Friday, July 29, 2011

In Retrospect

RainbowinatorYou know, in retrospect, I question the inclusion of a self-destruct button in the first place.

-- Ferb, after Perry accidentally hits the self-destruct button on the Rainbowinator, on the Disney cartoon Phineas & Ferb, Season 1, Episode 47 (Hail Doofania!)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Outstanding Faults

Fault lineThe outstanding faults of the economic society in which we live are its failure to provide for full employment and its arbitrary and inequitable distribution of wealth and incomes.

-- John Maynard Keynes, (1883-1946), British economist, The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money (1935), Book 6, Chapter 24, Section 1

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Effective Antidote

Erwin RommelMortal danger is an effective antidote for fixed ideas.

-- Erwin Rommel (1891-1944), German Field Marshal and commander of the Deutsches Afrika Korps in World War II, as quoted in The Rommel Papers (1982) edited by Basil Henry Liddell Hart

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Nutter Butter peanut butter sandwich cookies by Nabisco, a division of Kraft Foods Global, Inc., Northfield, IL (USA)The irony of the situation at the moment, with markets opening tomorrow morning, is that the biggest threat to the world financial system comes from a few right-wing nutters in the American congress rather than the euro zone.

-- UK Business Secretary Vince Cable, after European leaders agreed a second rescue package for Greece, BBC Television, 24 July 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Nothing More Unequal

Equals symbolThere is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequals.

-- Thomas Jefferson (attributed)

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Floor, A Ceiling?

Escher - RelativityAre you really sure that a floor can't also be a ceiling?

-- Maurits Cornelis (M.C.) Escher (1898-1972), Dutch artist, M.C. Escher, His Life and Complete Graphic Work: with a fully illustrated catalogue, Volume 1982, Part 1, H. N. Abrams (1982)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

It Is Easy

Ahmed Wali KarzaiThe Taliban said they were proud to kill my brother. My message for the Taliban is that, my countrymen, my brothers, stop killing your own people. It is easy to kill, and anyone can do it, but the real man is the one who can save people's lives.

-- Afghan President Hamid Karzai, on the occasion of his brother's funeral, 13 July 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Jens Voigt (in front) at stage 8 of the 2005 Tour de FranceShut up, legs!

-- Jens Voigt (17 September 1971-), German professional road cyclist for Leopard-Trek, speaking to his legs during a climb in the Tour de France

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

In Charge

LunaticThe lunatics end up in charge of everything. Sane, normal people don't need power trips.

-- James P. Hogan (1941-2010), British science fiction author, Paths to Otherwhere, Chapter 28 (1996)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Plato Promotes PLATO

Plato's Republic from year 1713Do not train [children] to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.

-- Plato (c 427 BC - 347 BC), Greek philosopher, student of Socrates, teacher of Aristotle, founder of the Academy of Athens, in The Republic, Book VII, section 16

Friday, July 15, 2011

Nothing More

The EstablishmentThere is nothing more agreeable in life than to make peace with the Establishment -- and nothing more corrupting.

-- Alan John Percivale (AJP) Taylor (1906-1990), British historian of the 20th Century, "William Cobbett", New Statesman (London, 1953)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Neptune's First Anniversary

Planet Neptune (true color)Yesterday was the first anniversary of the discovery of Neptune -- in Neptune years. 11 July 2011 marks the first full orbit of the planet Neptune since its discovery on the night of September 23-24, 1846.

-- Charlie Jane Anders,, based on an article by Tammy Plotner,, 11 July 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

2**18 Miles

Don Appleman's 1999 Saturn SC2 (35+ mpg, 262,144+ miles)Last week my car hit 2**18 miles. I'd like to hit 2**19, but I don't think that's going to happen. Of course, when I hit 2**17, I didn't really expect to make it this far.

Don Appleman

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Panetta Channels Bush/Cheney

Official portrait of Leon Panetta as United States Secretary of DefenseThe reason you guys are here is because on 9/11 the United States got attacked. And 3,000 Americans - 3,000 not just Americans, 3,000 human beings, innocent human beings - got killed because of Al Qaeda. And we've been fighting as a result of that.

-- Defense Secretary Leon Panetta speaking to troops in Iraq, contradicting the White House, the 9/11 Commission, and independent specialists who have said there is no evidence Al Qaeda had a presence in Iraq before the US-led invasion in 2003, Washington Post, 12 July 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

Space Isn't Remote

Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards.

-- Fred Hoyle (1915-2001), British astronomer and science fiction author, "Sayings of the Week", The Observer (9 September 1979)

Friday, July 08, 2011

Completing A Chapter

STS-135 Atlantis, the final Space Shuttle launchWe're not ending the journey today, we're completing a chapter of a journey that will never end. Let's light this shuttle one more time ... and witness this nation at its best. The crew of Atlantis is ready to launch.

-- Atlantis Commander Chris Ferguson, just before the 11:29:29am EDT launch of STS-135, the final Space Shuttle mission, 8 July 2011

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Life Is Like A Ten-Speed Bicycle

Here's something to think aboutLife is like a ten-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears that we never use.

-- Charles M. Schulz (1922-2000), American cartoonist, Linus in the comic strip "Peanuts" (29 May, 1981)

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Get A Bicycle

Mark Twain photo portrait, Feb 7, 1871Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live.

-- Mark Twain (1835-1910), American humorist, novelist, writer, and lecturer, Taming the Bicycle (1917)

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Amazing Rodrigo Martins

Rodrigo with the familyYesterday my family said farewell to Rodrigo Martins, our foreign exchange student for the past 10+ months. Rodrigo is from Curitiba, ParanĂ¡, Brazil, and turned 17 this May while living with us in Bement.

The decision to host a foreign exchange student was made almost on the spur of the moment, and it turned into one of the most positive experiences my family has had. For this, all the credit is due to Rodrigo himself, as he proved to be a bright, sensitive, and engaging young man, who I am sure is destined for great success.

My family and the many friends Rodrigo made while living in Bement look forward to the day when he is able to return for a visit.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Equal Creation

Declaration of Independence, with correctionsWe hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable; that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

-- Thomas Jefferson, (1743 - 1826), draft of the Declaration of Independence, 21 June 1776