Thursday, March 30, 2023

Had Any Fun?

We have sought truth, and sometimes perhaps found it.  But have we had any fun?

-- Benjamin Jowett (1817 - 1893), theologian and classical scholar who became one of the great public figures of Victorian England; Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford from 1855, Master of Balliol College, Oxford from 1870, and Vice-Chancellor of the university from 1882, as quoted in Notebooks (1984) by Geoffrey Madan, p. 61

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Exercising Excellence

Happiness comes from the full use of one's power to achieve excellence.  Life is potentially an empty hole, and there are few more satisfying ways of filling it than achieving and exercising excellence.

-- Hyman George Rickover (1900 - 1986), United States Navy admiral known as the "Father of the Nuclear Navy", Thoughts on Man's Purpose in Life (1974)

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Use Them To Battle

Let us pray.  Eternal God, we stand in awe of You.  Lord, when babies die at a church school, it is time for us to move beyond thoughts and prayers.  Remind our lawmakers of the words of Edmond Burke: All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.  Lord, deliver our Senators from the paralysis of analysis that waits for the miraculous.  Use them to battle the demonic forces that seek to engulf us.  We pray in Your powerful name.  Amen.

-- Chaplain Barry Clayton Black, 62nd chaplain of the United States Senate (27 June 2003 -) in his opening prayer, 28 March 2023

Monday, March 27, 2023

RIP Gordon Moore

The complexity for minimum component costs has increased at a rate of roughly a factor of two per year.  Certainly over the short term this rate can be expected to continue, if not to increase.  Over the longer term, the rate of increase is a bit more uncertain, although there is no reason to believe it will not remain nearly constant for at least 10 years.

-- Gordon Earle Moore (3 January 1929 - 24 March 2023), co-founder of Intel Corporation, first writing about Moore's Law (which has held for 50 years) in Electronics Magazine, "Cramming more components onto integrated circuits" (19 April 1965)

Friday, March 24, 2023

On Those Days

On those days,
when you miss someone the most,

as though your memories,
are sharp enough,
to slice through skin and bone,

remember how they loved you.

Remember how they loved you,
and do that,
for yourself.

In their name,
in their honour.

Love yourself,
as they loved you.

They would like that.

On those days when you miss someone the most,
love yourself harder.

-- Donna Ashworth, poem "On Those Days", from the book "Loss" (2023) (h/t Alyssa)

Thursday, March 23, 2023

You Will Be Tomorrow

You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.  You cannot escape the result of your thoughts, but you can endure and learn, can accept and be glad.

-- James Allen (1864 - 1912), British philosophical writer known for his inspirational books and poetry, Above Life’s Turmoil (1910)

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Deep Learning

Deep learning takes data points and turns them into a query-able structure that enables retrieval and interpolation between the points.

You could think of it as a continuous generalization of database technology.

-- François Chollet, deep learning @google, posting as @fchollet on Twitter, 26 August 2022 (h/t Grady Booch)

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Be Really

What you seem to be, be really.

-- Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790), Poor Richard's Almanack, 1744

Monday, March 20, 2023


Tonight I enjoyed a concert by the band Journey at State Farm Center at the University of Illinois.  They are on their Freedom Tour (with very special guest Toto), celebrating their 50th anniversary.  I was late to the gig, so sadly I missed Toto and saw only Journey.

I recall seeing them at that same venue (then called Assembly Hall) in the early 1980s -- a quick Googling suggests it was likely May 1st, 1980.  Neal Schon clearly had a good time tonight laying down guitar, and Arnel Pineda is very impressive on lead vocals.  Good stuff.

Friday, March 17, 2023

ICC Arrest Warrants

Today, 17 March 2023, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "the Court") issued warrants of arrest for two individuals in the context of the situation in Ukraine: Mr Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Ms Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova.

Mr Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, born on 7 October 1952, President of the Russian Federation, is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation (under articles 8(2)(a)(vii) and 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute).  The crimes were allegedly committed in Ukrainian occupied territory at least from 24 February 2022.

[T]he Chamber considered that it is in the interests of justice to authorise the Registry to publicly disclose the existence of the warrants, the name of the suspects, the crimes for which the warrants are issued, and the modes of liability as established by the Chamber.

-- International Criminal Court, in a press release, "Situation in Ukraine: ICC judges issue arrest warrants against Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova", 17 March 2023

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Charm Us

Charm us, orator, till the lion look no larger than the cat.

-- Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson (1809 - 1892), Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom during much of Queen Victoria's reign, after William Wordsworth, Locksley Hall Sixty Years After (1886), line 112

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

No Longer Count

You know you're an adult when you can look back and no longer count all of your mistakes.

-- Walter Crawford Kelly, Jr. (1913 - 1973), American animator and cartoonist, usually known simply as Walt Kelly, most famous for the comic strip Pogo

Tuesday, March 14, 2023


While fifty-one per cent of the people have their eyes on the goal of integrity, our investments are secure; but with fifty-one per cent of them headed in the wrong direction, our investments are valueless.  The first fundamental of prosperity is Integrity.

-- Roger Ward Babson (1875 - 1967), American entrepreneur, economist, and business theorist, Fundamentals of Prosperity (1920) p. 12

Monday, March 13, 2023


When we say people are delusional, it's because their delusions differ from ours.

-- Nina Paley (3 May 1968 -), American cartoonist, animator, and free culture activist, most famous for her film Sita Sings The Blues, tweeting as @ninapaley, 9 March 2023

Friday, March 10, 2023

Method Of Treatment

When executing exercises from 72 Arts, the main point is peace of mind and concentration.  It is necessary to give up extraneous thoughts, not allow an outside evil (distracting factors) intrude (into your mind), and shun inner (thoughts).  The method of treatment of internal organs consists in harmonizing them.  Then the sick will cure his disease and the healthy will make his body and nervous system stronger.  The heart should be pure, it is necessary to foster high moral qualities, it is necessary to form clearness of purpose.  If after that you engage in Gong Fu, you will get excellent result.

-- Jin Jing Zhong, Andrew Timofeevich, Authentic Shaolin Heritage: Training Methods of 72 Arts of Shaolin, "72 Kinds of Shaolin Martial Art and Man's Internal Organs" (1934) p. 48

Thursday, March 09, 2023

Nature's Little Way

Pain is just Mother Nature's little way of telling you not to do something again in a way you'll remember.

-- Tim Huntley, One on Me (1980), Chapter 11

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

The Moment You Believe

Another person will not hurt you without your cooperation; you are hurt the moment you believe yourself to be.

-- Epictetus (c. 55 - c. 135 AD), born a slave, Greek Stoic philosopher.  The name given by his parents, if one was given, is not known.  The word epiktetos in Greek simply means "acquired", The Discourses of Epictetus, with the Encheridion and Fragments, Enchiridion 30 (c. 125 CE), h/t Evan Restivo

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Alone In A Room

You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.

-- Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904 - 1991), best known as Dr Seuss, American children's author, political cartoonist, illustrator, and poet, on becoming a writer, NY Times (21 May 1986)

Monday, March 06, 2023

Conservation And Sustainable Use

General objective -- The objective of this Agreement is to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, for the present and in the long term, through effective implementation of the relevant provisions of the Convention and further international cooperation and coordination. 

-- United Nations Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction, Draft agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 5 March 2023

Friday, March 03, 2023

Proper Method

The proper method for hastening the decay of error is not by brute force, or by regulation which is one of the classes of force, to endeavour to reduce men to intellectual uniformity; but on the contrary by teaching every man to think for himself.

-- William Godwin (1756 - 1836), English journalist and political philosopher, Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793) Vol. 2, bk. 8, ch. 6

Thursday, March 02, 2023

The Democratic Principle

I'm all in favor of the democratic principle that one idiot is as good as one genius, but I draw the line when someone takes the next step and concludes that two idiots are better than one genius.

-- Leo Szilard (1898 - 1964), Hungarian-American physicist, as quoted in "Some Szilardisms on War, Fame, Peace", LIFE‎ magazine, Vol. 51, no. 9 (1 September 1961), p. 79

Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Dark Side Of The Moon

On 1 March 1973, a new moon rose over rock music.  Immersive, quadrophonic, celestial and deeply introspective, Pink Floyd's eighth album arrived in a heady flurry of cash tills, chiming clocks, pained-angel arias and cold, disembodied voices speaking of violence, death and insanity.  [T]he Floyd delved into the dark universe of humanity's inner space; into the stresses and horrors of everyday life that daily push us all to the brink.  A record as relatable as it was cosmic, as melodic on the topics of "Time" and "Money" as it was climactic on the themes of war, division and madness, The Dark Side of the Moon set a new standard for high-concept intellectual rock.  Forty-five million prism-clad units later, it remains the fourth best-selling record ever made.

-- Mark Beaumont, "'Sublime menace and sonic enormity': Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon at 50", The Independent, 1 March 2023

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

But One Coward

Finally, the necessity must again be emphasized of keeping clearly before students the object of all science, amid the turmoil and intense feeling that clouds the discussion of a burning social question.  We live in a day when in spite of the brilliant accomplishments of a remarkable century, there is current much flippant criticism of scientific work; when the truth-seeker is too often pictured as devoid of human sympathy, and careless of human ideals.  We are still prone in spite of all our culture to sneer at the heroism of the laboratory while we cheer the swagger of the street broil.  At such a time true lovers of humanity can only hold higher the pure ideals of science, and continue to insist that if we would solve a problem we must study it, and that there is but one coward on earth, and that is the coward that dare not know.

-- William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868 - 1963), American civil rights activist, sociologist, and educator, The Study of the Negro Problems, paragraph 51, in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. XI (January 1898)

Monday, February 27, 2023

Only Ones

If you're in trouble or hurt or need -- go to poor people.  They're the only ones that'll help -- the only ones.

-- John Ernst Steinbeck Jr. (27 February 1902 - 20 December 1968), American writer, 1962 Nobel Laureate in Literature, The Grapes of Wrath (1939), Ma Joad, p. 376

Friday, February 24, 2023

Not Experts

We're a court.  We really don't know about these things.  You know, these are not like the nine greatest experts on the internet.

-- Associate Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, during oral arguments on Gonzalez v. Google, which challenges Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, 21 February 2023

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Extreme Rashness

It always seems to me extreme rashness on the part of some when they want to make human abilities the measure of what nature can do.  On the contrary, there is not a single effect in nature, even the least that exists, such that the most ingenious theorists can arrive at a complete understanding of it.  This vain presumption of understanding everything can have no other basis than never understanding anything.  For anyone who had experienced just once the perfect understanding of one single thing, and had truly tasted how knowledge is accomplished, would recognize that of the infinity of other truths he understands nothing.

-- Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de' Galilei (1564 - 1642), Italian astronomer, physicist, and mathematician, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632)

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Buster Brown

Sadly, Father Time caught up with Buster today.  My youngest daughter, Alyssa, and I had to bid him farewell.

Alyssa received her Buster Brown, a dachshund, for her fifteenth birthday 9 1/2 years ago, when he was reportedly already 8 years old.  He had been neglected in his early years, and was happy to make himself comfortable as a part of our family.  

In recent years he lost much of his eyesight and hearing.  He was always happy, as long as he had a person to rest against on the couch.  Today marked the end of an amazing 17-year run.

I'll catch you on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, Buster.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter

After a series of short hospital stays, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter today decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention.  He has the full support of his family and his medical team.  The Carter family asks for privacy during this time and is grateful for the concern shown by his many admirers.

-- The Carter Center, Statement on President Carter’s Health, 18 February 2023

Friday, February 17, 2023


I don't believe in astrology; I'm a Sagittarius and we're skeptical.

-- Sir Arthur Charles Clarke (1917 - 2008), British author, inventor, and futurist, "Sir Arthur's Quotes", The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Looking Back

Looking back on things, the view always improves.

-- Walter Crawford Kelly, Jr. (1913 - 1973), American animator and cartoonist, usually known simply as Walt Kelly, most famous for the comic strip Pogo, Impollutable Pogo (1970)

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

A Consequential Difference

David Brooks: My thinking about the G.O.P. goes back to a brunch I had with Laura Ingraham and Dinesh D'Souza in the '80s that helps me see, in retrospect, that people in my circle were pro-conservative, while Ingraham and D'Souza and people in their circle were anti-left.  We wanted to champion Edmund Burke and Adam Smith and a Reaganite foreign policy.  They wanted to rock the establishment.  That turned out to be a consequential difference because almost all the people in my circle back then -- like David Frum and Robert Kagan -- ended up, decades later, NeverTrumpers, and almost all the people in their circle became Trumpers or went bonkers.

Bret: Right, they weren't conservatives.  They were just illiberal.

-- Bret Stephens and David Brooks, "The Party’s Over for Us. Where Do We Go Now?", New York Times (11 January 2023)

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Look At Them Each Time

I really do not want my pictures in your offices, for the President is not an icon, an idol or a portrait.  Hang your kids' photos instead, and look at them each time you are making a decision.

-- Volodymyr Zelenskyy (1978 -), in his Inaugural Address as President of Ukraine, 20 May 2019

Monday, February 13, 2023

Passion And Desire

When others blame thee, blame them not; when others are angry at thee, return not anger.  Joy cometh only as Passion and Desire part.

-- Kumazawa Banzan (1619 - 1691), Japanese Confucian, as quoted in Bushido, The Soul of Japan by Inazo Nitobi (1899), "Honor"

Friday, February 10, 2023

Religion Or Policy

Your honesty is not to be based either on religion or policy.  Both your religion and policy must be based on it.  

-- John Ruskin (1819 - 1900), English author, poet, and painter, Time and Tide (1867), Letter VIII: Things Written, section 330

Thursday, February 09, 2023

RIP Burt Bacharach

Raindrops are fallin' on my head
And just like the guy whose feet
Are too big for his bed
Nothin' seems to fit
Those raindrops are fallin' on my head
They keep fallin'

So I just did me some talkin' to the sun
And I said I didn't like
The way he got things done
Sleepin' on the job
Those raindrops are fallin' on my head
They keep fallin'

But there's one thing I know
The blues they send to meet me
Won't defeat me
It won't be long 'til happiness
Steps up to greet me

-- Burt Bacharach (12 May 1928 - 8 February 2023), American composer, songwriter, and pianist, Academy Award-winning "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" (1969, with Hal David)

Wednesday, February 08, 2023

Love The Game

First, the facts: LeBron James passed my scoring record and now is the leading scorer in NBA history.  It takes unbelievable drive, dedication, and talent to survive in the NBA long enough to rack up that number of points when the average NBA career lasts only 4.5 years.  It's not just about putting the ball through the hoop, it's about staying healthy and skilled enough to climb the steep mountain in ever-thinning oxygen over many years when most other players have tapped out.

It's also about making sure your team gets their moments to shine and thrive and pursue their own greatness.  A record is nothing if you used other players' careers as stepping stones just for self-aggrandizement.  For me, I strove to play at the highest level I could in order to be a good teammate. The points -- and the record -- were simply a by-product of that philosophy.

I think LeBron has the same philosophy.

Bottom line about LeBron and me: LeBron makes me love the game again.  And he makes me proud to be part of an ever-widening group of athletes who actively care about their community.

-- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (16 April 1947 -), "What I Think About LeBron Breaking My NBA Scoring Record", SubStack, 8 February 2023

Tuesday, February 07, 2023

We Are Not Bystanders

My fellow Americans, we meet tonight at an inflection point.  One of those moments that only a few generations ever face, where the decisions we make now will decide the course of this nation and of the world for decades to come.

We are not bystanders to history.  We are not powerless before the forces that confront us.  It is within our power, of We the People. We are facing the test of our time and the time for choosing is at hand.

We must be the nation we have always been at our best.  Optimistic.  Hopeful.  Forward-looking.

A nation that embraces, light over darkness, hope over fear, unity over division.  Stability over chaos.

We must see each other not as enemies, but as fellow Americans.  We are a good people, the only nation in the world built on an idea.

That all of us, every one of us, is created equal in the image of God.  A nation that stands as a beacon to the world.  A nation in a new age of possibilities.

Because the soul of this nation is strong, because the backbone of this nation is strong, because the people of this nation are strong, the State of the Union is strong.

-- President Joe Biden, State of the Union Address, 7 February 2023

Monday, February 06, 2023

Hurry History?

A wise man does not try to hurry history.  Many wars have been avoided by patience and many have been precipitated by reckless haste.

-- Adlai Ewing Stevenson II (1900 - 1965), American politician and statesman, Speeches of Adlai Stevenson (1952), p. 39

Friday, February 03, 2023

Art Of Persistence

The art of love is largely the art of persistence.

-- Albert Ellis (1913 - 2007), American psychologist and psychotherapist

Thursday, February 02, 2023

Just Another Step

When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope.  Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life.  But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.

-- Bill Murray as Phil Connors in the movie Groundhog Day (1993), written by Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

The Heaven Of Animals

Here they are.  The soft eyes open.   
If they have lived in a wood
It is a wood.
If they have lived on plains
It is grass rolling
Under their feet forever.

To match them, the landscape flowers,   
Outdoing, desperately
Outdoing what is required:
The richest wood,
The deepest field.

-- James Lafayette Dickey (2 February 1923 - 19 January 1997), popular American poet and novelist, appointed eighteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1966, "The Heaven of Animals" from The Whole Motion: Collected Poems 1945-1992

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Queen Of The Skies

If you love this business, you've been dreading this moment.  Nobody wants a four-engine airliner anymore, but that doesn't erase the tremendous contribution the aircraft made to the development of the industry or its remarkable legacy.

-- Aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia, as Boeing delivers its final 747 jumbo jet, #1547, as quoted by Gene Johnson, USA Today, 31 January 2023

Monday, January 30, 2023

Im See

Im See                        In The Lake

Heute ist das Wetter warm,          Today the weather is warm,
heute kann's nicht schaden,         today it can't hurt,
schnell hinunter an den See,        quickly down to the lake,
heute gehn wir baden!               Today we go swimming!

Eins, zwei, drei -- die Hosen aus,  One, two, three -- pants off,
Stiefel, Wams und Wäsche!           Boots, doublet and underwear!
Und dann -- plumps ins Wasser rein! And then -- plop into the water
Gerade wie die Frösche!             Just like the frogs!

Und der schönste Sonnenschein       And the most beautiful sunshine
brennt uns nach dem Bade            burns us after the bath,
Brust und Buckel knusperbraun,      breast and hump crispy brown,
braun wie Schokolade!               brown like chocolate!

-- Adolf Holst (1867 - 1945), German educator, author, and publisher of children's books, quoted in German How To Speak And Write It by Joseph Rosenberg (1960)

[Early in my 5 years of high school German, the first poem I memorized auf Deutsch was the above, ca. ~1974.  I still remembered good chunks, but not nearly all of it.]

Friday, January 27, 2023

Nothing More Certain

Age may have one side, but assuredly Youth has the other.  There is nothing more certain than that both are right, except perhaps that both are wrong.

-- Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894), Scottish novelist and poet, "Crabbed Age and Youth" (1878), Virginibus Puerisque, II 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

A Good Action

It is the mark of a good action that it appears inevitable in the retrospect.

-- Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894), Scottish novelist and poet, "Reflections and Remarks on Human Life", VI: Right and Wrong, published in Works: Letters and Miscellanies of Robert Louis Stevenson -- Sketches, Criticisms, Etc. (1895), p. 628

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

The Swing

How do you like to go up in a swing,
   Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
   Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
   Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
   Over the countryside --

Till I look down on the garden green,
   Down on the roof so brown --
Up in the air I go flying again,
   Up in the air and down!

-- Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894), Scottish novelist and poet, "The Swing" from A Child's Garden of Verses (1885)

[I received this collection of poetry as a gift on 16 September 1968.  When I had a school assignment to memorize a poem, this is the poem I chose.  When I pulled the book off the shelf just now, I found a bookmark on this page.]

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Our Last Cruise

Old and young, we are all on our last cruise.

-- Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894), Scottish novelist and poet, "Crabbed Age and Youth" (1878), Virginibus Puerisque, II 

Monday, January 23, 2023

The Cruelest Lies

The cruelest lies are often told in silence.

-- Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894), Scottish novelist and poet, Truth of Intercourse

Friday, January 20, 2023

Nothing So Strange

There is nothing so powerful as truth -- and often nothing so strange.

-- Daniel Webster (1782 - 1852), United States Senator and Secretary of State, famed for his ability as an orator, Argument on the murder of Captain White (1830)