Thursday, December 31, 2009


Another run
around the sun
tonight is done.

We've reckoned it
to the second,
so great is our pleasure
in measurement.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Restarting the Calendar

The Wall St. Journal had a nice article today on alternate calendar schemes.

The chief advantage of these schemes is that a given date always falls on the same day of the week.

The Symmetry 454 calendar achieves this at the cost of having leap years be a whole week longer than a normal year.

The World Calendar achieves this at the cost of having "intercalary days" - 1 or 2 days per year that don't have a weekday name.

As I was reading the article, I was thinking about having to change computer programs en masse.
The "Y2K" reprogramming was "child's play" compared with what is needed for a world-wide calendar switch, admits Dr. Bromberg.
That quote practically writes itself into a rhyme:

was child's play
compared to this switch
which would be a real...
high speed drive into a ditch.

My favorite oddball calendar is also mentioned - the International Fixed Calendar, with 13 months of 4 weeks each, plus 1 or 2 of those "intercalary" days.

Of course, switching to a 13 month year would eliminate financial quarters, would play havoc with associating months with the seasons, and would generally cause even more chaotic reprogramming of computers and human brains.

And some mention should be made, finally, of the French Republican Calendar, which was the law in France for a while. It featured 30-day months and 10-day weeks.

They loved the number ten,
they used it again and again,
they even, to my shock,
pushed a 10-hour clock.

Blooms Versus Booms

The would-be crotch bomber reportedly had some big brains behind him - big brains who had done time in Gitmo, but who had been released during the Bush Administration.
American officials agreed to send the two terrorists from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia, where they entered into an "art therapy rehabilitation program" and were set free, according to U.S. and Saudi officials.
Here's more on the art therapy approach:
The calligraphy and depictions of sunrises and flowers do not really reflect the darker emotions confronted in treatment and are images Western therapists might not expect to see. In fact, some might define the content of their artwork as being "in denial" of the crimes committed.
If you were an art therapist
in charge of curing a terrorist,
how would you proceed?

"Paint a pretty design,
and I'll be sure to sign
the form so you'll be freed."

Monday, December 28, 2009


Anna North has 4 reasons to quit being "offended".

To quote her headings:
It's overused.

It devalues actual, justified rage.

It encourages self-congratulatory offensiveness.

And, finally: we already have better words.
Whatever this writer intended,
I, for one, am deeply offended.

Elephorse: The Legend

One of my fabulous Christmas presents was this horse, which came with its own removable elephant costume, put together by Anna Weiler. She also explained the legend behind the creation, which I put in verse below.

There were no elephants at the zoo.
The children cried - so what to do?

Quickly a friendly horse was recruited,
and in short order he was re-suited.

Masquerading in trunk and ears,
he clowned away the children's tears.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

What Worked

"The system worked."

That's usually good to hear.
But after a mega-failure, it tends to inspire fear.

That's a quote from Janet Napolitano, head of Homeland Security, and she's talking about the botched attempt to explode a Detroit-bound jet.

People on that plane are lucky the bomb didn't work.

And they were lucky to have Jasper Schuringa seated near the bomber. Schuringa jumped on the bomber, took the burning IED away, put the fire out with his own hands, put a choke hold on the bomber, and dragged him out of his seat.

"I don't feel like a hero. It was something that came completely natural... it was something where I had to do something or it was too late."

That's the part of the system that worked -
the part where Schuringa went berserk.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mars, Venus, Goodbye

New book:

Women Are Crazy, Men Are Stupid
the latest attempt to help poor Cupid!

It's by a couple who are also comedy writers.

Sometimes humor does more good
than years of counseling ever could.

Moving Beyond Mars And Venus

The latest book to try to help along Cupid:
Women Are Crazy, Men Are Stupid.

It's a comic effort, written by a couple comedy writers who are also boyfriend and girlfriend.

The title isn't literally true, of course, and it propagates dangerous stereotypes... Oops, I fell asleep just saying that.

Misunderstanding between the sexes
is one of those things that endlessly vexes
male and female alike.

And this book does look funnier than a volume on evolutionary psych.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Gift of the Magi

Our family's joke phrase of the past 2 days is: "You ruined Christmas!"

I've been thinking about O. Henry's short story, The Gift of the Magi. It's about a young couple. They both sell their most prized possession - in order to buy something to accessorize the other person's prize possession.

They're both left with accessories only.
On the bright side, at least they're not lonely.

Somehow, it doesn't ruin their Christmas. But they realize they have not been wise.

Be wary of the price
of spectacular sacrifice.

Christmas Duck

Donald Duck may not be a big part of your holiday celebrations. But in Sweden, this is his time to shine:
Every year on Dec. 24 at 3 p.m., half of Sweden sits down in front of the television for a family viewing of the 1958 Walt Disney Presents Christmas special, "From All of Us to All of You." Or as it is known in Sverige, Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar God Jul: "Donald Duck and his friends wish you a Merry Christmas."
At first, the viewers came back
of their own volition
to watch that duck go quack.

But now it's a tradition!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wild Doings

The Chicago Tribune has the story:

A guy gets kidnapped by a car full of armed young people.

They drive him to an ATM. One takes the guy's ATM card and demands his PIN.
They pulled into an alley. As they bumped along the snowy path, the woman told the driver to toss her the gun because she didn't want police to see it, he said.

"All of a sudden, by the grace of God, between these two fools, I hear 'boom,' and then I hear her hollering and screaming, 'I shot my finger off, I shot it off.' The driver starts panicking and he goes right into a Dumpster," the victim said. "That's when I knew it was my moment."
In the confusion, the victim got hold of the gun, got out of the car, and started running away - down the alley. The woman ran after him.
"I don't know if she's going to kill me or not, so I fire a warning shot," the man said. "Unfortunately, it hit her. I never fired a gun in my life."
She's dead from his "warning shot."

Don't ask anyone
to toss you a loaded gun.

And remember, you may be harmed
when you chase a guy who's armed.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Waiting for Gitmo

They were coming to Illinois but there's been a delay -
the president can't get the money to move the prisoners away
from Guantánamo Bay.
As a result, officials now believe that they are unlikely to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and transfer its population of terrorism suspects until 2011 at the earliest...
I was so looking forward to Gitmo coming to my home state.
Too bad it's gonna be late!

I figured it would be a tourist attraction.
Seeing where they were all locked up would give folks satisfaction.

Nude with Violin

I've been reading Nude with Violin, a play by Noel Coward. It put me in mind of Art, a play by Yasmina Reza. Both plays ask whether modern art might be a fraud.

Reza's play is about a guy who buys a big all-white painting, and then shows it to his 2 buddies.
They in turn question their relationship with a man willing to spend such a large amount of money on something that they find hard pressed to consider 'art.'
Coward's play is about a critically acclaimed painter who has signed his works, but who has not painted his works. Rather, he has secretly had 4 untrained people paint for him, each responsible for one of his "periods".

Reza is content to raise the question, but Coward seems to have a definite suggestion in mind. His main character argues sardonically against exposing the fraud. In his final monologue he warns that a skeptical domino effect might ensue:
Modern sculpture, music, drama and poetry will all shrivel in the holocaust. Think what will happen to those tens of thousands of industrious people who today are making a comfortable livelihood by writing without grammar, composing without harmony and painting without form. These poor miserable wretches will be either flung into abject poverty or forced really to learn their jobs.
This isn't Coward the dandy,
writing of escapades randy.

This is Coward the curmudgeon,
swinging an angry bludgeon.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Nebraska Compromise Reconsidered

Federalism raises its sleepy head:
The top prosecutors in seven states are probing the constitutionality of a political deal that cut a funding break for Nebraska in order to pass a federal health care reform bill, South Carolina's attorney general said Tuesday.
The states investigate a congressional deal? What nerve. On the other hand, the deal is unique:
"The Nebraska compromise, which permanently exempts Nebraska from paying Medicaid costs that Texas and all other 49 states must pay, may violate the United States Constitution — as well as other provisions of federal law," Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said.
Nebraska's senator was plucky -
held out for the very best deal.

His state sure is lucky.
How rude of the others to squeal!

Cash for Congress

One small chunk of the economy is booming - the lobbying biz!
Washington’s influence industry is on track to shatter last year’s record $3.3 billion spent to lobby Congress and the rest of the federal government...
The expansion of government control - and we've been seeing a lot of that - is a platinum mine for lobbyists.

When everything's up in the air,
and the Congress is on the prowl,
interfering in business affairs -
then businessmen do not howl,
or sit around and moan,
or distract themselves with a hobby,
instead they pick up the phone
and pay people cash to lobby!

Lightbulb Day

Debra Ross explains:
I saw the name "Lightbulb Day" somewhere on the internet as a way someone had devised of celebrating the holidays without religion, and I adopted and made it our own. (After all, isn't that the way most inventions evolve?) On December 21, the "darkest evening of the year," the day when we symbolically most need technology, our two families celebrated human ingenuity, creativity, reason, and invention.
The day's name put me in mind of Thomas Edison, who invented the first practically usable lightbulb, and who said:
Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.
Even Edison couldn't simply say "let there be light."
He had to work and sweat to make it right.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Frown Of Thought

Aristotle thought everyone had happiness as a goal. But is it bad for your cognition to actually arrive at the goal?
The University of New South Wales researcher says a grumpy person can cope with more demanding situations than a happy one because of the way the brain "promotes information processing strategies".
However, the researcher does concede that happiness is better for creativity.

Maybe the ideal thing
is to let your mood swing.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Levamisole Goes Better With Coke

Disturbing news, at least for some:
Cocaine's a hell of a drug, and even more so when laced with another drug that's commonly used to deworm opossums. Federal agents have found that 69 percent of cocaine shipments seized entering the United States contain levamisole, a veterinary drug linked to serious weakening of the immune system in humans. Here's the real funny part: no one knows why.
Deworming possums? Around here they're considered a nuisance, and a wild animal, and I don't think you can keep them as pets in Illinois. So who is catching them to deworm them?

The "weakening of the immune system in humans" doesn't sound so good.

Your immune system goes from a roar to a sigh,
but you sure get high,
and your worms go bye-bye.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Nonbelievers Horning In

Garrison Keillor is unhappy with Christmas songs written by Jewish guys:
And all those lousy holiday songs by Jewish guys that trash up the malls every year, Rudolph and the chestnuts and the rest of that dreck. Did one of our guys write ‘Grab your loafers, come along if you wanna, and we’ll blow that shofar for Rosh Hashanah’? No, we didn’t. Christmas is a Christian holiday—if you’re not in the club, then buzz off.
He's specifically attacks the Rudolph song and the Chestnuts song, which were indeed written by Jewish guys.

As a matter of fact, the Jewish guy who wrote the Rudolph song also wrote "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day", "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", and "A Holly Jolly Christmas".

Keillor didn't get around to complaining about "White Christmas" by Irving Berlin, another Jewish guy.

He didn't complain about all the Jewish singers, like Barbra Streisand, who release Christmas albums that include Gounod's "Ave Maria".

He didn't even note that Jews must have been the main celebrants at the actual birth of Jesus.

I don't believe, but I like these tunes,
including Streisand's Hail Mary.
Keillor can be a hot air balloon,
but I find his drift slightly scary.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Pregnancy Leave Behind Bars

An army general is banning pregnancy in Iraq.
Anyone who becomes pregnant or impregnates another servicemember, including married couples assigned to the same unit, could face a court-martial and jail time, according to an order issued by Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo.
I can see that pregnant soldiers may be less effective soldiers. But contraception, while highly effective, is not 100% effective.

Who conceived of this ban?
Will babies be born in jail?

Is it a well laid plan
or more of an epic fail?

Blinded By Her Headlights

Traffic hazard:
A New Zealand teen who was flashing her breasts at passing cars has been found guilty of disorderly behavior for the prank, which ended with her in a hospital after a distracted driver ran into her.
Beware of flashing,
it causes crashing.

Jobless Claims Jump

I don't want to make too much of it, but it can't be a good thing:
The number of Americans filing for initial unemployment insurance rose last week, the government said Thursday. Analysts had expected a decline.
I'm sad about the rise,
I'm hoping for a boom,
but I'm not exactly surprised
to find we're still in the gloom.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Big Donor

Kirk Maxey, back in the day, donated a lot of highly fertile sperm:
Between 1980 and 1994, he donated at a Michigan clinic twice a week. He's looked at the records of his donations, multiplied by the number of individual vials each donation produced, and estimated the success of each vial resulting in a pregnancy. By his own calculations, he concluded that he is the biological father of nearly 400 children, spread across the state and possibly the country.
Sociobiology proposes that men are motivated by a desire to have as many children as possible - at as little cost as possible. In this case, he actually got paid for his contributions.

If sociobiology were true
wouldn't more men do
what Maxey did
to make maximum kids?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Way with Words

Did Obama pick a good metaphor for his health care efforts?
We are on the precipice of an achievement that has eluded Congresses and presidents for generations.
Being on a precipice
of a legislative abyss
sounds more scary
than merry.

How Utilitarian

They say that the needs of the many
outweigh the needs of the one.

Proof? I haven't heard any.
Nor does it sound like fun.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Oblivious to the Obvious

At Harvard they ran a psychology experiment where only 25% percent of the subjects noticed that the person they were dealing with was switched with another, similar but different, person.

Video, brief and funny, is here.

I fear that if I took this test
I'd fail like most of the rest.

Clever Invertebrates

They've found some octopuses that carry coconut shells around - and then hide under the shell.

Video here.

It's analogous, as the first commenter mentions, to a hermit crab, a crustacean which lives inside of another animal's salvaged shell.

A cephalopod
with a coconut shell...
how very odd,
but how cool as well.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


He stands on patrol
in a world of white.
His eyes, black as coal,
stare down the night.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ungovernable People

Why is the progressive program stalling in the States? One prominent progressive has an answer:
The smarter elements in Washington DC are starting to pick up on the fact that it’s not tactical errors on the part of the president that make it hard to get things done, it’s the fact that the country has become ungovernable.
I wonder if that hasn't always been the problem. In a deeper way than this writer imagines.

I am put in mind of Huck Finn who insists he doesn't want to be "sivilized". Which means he doesn't want people telling him what to do - regulating his life.

There's a reason why that book has remained so popular.

The frontier?
Still here.

it abides.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tom and Huck

We were discussing Huckleberry Finn in book club, and I read Tom Sawyer for good measure.
Both brought back memories of boyhood reading pleasure.

I read them when I was in elementary school. On my own.

I thought the stuff with slaves was ancient and outrageous. But the idea of just heading into a river on a raft - escaping from teachers and rules and lectures - that sounded like wonderful fun.

How joyous to float wherever you wish,
living off melon and freshly caught fish.

Obama in Norway

He dropped in for his Nobel,
and said that war is hell,
but sometimes needed, as well.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

You Can't Even Call For Help

Not again! Not another boy with his tongue stuck to a frozen metal pole! Why is it rarely a girl?
This year, the scene straight out of the movie "A Christmas Story" unfolded Tuesday morning in Boise with a boy of about 10.
The fire department got him free by pouring water on his tongue.
He only bled a little. Ouch, I bet that stung.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Cosmetic Budget Surgery

Apparently the Senate Health bill, instead of saving us all money, needs an infusion of cash:
Last week, the U.S. Senate began debate on an $848 billion health-care reform bill that includes a 5 percent excise tax on elective cosmetic surgery. It would take effect Jan. 1.

The aim: to raise an estimated $5.8 billion in the next decade.
Since their health plan's running short on bucks,
the Senate turns to taxing tummy tucks.

Cold on the Radio

Jeremy Menekseoglu's holiday play, Cold, was performed live on the radio today.

Now it's available for listening online.

It's about 2 lonely troubled people falling in love. He's a philosophy major who collects signatures on the street. She's a college drop-out office temp. They have opposite but related problems - 2 versions of extreme loneliness - he's a virtual hermit and she's a sex addict.

In the midst of freezing weather
what can they find together?

Sunday, December 06, 2009


A guy in New Zealand with HIV used a needle to inject his wife with his blood, and infected her, while she was sleeping.
It is believed the man wanted to give her the virus, which leads to Aids, so she would have sex with him again, the New Zealand Sunday Star-Times reported.
He confessed and faces a possible sentence of 14 years.

What kind of a snake
wrecks the life
of his wife
just to make
her have sex?

Huck on Altruism

Huckleberry Finn reflects on his religious training:
...she told me what she meant--I must help other people, and do everything I could for other people, and look out for them all the time, and never think about myself.... I went out in the woods and turned it over in my mind a long time, but I couldn't see no advantage about it--except for the other people; so at last I reckoned I wouldn't worry about it any more, but just let it go.
Out in the woods
he ponders her shoulds
but they don't seem so good
to him.

And the justification seems slim.

Saturday, December 05, 2009


Watched Helvetica, a fun film about a font.

Actually, it's not really a font, it's a typeface. Wikipedia explains:
a typeface is a set of one or more fonts, in one or more sizes, designed with stylistic unity, each comprising a coordinated set of glyphs.
I would write a nice riff
about what is a glyph
but I don't know,
so I'll go.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

With Apologies To William Blake

Tiger, Tiger, driving madly,
down your driveway, crashing badly,
what recorded cell phone call
has framed you on the tabloid wall?

Cold is Warm Inside

Cold is back! At Dream Theatre.

It's a play about a former philosophy major who hasn't been to a party in forever. It's a play about a party girl who just keeps looking for love in all the wrong places.

Jeremy Menekseoglu is serious and convincing as the reclusive misanthrope with a philosophy of fear. Courtney Arnett is effervescent and seductive as the office-temp who feels unworthy of respect.

Fear and self-contempt
can make you verklemt.

But it's a heartwarming love story, not a tragedy.

Two people, at heart the same,
fan the eternal flame.

A Helping Hand

W.C. Varones alerted me to this:
There's talk of Federal Government bailouts of newspapers, changing their tax status, changing copyright laws, granting them non-profit status, etc. All to keep them afloat, and keep them pumping the Government's pure filth-ridden lies to the public.
Just because they would own the press,
doesn't mean they'd apply duress
to make reporters "toe the line."

Don't worry. All will be fine!

Party Crasher Craze Becomes Constitutional Crisis

If only the architects of the U.S. constitution were still around:
The White House on Wednesday invoked the separation of powers to keep Desiree Rogers, President Obama’s social secretary, from testifying on Capitol Hill about how a couple of aspiring reality television show celebrities crashed a state dinner for the prime minister of India last week.
How did they crash
the White House bash?

The Congress wants to know,
but the President says "Whoa!"

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Team America, World Bank

I think that we need to bail out Dubai.
"Too big to fail" is the reason why.

They're running slightly low on cash,
but we can print some in a flash!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

77 Love Sonnets

I read through 77 Love Sonnets by Garrison Keillor, a recent book which actually contains 81 of his 14-line creations.

Did he settle on the title, announce it, and then feel compelled to sneak in 4 more?

Not all, in fact, are love poems, but a solid chunk are, with a good dose of eros included. You can read 3 of them over here, along with a nice review. The last of the 3 will give you a feel for the way he deals with bodily passion.

He has a great gift for writing rhyme and meter in a conversational style, so it seems like you're reading normal sentences that happen to come out in verse by some strange coincidence. He's also an accomplished storyteller, and each of these poems is structured with a beginning, middle, and end. You're not left wondering what a poem means - even though you might be left wondering what his personal life is really like!

This book is an example of an interesting genre - formal verse that gets published because the writer is famous for something else. You won't find the poetry establishment lining up to praise this book. He's not pursuing the goals that interest them.

Will he sell more books than an academic poet?
You know it!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Perhaps She Was Oblivious With Grief

It might be funny if it was a cartoon, but it's real people:
Police say a Virginia woman was struck and killed while taking flowers to a roadside memorial for her granddaughter who died in a crash at the same spot a week ago.
It's a recent trend,
to mark every public place where someone met their end.

I'm not sure if the markers are there to warn,
or whether they're more of a way to mourn.

This one was surely not
a safe spot.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Two Video Controversies

There are now 2 video controversies involving people allegedly responding inappropriately to Midge Hough.

She's a health care reform activist, and in both videos she recounts the recent death of her uninsured pregnant daughter in law.

She believes that if more affordable care had been available, the young lady would have lived. She says the final medical bill was over 1.5 million dollars.

In the first video, the governor of Illinois looks like he's ready for a nap while she's talking. A political opponent put out the video.

In the second video, she says people are laughing at her at a town hall meeting, although you can't actually hear any laughter while she tells her story. A still photo of one guy smiling is shown. Health care activists put out the video.

In a time of political intrigue,
beware of compassion fatigue!

Otherwise the video editor's art
may paint you as a person without heart.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

International Thankgiving Competition

The Canadians have Thanksgiving in October.

For some reason, we in the U.S. are forced to wait until November.

Is that fair? No.

But I have a compromise in mind
which I hope all will find
perfectly nice:

Let's celebrate twice!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Where Did I Put That Carnivore Cookbook?

How much is enough beef jerky
when you need to stuff a turkey?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sad End

Do you remember that poor U.S. Census worker who was imagined to be the victim of right-wing violence?

He was found, naked and dead, in the hills of Kentucky, with a rope around his neck and one word, "fed", written on his chest.

But the police have decided it was staged. By the Census worker. He killed himself.
Sparkman also had recently taken out two accidental life insurance policies totaling $600,000 that would not pay out for suicide, authorities said. One policy was taken out in late 2008; the other in May.
In an act of insurance fraud,
with a plan that was slightly flawed,
he tried to hide
the fact of suicide.

TSA and Non-Photo-ID

Our local Fox News crew sent people to fly out of the 2 Chicago airports - and they sent them without picture i.d.

Did they get turned away
by TSA?
On every occasion, these Fox employees were allowed through security without a hitch as long as they showed that the name on their boarding pass matched the name on a couple of credit cards.
This could come in pretty handy here in Illinois, where you often have to surrender your driver's license for a moving traffic violation - which might even occur on your way to the airport! The ability to fall back on a credit card was cool.

Now they'll probably have a "crackdown".

Darn Fox. They had to squeal
and ruin an excellent deal.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Shortage

In a massive failure of the free market, there is now a shortage of pumpkin pie filling!

Libby's, which has corenered most of the pumpkin filling market, blames the weather.

It's my opinion that this is a good thing. Pumpkin pie is obviously something most people don't really like - since they only eat it on ceremonial occasions.

This shortage is a wonderful excuse
to cut the pumpkin pie tradition loose.

Common Sense

Merlin Jetton led a very interesting discussion about common sense last night, which began with Aristotle's use of the term.

He meant something different than we mean. Aristotle noticed that despite having separate senses, we nonetheless end up with an integrated experience of the world, that all the data streams, in effect, are tied together.

When we look at a ball and hold it in our hands, we actually perceive its roundness through both sight and touch, but unless we stop to reflect, we usually don't notice that we have 2 grounds for thinking it's round. And if we lean forward and sniff the ball to discover how it smells, we don't usually have to "think" about where the smell is coming from - we "just know" it's the ball.

The modern meaning of common sense is sometimes described as "what everyone can agree about," but I don't think that can be right, since you often hear people say of academics: "they're smart but they lack common sense".

If academics can "lack common sense", then not everyone agrees can agree about it - just "sensible" people agree.

I wonder if the meaning is in fact related to Aristotle's meaning. I wonder if by "common sense" we now mean "judgments that clearly tie back to perception", as opposed to judgments that look like flights of fancy.

Rand didn't always like the way other people used the term, but she often used it herself with a positive meaning. She gave 2 different explanations of what it was:
That which today is called "common sense" is the remnant of an Aristotelian influence, and that was the businessman's only form of philosophy. ("For the New Intellectual", 1961)
Americans are the most reality-oriented people on earth. Their outstanding characteristic is the childhood form of reasoning: common sense. It is their only protection. But common sense is not enough where theoretical knowledge is required: it can make simple, concrete-bound connections—it cannot integrate complex issues, or deal with wide abstractions, or forecast the future. ("Don't Let It Go", 1971)
There may be a way to tie these 2 passing comments into one theory.
But, at the moment, that leaves me feeling leery.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ugly Climate

I've looked a bit at the hacked/leaked snippets from the UK Climate Science place.

I don't want to judge the scientific discussions. Independent scientists with the right training should do that.

But some of these snippets sound too much like petty politicians plotting to suppress their opponents.

I'm not a climate scientist,
but I'm a student of spin.

I wonder whether these people grasp
the sort of mess they're in?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cool House

Our house boiler is not boiling.

The problem seems to be that too much water is coming into it. I think maybe it's just the water valve.

We've got a steam guy coming tomorrow to take a look.

I could try to fix it myself, but I'm going to take a pass.

Boilers must be approached with care.
And duct tape might not work for this repair.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lone Terrorist

I'm seeing an implicit sort of argument lately - that the Fort Hood killer was not a terrorist because he acted alone.

Is that a key part of the definition? Do you need a conspiracy to qualify? Is a 2-person conspiracy - like McVeigh and Nichols - enough?

Also, if you're crazy, is that grounds for disqualification? Because I'm betting a lot of suicide bombers have a nutty streak. I'm hoping they get their own DSM entry soon: Explosive Suicidal Ideation.

Whether there's more than one person to blame,
the goals and the means are the same.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Quantum Love Song

Take a glass of water. Empty half of it. Repeat indefinitely.

At some point you get down to a single molecule of water, and the loop stops.

What if time itself is like that?
Quantum time is the analogue of classical continuous time (or ordinary time) yet with the fundamental difference of being discontinuous, having a minimum approximate duration equal to 10-44 seconds, the Planck time.
You can see the possibility for love poetry focusing on this peculiarity:

Does time arrive discretely
in instantaneous blips?

Let me spend it sweetly
in the tasting of your lips.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Town Hall Meeting

I attended my congressman's town hall meeting today.

Most of the talk, and yelling, was about the House health care bill. My congressman, Dan Lipinski, a sort of conservative Democrat, had been against it before he voted for it.

So a lot of tea-party type people felt betrayed. Understandably. The congressman's story was that the bill had changed, and would change again. I wish I found this reassuring.

One audience member, on his way to advocating for "single payer", actually attacked "Objectivists" for being willing to "let people die". He was roundly booed.

I'm not sure this is a case of "all publicity is good publicity".

Objectivists don't actually want to let people die. They want to let people be free - to take care of themselves and those they care about.

All health care systems, at some point, let people die. Medical resources are finite. Health is finite. Government monopoly medicine would also let people die.

But the rhetoric will be different. We will hear about the greatest good for the greatest number. And the lines will be longer. And the waits will be longer. And less money will be "wasted" on "prolonging" life.

And more money will be spent
on bureaucratic government.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Anja Hartleb-Parson brought this story to my attention:
Last week, a jury acquitted Kenneth Herron of a misdemeanor charge stemming from an incident in which he somehow managed to get into the Grizzly Bear Grotto at the San Francisco Zoo. Herron, who has a history of mental illness, ended up within bear-arm's length of two 500-pound grizzlies, one of which walked over and sniffed Herron's foot before police scared it away. Herron was extracted, arrested, and charged with trespassing and "disturbing a dangerous animal."
Apparently the jury spent a lot of time deciding whether the bear was "legally disturbed".

You have to be disturbed
to enter a grizzly's grotto.
But if the bear doesn't stir,
or consume you like a gelato,
then a jury may infer,
and indeed conclusively find,
that your presence barely entered
the grizzly's mind.

Jennifer Cronin's "Grace"

This is a painting which has been part of the Black Duckling Art Exhibit. It's entitled "Grace", and it's by Jennifer Cronin.

I'm not sure why this lass
has hammered the glass,
or why a sewing machine
lurks in the scene,
but her face
bears the trace
of a thought
that's distraught.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I counted. I've now done 18 marathons.

There's an issue about the counting. I've also done 3 50k's, which are 31 miles each; and I've done 2 ironman-distance triathlons, which include a marathon run as *part* of the race.

But I've decided to keep it simple and not mix categories.

I must admit I'm slowing
but so far I'm still going.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Making A Point Of Punctuation

I was amused by this fellow:
Frustrated by living in "St Johns Close", in Turnbridge Wells, Mr Gatward decided to buy a can of black paint and a craft brush before correcting the name to "St John's Close".
Is it to his credit
that he felt compelled to edit?

Let me admit that what he did is something I have often felt like doing.

But the story got me to thinking about the 5 reasons we tack an "s" on the end of a word:

1) to make a noun plural: I dream of dogs.
2) to make a verb third person singular: The dog dreams when it sleeps.
3) to make a noun possessive: I found the dog's toy.
4) to make a noun both plural and possessive: I found the dogs' toy.
5) to form a contraction between a noun and "is": The dog's hungry.

In written language,
the apostrophe helps us to tame
all these confusing "s"s
that pretty much sound the same.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Sorry, Mr. President

They said don't jump to conclusions
about whether religious delusions
colored this killer's motivation,
but I'm succumbing to the temptation
of guessing that this baddy
imagined himself a jihadi.


20 years ago, this is what came tumbling down:

From each according to his ability,
to each according to his need,
and if you try to climb over The Wall,
we'll shoot you and laugh while you bleed.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Beware of Post

They put these yellow posts - bollards - on bike trails as a way of keeping cars out.

My hard-earned advice of the day is: don't drive your bike straight into one.

As we came up on this post, a woman cyclist was chastising 3 guilty-looking children about some leaves which had been set on fire on the trail. I apparently paid too much attention to the chastisement, and not enough attention to the steel post.

I'm scraped up a bit, and I expect to be black and blue on my left side in a few places. I was wearing my helmet, but I don't seem to have hit my head. Bike seems fine. iPhone seems fine.

I haven't crashed a bike in years. I suspect the underlying cause was post-marathon daze. I always feel less observant the day after a run of that length.

When a bollard's on the trail,
swerve around, or EPIC FAIL!

What Army Officers Fear

The Fort Hood shooter told a lot of his fellow soldiers that our opponents were the good guys in Iraq and Afghanistan. You might think this would get you in trouble in the Army.

And it could. But it didn't. The AP reports:
His fellow students complained to the faculty about Hasan's "anti-American propaganda," but said a fear of appearing discriminatory against a Muslim student kept officers from filing a formal complaint.
The Army is a huge inertial bureaucracy, and fear of seeming biased is today a standard feature of such institutions.

Sometimes, in order to CYA,
you need to look the other way.

Born with an Accent

They don't just kick the insides of their mommies' tummies, they eavesdrop too:
Babies Cry in Accents Heard in the Womb
It's the original version
of learning by immersion.

Saturday, November 07, 2009


Ran the Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis today. Lovely course. But a bit hillier than the pancake flat Chicago course. Beautiful day. But a bit warmer than is really ideal for running that distance.

Still, I'm not complaining.
I'm so glad it wasn't raining.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


Latest word: the homicidal psycho-psychiatrist rumored-possible-jihadi-sympathizing Army Major is alive.

I'd rather he were dead

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Perfected Through Infection

After I got my swine flu shot, I was reading up on viruses, and was shocked to find out that we're all part virus:
Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) are retroviruses derived from ancient viral infections of germ cells in humans, mammals and other vertebrates; as such their proviruses are passed on to the next generation and now remain in the genome.
They play a key role in evolution.
So we're not just descended from our "ancestors," we're also descended from some viruses that infected egg cells or sperm cells. And some of the modifications were useful.

Ancestors, I thank you all,
for bringing about my existence,
including those bugs, microscopically small,
who sneaked past your bodies' resistance.

Clan of the Cave Bear

A sad tale of Muslim separatists:
A bear killed two militants after discovering them in its den in Indian-administered Kashmir, police say.
The militants had assault rifles but were taken by surprise - police found the remains of pudding they had made to eat when the bear attacked.

Best to beware
of the homecoming bear.

If he finds you in his cave
the hole becomes your grave.

Monday, November 02, 2009


Paul Hsieh puts it succinctly:
“Coverage” is not the same as actual medical care.
People imagine "having coverage" as having a safety net.

But many universal coverage systems involve waiting lists and rationing. Which means the "safety net" features big gaping holes.

Sometimes when you're on
a real long waiting list,
by the time your turn comes up
you no longer exist.

A+ for Creativity

Police were investigating a report of two would-be burglars with painted faces. Then they arrested a couple of guys who had used permanent marker to disguise themselves.

It worked as a mask,
but they failed to think
about the hard task
of removing the ink.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


For book club we read Paris 1919, a 500 page tome about the peace conference at the end of the first world war.

The topic sounds dry, but the book is lively.

Sitting in headquarters
they re-drew the world's borders,
but the world did not comply
and the new lines went awry
by and by.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Behold an ass
trying to pass.

Happy Hallowe'en

They speak of the need to care, but their stares are cold.
And they lecture on sacrifice, but their coats are warm.

They praise your brains for being above the norm,
as they scoop them out of your skull with spoons of gold.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Heartland Institute Celebrates 25 Years

We attended the Heartland Institute's 25th Anniversary Benefit Dinner. The Heartland's a free-market think tank, which started out dealing with local Midwestern issues, but which found a different niche over time - namely, supplying information to state and municipal legislators.

The 50 states have many legislators.
The good news is they're not all liberty-haters.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Stay Loyal To The Royals Or Else

News headline:
Morocco punishes journalists over royal reporting
In countries with kings,
one must take care
about the sorts
of things
one dares

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Patching a Theory

The climate's getting colder,
but the explanation's bolder:

"When the planet's getting hot,
its temperature swings a lot
in a wild up-and-down line.

And so this apparent decline
in temperature is just
proof of an upward thrust!"

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Flu Emergency

The government runs the flu vaccine program. The vaccine is "distributed free".

Predictably, there are chronic shortages.

I have to agree with Donald Tabor's assessment:
Had the government simply stayed out of the way, there would be adequate supply in the United States, and it would only have been necessary for the CDC to issue recommendations for priority, leaving it to health care providers to see to it that those who needed the vaccinations most got them first.
We're now to the point where Obama has declared the swine flu to be a national emergency. The purpose of the declaration seems to be to allow doctors to cut through federal red tape:
For instance, federal rules do not allow hospitals to put up treatment tents more than 200 yard away from the doors; if the tents are 300 yards or more away, typically federal dollars won't go to pay for treatment.
I urgently hope to somehow make it through
this scary and unnecessary
emergency of flu.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Animals vs. Animal

Last night my dogs got in a fight a young adult raccoon.

So Romeo and Juliette
today had a trip to the vet.

They both seem okay. Juliette, who was wounded more, is going on antibiotics.

It's painful, I suppose
when a bandit bites your nose.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fresh Eyes

Talking with a child can be a gift
that shifts
your perspective,
removes your blinders.

It's not so much a corrective,
as it is a reminder
of what it's like to view
the world anew.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Balloon Boy

I know this is one of my recurring questions, but here it is: What were they thinking?

They knew the boy would turn out to be hiding in an attic all along. Did they think no one would suspect it was all a hoax?

Did they think a young boy would keep his mouth shut under questioning?

What were they thinking? They weren't.
And that's why they got burnt.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Their Days and Their Bodies Were Numbered

A murder victim in Illinois was identified by his pacemaker.

A murder victim in California was identified by her breast implant.

A murder victim in Florida was identified by her artificial hip.

When trying to hide your murder victim's identity,
be sure to remove every serial-numbered entity.

Welcome Home Poem

My wife has returned from the East,
where she traveled with our daughter,
on Virginia's Skyline Drive.

So I'm glad, to say the least,
for it's not the same without her,
even though I did survive.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Phidippides was First

Detroit had a combination marathon / half-marathon race today. Three runners died, in separate incidents.

That's 3 dead out of 19,000 runners. A lot higher than average:
The Detroit Free press reported that deaths in marathons are relatively rare, occurring in about one in roughly 67,000 participants or 1 in 100,000 participants, according to various studies. About half of all deaths happen in the last mile.
That statistic about "the last mile" is interesting. A lot of people decide to really crank it up to a sprint for the last mile. Sounds like now and then they overdo it.

Anyway, I'm still planning to run a marathon in the next month or two.

I'll try not to go too fast.

Don't want my last mile
to be my last.

Marsupial Advantages

Giving birth, for humans, is dangerous. You've got this big-brained head to squeeze through your "birth canal".

Isn't there a better way? Perhaps that favored by marsupials? Why not squeeze the young out early, and allow their later development to take place in an easy-to-exit pouch?

If people were in possession of pouches,
like those that belong to kangaroos,
birth would not involve terrible ouches,
since virtual preemies would crawl outside,
ready to jump in the pouch for a snooze
and a multi-month ride.

Jeff Recommends

The Black Duckling, which I wrote about the other day, has now been "Jeff Recommended".

If you live outside the Chicago area, you're probably wondering who Jeff is and why his recommendation matters.

"Jeff" in Chicago is a bit like "Tony" in New York - it's our big local theater award committee. There are 3 stages in the Jeffs: Recommendation, Nomination, Award.

It's an important first for Dream Theatre. In the competitive world of Chicago theater, it's an important marker of respect, and a public recognition that helps to draw in new audience members.

After years of off-the-beaten-path brilliance
and bounce-back-from-problems resilience,
what could be sweeter
for the artists of Dream Theatre?

Toward The End I Was Miserable

Did a 24 mile run.
I'm glad that's done.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Our nominal allies, the Saudis, are worried that the West might stop buying so much oil.

The NY Times reports that they are proposing a solution:
Saudi Arabia is trying to enlist other oil-producing countries to support a provocative idea: if wealthy countries reduce their oil consumption to combat global warming, they should pay compensation to oil producers.
Money for NOT supplying oil?
Could it be they've gotten spoiled?

Too Tired To Insert Verse Breaks

I think that when you stay up late, you should get a text message from Next Morning offering a friendly warning that tomorrow may not feel that great.

The Black Duckling

My friends at Dream Threatre opened an extraordinary play tonight, The Black Duckling, by Jeremy Menekseoglu, the prolific playwright who was tonight proclaimed "the Ibsen of Pilsen". (Dream Theatre is located in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood.)

The play is presented as a "silent melodrama", much of it with a live musical accompaniment by composer and flautist Trevor Watkin. I'm no musicologist, but Watkin's music struck me as a fusion between jazz and classical, and very pleasing to listen to, when I could pull my brain off the storyline and focus on the tunes. I think they should come out with a soundtrack CD.

A projection screen is overhead, and words appear there in sync with the action. Sometimes it is dialog. Sometimes it is rhymed narration. The actors move in sync with the musical background - which takes us back to the 19th century meaning of melodrama.

I found it took some getting used to, watching an unvocalized but musical play onstage. For a lot of the first act I was still thinking about the impression it made as a mode of story telling. That went away with the second act. By then I was fully emotionally engaged in the story and characters.

The setting, to me, felt like a European town, pre-World War II, a town with a cemetery, and a burlesque hall, and a eugenicist doctor. Not a town where I would want to raise a kid. They style of the play is somehow closer to a fairy tale than to a naturalistic story, closer to the poetic Ibsen than prose Ibsen.

The play has enough thematic material for 4 ordinary plays, which kind of leaves your head spinning with ideas when it's over. Menekseoglu is never short on ideas. In this case, a lot of the ideas revolve around the beauty of a certain kind of innocence.

That beauty and innocence is embodied by the luminous Anna Weiler, playing Slee, a young woman with an overbearingly religious father, played with characteristic gravity by Menekseoglu himself. Slee finds a job working as a maid for a burlesque dancer, but doesn't tell her father the exact nature of the work done by this "fine lady".

Slee proceeds to slide into the confusing world of people who see sex - and imperfect children - as curses upon humankind, a view she is never learns to share, despite being betrayed repeatedly by people who imagine they are trying to protect her.

Megan Merrill is wonderfully hardbitten as the "fine lady" burlesque dancer who wants to spare Slee the fate that befell herself. Bil Gaines is charming as the idealistic poet who finds himself torn between Platonic Love and Earthly Lust. Danielle Gennaoui shines as a crippled child with love in her heart. Dori Scallet and Stacie Hauenstein are disturbingly pleasant as the eugenicist doctor's efficient nurses.

There's some choreographed burlesque dancing, but be forewarned (or reassured) that none of the young ladies ever gets anywhere near to being nude.

One of my own obsessions is rhyme, and one of the things I like so much about the play was its use of verse and rhyme. An actual poem, about "the black duckling," plays a key role in the plot, and makes a strong thematic statement as well. The poem has a William Blake feel to it, perhaps because Blake, too, was fascinated by innocence - and its opposite.

The innocence of a child's fresh start
rarely survives in the grown-up's heart.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kindly Disregard The Rope

The FTC is trying to reassure bloggers that they're not interested in investigating individual bloggers or "playing gotcha in gray areas".

Ann Althouse, law school professor, responds:
Not yet. But once the law is on the books, will you never feel tempted? Nothing will motivate you to venture into the gray?
"Don't worry about this new law -
we plan to be lenient."

But here's the flaw:
they'll tighten the noose when convenient.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Go For It

The AP picks
on the Man's verbal tics:
Yet in the portfolio of presidential phrases, none is more pervasive than Obama's four-word favorite: Let me be clear.

It is his emphatic windup for, well, everything.
I'm willing to let him be clear,
but very often I fear,
what follows is pleasantly quirky
but strangely murky.

Waiting for Duck-Go

My friends are in a whirl,
and no doubt frazzled,
rehearsing the tale of a set-upon girl,
but I simply expect to be dazzled.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Chicago Marathon Photo

I took a photo centered on the woman in the pink top.

But later I saw this other figure, that I hadn't noticed originally.

Framed against a wall of stone,
she stops to stretch, amid the crowd, alone.

Maintaining Pace

Just got off a conference call. One of the participants, an older gentleman with a thriving business, had his heart stop several times on Friday.

Now he's got a pacemaker installed and he's feeling fine.

I'm very glad he's okay, and I'm very glad to live in a high-tech civilization with a wonder-working medical system.

I hope we're not about to wreak havoc on it.

Don't kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.
Don't throttle the docs with deadly rules and regs.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Intruder Nightmare

Know your limits:
John Tabutt, 62, told investigators he got his gun when he thought he heard an intruder, then fired at a figure in the hallway, according to Brunelle. It was Tabutt's live-in fiancee, 62-year-old Nancy Dinsmore, who family members say he was going to marry Saturday. Tabutt told authorities he thought she was next to him in bed the whole time.
If you don't wake up quickly... if it takes a while to perceive reality clearly... if you frequently wake up in a panic... be careful about keeping a loaded gun near your bed.

Especially be wary of just shooting "an intruder" in your house. Wouldn't you like to get a good look at the person you're shooting? Wouldn't you like to be really sure it's a bad guy?

Be astute.
You can't unshoot.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Sweat Lodge Deaths

"Sweat lodges" are sort of Native-American saunas. And lately they're getting a lot of use by New Agers. Overheating seems to yield contact with the cosmos. But be careful out there:
Two people died and an estimated 19 others were taken to hospitals after being overcome while sitting in a sauna-like sweat lodge during a Sedona spiritual retreat, authorities said Friday.
They haven't figured out what went wrong yet.

Beware of setting off on a spiritual quest
that detours into cardiac arrest.

The Prestigious Seinfeld Award

I'm announcing the International Seinfeld Award.

The Seinfeld Show, you may remember, was a self-proclaimed "show about nothing". And it was a huge hit.

Similarly, the Seinfeld Award is an award about nothing. Not just any kind of nothing, of course, but nothing that passes itself off as something!

And there's a very special cash prize. Of, you know, nothing.

Needless to say, Jerry Seinfeld knows NOTHING of this award.

So if you can spout
without being found out
give me a shout!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Return to Sender

The FTC is ordering bloggers to alert readers if they get free books.

If you return the books, you don't have to alert the readers.

But if you got a free Kindle download
how do you return it?

And if you got a good insight
how do you unlearn it?

In Case Real Life Chicago Isn't Scary Enough

Anna in the Darkness has won a place on the Top Ten Rated Haunted Houses of Chicago.
A horror play in its 4th year...

Dream Theatre’s Annual Horror Play takes a horrific new twist by taking the Audience out of Anna’s living room and into the bowels of the basement…

A young teacher has barricaded herself in the basement while the entire bloodthirsty town masses to kill her… And lucky you... You're down in the darkness with her...

There's something scary about the placement
of a barricade in the basement.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Degrees of Health

Wonderful internally rhymed headline news:
Study: Choose an Educated Wife for a Longer Life
I'll be living longer because
my wife has a master's degree.

And I might live longer yet
if she'd just pick up a PhD!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Gone Viral

Hmm. Swine flu is widespread across the states. And the vaccine is not.

Be careful and keep your hands clean.
The flu has outflown the vaccine.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Blog Regulations

The FTC has decided to keep an eye on bloggers who review stuff:
...the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service.
Oddly, from what I've heard, the regular press isn't covered.

And the regular press does review stuff they get for free. Constantly. Like movies and books and CDs, for example.

But bloggers are suspect and all their endorsements
deserve extra special rules and enforcement!

Sunday, October 04, 2009


Interesting defense against claims Letterman engaged in sexual harassment:
Yet these liaisons were apparently consensual. The women were older than 21. There was no banishment post-affair. Letterman was not married. And this is network TV, not your local Wal-Mart.
It was making sense until that last sentence.

So this would have been wrong at Wal-Mart? But it was okay here?

Do different standards of legal and moral propriety
apply to TV network society?

No Spring In My Step

Yesterday I ran 21 miles. I wasn't very fast, but I covered the ground. I should be ready for a November marathon.

Today Marsha and I went for a 17 mile bike ride.

By this process,
I have acquired
a pair of legs
that feel bone-tired.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Olympic Fail

Chicago has been spared
the cost of getting prepared.

Now it's the Brazilians
who will end up spending billions.


Chicago's Olympic fate?


At noon standard time, we will know. Is that 7pm in Copenhagen?

The downside is that the city might lose money. The upside is that I would get to watch some of the games.

Chicago awaits
its Olympic fate.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Here's a story about a woman with an artificial heart that doesn't pulse. The pump just continually spins the blood through her body.

It reminds me of the old Mazda commercial singing the praises of the Wankel rotary engine:
Piston engine goes boing boing boing
but the Mazda goes mmmmmm.
You don't really need your pump
to go bump..thump bump..thump.

But I'd find it disconcerting
to switch to continuous squirting.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Grabbing for the Torch

Our president is throwing his weight behind Chicago's Olympic bid. He's even traveling to Copenhagen, to help us clear that last big hurdle.

Our mayor says we can do this without losing money. I hope he's right - for the sake of taxpayer wallets!

If expected revenues sag,
who will be holding the bag?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fun Day (Manic Monday To Follow)

I ran a half-marathon this morning. (In 2:01:43, for those who want to know.) They called it a mini-marathon.

Then, apparently because I wasn't tired enough yet, I showered and drove down to Dream Theatre to help them build sets for their next show.

Their big new show, The Black Duckling, looks wild. It's set in a world out of Dickens, and it's being performed as if it were a silent movie - the actors will be silent but emotional, and the dialog - much of it rhymed - will appear on a projection screen. A mini-burlesque show is included. I love the one-line summary:
In the darkness of the city, one light refuses to be extinguished.
In some ways, silent acting
is even more exacting.

You cannot rely
on the words to get by.
nic Monday To Follow)