Thursday, December 3, 2020

the whole lot

Q: Why should you never trust an atom?
A: Because they make up everything.

Friday, October 9, 2020


Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite, Irish for "I told you I was ill".

- Spike Milligan's [1918 - 2002] epitaph

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Halley's Comet


“When in doubt, tell the truth.”

Mark Twain [1835-1910]

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

On service

"... anticipate without being presumptuous."

- Head Porter, The Ritz

Monday, October 5, 2020


"I ate a dog today."
- A South-African's response to Dave Chapelle [born 1973] who escaped to that country after bailing on a $50 million development agreement with Comedy Central.

Thursday, October 1, 2020


“People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.” 
 – Sir Edmund Hillary [1919-2008]

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

New New Zealand


Saturday, September 26, 2020

Buddhism, your body post death

There’s no specific advice around burials in Buddhism. Buddhism does acknowledge that our bodies, the one we loved an cherished for many years, will ultimately return to the earth, to the worms and the beetles, and yes to the birds. Buddhism and Buddhists adapt to each culture. The central teachings remain the same, but day-to-day conventions around ways of living can vary. There’s nothing in the teaching of the Buddha that would forbid a sky burial. So whenever a group meets a culture with sky burial, it does not stop it, the practice carries on.

There is some benefit to seeing bodies decay. The Buddha would sometimes suggest a meditator go practice on the “charnel grounds”, these are cemeteries, but I think bodies were placed atop the earth. The flies and the worms would come. A stench would develop. After months, the skin and muscles would rot away the bones would start to become visible. The monks he recommended this to were typically troubled by lust. They were asked to reflect upon the fact that their own bodies and the bodies of the ladies they lusted for, all these were subject to the same decay. They had not got beyond the state of rot and stench.

As meditators, we are asked to make much of the death around us. Relatives who die. Squirrels lying dead on the side of the road. Insects and pets. Whatever. We don’t have much time as humans. It’s best to stop ignoring this fundamental truth and attend to the task at hand without delay.

- Jim, who was a monk with Aukana Trust

Monday, September 21, 2020

Two Kinds of Success

"There are two kinds of success, or rather two kinds of ability displayed in the achievement of success. There is, first, the success either in big things or small things which comes to the man who has in him the natural power to do what no one else can do, and what no amount of training, no perseverance or will power, will enable any ordinary man to do. This success, of course, like every other kind of success, may be on a very big scale or on a small scale. The quality which the man possesses may be that which enables him to run a hundred yards in nine and three-fifths seconds, or to play ten separate games of chess at the same time blindfolded, or to add five columns of figures at once without effort, or to write the "Ode to a Grecian Urn," or to deliver the Gettysburg speech, or to show the ability of Frederick at Leuthen or Nelson at Trafalgar. No amount of training of body or mind would enable any good ordinary man to perform any one of these feats. Of course the proper performance of each implies much previous study or training, but in no one of them is success to be attained save by the altogether exceptional man who has in him the something additional which the ordinary man does not have. This is the most striking kind of success, and it can be attained only by the man who has in him the quality which separates him in kind no less than in degree from his fellows. But much the commoner type of success in every walk of life and in every species of effort is that which comes to the man who differs from his fellows not by the kind of quality which he possesses but by the degree of development which he has given that quality. This kind of success is open to a large number of persons, if only they seriously determine to achieve it. It is the kind of success which is open to the average man of sound body and fair mind, who has no remarkable mental or physical attributes, but who gets just as much as possible in the way of work out of the aptitudes that he does possess. It is the only kind of success that is open to most of us. Yet some of the greatest successes in history have been those of this second class--when I call it second class I am not running it down in the least, I am merely pointing out that it differs in kind from the first class. To the average man it is probably more useful to study this second type of success than to study the first. From the study of the first he can learn inspiration, he can get uplift and lofty enthusiasm. From the study of the second he can, if he chooses, find out how to win a similar success himself."
- Theodore Roosevelt [1858-1919]

Thursday, September 17, 2020


“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
Douglas Adams [1952-2001]

Monday, September 14, 2020


"I studied history. I wrote history. I make history."
- JFK [1917-1963]

Sunday, September 13, 2020


What Shakespeare could have done with this.

Friday, September 11, 2020

first modernist

"Caravaggio [1571-1610] is the first artist in history whose paintings seem directly concerned with his own life. Ten years before Shakespeare invented Hamlet, Caravaggio painted Saint Francis in solitary dialogue with a skull. Caravaggio introduced soliloquy into painting at the same time that Shakespeare perfected it in drama."
- John T. Spike

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Want a high quality meal delivered?

And support charity? Order here before September 21 and have it delivered the evening of September 27. This promotion is exclusive to Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and adjacent areas.

Proceeds go to general operating needs, like masks, gowns, hand sanitizer, etc.

Good value as the cost is comparable to a deluxe pizza, but your choice of chicken, beef or vegetarian entrees and sides.

If you don't want food, you can also just donate $5 or something on the link.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Black Swan


“Heroes are heroes because they are heroic in behavior, not because they won or lost.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb [born 1960]

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Monday, August 17, 2020


“Silence is argument carried out by other means.”
Che Guevara [1928-1967]

Thursday, August 13, 2020


“We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.”
Ayn Rand [1905-1982]

Friday, August 7, 2020


“I spent half my money on gambling, alcohol, and wild women. The other half I wasted.”
- W.C. Fields [1880-1946]

Tuesday, July 28, 2020


"I sleep for 6.5 to 7 hours nightly. Otherwise I lose mental acuity."
- Elon Musk [born 1971]

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Cassell's Household Book

Read the 1869 edition here.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Thursday, June 25, 2020


"Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
George Bernard Shaw [1856-1950]

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Wednesday, June 17, 2020


"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."
- Friedrich Nietzsche [1844-1900]

Saturday, June 13, 2020

powerful 20th century voice

"Humanity over race."
- James Baldwin [1924-1987]

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

F***ing Hell

"Stand up is arguing with yourself. It's chess against yourself."
- Ricky Gervais [born 1961]

Monday, June 8, 2020


13th Amendment: Passed by Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified on December 6, 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

otherwise overwhelming

Power of Three

We have three acts as the dominant structure to screenwriting. The “comic triple” for surprise punchlines. Three clusters of time (past, present, and future).

There are three little pigs, three Musketeers, three wise men, and the three Stooges.

How about “blood, sweat, and tears,” or “mind, body, spirit,’ and the infamous, “sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll.”

Source here.

John 15:13

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

Saturday, June 6, 2020

natural terrain and topography

Maya Lin received a "B+" from Yale University for her Vietnam War Memorial design proposal.

The symbolism is that depth increases then gradually decreases according to combat casualties. 

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Barbary Pirates

In 1631, North African pirates raided an Irish village and more than a 100 men became enslaved. Some never set foot on land again, rowing until they expired.

From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli ...
Marine's Hymn

pick your limits and bet

Random Number Generator here.

As much skill as Vegas.

greased in both directions

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Thuja occidentalis

" ... the oldest living eastern white cedar on the Niagara Escarpment called it the Ancient One [has] 1,320 rings or years of growth. It was born at the time the first Buddhist temple was built."

Source here.

a place to eat in Barcelona

Tuesday, June 2, 2020


“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
Dr Martin Luther King Jr. [1929-1968]


"Never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins. He who is present at a wrongdoing and does not lift a hand to prevent it, is as guilty as the wrongdoers. Great Spirit, help me never to judge another until I have walked in his moccasins. Listen or thy tongue will keep thee deaf."
- Mary Torrans Lathrap [1838-1895]

With malice toward none, with charity for all

"... let us strive on to. . . bind up the nation's wounds"
- Abraham Lincoln [1809-1865], Second Inaugural Address

on superficiality

“I am aware that I am less than some people prefer me to be, but most people are unaware that I am so much more than what they see.”
― Douglas Pagels

high tensions

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
- JFK [1917-1963]

Monday, June 1, 2020

handling it

"Nobody teaches you how to deal with success."
- Dennis Quaid [b . 1954], who snorted 2 grams/day

Sunday, May 31, 2020

"Take this Hammer"

- James Baldwin [1924-1987]

A man who lifted 5000 pounds when no current contemporary can lift a pinky finger.

Blind Willie Johnson

Saturday, May 30, 2020

"I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well."

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
Theodore Roosevelt [1858-1919]

That's Life

That's life (That's life), that's what all the people say
You're riding high in April, shot down in May
But I know I'm gonna change that tune
When I'm back on top, back on top in June
I said, that's life (That's life), and as funny as it may seem
Some people get their kicks, stompin' on a dream
But I don't let it, let it get me down
'Cause this fine old world it keeps spinning around

I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king
I've been up and down and over and out, and I know one thing
Each time I find myself flat on my face
I pick myself up and get back in the race

That's life (That's life), I tell ya, I can't deny it
I thought of quitting, baby
But my heart just ain't gonna buy it
And if I didn't think it was worth one single try
I'd jump right on a big bird and then I'd fly

I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king
I've been up and down and over and out, and I know one thing
Each time I find myself laying flat on my face
I just pick myself up and get back in the race

That's life (That's life), that's life and I can't deny it
Many times I thought of cutting out but my heart won't buy it
But if there's nothing shaking come this here July
I'm gonna roll myself up in a big ball and die
My, my

Wednesday, May 27, 2020


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

serenity now

“Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity.”
T.S. Eliot [1888-1965]

Priests and Kings

... until this:

Sunday, May 24, 2020


The Incas believed that gold was the sweat of the sun.


"Plans are worthless, but planning is essential."
- Dwight Eisenhower [1890-1969]

comatose daylight hours

"The bartender is the aristocrat of the working class."
- Cocktail (1988)

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Environmental Art

The ill-matched couple

- Lucas Cranach (the Elder) [1472 –1553]

A young girl robs a foolish old man who is blissfully unaware of anything other than her charms. She has a smile of satisfaction on her face as she slips her hand into the lecher's purse.

first mass-market artist

- Albrecht Dürer [1471-1528], Self-Portrait

Friday, May 22, 2020

faith cannot be fully understood in times of happiness

"... faith sees best in the dark"
- Søren Kierkegaard [1813-1855 ], Gospel of Sufferings

Thursday, May 21, 2020

on longevity

"You've got to ride the swales."
- Dennis Miller [born 1953]


"Sinatra got me into Vodka."
- Don Rickles [1926-2017]

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

4000 years of human history

Zoom here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

COVID-19 infographics

Click here to view interactive dashboard.