Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Don's Detour

Trvth will take a brief hiatus while I attend to some medical issues.  I'm sure you'll hear from me again before Christmas.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Comfortable Conviction

Insurance -- an ingenious modern game of chance in which the player is permitted to enjoy the comfortable conviction that he is beating the man who keeps the table.

-- Ambrose Bierce (1842-1913?), American satirist and author, in: The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary, University of Georgia Press (2001) p. 133

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Habit Rules

Habit rules the unreflecting herd.

-- William Wordsworth (1770-1850), English poet, Ecclesiastical Sonnets, Part II, No. 28 (1821)

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Just Kidding

The only difference between me and most people is that I'm perfectly aware that all my important decisions are made for me by my subconscious. My frontal lobes are just kidding themselves that they decide anything at all. All they do is think up reasons for the decisions that are already made.      

-- Rex Stout (1886-1975), American author of detective novels, "Author Rex Stout Vs. The FBI" in Life Magazine (10 December 1965)

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Same Individual

Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

-- Arthur Koestler (1905-1983), Hungarian-British author and journalist, Drinkers of Infinity: Essays 1955-1967 (1967)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


For each new morning with its light,
    For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
    For everything Thy goodness sends.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American philosopher, essayist, and poet, Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Message Is Clear

The message to the West is clear: We have bought their buildings, we have bought their companies, and now we are going to buy their art.

-- Liu Yiqian, Chinese billionaire who made the winning bid at auction for a Modigliani portrait at $170.4 million with fees, New York Times, 18 November 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

Almost Dead

Almost dead yesterday, maybe dead tomorrow, but alive, gloriously alive, today.

-- Robert Jordan (1948-2007), American fantasy author, Lord Of Chaos (1994)

Friday, November 20, 2015



The part of an animal's skin that it cannot reach to scratch itself, usually the space between the shoulder blades.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Not Something To Aspire To

Normal is not something to aspire to, it is something to get away from.

-- Jodie Foster (19 November 1962-), two-time Academy Award-winning American actress, director, and producer,  as quoted in Diamonds, Pearls & Stones : Jewels of Wisdom for Young Women from Extraordinary Women of the World (2004) p. 6

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Crown

The man who is well wears a crown that only the sick can see.

-- Sir William Osler, (1849 - 1919), Canadian physician

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Half The World

Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.

-- Robert Frost, attributed

Monday, November 16, 2015

Ego Says

Ego says, "Once everything falls into place, I'll feel peace."  Spirit says, "Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place."

-- Marianne Williamson (1952-), American spiritual teacher, author, and lecturer, on Twitter as @marwilliamson, 10 August 2013

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Life Is A Shipwreck

Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.

-- Voltaire (Francois-Marie Arouet) (1694-1778), quoting the character Bottiglia, in Candide (1759)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Made Entirely Of Flaws

I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.

-- Augusten Burroughs (1965-), American writer, Magical Thinking: True Stories (2004)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Edmund Fitzgerald

On this date (10 November) in 1975, forty years ago, the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, the largest ship on North America's Great Lakes, sank in Lake Superior with the loss of 29 lives.


Monday, November 09, 2015

Knack Of Flying

The knack of flying lies in learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss. ...  Clearly, it is this second part, the missing, which presents the difficulties.

-- Douglas Adams (1952-2001), English author and satirist, Life, the Universe and Everything (1982), Chapter 9

Thursday, November 05, 2015


This amounts to the whole-scale privatization of the justice system.  Americans are actively being deprived of their rights.

-- Myriam Gilles, law professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, on businesses bypassing the legal system with arbitration, New York Times, 2 November 2015

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

With Curious Art

With curious art the brain, too finely wrought,
Preys on herself, and is destroy'd by thought:
Constant attention wears the active mind,
Blots out our powers, and leaves a blank behind.

-- Charles Churchill (1731 – 1764), English poet and satirist, Epistle to William Hogarth (July 1763), line 645

Tuesday, November 03, 2015


Here's something I learned today --

Telescopium is a minor constellation in the southern celestial hemisphere, one of twelve created in the 18th century by French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille and one of several depicting scientific instruments. Its name is a Latinized form of the Greek word for telescope. Telescopium was later much reduced in size by Francis Baily and Benjamin Gould. The brightest star in the constellation is Alpha Telescopii, a blue-white subgiant with an apparent magnitude of 3.5, followed by the orange giant star Zeta Telescopii at magnitude 4.1. Eta and PZ Telescopii are two young star systems with debris disks and brown dwarf companions. Telescopium hosts two unusual stars with very little hydrogen that are likely to be the result of merged white dwarfs: HD 168476, also known as PV Telescopii, is a hot blue extreme helium star, while RS Telescopii is an R Coronae Borealis variable. RR Telescopii is a cataclysmic variable that brightened to magnitude 6 in 1948 as a nova.


Monday, November 02, 2015

RIP Fred Thompson

My daddy always said that a man who walks around with a smile on his face all the time can't possibly know what's going on.

-- Fred Dalton Thompson (19 August 1942 - 1 November 2015), American politician, actor, US Senator (R-TN) 1994-2003, Teaching The Pig To Dance (2010)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Cure Of All Disease

We all labour against our own cure; for death is the cure of all disease.

-- Thomas Browne, Religio Medici (1642), Part II, Section IX

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Eroom's Law

R&D efficiency, measured simply in terms of the number of new drugs brought to market by the global biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries per billion US dollars of R&D spending, has declined fairly steadily.  We call this trend "Eroom's Law", in contrast to the more familiar Moore's Law ("Eroom's Law" is "Moore's Law" backwards).  Moore's Law is a term that was coined to describe the exponential increase in the number of transistors that can be placed at a reasonable cost onto an integrated circuit.  This number doubled every 2 years from the 1970s to 2010.  The term is used more generally for technologies that improve exponentially over time.  The data in Fig. 1a show that the number of new US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs per billion US dollars of R&D spending in the drug industry has halved approximately every 9 years
since 1950, in inflation-adjusted terms.

-- Jack W. Scannell, et al., "Diagnosing the decline in pharmaceutical R&D efficiency," Nature, 1 March 2012

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Conversation

 A conversation isn't a competition.

-- Barbara Walters (1929-), American media personality, How to Talk With Practically Anybody About Practically Anything (1970)

Monday, October 26, 2015

I Have No Feeling

I have no feeling for the electorate anymore.  It is not responding the way it used to.  Their priorities are so different that if I tried to analyze it I'd be making it up.

-- John H. Sununu, chief of staff for the first President George Bush, on his confusion with the rise of Donald J. Trump and the struggles of Jeb Bush, New York Times, 25 October 2015

Friday, October 23, 2015

Want Least To Do

In any ethical situation, the thing you want least to do is probably the right action.

-- Jerry Eugene Pournelle (1933-), American essayist, journalist, and science fiction author, Lucifer's Hammer (1985), with Larry Niven

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Danger: Volatile Explosives

Humans hate to admit error even as they stand there, black and smoldering, with the stub of a cigarette in one hand, in the middle of a wide crater containing them and the remains of a sign that once read "DANGER: VOLATILE EXPLOSIVES".

-- James Nicoll (1961-), Canadian freelance game and speculative fiction reviewer, Usenet article (2005)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Moore's Law Of Mad Science

Moore's Law of Mad Science: Every eighteen months, the minimum IQ necessary to destroy the world drops by one point.

-- Eliezer Yudkowsky (1979-), American artificial intelligence researcher

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Moral Passion

Art is a moral passion married to entertainment.  Moral passion without entertainment is propaganda, and entertainment without moral passion is television.

-- Rita Mae Brown (1944-), American writer, Starting From Scratch (1988)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Apple Earth

If an apple was magnified to the size of the Earth, then the atoms in the apple would be approximately the size of the original apple.

-- Richard Feynman, (1918 - 1988), American physicist, The Feynman Lectures on Physics (1964), volume I; lecture 1, "Atoms in Motion"; section 1-2, "Matter is made of atoms"; p. 1-3

Friday, October 16, 2015


Learn diligence before speedy execution.

-- Leonardo da Vinci (1452 - 1519), Advice For The Young Painter

Thursday, October 15, 2015


Do I consider myself part of the casino capitalist process by which so few have so much and so many have so little by which Wall Street's greed and recklessness wrecked this economy?  No, I don't.  I believe in a society where all people do well.  Not just a handful of billionaires.

-- Bernie Sanders, asked by Anderson Cooper whether he considers himself a capitalist, during the Democratic debate, 13 October 2015

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Very Disappointed

Don't get me wrong, 12-year-old me is very disappointed in current me.  But it's the right thing to do.

-- Cory Jones, a top editor at Playboy, on the magazine's decision to dispense with nudity, for cultural and business reasons, New York Times, 13 October 2015

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Take One For The Team

He needs to do this for the team, that's what we are all telling him.

-- Representative Fred Upton (R-MI), on calls for Representative Paul D. Ryan to run for speaker of the House, New York Times, 10 October 2015

Monday, October 12, 2015


Every human being on this earth is born with a tragedy, and it isn't original sin. He's born with the tragedy that he has to grow up. That he has to leave the nest, the security, and go out to do battle. He has to lose everything that is lovely and fight for a new loveliness of his own making, and it's a tragedy. A lot of people don't have the courage to do it.

-- Helen Hayes (1900 - 1993), American actress; one of few people to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award; Showcase (1966) by Roy Newquist

Friday, October 09, 2015

Not To Be Able To Stop

Not to be able to stop thinking is a dreadful affliction, but we don't realize this because almost everyone is suffering from it, so it is considered normal.  This incessant mental noise prevents you from finding that realm of inner stillness that is inseparable from Being.

-- Eckhart Tolle (1948-), German / Canadian motivational speaker, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (1997)

Thursday, October 08, 2015

In Better Shape

I thought I was in better shape.

-- Don Pellmann, age 100, who set five world records at the San Diego Senior Games, but fell short in the pole vault, dislodging the bar three times, New York Times, 22 September 2015

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Bottle Of Milk

You don't just go buy a bottle of milk and suddenly the supermarket charges you $100.

-- Gail Mayer, whose monthly supply of the diabetes pill Glumetza went from $519.92 in May to $4,643 in August, New York Times, 5 October 2015

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

All The People Who Scare Us

We can't round up all the people who scare us.

-- James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University, on the difficulty of using a particular profile in efforts to prevent mass shootings, New York Times, 4 October 2015

Monday, October 05, 2015

Taking The Long View

Papa Hegel he say that all we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.  *I* know people who can't even learn from what happened this morning.  Hegel must have been taking the long view.

-- John Kilian Houston Brunner (1934 - 1995), science fiction author, Stand on Zanzibar (1968)

Friday, October 02, 2015


The misuse of the word "exponentially" has increased dramatically.

-- Tweet by B. J. Novak (@bjnovak), 18 July 2014

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Can You Hear Me Now?

Can you hear me now?

-- First tweet by Edward Snowden (@Snowden), 11:00AM 29 September 2015; Snowden acquired >1M followers within 24 hours

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Deafening Anonymity

In big cities, beneath the roar of traffic, beneath "the rapid pace of change," so many faces pass by unnoticed because they have no "right" to be there, no right to be part of the city.  They are the foreigners, the children who go without schooling, those deprived of medical insurance, the homeless, the forgotten elderly.  These people stand at the edges of our great avenues, in our streets, in deafening anonymity.

-- Pope Francis, in a Mass before 20,000 at Madison Square Garden, reminding New Yorkers to watch for a glimpse of the presence of God among the poorest of the poor, 25 September 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fact Resistant

While scientists have no clear understanding of the mechanisms that prevent the fact-resistant humans from absorbing data, they theorize that the strain may have developed the ability to intercept and discard information en route from the auditory nerve to the brain.

-- Andy Borowitz, "Scientists: Earth Endangered By New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans," The New Yorker, 12 May 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

Cycle Of Life


When man is hungry -- he fights
When he fights -- he will grow strong
When he grows strong -- then he conquers
When he has conquered -- he achieves wealth
When he achieves wealth -- he acts philosophically
When he acts philosophically -- his spirit becomes gentle

When his spirit becomes gentle -- he accepts poverty
When he accepts poverty -- he is open to defeat
When he is open to defeat -- he is weak
When he is weak -- he is beaten
When *beaten* -- he is hungry

When a man is hungry ....

-- Bob Griffiths, Cycle Of Life (1993)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Talking To Themselves

All advice is autobiographical.  It's one of my theories that when people give you advice, they're really just talking to themselves in the past.

-- Austin Kleon, "Steal Like An Artist" (2012)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Always A Reason

There is always a reason to chicken out.

-- University of Richmond Economics Professor Dean Croushore, after the Federal Reserve postponed any increase in interest rates, New York Times, 18 September 2015

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

RIP Yogi Berra

It ain't over 'til it's over.

-- Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra (12 May 1925 - 22 September 2015), American baseball player, manager, and member of Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame, The Yogi Book (1998)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

That No Other

And now let me tell you something that no other candidate for president will tell you.  And that is no matter who is elected to be president, that person will not be able to address the enormous problems facing the working families of our country.  They will not be able to succeed because the power of corporate America, the power of Wall Street, the power of campaign donors, is so great that no president alone can stand up to them.  That is the truth.  People may be uncomfortable about hearing it, but that is the reality.

-- Bernie Sanders, Clear Lake, Iowa, 14 August 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

Called To Lead

Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race so that a positive, conservative message can rise to the top of the field.  With this in mind, I will suspend my campaign immediately.

To refocus the debate on these types of issues will require leadership, I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same, so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current front-runner.  This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and, more importantly, to the future of our country.

-- Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, announcing an end to his presidential run, 21 September 2015