Thursday, April 18, 2024

Ought To Be

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they ought to be.

-- William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830), English writer remembered for his humanistic essays and literary criticism, Lectures on the English Comic Writers (1819), "On Wit and Humour"

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Father Of The Man

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
  So was it when my life began;

So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
  Or let me die!

The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
  Bound each to each by natural piety.

-- William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850), major English poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, launched the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 publication of Lyrical Ballads, My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold, (1802)

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Looking Young

Whenever a man's friends begin to compliment him about looking young, he may be sure that they think he is growing old.

-- Washington Irving (1783 - 1859), American short story writer, essayist, and biographer, Bracebridge Hall. Bachelors (1822)

Monday, April 15, 2024

The Next 5000

Today while taking attendance after teaching Taekwondo I noted that on March 28th I reached 5000 total student-hours of teaching (5 kids in a class counts as 5 student hours).  That took a little under 9 years to accumulate, with a 6-month gap in there while I recuperated from ACL reconstruction surgery.

I'm already looking forward to the next 5000.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Getting Wrinkles

When you're 50 you start thinking about things you haven't thought about before.  I used to think getting old was about vanity -- but actually it's about losing people you love.  Getting wrinkles is trivial.

-- Joyce Carol Oates (16 June 1938-), American author and creative writing professor, interview in The Guardian (London, 18 August 1989)


[I used this 15 years ago, when I was 50.  It feels right to use it again this year.]

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Unforeseen Consequences

In the mind of a human being, a hundred years is a long time, but to the earth a hundred years is nothing, a million years, nothing.  We've been guests here for the blink of an eye and if we're gone tomorrow, the earth, she ain't gonna miss us.  My point is that the planet is not in jeopardy, we are in jeopardy.  Human beings have no greater right to safety and liberty than any other creature on this planet.  We not only lack dominion over nature, we're subordinate to it.  Yet humans destroy things so effectively I sometimes wonder, is that our function?  Maybe every few eons an animal comes along that's exceptionally murderous so that evolution can proceed to its next phase. ...

Unforeseen consequences occur.  And every time, every single time, we all act surprised, because deep down I don't think that any of us actually believe that these dangers are real.  

-- Jeff Goldblum, as Dr Ian Malcolm, in Jurassic World Dominion (2022), written by Emily Carmichael and Colin Trevorrow

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

I Discovered Something

This summer I have discovered something totally useless.

-- Peter Ware Higgs FRS FRSE (29 May 1929 - 8 April 2024), British theoretical physicist and emeritus professor at the University of Edinburgh, writing to a colleague about his proposal for a particle at the origin of mass (1964), as quoted in The Hunt for the Higgs Boson, Science Scotland, issue no. 3

Tuesday, April 09, 2024

Dreams Come True

Words cannot express my love for my teammates, coaches, fans and our university - Thanks for making my dreams come true.  Wearing Iowa across my chest the last four years has been an honor.  This place will always be home

-- NCAA basketball player and all-time scoring leader (men's or women's) Caitlin Clark, posting as @CaitlinClark22 on Twitter, shortly after her team took second place in this year's March Madness (7 April 2024)

Monday, April 08, 2024

Eclipse Day 2024

Today I joined millions of others to pause in the middle of the day to observe the solar eclipse.  Totality could be found just 75 miles from my home, but with my 2017 experience of both totality and the insane traffic that accompanied it, I opted to enjoy today's eclipse standing in the driveway of my house.

We had about 98% totality here.  At the start of the event the temperature was in the low 70s, and the sun provided plenty of warmth.  The light in the sky changed noticeably with a little over 30 minutes to go, and continued to diminish with an eerie dimming that didn't quite match the clear sky and sun.  The loss of the sun's warmth was even more dramatic.

My daughter and I watched the eclipse through our eclipse glasses, and cast images of the sun onto various surfaces using a small hole through a 3x5 card.  The experience stirred memories of watching a partial solar eclipse during my elementary school years.  At that time, as I recall, we didn't have eclipse glasses and instead used several layers of 35mm film negatives that had been overexposed and were therefore completely dark.

Friday, April 05, 2024

Love My Teacher

As for myself, I always willingly acknowledge my own self as the principal cause of every good and of every evil which may befall me; therefore I have always found myself capable of being my own pupil, and ready to love my teacher.

-- Giacomo Casanova (1725 - 1798), Italian adventurer and author, Memoirs (trans. Machen 1894), book 1, Preface

Thursday, April 04, 2024

NATO’s 75th Anniversary

In 2024, NATO celebrates 75 years of collective defence.

Since its creation on 4 April 1949, the transatlantic Alliance has grown from 12 founding members to 32 member countries, all working together to keep our people safe.  A community of Allies bound together by common values of democracy, individual liberty, human rights and the rule of law, NATO celebrates its anniversary on 4 April at NATO Headquarters in Brussels and at the upcoming summit on 9-11 July in Washington, D.C., where its founding treaty was signed. 

-- Statement on the website of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) on the occasion of NATO's 75th anniversary, 4 April 2024

Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Pragmatic Maxim

It appears, then, that the rule for attaining the third grade of clearness of apprehension is as follows: Consider what effects, that might conceivably have practical bearings, we conceive the object of our conception to have.  Then, our conception of these effects is the whole of our conception of the object.

-- Charles Sanders Peirce (1839 - 1914), American scientist, logician, and philosopher, original statement of the Pragmatic Maxim, p. 293 of "How to Make Our Ideas Clear", Popular Science Monthly, v. 12 (1878), pp. 286-302

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Professional Sanction

While attorneys have a duty to advocate zealously for their clients, they must do so within the bounds of ethical and legal constraints.  Eastman's actions transgressed those ethical limits by advocating, participating in and pursuing a strategy to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election that lacked evidentiary or legal support.  Vigorous advocacy does not absolve Eastman of his professional responsibilities around honesty and upholding the rule of law.  While his actions are mitigated by his many years of discipline-free practice, cooperation, and prior good character, his wrongdoing is substantially aggravated by his multiple offenses, lack of candor and indifference.  Given the serious and extensive nature of Eastman's unethical actions, the most severe available professional sanction is warranted to protect the public and preserve the public confidence in the legal system.

Eastman has exhibited an unwillingness to acknowledge any ethical lapses regarding his actions, demonstrating an apparent inability to accept responsibility.  This lack of remorse and accountability presents a significant risk that Eastman may engage in further unethical conduct, compounding the threat to the public.

Guided by the standards, case law, and the purposes of attorney discipline, the court recommends that Eastman be disbarred.

John Charles Eastman is ordered transferred to involuntary inactive status pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 6007, subdivision (c)(4).

-- Yvette D. Roland, Judge of the State Bar Court of California, ruling on 11 counts of misconduct arising from Eastman's efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election (27 March 2024)

Monday, April 01, 2024

The Place

Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
    They have to take you in.

-- Robert Frost (1874 - 1963), American poet; winner of four Pulitzer Prizes, "The Death of the Hired Man" (1914)