Friday, August 30, 2019

Window Instead Of A Door

We rarely recognize how wonderful it is that a person can traverse an entire lifetime without making a single really serious mistake -- like putting a fork in one's eye or using a window instead of a door.

-- Marvin Lee Minsky (1927 - 2016), American scientist in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), co-founder of MIT's AI laboratory, author of several texts on AI and philosophy, and winner of the 1969 Turing Award, The Society of Mind (1987)

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Those Who Achieve Great Things

It may seem a little crazy to walk directly into the line of fire... those who are willing, are those who achieve great things.

People say I’m crazy. I say thank you ;)


-- Jessi Combs, Race Car Driver and "Mythbusters" Host, writing on Twitter as @TheJessiCombs, 6:07pm 24 August 2019; Combs died Tuesday 27 August while attempting to break her own 2013 land speed record of 398 mph

Monday, August 26, 2019

Principled Objection

We've been fighting against an imperial presidency for five and a half years.  Every time we go to the floor and push back against an overreaching president, we get accused of being partisan at best and racist at worst.  When we do it against a Republican president, maybe people will see that it was a principled objection in the first place.  So we actually welcome that opportunity.  It might actually be fun, being a strict-constitutionalist congressman doing battle with a non-strict-constitutionalist Republican president.

-- Representative Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), in June 2016, after Trump had captured the nomination, as quoted by Jonathan Chait in the New York Intelligencer, 24 August 2019; Mulvaney is now President Trump's Acting Chief of Staff

Friday, August 23, 2019

Our Bigger Enemy

As usual, the Fed did NOTHING!  It is incredible that they can "speak" without knowing or asking what I am doing, which will be announced shortly.  We have a very strong dollar and a very weak Fed.  I will work "brilliantly" with both, and the U.S. will do great ...  My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, [Trump-appointed Federal Reserve Chairman] Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?

-- President Donald Trump, in a series of tweets that triggered an immediate drop of 375 points in the Dow Jones, which closed lower by over 600 points for the day, 9:57am 23 August 2019

Thursday, August 22, 2019


We are living in a time of trouble and bewilderment, in a time when none of us can foresee or foretell the future.  But surely it is in times like these, when so much that we cherish is threatened or in jeopardy, that we are impelled all the more to strengthen our inner resources, to turn to the things that have no news value because they will be the same to-morrow that they were to-day and yesterday -- the things that last, the things that the wisest, the most farseeing of our race and kind have been inspired to utter in forms that can inspire ourselves in turn.

-- Robert Laurence Binyon, CH (1869 - 1943) English poet, lecture on opening a new library at Sutton High School (24 September 1938) during the Munich crisis, as quoted in "Books As Source Of Inner Strength," The Times (26 September 1938), p. 19

Wednesday, August 21, 2019


Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them.

-- Laurence Johnston Peter (1919 - 1990), Canadian educator and management theorist, best known for having formulated the Peter Principle, Peter's Almanac (1982) entry for September 24

Tuesday, August 20, 2019


Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought.

-- Henry Graham Greene, OM, CH (1904 - 1991), prolific English novelist, playwright, short story writer, travel writer, and critic whose works explore the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world, "Freedom of Thought," speech accepting the Jerusalem Prize (6 April 1981)

Monday, August 19, 2019

RIP Peter Fonda

Part of my lifestyle you should all remember is having fun.  Being funny is a big part of it.  After all, if one is in tune, funny is the tune to play.  Giving laughter is more fun than giving advice.  Giving laughter while giving advice is the jackpot.

-- Peter Henry Fonda (23 February 1940 - 16 August 2019), American actor, director, and screenwriter; son of Henry Fonda, younger brother of Jane Fonda, and father of Bridget Fonda, autobiographical note on his official website; also quoted in "Peter Fonda, star of Easy Rider, dies aged 79" in BBC News (17 August 2019)

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Two Feet

They certainly are -- give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.

-- Ken Cuccinelli, acting head of Citizenship and Immigration Services, when asked, "Would you also agree that Emma Lazarus' words etched on the Statue of Liberty -- give me your tired, your poor -- are also part of the American ethos?" by Rachel Martin on NPR's Morning Edition, 13 August 2019

Tuesday, August 13, 2019


Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882), American philosopher, essayist, and poet, "Self-Reliance," Essays: First Series (1883), p. 52

Monday, August 12, 2019

The Way Things Are

Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.

-- Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht (1898 - 1956), commonly known as Bertolt Brecht, influential German Marxist dramatist, stage director, and poet of the 20th century, Bertolt Brecht, Poems 1913–1956

Friday, August 09, 2019

Mud Is Mud

Mud is mud.  But, obviously, mud isn't mud.  We've had chemists look at it.  We've had engineers look at it.  We've had scientists study it.  When you hand Pitcher A the ball, he says, "I love it."  You hand Pitcher B the ball, he says, "Too tacky."  When you hand Pitcher C the ball, he says, "Not tacky enough."  How do you win?

-- Rawlings' chief marketing officer, Mike Thompson, on attempts to develop a substance to replace natural mud for rubbing up baseballs before use, Sports Illustrated, 29 July 2019

From Sports Illustrated:

Mud is a family business; it has been for more than half a century. For decades, baseball's official rule book has required that every ball be rubbed before being used in a game.  [Jim] Bintliff's mud is the only substance allowed.  Originally marketed as "magic," it's just a little thicker than chocolate pudding -- a tiny dab is enough to remove the factory gloss from a new ball without mucking up the seams or getting the cover too filthy.  Equipment managers rub it on before every game, allowing pitchers to get a dependable grip.  The mud is found only along a short stretch of that tributary of the Delaware, with the precise location kept secret from everyone, including MLB.

In 2019, a can goes for $100 -- in keeping with inflation, plus a little extra -- and every team orders four.

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Real Monsters

[T]hose who choose not to empathise enable real monsters.  For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it, through our own apathy.

-- Joanne "Jo" Rowling (31 July 1965 -), British novelist, most famous for writing the Harry Potter series as J. K. Rowling, a pen name devised using her grandmother's name, "Kathleen" as a middle name; she has also written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.  Commencement address at Harvard University, 'The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination' (5 June 2008)

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Water Bears In Space

We chose them because they are special.  They are the toughest form of life we know of.  They can survive practically any planetary cataclysm.  They can survive in the vacuum of space, they can survive radiation.

-- Nova Spivack, co-founder of the Arch Mission Foundation, referring to tardigrades, aka "water bears", which were aboard an Israeli spacecraft and may have survived their crash onto the moon's surface in April 2019, via CNN, 7 August 2019

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

RIP Toni Morrison

It’s important, therefore, to know who the real enemy is, and to know the function, the very serious function of racism, which is distraction.  It keeps you from doing your work.  It keeps you explaining over and over again, your reason for being.  Somebody says you have no language and so you spend 20 years proving that you do.  Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is.  Somebody says that you have no art so you dredge that up.  Somebody says that you have no kingdoms and so you dredge that up.  None of that is necessary.  There will always be one more thing.

-- Toni Morrison (18 February 1931 - 5 August 2019), American writer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993, "A Humanist View", an address at the Portland State University Black Studies Center Public Dialogue on the American Dream Pt. 2 (30 May 1975)

Monday, August 05, 2019

What's Hard

Cloudflare's mission is to help build a better Internet. At some level firing 8chan as a customer is easy. They are uniquely lawless and that lawlessness has contributed to multiple horrific tragedies. Enough is enough.

What's hard is defining the policy that we can enforce transparently and consistently going forward. We, and other technology companies like us that enable the great parts of the Internet, have an obligation to help propose solutions to deal with the parts we're not proud of. That's our obligation and we're committed to it.

Unfortunately the action we take today won't fix hate online. It will almost certainly not even remove 8chan from the Internet. But it is the right thing to do. Hate online is a real issue.

Our whole Cloudflare team's thoughts are with the families grieving in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio this evening.

-- Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince in a blog post explaining Cloudflare's taking message board 8chan off the Internet in response to that site's popularity among domestic terrorists, including the shit-bag who on Saturday posted an anti-immigrant screed to 8chan, then murdered 22 in El Paso, 5 August 2019

Thursday, August 01, 2019


So the first thing that I'm going to do when I'm president is I'm going to Clorox the Oval Office.

-- Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) at the second night of the second Democratic Presidential Debate, 31 July 2019