve publicly traded companies  These twelve companies represented the major sectors of the stock market.  In theory, the performance of their stocks should provide an reliable guide to the trend of the overall performance of the stock market.  Only General Electric remains part of the DJIA.  Go here to discover the fate of the other eleven companies.  The original 12:

American Cotton Oil
American Sugar
American Tobacco
Chicago Gas
Distilling & Cattle Feeding 
General Electric
Laclede Gas
National Lead
North American
Tennessee Coal and Iron
U.S. Leather
U.S. Rubber

The DJIA was expanded to 20 publicly traded companies in 1916, and finally to 30 companies in 1926.   There has been considerable tinkering with the list over the years.  The current roster is here:

3M
American Express
A T & T
Boeing
Caterpillar
Chevron
Cisco
Coca-Cola
Disney
E I du Pont
Exxon Mobil
General Electric
Goldman Sachs
Home Depot
IBM
Intel
Johnson & Johnson
JPMorgan Chase
McDonald's
Merck
Mircrosoft
Nike
Pfitzer
Proctor & Gamble
Travelers Companies
United Technologies
United Health
Verizon
Visa
Wal-Mart
The next change to the line-up is scheduled for March 19th when Apple will replace A T &T.

Tagore..................................................




















I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy.

-Rabindranath Tagore

On meeting their goals................................

"Even the most motivated and dedicated workers may fail to meet their goals if the boss demands the impossible."
-Schumpeter, as excerpted from "The quantified serf" essay












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

Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs..........................Wooly Bully

Can we get an Amen..................................?

"But a democracy that asks a bit more of its citizens is worth a try."
-Lexington, as excerpted from this essay

Just clarifying.......................................


Has your attention been stolen........



thanks jonco

Just a few things to remember................