Saturday, September 5, 2015
So here's something I know to be true, although it's a little corny, and I don't quite know what to do with it:
What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.
Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering and I responded ... sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly.
-George Saunders, Congratulations, by the way: Some Thoughts On Kindness
.........................................................life its ownself:
When evaluating scientific findings, I always remind myself: "The universe is not here to please you" and "nature doesn't care about fair."
-Megan McArdle, as excerpted from here
"We cannot understand what happens in the universe. What is glorious in it is united with what is full of horror. What is full of meaning is united to what is senseless. The spirit of the universe is at once creative and destructive — it creates while it destroys and destroys while it creates, and therefore it remains to us a riddle. And we must inevitably resign ourselves to this."
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy … the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has a genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
-William Hutchison Murray (sometimes attributed to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
Friday, September 4, 2015
It was as if two powerful birds had entered the sky within a single year, The Eagle in the south, The Raven in the north, each circling and gaining strength, each progressing in the consolidation of its own powers. For forty-tow tempestuous years the adversaries would fly in ever-widening orbits until confrontation became inevitable. They would meet only once, a clash of eighteen minutes in the spring of 1836 which would change the history of the world.
-James A. Michener, The Eagle and The Raven
Friend Bilbo picked up this story about the goings-on in the fine labs at The Ohio State University. Growing brains? What could possibly go wrong?
It can't be any worse than what we have now, could it? And who knows, in time, the price of a new brain might come down to where anyone could afford one ... even for those who continue to support political parties that steadfastly work against their economic interests.
Full post is here. A re-play of one of my favorite photos here:
...................................................it's free, it's easy, and, as you might expect, it's interesting
actually, you need to click here to take the survey
Thursday, September 3, 2015
Allman Brothers..............................................Into The Mystic
Michael Wade suggests we pay attention to where real pleasure lies. Culled from his list:
"A visit from a noble dog. Shakespeare. Dickens. The feeling of achievement. The discovery of a solution. Diana Rigg. An evening breeze. The flag flapping in the wind. Jig-saw puzzles"
I'd add a few more: the taste of a chocolate-chip cookie still warm from the oven, the smell of bacon frying, the first magnolia blooms of the Spring, the feel of a fly ball settling into a well-worn baseball glove, the sound of the kitty's purr, a perfectly thrown frisbee. Add some of your own, it's fun.
...............................................the old-fashioned way. John Kay surveys changes to the banking industry over the past twenty years, and is not impressed. Me neither.
"Yet these cleverer people managed things much less well than had their less intellectually distinguished predecessors. They were rarely as clever as they thought they were — or sufficiently clever to handle the complexities of the environment they had created."
"There may be less need today for the networker, the individual who knows whom rather than what; technology helps make connections, although it cannot displace personal relationships. But efficient capital allocation requires above all the knowledge and experience to assess the quality of the underlying assets, and the capacities of those who manage them."
................................................in downtown Newark.
|They get to our street next year. Can't wait.......................|
|Kids of all ages love watching the big equipment at work|
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
.............................comes close to answering the question.
It is striking that our brute instincts, rather than our celebrated higher cognitive faculties, are what lead to such moral acts. But why would anyone ever develop such potentially fatal instincts?
Studying us humans is endlessly interesting. Study this if you would.
With respect to the theological view of the question; this is always painful to me.— I am bewildered.– I had no intention to write atheistically. But I own that I cannot see, as plainly as others do, & as I [should] wish to do, evidence of design & beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent & omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidæ with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice. Not believing this, I see no necessity in the belief that the eye was expressly designed. On the other hand I cannot anyhow be contented to view this wonderful universe & especially the nature of man, & to conclude that everything is the result of brute force. I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of what we may call chance. Not that this notion at all satisfies me. I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton.— Let each man hope & believe what he can.
-Charles Darwin, as taken from a letter to Asa Gray in 1860
Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others what you would not have done unto you.
-Confucius (551-479 BCE)
This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.
-Mahabharata (400 BCE-200 CE)
No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
-Matthew 7:12 King James Bible
What is hateful to yourself, do not do to your fellow man. That is the whole Torah; the rest is just commentary. Go and study it."
- Rabbi Hillel, Talmud Shabbat 31a
more "Golden Rule" appearances - here.
|Conversation with Picasso’s Eyes II|
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."
"Happiness does not come into being when you seek it; it is a by-product; it comes into being when there is goodness, when there is love, when there is no ambition, when the mind is quietly seeking what is true."
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
The not-so-simple Village Undertaker gets to the root of it.
I regret that I sanitized the conversation. I should have held him and cried for the fact that he became such a big part of my life and I was going to miss him.
Having friends like Ray Visotski is what makes this voyage so special.
It was Professor Solomon Rosner who sounded the first alarm, though his name would never be linked to the affair except in the secure rooms of a drab office building in downtown Tel Aviv. Gabriel Allon, the legendary but wayward son of Israeli intelligence, would later observe that Rosner was the first asset in the annals of Office history to have proven more useful to them dead than alive. Those who overheard the remark found it uncharacteristically callous but in keeping with the bleak mood that be then had settled over them all.
-Daniel Silva, The Secret Servant
.............................the house band at Sippican Cottage.
I told my children that they had done something wonderful, but it wasn't winning a contest. They had made people smile, which is exactly what they're supposed to do. They made friends, which is a big bonus. I told them the big check isn't a payment for beating other bands. My boys had sold a musical composition. That's an amazing accomplishment for a band made up of two children and two plywood cutouts.
Extraordinary kids with extraordinary parents. Good combination.
Stuart Schneiderman looks at the options:
"As opposed to sitting around the house or the golf course doing nothing but whiling away the time, working, for a social being, is an active way to affirm one’s moral being. Beyond the money, it has much to recommend it."
As for me, I prefer Robert Frost's way of looking at it:
But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For heaven and the future’s sakes.
................................construction projects, this video is for you:
The back story: More than 100 years ago, very large, hand-laid brick sewer lines were installed through Newark's downtown. These lines handled both sanitary and storm sewer. They were, for the most part, fairly effective. Torrential rains, which we get from time to time, were a bit of a problem. The surge of storm water from deluges had the tendency to overflow the sanitary sewer treatment facility, causing raw sewage to enter the Licking River, south and east of Newark. Not much of a problem for Newark, but our friends downstream were not very happy with the situation. For the past twenty-five years of so, the EPA has been telling Newark to fix the problem. The fix is very expensive. It took The City of Newark quite a while to develop their solution. The above video captures the first phase of the fix. The old combination sewer is being replaced with new, separated, sanitary and storm sewer lines. It is a bit of a mess in downtown Newark right now, but the finished product (18 months away?) should be great.
.................why, ten years or so ago, I invested in those "peak oil" books. Pessimism may sell, but optimism is the better way to bet.
“It’s an exciting moment for us and also for Egypt. This historic discovery will be able to transform the energy scenario of Egypt.”
-As excerpted from this post on Egypt's offshore "Supergiant."
Monday, August 31, 2015
I didn't recognize him at first. He came into my office unannounced, a jowly man whose hairline had receded to a fringe of dark curls. Too much sun had baked his skin the color of brick, although maybe it had been too much beer, judging by those ill-named love handles poking over the sides of his jeans. The seams in the faded corduroy jacket strained when he moved his arms; he must not often dress for business.
-Sara Paretsky, Brush Back
“Why the Egyptian, Arabic, Abyssinian, Choctaw? Well, what tongue does the wind talk? What nationality is a storm? What country do rains come from? What color is lightning? Where does thunder go when it dies?”
Like so much else in the world, the overwhelming majority of investment-related online opinion is junk. Intelligent investors understand that. They know that other people have agendas, biases and cognitive issues that make their perspective less valuable or relevant. Those who must learn this the hard way will find that education to be very expensive indeed.
-Barry Ritholtz, as excerpted from here
The only sane thing to do with the world is to let it struggle with its own problems. You can do this only when seeing clearly that the world prefers to struggle painfully with its problems, never really wanting solutions.
Sunday, August 30, 2015
The town of Gros Ventre was so far from anywhere that you had to take a bus to catch a bus. At that time, remote locales like ours were served by a homegrown enterprise with more name than vehicles, the Rocky Mountain Stage Line and Postal Courier, in the form of a lengthened Chevrolet sedan that held ten passengers besides the driver and the mailbag, and when I nervously went to climb in for the first time ever, the Chevy bus was already loaded with the ladies' club heading home from an outing to Glacier National Park. The only seat left was in the back next to the mailbag, sandwiched between it and a hefty gray-haired woman clutching her purse to herself as though stage robbers were still loose in the middle of the twentieth century.
-Ivan Doig, Last Bus to Wisdom
........................every time I think I understand a xkcd cartoon.
Of course, if I was being honest, I would tell you I double-checked the meaning of "syllogism."
"How much should we know?"
and the answer gently drifted by.............................
"Not so much."
Explanation: The 16th century Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan and his crew had plenty of time to study the southern sky during the first circumnavigation of planet Earth. As a result, two fuzzy cloud-like objects easily visible to southern hemisphere skygazers are known as the Clouds of Magellan, now understood to be satellite galaxies of our much larger, spiral Milky Way galaxy. About 160,000 light-years distant in the constellation Dorado, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is seen here in a remarkably deep, colorful, image. Spanning about 15,000 light-years or so, it is the most massive of the Milky Way's satellite galaxies and is the home of the closest supernova in modern times, SN 1987A. The prominent patch below center is 30 Doradus, also known as the magnificent Tarantula Nebula, is a giant star-forming region about 1,000 light-years across.
Source, and enlargeable photo. is here. I love how their explanations just raise so many more questions. God love the explorers.