"It's a shame fish don't taste like blueberries." -- realinterrobang, phone conversation, the silly hours of 2014-10-20
"People often say that same-sex marriage now is like interracial marriage in the 60s. But in terms of public opinion, same-sex marriage now is like interracial marriage in the 90s, when it had already been legal nationwide for 30 years." -- Randall Munroe, xkcd, 2014-10-08
"'Religion' means faith in the supernatural, does it not? Most Orcans, like most Aeneans everywhere, do have that kind of faith. They maintain a God exists, and observe different ceremonies and injunctions on that account. If they have any sophistication, however, they admit their belief is nonscientific. It is not subject to empirical confirmation or disconfirmation, Miracles may have happened through divine intervention; but a miracle, by definition, involves a suspension of natural law hence cannot be experimentally repeated. Aye, its historical trugh or falsity can be indirectly investigated. But the confirmation of an event proves nothing, since it could be explained away scientifically. For example, if we could show that there was in fact a Jesus Christ who did in fact rise from his tomb, he may have been in a coma, not dead. Likewise, disconfirmation proves nothing. For example, if it turns out that a given saint never lived, that merely shows people were naïve, not that the basic creed is wrong." -- Commander Yakow, in The Day of Their Return by Poul Anderson (1973, Nelson Doubleday, New York)
"Homines ad deos nulla re propius accedunt quam salutem hominibus dando." -- Cicero (b. 106 BCE, 3 January; d. 43 BCE, 7 December), Pro Ligario -- "In nothing do men more nearly approach the gods than in giving health to men."
[Today is the feast day of St. Luke]
Toe surgery today -- podiatrist saw condition of my toe and figured correctly that I would say yes this time. The good: I now know a local anaesthetic that actually works on me. The supremely annoying: two hours after I left the podiatrist's office, the anaesthetic wore off and my world has shrunk to a big-toe-size ball of Pure Itching. A little pain buried underneath the itching, but less intense than typical fibromyalgia aches. I could deal with that, probably ignore it. But oh, the itching! Driving [*itch*] me [*itch*] nuts! [*itch*]It's [*itch*] impos[*itch*]sibly [*itch*] dis[*itch*]trac[*itch*]ting[*itch*].
Me: This is the Coffee Kikayon. You did not bring it into the world, you did not do anything to make it happen, it wasn't even meant for you. Now it is broken. Shall then we not feel pity for the people of Ninveh, who do not even know their right hand from their left.
Aaron: What do dyslexic Assyrians have to do with anything? Coffee!!!!
"In any world menu, Canada must be considered the vichyssoise of nations, it's cold, half-French, and difficult to stir." -- Stuart Keate
[Happy Thanksgiving to my friends up north! And FWIW, I loved vichyssoise before I went vegetarian, and am always on the lookout for some not made with chicken stock.]
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2014-10-07:
"Without adequate oversight, or penalties for abuse, the only protection that citizens have comes not from Congress or the courts, but from whistleblowers. As one myself, albeit in the most minor capacity, I understand what motivates someone to expose wrongdoing masquerading as patriotism. There is no graduate school for whistleblowing and no handbook for whistleblowers. It's an imperfect science, and whistleblowers learn from the mistakes of their predecessors. Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Tom Drake, Bill Binney and Kirk Wiebe all came from different backgrounds and worked in different fields. None joined the intelligence community to become a whistleblower, but each was driven by unchecked government abuse to tell the public what they knew to be true." -- James Bamford, author of The Puzzle Palace, the first in-depth examination of the National Security Agency.
(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)
Two tweets from @mackenzian, 2014-10-06:
When you don't take up enough space, #courage is running out to meet the world.
Where you meet, something new can take shape.
When you take up too much space, #courage is withdrawing enough to let the world come in.
Others will build on the ground you cede.
(Two quotes today since there are at least three themes I wanted to hit.)
"I often say that teachers are a combination of Martin Luther King Jr., Albert Einstein, Gandhi, and Tony Soprano, all rolled in together, because that's all the skill set you need as a schoolteacher." -- Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, interviewed on the PBS television program, In The Life, episode, "Lifesavers" (aired, at least in my area, in the wee hours of 2008-11-10).( She also said something I say ... )
"When you do something noble and beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad. For the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience still sleeps." -- John Lennon (b. 1940-10-09, d. 1980-12-08)
"[...] Next came the loveliest pair in all the ring,
Sweet female Beauty hand in hand with Spring;
Then, crown'd with flow'ry hay, came Rural Joy,
And Summer, with his fervid-beaming eye;
All-cheering Plenty, with her flowing horn,
Led yellow Autumn wreath'd with nodding corn;
Then Winter's time-bleach'd locks did hoary show,
By Hospitality with cloudless brow:
-- Robert Burns, from "The Brigs Of Ayr"
[To my friends celebrating Sukkot for the next several nights, chag sameach!]
"I guess what everyone wants more than anything else is to be loved. And to know that you loved me for my singing is too much for me. Forgive me if I don't have all the words. Maybe I can sing it and you'll understand." -- Ella Fitzgerald (b. 1917-04-25, d. 1996-06-15)
"This is practically a case study in WHY it is not possible to disassociate our LBGTQ struggle from the larger struggle for equality. No one is 'just' a homophobe. Homophobes are almost invariably racist, sexist and bigoted. It is a mental illness with various co morbidities that often include substance abuse, a sense of entitlement and an ugly malignant narcissism that's more than willing to sacrifice others in order to maintain the integrity of their own sick selves." -- Dominick Auci, 2014-09-25, reacting to revelations that at least one of the three people identified via social media after a Philadelphia ga-bashing is ... not exactly painted in a positive light by her own Twitter stream. (see: "Alleged Gay-Basher Kathryn Knott Suspended From Job", to which Auci is responding)