Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

bolt of lightening

Kate Moss

"Inspiration is for amateurs."
- Chuck Close

comfortable with that

"I taught in jail; people can get better."
- John Waters [born 1946]

Friday, October 29, 2010


"Hitler was said to favor waking up at about 10 a.m., breakfasted on coffee, bread and marmalade shortly afterward, and received visitors including his doctor in the afternoon. The accounts show he apparently worked until late in the night and went to sleep as late as 4 a.m."

Read on.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"the right thing to do"

Julian Schnabel, Girl with no eyes, 2001

"I painted her with no eyes so you'd look at her chin."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


"Don't be afraid to take a big step. You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps."
- David Lloyd George [1863-1945]

Monday, October 25, 2010


"Speed is the only modern sensation."
- Attributed to Aldous Huxley by Jeremy Clarkson

Sunday, October 24, 2010


"Don't paint what you see."
- Augustus Dunbier [1888-1977]

Saturday, October 23, 2010

a place for drinks in London

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"The only King with taste"

Anthony van Dyck, Charles I: King of England at the Hunt, 1635

... and the only British King to have his head cut off.


" ... success will always be achieved by making minuscule improvements on a grand scale."
- Robert Herjavec, Driven: How to Succeed in Business and Life, pg.289

condition necessary for success

"I live in a sort of perpetual dissatisfaction."
- Karl Lagerfeld

paradigmatic inflection

“We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.”
- Albert Einstein

Friday, October 22, 2010

behavior in context

"Mental illness is not a matter of taking a pill and being cured. This is why it is so important we recognize so early the symptoms. You have to go into therapy, you have to talk it out, you have to get rid of the guilt and shame for the actions you did in the past. You have to forgive others for not understanding what you were going through."
- Margaret Trudeau in The Globe and Mail


"You really learn who you are in deep success and deep failure."
- Jon Favreau [born 1966]


Strictly No Photography is a web site devoted to pictures taken in locations where no photography is allowed.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


"All you need are fifty good breaks."
- Walter Matthau [1920-2000]

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


- Nathaniel Hurd by John Singleton Copley [1738-1815]

Monday, October 18, 2010


"I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. That is clear. Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in this religion or that religion, we are all seeking something better in life."
- His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Intelligent People Drink More Alcohol

Satoshi Kanazawa reports on the link between smart children, and the larger amounts of alchohol they consume as adults. The studies controlled for "both income and education, as well as childhood social class and parents’ education." The study concluded:
“Very bright” British children grow up to consume nearly eight-tenths of a standard deviation more alcohol than their “very dull” classmates.
It's what Oakeshott called "the ordeal of consciousness." When you have constantly charging brain, you need to shut it off sometimes in order to breathe and live. It's no wonder so many brainiacs self-medicate in this way. The key thing, as always, is moderation.

From Andrew Sullivan.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

due to inbreeding

Hapsburg Lip is a thick, overdeveloped lower lip that often accompanies Hapsburg jaw.

perfect circle

Pericles and Aspasia at the Studio of Phidias

Phidias [5th century BCE] was known to draw perfect circles freehand.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

german translated into english

"Once your reputation has been ruined, you can live quite freely."

birthplace of the tattoo

Traditionally, in Polynesia, the purpose of the tattoo was to make the body beautiful so the soul wouldn't leave.

governing principle

"First thought, best thought."
- Allen Ginsberg on spontaneous and fearless writing

The true size of Africa

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

16 cows

In 1888, Brazil was the last country in the Americas to abolish slavery, where the value of one slave equalled sixteen cows.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


  1. To feed the hungry
  2. To give drink to the thirsty
  3. To clothe the naked
  4. To visit and ransom the captive, (prisoners)
  5. To shelter the homeless
  6. To visit the sick
  7. To bury the dead
The Seven Acts of Mercy by the most important painter of the counter-reformation, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 1607.


"Following news the search giant has been quietly testing driverless cars, futurist Paul Saffo reveals what Google has in mind—and how soon you’ll be riding shotgun with a robot. Just when we think Google has run out of surprises, we learn from John Markoff at The New York Times that a small team of Google engineers has been quietly running robots on our highways. Not just one or two robots sneaking a few miles down a lonely country road late at night, but eight autonomous vehicles traveling more than 140,000 miles in the last year on everything from freeways to traffic-clogged downtown districts. I have viewed the route maps for several of these trips and can attest to the fact that Google’s car-bots have confidently traversed roads that would leave many drivers white-knuckled, from San Francisco’s pretzel-twisty Lombard Street to Big Sur’s narrow, cliff-hugging Highway One."

Read on.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Sound Asleep Club"

"Even villains are the heros of their own play."
- Attributed by Mike Myers to his mom.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

highest enlisted rank

"The purpose of drill and exercises is less to strengthen the back than it is to toughen the mind."
- U.S. Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sergeant Shane Franklin quoting a Spartan maxim.


Kay Redfield Jamison on the pros and cons of exuberance and how moods are contagious.

Friday, October 8, 2010

28 billion pixels

High definition scanning permits Old Masters magnification here.


“Until you have done something for humanity,” wrote the great American educator Horace Mann [1796-1859], “you should be ashamed to die.”

become your competition

"Why create mediocrity if you can copy genius?"
- Robert Herjavec, Driven: How to Succeed in Business and in Life, p.115

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"sparks shoot to the brain"

Honoré de Balzac [1799-1850] consumed forty cups of coffee per day.


"I failed over and over in my career. That's why I succeeded"
- Michael Jordan

Monday, October 4, 2010

cover letter

Hunter S. Thompson applies for a job:


October 1, 1958 57 Perry Street New York City


I got a hell of a kick reading the piece Time magazine did this week on The Sun. In addition to wishing you the best of luck, I'd also like to offer my services.

Since I haven't seen a copy of the "new" Sun yet, I'll have to make this a tentative offer. I stepped into a dung-hole the last time I took a job with a paper I didn't know anything about (see enclosed clippings) and I'm not quite ready to go charging up another blind alley.

By the time you get this letter, I'll have gotten hold of some of the recent issues of The Sun. Unless it looks totally worthless, I'll let my offer stand. And don't think that my arrogance is unintentional: it's just that I'd rather offend you now than after I started working for you.

I didn't make myself clear to the last man I worked for until after I took the job. It was as if the Marquis de Sade had suddenly found himself working for Billy Graham. The man despised me, of course, and I had nothing but contempt for him and everything he stood for. If you asked him, he'd tell you that I'm "not very likable, (that I) hate people, (that I) just want to be left alone, and (that I) feel too superior to mingle with the average person." (That's a direct quote from a memo he sent to the publisher.)

Nothing beats having good references.

Of course if you asked some of the other people I've worked for, you'd get a different set of answers.

If you're interested enough to answer this letter, I'll be glad to furnish you with a list of references — including the lad I work for now.

The enclosed clippings should give you a rough idea of who I am. It's a year old, however, and I've changed a bit since it was written. I've taken some writing courses from Columbia in my spare time, learned a hell of a lot about the newspaper business, and developed a healthy contempt for journalism as a profession.

As far as I'm concerned, it's a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity. If this is what you're trying to get The Sun away from, then I think I'd like to work for you.

Most of my experience has been in sports writing, but I can write everything from warmongering propaganda to learned book reviews.

I can work 25 hours a day if necessary, live on any reasonable salary, and don't give a black damn for job security, office politics, or adverse public relations.

I would rather be on the dole than work for a paper I was ashamed of.

It's a long way from here to British Columbia, but I think I'd enjoy the trip.

If you think you can use me, drop me a line.

If not, good luck anyway.

Sincerely, Hunter S. Thompson

Source here.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

in the genes

"John Cartner, a psychiatry professor at Johns Hopkins University medical school, conducted research that supports [the idea that successful entrepreneurship is in the genes]. In his book The Hypomanic Edge: The Link Between (a Little) Craziness and (a Lot of) Success in America, suggests that successful entrepreneurs suffer from hypomania, which he describes as a psychological condition—marked by high energy and boundless self-confidence—falling just short of bipolar disease, also known as manic-depressive state. Unlike people suffering from bipolar disorders, those with hypomania rarely collapse into suicidal despair. Instead, after suffering a major negative event, they pick themselves up and resume their battle as confident as ever."
- Robert Herjavec, Driven: How to Succeed in Business and in Life, pp.49-50

Saturday, October 2, 2010

"greatest good for mankind"

"... if [genetic] mistakes didn't occur we wouldn't evolve."
- Nobel Laureate Dr. Harold Varmus on cancer and evolution


From The National Post's The Quantified Self:
Jon Cousins is a serial entrepreneur who takes quite literally the old adage ‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Diagnosed with bipolar depression in early 2007, he invented a science-based mood scale that ranks his mood between 0% and 100%. He rates himself on 20 different emotions using 20 special double-sided playing cards. He then inputs the score into a website he developed called, which then graphs his mood over time and, more importantly, emails his daily score to a select group of friends called “buddies.” Buddies then check in with him, sometimes sending a simple “?” when his score is low or lower than the day prior. “The simple and automatic mood notifications mean you don’t have to tell friends how you’re feeling — they already know,” Mr. Cousins said in an interview from London, England. More than 4,300 people and their buddies now use Moodscope.

Friday, October 1, 2010

1st billionaire writer

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.

"It's impossible to live without failing at something. Unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you failed by default."
- J.K. Rowling, Harvard Commencement Address


Zach Galifianakis visits psychiatric hospitals here.