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Archive for the ‘Serendipity and Chaos’ Category

How many times in your own life did things come about thanks to accident or circumstance?  I’ll bet happenstance played a part in how you met your partner or chose your career or live where you do or a long list of other character forming events that now make you different from anybody else.  That journey from past to present, full of unexpected encounters and events along the way, has brought you to where you are and who you are at this moment, reading these words.
  —  James Burke
From the “Forward” to his book:  “Circles
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On This Day In:
2019 Sin Less Every Day
2018 Probably Only A Little Easier
2017 Stars Above
2016 Where Do You Stand?
Health Update
2015 Leaving On A Mid-Night Train
2014 Questioned Faith
2013 At Home In Fire
2012 A Tale Of Two Books
More Meaning
2011 Back At The Millstone
To Learn, Teach

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Be aware of wonder.  Live a balanced life — learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
  —  Robert Fulghum
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On This Day In:
2018 Know Any Christians?
2017 The Only Thing I Can Give…
2016 Wiser But Less Cocksure
2015 Not Today
Wicked
2014 …Am Too
2013 Credible?
2012 Both
2011 Risking Hidden Linkage

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Some songs just make me feel happy…

Send Me On My Way

Performed by:  Rusted Root
Songwriters:  James Di Spirito, James Donovan, Jenn Wertz, Jim Dispirito, Jim Donovan, John Buynak, Liz Berlin, Michael Glabicki and Patrick Norman
[The group was asked about the lyrics to this song and Glabicki said some non-sense sounds / phrases were used as placeholders until real lyrics could be added, but the song sounded “right” the way it was, so they produced the song without replacing the sounds with real words / lyrics.  Chaos theory at its best!  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2018 Nice To Meet You
2017 All Nations & Religions
2016 Given The Choice
Why Is He Wearing Red?
2015 Within The System
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

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I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way.
  —  Franklin Pierce Adams
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On This Day In:
2017 Courage
2016 Don’t H8! — I’m With Her!!
2015 $20 Anyone?
2014 And Yet I Still Study
2013 Use Your Own
2012 Strengthen Freedom
2011 Attrition = A Lack Of Imagination
2010 Mind The Fire, Love
Just Beyond My Reach…
Even A Life Of Quiet Desperation!
Acts Of Courage

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As it turns out, however, to make sense of new and strange phenomena, one must be prepared to play with ideas.  And I use the word “play” advisedly: dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else.
   —  Paul Krugman
From the introduction to his book: “The Return of Depression Economics
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On This Day In:
2016 And Fathers, Sons
2015 My Suspect Confidence
2014 Disguised Blessings
2013 Be
2012 The Only Way to Win
2011 Honest Writing

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The following is a quote which recently caught my attention and which I think (somewhat humorously) describes my blog (so I’ve added it to my “About” page):
A Miscellany is a collection without a natural ordering relation; I shall not attempt a spurious unity by imposing artificial ones. I hope that variety may compensate for this lack, except for those irreconcilable persons who demand an appearance of unity and uniform level.
  —  John Edensor Littlewood
From the introduction to his book: “A Mathematician’s Miscellany
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On This Day In:
2016 Are Your Prayers Functioning?
2015 Expressing Love
2014 Cyclical Attitudes
2013 Footprints
2012 Broken Resolutions
Bin It

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The result of a mathematical development should be continuously checked against one’s own intuition about what constitutes reasonable biological behavior.  When such a check reveals disagreement, then the following possibilities must be considered:
a.) A mistake has been made in the formal mathematical development;
b.) The starting assumptions are incorrect and/or constitute a too drastic oversimplification;
c.) One’s own intuition about the biological field is inadequately developed;
d.) A penetrating new principle has been discovered.
   —  Harvey J. Gold
From his book: “Mathematical Modeling of Biological Systems
  —  As quoted by James Gleick
In his book: “Chaos: Making A New Science
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On This Day In:
2015 Limiting Choices
2014 Praise The Lord And Pass The Hypocrisy
That Sound
2013 Still Waiting For Answers
2012 Informal Leadership
2011 A Little More Progress
2010 Bec’s Gone Again…

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But if chaos teaches physicists that the truly simple can nevertheless look complicated, the critical state teaches them that the truly complicated can behave in ways that are remarkably simple.  … The basic organization of any substance poised in the critical state between two phases depends very little on the precise nature of the elements involved.  There is a profound universality at work, which makes it possible to understand literally thousands of utterly different collectives in terms of simple mathematical games that share the same skeletal logic.
… One of the deepest discoveries in physics of the past two decades is that in nonequilibrium systems the critical state often arises on its own.
… It does not seem normal and lawlike for long periods of calm to be suddenly and sporadically shattered by cataclysm, and yet it is.  This is, it seems, the ubiquitous character of the world.
  —  Mark Buchanan
From his book: “Ubiquity
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On This Day In:
2014 Dawn, n.
2013 Ouch!
2012 Just Lookin’ Around
Still Growing
2011 But Do You Want To?

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Cosmos is a Greek word for the order of the universe.  It is, in a way, the opposite of Chaos.  It implies the deep interconnectedness of all things.  It conveys awe for the intricate and subtle way in which the universe is put together.
  ―  Carl Sagan
From his TV Show: “Cosmos
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On This Day In:
2013 Attention To Detail
2012 Aequanimitas!
2011 Consider This

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This week I was driving to work, bored with sports and political radio, I switched over to some easy listening and lo and behold heard two great songs!  One I’d heard before and the other I don’t remember hearing before.
Anyway, they were both so terrific I immediately committed to remembering their catch lines (not all that easy for someone who’s getting on in years) and wrote them down when I got to work so I could listen to them when I got home.  (We are not allowed to listen to internet music at work…)
The two songs are: “Bruises“, performed by Train (featuring Ashley Monroe) and “Should’ve Gone To Bed“, performed by Plain White T’s.  They are both easy listing cross-overs between Pop and Modern Country sounds.  Very enjoyable with ear-candy / stick in your head hooks.  Bruises is another classic song about boy and girl meeting ten years later and asking about what’s been happening.  The interesting thing is although there is an obvious “connection” happening in the song, both are “once burned, twice shy” and nothing may happen except the “promise” to keep in touch.  My favorite verse is:

These bruises
Make for better conversation
Loses the vibe that separates
It’s good to let you in again
You’re not alone and how you’ve been
Everybody loses
We all got bruises
We all got bruises

The second song (“Should’ve Gone To Bed“) is the new one for me.  On the radio, it sounds as if it’s a song about regrets and calling some number of “Ex’es” after the relationships are over.  In the “official” video, it appears to be a song about a man who’s afraid to tell his girlfriend how he feels until he’s on the verge of losing her.  …And then they make up (to presumably live happily ever after).  It surprised me to come away with the two completely different reactions to the same song depending on if you were listening to it, listening to it and following the lyrics, or watching the official video.  I guess the line which strikes me is most of us have broken up in our relationships, tried to move on and then when there’s a problem (or were just feeling lonely), we pick up the phone and call the “Ex”.  Sometimes they answer and the cycle starts again.  Sometimes they answer but the cycle doesn’t restart.  Sometimes it ends just as badly as before; and sometimes everyone is spared the drama because the other party just doesn’t answer the phone or return the call.  Being human, we assume it’s because they don’t want to talk to us anymore.
Someday the geezer’s among us will be telling the kids how (in our day) people didn’t have caller ID or voice mail or home answering machines, and sometimes relationships didn’t work out – not because one or both sides didn’t reach out to the other to make up – but simply because one party wasn’t there to answer the call.  The concept seems “funny” in this age of always-on connectivity…  Sometimes things just happen (or don’t happen) for no particular reason.
As always, check out the lyrics off of my Poems page, then go listen to the recordings – and in this instance, make sure you go find the “official” video for “Should’ve Gone To Bed“.  Let me know if you got the same reaction to the lyrics versus the song versus the video.  And remember to support the Arts in your local community.
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On This Day In:
2012 Extra Gears
2011 Say What?
2010 Hello Frogs…

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I’ve been thinking about today, and what I could say to you.  It suddenly occurred to me that one of the last speeches you will hear in college will be this one.  That scared me half to death.
I mean, what can I tell you?  I never finished high school. I never, sadly, attended college.  As a youngster, I was traveling the length and breadth of the British Isles, singing my head off in the Music Halls — a theater brat, with a freaky four-and-a-half-octave range.
You might assume that after a life in theater and film, I wouldn’t be nervous in a situation like this, but I can assure you that I am or was, before your very warm welcome.
Today is about celebration, but despite that, you might just also be feeling a little nervous — and, perhaps even fearful.  Believe me, feeling nervous is par for the course.
I remember saying once to my husband, Blake, on the eve of my return to Broadway after a 35-year absence, ‘You know, I’m really feeling VERY frightened about this,’ and I began to tear up.
He simply replied, ‘Darling, did you actually expect to feel anything else?’
I remembered — yet again — that fear is a part of life.  The trick is to recognize it and then press on anyway.  In fact, the real trick is to stop focusing on oneself and start focusing on others.
There was a time in my late 20s when I worried all the time what audiences thought.  Will they like me?  Am I up to par?  And it suddenly dawned on to me that everyone in the audience had paid good money to come see a show they really wanted to see, and possibly, they were there after a day of dealing with a lot of stress.  Maybe it was tax time, perhaps someone had a family member who was ill, or had a fight with a loved one — I could think of a hundred scenarios.  I realized that I was in a position to brighten their day, to make a difference, to give them three hours of surcease, of transcendence, and hopefully, joy.
From that moment on, I began to develop a mindset of giving.  I stopped looking inward, I began to grow up and I started looking outward, with an eye toward making a difference wherever and whenever I could.
Today, I invite you to start looking at life the same way.
There are so many opportunities for giving in this world.
Don’t engage in random acts of kindness; engage in planned acts of kindness.
Use your knowledge and your heart to stand up for those who can’t stand.
Speak for those who can’t speak.
 —   Julie Andrews
At the 2013 commencement ceremony for Colorado University
Found at:  http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl/news/20130527/brian-urlacher-peter-king-monday-morning-quarterback/#ixzz2UYnJ2Ova
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On This Day In:
2012 Something Of Value
2011 Sleep All Day

 

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What Every Boy Should Know

I love reading great lessons that mothers should impart to their sons! My college roommate has 2 boys older than our son, and she has often shared her advice to me. She insisted her sons always ring the doorbell when picking up a girl, rather than the texting method most used by teenagers these days. And as the mother of 2 girls, I must say that would have been refreshing. So not only for the sake of your son, but also for the sake of the girl who captures his heart, teach him well.

1. Play a sport.

It will teach you how to win honorably, lose gracefully, respect authority, work with others, manage your time and stay out of trouble. And maybe even throw or catch.

2. You will set the tone for the sexual relationship, so don’t take something away from her that you can’t give back.

3. Use careful aim when you pee.

Somebody’s got to clean that up, you know.

4. Save money when you’re young because you’re going to need it someday.

5. Allow me to introduce you to the dishwasher, oven, washing machine, iron, vacuum, mop and broom.

Now please go use them.

6. Pray and be a spiritual leader.

7. Don’t ever be a bully and don’t ever start a fight, but if some idiot clocks you, please defend yourself.

8. Your knowledge and education is something that nobody can take away from you.

9. Treat women kindly.

Forever is a long time to live alone and it’s even longer to live with somebody who hates your guts.

10. Take pride in your appearance.

11. Be strong and tender at the same time.

12. A woman can do everything that you can do.

This includes her having a successful career and you changing diapers at 3 A.M. Mutual respect is the key to a good relationship.

13. “Yes ma’am” and “yes sir” still go a long way.

14. The reason that they’re called “private parts” is because they’re “private”.

Please do not scratch them in public.
15. Peer pressure is a scary thing.
Be a good leader and others will follow.
16. Bringing her flowers for no reason is always a good idea.
17. It is better to be kind than to be right.
18. A sense of humor goes a long way in the healing process.
19. Please choose your spouse wisely.
My daughter-in-law will be the gatekeeper for me spending time with you and my grandchildren.
20. Remember to call your mother because I might be missing you.
Found at:  http://www.tropicalspiceliving.com
The original posting is at:  http://www.tropicalspiceliving.com/?p=4114
[This is not a blog I follow, but it’s a posting I enjoyed stumbling on.  —   KMAB]
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It is the polite outsider who attracts my attention.  For me at least, possibly as part of my oddness, it is the sensibility of the Blogger or writer which piques my interest rather than their age or sex.  It is the resonance I get from their responses or circumstances.  It is a feeling that, yes out there, beyond the scope of normal conversation or interaction, lives a being who is almost my double or ambassador in a different set of circumstances, on a continent I am unlikely to visit.  The feeling is strangely re-assuring.  It’s almost, if only for a moment, like being less odd.
From:  http://countingducks.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/parallel-worlds/
Let me hope that you who caught my words, and held them briefly in your thoughts, find the peace to quench your doubts and walk with me towards your chosen path.
From:  http://countingducks.wordpress.com/about/
Beauty, I believe, is a proportionate derivative of suffering.  That is to say, that the potential for beauty is born within suffering, and if cultivated in a particular manner, its subject can thereby become beautiful.  Or, to put it differently, true beauty is the struggle to transcend the human condition.  It is the place in between suffering and the attainment of perfection in its entirety.  It is complicated, but I find, well worth the effort in trying to define.
From:  http://thecultivationofbeauty.wordpress.com/
I forget though, where beauty actually lies.  I forget that perfection lies in the struggle of the human spirit to achieve what is merely believed in our minds to be perfection.  The struggle is what is perfect, what is beautiful.  Not the end.  It’s the journey.  It’s the choices.  It’s what defines us.  It’s the pursuit of character that makes us beautiful beings.
From:  http://thecultivationofbeauty.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/the-pursuit-of-character/
[Today’s post are two quotes from two sites (four in all).  I must admit to a certain amount of laziness in my pursuit of other blogs.  Someone finds my blog and “likes” it, or comments on a posting, and I go see who they are.  Occasionally, by extension, someone will have “liked” a couple of posts on a blog I’m looking at and I’ll go see what they’re up to.  VERY serendipity, I know, but that is my nature.
Anyway, above are the two quotes from the two sites which recently “liked” one of my postings.  The first two are from “countingducks” (http://countingducks.wordpress.com/ ).  The second two quotes are from “thecultivationofbeauty” (http://thecultivationofbeauty.wordpress.com/).  As always, if you enjoy the quotes, go visit the original sites!  —   KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2012 POI vs Reality
Dear And Sacred
 2011 Chilled Again

 

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There is a theory about deliberate and emergent strategy.  The deliberate strategy allows you to choose the kind of person you want to become.  But at the same time you need emergent strategy, which allows you to embrace serendipity.  Another important theory is about what motivates people.  Many think of management as cutting deals and laying people off and hiring people and buying and selling companies.  That’s not management, that’s dealmaking.  Management is the opportunity to help people become better people.  Practiced that way, it’s a magnificent profession.
  —   Clayton Christensen
[This quote is from a Wired Magazine article titled:  “Clayton Christensen Wants to Transform Capitalism“, written by Jeff Howe.
The original article appears at:
http://www.wired.com/business/2013/02/mf-clayton-christensen-wants-to-transform-capitalism/all/
  —   KMAB]
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“You’re not like the rest of them,” she said.
“Yes, I know,” was his reply.
“Why?” she asked.
“I don’t know.  I’m not sure.  What makes you feel I’m different?”
She paused, “You don’t act the same as the rest.”
“How don’t I?” he asked.
“You don’t hurt things on purpose, like they do,” she replied.
“Yes I do.”
“But not the same way,” she answered.
“What difference the method – the end is the same,” he stated flatly.
“But you care more.”
“About what?”
“About everything!  You smile, you see, you try to help, you care when I’m lonely or depressed.”
He smiled her, “And no one else does?”
“Not like you!” she answered.  “When you look at me, something happens.  It feels like you’re looking into me, not at me.  Do you know what I mean?”
“I’m not sure,” he answered.
“It’s your eyes,” she said, “they’re funny.”
“What do you mean they’re funny?!!”  he interjected.
“I don’t mean funny – humorous,” she said trying to soothe him, “or funny – stupid; I mean funny – weird.”
“Weird!” he replied straightening his back.
“Wait a minute will you?!” she pleaded.  “I mean unusual, not weird.”
“Okay,” he replied, calmed slightly, but still on the defensive.
“I mean when I look at you I sometimes wonder what you’re thinking about me or about whatever we’re doing – “
“So, everyone does that,” he interrupted.
“Will you keep quiet?!” she demanded.
“Okay,” he answered.
“Shhh!!  Now I forgot – oh, yeah – and then you look at me, right in the eyes, and I get this shuddering feeling – “
“Why?” he asked.
“Shhushh!!!   I’m explaining – I get this slight shuddering feeling inside ’cause I have this feeling when you look into my eyes that you can see what I’m thinking and really feeling…”
“About what?” he asked.
“About noth — whatever we’re doing.”
“Oh,” he replied.
[I think those of us who love words and ideas all harbor the secret (or not so secret) ambition to write the Great American (or whatever) Novel.  As much as I like adventure movies, the novels I’ve enjoyed have always had great conversations between people who came to feel real.  Naturally, my first (and so far only) attempt had to be a conversation (the above).  Written many years ago, “Oh,” seemed like a good place to stop.  I did – and never got back to a preface or an ending…   —  KMAB]
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