Humanities Current

Words come in many colors.
Some are meek.
Some are shy.
Some are stylish.
Some have substance.
Among those that are strong and essential,
"despite" is a good word.

In the family of
deeply unpleasant creatures
when I descry a sprite
I will name it "despite".

1) 2007 MacArthur Fellows


List and references to 2007 MacArthur Fellows

3d modelling kids projects

Children, Pets, Spouses and other annoying things, how the glass mostly became empty or the good life in the US of A

HAPPY the man, whose wish and care	
A few paternal acres bound,	
Content to breathe his native air	
            In his own ground.	
Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,	       
Whose flocks supply him with attire;	
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,	
            In winter fire.	
Blest, who can unconcern'dly find	
Hours, days, and years, slide soft away	       
In health of body, peace of mind,	
            Quiet by day.	
Sound sleep by night; study and ease	
Together mix'd, sweet recreation,	
And innocence, which most does please	        
            With meditation.	
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;	
Thus unlamented let me die;	
Steal from the world, and not a stone	
            Tell where I lie.	        

Three Latin Words: ergo, ad hominem, a fortiori

Bound For Glory - Woody Guhrie

7) A conversation


A conversation among friends

8) A letter for Hampi


A letter for Hampi

Psalms of Life full text

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,

Is our destin'd end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow

Find us farther than to-day.

On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies by William Gilbert, 1600

A contemporary of Shakesphere his experiments in Magnetism were not to be improved for 200 years.

Micrographia by Robert Hooke, 1665

He was the rock on which the Royal Society of London was built. He described not only the microscopic world but also geology and the nature of light etc, some of his ideas were apparently borrowed by Newton

On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, 1859

Charles Darwin is Charles Darwin. It will be nice to find a print that has a larger font.

Fragments of Science by John Tyndall, 1871

Its wide ranging topics include the nature of heat and light, spectroscopy, glaciology and the composition of sun. A contemporary of Aldous Huxley and equally popular.

Six Easy Pieces, by Richard P. Feynman, Addison-wesley, 1994

Feynman is Feynman.


Taken from Dr. John Gribbin as laid out in WSJ, April 14th, 2007

Click on the topic above for the full story

12) Abigail Washburn


Abigail Washburn

Weekend Edition Saturday, February 17, 2007 � The slave trade was abolished in the British colonies 200 years ago this year. The film Amazing Grace commemorates the event. Writer Adam Hochschild discusses the birth of the abolitionist movement in Great Britain. (Hochschild is the author of Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves.)

Bed time. Diffused yellow glow owns the scene. An 8 year old beautiful kid (He disagrees to the sentiment as being girlish) with a mouthful of talk that is about to find expression.

"Dad, is water healthy?"

"Yes? I said."

"Is lemon tea healthy?"


"I am going to drink water and I am going to drink lemon tea!!"

"Why do you want to do that??"

"They are both healthy and I want to be twice healthier"

The arrangement appears an intentional exercise where the individual potability is not sufficient but the additive properties of goodness are his intention.

What ever you do,
Do it Sincerely!

Do it with one mind.
With Focus,
And God Willing,
With Rapture!

Seek Help!
Care to Ask!
For Did you not cry,
When you were hungry?

Agricultural inventions of the past

17) AkaLanaka Srushti


AkaLanaka Srushti

18) Amy MacDonald


She's a guitarist, singer and songwriter who's been playing gigs since she was 15 ? she's all of 20 now. Her debut album, This Is the Life, has sold more than 1 million copies overseas. Not bad for someone who recently taught herself to play the guitar.

20) Architecture


To move without moving,
To classify without categorizing,
To reach without travelling,
To permeate as presence does,
Architecture is the art of absence.

Arctic Sea and the Polar Ice Cap

The life of a physicist is marked by "attacks of hoplessness, depression, and discouragement"

-leon lederman

The complete quote

Physicists today feel the same emotions that scientists have felt for centuries. The life of a physicist is filled with anxiety, pain, hardship, tension, attacks of hopelessness, depression, and discouragement. But these are punctuated by flashes of exhilaration, laughter, joy, and exultation. These epiphanies come at unpredictable times. Often they are generated simply by the sudden understanding of something new and important, something beautiful, that someone else has revealed. However, if you are mortal, like most of the scientists I know, the far sweeter moments come when you yourself discover some new fact about the universe. It's astonishing how often this happens at 3 A.M., when you are alone in the lab and you have learned something profound, and you realize that not one of the other five billion people on earth knows what you now know. Or so you hope. You will, of course, hasten to tell them as soon as possible. This is known as "publishing."

Leon Lederman, The God Particle: If the Universe is the Answer, What is the Question? (with Dick Teresi, 1993)

Some similar scientific quotes can be found at

See the quotes

23) Average climber...


There's nothing sto stop the average climber from trying the hardest route in the world

by Mark Twight and mentioned by Ybarra

Over the years I've continually re-evaluated what I thought I might be capable of.

Every pitch is brilliant, memorable, varied

Men in jackets and ties stroll toward the formal dinign room with women in dresses and heels.

- YBarra

24) Bela Fleck


Bela Fleck

25) belay



26) Blow-Hards in 1855


Among the various and multiplied phases of human character, there is one class which is common to an almost unprecedented extent in California. Upon every street corner, in every public place, in the avenues of business, and especially in the arena of politics, gentlemen of the class referred to are to be found, conspicuous among the crowd. Their chief trade is to manufacture opinion, deceive the unwary?magnify their own importance, and impose upon the community a bogus sentiment for the genuine article. Those who compose the class we refer to, in Bowery parlance, are known by the not very euphonious, yet expressive soubriquet (that is in contrast to modern American spelling Sobriquet) of "Blow-hards."

- Daily Placer Times and Transcript (San Francisco, CA) 8 Jan. 1855

27) Broadmoor East Course


Casabianca: Old for most, but new to me, No question however, stunningly beautiful

The poem goes....

The boy stood on the burning deck
  Whence all but he had fled;
The flame that lit the battle's wreck
  Shone round him o'er the dead.
Yet beautiful and bright he stood,
  As born to rule the storm;
A creature of heroic blood,
  A proud, though child-like form.

The flames rolled on?he would not go
  Without his Father's word;
That father, faint in death below,
  His voice no longer heard.

He called aloud?'say, Father, say
  If yet my task is done?'
He knew not that the chieftain lay
  Unconscious of his son.

'Speak, father!' once again he cried,
  'If I may yet be gone!'
And but the booming shots replied,
  And fast the flames rolled on.

Upon his brow he felt their breath,
  And in his waving hair,
And looked from that lone post of death
  In still yet brave despair.

And shouted but once more aloud,
  'My father! must I stay?'
While o'er him fast, through sail and shroud,
  The wreathing fires made way.

They wrapt the ship in splendour wild,
  They caught the flag on high,
And streamed above the gallant child,
  Like banners in the sky.

There came a burst of thunder sound?
   The boy?oh! where was he?
Ask of the winds that far around
  With fragments strewed the sea!?

With mast, and helm, and pennon fair,
  That well had borne their part?
But the noblest thing which perished there
  Was that young faithful heart

29) Chiaroscuros


pronounced: Kiaroscuro

A painting or a work of art that contrasts two colors such as black and white.

Click on the link above for more information

30) Christopher Catrambone


In depressing news that abound with pride, prejudice, and rage, it pays to listen to a moderate voice, one in addition reminds us of love and humanity. Fret not what it is about, but just listen to these voices on this interview. In whatever you choose to do, hope this strengthens your resolve.

31) Conclusion...


A thought has a conclusion.
While it is not concluded,
Listless, unrestful, sad, and distracted
is the tremoring mind.
Woven shrouds hide it
from the cogitating mind.
Leading questions, 
Patient deconstruction,
Hope and courage,
The peaceful conclusion awaits.

32) David Mcollough


David Mcollough

In dress, habits, manners, provincialism, routine and narrowness he acquired that charming insolence, that irritating completeness, that sophisticated crassness, that overbalanced poise that makes the Manhattan gentleman so delightfully small in his greatness.

" and there a disregarded four-footed beast stood as if petrified in unrecumbent sadness" wrote George Eliot. I labored where I heard "unrecumbent". No reason to suppose they are related, but that sounded like "recombinant" DNA. Those simple structures that combine with each other to form complex structures.

It turns out there are a family of words around "recumbent":

recumbent, recumbency, recumbently

All, on lookup, seem to have derived from the Latin root "cubare" or "recumbere" meaning "lying down like a recumbent or decumbent vine". Technically, it appears hence, "bent" has nothing to do with the meaning and only a coincidence that the suffix of "ent" being added to "cumb". However the association with "bent", I suspect, is stronger suggesting an influence unrelated. If not for the "bent" I wonder if "recumbent" would have been, however infrequently, used as often.

What about ..

cumber, cumberment, cumbrance
encumber, encumberment, encumbrance

These, I am reading, have derived from Celtic/French "combre" meaning "hindrance".

35) Don Marquis


Don Marquis

Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes

Dr. Stanley Culpepper, University of Georgia Extension weed scientist

38) ecumenical


concerned with promoting unity among churches or religions

39) Edith Sitwell


Edith Sitwell

Contemporary, Cheerful in disposition, but his compositions apparently complex, but significantly 40 of his compositions out of a 100 are composed in his 90s.

41) epistemology


noun: theory behind, science behind, or the philosophical theory of knowledge

F. Scott Fitzgerald called "the test of a first-rate intelligence": to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.

This will be an exercise in synonyms. The more you can dream of the better you are to answer these.





Now figure out the rhymes for both

Skeletal Rhymes

Bone (stone, moan, phone, hone, cone, alone, tone, zone)
Frame (lame,maime,name,same,tame)
Thin (bin,chin,fin,gin,kin,pin,sin,tin,win,zin)
Wire (dire,fire,hire,sire)
Old (bold,cold,fold,gold,hold,mold,sold,told)

Look in the rhymes for a word that means a friend. we come up with kin for thin. That makes one possible pair THIN KIN

Let's do the opposite with Pal

Pal Rhymes

Bud (dud, jud, mud, sud)
Chum (bum, rum, gum, yum, sum, mum, tum, yum)
Mate (bate, date, fate, gate, hate, late, rate, sate, tate, wait) 
Love (glove, dove, move, rove, dove)
Pair (fair, hair, lair)
The following are too many syllables to do

Late means dead and could mean skeletal. Perhaps "dud" means dead meaning skeletal. That would give us two possible rhymes: Dud Bud or Late Mate

Overall Reapings


In search of foot prints...

46) George Saunders


MacArthur ?Genius Grant? fellow George Saunders is the New York Times bestselling author of several collections of short stories, including Tenth of December, Pastoralia, and CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, as well as a collection of essays and a book for children. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.

47) Give me your tired, ..


Emma Lazarus

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

Click on the link above to see more..

Questions, when asked by wondering minds do not necessarily need a context. Perhaps context, like a place, may give a sense of reality. That context started on a late evening when the lingering reluctant light gave way to darkness. Narayan wanted to go along for the walk. As we went past these woods to our left on the sidewalk, he asked

"Are snakes meat eaters?"

"Yes. I think they are"

"How come?"

"What else should they eat?"

"Well they could eat grass...."

"Ummmm..." was all I could say at the moment.

What will I find as I look further?

There is much certainity in the agora (public square) that the crisis of jobs today is one of education.

On much reflection I claim that the problem is not one of education. My hypothesis goes like this. For a given amount of population jobs don't depend on how many years someone went to school.

It was, and probably is even today, true that there are hoardes of engineers, lawyers, and those with masters degrees going with out jobs in India. So getting the unemployed earn advanced degrees would not have solved the problem.

Then one flips the coin and say the problem is demand. But this fails to validate in the United states context. Working for a large corporation, I know that there is a substantial need to hire more people.

So there is a chasm that needs to be solved.

In the long run a "job" is about work and not money. Money will follow.

A 100 years ago a father or mother will take along their kids in their respective professions. You learn on the job. You survive in the context of your relative prosperity. This is not the case anymore in modern societies. The skills and training is transferred to schools and other corporations and as a parent you have very little time to mold and train your young.

This is not a bemoaning fact but the consequences are not entirely desirable unless there is a shift in community thought.

Now to the point I want to make. Corporations MUST hire high school graduates as percentage mandate.They should remove the bachelors requirement. 80% of the work even the most demanding corporation does can be taught with in a few months. Pay them less. that is ok. As I said money is not same as work. It is the work that is holy of the two. Demand more of young to perform. Give them hope. Give them dignity. Give them confidence. Give them an Umbrella.

Read these comments that broke over an incident in Russia where a man was killed defending the word for poetry...

(I'LL NEVER FORGET) THE DAY I READ A BOOK (Jimmy Durante and Jackie Barnett) 
There's one day that I recall, though it was years ago. 
All my life I will remember it, I know. 
I'll never forget the day I read a book. 
It was contagious, seventy pages. 
There were pictures here and there, 
So it wasn't hard to bear, 
The day I read a book. 
It's a shame I don't recall the name of the book. 
It wasn't a history. I know because it had no plot. 
It wasn't a mystery, because nobody there got shot. 
The day I read a book ? I can't remember when, 
But one o' these days, I'm gonna do it again. 
SPOKEN: Ah, lit'rature! There's nothin' like sittin' home... 

I caught an hour of CSPAN sporadically as I was preparing breakfast and lunch for the kids that are both in American public schools.

The program was interviewing high school students that were chosen to be given a week long experience-tour of the congress and the American Government (I surmise as I didn't catch the title of the program).

I was so impressed with the high-school-age students that were present. They spoke clearly. They spoke eloquently. They clearly spoke from the heart. They are hopeful yet practical. They were willing to be inspired. There were lots of them. Probably most states were represented. It does make one wonder what if you were to make them a working-congress for a month!!

Someone somewhere is doing a GREAT job with these kids!!

I say America is in good hands growing up!

55) Indestructible..


A man of great wealth
A man of great stature 
A man of ripe age
told me once in a moment of earnest affection

Gather wealth
It may be dwindled by expense
it may wither in a season of misfortune
it may fall prey to cunning and thievery

Instead he said, Gather Knowledge
for unlike wealth it can never be stolen
Indestructible is Knowledge
In dispense it shall multiply
In seasons difficult it should be your friend

Indeed Learned ones profess,
In Scholarship and humility 
Lies true Wealth

56) ineluctable



57) Is Music a language?


The Subjectivity of Experience
Aspects of the Music-Language Relationship
Music As Language
The Vocal Origins of Music
Talking About Music
Music and Semiotics
Information Theory
Generative Grammar
Music Theory
Specialized Music Languages
Western Music Notation
MIDI Data Protocol
Teaching by Example

- by Chris Dobrian

These are some excerpts from a WSJ article by James Kelly and Scott Nadler.

The are making a case for leadership at every level and how it is essential in all endeavours.

Here is a summary of the guidelines

1. Make the decission to be a leader
2. Focus on influence and not control
3. Empower horizontal organizations
4. work on your trusted advisor skills
5. Dont wait for a perfect time, but just a good time
6. Create vaccums or questions and not imposing solutions
7. Ask questions with out answers
8. wonder "what if"

Please note, I have paraphrased things a little bit here and there. If you are stickler read the article from WSJ.

59) James Q Wilson


James Q Wilson

I've got three dogs, but two of them ran away with the other one. Actually I had one named Blake, but we sold him because he was digging in the garden. And then we got another one. Her name is Princess Jasmine and she likes to play with us. Ethan might have a play date.

We are like birds of a feather
We are two hearts joined together
We will be forever as one
My brother under the sun

62) Just well said



Soon, I am sure this name will slip my fishnet brain. I should make an attempt to remember. His name is Julio Diaz. Perhaps a detour before that.

I dislike book critics especially the flowery praise they so generously dish out

Target is not a place I am fond of. For every birthday I end up buying two gifts: one for my 5 year old and another for who ever the birthday happens to be. On one such run I saw a book prominently displayed on the shelf. A book that has about 1000 pages. I gave up on critics, especially book and movie ones. The praise is so diluted I should not bother to read the reviews. While the mind is idle, eyes involuntarily scans. This book is recommended by Oprah's book club. I have never read any thing that is recommended from them. And I am luke warm to the O magazine so I picked the 1000 pages, at 30 dollars, up.

What is it worth

I have read through the racy book over three weeks. I am glad, at least it was not boring, although it was well pandering to the vice, intrigue, and the good. I could disavow the book with out much of a qualm but for one page. I felt this one page is worth reading the whole book for.

Remigius: The deliverer

Remigius is plotting to become the Prior of the Kingsbridge Priory. He undermines the rightful Philip through a difficult set of circumstances. As luck would have it in the end he was exposed and expelled from the Priory. Sometime later as Philip and his Apprentice Tommy were travelling on horseback they ran into someone searching for food. They recognize Remigius and Philip offers him wine and bread much to the disliking of Tommy. Philip in his kindness offers Remigius to come back to the Priory. Remigius wonders in return in what position. Philip points out the inhumility and offers Remigius to come as a monk and live the rest of life with out authority but humility. After much thought Remigius agrees to join the Priory. Remigius recognizes the weight of the offer despite the evil things that he had done to Philip. The realization is not affected but truthful.

Philip offers the physically weekend Remigius his horse to follow the rest of the way. Tommy wonders aloud how Philip is going to get back to the Priory. With only two horses, and both being occupied now, Philip points to the obvious that he would be walking. To his protests Philip tells his apprentice that more than a thousand righteous men, one that truly changed his mind for the better, is more in glory.

An unlikely pair

New York and an immigrant: Neither are in vogue at the moment. I have heard this on NPR. On his way home every night Julio Diaz would get off the subway and eat in a diner and head home. Not much is known to me about him other than this. On one such nights on an empty platform a teenager mugs him for his wallet. Wallet has changed pockets. Julio says as the teenager walks away, "It is a cold night, you could use my jacket if you are thinking of mugging a few more!". The teenager stops and wonders why. Julio says "If you are willing to give up your freedom for a few dollars, you must be really in need of money!". He then offers him to walk with him and have dinner with him. During dinner the teenager wonders if Julio owned the place. But Julio was merely a customer but a friend as well as the two roles did not contradict. He was surprised Julio was nice even to the dishwasher. Things worked out themselves in the end.


I have puzzled what school did Julio go to for his education? Wonder how Julio would fare in intelligence tests? Wondered if he followed the 7 habbits of the most successful people? Wondered if he owned a pair of Air Jordans? How did he manage to dispatch so much beauty with so little green involved?

Family likeness has often a deep sadness in it. Nature, that great tragic dramatist, knits us together by bone and muscle, and divides us by the subtler web of our brains; blends yearning and repulsion; and ties us by our heart-strings to the beings that jar us at every movement.

We hear a voice with the very cadence of our own uttering the thoughts we despise; we see eyes-ah, so like our mother's!- averted from us in cold alienation; and our last darling child startles us with the air and gestures of the sister we parted from in bitterness long years ago.

The father to whom we owe our best heritage-the mechanical instinct, the keen sensibility to harmony, the unconscious skill of the modelling hand-galls us and puts us to shame by his daily errors; the long-lost mother, whose face we begin to see in the glass as our own wrinkles come, once fretted our young souls with her anxious humours and irrational persistence.

...George Eliot

65) Language and Expression


"You need to make up your mind. Where do you want to go?" taking a 6 year old to lunch is not always unannoying.

"No fancy place! Please, Dad! No fancy place"

"Why not?"

"You have to wait for a long time."

Urgency of food seem to trump the clearly trivial matters. That's how one day we were sitting under this hairy ape at Larry's subs. I see his eyes measuring the place and his fingers and hands and then his teeth twisted to make himself look like a giant ape. Finally here is the kindred mind that gets the decor.

"Wow! Dad, I know"

"What is it that you know"

"This place is expired by King Kong!!"

66) Legends and Lyrics


Legends and Lyrics

Let me but move one question to your daughter - Shak.

always distinct, always surprising

68) Making stuff


Making stuff

maw: the undulating maw of time

A window opening. A glimpse of the ungraspable. A sudden surge of love ... or hope ... or awe. We asked artists, writers, thinkers, and doers to recall the flashes of understanding that took their breath away.

Read the rest here

Navaratna Harame Amaru Neeku!!

Note to self: Read "Complications" by Atul Gawande

There are three radio shows that I regard very highly. Two of them from the US and one from the BBC. Here the three not in any particular order.

The three shows

  • My word from BBC. I am not sure if this show is still in broad cast. I used to listen to this about 10 years ago. Eclectic, tasteful, very intelligent.
  • Prairee home companion from NPR on saturdays and gets rebroadcasted on sundays as well. This is one of a kind show. Very intelligent again and at the same time profoundly funny. The opposite of slap-stick. A show for the mind.
  • The car talk from NPR. Beautifully done. Quirky and quitessentially portrays America at its best. A sense of joy. A sense of confidence. A sense of day to day life all across the United States of America. Just to make sure the reader is not side tracked this show is a call in show where people enquire about cars and car problems.


On Clarity and its intimate relationship to Work and Happyness

76) Online dictionaries


Various dictionaries!

Oscar Hamerstein and brilliant lyrics

78) Ought to be fun..


Life ought to be fun.
Are there ways otherwise?
While in healh
Ought to be fun

Life ought to be fun

Unbearing is Worry
Hence such is not fruitful
Unavailing is Worry
Hence such it garners no gain

Not Mad, but Act you must for Even
Pray not forget
Life ought to be fun
Else, are there ways otherwise??
palikeDidi bhAgavatamaTa
palikiMceDi vADu rAma bhadruMDaTa nE
palikina bhava hara magunaTa 
palikeda vEroMDu gAtha palukaga nElA 


That gets said, listen, is the book of God.
One that sayeth is Him, in truth.
Having said rebirth in suppression, I hear.
I should say then and hence,
A saga second, say why?

See here for more..

80) Peggy Lee and Fever


On Jan 8th, Saturday, 2011, WJCT around 8pm played what I thought, (I am an utter non-musicologist), sounded like Big Band Jazz. It was good.

Couple of days later, wanign memory of advancing age, with neighther head nor tail of the program nor the name of the unknown female voice I googled for hours and found Peggy Lee and Fever. Worth the search.

81) Places



Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks
I greatly fear my money is not safe

The full text of the paragraph from the Comedy of Errors

Upon my life, by some device or other
The villain is o'er-raught of all my money.
They say this town is full of cozenage,
As, nimble jugglers that deceive the eye,
Dark-working sorcerers that change the mind,
Soul-killing witches that deform the body,
Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks,
And many such-like liberties of sin:
If it prove so, I will be gone the sooner.
I'll to the Centaur, to go seek this slave:
I greatly fear my money is not safe.

Cozenage - trickery and artifice

Narayan is 4 years. Will be 5 in November. Here is not an entirely uncommon conversation.

"Dad, I am done!!!"
"Yes, Narayan, Don't scream. I will be right there."
"Did you see?"
"What do you want me to see?"
"I did a lot of 'em. The big one sanked. I ate a lot of food"

Rabindranath Maitra and Manmoyee Girls School

Those hot dry winds that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen.

I needed a drink. I needed a lot of life insurance. I needed a vacation. I needed a home in the country. What I had was a hat, a coat and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room.

Read some works by Alfred Russel Wallace

88) Reading Amartya Sen


Reading Amartya Sen

89) Reading Jayadeva


Reading Jayadeva

90) Reading TTC


Reading TTC

91) Reading Vannevar Bush


Reading Vannevar Bush

92) Reading Walden Pond


Reading Walden Pond

Readng Kalidasas Kumara Sambhavam

94) ROI


At least for 6 years, I have catered, cooked, and at times forced breakfast on Narayan. That is 2,190 (give or take a few) mornings I wouldn't have to see the sunlight creep into our house but I could precisely tell what I would be doing at that very moment, which usually is the same. Those are 2,190 mornings that seem so alike on every one of those mornings.

November 5th, 2009. One more morning. Every minute of it predictable. We were walking out with our bags into a faultless pleasant fall morning.

Narayan asked me "What did YOU eat for breakfast".

I haven't been asked that question in many many many years. In fact it must have been so long I have no living memory of anyone ever asking.

95) Rounder Records


Rounder Records

Scott Simon, December 20th 2008 show

98) Show me a T-Rex Dad


See the rest at

So how badly do I write...

100) song: My Stolen Identity


song: My Stolen Identity

song: Ray Lamontagne: Devil's in the Jukebox

what is South Pacific? A musical...

Some reviews

Where to Buy a DVD of SouthPacific with Kelly O'Hara, new cast recording

where to buy mp3s of south pacific

It may be cheesy at places but I have very much liked it. Wait for about 30 minutes before it picks up. It is an artistically inspiring accomplishment. I would like to watch it again. I can still count on my fingers (just one hand) after all these years, the number of films I wanted to watch again, right after leaving the theatre.

Spencer Tracey: Inherit the Wind

105) Stanton Multi


Stanton Multi

Stars and Such, Jacksonville, FL

She stands out with her voice and secular humility

Extracted from the PBS Site

Susan Werner's musical path has taken her from opera to pop, jazz and classic folk songs.

But in her latest album, The Gospel Truth, this singer-songwriter explores America's gospel roots ? an experience that leads to her own spiritual journey.

109) Taking stock of 2012


Likes and dislikes of 2012.

It serves well to remember what inspires. I repeat here a paragraph from Ivan Sutherland followed by links to read the rest.

I, for one, am and will always remain a practicing technologist. When denied my minimum daily adult dose of technology, I get grouchy. I believe that technology is fun, especially when computers are involved, a sort of grand game or puzzle with ever so neat parts to fit together. I have turned down several lucrative administrative jobs because they would deny me that fun. If the technology you do isn't fun for you, you may wish to seek other employment. Without the fun, none of us would go on." ..Ivan Sutherland


I came to read this paragraph prompted by James Gosling's Weblog recommending to read his essay on Technology and Courage.

Here is the link to the PDF file titled: Technology and Courage

Make voyages! Attempt them... there's nothing else.

More ..

Weekend Edition Saturday, March 10, 2007 � Playwright Tennessee Williams kept "notebooks" for most of his life. Collected and annotated by Margaret Bradham Thornton, they have been published for the first time. Actor Rick Foucheux reads from the notebooks.

Did I die by my own hand or was I destroyed slowly and brutally by a conspiratorial group? ... Perhaps I was never meant to exist at all, but if I hadn't, a number of my created beings would have been denied their passionate existence ... The best I can say for myself is that I worked like hell.

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. 
An evil soul producing holy witness 
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek, 
A goodly apple rotten at the heart: 
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath! 

1. The air is drugged with azalea blossoms - Rexroth

2. O heart, heart, so singularly Intransigent and corruptible. ... Moments slide unconsciously by us kike water - rexroth

3. Life is some kind of loathsome hag, Who is forever threatening to turn beautiful - William Meredith

4. Someone even more silent Passes over the grass without bendin it. ... It seems possible To live simply on this earth - Charles Simic

5. The joy that isnt shared, i have heard, dies young - Anne sexton

A few lines here...

She nursed me in many a sick room, 
lifted teaspoons of medicine to my lips, 
set cold facecloths on my forehead 
then led me out into the airy light 
and taught me to walk and swim and I in turn presented her with a lanyard. 
"Here are thousands of meals" she said, 
"and here is clothing and a good education." 
"And here is your lanyard," I replied, 
"which I made with a little help from a counselor." 
"Here is a breathing body and a beating heart, 
strong legs, bones and teeth and two clear eyes to read the world." she whispered. 
"And here," I said, "is the lanyard I made at camp." 
"And here," I wish to say to her now, 
"is a smaller gift. Not the archaic truth, 
that you can never repay your mother, 
but the rueful admission that when she took the two-toned lanyard from my hands, 
I was as sure as a boy could be 
that this useless worthless thing I wove out of boredom 
would be enough to make us even

The Melody of Rhythm: Bela and Hussain

117) The phantom tollbooth


The phantom tollbooth

118) Theodore Dalrymple


"Perhaps this would not be so serious a matter if the British economy were not a so-called service economy. It has been such ever since Margaret Thatcher solved our chronic industrial relations problem by the simple expedient of getting rid of industry."

and in search of other quips.

  1. Back to your bridge you evil troll! You have no powers here.
  2. Don't make me go Psycho-Bitch on your annoying ass
  3. I'm sorry. My fault. I forgot you were an idiot.
  4. Amazingly enough, I don't give a shit
  5. A few clowns short of a circus now aren't we?
  6. Whoop-dee fucking-do!
  7. Not the brightest crayon in the box now aren't we?
  8. Well, aren't we just a ray of fucking sunshine
  9. Admitting you're an asshole is the first step
  10. You say I'm a bitch like it's a bad thing
  11. A hard-on doesn't count as personal growth
  12. Aren't we just a lettle freak of nature?
  13. Easy there Mr. Testosterone, you can be replaced by a zucchini


Borrowed summarily from

This art effort from google is remarkable

Click on the image below for a fascinating account of how services (water, phone, steam, sewage, travel) are delivered through underground in NYC. If you go to the link make sure you click on each of the embedded links in the annotated image. Just goes to show how complicated/organized complex societies are!!!

123) Threnody


or even Keen

124) Tom Robbins


Tom Robbins

Paraphrasing his interview on NPR

What do you call when you give a middle aged, mid land, confirming soul a dose of magic mushrooms and follow him with a TV camera?

A reality TV show called "fungi for the straight guy"

125) True antidote to sleep


More effective than cofee is to truly engage the mind in an activity that the mind truly likes and searches for answers actively.

The opposite of this is a boring activity that the mind is not interested in for some reason.

Understanding particles. Perhaps basic for some. The continuum of sub atomic particles to energy is fascinating! And new discoveries regularly to further keep us wonder. Please, please, don't believe anyone that said before "I told you!". It is demeaning to the great minds that work on these things year after year.

Vaa.da.ya.tei Mru.du Vei.Num

128) vakragathi



129) Value of baking chicken


The marching years haven't diminished my capacity to err or my propensity for exageration, especially in what I write. When I go over what I write, in every iteration I find something to be removed. Resulting wisdom begs me for restraint and simplicity while flippant emotion egg me otherwise the next time, irrespective.

In that context the staggering simplicity of my 9 year old took me by surprise. This is what Kavitha wrote

My Dad

Very smart
Takes walks
Bakes chicken
Amazing writer
Likes playing sports
Excellent artist
Loves me

..Love Kavitha

130) Vilambanam #word


Vilambanam #word

131) Well Written


Well Written

132) Wes Davis


Wes Davis

Full many a glorious morning have I seen 
Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye, 
Kissing with golden face the meadows green, 
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy; 
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride 
With ugly rack on his celestial face, 
And from the forlorn world his visage hide, 
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace: 
Even so my sun one early morn did shine 
With all triumphant splendor on my brow; 
But out, alack! he was but one hour mine; 
The region cloud hath mask'd him from me now. 
Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth; 
Suns of the world may stain when heaven's sun staineth.

"Lunkhead" is someone who will fail to transmogrify you back into a boy from a tiger but instead transmogrified you into a vile-awful amphibian using a transmogrifier machine such as a cardboard box stated in no unclear terms on the outside that it is a "transmogrifier".

At times the following colorful words, omitting the more potent one, can take its place:

dunce, dunderhead, numskull, blockhead, bonehead, hammerhead, knucklehead, loggerhead, muttonhead.

Did you converse, sir, with this gentlewoman?
What is the course and drift of your compact?

From Comedy of Errors

137) When you are Big


When you are big,
You speak of you few.

When you are big,
At others you direct your praise.

When you are big,
Foibles and folly of yours,
In jest, you treat.

When you are big,
No aegis on your breast.

When you are big,
Unfasten fly pride.

When you are big,
At large and fugitive, your Self.

When you are proud,
Petite at best, stature!

When you understand,
Wise and Silly therefore you are.

138) When you start young


Mountains you climb,
Summits you reach,
When you start young,
far exceed your accounting!

On each sunset that draws to close,
Efforts expended,
should console you,
if not ensconce you in peace.

Should I shuffle?

There are 10 cards. 9 of them have goats and 1 of them have a car. I spread them on a table. I pick one and set it aside with out looking. Now there are two piles of them on the table. The one I picked in one pile and the rest of nine in another pile. Let's call the piles Pile_1 and Pile_9.

My hope is I picked the one with the car. I wonder now if I want to keep the card or do I want to pick again from the pile of 9 Pile_9 and return the one that I had picked earlier to the pile. Or do I want to stick with my original choice. Which one will be to my advantage? Should I change or stick with the original choice?


why would I change? what is my incentive? Because originally I picked 1 out of 10. If I were to change my mind, as the reason goes, then I will pick 1 out of 9 which seems better than 1 out of 10. Nevertheless there is a suspicion that the card may not be there in this pile Pile_9. How can I mathematically conclude that this picking from the pile of 9 again by setting one aside is same as 1/10?

  1. I pick 1. I set it aside.
  2. My probability at this point that the car is in the pile of 9 is 9/10.
  3. Assuming that the car is in the pile of 9, If I pick from pile of 9, then my probability that I pick the car is 1/9.
  4. So the dependent probability of me picking a car from the pile of 9 is

9/10 times 1/9 = 1/10

Lets try putting 2 cards aside, making two pools of 2 and 8.

The probability of picking a car from the 2 pile is:

2/10 times 1/2 = 1/10

The probability of picking a car from the 8 pile is:

8/10 times 1/8 = 1/10

What if I break them into more than 2 piles?

Pile_x, Pile_y, Pile_z so that x + y + z = 10

Pile_x chances

1. Probability that it is in pile_x


2. Probability that I pick my car from pile_x


2. The dependent probability that I got my car if I were to chose pile_x

x/10 times 1/x resulting in 1/10

The argument will apply to pile_y and pile_z as well. So it doesn't really matter in how many piles I break my cards, and it doesn't matter which pile I chose to pick my chances are the same.

Mathematically Speaking

Doesn't matter how I split the cards, as long I don't know what is in those piles, the probability of picking a car from any pile still stays at 1 out of 10. So it doesn't matter how many times you shuffle, your probability is not going to change.

140) who is Ardi?


141) who is David Steinberg?


who is David Steinberg?

142) who is Geraldine Brooks?


143) Who is Howard Pyle?


Who is Howard Pyle?

144) Who is Miguel Zenon


"This young musician and composer is at once reestablishing the artistic, cultural, and social tradition of jazz while creating an entirely new jazz language for the 21st century."

--MacArthur Foundation,2008.

A link to MacArthur citation

145) Who is Norman Borlaug?


Who is Norman Borlaug?

146) Who is Tony Foster?


Dubbed as artist explorer incredibly inspiring paintings

His homepage is at


147) Who is Victor Borge?


Who is Victor Borge? I saw him on PBS. Introducing phonics for punctuation is brilliant.

148) words I misspell


words I misspell

But, my good friend, what will you do then with your fellow parishioner who opposes your husband in the vestry? With your newly appointed vicar, whose style of preaching you find painfully below that of his regretted predecessor? With the honest servant who worries your soul with her one failing? With your neighbour, Mrs. Green, who was really kind to you in your last illness, but has said several ill?natured things about you since your convalescence?

Nay, with your excellent husband himself, who has other irritating habits besides that of not wiping his shoes? These fellow?mortals, every one, must be accepted as they are: you can neither straighten their noses, nor brighten their wit, or rectify their dispositions; and it is these people - amongst whom your life is passed - that it is needful you should tolerate, pity, and love: it is these more or less ugly, stupid, inconsistent people whose movements of goodness you should be able to admire - for whom you should cherish all possible hopes, all possible patience.

website for the book

If the few pages I have read is any indication, I haven't read a book this funny in ages.

Even my 4th grade daughter finsihed the book in a single sitting. If you can make a 4th grader read a book with out prodding and threats it is a severe compliment to the author.