Friday, April 29, 2005

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Set in Port-au-Prince

"You really intend" Doctor Magiot asked me, "to take over the hotel?"
"Why not? I have a little experience of restaurant-work. I can see great possibilities of improvement. My mother was not catering for the luxury-trade."
"The luxury-trade?" Doctor Magiot repeated. "I think you can hardly depend on that here."
"Some hotels do."
"The good years will not always continue. Not very long now and there will be the elections..."
"It doesn't make much difference, does it, who wins?"
"Not for the poor. But to the tourist perhaps."
He put a flowered saucer upon the table beside me -

LA County library
OC Library
See also Herman Melville's "The Confidence Man"

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Death and Taxes

Actually, Love and Taxes.
Josh Kornbluth is an ex-communist monologist who is interested in tax policy. Taxes allow the government to do what we, presumably, ask it to do for us.
How will we recognize a good tax system if we see one?
A partial answer.

Kibeho, Rwanda

Prophetic apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary
in Kibeho, Rwanda 1981-1983/1989
before the 1994 slaughter

Uncle Sam wants you, to think

The nation that will insist upon drawing a line between the fighting man and the thinking man is liable to find its fighting done by fools and its thinking done by cowards.
from the US Naval Academy web site, Stephen Frantzich

Be sure you're right then go ahead

Apparently, this is not so easy
see Amazon

Editorial Reviews
the first review, by John Moe,ending:
"In an age where Westerners have trouble comprehending what drives Islamic fundamentalists to kill, Jon Krakauer advises us to look within America's own borders."


Don't take the first bite.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Rudolph Virchow (1821-1902)

The physicians are the natural attorneys of the poor,
and the social problems should largely be solved by them.
from Mountains Beyond Mountains, the story of Partners In Health. See some examples.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Social Security Crisis, a crisis of confidence

President Bush is willing to mislead regarding Social Security.
Yes, maybe we should invest some national retirement resources into productive assets in addition to current expenses. But before people will be willing to change the system, we need to be able to trust the system that will change the system.
A system run by people with disordered priorities.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Estimating powers of 2

How many grains will be on the final square if you put one grain on the first, and twice as many on each successive square?
The answer is 2**63.    But how many is that?
Divide the exponent by ten to get the number of commas in the answer:   the answer has six commas and is three tenths of the way, logarithmically speaking, to the seventh comma.
2**10 is 1024. This is approximately 1,000. One comma.
2**60 is six commas: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000
2**(60+3) is six commas times two cubed = 8 quintillion.
The actual number is 9+ quintillion.
Note that 2 commas is a million, not a billion, unfortunately.
Similarly 2**40,  4 commas, is a trillion, not a quadrillion

Friday, April 08, 2005


RC Sproul speaks (mp3/5MB) about Terri.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

All men are brothers

In 5 generations, I have 2**5 ancestors (32).
In 50, I have 2**50, a quadrillion.
50 generations ago is 1500 years ago, or 500 AD.
My chart has a quadrillion boxes in 500 AD.
The point: all of us are related.

Wage Peace

There is a movie posted on the Friends site that is worth seeing. Essentially, I think, it says we are all human, all brothers, and all the killing is so sad.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Don Bosco's dream

Don Bosco's vision The flagship commander - the Roman Pontiff - seeing the enemy's fury and his auxiliary ships very grave predicament, summons his captains to a conference. However, as they discuss their strategy, a furious storm breaks out and they must return to their ships. When the storm abates, the Pope again summons his captains as the flagship keeps on its course. But the storm rages again. Standing at the helm, the Pope strains every muscle to steer his ship between the two columns from whose summits hang many anchors and strong hooks linked to chains.

A thousand words

And such photos are unavailable. In addition, many 'sadistic, cruel, and inhuman ' photos are unavailable, to use the phrasing of the witty Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

The Turing Test for intelligence

The Turing Test has been recently modified so that there is only one contestant, and the judges job is not to choose between two contestants, but simply to decide whether the single contestant is human or [not]. *from Univ of Toronto
Barbara Weller has recently been a judge in a running of the Touring Test, with Terri.
As was Heidi Law.

I want to live

Barbara Weller testifies to the court that she is convinced that Terri tried to repeat: I want to live.
Terri passed the Touring Test for intelligence.