Friday, June 30, 2017

All The Odds

All the odds are on the [candidate] who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre -- the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.

The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men.  As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people.  We move toward a lofty ideal.  On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

-- H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956), journalist, satirist, and social critic, Baltimore Sun (26 July 1920)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Hi Agency

Hi agency this is project is being successful I want to know your I missed ought to be back thank you so much.

-- Machine generated transcription of a voicemail message I received today, 29 June 2017

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


We're given three bras and a bottle of Bombshell, their No. 1 selling perfume.

-- Mirella Casares, describing the benefits provided by her employer, Victoria's Secret. Ms. Casares, who earns $10 an hour, struggles with an ever-changing schedule and an absence of employer-provided health care, New York Times, 1 June 2017

Monday, June 26, 2017

3540 Meters

A sniper with Canada’s elite special forces in Iraq has shattered the world record for the longest confirmed kill shot in military history at a staggering distance of 3,540 metres.

The Canadian Armed Forces confirmed Thursday that a member of Joint Task Force 2 made the record-breaking shot, killing an Islamic State insurgent during an operation in Iraq within the last month.

-- The Globe And Mail, 21 June 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Property Of History

We are forced to fall back upon fatalism in history to explain irrational events (that is those of which we cannot comprehend the reason).  The more we try to explain those events in history rationally, the more irrational and incomprehensible they seem to us.  Every man lives for himself, making use of his free-will for attainment of his own objects, and feels in his whole being that he can do or not do any action.  But as soon as he does anything, that act, committed at a certain moment in time, becomes irrevocable and is the property of history, in which it has a significance, predestined and not subject to free choice.

-- Leo Tolstoy, War And Peace, p 555

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

It Is The Heat

Phoenix just provided another reason to hate flying: the heat.  With temperatures there expected to hit 119 degrees Fahrenheit, airlines canceled more than 40 flights today. ...  The heat poses a particular problem for the Bombardier CRJ airliners, which have a maximum operating temperature of 118 degrees. 

-- Rhett Allain, Wired Magazine, "Why Phoenix's Airplanes Can't Take Off in Extreme Heat", 20 June 2017

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Government's Benevolence

A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all.  The First Amendment does not entrust that power to the government’s benevolence.

-- Justice Anthony Kennedy in a concurring opinion in Matal v. Tam, 19 June 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017

RIP Helmut Kohl

I am not the one trying to speed things up.  We are being driven.

-- German chancellor Helmut Kohl (3 April 1930 - 16 June 2017), shortly after the 1989 fall of the Berlin wall, when accused of pushing unification plans too fast; quoted in "The Dream of European Unity", Awake! magazine, (22 December 1991)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Star Pupil

Personally, I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.

-- Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965), British politician and statesman, in debate in the House of Commons, 4 November 1952

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

662 Million Vacation Days

Americans are terrible at taking all of their allotted vacation days.  That was true again in 2016, with 54% of employees ending the year with unused time off, collectively sacrificing 662 million vacation days, according to a study the U.S. Travel Association's Project Time Off released Tuesday.

-- Claire Zillman, "Americans Are Still Terrible at Taking Vacations", Fortune, 23 May 2017

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Painful To Both

The processes of teaching the child that everything cannot be as he wills it are apt to be painful both to him and to his teacher.

-- Anne Sullivan Macy, in The Story Of My Life, by Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller (1903)