Friday, February 27, 2009

Save The Earth?

AllosaurusMyth: we have to save the earth. Frankly, the earth doesn't need to be saved. Nature doesn't give a hoot if human beings are here or not. The planet has survived cataclysmic and catastrophic changes for millions upon millions of years. Over that time, it is widely believed, 99 percent of all species have come and gone while the planet has remained. Saving the environment is really about saving our environment - making it safe for ourselves, our children, and the world as we know it. If more people saw the issue as one of saving themselves, we would probably see increased motivation and commitment to actually do so.

-- Robert M. Lilienfeld (1953-), management consultant and author, and William L. Rathje (1945-), archaeologist and author

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Weekend Planning

Stone steps in the woodsWeekend planning is a prime time to apply the Deathbed Priority Test: On your deathbed, will you wish you'd spent more prime weekend hours grocery shopping or walking in the woods with your kids?

-- Louise Lague, psychoblogger

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Relish The Joys

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, official portraitThere is nothing like a cancer bout to make one relish the joys of being alive.

-- Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on her return to the bench following cancer treatment, 23 February 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Kernel panicThis is a panic in the way of the fine 19th-century panics, where we all run around like headless chickens.

-- R. Jeremy Grantham, chairman of a Boston investment firm, New York Times, 25 October 2008

Monday, February 23, 2009


Irrational Thoughts optical illusionThe market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.

-- John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946), British economist, quoted in The Politics of Public Fund Investing: How to Modify Wall Street to Fit Main Street (2006) by Ben Finkelstein

Friday, February 20, 2009


Nationalize BanksIt may be necessary to temporarily nationalize some banks in order to facilitate a swift and orderly restructuring. I understand that once in a hundred years this is what you do.

-- Former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan, Financial Times, February 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bad Apples

Gravenstein apples with codling mothTo date, the banks have stuck their heads in the sand and demanded that they be paid the price of good apples for bad apples.

-- Lynn E. Turner, former chief accountant for the Securities and Exchange Commission, on setting a value on assets the United States might buy in its banking rescue plan, New York Times, 2 February 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Natural Proclivity

Peter BoettkeThe natural proclivity of democratic governments is to pursue public policies which concentrate benefits on the well-organized and well-informed, and disperse the costs on the unorganized and ill-informed.

-- Peter Boettke (1960-), American economist

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dawes SST-Al

Dawes SST-AlOK, it's been 10 years since the last time I bought a bicycle. So, this year I spent a sliver of my tax refund on a new fixed-gear bike.

You can see marketing pics here --

I've never owned a fixed-gear before, so this should be an interesting experiment. Although I only ordered it on Friday, with a promise of delivery within 5-7 shipping days, UPS brought it to my office this morning at 9:30am; that's about 2 shipping days, tops, with the holiday.

Now I just need to assemble it and ride it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Honesty In Government

Tacoma Narrows Bridge nears collapseWe will have to try things we've never tried before. We will make mistakes.

-- Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, outlining a sweeping overhaul and expansion of the bank rescue program, New York Times, 11 February 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pages For All Ages

Pages For All Ages bookstore logoWherever in the world the little room of literature has been closed, sooner or later the walls have come tumbling down.

-- Salman Rushdie, From The Quotable Book Lover (Lyons Press), Quote-of-the-Day on the website of Pages For All Ages bookstore, where today begins a liquidation sale after over 20 years in business

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Too Profound

Charles Darwin (1854)I feel most deeply that this whole question of Creation is too profound for human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton! Let each man hope and believe what he can.

-- Charles Robert Darwin (12 February 1809 - 19 April 1882), British naturalist, London Illustrated News, 21 April 1862

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Settle The Quarrel

Young Abraham LincolnThese capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people, and now that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people's money to settle the quarrel.

-- Abraham Lincoln (12 February 1809 - 15 April 1865), 16th President of the United States, speech to Illinois legislature, January 1837

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Not Units But Fractions

Woodrow Wilson, pictures on US $100,000 bill obverse (1934)Most men are individuals no longer so far as their business, its activities, or its moralities are concerned. They are not units but fractions; with their individuality and independence of choice in matters of business they have lost all their individual choice within the field of morals.

-- Dr. Thomas Woodrow Wilson (12/28/1856 - 2/3/1924), 28th President of the United States, annual address, American Bar Association, Chattanooga (31 August 1910)

Monday, February 09, 2009


Daffodil in springtimeI do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing. So, with all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of national renewal. Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew our faith and our hope. We have every right to dream heroic dreams. Those who say that we're in a time when there are no heroes, they just don't know where to look.

-- President Ronald Reagan, 1st inaugural address, 20 January 1981

Friday, February 06, 2009


Rahm EmanuelYou never want a serious crisis to go to waste.

-- Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's Chief of Staff, Wall Street Journal's CEO Council, November 2008

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Like It Or Not

Thomas Huxley, from a Project Gutenberg eTextPerhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not.

-- Thomas Huxley (1825-1895), British Biologist, Educator

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Modern Conservative

John Kenneth Galbraith, Office of War Information photo, ca. 1040-1946The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

-- John Kenneth Galbraith, economist (1908-2006)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Feather Duster

Peacock & feather dusterYou want to know my philosophy? One day a peacock. The next day a feather duster.

-- Pat Quinn, newly-installed governor of Illinois, on his turn in the spotlight, New York Times, 31 January 2009

Monday, February 02, 2009

Tooth Fairy

Tooth Fairy Costume from buycostumes.comThe Tooth Fairy has found me!


The Tooth Fairy Project would like your help with an important scientific study.

In the 1960s, your parents gave one (or more) of your baby teeth to Washington University in St. Louis to study atomic bomb test fallout. Of the 300,000 study teeth from people your age, 85,000 were never used -- including yours!

Each tooth is in a small envelope, attached to a card with your name, birth date, and other helpful information that your parents provided when you were a small boy.

Our research group found your current address in the white pages. You and 4,000 other St. Louis-area male tooth donors your age are receiving this letter. Your answers to the survey below will help us understand if bomb fallout raised risk of cancer.

1. Are you Donald Appleman, born May, 1959, son of Herbert S. Appleman?

-- From a letter recently received by yours truly, from the Tooth Fairy Project