Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!

May the good Lord watch over you, loved ones be near you, friends stand by you, and fortune shine on you in the coming new year.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

RIP Zsa Zsa

A man in love is incomplete until he has married.  Then he's finished.

-- Zsa Zsa Gabor (born Sári Gábor, 6 February 1917 - 18 December 2016), Hungarian-American actress and socialite, Newsweek, 28 March 1960

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Origin of campanology (the principles or art of making bells, bell ringing, etc.)

The Late Latin noun campāna (plural campānae) meant "bell," so called because bells were made in Campania (which means "wide, level plain"), whose chief city has always been Naples. About 400 A.D. St. Paulinus of Nola (c354–c431), bishop of Nola, commissioned a large bell to be cast to summon Christians to worship.  The Italian word for bell is campana, which has the derivatives campanile, the distinctive bell tower of an Italian church (as opposed to a steeple) and campanilismo, local rivalry, usually petty, sometimes fierce.  The word entered English in the 1820s in the sense "the art of bell ringing."

-- From Word of the Day, 5 December 2016

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Rusty Elevator

Old men only lie in wait for people to ask them to talk.  Then they rattle on like a rusty elevator wheezing up a shaft.

-- Ray Douglas Bradbury (1920 - 2012), American fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer, Dandelion Wine (1957)

Get Close Enough

It's sad to say, but a lot of times when you go to these competitions, you're like: Just get close enough to top three because you never know who's going to test positive.

-- American high jumper Chaunte Lowe, who finished sixth at the 2008 Summer Olympics but last week was awarded the bronze medal when three athletes ahead of her were disqualified after testing positive for drugs, New York Times, 22 November 2016

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

That Should Stop

We should buckle up for a pretty rocky six months or year in the China-U.S. relationship.  There was a sort of delusion based on overly optimistic ideas about Trump.  That should stop.

-- Wang Dong, associate professor, Peking University, New York Times, 4 December 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016

I Could Have Walked Out

I could have walked out, and you know, that's just what I was thinking, but then I just like, I don't know, I don't want to say spur of the moment, but, you know, I just finally decided I had to do it.

-- Dylann S. Roof, in a videotaped interview shown at his trial, describing how he almost decided not to open fire during a June 2015 Bible study session at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., New York Times, 10 December 2016

Thursday, December 08, 2016


Godspeed, John Glenn.

-- Scott Carpenter, as mission controller, as Glenn was about to launch into orbit on Friendship 7, 20 February 1962

John Herschel Glenn, Jr. (18 July 1921 - 8 December 2016), (Col, USMC, Retired),  was a Marine Corps aviator, engineer, astronaut, and United States senator. Glenn flew the Friendship 7 mission and became the first American to orbit the Earth, and the fifth person in space

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Invisible Hand

When government steps in arbitrarily with individual subsidies, favoring one business over others, it sets inconsistent, unfair, illogical precedent.  Meanwhile, the invisible hand that best orchestrates a free people's free enterprise system gets amputated.  Then, special interests creep in and manipulate markets.  Republicans oppose this, remember?  Instead, we support competition on a level playing field, remember?  Because we know special interest crony capitalism is one big fail.

-- Former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin in an article on the Young Conservative website, 2 December 2016

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Cartoon Thunderstorms

I think it's still possible to make energetic, thrashy music without necessarily walking around being these sulky, angry, sullen, dark people with black cartoon thunderstorms over their heads.

-- Lars Ulrich, drummer for the rock band Metallica, New York Times, 17 November 2016

Monday, December 05, 2016

Too Interesting And Dangerous

The future is too interesting and dangerous to be entrusted to any predictable, reliable agency.  We need all the fallibility we can get.  Most of all, we need to preserve the absolute unpredictability and total improbability of our connected minds.  That way we can keep open all the options, as we have in the past.

-- Lewis Thomas (1913 - 1993), physician, author, administrator, educator, policy advisor and researcher, Dean of Yale Medical School, Dean of the New York University School of Medicine, and President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute, The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher, "Computers" (1974)

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Joy In Playing

I'm very happy that at the end of the match I managed to find joy in playing. That's the most important thing.

-- Chess World Champion Magnus Carlsen, after defeating challenger Sergey Karjakin, 30 November 2016