Monday, December 31, 2018

The Future

The future will soon be a thing of the past.

-- George Denis Patrick Carlin (1937 - 2008), American stand-up comedian, actor, author, and social critic, Napalm and Silly Putty (2001), p. 260

Friday, December 28, 2018

The Same Weapons

Never let the future disturb you.  You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.

-- Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (121 - 180), Stoic philosopher, and Roman Emperor from 161 to his death in 180, Meditations (c. 121-180 AD)

Thursday, December 27, 2018

A Spectrum

The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities.

-- Stephen Hawking, The Grand Design (2010)

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

It Was Profound

I don't know, something overcame me.  I just felt locked in for the last 32 hours, like a deep flow state.  I didn't listen to any music -- just locked in, like I'm going until I'm done.  It was profound, it was beautiful, and it was an amazing way to finish up the project.

-- American Colin O'Brady, 33, who became the first person to traverse Antarctica from coast to coast solo, unsupported, and unaided by wind.  O'Brady covered the final 77.54 miles of the 921-mile journey across Antarctica in one final sleepless, 32-hour burst; speaking in a telephone interview, New York Times, 26 December 2018

Monday, December 24, 2018

Real Spirit

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind.  To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.

-- John Calvin Coolidge Jr. (1872 - 1933), 30th President of the United States, reported in Canfield, Jack; Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Hansen, Irene Dunlap (2002). Chicken soup for the soul Christmas treasury for kids, page 1

Friday, December 21, 2018

Christmas Morning

There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.

-- Erma Louise (Harris) Bombeck (1927 - 1996), born Erma Fiste, American humorist who achieved great popularity for a newspaper column that depicted suburban home life in the second half of the 20th century, in "I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal Depression" (1970)

Thursday, December 20, 2018


My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues.  We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.

-- Defense Secretary James Mattis, in his letter of resignation, 20 December 2018

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Outrage Is A Brand

But today, too often, genuine disagreement quickly gives way to intense distrust.  We spend far more time trying to convict one another than we do developing our own convictions.

Being against someone has more currency than being for anything.  Each of us has found ourselves operating on the wrong side of this equation from time to time.

All of this gets amplified by technology, with an incentive structure that preys on people's fears, and algorithms that play on anger.  Outrage is a brand.

And, as with anything that gets marketed, it gets scaled up.

It becomes more industrialized, more cold, and more unfeeling.

-- Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), in his farewell address, 19 December 2018

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Never Submit

Thought must never submit, neither to a dogma, nor to a party, nor to a passion, nor to an interest, nor to a preconceived idea, nor to whatever it may be, save to the facts themselves, because, for thought, submission would mean ceasing to be.

-- Jules Henri Poincaré (29 April 1854 - 17 July 1912), one of France's greatest mathematicians and theoretical physicists, and a philosopher of science, in a speech at University of Brussels (19 November 1909), during the festival for the 75th anniversary of the university's foundation; published in Œuvres de Henri Poincaré (1956), p. 152

Monday, December 17, 2018


The Republican Party isn't looking for converts, it's looking for heretics.

-- Syndicated columnist Mark Shields, Shields & Brooks, PBS Newshour, 14 December 2018

Friday, December 14, 2018

True Intentions

One never really knows one's own true intentions.

-- Lord Tuan, elder monk of the Order of the Crane Mother, on the Netflix series Iron Fist

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Working At Scale

This is working at scale, and we don't manually intervene on any particular search result.

-- Google CEO Sundar Pichai in testimony before Congress, in response to Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who asked "Right now, if you google the word 'idiot' under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up.  I just did that.  How would that happen?"

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A Path Of Darkness

Your Honor, this may seem hard to believe, but today is one of the most meaningful days of my life.  The irony is today is the day I am getting my freedom back as you sit at the bench and you contemplate my fate.

I have been living in a personal and mental incarceration ever since the fateful day that I accepted the offer to work for a famous real estate mogul whose business acumen I truly admired.  In fact, I now know that there is little to be admired.  I want to be clear.  I blame myself for the conduct which has brought me here today, and it was my own weakness, and a blind loyalty to this man that led me to choose a path of darkness over light.  It is for these reasons I chose to participate in the illicit act of the President rather than to listen to my own inner voice which should have warned me that the campaign finance violations that I later pled guilty to were insidious.

-- Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, in a courthouse statement just prior to being sentenced to 3 years in federal prison, 12 December 2018

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Thrives On Confusion

This ought to be a time when democracy leaps forward, an informed citizenry being essential to self-government.  Instead, it's in retreat.  Three decades after the Cold War defeat of a blunt and crude autocracy, a more clever brand takes nourishment from the murk that surrounds us.  The old-school despot embraced censorship.  The modern despot, finding that more difficult, foments mistrust of credible fact, thrives on the confusion loosed by social media and fashions the illusion of legitimacy from supplicants.

-- Karl Vick in Time Magazine, Person of the Year 2018, The Guardians and the War on Truth, 11 December 2018

Monday, December 10, 2018

No Matter What Way It Be

If a man strictly observe the rules of his way, and keep a rein on himself, then no matter what way it be, he will be a scholar of renown and be a teacher of multitudes.

-- Yoshida Kenko (1283? - 1350?), Japanese author and Buddhist monk, born Urabe Kaneyoshi, The Tzuredzure Gusa (Essays in Idleness) of Yoshida no Kaneyoshi as translated by George Sansom (1911)

Friday, December 07, 2018


Snow is water, and ice is water, and water is water; these three are one.

-- Joseph Dare (1831 - 1880), Australian Wesleyan Church leader, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers, p. 285 (1895)

Thursday, December 06, 2018

He Said Xi Said

Unfortunately until we get new news the market continues to be a cauldron of concerns causing caution with investors.  With the combination of he said Xi said on China trade, a fear of an economic slowdown in 2019, and the slow trickle of Mueller investigation reports coming out, it is not at all surprising to see a buyer's strike in the after-hours market.

-- Art Hogan, Chief Market Strategist at investment bank B. Riley FBR, on negative signs in the overnight futures market, CNBC, 6 December 2018; the market fell 784 points during the day before rebounding for a loss of just 79

Wednesday, December 05, 2018


Throughout history, people have never before expected to be as comfortable as people do today.

-- Jens Risom (1916 - 2016), Danish American furniture designer, Block Island Times, Meet Jens Risom by Jane Vercelli, Spring 2010, House and Garden Edition, New Shoreham, Rhode Island USA

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

RIP Paul Sherwen

His legacy is that he made it entertaining.  It wasn't just sport and results.  He brought the race and the racers alive for the viewers.

-- Professional cycling announcer Phil Liggett, on the late Paul Sherwen (7 June 1956 - 2 December 2018), who completed his 40th Tour de France this summer (7 cycling, 33 announcing), Velonews, 3 December 2018

Monday, December 03, 2018

These Triggers

These triggers could be things like a visa restriction, a pandemic, a trade war -- something like that that was outside of our control.

Hedging the risk that we face gives us more confidence to be able to continue proactively investing in the very strong relationships that we have in China.  We chose the $60 million figure because that roughly is our exposure across the two colleges.  If demand had actually completely disappeared, we'd be "made whole" for that year.

-- Jeff Brown, dean of the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois, describing insurance that would be triggered in the event of a 20% drop in revenue from Chinese students at the Business and Engineering colleges in a single year as a result of a "specific set of identifiable events."  Tuition revenue from Chinese students makes up about a fifth of the business college's revenue. Times Higher Education, 29 November 2018

Friday, November 30, 2018

A Book With Many Pages

I do not mistrust the future; I do not fear what is ahead.  For our problems are large, but our heart is larger.  Our challenges are great, but our will is greater.  And if our flaws are endless, God's love is truly boundless.

Some see leadership as high drama, and the sound of trumpets calling, and sometimes it is that.  But I see history as a book with many pages, and each day we fill a page with acts of hopefulness and meaning.  The new breeze blows, a page turns, the story unfolds.  And so today a chapter begins, a small and stately story of unity, diversity, and generosity -- shared, and written, together.

-- George Herbert Walker Bush (12 June 1924 - 30 November 2018), American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States (1989–93), and the 43rd Vice President of the United States (1981–89), Inaugural Address, 20 January 1989

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Newton Was The One

I'm not smart.  I try to observe.  Millions saw the apple fall but Newton was the one who asked why.

-- Bernard Mannes Baruch (1870 - 1965), American financier, stock market speculator, statesman, and presidential advisor, New York Post (24 June 1965)

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Times That Were

The illusion that times that were are better than those that are, has probably pervaded all ages.

-- Horace Greeley (1811 - 1872), American editor of a leading newspaper, New York Tribune, a founder of the Liberal Republican Party, a reformer and a politician, as quoted in The American Conflict, A History of the Great Rebellion (1864)

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


This was an amazing, amazing day.  To be in the room when the data stops and to know how quiet it gets ... and then once the data comes back, the elation. ... Every milestone is something that happened 8 minutes ago.  It's already history.

-- NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on the agency's InSight Mars explorer, his first landing as head of the agency, at a news conference; because it takes more than eight minutes for light signals to travel 100 million miles to Earth, scientists have no control over the 7-minutes between entering the atmosphere and landing; Washington Post, 26 November 2018

Monday, November 26, 2018

Find The Punch

I wasn't in a mood to find the punch.

-- World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen, explaining why he offered challenging U.S. Grandmaster Fabiano Caruana a draw in Game 12 of the World Chess Championship; the players have reached a draw in all 12 scheduled games, triggering a series of rapid games Wednesday to determine the winner, 26 November 2018

Friday, November 23, 2018

Perverse Games

The relations between rhetoric and ethics are disturbing: the ease with which language can be twisted is worrisome, and the fact that our minds accept these perverse games so docilely is no less cause for concern.

-- Octavio Paz Lozano (1914 - 1998), poet, writer, diplomat, and winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first Mexican writer to become a Nobel Laureate, El mono gramatico (The Monkey Grammarian), ch. 4 (1974)

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving (Wednesday) I had the pleasure of hosting all 5 of my daughters, all 10 of my grandchildren, and 3 out of 4 sons-in-law, for a grand total of 20 people at my house for a traditional turkey dinner.  The farthest-travelled were my #3 daughter who rode the train from Louisiana to Champaign, and her husband who flew to Champaign from Boston, where he was working.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Reflect And Be Thankful

Thanksgiving is not an anachronism whose time is past.  It is much more than a holiday to celebrate a meal shared between the Pilgrims and Native Americans.  It is a time to reflect and be thankful for what we have -- not for what we cherish, desire or envy.

-- Theodore Anthony "Ted" Nugent (13 December 1948 -), American musician, singer, songwriter, hunter, and political activist, America Rocks (28 November 2002)

Monday, November 19, 2018

An Opinion

God is not the name of God, but an opinion about Him.

-- Pope Sixtus I (42–125), Bishop of Rome from c. 115 to his death c. 124, succeeding Pope Alexander I, The Ring (c. 120), attributed

Friday, November 16, 2018

Urban Conflagration

This is the kind of urban conflagration Americans thought they had banished in the early 20th century.  It's like watching measles or polio return.

-- Fire historian and Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Professor Stephen Pyne, writing for Slate about the California wildfires, 10 November 2018

Thursday, November 15, 2018

All The Evidence They Need

Most people think the world is out to get them, because they have all the evidence they need -- they don’t get enough of what they want.  But that doesn't make it so.

-- John Barnes (1957-), American science fiction author, Mother of Storms (1994) p. 104

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Not My Fill

I speak the truth, not my fill of it, but as much as I dare speak; and I dare to do so a little more as I grow old.

-- Michel de Montaigne (Michel Eyquem, lord of the manor of Montaigne, Dordogne) (1533 - 1592), influential French Renaissance writer, generally considered to be the inventor of the personal essay, Essais (1595) Book III, Ch. 2

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

No Reason

It's too bad I won't get to see all the illogical and pathetic reasons people will put in my mouth as to why I did it.  Fact is I had no reason to do it, and I just thought....(expletive), life is boring so why not?

I hope people call me insane (two smiley face emojis) would that just be a big ball of irony?  Yeah...  I'm insane, but the only thing you people do after these shootings is "hopes and prayers"... or "keep you in my thoughts".

Every time...and wonder why these keep happening... -- (two smiley face emojis).

-- Gunman David Long, in a series of Instagram posts made during his attack on the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, 7 November 2018, as reported by ABC News

Monday, November 12, 2018

RIP Stan Lee

Another definition of a hero is someone who is concerned about other people's well-being, and will go out of his or her way to help them -- even if there is no chance of a reward.  That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero.

-- Stan Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber,  28 December 1922 - 12 November 2018), American comic book writer, editor, producer, and publisher; editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics,

Friday, November 09, 2018

Twice As Far

For some reason troops can throw a live grenade twice as far as a practice one.

-- Leonard James, 1st Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, in an on-line discussion of military training, 9 November 2018

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Reason Alone

Reason alone does not suffice.

-- Carl Gustav Jung (1875 - 1961), Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology, The Undiscovered Self (1958) p. 98

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

I Am Submitting

Dear Mr. President,

At your request, I am submitting my resignation.

-- Jefferson B. Sessions III, Attorney General of the United States, in his resignation letter, 7 November 2018

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Instrument And Symbol

Vote, n. The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.

-- Ambrose Bierce (1842 - ~1914), American short story writer, journalist, and poet, The Devil's Dictionary (1948), p. 359. Originally published in 1906 as The Cynic's Word Book

Friday, November 02, 2018

It Will Haunt You

If you do anything useful it will haunt you forever after, and if you have a major success you get decades of hard manual labor -- meaning you have to work on the manual.

-- Bjarne Stroustrup (30 December 1950 -), computer scientist and creator of the C++ programming language, Google+ C++ QA Community Event with Bjarne Stroustrup, 20 August 2014

Thursday, November 01, 2018

How To Solve The World's Problems

The semiliterate on the next bar stool will tell you with absolute, arrogant assurance just how to solve the world's problems; while the scholar who has spent a lifetime studying their causes is not at all sure how to do this.

-- Edwin Thompson Jaynes (1922 - 1998), physicist and statistician, Probability Theory: The Logic of Science (2003)

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Genuine Courage

I think if human beings had genuine courage, they'd wear their costumes every day of the year, not just on Halloween.  Wouldn't life be more interesting that way?  And now that I think about it, why the heck don't they?  Who made the rule that everybody has to dress like sheep 364 days of the year?  Think of all the people you'd meet if they were in costume every day.  People would be so much easier to talk to -- like talking to dogs.

-- Douglas Coupland (1961-), Canadian fiction writer and cultural commentator, in The Gum Thief: A Novel, Bloomsbury Publishing USA, (2011) p. 23

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Born Or Naturalized

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.  No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

-- Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, proposed by Congress in 1863 and ratified in 1868

Monday, October 29, 2018

Screw Your Optics

HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people.

I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered.

Screw your optics, I'm going in.

-- Final post of Robert Bowers, @onedingo on Gab, who is accused of murdering 11 at the Tree Of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, in which he refers to a right-wing conspiracy theory regarding the so-called "immigrant caravan" now crossing Mexico and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, posted 2 hours before the shooting on 27 October 2018

Friday, October 26, 2018

Yi Dan

Tonight I was awarded my second-degree black belt (Yi Dan) in Tae Kwon Do after testing earlier this  month.

I was originally scheduled to take this test in February 2017, but I tore the ACL in my right knee two weeks before the test.  As a result, it was about 19 months before I was finally able to take the test.

Whew!  Glad to get that behind me.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Excess Value

The capitalist does not produce a commodity for its own sake, nor for the sake of its use value, or his personal consumption.  The product in which the capitalist is really interested is not the palpable product itself, but the excess value of the product over the value of the capital consumed by it.

-- Karl Marx (5 May 1818 - 14 March 1883), German political philosopher and economist, in Das Kapital (Capital: Critique of Political Economy), Volume III, edited by Friedrich Engels (1894), Chapter II, The Rate of Profit, p. 41

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Act Or Threats

[A]cts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America.

-- President Donald Trump, in a statement after explosive devices were mailed to a number of Democrats including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, 24 October 2018

Tuesday, October 23, 2018


The central issue is we're developing into a plutocracy.  We've got an enormous number of enormously rich people that have convinced themselves that they're rich because they're smart and constructive.  And they don't like government, and they don't like to pay taxes.

-- Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, in an interview with Andrew Sorkin, New York Times, 23 October 2018

Friday, October 19, 2018

What We Make

Life consists not simply in what heredity and environment do to us but in what we make out of what they do to us.

-- Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878 - 1969), American Baptist and Presbyterian minister, On Being a Real Person (1943)