Thursday, November 30, 2017

Too Much Money

There is too much money in the world.

-- Lawrence Luhring, a New York art dealer, expressing his astonishment over the sale at auction of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" for $450.3 million, a new record by far, New York Times, 16 November 2017

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


I reject your judgment with contempt.  I have taken poison.

-- Slobodan Praljak, as he swallowed a fatal dose of poison from a small bottle in court at The Hague, where his sentence for war crimes convictions had just been upheld, New York Times, 29 November 2017

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


The FBI was flooded Friday with more than 200,000 background check requests for gun purchases, setting a new single day record, the bureau reported Saturday.

In all, the FBI fielded 203,086 requests on Black Friday, up from the previous single-day highs of 185,713 last year and 185,345 in 2015.  The two previous records also were recorded on Black Friday.

-- USA Today, 25 November 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017

Whatever's At The End

People's willingness to wait is, in some sense, proportional to the perceived value of whatever they're waiting to acquire.  Even if they don't know what the line is for, they reason that whatever's at the end of it must be fantastically valuable.

-- Richard Larson, a professor at M.I.T. who has spent years studying line behavior, New York Times, 24 November 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017

I Believe

I believe the women.

-- Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, on whether he believes women who have accused Roy S. Moore, a Senate candidate in Alabama, of sexual misconduct when the women were teenagers, New York Times, 14 November 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Two Great Parties

There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other.  This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.

-- John Adams (1735 - 1826), American lawyer, author, and political theorist, second president of the United States, Letter to Jonathan Jackson (2 October 1780), "The Works of John Adams", vol 9, p. 511

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Orange Glow

Orange dots beckon.  They welcome with temptation, power, and promise.  All 262,000 of them reach out with their unearthly glow.

-- P. Gregory Springer, as quoted in Brian Dear's "The Friendly Orange Glow -- The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture", released 14 November 2017

Monday, November 13, 2017

I Really Believe

He said he didn't meddle.  He said he didn't meddle.  I asked him again.  And you can only ask so many times.  Every time he sees me, he says, "I didn't do that."  And I believe -- I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it. ... I think he is very insulted by it, if you want to know the truth.

-- President Donald Trump, speaking of Russian President Vladimir Putin, aboard Air Force One, NPR, 10 November 2017

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Passing Grade?

If we gave each other Turing Tests how often would we grade each other as passing?

-- David Quinn, in an on-line conversation about Artificial Intelligence, November 2017

Tuesday, November 07, 2017


It seems clear that Ross lied to us, the latest in an apparent sequence of fibs, exaggerations, omissions, fabrications and whoppers that have been going on with Forbes since 2004.

-- Forbes Magazine, in a report removing Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from its Forbes 400 list, and restating his wealth as ~$700M instead of $2.9B, 7 November 2017

Monday, November 06, 2017

Red And Blue Robes

I feel like we're taking off the black robes and we're putting on red and blue robes, and does that really serve the interests of justice?

-- Representative Marcia Morey, a Democrat who was a district court judge before entering the North Carolina legislature, on a Republican-led shift toward partisan elections for judges, New York Times, 19 October 2017

Friday, November 03, 2017

Laika Flight 60th Anniversary

Laika (c. 1954 - 3 November 1957) was a Soviet space dog who became one of the first animals in space, and the first animal to orbit the Earth.  Laika, a stray dog from the streets of Moscow, was selected to be the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 that was launched into outer space on November 3, 1957.

Little was known about the impact of spaceflight on living creatures at the time of Laika's mission, and the technology to de-orbit had not yet been developed, so Laika's survival was never expected.  The experiment aimed to prove that a living passenger could survive being launched into orbit and endure a Micro-g environment, paving the way for human spaceflight and providing scientists with some of the first data on how living organisms react to spaceflight environments.

-- Wikipedia

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Last Day

Earlier today @realdonaldtrump's account was inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee. The account was down for 11 minutes, and has since been restored.  We are continuing to investigate and are taking steps to prevent this from happening again.

[Followed by]

Through our investigation we have learned that this was done by a Twitter customer support employee who did this on the employee's last day.  We are conducting a full internal review.

-- Twitter Government, @TwitterGov, at 7:04PM and 9:00PM, 2 November 2017