Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January, 2015

For barbarism is always around civilization, amid it and beneath it, ready to engulf it by arms, or mass migration, or unchecked fertility.  Barbarism is like the jungle; it never admits its defeat; it waits patiently for centuries to recover the territory it has lost.
     —   Will Durant
From his book: “The History of Civilization:  Our Oriental Heritage
.
On This Day In:
2014 Unknown
2013 Explaining Love?
2012 Echoes of 1%
2011 Salaam, Egypt!!
Where Do You Learn?

Read Full Post »

If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.
   —  Ivan Turgenev
.
On This Day In:
2014 Big C, Little B (II)
Where God Has Not
2013 Chasing His Dragon
Shaped And Molded
2012 Believe In Yourself
2011 Cultural Equivalence
Why Not?
Books About Books
The Basis For Adult Continuing Education

Read Full Post »

For to know a man’s library is, in some measure, to know his mind.
  —  Geraldine Brooks
[Read any books lately?  I would argue the same is true for a person’s blog…   Have you written / read any blogs lately?   —  KMAB]
.
On This Day In:
2014 Heathen, n.
2013 Wisdom’s Folly
2012 When The Student Is Ready
Disconnected Leadership
2011 The Complex Richness Of Life

Read Full Post »

When small men attempt great enterprises, they always end by reducing them to the level of their mediocrity.
   —  Napoleon Bonaparte
.
On This Day In:
2014 Gravitation, n.
2013 Ups And Downs
2012 Nerd Heard – And Good-Bye
Your Continuum
2011 Career Tips (Part 2)

Read Full Post »

I wish to tell as much as I can, in as little space as I can, of the contributions that genius and labor have made to the cultural heritage of mankind – to chronicle and contemplate, in their causes, character and effects, the advances of invention, the varieties of economic organization, the experiments in government, the aspirations of religion, the mutations of morals and manners, the masterpieces of literature, the development of science, the wisdom of philosophy, and the achievements of art.  I do not need to be told how absurd this enterprise is, nor how immodest is its very conception …  Nevertheless I have dreamed that despite the many errors inevitable in this undertaking, it may be of some use to those upon whom the passion for philosophy has laid the compulsion to try to see things whole, to pursue perspective, unity and time, as well as to seek them through science in space. …  Like philosophy, such a venture [as the creation of these 11 volumes] has no rational excuse, and is at best but a brave stupidity; but let us hope that, like philosophy, it will always lure some rash spirits into its fatal depths.
     —  Will Durant
From the preface of his book: “The History of Civilization:  Our Oriental Heritage
.
On This Day In:
2014 Wearing Down?
2013 Labouring Under A Curse
2012 Listen To Yourself
2011 Career Tips (Part 1)
No Captain Dunsel

Read Full Post »

The aim is to balance the terror of being alive with the wonder of being alive.
   ―  Carlos Castaneda
.
On This Day In:
2014 Next Rung
2013 Super Bowl Prep
Romantics
A Goal For Zen?
2012 Mutant Powers Of Obsession
2011 Federal Stars
Mud Pie

Read Full Post »

There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.
     —  Charles Dickens
.
On This Day In:
2014 Eyes Off
2013 The More Things Change…
2012 The Delicate Moment Of Giving
2011 Ready, Shoot, Aim!!

Read Full Post »

The last two of nights I’ve watched a couple of movies: “Lucy” – starring Scarlett Johansson, and “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2” – starring Joe Cross.
“Lucy” is a Sci-Fi action thriller about a woman exposed to a drug which allows her to access 100% of her brain’s processing capacity.  The movie is premised on the old dictum that we humans only use 10% of our brains.  The reality, of course, is that we use a lot more of our brain, but we’re not using it consciously – which doesn’t mean it’s not being used, only that we’re not aware of it being used.  The upshot of the movie is Lucy gains super-human powers which allow her to be the “action-hero” star of the film.  Saying much more will pretty much give away most of the movie, but if you see the trailer, you’ve pretty much seen the film and the ending is mostly just detail.
The movie is filmed with a gritty-ness which seems to be the trend these days (similar to “Kill Bill” and the “Bourne” films).  The special effects are interesting and the philosophy – life, evolution, the purpose of man – are all pretty standard fare, but they are well enough done so the movie is more than “just” a shoot-’em-up action film.  I enjoyed the movie and particularly that it used a female as the lead.  Is any of it realistic or scientifically accurate?  No and no.  But it is entertaining, and sometimes, that’s enough for me.  I’d caution there is a significant amount of violence, blood and gore, so the movie is not appropriate for small children.  Overall, I’d give it a strong rating, but not quite highly recommended.
The second movie I viewed was “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2“, which picks up five years after the first film.  The star (again) is Joe Cross who has found a way to make a living off of being the “Crocodile Dundee” of healthful juicing.  Joe comes back to the United States (he’s from Australia) to revisit the places and with some of the people from the original movie – and to reinforce the message that our Western foods and lifestyle are making us sick and killing us.  And, I don’t think there is any doubt they (our food and lifestyle) are (killing us).
2” lacks the originality of the first movie and really isn’t as humorous or interesting as the first edition.  Having said that, there is a difference between “movies” and “real life”.  In the movies, you discover the secret to losing weight and live happily ever after as a thin (and healthy) person.  In reality, there is stress, a lack of emotional support or resources, and, more often than not, you put all the weight you lost back on (usually, and then some).  And remember, this is a documentary, not just entertainment.
As such, I give the movie a “highly recommended” rating.  Sometimes, being a grown-up means being informed as well as being entertained.  Having watched the original several times and having been a “juicer” myself (off and on) for the last few years, I enjoyed the up-date from Joe and it was interesting to see some of the results of the first film on the lives of its participants.
.
On This Day In:
2014 Less Difficult
2013 The Spirit Of Liberty
2012 The Essential Freedom Of Aloneness
2011 A Problem Of Scale
Fred Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
2010 Another Book, Another Jog…

Read Full Post »

It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.
   —  Noël Coward
.
On This Day In:
2014 Less Difficult
2013 The Spirit Of Liberty
2012 The Essential Freedom Of Aloneness
2011 A Problem Of Scale
Fred Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
2010 Another Book, Another Jog…

Read Full Post »

Let me explain why I like to pay taxes for schools even though I don’t personally have a kid in school:  I don’t like living in a country with a bunch of stupid people.
    —  John Green
[Actually, I prefer the term “uneducated people”, but I guess being uneducated can lead to unwitting stupidity.  —  KMAB]
.
On This Day In:
2014 Inequality Of Sacrifice
2013 I Never Saw A Moor
2012 Fill In The Blank
Not For Naught
Cliff Notes To Life?
2011 Conference Games Sunday

Read Full Post »

“To win without a fight, we must be able to win a fight.  And we must make our adversary sure of that, by keeping multiple options that give them multiple dilemmas,” he said.  “War is a series of temporary conditions, and you lose during the transition.  Something always changes, so the question is, are we prepared for the transitions?”
   —  Gen. David Perkins,
Commander of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command
[This quote is taken from the article: “Army’s Doctrine Chief: Expect The Unexpected“,  in the magazine Government Executive.
The magazine web site is located at:  http://www.govexec.com/
The article can be found at: http://www.govexec.com/defense/2014/09/armys-doctrine-chief-expect-unexpected/95138/?oref=govexec_today_nl  —  KMAB]
.
On This Day In:
2014 Gaps
2013 Duty
2012 Cost Not Price
Superheroes
2011 The Simple Normalcy Of Everyday Life – “Squirrel!”

Read Full Post »

Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.
   ―  Kahlil Gibran
.
On This Day In:
2014 Desire For The Sea
2013 The Fierce Urgency Of NOW
Happy Inauguration Day!
2012 One Path
Sorrow And Joy
The Seven Year View
2011 Emergent Practicality

Read Full Post »

One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.  Two, never give up work.  Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it.  Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.
     —  Stephen Hawking
.
On This Day In:
2014 Lend Your Hand
2013 Amnesty, n.
2012 Best Resolv’d
The Clock Is Running
2011 Magic

Read Full Post »

Freedom of expression is like the air we breathe, we don’t feel it, until people take it away from us.
For this reason, Je suis Charlie, not because I endorse everything they published, but because I cherish the right to speak out freely without risk even when it offends others.   And no, you cannot just take someone’s life for whatever he/she expressed.
Hence this “Je suis Charlie” edition.
– #JeSuisCharlie
[Today is the day we (in America) celebrate the birthday of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.  The day is best celebrated by some act, some service to another, no matter how seemingly trivial, as long as it comes from a simple desire for joy, kindness, love or the spirit of just wanting to help another.  Please join me…  Act from your heart, today!  —  KMAB]
.
On This Day In:
2014 The Crux
2013 Erosion And Rechannelling
Alliance, n.
2012 How Many Thought… (One I Know Of)
Choices And Decisions
2011 Speed Spoils
Simply Intended
2010 A Second 4 Hour Jog

Read Full Post »

Thursday I completed the novel “Ender’s Game” (1985©), written by Orson Scott Card.  The novel is an expanded version of a short story Card wrote back in 1977 for a SciFi magazine.  The book is fairly well know in SciFi circles and won both the Nebula and Hugo awards for best novel.  Both awards are for best SciF novel with the Nebula being the American award and the Hugo being the international version of same.  In addition to the “normal” SciFi crowd, the book is popular in the military community and is “expected” reading in at least one branch (U.S. Marine Corps).
Basically, the book is a coming of age story for a young (pre-teen) Caesar / Napoleonic / Alexander character who, through an undiscussed eugenics process, has been bred to lead the combined Earth forces in an interplanetary war against a race of giant ants called the “Formics”.  They are more “affectionately” called “bugs” or “buggers”.  The story traces his (Andrew “Ender” Wiggin) life from just before he leaves his family, through his “growing-up” at a military academy to the end of the war.  To say much more is to give away a substantial amount of the ending.
Despite the implausibility of a story about an 11 year old being granted the authority to lead an interplanetary armada and the short span of time between “know-nothing” to force commander, the story is a pretty good one.  The story is very much “Lord of the Flies” -In-Space, but I still found the book and the twist at the end enjoyable.  In fairness to the reader coming at the book for the first time, I must admit, I saw the movie version first and enjoyed it too.  The movie (same name) was released in late 2013, and having seen the previews, it piqued my interest.  In the end, I never saw it at the theater because I thought it was going to be a “young Harry Potter saves the world from aliens” kid’s movie.  Anyway, I remembered the movie preview and when I got a chance to catch it on the tube, I took advantage of the opportunity.  I was pleasantly surprised to have enjoyed it as much as I did.  This in turn led me to be on the look-out for the book(s) – there is a whole series – which I have finally gotten into.
The movie tracks the book pretty accurately, so the book’s ending wasn’t the surprise it might have been, but I felt (as usual) the book had the time and space to explain what was happening a lot better than the movie did.  This isn’t a criticism of the movie as much as it is an acknowledgement that action movies don’t lend themselves to narration accept at the beginning and ending.  In between, it’s the action which is supposed to tell the story (normally).
I found the military tactics, personal combat, team building, working on one’s craft, and the personal/internal conflict about the morality of inflicting pain and death on an enemy to all be accurate within my (very) limited experience of each.  Fortunately, I was never placed in a position to shoot / kill someone, but I still have distinct memories of basic training and realizing there was a reason the “targets” were silhouettes of the enemy instead of simple concentric rings.  We were being trained to shoot at other humans, not at bull’s-eyes’.
I found the movie interesting and enjoyable, but also troubling.  Because the book explains more, it is more troubling.  So my final recommendation for the movie is recommended, and, for the book, highly recommended.  If it’s good enough for the Marine Corps “Recommended Reading List”, it’s good enough for me!
.
On This Day In:
2014 Two Thoughts
2013 RIP – Dear Abby
Half-Life Problems
2012 To The Soul…
2011 Reverted!!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: