Friday, July 28, 2023

It Worked

It worked!

-- Julius Robert Oppenheimer (1904 - 1967), American physicist and scientific director of the Manhattan Project, exclamation after the Trinity atomic bomb test (16 July 1945), according to his brother Frank Oppenheimer in the documentary The Day After Trinity

Thursday, July 27, 2023


We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.

-- Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983), American writer on social and political philosophy, The Passionate State Of Mind, and Other Aphorisms (1955) Section 70

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

A Fair Question

Who am I to talk?  That's a fair question, and one which deserves a better answer than I can give you.

-- Grace Allen (1895 [year uncertain] - 1964), American comedian, actress, singer, dancer; and the comedic partner and wife of George Burns, How to Become President (1940) Ch. 1 : Government jobs pay big money

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Emmett Till And Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by section 320301 of title 54, United States Code, hereby proclaim, set apart, and reserve as the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument (monument), the objects identified above and all lands and interests in lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States within the boundaries described on the accompanying maps entitled "Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument Boundary," which are attached to and form a part of this proclamation, for the purpose of protecting those objects.   The reserved Federal lands and interests in lands within the monument's boundaries encompass approximately 5.7 acres, which is the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected.

-- Proclamation on Establishment of the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument, enacted on what would have been Emmett Till's 82nd birthday, 25 July 2023

Monday, July 24, 2023

I'm Happy

Tadej Pogacar is the best rider in the world.  He can do everything: the classics, the one-week races, the Grand Tours.  Not me.  On the Tour de France, I'm happy to have been the best for the past two years.

-- Jonas Vingegaard (10 December 1996 -), Danish professional cyclist who rides for UCI WorldTeam Team Jumbo-Visma, after winning the Tour de France for the second year in a row, referring to Slovenian cyclist Tadej Pogacar, who came second both years after winning in 2020 and 2021, 23 July 2023

Friday, July 21, 2023

You Can't Always

You can't always explain everything you do to everybody, you know.

-- Robert Fulghum (4 June 1937 -), American author, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (1986)

Thursday, July 20, 2023


The whole art of politics consists in directing rationally the irrationalities of men.

-- Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr (1892 - 1971), American Protestant theologian most famous for his efforts to relate the Christian faith to the realities of politics and diplomacy. as quoted in his obituary in The New York Times (2 June 1971)

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Education Is

Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.

-- Burrhus Frederic Skinner (1904 - 1990), American behaviorist, and social philosopher, "New methods and new aims in teaching", in New Scientist, 22(392) (21 May 1964), pp.483-4

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

I'd Rather Be Silly

The world may be utterly crazy
   And life may be labour in vain;
But I'd rather be silly than lazy,
   And would not quit life for its pain.

-- James Clerk Maxwell (1831 - 1879), Scottish mathematical physicist, who formulated the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation, bringing together for the first time electricity, magnetism, and light as manifestations of the same phenomenon, Quotations from The Life of James Clerk Maxwell (1882) by Lewis Campbell and William Garnett, Part III Poems, Tune, Il Segreto per esser felice (24 March 1858)

Monday, July 17, 2023

By The Other, Virtue

Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body.  As by the one, health is preserved, strengthened, and invigorated: by the other, virtue (which is the health of the mind) is kept alive, cherished, and confirmed.

-- Joseph Addison (1672 - 1719), English politician and writer, The Tatler (1711–1714) No. 147

Friday, July 14, 2023

It Is What It Is

May it please milord Hero, the world is not what we wish it to be.  It is what it is.  No, I have over-assumed.  Perhaps it is indeed what we wish it to be.  Either way, it is what it is.

-- Robert Anson Heinlein (1907 - 1988) popular and influential author of science fiction, Glory Road (1963), Star, Empress of the 20 Universes, Ch. 10

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Three Dog Night

Tonight I enjoyed a concert by Three Dog Night at Champaign's Virginia Theater.  Despite now being in their 70s and 80s, they put on a great show.  The three vocalists fronting the group tonight were Danny Hutton, David Morgan, and Paul Kingery, along with Timothy Hutton on bass, Pat Bautz on drums, and Howard Laravea on keyboards.

All of the songs played tonight were Top 40 hits, and they mentioned that they had a run of 21 consecutive singles that made it into the Top 40.  It was good to see them having a good time, and the music took me back to junior high.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

RIP Milan Kundera

We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come.

-- Milan Kundera (1 April 1929 - 11 July 2023), Franco-Czech novelist born in Brno, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic), The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984) Part One: Lightness and Weight

Tuesday, July 11, 2023


Couplets of organic matter capped by calcite precipitated each summer in alkaline surface waters of Crawford Lake accumulate undisturbed below the chemocline of this 23-m-deep meromictic lake in Ontario, Canada.  This records fallout from nuclear and thermonuclear testing, with strong activity during 1952–1953 CE and levelling associated with the fluctuations in yield, notably testing cessation between November 1958 and February 1961. 

The Anthropocene Working Group of the Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy is working towards formally defining an Anthropocene epoch/series, and its associated age/stage commencing in the mid-20th century.  

Given the intensity, magnitude, planetary significance and global isochroneity of the [observed effects], it provides a suitable level for recognition of the base of the Anthropocene as a series/epoch.  The chronostratigraphic Anthropocene, defined in strict accordance with ICS approved nomenclature and procedures, provides a clear and stable meaning to stratigraphic use of the term "Anthropocene".

-- Francine MG McCarthy, et al, "The varved succession of Crawford Lake, Milton, Ontario, Canada as a candidate Global boundary Stratotype Section and Point for the Anthropocene series", 4th International Congress on Stratigraphy 11-13 July 2023.  This paper asserts that measureable nuclear fallout in the strata beneath Crawford Lake provides evidence of the geological impact of mankind, marking the start of a new geological epoch dubbed "Anthropocene" (recent age of man)

Monday, July 10, 2023

Corners On The Curving Sky

Our earth is round, and, among other things, that means that you and I can hold completely different points of view and both be right.  The difference of our positions will show stars in your window I cannot even imagine.  Your sky may burn with light, while mine, at the same moment, spreads beautiful to darkness.  Still we must choose how we separately corner the circling universe of our experience.  Once chosen, our cornering will determine the message of any star and darkness we encounter.  These poems speak to philosophy; they reveal the corners where we organize what we know.

-- June Millicent Jordan (1936 - 2002), African-American bisexual political activist, writer, poet, essayist, and teacher, born in Harlem, New York, to Jamaican immigrants, Introduction to the "Corners on the Curving Sky" section of the book Soulscript (1970) compiled by Jordan

Friday, July 07, 2023

The Torch Of Truth

It is almost impossible to bear the torch of truth through a crowd without singeing somebody’s beard.

-- Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742 - 1799), German scientist, satirist, and philosopher, Aphorisms (1765-1799), Notebook G (1779-1783)

Thursday, July 06, 2023

Happy Anniversary, Mr & Mrs Carter

The family is keeping a low profile around the anniversary this year.  President Carter and Mrs. Carter will celebrate their 77th wedding anniversary privately at their home in Plains tomorrow along with family members.

-- Matthew De Galan, spokesman for the Carter Center, referring to the 77th wedding anniversary of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, who are celebrating the 77th anniversary of their 7/7/1946 wedding

Wednesday, July 05, 2023


Association with human beings lures one into self-observation.

-- Franz Kafka (1883 - 1924), Bohemian-Jewish novelist, The Z├╝rau Aphorisms (1917 - 1918), Aphorism #77

Tuesday, July 04, 2023

Everyday Life

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.  You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.

-- Erma 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, as quoted in 50 Ways to Stand Up for America : Put the Spirit of July 4th Into Everyday Life (2002) by W. B. Freeman

Monday, July 03, 2023

Visiting Family

This long holiday weekend I had the pleasure of visiting my #3 daughter, Heather, and her family in Louisiana.  They're in a new house which I saw for the first time, and we visited a number of touristy things, including the Audubon Aquarium and Insectarium where my two granddaughters especially like the Butterfly Garden.  

For what it's worth, this concludes three consecutive weekends of travel by car, 2 weekends ago to Indiana, last weekend to Nebraska, and this weekend to Louisiana.  It's been fun, but I'm looking forward to not driving out of state for a while.