Thursday, August 15, 2019

Two Feet

They certainly are -- give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.

-- Ken Cuccinelli, acting head of Citizenship and Immigration Services, when asked, "Would you also agree that Emma Lazarus' words etched on the Statue of Liberty -- give me your tired, your poor -- are also part of the American ethos?" by Rachel Martin on NPR's Morning Edition, 13 August 2019

Tuesday, August 13, 2019


Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882), American philosopher, essayist, and poet, "Self-Reliance," Essays: First Series (1883), p. 52

Monday, August 12, 2019

The Way Things Are

Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.

-- Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht (1898 - 1956), commonly known as Bertolt Brecht, influential German Marxist dramatist, stage director, and poet of the 20th century, Bertolt Brecht, Poems 1913–1956

Friday, August 09, 2019

Mud Is Mud

Mud is mud.  But, obviously, mud isn't mud.  We've had chemists look at it.  We've had engineers look at it.  We've had scientists study it.  When you hand Pitcher A the ball, he says, "I love it."  You hand Pitcher B the ball, he says, "Too tacky."  When you hand Pitcher C the ball, he says, "Not tacky enough."  How do you win?

-- Rawlings' chief marketing officer, Mike Thompson, on attempts to develop a substance to replace natural mud for rubbing up baseballs before use, Sports Illustrated, 29 July 2019

From Sports Illustrated:

Mud is a family business; it has been for more than half a century. For decades, baseball's official rule book has required that every ball be rubbed before being used in a game.  [Jim] Bintliff's mud is the only substance allowed.  Originally marketed as "magic," it's just a little thicker than chocolate pudding -- a tiny dab is enough to remove the factory gloss from a new ball without mucking up the seams or getting the cover too filthy.  Equipment managers rub it on before every game, allowing pitchers to get a dependable grip.  The mud is found only along a short stretch of that tributary of the Delaware, with the precise location kept secret from everyone, including MLB.

In 2019, a can goes for $100 -- in keeping with inflation, plus a little extra -- and every team orders four.

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Real Monsters

[T]hose who choose not to empathise enable real monsters.  For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it, through our own apathy.

-- Joanne "Jo" Rowling (31 July 1965 -), British novelist, most famous for writing the Harry Potter series as J. K. Rowling, a pen name devised using her grandmother's name, "Kathleen" as a middle name; she has also written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.  Commencement address at Harvard University, 'The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination' (5 June 2008)

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Water Bears In Space

We chose them because they are special.  They are the toughest form of life we know of.  They can survive practically any planetary cataclysm.  They can survive in the vacuum of space, they can survive radiation.

-- Nova Spivack, co-founder of the Arch Mission Foundation, referring to tardigrades, aka "water bears", which were aboard an Israeli spacecraft and may have survived their crash onto the moon's surface in April 2019, via CNN, 7 August 2019

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

RIP Toni Morrison

It’s important, therefore, to know who the real enemy is, and to know the function, the very serious function of racism, which is distraction.  It keeps you from doing your work.  It keeps you explaining over and over again, your reason for being.  Somebody says you have no language and so you spend 20 years proving that you do.  Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is.  Somebody says that you have no art so you dredge that up.  Somebody says that you have no kingdoms and so you dredge that up.  None of that is necessary.  There will always be one more thing.

-- Toni Morrison (18 February 1931 - 5 August 2019), American writer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993, "A Humanist View", an address at the Portland State University Black Studies Center Public Dialogue on the American Dream Pt. 2 (30 May 1975)

Monday, August 05, 2019

What's Hard

Cloudflare's mission is to help build a better Internet. At some level firing 8chan as a customer is easy. They are uniquely lawless and that lawlessness has contributed to multiple horrific tragedies. Enough is enough.

What's hard is defining the policy that we can enforce transparently and consistently going forward. We, and other technology companies like us that enable the great parts of the Internet, have an obligation to help propose solutions to deal with the parts we're not proud of. That's our obligation and we're committed to it.

Unfortunately the action we take today won't fix hate online. It will almost certainly not even remove 8chan from the Internet. But it is the right thing to do. Hate online is a real issue.

Our whole Cloudflare team's thoughts are with the families grieving in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio this evening.

-- Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince in a blog post explaining Cloudflare's taking message board 8chan off the Internet in response to that site's popularity among domestic terrorists, including the shit-bag who on Saturday posted an anti-immigrant screed to 8chan, then murdered 22 in El Paso, 5 August 2019

Thursday, August 01, 2019


So the first thing that I'm going to do when I'm president is I'm going to Clorox the Oval Office.

-- Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) at the second night of the second Democratic Presidential Debate, 31 July 2019

Wednesday, July 31, 2019


I think it's going to take me a few days to realize what I have done.  This is the first Tour de France for Colombia.  It's not just mine, but for everyone.  Our country deserves it.

I want to thank the entire team, and Geraint [Thomas] for his sportsmanship, and to the entire team that always supported me.  I am the happiest man in the world.  Long live France, and long live Colombia!

I want to get home and assimilate that I have won the Tour.  Right now it still doesn't seem real.

-- 2019 Tour de France champion Egan Bernal, the first Colombian to win, VeloNews, 29 July 2019; Julian Alaphilippe wore the yellow jersey 14 days before a freak summer deluge sent a sea of hail, rain, and snow onto the heights of the French Alps, causing Stage 19 to be neutralized while Bernal led a solo breakaway; the time difference gave Bernal yellow with 2 stages remaining

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Sayings Of Antiquity

The superior man acquaints himself with many sayings of antiquity
And many deeds of the past,
In order to strengthen his character thereby.

-- I Ching (易經), also known as the Book of Changes (周易), Chinese classical text believed to have been written by Fu Xi (c. 2800 BCE), ䷙ 26 The Taming Power of the Great, translated by Richard Wilhelm, rendered into English by Cary F. Baynes (1950), Volume 19 of the Bollingen series

Monday, July 29, 2019

A Desk For My Trophy

All I want is a new desk, and maybe a desk for my trophy.

-- 16-year-old Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf, after winning the $3m top prize in the $30m Fortnite World Cup, the largest e-sports payout in history, 28 July 2019

Friday, July 26, 2019


The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo have their medals, and all of the gold, silver and bronze medals are derived from recycled smartphones.  A nationwide effort from 2017 to 2019 led to the collection of 6.21 million used mobile devices weighing 78,985 tonnes.  After recycling, that produced 32 kilograms of gold, 3,500 kilograms of silver and 2,200 kilograms of bronze, all of which will go to the 5,000 Olympic and Paralympic medals to be given out next summer.  Also, if anyone wants roughly 77,000 tonnes of shredded plastic, glass and silicon to make trophies for their sporting event, just hit up Japan, they definitely have some to spare.

-- Walt Hickey, citing an article by Natashah Hitti in Dezeen, NumLock News, 26 July 2019

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Natural Organ Of Truth

For me, reason is the natural organ of truth; but imagination is the organ of meaning. Imagination, producing new metaphors or revivifying old, is not the cause of truth, but its condition.

-- Clive Staples Lewis (1898 - 1963), Irish author, scholar of medieval literature, and Christian apologist, "Bluspels and Flalansferes: A Semantic Nightmare", Rehabilitations (1939)

Wednesday, July 24, 2019


NADLER: Director Mueller, the president has repeatedly claimed that your report found there was no obstruction and that it completely and totally exonerated him, but that is not what your report said, is it?

MUELLER: Correct.  That is not what the report said.

NADLER: Now, you wrote, quote, "If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.  Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment," close quote.

Now does that say there was no obstruction?


NADLER: And what about total exoneration?  Did you actually totally exonerate the president?


NADLER: Now, in fact, your report expressly states that it does not exonerate the president.

MUELLER: It does.

NADLER: And your investigation actually found, quote, "multiple acts by the president that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations, including the Russian interference and obstruction investigations."  Is that correct?

MUELLER: Correct.

-- From the transcript of Robert S. Mueller III’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, 24 July 2019

Tuesday, July 23, 2019


I say to all the doubters: "Dude, we are going to energize the country, we are going to get Brexit done."

-- Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (19 June 1964 -), British politician, popular historian, and journalist who is Prime Minister-designate of the United Kingdom, on being named Leader of the Conservative Party, 23 July 2019

Monday, July 22, 2019


Today's meta-trvth, from a response I wrote to a "trvth" note on cyber1, after I mentioned that I had 3050 Trvth's published here at

pad/cyber1 7/22/19  9:40pm don appleman/cerl/cyber1

According to my records, there were about 4700 published
Trvth notes in the archives that I saved the day NovaNET 
was decommissioned.  Of those, 2300 were published at, so about 2400 were present on NovaNET prior to

So, 3050 + 2400, around 5450 ish published?

There were also about 2400 unpublished potential-trvth's
on the NovaNET system which are also archived, and not
counted in the above totals.

It takes 20 years to get 5000 weekdays, but this journey
started in 1981.

Extreme Heat

Folks.  Due to the extreme heat, we are asking anyone thinking of doing criminal activity to hold off until Monday.  It is straight up hot as soccer balls out there.  Conducting criminal activity, in this extreme heat is next level henchmen status, and also very dangerous.

Stay home, blast the AC, binge Stranger Things season 3, play with the face app, practice karate in your basement.  We will all meet again on Monday when it's cooler.

The PoPo

PS: please no spoiler alerts. We're just finishing season 2

-- The Braintree, Massachusetts Police Department, in a posting on Facebook referring to this weekend's heat wave, 19 July 2019

Friday, July 19, 2019

Hello, Neil And Buzz

Hello, Neil and Buzz.  I'm talking to you by telephone from the Oval Room at the White House.  And this certainly has to be the most historic telephone call ever made.  I just can't tell you how proud we all are of what you've done.  For every American, this has to be the proudest day of our lives.  And for people all over the world, I am sure they too join with Americans in recognizing what an immense feat this is.  Because of what you have done, the heavens have become a part of man's world.  And as you talk to us from the Sea of Tranquility, it inspires us to redouble our efforts to bring peace and tranquility to Earth.  For one priceless moment in the whole history of man, all the people on this Earth are truly one: one in their pride in what you have done, and one in our prayers that you will return safely to Earth.

-- President Richard Nixon, in a phone call to the Apollo 11 astronauts, shortly before midnight, 20 July 1969

Thursday, July 18, 2019

In Event Of Moon Disaster

Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.  These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery.  But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

-- William Safire, in an alternative speech entitled "IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER" prepared for President Richard Nixon, to be delivered in case the Apollo 11 mission failed with astronauts on the moon, thankfully never needed, 18 July 1969

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

RIP John Paul Stevens

Money is property; it is not speech.  Speech has the power to inspire volunteers to perform a multitude of tasks on a campaign trail, on a battleground, or even on a football field.  Money, meanwhile, has the power to pay hired laborers to perform the same tasks.  It does not follow, however, that the First Amendment provides the same measure of protection to the use of money to accomplish such goals as it provides to the use of ideas to achieve the same results.

-- Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens (20 April 1920 - 16 July 2019), American lawyer and judge who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1975 until his retirement in 2010, concurring in Nixon v. Shrink Missouri Government PAC, 528 U.S. 377 (2000)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Let's See Them Aliens

[Area 51] is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces.  The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.

-- Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews, regarding a tongue-in-cheek September 20th Facebook event called "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us", now with 1.4M listed as Going; McAndrews added that she could not elaborate on specific plans or security procedures at the base. Washington Post, 12 July 2019

Monday, July 15, 2019

Too Hungry To Eat

You can't problem solve with someone who is angry.  It's like trying to feed a baby who is too hungry to eat.  First you have to de-escalate the baby.

-- Ellis Amdur on the Managing Violence podcast, 11 July 2019

Friday, July 12, 2019


Learn the rules, break the rules, make up new rules, break the new rules.

-- Marvin Hartley Bell (1937 -), American poet and teacher who was the first Poet Laureate of the state of Iowa, "Thirty-two Statements About Writing Poetry", statement # 5, The Writer's Chronicle, Commemorative Issue (Copper Canyon Press, 2002)

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Software Fix

"Boeing designers also gave MCAS [Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System] too much authority, meaning that they allowed it to autonomously move the horizontal stabilizer to the full nose-down limit.

And MCAS was allowed to move the stabilizer in large increments, rapidly and repeatedly until the limit was reached.  Because it moved stabilizer trim intermittently, it was more difficult to recognize it as a runaway trim situation (an uncommanded and uncontrolled trim movement emergency), as appears to have happened in the first crash."

-- Chesley B. 'Sully' Sullenberger III in a statement to the Subcommittee on Aviation of The United States House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 19 June 2019

The Boeing 737 MAX aircraft crashed twice in a 5-month period, killing 346 passengers and crew.  As a software guy, I hate that the proposed fix is a software update.  I know software sometimes gets people killed, and it's only going to get more complex with time.  I just hope other software guys do their due diligence, and are persistent in pursuit of safety when their work has life-safety implications.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Point Blank

Life is fired at us point blank.

-- Jose Ortega y Gasset (1883 - 1955), Spanish philosopher, Man and People [El hombre y la gente] (1957), p. 42, translated by Willard R. Trask

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

More Speech

The irony in all of this is that we write at a time in the history of this nation when the conduct of our government and its officials is subject to wide‐open, robust debate.  This debate encompasses an extraordinarily broad range of ideas and viewpoints and generates a level of passion and intensity the likes of which have rarely been seen.  This debate, as uncomfortable and as unpleasant as it frequently may be, is nonetheless a good thing.  In resolving this appeal, we remind the litigants and the public that if the First Amendment means anything, it means that the best response to disfavored speech on matters of public concern is more speech, not less.

The judgment of the District Court is AFFIRMED.

-- Judge Barrington D. Parker, for a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, ruling that President Trump cannot block users on Twitter because he tweets in an official capacity, 9 July 2019

Monday, July 08, 2019

Tangled Web

What a tangled web we weave when we practice to believe.

-- Robert M. Price (1954 -), American theologian and writer, in The Psychology of Biblicism (2007), a modification of the quote from Sir Walter Scott

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Independence Day

Good morning.  In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world.  And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind.  "Mankind."  That word should have new meaning for all of us today.  We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore.  We will be united in our common interests.  Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom ...  Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution ...  but from annihilation.  We are fighting for our right to live.  To exist.  And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the night!  We will not vanish without a fight!  We're going to live on!  We're going to survive!  Today we celebrate our Independence Day!"

-- Bill Pullman as President Thomas Whitmore in Independence Day (1996)

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Dr. Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck

As of last week, Marijuana Pepsi is now Dr. Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck.

After a life spent being mocked for having an unusual name, the 46-year-old seized on her experience to earn a Ph.D. in higher education leadership.

For her dissertation, titled Black Names in White Classrooms: Teacher Behaviors and Student Perceptions, Vandyck interviewed students and concluded that participants "with distinctly black names" were subject to disrespect, stereotypes and low academic and behavioral expectations.  This resulted in strained relationships, changes in future career choices and self-esteem issues, spelling fewer educational and economic opportunities for students of color.

-- Ari Shapiro on NPR's All Things Considered, 22 June 2019

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

RIP Lee Iacocca

If you ask me the names of my professors in college or graduate school, I'd have trouble coming up with more than three or four.  But I still remember the teachers who molded me in elementary and high school.

-- Lido Anthony (Lee) Iacocca (15 October 1924 - 2 July 2019), American industrialist, former Chrysler CEO, "Iacocca, An Autobiography" (1984) page 16

Monday, July 01, 2019

Beyond The Reach

Excessive partisanship in districting leads to results that reasonably seem unjust.   But the fact that such gerrymandering is "incompatible with democratic principles," does not mean that the solution lies with the federal judiciary.  We conclude that partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts.  Federal judges have no license to reallocate political power between the two major political parties, with no plausible grant of authority in the Constitution, and no legal standards to limit and direct their decisions. ...

Our conclusion does not condone excessive partisan gerrymandering.  Nor does our conclusion condemn complaints about districting to echo into a void.  The States, for example, are actively addressing the issue on a number of fronts.

-- Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority in Rucho et al v Common Cause et al, ruling that the courts have no role in preventing partisan gerrymandering

Thursday, June 27, 2019


The reasoned explanation requirement of administrative law, after all, is meant to ensure that agencies offer genuine justifications for important decisions, reasons that can be scrutinized by courts and the interested public.  Accepting contrived reasons would defeat the purpose of the enterprise.  If judicial review is to be more than an empty ritual, it must demand something better than the explanation offered for the action taken in this case.

-- Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority in Department of Commerce et al v New York et al, blocking an attempt by the Trump administration to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Up Hill And Down Dale

After damning politicians up hill and down dale for man years, as rogues and vagabonds, frauds and scoundrels, I sometimes suspect that, like everyone else, I often expect too much of them.  Though faith and confidence are surely more or less foreign to my nature, I not infrequently find myself looking to them to be able, diligent, candid, and even honest.  Plainly enough, that is too large an order, as anyone must realize who reflects upon the manner in which they reach public office.  They seldom if ever get there by merit alone, at least in democratic states.  Sometimes, to be sure, it happens, but only by a kind of miracle.  They are chosen normally for quite different reasons, the chief of which is simply their power to impress and enchant the intellectually underprivileged.  It is a talent like any other, and when it is exercised by a radio crooner, a movie actor or a bishop, it even takes on a certain austere and sorry respectability.  But it is obviously not identical with a capacity for the intricate problems of statecraft.

-- Henry Louis Mencken (1880 - 1956), 20th-Century journalist, satirist, and social critic, "The Politician", A Mencken Chrestomathy (1949), from a lecture before the Institute of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University, 4 January 1940

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

More Truth

A very great deal more truth can become known than can be proven.

-- Richard Phillips Feynman (1918 - 1988), American physicist, "The Development of the Space-Time View of Quantum Electrodynamics," Nobel Lecture (11 December 1965)

Monday, June 24, 2019

What's The Reason?

Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.

-- Sir John Harington (or Harrington) (1561 - 1612), courtier, author, and scientist, credited with the invention of an early flush toilet, Epigrams, Book iv, Epistle 5

Friday, June 21, 2019

A Contradiction

To work for a living certainly cannot be the meaning of life, since it is indeed a contradiction that the continual production of the conditions is supposed to be the answer to the question of the meaning of that which is conditional upon their production.

-- Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813 - 1855), Danish Christian philosopher and theologian, Either/Or, p. 31 (1943)

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Someone Tells Me

When someone tells me "no" it doesn't mean I can't do it.  It simply means I can't do it with them.

-- Karen E. Quinones Miller (20 June 1958 -), African-American journalist, historian, and author

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Right-Handed On Both Sides

ambidextrous (adj.)

also ambidexterous, "able to use both hands equally," 1640s, with -ous + Medieval Latin ambidexter, literally "right-handed on both sides," from ambi- "both, on both sides" (see ambi-) + dexter "right-handed" (from PIE root *deks- "right; south").  An earlier English use of ambidexter (adj.) meant "double-dealer, one who takes both sides in a conflict" (late 14c.).

Its opposite, ambilevous "left-handed on both sides," hence "clumsy" (1640s) is rare.  Ambidexter as a noun is attested from 1530s (in the sense "one who takes bribes from both sides") and is the earliest form of the word in English; its sense of "one who uses both hands equally well" appears by 1590s.

-- Online Etymology Dictionary

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Anxieties And Burdens

Sometimes, having a name carries with it anxieties and burdens of responsibility.  Thus, people who have power and social status are often not free to do what they want.  Because everyone is watching them, they have to behave in a way that is expected of their reputation.  One error and they will lose their hard-earned reputation.  They are not exactly the happiest people.

Someone with neither social status nor a reputation to uphold may be a freer and happier person.  Why then work so hard to gain social recognition when it will only diminish your freedom and happiness?

-- The Liezi, a Daoist text attributed to Lie Yukou, a c. 5th century BCE philosopher, but Chinese and Western scholars believe it was compiled around the 4th century CE, Part Seven: Yang Zhu, Passage 72: A Name is Nothing and Titles are Empty

Monday, June 17, 2019

Most Important Audience

I think dad jokes begin to pop out of fathers when the most important audience in life becomes our children.

-- Scott Simon, NPR, 15 June 2019

Friday, June 14, 2019


Our own political life is predicated on openness.  We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism.  We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to enquire.  We know that the wages of secrecy are corruption.  We know that in secrecy error, undetected, will flourish and subvert.

-- Julius Robert Oppenheimer (1904 - 1967), American physicist and the scientific director of the Manhattan Project, "Encouragement of Science", an address at Science Talent Institute (6 March 1950), Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 7, #1 (Jan 1951) p. 6-8

Thursday, June 13, 2019

100% Clear

I would not have thought that I needed to say this.

Let me make something 100% clear to the American people and anyone running for public office: It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election.  This is not a novel concept.  Electoral intervention from foreign governments has been considered unacceptable since the beginnings of our nation.  Our Founding Fathers sounded the alarm about "foreign Interference, Intrigue, and Influence."  They knew that when foreign governments seek to influence American politics, it is always to advance their own interests, not America's.  Anyone who solicits or accepts foreign assistance risks being on the wrong end of a federal investigation.  Any political campaign that receives an offer of a prohibited donation from a foreign source should report that offer to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

-- Federal Election Commission Chair Ellen L. Weintraub, 13 June 2019

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Penny On The Dollar

The leaders of Pathway Church on the outskirts of Wichita, Kansas, had no clue that the $22,000 they already had on hand for Easter would have such impact.

The nondenominational suburban congregation of about 3,800 had set out only to help people nearby pay off some medical debt, recalled Larry Wren, Pathway's executive pastor.  After all, the core membership at Pathway's three sites consists of middle-income families with school-age kids, not high-dollar philanthropists.

But then they learned that, like a modern-day loaves-and-fishes story, that smaller amount could wipe out $2.2 million in debt not only for the Wichita area but all available debt for every Kansan facing imminent insolvency because of medical expenses they couldn't afford to pay -- 1,600 people in all.

-- Roxie Hammill, Kaiser Health News, 31 May 2019

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Apt To Be Painful

The processes of teaching the child that everything cannot be as he wills it are apt to be painful both to him and to his teacher.

-- Anne Sullivan, The Story of My Life: with her Letters by Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, pg 313, letter of 28 March 1887

Monday, June 10, 2019

Memorial Rock

Colorado has a new Instagram-worthy landmark.  An 8.5-million-pound boulder that rolled off a cliff and demolished a section of mountain highway has been renamed "Memorial Rock," Governor Jared Polis said.

It would have cost the Colorado Department of Transportation $200,000 to blow up the boulder with dynamite and haul it away, but instead the department will rebuild Highway 145 to wind around the giant rock described as "the size of a house" between Cortez and Telluride in southwestern Colorado, Polis said.

"We expect that for generations to come, people will have the opportunity to observe this geological masterpiece that we're calling Memorial Rock," Polis said at a news conference earlier this week.

-- United Press International, 5 June 2019

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Thank You, Sir

Woo-hoo!  It went perfect, perfect jump.  I feel great.  I'd go up and do it all again.

-- 97-year-old D-Day veteran Tom Rice, after parachuting into Normandy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day and his first jump there, AP, 5 June 2019

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Tank Man

Twenty [now thirty] years ago, on June 5, 1989, following weeks of huge protests in Beijing and a crackdown that resulted in the deaths of hundreds, a lone man stepped in front of a column of tanks rumbling past Tiananmen Square.  The moment instantly became a symbol of the protests as well as a symbol against oppression worldwide -- an anonymous act of defiance seared into our collective consciousnesses.

-- Patrick Witty, "Behind the Scenes: Tank Man of Tiananmen," in The New York Times LENS Blog, 3 June 2009

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Total Sense

We are finite creatures.  Our lives are small and can only scientifically consider a small part of reality.  What's common for us is just a sliver of what's available.  We can only see so much of the electromagnetic spectrum.  We can only delve so deep into extensions of space.  Common sense applies to that which we can access.  But common sense is just that.  Common.  If total sense is what we want, we should be prepared to accept that we shouldn't call infinity weird or strange.  The results we've arrived at by accepting it are valid, true within the system we use to understand, measure, predict and order the universe.  Perhaps the system still needs perfecting, but at the end of day, history continues to show us that the universe isn't strange.  We are.

-- Michael Stevens (23 January 1986 -), American educator, public speaker, comedian, entertainer, editor, and Internet celebrity, "The Banach–Tarski Paradox", Vsauce, 31 July 2015

Wednesday, May 29, 2019


Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report.  It contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made.  We chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself.  And the report is my testimony.  I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.

And I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments, that there were multiple systemic efforts to interfere in our election.  And that allegation deserves the attention of every American.  Thank you.  Thank you for being here today.

-- Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in remarks to reporters at the Department of Justice, 29 May 2019

Friday, May 24, 2019

Theresa May Not

I am today announcing that I will resign as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party on Friday 7 June so that a successor can be chosen.

It is, and will always remain, a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit.

It will be for my successor to seek a way forward that honours the result of the referendum.

I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold - the second female prime minister but certainly not the last.

I do so with no ill-will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.

-- British Prime Minister Theresa May's statement, announcing her resignation, BBC News, 24 May 2019