Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What Problems

Don't ask kids what they want to be when they grow up.  Ask them what problems they want to solve.  This changes the conversation from who do I want to work for, to what do I need to learn in order to be able to do that.

-- Jaime Casap, Google Global Education Evangelist, on Twitter as @jcasap, 24 January 2015

Monday, August 29, 2016

RIP, Gene Wilder

It is so hard for us little human beings to accept this deal that we get.  It's really crazy, isn't it?  We get to live, then we have to die.  What we put into every moment is all we have ....  What spirit human beings have!  It is a pretty cheesy deal -- all the pleasures of life, and then death.

-- Gilda Radner (1946 - 1989), American comedienne and actress, It's Always Something (1989), pg. 87 (2009 edition)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Rules Of The Road

Their relationship as a current president and a former president would be a very, very sensitive issue early on, and they'd need to carefully work out the rules of the road for the sake of both of them.

-- David Gergen, senior adviser to several presidents, including Bill Clinton, on his role if Hillary Clinton were to be elected president, New York Times, 27 July 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016

One Of The Shouts

We are the miracle of force and matter making itself over into imagination and will.  Incredible.  The Life Force experimenting with forms.  You for one.  Me for another.  The Universe has shouted itself alive.  We are one of the shouts.

-- Ray Bradbury, American fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer, "G. B. S. -- Mark V", in I Sing the Body Electric: And Other Stories (1998)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Critical Task

The forces going on in the society are not things the media can prevent or change.  But we can and should help understand this crisis and warn against false solutions.  If feelings are trumping arguments -- the pun is fully intended -- it doesn’t mean that arguments don’t still have to be made.  It may not win the news cycle.  It may not even win this election cycle.  But it’s a critical task.

-- Andrew Sullivan (1963-), libertarian conservative author and political commentator, as quoted in "Andrew Sullivan on His Brief Return to the Online Political Fray" by Jennifer Schuessler, in The New York Times, 29 July 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

RIP is shutting down today, Monday 22nd August, 2016, some 13 years after it began and two days before the end of my forties.  It is the end of an era.

It is a fitting conclusion to this experiment in what happens when you let journalists say what they really think.

-- Nick Denton, 22 August 2016, final post on

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Cat Probably Deserved It

Omaha dad finds pot brownies, eats 4 of them, says mean things to cat

Paramedics called to the scene who checked the man found his vital signs to be normal.  But they noted that he was displaying odd behavior -- crawling around on the floor, randomly using profanities, and calling the family cat a "bitch".

-- Headline and snippet from an article by Kevin Cole in the Omaha (Nebraska) World-Herald, 19 August 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Letter Of Life


Our records indicated that you were deceased.  This record was in error and has been corrected.

If you have any questions, you should call, write, or visit any Social Security office.  If you visit an office, please bring this letter.  It will help us answer your questions.

Social Security Administration

-- Contents of a letter I picked up at the local Social Security office today after I got an email from my credit card company telling me they had closed my account because I was dead

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Sad Thing

It is a sad thing when men have neither the wit to speak well, nor the judgement to hold their tongues.

-- Jean de La Bruyère (1645-1696), French essayist and moralist, "Of Society And Conversation", Les Caractères (1688)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Hundred Times

Any trouble I get myself in now -- even an honest mistake -- will be a hundred times worse than if any normal person did it.

-- 30-year old Ahmed Abdul Qader, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who was 17 at the time of his arrest, after his relocation to Estonia, New York Times, 29 July 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016

Wait, What?

Before Obama came along, we didn't have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attacks inside the United States.

-- Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, at an event for Donald Trump in Ohio, 15 August 2016

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Closed Doors

It's hugely disappointing.  A trial is the one place where the system really gets tested.  Everything else is done behind closed doors.

-- Judge Jed S. Rakoff, a 20-year veteran of the Manhattan federal bench, on the sharp decline of jury trials, New York Times, 8 August 2016

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Very Truly Yours

As Director of the Public Defender System, I can only hire attorneys when I have the funding to do so. ...  To avoid having to close one or more offices, the remaining option is to consider the use of Section 600.042.5, which gives the Director of the Public Defender System the authority to "[d]elegate the legal representation of any person to any member of the state bar of Missouri." ....

[P]ursuant to Section 600.0425 and as Director of the Missouri State Public Defender System tasked with carrying out the State's obligation to ensure that poor people who face incarceration are afforded competent counsel in their defense, I hereby appoint you, Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon, Bar No. 29603, to enter your appearance as counsel of record in the attached case.

Very truly yours,

-- Michael Barrett, Director of the Missouri Public Defender System, in a letter assigning a case to Governor Jay Nixon, 2 August 2016

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Refugee Olympic Team

Madam Tegla gives us a chance for other people to know the history of our lives.  And we can forget what happened before.

-- Yiech Pur Biel, 21, an 800-meter runner who fled his village in South Sudan in 2005, on Tegla Loroupe, a Kenyan marathoner who is leading a group of 10 displaced athletes, known as the Refugee Olympic Team, to Rio, New York Times, 5 August 2016

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Life Doesn't Suck

Very occasionally, if you really pay attention, life doesn't suck.

-- Joseph "Joss" Hill Whedon (23 June 1964 -), American screenwriter, film and television director and producer, Liner notes to the cast album Once More, with Feeling (2002)

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Lost Track

Anyone who has lost track of time when using a computer knows the propensity to dream, the urge to make dreams come true, and the tendency to miss lunch.

-- Tim Berners-Lee (1955-), Inventor of the World Wide Web and director of the World Wide Web Consortium, interview by Kris Herbst for Internet World (June 1994)

Monday, August 01, 2016

Completely Different

I've also learned that my memory may be completely different than reality.  I've decided that my brain did that for a good reason (perhaps survival of that moment) or maybe it's just being an asshole again.  In either case, it's made me more humble and less insistent that I'm correct.  I've also put less weight on the past.  There's nothing I can do about it, except learn from it.  And I feel like I can learn no matter how I might mis-remember my alternate universe self, so I care less about what really happened.

-- Wendy, July 2016,