Friday, May 29, 2020

Certain Injustices

There are certain injustices in this life you've got to do something about.  You can't just say that you can't fight it, or it's too much trouble, or that you don't have the time or the effort, or that you can't win.  Forget all that.  Fight them all!

-- Harlan Jay Ellison (1934 - 2018), American author and media critic, profile in Autograph Magazine (2 January 2010)

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Waste No More Time

Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be.  Be one.

-- 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), Book X

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Not As It Should Be

 11,137 - April 6
 20,814 - April 11
 30.087 - April 14
 41,179 - April 19
 50,359 - April 23
 61,594 - April 29
 72,204 - May 5
 80,504 - May 10
 90,482 - May 17
101,850 - May 27 

This is *not* something I want to get used to.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020


There is no education which one can get from books and costly apparatus that is equal to that which can be gotten from contact with great men and women.

-- Booker Taliaferro Washington (1856 - 1915), American political leader, educator, and author of African ancestry, most famous for his tenure as President of Tuskegee University (1880-1915), Up From Slavery: An Autobiography (1901)

This quote was included in an email I received today from the UI Provost, discussing the university's hope to return to on-campus instruction in the fall.

Monday, May 25, 2020

272 Sincere Words

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.  Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.  We are met on a great battle-field of that war.  We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.  It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.  But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow, this ground.  The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.  The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.  It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.  It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

-- Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865), 16th President of the United States, address at the dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetery at Gettysburg (19 November 1863)

Friday, May 22, 2020

American Dream

Obviously, I believe that to pursue the American Dream is not only futile but self-destructive because ultimately it destroys everything and everyone involved with it.  By definition it must, because it nurtures everything except those things that are important: integrity, ethics, truth, our very heart and soul.  Why?  The reason is simple: because Life/life is giving, not getting.

-- Hubert "Cubby" Selby, Jr. (1928 - 2004), 20th Century American writer, Requiem for a Dream (1978)

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Impetuosity And Inertia

At least half of my life's many mistakes can be safely put down to impetuosity: the other half derive from inertia.

-- Donald James (1931 - 2008), aka Donald James Wheal, British author and screenwriter, Vadim

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Done Or Left Undone

An idealist believes the short run doesn't count.  A cynic believes the long run doesn't matter.  A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run.

-- Sydney J. Harris (1917 - 1986), syndicated essayist and drama critic, Reader's Digest (May 1979)

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Obsessed With Magic Bullets

But punishing the [CDC] by marginalising and hobbling it is not the solution.  The Administration is obsessed with magic bullets -- vaccines, new medicines, or a hope that the virus will simply disappear.  But only a steadfast reliance on basic public health principles, like test, trace, and isolate, will see the emergency brought to an end, and this requires an effective national public health agency.  The CDC needs a director who can provide leadership without the threat of being silenced and who has the technical capacity to lead today's complicated effort.

The Trump administration's further erosion of the CDC will harm global cooperation in science and public health, as it is trying to do by defunding WHO.  A strong CDC is needed to respond to public health threats, both domestic and international, and to help prevent the next inevitable pandemic.  Americans must put a president in the White House come January, 2021, who will understand that public health should not be guided by partisan politics.

-- Editorial published in The Lancet, "Reviving the US CDC", 16 May 2020

Monday, May 18, 2020

Taking The Zinc And The Hydroxy

A lot of people to take it a lot of frontline workers are taking hydroxychloroquine.  So, I'm taking the zinc and the hydroxy.  And all I can tell you is, so far I seem to be okay.

And it seems to have an impact -- and maybe it does, maybe it doesn't -- but if it doesn't, you're not going to get sick or die.  This is a, a pill that's been used for a long time for 30, 40 years on the malaria and or lupus to, and even on arthritis I guess from what I understand, so it's been heavily tested ....  What do you have to lose?

-- President Trump, speaking to reporters about his use of hydroxychloroquine, ABC News, 18 May 2020

Friday, May 15, 2020

The Best Of Times, The Worst Of Times

If we judge by wealth and power, our times are the best of times; if the times have made us willing to judge by wealth and power, they are the worst of times.

-- Randall Jarrell (1914 - 1965), American poet, novelist, critic, children's book author and essayist, "The Taste of the Age," The Saturday Evening Post (26 July 1958), p. 290

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Last Window

Congressman, I'll never forget the emails I received from him from Mike Bowen indicating that are our mask supplier, N95 respiratory supplier, was completely decimated.  He said, "We're in deep shit, the world is, and we need to act." I pushed that forward to the highest levels I could in HHS and got no response.  From that moment I knew that we were going to have a crisis for our healthcare workers because we were not taking action.  We were already behind the ball.  That was our last window of opportunity to turn on that production, to save the lives of those healthcare workers and we didn't act.

-- Dr. Rick Bright, former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, testifying before Congress about a moment in January when he realized the federal government was failing to respond appropriately to covid-19, 14 May 2020

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Bridge

The bridge between knowledge and skill is repetition. The bridge between skill and mastery is time.

-- Unattributed, heard on the Whistlekick Martials Arts podcast, episode 500 "What Advice Would You Give Martial Artists 100 Years from Now?" 11 May 2020

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

We Are Not Ready

We'll be ready to re-open when bus drivers can tell riders to wear a mask and not get spit upon.
We'll be ready when McDonalds workers can say the dining room is closed without being shot.
We'll be ready when park rangers can ask people to social distance without being shoved in a lake.
We'll be ready store employees can ask people to wear a mask before entering without being killed.
We'll be ready when we can show we can listen and follow safety guidelines.
I don't know when the virus will be ready for us to re-open but clearly we are not ready.
Freedom is a responsibility not just an unearned privilege to do as we please.
We are acting like a bunch of spoiled whiny brats who are more than willing to hurt others and put others at risk.
We’ll be ready when we treat each other with love and respect.
We are not ready.

-- Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker, pastor serving at Derry Presbyterian Church in Hershey, PA, on Facebook, 7 May 2020

Monday, May 11, 2020

RIP Little Richard

Wop-bop-a-loo-mop alop-bom-bom!
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, woo!
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Awop-bop-a-loo-mop alop-bom-bom!

-- Richard Wayne Penniman (5 December 1932 - 9 May 2020), known by the stage name Little Richard; American singer, songwriter and pianist, whose hits in the mid-1950s were defining moments in the development of rock and roll, "Tutti Frutti", co-written with Dorothy LaBostrie and Joe Lubin, Here's Little Richard (1957)

Friday, May 08, 2020

Great Puzzle

How queer everything is to-day!  And yesterday things went on just as usual.  I wonder if I've been changed in the night?  Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning?  I almost think I can remember feeling a little different.  But if I'm not the same, the next question is, "Who in the world am I?"  Ah, that's the great puzzle!

-- Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832 - 1898), British author and mathematician, writing as Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland (1865), chapter 2; reprinted in Logical Nonsense: The Works of Lewis Carroll (1934), p. 177

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Security For Happiness

You shall not, for the sake of one individual, change the meaning of principle and integrity, nor endeavour to persuade yourself or me, that selfishness is prudence, and insensibility of danger security for happiness.

-- Jane Austen (1775 - 1817), English novelist who recorded the domestic manners of the landed gentry, Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 24

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Poke Holes In This

Someone poke holes in this scenario: we keep losing 1-2k a day to coronavirus.  People get used to it.  We get less vigilant as it very slowly spreads.  By December we're close to normal, but still losing 1500 a day, and as we tick past 300,000 dead, most people aren't concerned.

-- Eric Nelson posting as @literaryeric on Twitter, 1 May 2020

Tuesday, May 05, 2020


Today's date can be made with only four 9-segment displays and a mirror

-- u/repsaj99, posting in r/mildlyinteresting, on Reddit

I'll note that today is also my birthday.  I took the day off of work to stay home, make chili, and read a book.  In the afternoon the kids and grandkids came by and decorated the outside of the house with posters and balloons.  And in the evening we gathered on Zoom for the singing of Happy Birthday.

Monday, May 04, 2020

Essential Powerful Tools

In this type of testing we need to remember a few things.  First, let us remember we have faced times of testing before.  Following 9-11 I saw a great nation rise as one to honor the brave, to grieve with the grieving and to embrace unavoidable new duties, and I have no doubt, none at all, that this spirit of service and sacrifice is alive and well in America.  Second, let us remember that empathy and simple kindness are essential powerful tools of national recovery.  Even at an appropriate social distance, we can find ways to be present in the lives of others, to ease their anxiety and share their burdens.  Third, let’s remember that the suffering we experience as a nation does not fall evenly.  In the days to come it will be especially important to care in practical ways for the elderly, the ill and the unemployed.  Finally, let us remember how small our differences are in the face of this shared threat.  In the final analysis, we are not partisan combatants, we are human beings, equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of God.  We rise or fall together and we are determined to rise.  God bless you all.

-- Former President George W. Bush, in a video with a message on coronavirus, released by his Presidential Library, 2 May 2020

Friday, May 01, 2020

Yet The Same

We're all leading lives that are different and yet the same.

-- Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank (1929 - 1945) German-Dutch diarist of Jewish origin, The Diary of a Young Girl (1942 - 1944), 6 July 1944