Thursday, May 30, 2019

Total Sense

We are finite creatures.  Our lives are small and can only scientifically consider a small part of reality.  What's common for us is just a sliver of what's available.  We can only see so much of the electromagnetic spectrum.  We can only delve so deep into extensions of space.  Common sense applies to that which we can access.  But common sense is just that.  Common.  If total sense is what we want, we should be prepared to accept that we shouldn't call infinity weird or strange.  The results we've arrived at by accepting it are valid, true within the system we use to understand, measure, predict and order the universe.  Perhaps the system still needs perfecting, but at the end of day, history continues to show us that the universe isn't strange.  We are.

-- Michael Stevens (23 January 1986 -), American educator, public speaker, comedian, entertainer, editor, and Internet celebrity, "The Banach–Tarski Paradox", Vsauce, 31 July 2015

Wednesday, May 29, 2019


Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report.  It contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made.  We chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself.  And the report is my testimony.  I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.

And I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments, that there were multiple systemic efforts to interfere in our election.  And that allegation deserves the attention of every American.  Thank you.  Thank you for being here today.

-- Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in remarks to reporters at the Department of Justice, 29 May 2019

Friday, May 24, 2019

Theresa May Not

I am today announcing that I will resign as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party on Friday 7 June so that a successor can be chosen.

It is, and will always remain, a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit.

It will be for my successor to seek a way forward that honours the result of the referendum.

I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold - the second female prime minister but certainly not the last.

I do so with no ill-will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.

-- British Prime Minister Theresa May's statement, announcing her resignation, BBC News, 24 May 2019

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Lorem Ipsum

Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem.

Nor is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure.

-- Cicero (106 BC - 42 BC), Roman philosopher, De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum (On the Extremes of Good and Evil), sections 1.10.32–33 (first-century B.C.), translation by Harris Rackham (1914).  This text is believed closest to the placeholder text, beginning with the line "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit"

Wednesday, May 22, 2019


The kilogram has been officially redefined.  No longer is its mass equal to that of the special platinum-iridium alloy cylinder locked in a vault beneath a building in Paris.  Now it officially weighs the same as 1.4755214×10^40 photons, a type of elementary particle, with frequencies matching a cesium atomic clock.

-- Oliver Roeder, Significant Digits, 21 May 2019

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Not Fathomable

It is simply not fathomable that a Constitution that grants Congress the power to remove a president for reasons including criminal behavior would deny Congress the power to investigate him for unlawful conduct -- past or present -- even without formally opening an impeachment inquiry.

Congress plainly views itself as having sweeping authority to investigate illegal conduct of a president, before and after taking office.  This court is not prepared to roll back the tide of history. ...

Thus, it is not the court's role to decipher whether Congress's true purpose in pursuing an investigation is to aid legislation or something more sinister such as exacting political retribution.

-- U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta ruling in Trump v. Committee on Oversight and Reform that President Trump cannot block the committee's subpoena to Trump's accountant, Mazars, Esquire, 21 May 2019

Friday, May 17, 2019

Best Trvth Ever?

Betteridge's law (journalism):

An adage stating that any headline ending in a question mark can be correctly answered by the word "no".

-- Ian Betteridge, British technology journalist, "TechCrunch: Irresponsible Journalism", in Technovia‎ (23 February 2009)

Thursday, May 16, 2019

First Method

The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.

-- Niccolo Machiavelli (1469 - 1527), Italian political philosopher, historian, musician, poet, and playwright, The Prince, Chapter 22 (1513)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Too Far

I think Alabama has gone too far.  They've passed a law that would give a 99-year prison sentence to people who commit abortion, there's no exception for rape or incest.  It's an extreme law and they want to challenge Roe vs. Wade, but my humble view is that this is not the case we want to bring to the Supreme Court because I think this one will lose.

-- Televangelist Pat Robertson, reacting on his 700 Club platform to an Alabama law that makes it a felony to perform an abortion, 15 May 2019

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Magic Place

This is the school, isn't it.  The magic place?  The world.  Here.  And you don't realize it until you look.  Do you know the pictsies think this world is heaven?

-- Terence David John "Terry" Pratchett (1948 - 2015), English fantasy author, Discworld, The Wee Free Men (2003)

Monday, May 13, 2019

Spend The Afternoon

Spend the afternoon.  You can't take it with you.

-- Annie Dillard (30 April 1945-), American author, 1974 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for her non-fiction narrative Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (New York: Harper, 1974), 269

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Acts That Satisfy

Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice.

The Mueller report describes several acts that satisfy all of the elements for an obstruction charge: conduct that obstructed or attempted to obstruct the truth-finding process, as to which the evidence of corrupt intent and connection to pending proceedings is overwhelming.

In our system, every accused person is presumed innocent and it is always the government's burden to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.  But, to look at these facts and say that a prosecutor could not probably sustain a conviction for obstruction of justice -- the standard set out in Principles of Federal Prosecution -- runs counter to logic and our experience.

-- DOJ Alumni Statement, signed by 803 (and counting) former federal prosecutors, contesting the judgement of US Attorney General William Barr in his handling of the Mueller report, Washington Post, 6 May 2019

Monday, May 06, 2019

This Is Horse Racing

You know, as far as the win goes, it's bittersweet.  I would be lying if I said it was any different.  You always want to win with a clean trip and have everybody recognize the horse as the very good horse and for the great athlete that he is.  I think, due to the disqualification, probably some of that is diminished.  But this is horse racing.

-- Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, after winning the 2019 Kentucky Derby with Country House via the disqualification of Maximum Security, at Churchill Downs, 4 May 2019

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Faked Test Results

A metals manufacturer faked test results and provided faulty materials to NASA, causing more than $700 million in losses and two failed satellite launch missions, according to an investigation by the U.S. space agency. ...

The bad parts were used in the making of Taurus XL, a rocket that was supposed to deliver satellites studying the Earth's climate during missions carried out in 2009 and 2011.  The launch vehicle's fairing, a clamshell structure that carries the satellite as it travels through the atmosphere, didn't fully open, causing the unsuccessful launch, according to a statement from NASA.

"When testing results are altered and certifications are provided falsely, missions fail," said Jim Norman, director for launch services at NASA in Washington.

-- David Stringer in Bloomberg, 30 April 2019

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

In A Hurry

Never let your tattoo artist get in a hurry.

-- Don Appleman, to his youngest daughter, May 2019

[That's not my daughter's tattoo]