Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Money Is Not Speech

While money is used to finance speech, money is not speech.  Speech is only one of the activities that are financed by campaign contributions and expenditures.  Those financial activities should not receive precisely the same constitutional protections as speech itself.

-- Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens at a Senate hearing, 30 April 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Deeply Rooted

No deeply-rooted tendency was ever extirpated by adverse argument.  Not having originally been founded on argument, it cannot be destroyed by logic.

-- George Henry Lewes (1817-1878), English philosopher, biographer, novelist, and critic, The Foundations of a Creed (1874-5) Vol. 1, p. 7

Monday, April 28, 2014

Illinois (Half) Marathon

This past Saturday 26 April was the Illinois Marathon, and that day I ran my first official *half* marathon.

My time was 1:52:03 for 13.1 miles.  That works out to 8:33 per mile, or about 7.0 miles per hour.  I was expecting 1:57, and hoping for 1:55.

Overall     : 927/5648  top 16%
Gender      : 663/2264  top 29%
Age Group   : 54/218    top 25%

Had it been 9 days later (my birthday is coming up), I would have been 26th in my (older) age group.

Interestingly, the results page continues to change, even today.  On Saturday night I was listed in the overall at 948/5670.  I have moved up 21 positions since then, while the total has dropped by 22 runners.  The other placings have also changed a bit, including dropping from 50th to 54th in my age group.  And my time improved by a second between Saturday morning and Saturday evening.

Friday, April 25, 2014

All The Running You Can Do

Now, here you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.  If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!

-- Lewis Carroll (1832-1898), Through the Looking-Glass, chapter 2. -- Logical Nonsense: The Works of Lewis Carroll, ed. Philip C. Blackburn and Lionel White, p. 177 (1934), first published in 1872

Thursday, April 24, 2014

In Your Bathtub

You won't be able to mix nicotine in your bathtub and sell it anymore.

-- David B. Abrams, an official at an anti-smoking research group, on the FDA's proposal of sweeping new rules on both cigarettes and e-cigarettes, New York Times, 24 April 2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


The evidence establishes conclusively that Mr. Bruyneel was at the apex of a conspiracy to commit widespread doping on the USPS and Discovery Channel teams spanning many years and many riders.  Similarly, Dr. Celaya and Mr. Marti were part of, or at least allowed themselves to be used as instruments of, that conspiracy.

-- United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) statement in which former team manager Johan Bruyneel was banned for 10 years, while Celaya and Marti got eight-year bans, 22 April 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Here Is Your Country

Here is your country.  Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children.  Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.

-- Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, Jr. (1858-1919), 26th President of the United States

Monday, April 21, 2014

An Easter To Remember

We managed to get the whole family together for Easter this year.  Gathered in Carlyle, IL were myself and my ex-wife, all five kids, all six grandkids, and 2 of 4 sons-in-law, for fifteen at dinner.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Thought

A thought has no size in the physical sense but is vast as compared to the physical acts and objects into which it is later precipitated.  The power of a thought is enormous and superior to all the successive physical acts, objects, and events that body forth its energy.  A thought often endures for a time much greater than the whole life of the man who thought it.

-- Harold W. Percival (1868-1953), Theosophist, writer, founder of The Word Foundation, Thinking and Destiny, Ch. 4: Operation of the Law of Thought, p. 75 (1946)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bus Strike

People just have no criterion left to evaluate the importance of things.  I think the only thing that would really affect people would be the announcement that the world was going to be blown up by the hydrogen bomb. I think that would really affect people.  I think they would react to that. But outside of that, I don't think they would react to anything.  "Peking has been wiped out by an earthquake, and the RTD -- the bus strike is still on." And some guy says, "Damnit!  I'll have to walk to work!"

-- Philip Kindred Dick (1928-1982), American science fiction writer, quoted in Daniel DePerez, "An Interview with Philip K. Dick," Science Fiction Review, No. 19, Vol. 5, no. 3 (August 1976)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Palindrome Dates

Every date this week is a palindrome -- the same digits forward and backward:

  • 4/10/14
  • 4/11/14
  • 4/13/14
  • 4/14/14
  • 4/15/14
  • 4/16/14
  • 4/17/14
  • 4/18/14
  • 4/19/14

Friday, April 11, 2014

I'm A Cat

I was not and am not a rat, because I wasn't with the rats.  I'm a cat.

-- The Reverend Al Sharpton, on aiding the FBI in a 1980s investigation of organized crime, New York Times, April 9, 2014

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hardly So Epic

The daily battle isn't doing good versus doing evil.  It's hardly so epic. The real battle is doing good versus doing nothing.

-- Deirdre Sullivan, This I Believe, 8 August 2005

Wednesday, April 09, 2014


Everything happens for a reason, and that reason is usually physics.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Rest In Peace

Windows XP (25 October 2001 - 8 April 2014), personal computer operating system produced by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems.  Windows XP is currently the second most-used OS with a market share of 28.98%, led by Windows 7.

Product support officially ended today.

Monday, April 07, 2014

In The Morning

Always get married in the morning.  That way if it doesn't work out, you haven't wasted the whole day.

-- Joseph Yule (Mickey) Rooney, Jr. (23 September 1920 - 6 April 2014), American film actor and entertainer, on his 8 marriages

Friday, April 04, 2014


Old men tend to forget what thought was like in their youth; they forget the quickness of the mental jump, the daring of the youthful intuition, the agility of the fresh insight.  They become accustomed to the more plodding varieties of reason, and because this is more than made up by the accumulation of experience, old men think themselves wiser than the young.

-- Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), Russian-born American author and professor of biochemistry, "Pebble in the Sky" (1950)

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Common Cold

A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold.

-- Ogden Nash (1902-1971), American poet

Wednesday, April 02, 2014


[The majority's] conclusion rests upon its own, not a record-based, view of the facts.  Its legal analysis is faulty: It misconstrues the nature of the competing constitutional interests at stake.  It understates the importance of protecting the political integrity of our governmental institutions.  It creates a loophole that will allow a single individual to contribute millions of dollars to a political party or to a candidate's campaign. Taken together with Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm'n, today's decision eviscerates our Nation's campaign finance laws, leaving a remnant incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve.

-- Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer in his dissent on McCutcheon v FEC, who was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, 2 April 2014

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

April Fool

The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.

-- Mark Twain (1835-1910), American humorist, novelist, and lecturer, as quoted in Quick and Fun Activities for Every Day of the Year (2001) by Tim Tuck and Karen Froloff, p. 1.