Thursday, July 31, 2014

A few of my favorite things...........................

After a brief time out, Kelly.Hartland is back with the aphorisms.  Ponder this for a while.

Anxiellation.  "I agree that it isn’t easy to force yourself to relax – there’s something a bit oxymoronic about that."

Ah, the importance of passwords...............................

This is going to get confusing.....................................

Salute the light..........................................................

One more silver dollar............................

The Allman Brothers Band...........................Midnight Rider

First step...........................

...........................in improving your survival skills - here.

Checking in with Aesop.........................

                                      The Bald Knight

A bald knight, who wore a wig, went out to hunt.  A sudden puff of wind blew off his hat and wig, at which a loud laugh rang forth from his companions.  He pulled up his horse, and with great glee joined in the joke by saying, "What marvel it is that hairs which are not mine should fly from me, when they have forsaken even the man on whose head they grew."

-Aesop, as channeled by George Fyler Townsend

Remember: Context always matters............


Things your father should have taught you...























Biblo's shortened list is here.  Original list of 45 things is here.

Essential Mixes......................................

.......The school doors are open, listening and learning is going on.  The depth and breadth is astonishing. (Almost) All things musical are here.  Do visit often.


Fifty years ago.....................................

The Beatles.....................................................Tell Me Why

Opening paragraphs..............................

     Step back two centuries and through the front door of George Riebau's bookbindery at 2 Blandford Street Near Manchester Square in London.  Smell the pungent aroma of leather, glue, and varnish.  Hear the murmurous drumbeat of the binder's mallet tamping gathered pages.  Books are everywhere - on shelves, on tables, even wedged into the cubbylike window frames, where they eclipse the light struggling to enter.  In this dim paper-and-leather universe of long ago, Riebau and his three apprentices stand at their benches, plying the bookbinder's craft.  Around them line the accoutrements of their trade:  needles, thread, Jaconette cloth, engraving tools, standing press, cutting boards.  The room buzzes with conversation, for Riebau is a genial man who likes to keep his workers and his customers happy.  Yet for all the chatter, the binding and selling of books appears to be the sole order of business here.  In short, George Riebau's modest establishment is the last place one would suspect as an incubator for a would-be scientist - especially in 1812.
-Alan Hirshfield,  The Electric Life of Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday..........................

Michael Faraday      oil painting by Thomas Phillips    1842                        

































Michael Faraday (1791-1867) is credited with helping create the science of electromagnetism and electrochemistry.  Mostly self taught, Faraday made himself into a scientist's scientist. From our friends at Wikipedia comes this, "At fourteen he became the apprentice to George Riebau, a local bookbinder and bookseller in Blandford Street.[10] During his seven-year apprenticeship he read many books, including Isaac WattsThe Improvement of the Mind, and he enthusiastically implemented the principles and suggestions contained therein. At this time he also developed an interest in science, especially in electricity. Faraday was particularly inspired by the book Conversations on Chemistry by Jane Marcet.[11][12] 
 Read more about him here and here and here.  A few quotes follow, just to give you a glimpse at the man:

"Bacon in his instruction tells us that the scientific student ought not to be as the ant, who gathers merely, nor as the spider who spins from her own bowels, but rather as the bee who both gathers and produces."

“It is right that we should stand by and act on our principles; but not right to hold them in obstinate blindness, or retain them when proved to be erroneous.” 

"The secret is comprised in three words — Work, finish, publish."

"Among those points of self-education which take up the form of mental discipline, there is one of great importance, and, moreover, difficult to deal with, because it involves an internal conflict, and equally touches our vanity and our ease. It consists in the tendency to deceive ourselves regarding all we wish for, and the necessity of resistance to these desires."

"Occasionally and frequently the exercise of the judgment ought to end in absolute reservation. It may be very distasteful, and great fatigue, to suspend a conclusion; but as we are not infallible, so we ought to be cautious; we shall eventually find our advantage, for the man who rests in his position is not so far from right as he who, proceeding in a wrong direction, is ever increasing his distance."

"But still try, for who knows what is possible..."

"I have far more confidence in the one man who works mentally and bodily at a matter than in the six who merely talk about it — and I therefore hope and am fully persuaded that you are working."

“There’s nothing quite as frightening as someone who knows they are right.”

"It is the great beauty of our science, chemistry, that advancement in it, whether in a degree great or small, instead of exhausting the subjects of research, opens the doors to further and more abundant knowledge, overflowing with beauty and utility."

The usefulness test....................................


Back in the old days..............................

...............like fifth and sixth grade, we spent months, and months, and months on the multiplication tables.  Drill, drill, and drill some more.   The test was up at the blackboard, with no place to hide - quick, do the 8's, now the 9's, now the 6's.  I hated the eights.  I hated the drills.  But, fifty-two years later, having forgotten vast amounts of what I have been taught, I can still rattle off the multiplication tables.
     Flash forward to about ten years ago, my kids spent two days on the multiplication tables.  What?  I grant you that calculators have changed many things, but being able to do basic numbers in your head is a serious advantage in this world.  No way you can gain mastery, or basic competency, on such a subject in TWO days.  For the only time in their lives, my kids got home schooled.  Dad Xeroxed about 200 copies of blank tables, and every night for a month they filled in three or four tables. Improving speed and accuracy was all I asked.   Haven't checked on them lately, but my guess is that they can tell you right off that 8 x 7 is 56 and 8 x 9 is 72.
     What brought all this to mind is the latest post from our friend Greg at Sippican Cottage.  His kids appear to be living evidence of the goodness that flows from both parental attention and the mantra - Drill, Drill, Drill.  See for yourself.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A few of my favorite things.........................


Got this one covered.....................

I'll be turning right.........................

Realization..................................

The Heartbreakers.....................

That  fast...................................?

Every once in a while you just have to watch this...

The world welcomes Susan Boyle........................

On growing up...................................


Challenges..........................................

     "Each of us, as the hero of our own life, faces different earthly and spiritual challenges from which we learn lessons that allow us to evolve different, increasingly higher, qualities of power.  All problems, all stresses present an opportunity for spiritual learning in which you can gain insight into the use, misuse, or misdirection of your personal power."
Caroline Myss, as excerpted from Invisible Acts of Power:  Personal Choices That Create Miracles

Miracles........................................

"There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as if everything is."
-Albert Einstein

Uh-oh.................................

......................................moving down the check list.

From the Heartland....................

John E. Smith offers his thoughts on losing and winning - here.  A bit of excerpting here:

"The fatal mistake is to confuse the temporary state of winning with the permanent state of being human."

"Negative feelings are understandable, especially those related to disappointment and regret.  However, the tenure of those emotions should be short.  After all, the rest of your life is waiting without predestined outcomes."

"Trying to operate in a perpetual state that relies on winning will not suffice.   Life does not work that way.  We don’t always win, winning is not everything, and even winners sometimes quit."

"Above all, be gracious, generous, and humble."

Fifty years ago.................................

The Four Seasons.................................Silence is Golden

Are you listening to me.............................?



































via

Opening paragraphs.................................

     We were half a mile high in a bright Everglades sky, on the trail of five Navy torpedo bombers that vanished in 1945, yet my friend Tomlinson remained fixated on the fate of our marina's cat, which had gone missing only two days earlier.
     The curse of obsession is one of the few qualities my hipster neighbor and I share.
-Randy Wayne White,  Night Moves

Truth............................................

"A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is 'merely relative,' is asking you not to believe him. So don't."
-Roger Scruton

Want........................................

“Those people cannot enjoy comfortably what God has given them because they see and covet what He has not given them. All of our discontents for what we want appear to me to spring from want of thankfulness for what we have.” 
-Daniel Defoe

How can you tell..................................?




















"Men and melons are hard to know."
-Ben Franklin

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Four friends having fun......................

Frank, Dean, Sammy, & Johnny doing what they do best

... the wind, the sun, or the rain...........

Blue Oyster Cult............................Don't Fear The Reaper

Dreams.......................................


Trying........................................

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” 
-Henry Ford

The Forge..............................
















All I know is a door into the dark.
Outside, old axles and iron hoops rusting;
Inside, the hammered anvil’s short-pitched ring,
The unpredictable fantail of sparks
Or hiss when a new shoe toughens in water.
The anvil must be somewhere in the centre,
Horned as a unicorn, at one end and square,
Set there immoveable: an altar
Where he expends himself in shape and music. 
Sometimes, leather-aproned, hairs in his nose,
He leans out on the jamb, recalls a clatter
Of hoofs where traffic is flashing in rows;
Then grunts and goes in, with a slam and flick
To beat real iron out, to work the bellows. 

-Seamus Heaney

artwork via

It's the unlearning part that's difficult.................

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ”

-Alvin Toffler

Beware the unintended consequence..................

"Nobody in politics can foresee the consequences either of what he destroys, or of what he constructs."
-Don Colacho, aphorism 2,978

Fifty years ago......................................

The Beatles......................I'm Happy Just To Dance With You

The Execupundit.................................

.....................................................cuts to the chase.

Stray.....................................

“Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these.”
-Susan B. Anthony

The helping hand........................................

"Be ready to help people when they need it most. Get ready to yank them out of a hole. The glad hand is alright in sunshine, but it’s the helping hand on a dark day that folks remember to the end of time."
-A. P. Giannini

On impulses..........................

"The best life is the one in which the creative impulses play the largest part and the possessive impulses the smallest."

Winning.....................................



































This artwork was borrowed from this The Epicurean Dealmaker post about Higher Education, The Ivy League, and recent criticism of both from William Deriesiewicz.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Vintage...............................

Dean Martin........................Everybody Loves Somebody

Aging like a fine wine...........................

Eric Burdon and the Animals..............House of the Rising Sun




version from fifty years ago is here

Seriously, now..................................

“Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.” 
-G.K. Chesterton

Flat tax anyone..............................?


A miscalculation nonetheless..........................

"That is silly. World War I did not occur because the European powers miscalculated, but because they each believed rationally that their interests were best served by fighting."
-David Goldman, channeling Spengler, as excerpted from here

Escape..............................




























"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from the old ones."
-John Maynard Keynes

On the proper use of time.........................
















“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.   Have you used one to say thank you?” 
-William Arthur Ward

Fifty years ago........................................

The Beatles.............................................Please Please Me



studio (mono) version is here

Ruckert's Law......................................

"There is nothing so small that it can't be blown out of proportion."

It's a puzzle........................................


















"There's something in the human personality which resents things that are clear, and conversely, something which is attracted to puzzles, enigmas, and allegories."
-Stanley Kubrick

art via     quote via

Who..........................................

"Who has deceiv'd thee so oft as thy self?"
-Benjamin Franklin

Noticing the difference................

...................Walter Russell Mead opines on "smart diplomacy" and the news media.

"But luckily for Team Obama, the mainstream press would rather die than subject liberal Democrats to the critiques it reserves for the GOP. So instead, as Libya writhes in agony, reputations and careers move on."

No wonder they get paid so much......................

"The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality."
-Max Depree

Sunday, July 27, 2014