Archive for April, 2007

30
Apr
07

Escher Fan?

Well I found it amusing…

30
Apr
07

Earth Perspective

This is a distant shot of Earth. But not as distant as viewing it from, say, Andromeda. What about viewing it from that distance?

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest.

But for us, it’s different. Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us.

On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.

The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors, so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.  – Carl Sagan

30
Apr
07

Why Religion Can Be Silly

OMFG… (notice the sarcasm?)

30
Apr
07

Pipe Show Time

The Chicago Pipe Show is upon us and the world will be converging on a little resort just west of the city throughout this week. Blogging may be a little sparse…

29
Apr
07

Free Speech

My neighbors get together in driveways pretty much every night. It’s a good chance to have a cocktail, BS, debate, and generally release the pressure of the day. Last night’s discussion got a bit ugly. The discussion centered on freedom of speech. Dom Imus came up (of course) and then Def Jam records decision to condemn similar language. And then hate speech… and on and on. One of our combatants refused to acknowledge that Imus is/was an entertainer. He still believes that he is some kind of journalist. He also maintains that it was perfectly right for Imus to get fired but that it’s not right to penalize singers for using the same words. Of course, we all wanted to know why.

One participant proffered that it was because the guy did not have kids. I don’t think so. Our music defender went on to say that music helped form his opinions and mindset and it would be tragic if it was muzzled. I don’t get that logic. Why is one form of speech in need of protection while another isn’t? I understand that the advertisers had their say and they ultimately decided the fate of Don Imus. But why should advertisers or even the public hold Don Imus to a different standard than a singer such as Fifty Cent? Why is it okay for advertisers to give Fifty Cent a pass when he says “ho” and not Don Imus? It’s intellectually dishonest to sanction both approaches.

Personally, I think that Imus should be able to say what ever he wants and so should any other entertainer. Nobody should prevent them from saying or singing things that make themselves look moronic. But if an advertiser is going to pull the plug on one entertainer for saying something that offends, they should apply the standard equally. The government has no business in this and should uphold the First Amendment, etc. Advertisers and employers are being pretty weak and pandering, though, when they determine their actions on who said something as opposed to what was said. As consumers, we can buy or listen to what we please and the only guidance that we need is our own conscience.

28
Apr
07

Portrait Of A Mugger

This is Jack Rhodes, from New York. Allegedly, he mugged Rose Morat on March 4th. Morat’s March 4 holdupwas captured on a surveillance tape. It shows Morat, who was using a walker, trying to leave her apartment building to go to church. The mugger, who looms over her and is holding onto a bicycle, pretends to help her get through the vestibule. Then he turns to grab Morat’s head, delivers three hard punches to her face and swipes her purse. The dazed victim tries to reach for her purse when the mugger hits her again, pushing her and her walker to the ground. He got away with $33 and Morat’s house keys. She suffered a fractured cheekbone and spent time in the hospital. Morat is 101 years old.

28
Apr
07

Gourmet Slyders

I have a weakness for White Castle Slyders. And I live in a part of the country that has no White Castle, so I must always jump on the opportunity while driving around the country. Now nobody, but nobody, would consider Slyders to be gourmet. But what if the beef was Kobe (wagyu) beef… what if the bun was from an honest to goodness baker… Well, they are sometimes offered at Bouchon Bakery. Thanks to roboppy from flickr. I could seriously consider eating a stunningly large quantity of these!