Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February, 2015

Science advances by discovering new things and developing new ideas.  Few truly new ideas are developed without abandoning old ones first.  As theoretical physicist Max Planck (1858–1947) noted, “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”  In other words, science advances by a series of funerals.
  —  John Brockman
From his book:  “This Idea Must Die: Scientific Theories That Are Blocking Progress
.
On This Day In:
2014 And Your Point Is?
2013 Infinitely Care
2012 In My Room
(Leap Year 29th) Stingray – TV Series Review   (This is my most popular post since starting my blog – hands down!  It still draws hits almost every week.  The hits seem to come mostly from Central Europe.  I guess the show must be in syndication there.)
(Leap Year 29th) A Single Thread
2011 Lyrical Mixture
Teaching = Translating

Read Full Post »

Tyrtaeus of Sparta

I would not say anything for a man nor take account of him
   For any speed of his feet or wrestling skill he might have,
Not if he had the size of a Cyclops and strength to go with it,
   Not if he could outrun Boreas, the North Wind of Thrace,
Not if he were more handsome and gracefully formed than Tithonos,
   Or had more riches than Midas had, or Kinyras too,
Not if he were more of a king than Tantalid Pelops,
  Or had the power of speech and persuasion Adrastos had,
Not if he had all splendors except for a fighting spirit.
   For no man ever proves himself a good man in war
Unless he can endure to face the blood and the slaughter,
   Go close against the enemy and fight with his hands.
Here is courage, mankind’s finest possession, here is
   The noblest prize that a young man can endeavor to win,
And it is a good thing his city and all the people share with him
   When a man plants his feet and stands in the foremost spears
Relentlessly, all thought of foul flight completely forgotten,
   And has well trained his heart to be steadfast and to endure,
And with words encourages the man who is stationed beside him.
   Here is a man who proves himself to be valiant in war.
With a sudden rush he turns to flight the rugged battalions
   Of the enemy, and sustains the beating waves of assault.
And he who so falls among the champions and loses his sweet life,
   So blessing with honor his city, his father, and all his people,
With wounds in his chest, where the spear that he was facing has transfixed
   That massive guard of his shield, and gone through his breastplate as well,
Why, such a man is lamented alike by the young and the elders,
   And all his city goes into mourning and grieves for his loss.
His tomb is pointed to with pride, and so are his children,
   And his children’s children, and afterward all the race that is his.
His shining glory is never forgotten, his name is remembered,
   And he becomes an immortal, though he lies under the ground,
When one who was a brave man has been killed by the furious War God
   Standing his ground and fighting hard for his children and land.
But if he escapes the doom of death, the destroyer of bodies,
   And wins his battle, and bright renown for the work of his spear,
All men give place to him alike, the youth and the elders,
   And much joy comes his way before he goes down to the dead.
Aging, he has reputation among his citizens.  No one
   Tries to interfere with his honors or all he deserves;
All men withdraw before his presence, and yield their seats to him,
   The youth, and the men his age, and even those older than he.
Thus a man should endeavor to reach this high place of courage
   With all his heart, and, so trying, never be backward in war.
.
On This Day In:
2014 Elected Madness
2013 Well Written
2012 Related Parts
2011 The King Is Oscar
Better Reputation?

Read Full Post »

Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens.  They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people in order to betray them.
  —  Joseph Story
Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States
[Found at one of the many blogs I follow:  http://jrbenjamin.com/
The specific post / page is at: http://jrbenjamin.com/2015/01/26/americas-threat-from-within/
Please visit the original site if you have a moment to spare…   —  KMAB]
.
On This Day In:
2014 Each Moment
2013 Conversation
2012 4 Down, 11 Done (At Last)
I’m Not Afraid
2011 Who’s Risk Is It, Anyway?

Read Full Post »

[On China in 1935…]  No victory of arms, or tyranny of alien finance, can long suppress a nation so rich in resources and vitality.  The invader will lose funds or patience before the loins of China will lose virility; within a century China will have absorbed and civilized her conquerors, and will have learned all the technique of what transiently bears the name of modern industry; roads and communications will give her unity, economy and thrift will give her funds, and a strong government will give her order and peace.
    —   Will Durant
From his book: “The History of Civilization:  Our Oriental Heritage
.
On This Day In:
2014 Relax And Lead
2013 Location, Location, Location
2012 Are You Really Good?
2011 Relatively Objective, Anyway

Read Full Post »

Let us never be afraid to engage, and if ever the day comes that we are; perhaps it’s time to reevaluate our positions.
[Found on one of the blogs I follow:   http://culturemonk.com/
The quote is from the specific post at:   http://culturemonk.com/2014/09/22/afraid-to-engage-really/
Please visit the original site if you have a chance.  —  KMAB]
.
On This Day In:
2014 Ask Any Follower
2013 Cornered Or Surrounded?
2012 Escape
2011 Achievement
Not Unreasonable Enough

Read Full Post »

First the Dominant Minority attempts to hold by force — against all right and reason — a position of inherited privilege which it has ceased to merit; and then the Proletariat repays injustice with resentment, fear with hate, and violence with violence when it executes its acts of secession.  Yet the whole movement ends in positive acts of creation — and this on the part of all the actors in the tragedy of disintegration.  The Dominant Minority creates a universal state, the Internal Proletariat a universal church, and the External Proletariat a bevy of barbarian war-bands.
     —  Arnold J. Toynbee
From his book: “A Study of History
.
On This Day In:
2014 One Thing Is Clear
2013 Corrections
See Greatness
2012 Gemutlichkeit
2011 Back On The Asphalt
It Is Just Not The Same

Read Full Post »

Up until about a hundred years ago, there was one question that burned in every Human, that made us study the stars and dream of traveling to them.  Are we alone?  Our generation is privileged to know the answer to that question.  We are all explorers driven to know what’s over the horizon, what’s beyond our own shores.  And yet the more I’ve experienced, the more I’ve learned that no matter how far we travel, or how fast we get there, the most profound discoveries are not necessarily beyond that next star.  They’re within us, woven into the threads that bind us, all of us, to each other.  A final frontier begins in this hall.  Let’s explore it together.
   –   Captain Jonathan Archer
From the TV series: “Star Trek: Enterprise
Episode: “Terra Prime (part 2)
.
On This Day In:
2014 Still Trying To Cope
2013 Dear Diary (A good chuckle!)
2012 Conveniently Sequential
2011 King’s Speech Number Four
Rational Probability

Read Full Post »

Never Love Unless

Never love unless you can
Bear with all the faults of man:
Men sometimes will jealous be
Though but little cause they see;
And hang the head, as discontent,
And speak what straight they will repent.
Men that but one saint adore
Make a show of love to more.
Beauty must be scorned in none,
Though but truly served in one:
For what is courtship but disguise?
True hearts may have dissembling eyes.
Men, when their affairs require,
Must awhile themselves retire;
Sometimes hunt, and sometimes hawk,
And not ever sit and talk.
If these and such-like you can bear,
Then like, and love, and never fear!
  —  Written by:  Thomas Campion
.
On This Day In:
2014 Practice, Practice, Practice
2013 A Fist Full Of Confusion
2012 Teaching Faith
2011 The Heart Of Terror
The Proportion Of Gravity And Probability

Read Full Post »

My Objection To Being Stepped On

At the end of the row
I stepped on the toe
Of an unemployed hoe.
It rose in offense
And struck me a blow
In the seat of my sense.
It wasn’t to blame
But I called it a name.
And I must say it dealt
Me a blow that I felt
Like a malice prepense.
You may call me a fool,
But was there a rule
The weapon should be
Turned into a tool?
And what do we see?
The first tool I step on
Turned into a weapon.
  —  Written by: Robert Frost
.
On This Day In:
2014 Likes And Dislikes
2013 Pillars Of Learning
2012 Another JCoM Review
Move It
2011 Expected Value

Read Full Post »

Today I watched the action / revenge flic “John Wick” (2014), starring Keanu Reeves as the title character.  Basically, the movie is what it is: a violent action film about a retired assassin who comes out of retirement to punish a group of Russian mobsters for breaking into his house, stealing his car (a 1969 Mustang Mach 1) and killing a puppy he received from his recently deceased wife.  Blah, blah, blah – storyline, cut to action…  The movie is a long string of violent encounters where-in Wick kills about 50 or so mobsters.  I say, “50 or so” because I stopped counting at 20 and that was only about a third of the way through the movie — and he was just getting started.
The movie is very predictable from the point where the dog dies and Wick wakes up.  Hey bad guys, if you’re going to kill the dog, you better kill the owner…
Strangely, the movie works.  The action, fight choreography, shooting and crashing cars are all visible and not lost in confusing close-ups or distant shots which leave you squinting at the screen trying to follow the action.  The acting is just light enough to let you catch your breath between action scenes, but realistic enough that you can empathize with both Wick and the main bad guy (Viggo Tarasov played by Michael Nyqvist).
This movie is in no way a family movie.  It is far too violent for children below their mid-teens.  Did I mention it’s violent?  Despite that qualification / limitation, it is a pretty good action movie which I understand already has a sequel getting prepared.  Final recommendation: Keanu Reeves turns in a solid performance and the movie gets a strong (but not highly) recommendation.
.
On This Day In:
2014 …Am Too
2013 Credible?
2012 Both
2011 Risking Hidden Linkage

Read Full Post »

Not Today

If there is a glory to be found in war it is from the mercy the victor must show the vanquished; the friendships that can be forged while fighting for one’s life; and, when many, many years from now, when there is a calling to war, mankind’s finally gaining the ability to say, “Yes, we have fought before, but we will not do so today,” and make it stand for eternity.  Then perhaps we will know the glory of war to be man’s rising above it (and himself).
   —  KMAB
.
On This Day In:
2014 …Am Too
2013 Credible?
2012 Both
2011 Risking Hidden Linkage

Read Full Post »

Over the last few weeks I’ve been “binge-ing” on the TV series: “Star Trek: Enterprise“.   There are ninety-eight episodes representing over seventy hours of viewing so it was quite an investment of time!!  The series originally ran from 2001 through 2005 and I saw about twenty-five of the episodes when they originally aired.  I’m not sure why I never watched them all, but I’m nearly positive I didn’t as I remembered so few.  The series is about the first Starship Enterprise and humanity’s first attempts to explore “deep space” with the development of a Warp-5 capable spaceship.
Now, with full disclosure, I am a “Trekkie” and saw all of the original series (Star Trek: TOS) in their initial broadcasts and have subsequently viewed them all at least three times and most of them far, far more than that as I used to watch them back in the ’70’s and ’80’s when they were in syndication.  Back then, you could watch them day after day and so see most of the 79 episodes four times in a single year.  In fact, you could see them more than that as the series ran on a couple of different channels a various times of day.  Yeah, I know, a bit OCD!!
Anyway, as SciFi goes, like most of the other Star Trek franchises, this is not very good.  In terms of special effects, it is pretty good to outstanding – particularly for TV.  In terms of acting, the series starts out MUCH better than TOS (The Original Series) or TNG (The Next Generation).  TOS never had a chance to explain much of its back history and TNG was incredibly stiff in its first season.  Picard (played by Patrick Steward) was particularly wooden.  In terms of “realism”, this series is pretty much the same as all the others – little or none.
Does any of that (bad science, poor realism) matter?  Not one iota!!  The show is about humanity and our efforts to deal with “ultimate” issues: war, racism, sexism, slavery, social justice, etc.   All the things which have always made all of / each of the Star Trek franchise TV series great viewing.
This is a VERY good TV series which I thoroughly enjoyed watching!  I hate to say it, but it is every bit as good as the best episodes of TOS and TNG.
(I was never a big fan of DS9 (Star Trek: Deep Space 9) or Star Trek: Voyager and barely watched any of either.  Just a couple of seasons of each and then the odd episode.  I recognize that both of those series have their fans, but as neither of those series have had a sniff of interest in getting turned into a movie franchise, I think my opinion is justified.  I will admit, though, that now they are available (more or less free) on Netflix, I will be watching them both as and when I have time.  I doubt I’ll be binge-ing on them, though.)
As with both TOS and TNG, the stories all center around the senior staff and the most interesting characters are the Captain (Jonathan Archer played by Scott Bakula) and the main alien – as in TOS – the Vulcan First Officer (T’Pol played by Jolene Blalock).  Over the course of the series, the former goes from being an idealistic explorer to a military commander and diplomat while the latter goes from being an emotionally suppressed Vulcan to an openly emotional “almost human” female.  As such, the stories are mostly self-contained episodes with sub-story arcs which span a couple of episodes to the entire series.  Watching the whole series in compressed mode, therefore, made it seem much more understandable to me as I was easily able to remember nuances which I almost certainly would have missed (or forgotten) if I had viewed the series over a four year time span.
If you consider yourself a “Trekkie”, you must watch this series.  If you just want enjoyable SciFi about space exploration and humans meeting alien species, this is a great series.  As I said, it’s well written and character driven and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it and highly recommend it.
.
On This Day In:
2014 Astonishing Choices
2013 Three Hard Tasks
2012 The Only Remains
2011 Personal Capability
What Price Failure?
Both Of W’s Elections
Tea (Baggers) Anyone?

Read Full Post »

If being a dog means you’re like Mr. Peabody, who never turns his back on you and who’s always there to pick you up when you fall and loves you no matter how many times you mess up; if that’s what it means to be a dog, then yeah! 
[Proudly] I’M A DOG, TOO!
  —   Sherman Peabody
From the movie: “Mr. Peabody and Sherman
[Yesterday, I watched a very cute animated movie titled: “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” (2014).  The movie is an extended version of a Saturday morning TV cartoon series by the same name which I used to watch as a young child way back in the early 1960’s.  Basically, a super-intelligent canine named Mr. Peabody adopts a human boy and raises the boy (Sherman) as his “son”.  Peabody invents a time-machine to take his son back in time so the son can learn life-lessons from history.  I really enjoyed watching this show as a child and I’m happy to report I found the movie is every bit as good as I remember the show to have been.
To be honest, I wasn’t intending to watch the movie any time soon, but my own son, James, was visiting over the weekend and he said it was really good and he thanked me for recommending it to him.  Apparently, he asked me about it some time ago and I said I hadn’t heard the movie was coming out, but the TV series was really good when I was a kid.  As I said, his review was to definitely see it as it was both educational and funny.  (And it’s available on Netflix.)
This is a family movie you can take your kids and grand-kids to.  There is no real violence and no bad language.   It is funny, touching and educational.  Final review: Highly recommended!!  —  KMAB]
.
On This Day In:
2014 Astonishing Choices
2013 Three Hard Tasks
2012 The Only Remains
2011 Personal Capability
What Price Failure?
Both Of W’s Elections
Tea (Baggers) Anyone?

Read Full Post »

No man means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
   —  Henry Adams
.
On This Day In:
2014 Astonishing Choices
2013 Three Hard Tasks
2012 The Only Remains
2011 Personal Capability
What Price Failure?
Both Of W’s Elections
Tea (Baggers) Anyone?

Read Full Post »

If you can function and follow the rules and understand what you’re doing and why, you can maintain your individuality.
   —  Pat Rogan
.
On This Day In:
2014 None But…
2013 Obviously Longer
2012 A Childhood Poem
Who Are You Callin’ Leather-Faced?
2011 In No Particular Order
The Need For Proof

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: