Thursday, March 31, 2016

It Makes The World Look Scarier

Two things have always been true about human beings.  One, the world is always getting better.  Two, the people living at that time think it's getting worse.  It's because you get older, your responsibilities are different.  Now I'm taking care of children instead of being a child.  It makes the world look scarier.  That happens to everyone.      

-- Penn Jillette (1955-), American illusionist, juggler, and comedian, "Honest Questions with Penn Jillette" (2 November 2007), CNN

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Superior Talent

In the long run, there is not much discrimination against superior talent.  It constrains men to recognize it.

-- Carter Godwin Woodson (1875 – 1950), African American historian, author, journalist, and the founder of Black History Month, The Mis-Education of the Negro (1933)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Voices From Downstairs

You have to let go of everything to be the parent you're going to be.  Your kids are unique individuals who have never been before and will never be again.  You almost have to let them teach you how to be a parent rather than the other way around.

-- Ray Spooner, Voices From Downstairs, 29 March 2016

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Children's talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives.

-- Maya Angelou (1928-2014), American author, poet, and civil rights activist, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

RIP Andy Grove

Success breeds complacency.  Complacency breeds failure.  Only the paranoid survive.

-- Andrew Stephen "Andy" Grove (born András István Gróf; 2 September 1936 - 21 March 2016), Hungarian-born American businessman, engineer, and author, former president, CEO, and chairman of the board of Intel Corporation, attributed in: William J. Baumol et al (2007) Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth. p. 228

Monday, March 21, 2016


Certitude is not the test of certainty.  We have been cocksure of many things that were not so.

-- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935), American jurist and Supreme Court Justice, "Natural Law", 32 Harvard Law Review 40, 41 (1918)

Thursday, March 17, 2016


I learned a new word today:

(rhetoric) An abrupt breaking-off in speech, often indicated in print using an ellipsis (...) or an em dash (--).

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Answer

The answer to that is certainly, yes.

-- Jeff Miller, NFL senior vice president for health and safety policy, in the league's first acknowledgment of a link between football and degenerative brain disorders, New York Times, 16 March 2016

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Art Of Living

In the Art of Living, man is both the artist and the object of his art; he is the sculptor and the sculpture.

-- Erich Fromm (1900-1980), German social psychologist, Man For Himself: An Inquiry Into The Psychology Of Ethics (1947)

Monday, March 14, 2016


Back in September 2001, a farmer noticed a stray dog on his property. The dog was friendly, and would hang out with the farmer's dog behind his house. The stray, a husky-looking mix, didn't leave, and after three days the farmer took the dog to the Champaign County Humane Society. They estimated that he was 18 months old, giving him a birth date in March 2000.

I took my daughter, Sheena, who was 14 at the time, to the Humane Society in October 2001, where we first met Axel and heard his story. He was young and springy. When we took him to the outdoor play area he would spring into the air, chest high, with exuberance. He became Sheena's dog and a part of our family.

Dubbed Axel Rose by my daughter, he could leap over the fence around our yard, and dug furiously when he was bored. He was a fixture in our household. When Sheena eventually moved out of the house, she realized how hard it is to rent a place that allows dogs. And Axel remained a fixture in our household. He and I had a camaraderie that held fast as one by one the kids moved out. Axel was never my dog. But Axel and I were always solid, both of us constant in a household of swirling change, the comings and goings of children and other pets.

In recent years I've seen Axel lose much of his eyesight and hearing. Eventually he could no longer handle stairs. Lately, he had to be carried in and out of the house. He was still a happy dog, and still could have a good time. Today marked the end of an amazing, 16-year run.


Friday, March 11, 2016

Don't Think

The work's not hard, if you don't think about radiation.

-- Minoru Ikeda, 63, a retired postal worker who joined the cleanup effort at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, New York Times, 10 March 2016

Thursday, March 10, 2016

RIP George Martin

I've had a bloody good innings.  I can't imagine anyone who's been luckier than I have with the kind of artists I've been able to record.

-- Sir George Henry Martin CBE (3 January 1926 - 8 March 2016), English record producer, arranger, composer, conductor, audio engineer and musician, referred to as the "Fifth Beatle"

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

RIP Nancy Reagan

Our relationship is very special.  We were very much in love and still are.  Thank God we found each other.  When I say my life began with Ronnie, well, it's true.  It did.  Forty-six years?  Can't imagine life without him.

-- Nancy Reagan (6 July 1921 - 6 March 2016), born Anne Francis Robbins, American actress, political activist, and wife of US President Ronald Reagan, as quoted in an interview with Vanity Fair (July 1998)

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

A Little Magic

A little magic can take you a long way.

-- Roald Dahl (1916-1990), British novelist and short story author of Norwegian descent, James And The Giant Peach (1961)

Monday, March 07, 2016

Where Art Begins

If you have ever experienced something intensely and shared that experience with others, then you have been where art begins.

-- Marsha McRae Hogue, Texas high school art educator

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Feels Great

I haven't quite figured it out yet, but it feels great.

-- Albert Woodfox, former Black Panther and one of the Angola 3, on being released after 43 years in solitary confinement, Democracy Now!, 22 February 2016

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Luxurious Leisure

If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed.  Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution.  So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.

-- Stephen Hawking (1942-), Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) Science, 8 October 2015

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

No Smoke-Filled Room

There is no mechanism.  There is no smoke-filled room.  If there is, I've never seen it, nor do I know anyone who has.  This is going to play out in the way that it will.

-- Michael O. Leavitt, former governor of Utah, on how the Republican Party was unable to come up with a united front to quash Donald J. Trump's campaign, New York Times, 28 February 2016