Love Conquers All . . .

30 Jun 2015 /

. . . including pleasure, peace, common sense, liberty and self-determination.


Still Life with Pug

29 Jun 2015 /

still-life-with-pug

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Lacking Presentation

27 Jun 2015 /

Boffo


If You Love It So Much, Why Don’t You Marry It?

24 Jun 2015 /

Men and women can marry each other, men can marry men, women can marry women . . . someday it will be legal to marry the sound of your own voice because some people are really in love with the sound of their own voice.

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Always “Ass…”

23 Jun 2015 /

Have you ever noticed in your inbox or browser tabs how the word “Association” always gets truncated to “Ass…”? Never “As…” or “Asso…,” always “Ass…”

Inbox

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e e cummings wishes you a happy fathers day

21 Jun 2015 /

e. e. cummings

my father moved through dooms of love
through sames of am through haves of give,
singing each morning out of each night
my father moved through depths of height

this motionless forgetful where
turned at his glance to shining here;
that if (so timid air is firm)
under his eyes would stir and squirm

newly as from unburied which
floats the first who, his april touch
drove sleeping selves to swarm their fates
woke dreamers to their ghostly roots

and should some why completely weep
my father’s fingers brought her sleep:
vainly no smallest voice might cry
for he could feel the mountains grow.

Lifting the valleys of the sea
my father moved through griefs of joy;
praising a forehead called the moon
singing desire into begin

joy was his song and joy so pure
a heart of star by him could steer
and pure so now and now so yes
the wrists of twilight would rejoice

keen as midsummer’s keen beyond
conceiving mind of sun will stand,
so strictly (over utmost him
so hugely) stood my father’s dream

his flesh was flesh his blood was blood:
no hungry man but wished him food;
no cripple wouldn’t creep one mile
uphill to only see him smile.

Scorning the Pomp of must and shall
my father moved through dooms of feel;
his anger was as right as rain
his pity was as green as grain

septembering arms of year extend
less humbly wealth to foe and friend
than he to foolish and to wise
offered immeasurable is

proudly and (by octobering flame
beckoned) as earth will downward climb,
so naked for immortal work
his shoulders marched against the dark

his sorrow was as true as bread:
no liar looked him in the head;
if every friend became his foe
he’d laugh and build a world with snow.

My father moved through theys of we,
singing each new leaf out of each tree
(and every child was sure that spring
danced when she heard my father sing)

then let men kill which cannot share,
let blood and flesh be mud and mire,
scheming imagine, passion willed,
freedom a drug that’s bought and sold

giving to steal and cruel kind,
a heart to fear, to doubt a mind,
to differ a disease of same,
conform the pinnacle of am

though dull were all we taste as bright,
bitter all utterly things sweet,
maggoty minus and dumb death
all we inherit, all bequeath

and nothing quite so least as truth
—i say though hate were why men breathe—
because my Father lived his soul
love is the whole and more than all

— e.e. cummings, “my father moved through dooms of love”

Always Something to Learn

21 Jun 2015 /

When Pablo Casals was asked at age 93 why he continued to practice the cello three hours a day, he replied, “I’m beginning to notice some improvement.”


I Don’t Know How Starbucks Stays in Business

21 Jun 2015 /
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Hi everybody! It’s me, Lightning!

On weekend mornings my owner goes to Starbucks and brings back a pup cup of whipped cream for me!

Today I noticed on my cup that if I don’t love my pup cup they’ll make me another one for free!

“The pup cups are always free,” my owner says. “You don’t have to tell them you didn’t love it to get a free one.”

I don’t know how Starbucks stays in business if they’re giving away the most delicious stuff for free.

— Lightning paw


Congratulations on Your Graduation

15 Jun 2015 /

Graduation card


Happy Flag Day!

14 Jun 2015 /
The Stars and Stripes

During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress adopts a resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white” and that “the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” The national flag, which became known as the “Stars and Stripes,” was based on the “Grand Union” flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 red and white stripes. According to legend, Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross designed the new canton for the Stars and Stripes, which consisted of a circle of 13 stars and a blue background, at the request of General George Washington. Historians have been unable to conclusively prove or disprove this legend.


The old ways are passing, and the new ones are yet to arrive. We are in the Open Space between what was and what might become. — Harrison Owen


Teaching Computer Science: The Last Day

13 Jun 2015 /
Space Invaders

On the last day of class, I gave students the code for a partially working Space Invaders game, along with instructions for adding collision detection and completing the implementation. The instructions didn’t leave too much to the imagination because I wanted to give everyone a chance to finish out the year on a successful note. I estimated it to be about a 30-minute activity. It didn’t occur to me that that students would do anything but finish the program and spend whatever time was left over blasting aliens.

What they actually did was, they finished the program, tweaked the firing interval so they could shoot faster, changed the speed of the sprites, added more aliens, changed the program to shoot two bullets at a time instead of one, changed the program to shoot five bullets at a time, enabled the aliens to drop bombs, had the game recognize that when the alien count gets to zero, it should stop and write You Won or Game Over, switched the image files to cooler looking spaceships and missiles . . . one student changed the alien image to a picture of my dog (available from a previous assignment), pugs from outer space.

So when I say that we couldn’t have had a better group of students, that’s the kind of thing I’m talking about. They exceeded expectations on all metrics. I wish I could have thanked each of them individually for their unique contributions to the class.

Programming is what I do, it’s been a big part of my life for a long time. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to share it and I’m sad that it’s ending . . .


Summer Triptych

12 Jun 2015 /

1.
The world is water
to these bronzed boys
on their surfboards,
riding the sexual waves
of Maui
like so many fearless
cowboys, challenging
death on bucking
broncos of foam.

2.
On the beach at Santorini
we ate those tiny silverfish
grilled straight from the sea,
and when the sun went down
in the flaming west
there was applause
from all the sated diners,
as if it had done its acrobatic plunge
just for them.

3.
Swathed from head to toe
in seeming veils of muslin,
the figure in the Nantucket fog
poles along the shoreline on a flat barge.
It could be Charon transporting souls
across the River Styx, or just
another fisherman in a hoodie,
trolling for bluefish
on the outgoing tide.

— Linda Pastan, “Summer Triptych”
Ho'okipa Beach Surfing Maui

Ho’okipa Beach Surfing Maui 


The Bamboo Ceiling

7 Jun 2015 /

Michael Wang had a 4.67 GPA and a perfect ACT score. He placed first in the state of California at the AMC 12 – a nationwide mathematics competition. He performed with the San Francisco opera company, and sang in a choir that performed at Barack Obama’s first inauguration. He volunteered his free time to tutor underprivileged children.

He applied to seven Ivy League schools and was rejected by all seven.

I saw recently that a local kid from Fullerton High School here in Orange County was accepted at all eight Ivy League Schools. His name is Fernando Rojas.

Fernando Rojas

Here’s another young man, Harold Ekeh, who was also accepted at all eight Ivy League schools:

Harold Ekeh

Last year, Kwasi Enin was accepted at all eight Ivy League schools:

Kwasi Enin

A study by Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade examined applicants to top colleges from 1997, when the maximum SAT score was 1600 (today it’s 2400). Espenshade found that Asian-Americans needed a 1550 SAT to have an equal chance of getting into an elite college as white students with a 1410 or black students with an 1100. I suspect that disparity has, if anything, widened.

If you’re Asian and applying to Ivy League schools, don’t hesitate to check the box next to “Black” or “Hispanic.” Or Eskimo. Eskimos are kind of Asian-looking.


If Math Was Taught Like Science

4 Jun 2015 /


Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

1 Jun 2015 /

William Butler Yeats

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

— W. B. Yeats, “Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven”

My 2nd Favorite Hockey Team

31 May 2015 /
Lightning at the Dog Park

Hi, everybody! It’s me, Lightning!

I’m sad today because the Ducks lost. The Ducks are my favorite hockey team. I like to watch hockey games on TV with my owner because even though I’m old and I can’t see anymore I like the sounds of the skates and the pucks and the sticks.

My second favorite hockey team is the Lightning. I hope they win the Stanley Cup. I like to watch Lightning games because the TV says “… blah blah blah Lightning blah blah blah Lightning blah blah blah Lightning …”

— Lightning paw


I try to stay unimpressed by that which is unimpressive, as a result of which I get into a lot of arguments . . .

Posted by on 31 May 2015

If a Tree Falls in the Forest …

29 May 2015 /

I encountered this on a web page . . . the header followed by a dark gray bar and nothing else. Is a questionnaire with no questions still a questionnaire?

Questionnaire


Is Dignity an Obstacle to Success?

27 May 2015 /

Sometimes life requires that we take jobs below our station until we learn skills, offer apologies even when we are wronged, suck-up to power when necessary, work long hours when we “deserve” some rest, risk embarrassment in front of witnesses, risk failure and humiliation, and get rejected by the people we hope to love. In that sort of game, the player unburdened with human dignity usually wins.


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