Friday, August 29, 2008


Larry EllisonWhen I started Oracle, what I wanted to do was to create an environment where I would enjoy working. That was my primary goal. Sure, I wanted to make a living. I certainly never expected to become rich, certainly not this rich. I mean, rich does not even describe this. This is surreal.

-- Lawrence J. Ellison (born 1944), CEO and founder, Oracle Corporation, from Smithsonian Institution Oral and Visual Histories

Java Developer's Journal (28 August 2008) adds: Technology's highest paid CEO currently is also America's highest paid CEO, namely Larry Ellison of Oracle - who with a fiscal 2008 pay package of $84.6M is the top earner at any of the Standard & Poor's 500 companies. Noting that annual pay totals are "based on salary, bonuses, incentives and perks," the Associated Press reports that Ellison's pay in 2008 was 38% higher than the $61.2M pay package he received in 2007.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Some Murder Or Other

Thomas De QuinceyIf once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination. Once begun upon this downward path, you never know where you are to stop. Many a man has dated his ruin from some murder or other that perhaps he thought little of at the time.

-- Thomas De Quincey (15 August 1785 - 8 December 1859), English author, "Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts" (1827)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Space Otherwise Reserved

David Guterson's The OtherIf I extrapolate from myself, there's a lot of deceit in the world without a beginning, middle, or end. The way it really works, a lot of the time, is that you suffer from the weight of what happened, from what you said and did, so you lie as therapy. Now the story you make up starts to take up space otherwise reserved for reality. For phenomena you substitute epiphenomena. Skew becomes ascendant. The secondary becomes primary. When it's time to confess, you don't know what you're saying.

-- David Guterson (4 May 1956-), American novelist, short story writer, poet, in "The Other" (2008)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bypassing Trouble

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 1968 15 cent US postage stampIf I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I wouldn't pass it around. Wouldn't be doing anybody a favor. Trouble creates a capacity to handle it. I don't say embrace trouble. That's as bad as treating it as an enemy. But I do say, meet it as a friend, for you'll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it.

-- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935), American Judge

Monday, August 25, 2008


Roger BannisterThe man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the one who will win.

-- Roger Bannister (1929-), British athlete, first person in the world to run a mile in under four minutes, on May 6, 1954

Friday, August 22, 2008


The Dilbert BlogIf art doesn't seem dangerous for the artist, it probably isn't relevant.

-- Scott Adams, The Dilbert Blog, 15 August 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Kickin' It Old School

Flag of the Soviet UnionIn the past few weeks I've heard more news commentators mistakenly say the word "Soviet" when they meant "Russian" than ever before. Putin's machinations with respect to Georgia, and now Poland, have that old-school feeling of Soviet aggression.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Words Strain

T. S. Eliot
Words strain,
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,
Will not stay still.

-- T.S. Eliot, poet (1888-1965)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Don't Invade

US Iraq Invasion MapIn the Twenty-first Century, nations don't invade other nations.

-- Presidential candidate Senator John McCain, 13 August 2008, on Russia's invasion of Georgia

Monday, August 18, 2008

Too Depressing

Question CopyrightThe Current State of Copyright Law is too depressing

I regard myself as a centrist. I believe very much that in proper doses copyright is essential for certain classes of works, especially commercial movies, commercial sound recordings, and commercial books, the core copyright industries. I accept that the level of proper doses will vary from person to person and that my recommended dose may be lower (or higher) than others. But in my view, and that of my cherished brother Sir Hugh Laddie, we are well past the healthy dose stage and into the serious illness stage. Much like the U.S. economy, things are getting worse, not better. Copyright law has abandoned its reason for being: to encourage learning and the creation of new works. Instead, its principal functions now are to preserve existing failed business models, to suppress new business models and technologies, and to obtain, if possible, enormous windfall profits from activity that not only causes no harm, but which is beneficial to copyright owners. Like Humpty-Dumpty, the copyright law we used to know can never be put back together again: multilateral and trade agreements have ensured that, and quite deliberately.

-- Google's copyright man, William Patry, on ending his blog on copyright

Friday, August 15, 2008

Hamdan Sentencing

Captives held at Guantanamo Bay, CubaMr. Hamdan, I hope the day comes that you are able to return to your wife and daughters and your country.

-- Military Judge Keith J. Allred, after the sentencing of Salim Ahmed Hamdan at Guantanamo Bay, New York Times, 8 August 2008.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

RIP Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Aleksandr SolzhenitsynIt is not the level of prosperity that makes for happiness but the kinship of heart to heart and the way we look at the world. Both attitudes are within the power, so that a man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy, and no one can stop him.

-- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (11 December 1918 - 3 August 2008), Russian novelist, dramatist and historian

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Real ID

Montana Governor Brian SchweitzerDo you want our government to have the ability to track where you went, how you went, how you got there and when you got home? It would be naive for someone to think this information will not be abused in the future. Virtually every decade these kinds of files have been used to violate people's privacy.

-- Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, in a letter to DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff, explaining why Montana will not participate in Real ID, reported in Canada Free Press, 31 July 2008


More from the article: After Chertoff called the governor and told Schweitzer that Montana residents would be banned from airplanes, or subjected to severe, time-consuming inspections at airports, Schweitzer replied, "How about we both go on 60 Minutes a few days after the DHS starts patting down Montana driver's license-holders who are trying to get on the planes and both of us can tell our side of the story." Chertoff backed down. As of the May 11 deadline for implementation, no state is in compliance with the Real ID Act.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Paris For President?

Paris Hilton at the Sundance Film Festival, 2008Hey America, I'm Paris Hilton and I'm a celebrity, too. Only I'm not from the olden days and I'm not promising change like that other guy. I'm just hot. But then that wrinkly, white-haired guy used me in his campaign ad, which I guess means I'm running for president. So thanks for the endorsement white-haired dude ... I want America to know that I'm, like, totally ready to lead.

-- Paris Hilton, in a mock campaign ad in response to McCain's attack ad comparing Barack Obama to Paris Hilton & Brittney Spears

Monday, August 11, 2008

Champaign Park District Mini Triathlon

Don Appleman running in the triathlonOn Saturday 08-02-08 I participated for the second time in the annual Champaign Park District mini-triathlon. I did OK, though I didn't win any prizes. It was a 400 meter swim, 6 mile bike ride, and 2 mile run. My time was 48:41.4, an improvement of 4:23 over my previous performance.

I finished 5th of 17 in my age group (men age 44-49), 56th of 142 among men of all ages, and 82nd of 305 among all men and women for the entire event. Of the 223 people I beat, 187 were younger. Of the 86 men I beat, 74 were younger.

I hate running, but I like both swimming and biking. If I can convince myself to do some training next summer, I should be able to improve on both my time and my placing.

I signed up 8 weeks ahead of time, but the event was full, and I was #43 on the waiting list. Usually only a handful of people drop out in time for the people on the waiting list to be helped. This year, I got a call with just 17 days to go stating that they were expanding the field by 50, so I was in. I hadn't been running at all, but was able to leg out a number of 2-mile runs to get ready.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Bill Of Rights - Amendment X

United States ConstitutionAmendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Bill Of Rights - Amendment IX

United States ConstitutionAmendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Bill Of Rights - Amendment VIII

United States ConstitutionAmendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Bill Of Rights - Amendment VII

United States ConstitutionAmendment VII

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Bill Of Rights - Amendment VI

United States ConstitutionAmendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Bill Of Rights - Amendment V

United States ConstitutionAmendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.