Saturday, April 11, 2015

The beginning of the end.......................?

Joey Dee & The Starliters................................Peppermint Twist

Working on some new intentional habits.....

























via

I bet you didn't know................................

..................................................there is a sand shortage.


Your homework assignment........................

........is to follow the links in this Spengler post.  An excerpt:

China might outstrip the West at innovation, as I argued in an essay for the British monthly Standpoint last September — not because China is better than us at innovation, but because we have stopped doing what we do best. Anyone who doubts this should read Thomas Edsall’s devastating indictment of the condition of American entrepreneurship in the New York Times. Think of it as the American hare and the Chinese tortoise. We’re goofing off and China is trundling along. This should be a “Sputnik” moment for the US. We need to take back the technological high ground. Otherwise we will join Great Britain among the ranks of former great powers. It isn’t baked in the cake, it isn’t the inevitable result of some grand historic cycle, it isn’t in our stars. We have a choice — for the time being.

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

The Kinks...............................All Day and All of the Night

Fun with numbers..................................

From the investing world, Barry Ritholtz offers this:

Average Returns, Rarer Than You Think


The power of the press....................................

"journalistic integrity has become something of an oxymoron"

Brad Torgersen sets the record straight.

via

More than you need to know about the letter "X"...

X   iin our alphabet being a needless letter has an added invincibility to the attacks of the spelling reformers, and like them, will doubtless last as long as the language. X is the sacred symbol of ten dollars, and in such words as Xmas, Xn, etc., stands for Christ, not, as is popular supposed, because it represents a cross, but because the corresponding letter in the Greek alphabet is the initial of his name -- Xristos. If it represented a cross it would stand for St. Andrew, who "testified" upon one of that shape. In the algebra of psychology x stands for Woman's mind. Words beginning with X are Grecian and will not be defined in this standard English dictionary.
-Ambrose Bierce,  The Devil's Dictionary

Friday, April 10, 2015

Climbing on rainbows................................

Bread..........................................................Make It With You

I'm sure you are already a follower.................

.................but if you are not checking in with David Kanigan on a regular basis, you are really missing something special.

Regrets, we've got a few............................

Walter Russell Mead casts an historical eye on the most important event that occurred 150 years ago yesterday.

I wonder who dressed him..........................?

Live On video from New York.......................it's twelve minutes of Bill Murray reading from Huck Finn at a Barnes & Noble book store event celebrating the significance of Twain's work.

Louis CK takes another look....................

.........at Huck and Tom with a personal confession thrown it.

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

Dean Martin..............................................................I Will

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

      At sunrise in November, Marion D. Ford, wearing shorts and jungle boots, jogged the tide line where Sanibel Island crescents north, and finally said, "Screw it," tired of wind and pelting sand.  To his right were colorful cottages - red, yellow, green - The Castaways, a popular resort during season, but this was Tuesday and a slow time of the year.  He went to the outdoor shower, thinking he'd hide his boots and swim through the breakers.  He was ten pounds overweight and sick of his own excuses.
-Randy Wayne White,  Cuba Straits

It's good to know something is in charge...............

The guarantee of perpetual peace is nothing less than that great artist, nature (natura daedala rerum).  In her mechanical course we see that her aim is to produce a harmony among men, against their will and indeed through their discord.  As a necessity working according to laws we do not know, we call it destiny.  But, considering its design in world history, we call it "providence," inasmuch as we discern in it the profound wisdom of a higher cause which predetermines the course of nature and directs it to the objective final end of the human race.
-Immanuel Kant

Titus Lucretius Carus..........................

..................was philosophizing some fifty years before the birth of Christ.  Good thing he wrote some of his stuff down:

Quod siquis vera vitam ratione gubernet, divitiae grandes homini sunt vivere parvo aequo animo; neque enim est umquam penuria parvi.
  • But if one should guide his life by true principles, man's greatest wealth is to live on a little with contented mind; for a little is never lacking.

Circumretit enim vis atque iniuria quemque, atque, unde exortast, at eum plerumque revertit.
  • Violence and injury enclose in their net all that do such things, and generally return upon him who began.

Ut quod ali cibus est aliis fuat acre venenum.
  • What is food to one, is to others bitter poison.

Nec prorsum vitam ducendo demimus hilum tempore de mortis nec delibare valemus.
  • By protracting life, we do not deduct one jot from the duration of death.

Sic rerum summa novatur semper, et inter se mortales mutua vivunt. augescunt aliae gentes, aliae
inuuntur, inque brevi spatio mutantur saecla animantum et quasi cursores vitai lampada tradiunt.

  • Thus the sum of things is ever being renewed, and mortals live dependent one upon another. Some nations increase, others diminish, and in a short space the generations of living creatures are changed and like runners pass on the torch of life.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Those were the days my friend....................

Chubby Checker......................................................The Twist

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

Let me begin on the back foot and linger there for awhile.

This book is entitled The Year of Reading Dangerously.  It is the true story of the year I spent reading some of the greatest and most famous books in the world, and two by Dan Brown.  I am proud of what I achieved in that year and how the experience changed my life - really altered its course - which is why I am about to spend several hundred pages telling you about it.  However, the book you are holding has not always been called The Year of Reading Dangerously.  I started out with that title but then had second thoughts.  For a while The Miller's Tales seemed like it might work.  After that, I briefly considered Up! From Sloth, then The Body in the Library.  Other possibilities included Hunting Paper Tigers, Real Men Don't Read Books, Memoirs of a Born-again Pessimist, Croydon Till I Die, and Bast Unbound.  For about five minutes, it was called Outliars.  Then there was Against Nature II: Resurrection, which was followed by What Are You Staring At?, which in turn gave way to We Don't Need To Talk About We Need To Talk About Kevin (To Have a Good Time).  After one particularly difficult morning, I amended the title page to F**k the World, I Want to Get Off.  Finally, however, that first thought prevailed and I turned back to The Year of Reading Dangerously, or to give it its full title, The Year of Reading Dangerously and Five Years of Living with the Consequences.

-Andy Miller,  The Year of Reading Dangerously:  How Fifty Great Books (And Two Not-So-Great Ones) Saved My Life

I'm not sure............................................

.............................................but, I think this means war.

A Bulgarian prince gave the following answer to the Greek Emperor who good-naturedly suggested that they settle their difference by a duel:  "A smith who has tongs won't pluck the glowing iron from the fire with his hands."

-The Immanuel Kant Collection


What an amazing world we live in.  For a mere ninety-nine cents, you can have more Kant delivered, flawlessly and wirelessly to your Kindle (sorry Jeff), than you will ever want to read.  Wonderful!

Spengler argues for war............................

I confess to liking David Goldman.  I like his thought process and I like his writing.  He opens his case like this:

Most of the great wars of the past would have been far less bloody had they begun sooner. That emphatically is true of the First World War: if Germany had launched a preemptive assault on France during the First Morocco Crisis of 1905, before Britain had signed the Entente Cordiale with France and while Russia was busy with an internal rebellion, the result would have been a repeat of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 rather than the ghastly war of attrition that all but ruined Western civilization.

The war Spengler wants is against Iran's nuclear program.  His thought is that if Iran develops their own nuclear weapons, some day they will use them.  Others would then retaliate accordingly, creating unimaginable carnage.  He writes an interesting essay.  

However...Color me doubtful.  The hubris behind the 2003 "Shock and Awe" campaign in Iraq, and its "unintended consequences",  has well and truly soured me on military adventurism.  What the United States and the old USSR, as well as all the other "nuclear" states,  have found is that it is easier to possess a nuclear weapon than it is to actually use one.  Why should we not believe that Iran will discover the same thing?   Please, no "preemptive wars."

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

The Beach Boys.....................................Please Let Me Wonder

Learned something new today........................


In the most ordinary things........................


How can the divine Oneness be seen?
In beautiful forms, breathtaking wonders, 
awe-inspiring miracles?
The Tao is not obliged to present itself 
this way.

It is always present and always available.
When speech is exhausted and mind
dissolved, it presents itself.
When clarity and purity are cultivated,
it reveals itself.
When sincerity is unconditional,
it avails itself.

If you are willing to be lived by it,
you will see it everywhere, even
in the most ordinary things.

-Hua Hu Ching:  The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu
Verse 22
Brian Browne Walker

It was a sad day...............................................

....................in Newark when they tore this old building down.

The Furniture House on one side, the State Liquor Store and the Board of Realtors office (amazing coincidence) on the other.  All gone.  Here is what is there now:











Now, a friend of mine was the architect on this project, and he created a fine looking building.  Lots of folk like new buildings.  They call it progress.  Myself, I prefer the old ones.  Interestingly enough, this building was built for, and currently houses,  the Domestic Relations Court.  Trust me, I've been there once.  Rather than take the picture myself, I borrowed it from this web site.  The nice attorneys in the big city of Columbus believe this is the home of the Common Pleas courts.  It is not.  The Common Pleas courts are housed in this fabulous OLD building:























more fabulous photos of the Licking County Courthouse are here.  Well done, Mark!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Meanwhile, back in 1960.............................

Billy Bland.......................................Let The Little Girl Dance

The real trick.............................................

.....................is making the years we do have worthwhile.

this very illusion.......................................

It is from this very illusion of the imagination, that the foresight of our own dissolution is so terrible to us, and that the idea of those circumstances, which undoubtedly can give us no pain when we are dead, makes us miserable while we are alive.  And from hence arises one of the most important principles in human nature, the dread of death, the great poison to the happiness, but the great restraint upon the injustice of mankind, which, while it afflicts and mortifies the individual, guards and protects the society.
-Adam Smith,  The Theory of  Moral Sentiments

Bravely..................................................






















source

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

Patty Duke..............................................Don't Just Stand There

Imagine if you will...............................

      For bankers in the sixties, the computer was arcane and mysterious.  The IBM mainframe computer had given rise to an entirely new race of mutant humans known as programmers and analysts, who spoke a strange language, carried pens in plastic pocket-protectors, and thrived on the power that their unique knowledge gave them over ordinary mortals.  "The banks were having a tough time coping with the computer," said Tom Paine, the rocket scientist and former consultant to Citibank.  "The information revolutions at the time was full of magic and sorcerers.  It was a closed technology, and if your weren't a computer programmer you couldn't hope to fathom it."  Paine remembers when computer departments would ask top management yearly for increases of 20 to 40 percent in computer-related expenses, and the bankers had no idea whatsoever whether these requests were reasonable or absurd.  Bankers, Paine said, fell victim to almost every snake oil computer salesman who got in the door and waxed enthusiastic about the incredible power computers had to solve every problem.  All of them would begin by pointing to the terminal and saying, "Imagine, if you will..."
-Phillip L. Zweig,  Wriston:  Walter Wriston, Citibank, and the Rise and Fall of American Financial Supremecy

a name of mystery...............................


Nobody can imagine how nothing could turn into something.  Nobody can get an inch nearer to it by explaining how something could turn into something else.  It is really far more logical to start by saying 'In the beginning God created heaven and earth' even if you only mean 'In the beginning some unthinkable power began some unthinkable process.'  For God is by its nature a name of mystery, and nobody ever supposed that man could imaging how a world was created any more than he could create one.  But evolution really is mistake for explanation.  It has the fatal quality of leaving on many minds the impression that they do understand it and everything else;..."
-G. K. Chesterton,   The Everlasting Man

Beauty........................................


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Is not the end..............................................

Brad Paisley/Sara Evans.....................................New Again

Happy Easter....................................


photo via

Alarmed..................................................


5   As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
6   “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him."
-The Holy Bible,  Mark 16:5-6   New International Version

Folly........................................

“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” 
-Mark Twain

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

The Impressions..........................................................Amen

The comfort.................................

For the great enemy of the 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

thanks Glenn

If you don't regularly visit....................................

..............the Astronomy Picture of the Day, well, shame on you.


About those mountain tops...............................

















     A universalist model envisions novelty and common destination at the same time.  It is the "many paths up the same mountain to a shared summit" relativist schema.  This model recognizes distinctiveness among the many  paths and they all ultimately end up at the same place.  The arrival, though, is understood irrespective of individual paths.  The problem with this model is that it often minimizes the distinction between the different paths that actually have different aims and ends;  their systems actually participate in different concentric circles.  These different points on different circumferences might not necessarily contradict one another, such as enlightenment in the Buddhist path and salvation in the Christian one, but they do have contrasting notions of history, the purpose of human existence, and the nature of reality itself.  A lazy universalism might draw the conclusion that they are all basically the same when it is more accurate to say that their different paths lead to different mountain tops.
-Timothy Carson,  The Square Root of God:  Mathematical Metaphors and Spiritual Tangents

Recycled................................................