Saturday, January 31, 2009


Matilda Frazier
You're drinking too much as usual.
Oliver Keane
How much, my love, is too much? Regard my excellent balance; look no hands!

My mind lose it's razor edge? Do I slur my words? Do I forget anything?

The single solitary thing of all the things I'd give so much to forget, no, I'm still conscious. Therefore my sweet, far from having had too much, I've not had enough, yet.
1947's The Unsuspected.

Chimp Mail

Send a Monk-e-Mail here.

Friday, January 30, 2009

watch jet paint dry

Reminds RJ of work.

World Markets

CNNMoney presents the dire news here.


The 100 Most Beautiful Words in English here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson [born 1958] anticipates that the earth could be destroyed in 2029 by an en route asteroid, unless intervening action is untaken now.

Here he discusses cosmic yoga:


Finest Chinese

The finest authentic Chinese food in Waterloo Region is available at the unassuming Cameron Chinese Seafood Restaurant


The Porcellian is Harvard's most prestigious and exclusive club. Black-balled, FDR was denied admittance.

An earlier reference to FDR on this blog here.

Dutch Creationist Ark

A half-sized replica of the biblical Noah's Ark has been built by Dutch Creationist Johan Huibers, complete with model animals, as testament to his literal belief in the Bible.

The ark is 150 cubits long, 30 cubits high and 20 cubits wide. That's two-thirds the length of a football field and as high as a three-story house.

"I knew the story of Noah, but I had no idea the boat would have been so big." 

There is enough space near the keel for a 50-seat film theater where kids can watch a video that tells the story of Noah and his ark. Huibers said he hopes the project will renew interest in Christianity in the Netherlands, where church-going has fallen dramatically in the past 50 years.

An earlier reference to Creationism on this blog here.


Mike Wallace's 1958 interview with Aldous Huxley here.

An earlier reference to Huxley on this blog here.

logarithmic cauliflowers

Salvador Dali was the richest artist of the 20th Century. No teachers knew as much as he did, he thought, which is why he refused to take his final academic exams.

Mike Wallace's 1958 Dali interview here.

An earlier reference to Dali on this blog here.

London from above

More here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

to make the Mafia disappear

The movement was started at Antica Focacceria S. Francesco by young Sicilians tired of being extorted by the mafia.

Now three-hundred businesses participate and at least ten-thousand customers pledge not to support businesses that pay "Pizzo" or Mafia protection money.

name a star

However, it's not yours.

wise use of credit

a new way to skate

Freeline Skates.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

why did California? to say Hawaii.

brain growth

the brain

The human brain may contain up to one trillion neurons. These nerve cells are interconnected, as shown in this microscopic image, so that they can transmit electrical impulses—and information—to other cells. More here.

Words as Images

More here.

Snark: the language of losers

"[It] lacks imagination, freshness, fantasy, verbal invention and adroitness - all the elements of wit." Story here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

guide on how to produce a mentally ill child

Peter Helfgott
In this world only the strong survive. The weak get crushed like insects.

From 1996's true story Shine.


Ahna Fender's latest.

Cutting the Mustard

Image source here.

To succeed; to come up to expectations.



A general flurry of activity; Gussie and several workmen carrying furniture upstairs, unpacking barrels, etc. Muriel, list and samples in hand, is explaining her color scheme to Mr. PeDelford, a polite, cigar-smoking, noncommittal boss painter. In the b.g., casually leaning on the bannister is PeDelford's taciturn and somewhat skeptical-looking assistant.

Now I want the living room to be a soft green.
(PeDelford nods)
Not quite as bluish as a robin's egg, but yet not as yellow as daffodil buds.


(handing him a sample)
The best sample I could get is a  little too yellow, but don't let  whoever mixes it go to the other  extreme and get it too blue. It should  just be sort of a grayish yellow  green.
(making a note)
 They turn to the dining room.

Now the dining room I'd like yellow.  Not just yellow, a very gay yellow.
Something bright and sunshiny.
(sudden inspiration)
I tell you, Mr. PeDelford, if you'll  just send one of your workmen to the A&P for a pound of their best butter  and match it exactly, you can't go wrong.
(making a note)
This is the paper we're going to use here in the foyer.
(hands sample to him)
It's flowered but I don't want the  ceiling to match any of the colors  of the flowers. There are some little dots in the background, and it's these dots I want you to match. Not the little greenish dots near the hollyhock leaf, but the little bluish dot between the rosebud and the delphinium blossom. Is that clear?
PeDelford looks carefully at the sample, then:

(making note)
The kitchen's to be white. Not a cold, antiseptic hospital white -- a little warmer but not to suggest any other color but white.
Now for the powder room, I want you  to match this thread.
(hands him thread)
You can see it's practically an apple red. Somewhere between a healthy Winesap and an unripened Jonathan.
(making note)
There is a crash from the kitchen.

Will you excuse me?
Muriel hastily exits toward the kitchen. PeDelford turns to his assistant.

Got it, Charlie?
(deadpan; indicating rooms with his thumb)
Green, yellow, blue, white, red.
1948's Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House screenplay here.


Obama Chia

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Unk Ungani


"Always recognize that human individuals are ends, and do not use them as means to your end."
- Immanuel Kant [1724-1804]

Biden's first interview as V.P.

Watch CBS Videos Online

how individual virtue can be public vice

Ballerina Lydia Lopokova [1892-1981] and her husband, economist John Maynard Keynes [1883-1946]. Story behind the dancing here.

Paradox of Thrift

Attempts by consumers to do the right thing by saving more can leave everyone worse off; if consumers cut their spending, and nothing else takes the place of that spending, the economy will slide into a recession, reducing everyone’s income.

- Paul Krugman [born 1953] explaining a concept propounded by John Maynard Keynes


Image source Digital World Tokyo.

"All the advances in computing made so far revolve around the digital bit, a tiny electrical pulse that can either be recorded as a one or a zero—a system we know as binary. According to Moore's Law, every two years we'll figure out a way to double the number of transistors on a computer chip. This explains the shrinking nature of your BlackBerry and the fact that Apple now makes a laptop that slides into a manila envelope. The problem is, if Moore's Law is followed to its natural conclusion, in as little as 10 years, those bits we pack into our iPods will be the size of atoms. This is where quantum computing takes over.

Quantum computers employ quantum bits, or qubits, that behave in very strange ways. For starters, unlike bits, they don't have to be recorded as either a one or a zero—they can be both at the same time. So with only 40 or 50 qubits (we're talking the size of molecules), a quantum computer may one day perform the same tasks the world's most powerful machines now perform with hundreds of megabytes. If you could just jam that kind of power into your BlackBerry...who knows what it could do?"

- David Fielding, Report on Business

stereotype tax

Stereotype Tax is the price that a person doing the stereotyping pays for his preconceived notions.

Garry Winogrand's interracial couple here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

wifebeater alcoholic

Tracy Lord
Don't tell me you've forsaken your beloved whiskey and whiskeys.
C.K. Dexter Haven
No, I've just changed their color. I'm going for the pale pastel shades. They're more becoming to me.

How about you, Mr. Connor? You drink, don't you? Alcohol, I mean.
Macaulay Connor
A little.
C.K. Dexter Haven
A little?
And you're a writer? Tsk, tsk, tsk. I thought all writers drank to excess and beat their wives.  You know, at one time I think I secretly wanted to be a writer.
1940's Academy Award winning The Philadelphia Story screenplay here.


“When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose.”
- Bob Dylan [born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941]

Economists refer to this as Opportunity Cost
The true cost of something is what you give up to get it.
An earlier reference to Bob Dylan on this blog here.

And the Oscar goes to ...

Before co-founding RIM in 1984, Mike Lazaridis [born 1961] built hand buzzers for the teen quiz show Reach for the Top. In 1994, he won an Emmy for technical work in television, and in 1999 an Academy Award for developing an innovative film-reader. A profile of the Waterloo University drop-out here. Another profile of Lazaridis with his co-founder Jim Balsille [born 1961] here.

Some including Canaccord Capital now caution shareholders to unload their RIM positions because RIM's latest touch screen Storm product underwhelms in the fickle, fashionable, risky consumer electronics space.
An earlier reference to RIM here.

Desk Globe Rotates via Earth's Magnetic Field

A $50 desktop globe called the MOVA Globe rotates without batteries, wireless or any electricity at all. The globe is moved by both light and the Earth's magnetic field. [Source here.]

Foley Artist Ad

Foley artist.

Friday, January 23, 2009

common ground

"No one religion has absolute knowledge, absolute authority. All differences must be tolerated."
- Indian Emperor Akbar [1542-1605] displaying humanity and rationality.

how to terrify kids into not eating vegetables

South West England

Thursday, January 22, 2009

feel good item at feel bad time

"People like to reward themselves even in down times."
- Rick Turoczy, High Tech Industry Analyst on why sales of Smartphones haven't yet been impacted negatively by the economic downturn.

Another reference to RIM here.


Image of Metastasizing Cancer Cell

"Depression is one of the worst forms of suffering, because of the immense feelings of shame, worthlessness, hopelessness, and demoralization. Depression can seem worse than terminal cancer, because most cancer patients feel loved and they have hope and self-esteem. Many depressed patients have told me, in fact, that they yearned for death and prayed every night that they would get cancer, so they could die in dignity without having to commit suicide."
- David Burns, M.D., Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, Introduction p. xxx 

An earlier reference to Cancer on this blog here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Life of Gandhi


An earlier reference to Gandhi on this blog here.

Talking like an Auctioneer

Money related T.V. personalities often sound like auctioneers. The more informed ones sometimes have as much knowledge of economics and finance as uninformed bingo callers, which cannot be accidental.

Update: Matt Yglesias weighs in here.


Feral was so dumb special-ed wouldn't do, so they released him into the wilderness.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

teeing up golf balls

"Americans don't solve problems; we just leave them behind."
- George Santayana [1863-1952]

Lincoln's Bible

President Barack Obama, Inaugural Speech, January 20, 2009


Written with the assistance of Jon Favreau [born 1981]

My fellow citizens,

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land — a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America — they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act — not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them— that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control — and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort — even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment — a moment that will define a generation — it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence— the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive ... that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

Inauguration Day

Monday, January 19, 2009


The Deportation image source here.

The work of commercial artist C.W. Jefferys [1869-1951] reached more Canadians than the work of The Group of Seven, which is why some argue that his work has more visual relevance.

Group of Seven related links here.

tight weld

A closed society is one in which an individual’s role and function can theoretically never be changed, as in the traditional Hindu caste system.

“Watering a man without breaking caste rules. For an Untouchable, a member of the lowest Hindu social class, the rules are many, with prohibitions on everything from physical contact with higher castes to drinking from central village wells.” Image source: Maynard Owen Williams, National Geographic


Mike Nicholson, 67, has 27 college degrees, 12 of which are from Western Michigan University. Nicholson has been either a full time or part-time student for the last 50 years.

brainless war is not good for auto sales

Some people won't buy American brands because of America's sometimes dubious role as an international player.

only moment ever of Presidential inaugural genius

Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, Saturday, March 4, 1865

In little more than a month, the President would be assassinated.

Text here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

damage induces inhibition, fearlessness

Possible owner of damaged amygdala here.

unresolved violent, turbulent past

"The past isn't dead and buried. In fact, it isn't even past."
- William Faulkner [1897 – 1962] as cited by Barack Obama [born 1961]

The 1951 Requiem for a Nun quotation: 
"The past is never dead. It's not even past."
Eugene O'Neill's perspective here.

on humility

"I'm a Ford not a Lincoln."
- President Gerald Ford [1913-2006]

manners manual

The essence of Lord Chesterfield's Letters was to make oneself pleasant and genial but to be forever wary of others. 

The Machiavellian counsel was:
Trust no one except those who have proved themselves, yet never let those who have failed the test know that when they look at you, they are looking at a mask, not at your true self. 
Life can be theatrical—an exercise in assessing other people's minds and motives and then designing your own response with an awareness of the gulf between appearance and reality.

Excerpts from Jon Meacham's American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, p.40

Sing not to yourself with a humming Noise

As a schoolboy, George Washington [1732-1799] filled part of an exercise book with one hundred and ten Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.

from the typewriter to the bookstore

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A tour of the White House

worst come to worst, he'd just buy God

Harry Dawes
Remember Faust?
Kirk Edwards
I don't believe I do.
Harry Dawes
Faust was something like you, Kirk. Except that instead of having all the money in the world, he had all the knowledge. The one thing he never knew, like you, was a moment of real happiness. So he made a deal with the Devil. He'd trade his soul to the Devil in return for the one moment of real happiness.
Kirk Edwards
How'd it turn out?
Harry Dawes
Well God fought the Devil for the soul of Faust. It was a close fight. Most people think that God won. But I always thought it wound up a draw. 
Kirk Edwards
I think its a silly story. No man with all the money and knowledge could never have been unhappy for a moment.