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Archive for August, 2012

A lawyer with a roving commission.
  —  Ambrose Bierce
 from: “The Devil’s Dictionary
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One skilled in the circumvention of the law.
  —  Ambrose Bierce
from: “The Devil’s Dictionary
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It is the paradox of the close call.  Probability wise, near misses aren’t successes.  They are indicators of near failure.  And if the flaw is systemic, it requires only a small twist of fate for the next incident to result in disaster.  Rather than celebrating then ignoring close calls, we should be learning from them and doing our very best to prevent their recurrence.  But we often don’t.
  —  Ben Paynter
from his Wired Magazine article: “The Fire Next Time
Aug 2012
[This is very reminiscent of the writing of Nassim Taleb – “The Black Swan” in that we are poor judges of probability and take credit for our success while attributing failure to bad luck.  Failing to review “successes” for near failure systemic flaws makes the disaster seem inevitable in hindsight.  But, we typically don’t learn from our successes.  Do we?  —  KMAB]
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It is indeed rather astonishing how little practical value scientific knowledge has for ordinary men, how dull and commonplace such of it as has value is, and how its value seems almost to vary inversely to its reputed utility.
   —  G. H. Hardy
from his book: “A Mathematician’s Apology
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Every action must be due to one or the other of seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reasoning, anger, or appetite.
  —  Aristotle
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All human wisdom is summed up in two words —  wait and hope.
  —  Alexandre Dumas
from: “The Count Of Monte Cristo
[Actually, that’s three words…  —  KMAB]
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The passing of Neil Armstrong today reminded me of another great American who I recently read hasn’t been doing too well lately: Willie Nelson.
I was never much of a “country” music fan until I got to Germany while I was serving in the Army.  My roommate was from Dallas, Texas and had been a DJ while working his way through college.  Anyway, he liked lots of different types of music, but was particularly fond of country and was a big fan of Willie’s.  Many is the night we sat around listening to Willie, drinking and playing cards.
Although my roommate was a “typically” obnoxious Texan about most things, he did manage to pass on to me a deep appreciation for country music and I’ll always be grateful for that.
Anyway, here’s the lyrics to one of my favorite Willie Nelson songs: “Always On My Mind“.  I think all hard-working family men will be able to appreciate the words and the spirit of the song.  And hopefully, a bunch of you long suffering wives will too…
As always, enjoy the lyrics and then go listen to Willie sing it.  It’s been covered by loads of others, so take your pick of your favorite…
And, Willie, get well soon.  You’re in our thoughts and prayers.
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That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
  —  Neil Armstrong
10:56 p.m. ET on 20 July 1969
The first words spoken after setting foot on the moon.
[Rest In Peace, Neil.  As long as humanity looks at the moon and stars, your name will be remembered…   —  KMAB]
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Ummm

I always have trouble remembering three things: faces, names and  —  I can’t remember what the third thing is.
  —  Fred Allen
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The idea of a number means letting it float away in your mind and knowing that it will still be there when you come back with things to count, and knowing at the same time that a number can exist nowhere but in your mind.  Whatever you’re counting is real —  it may very well be touchable, unless you’re counting something like the dreams you’ve had since Monday.   But numbers are not real; they’re an idea.  Abstract numbers are a little like bubbles.  If you look at them too long, they’re gone.  You have to trust that they’re still there, even — especially — that they exist at all.
  —  Bunny Crumpacker
from her book: “Perfect Figures
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Sometimes one has to say difficult things, but one ought to say them as simply as one knows how.
  —  G. H. Hardy
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Minor Gifts

For any serious purpose, intelligence is a very minor gift.
  —  G. H. Hardy
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sometimes we love with nothing more than hope…  sometimes we cry with everything except tears…
  —  A partial quote from the blog entry: Such Is Life
on the blog site: Amazingly Beautiful Life (http://amazinglybeautifullife.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/such-is-life/)
[This is one of the several blogs I follow.  I’m continuously amazed at the beauty which can be expressed with simple words and ideas…  —  KMAB]
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Is it so small a thing
To have enjoyed the sun,
To have lived light in the spring,
To have loved,
To have thought,
To have done?
  —  Matthew Arnold
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Hello subscribers, casual readers and anyone else stumbling onto my blog today!
This is my 1,010th posting!  It’s a quirky number.  Very binary.  In the spirit of quirkiness, I thought I’d use it as the title…
Anyway…
Yesterday, I finally got around to seeing the latest Batman movie: “The Dark Knight Rises“.  Of course I AM a big comic / movie adaptation fan so I have a natural bias to enjoying these types of films.  And I did.
The current Batman series (for want of a better term – the Nolan series) is all about redemption generally, and despair, hope and struggle specifically.  As such, this latest version is a great tying up of loose ends between the three movies.  Why do we fall?  So that we can get back up – and be better for it…
The third movie has a lot of political undercurrents in it.  There has been a lot of criticism about this in (mostly conservative) movie reviews.  While I recognize the complaints, it’s difficult for me to agree there is a causal relationship between current events (Occupy Wall Street) and this movie as I understand the movie was written and filmed well before the events of the last year.  That’s not to say the events might not have had some impact on the final editing, but who’s to say as a casual movie goer.
What did I like about the movie?  Well, excepting for a few fight scenes, this is really a Bruce Wayne movie (harkening back to the first movie).  As Batman is really “just” a normal man with no super-powers, I like this more even treatment of both sides of the main character.  I also liked the more in-depth exposition of the origin of the Bane character.  This is in contrast to the second movie where there was almost nothing about the Joker.  It’s obvious to me that Heath Ledger was FAR better as a villain, but then my criticism of the second movie was that it was a Joker movie, not a Batman movie.  This third edition is, I believe more balanced.
I also really liked (and was surprised by) Anne Hathaway as the “un-named” Catwoman and ultimate romantic interest.  I didn’t really “see” her in the role as I understood it (a bad-guy), but the change of the character to a misunderstood quasi-Robin Hood wanna-be seemed to make it – the role – believable for her.  In any case, I thought she brought the right amount of glamour, humor and sexiness to the role.
Most everyone else just filled out their normal roles, with Alfred (Michael Caine) being a little bit too soppy for my tastes.
A lot of the movies action sequences are unrealistic and there is one medical miracle, but hey, this is a comic book as well as a Hollywood movie, so the criteria is fun and entertaining, not realism.
Major criticism?  The sound editing is VERY bad.  In some parts of the movie, the characters speaking are unintelligible – particularly Bane.  Fortunately, I don’t think dialogue was the movie’s strong suit anyway (remember – comic book, action movie).
As such, I highly recommend this movie and look forward to adding it to my DVD collection when it comes out on sale.
And on to my next quirky post number…
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