Thursday, April 18, 2024

Ought To Be

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they ought to be.

-- William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830), English writer remembered for his humanistic essays and literary criticism, Lectures on the English Comic Writers (1819), "On Wit and Humour"

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Father Of The Man

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
  So was it when my life began;

So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
  Or let me die!

The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
  Bound each to each by natural piety.

-- William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850), major English poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, launched the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 publication of Lyrical Ballads, My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold, (1802)

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Looking Young

Whenever a man's friends begin to compliment him about looking young, he may be sure that they think he is growing old.

-- Washington Irving (1783 - 1859), American short story writer, essayist, and biographer, Bracebridge Hall. Bachelors (1822)

Monday, April 15, 2024

The Next 5000

Today while taking attendance after teaching Taekwondo I noted that on March 28th I reached 5000 total student-hours of teaching (5 kids in a class counts as 5 student hours).  That took a little under 9 years to accumulate, with a 6-month gap in there while I recuperated from ACL reconstruction surgery.

I'm already looking forward to the next 5000.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Getting Wrinkles

When you're 50 you start thinking about things you haven't thought about before.  I used to think getting old was about vanity -- but actually it's about losing people you love.  Getting wrinkles is trivial.

-- Joyce Carol Oates (16 June 1938-), American author and creative writing professor, interview in The Guardian (London, 18 August 1989)


[I used this 15 years ago, when I was 50.  It feels right to use it again this year.]

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Unforeseen Consequences

In the mind of a human being, a hundred years is a long time, but to the earth a hundred years is nothing, a million years, nothing.  We've been guests here for the blink of an eye and if we're gone tomorrow, the earth, she ain't gonna miss us.  My point is that the planet is not in jeopardy, we are in jeopardy.  Human beings have no greater right to safety and liberty than any other creature on this planet.  We not only lack dominion over nature, we're subordinate to it.  Yet humans destroy things so effectively I sometimes wonder, is that our function?  Maybe every few eons an animal comes along that's exceptionally murderous so that evolution can proceed to its next phase. ...

Unforeseen consequences occur.  And every time, every single time, we all act surprised, because deep down I don't think that any of us actually believe that these dangers are real.  

-- Jeff Goldblum, as Dr Ian Malcolm, in Jurassic World Dominion (2022), written by Emily Carmichael and Colin Trevorrow

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

I Discovered Something

This summer I have discovered something totally useless.

-- Peter Ware Higgs FRS FRSE (29 May 1929 - 8 April 2024), British theoretical physicist and emeritus professor at the University of Edinburgh, writing to a colleague about his proposal for a particle at the origin of mass (1964), as quoted in The Hunt for the Higgs Boson, Science Scotland, issue no. 3