Thursday, July 27, 2017

Contest

Who is the richest dude in tech?
It's Gates and Bezos, neck and neck!
I'll ask the winner to write me a check.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Ancestry Again

Hanging around on comparative family tree sites, I have a lot of visible overlap with a few people who arrived in the 1700s in Virginia from the British Isles. It's fun to read their names and dates and ponder the vast chain of ancestry.

Nowadays the family tree fans are trying to verify the branches with DNA data. Most official family trees, over time, will bury some family secrets concerning true parentage. This seems to be less often the case than many skeptics had expected, as it turns out.

In my case, for example, people with whom I share a family tree branch are also popping up as DNA relatives on 23andMe.

But some people pop as distant DNA relative - third to fifth cousins - and neither of us have ANY idea of how that came to be.

Allegedly, I have a Native American ancestor, on my mother's side apparently. What tribe, I don't know.

I'm hoping that its Pottawatamie,
Because that word sounds cool to me.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Geography

For what it's worth
I'm told the earth
Is not really flat
Like a big welcome mat.
But in the Midwest
It's what I'd've guessed.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Bizarre Sentence Of The Day

"I mean, look, I don’t mean to be rude, but most of the reason I went gay is so I didn’t have to deal with nutty broads." It's from an old "Milo" article on Breitbart about the future of "sexbots".

I hate to try to think about a statement like this. But, he's got me doing it.

"I don't mean to be rude"... actually, of course, it's hard to imagine how a careful writer can refer to "nutty broads" without "meaning to be rude". There might be good reasons to be rude, but, let's face it, "nutty broads" is a tilt to the rude side of the force. It's a little ruder than "crazy females" and a lot ruder than "emotionally disturbed women".

Next... he "went gay". Well, from where? Maybe from "bisexual" or from some custom category like: "I think of myself as straight, and I find women attractive, but I also find men attractive".

As an aside, I have the impression that women who date gay guys often do experience emotional distress.

Finally I ask
What man will want to bask
In the admiring glance
Of a robot without pants?

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Ancestral Voices

23andMe now claims
I have Sardinian genes.
I must admit, I cannot say
Exactly what this means.
But tell me please, might it explain
Why I like sardines?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

My Unending Fascination With Placebos Continues

Usually when we think of placebos, we think of pills, but sham surgery has actually been studied a fair amount - it is used to create a control group for studies that try to determine how well real surgery works. That is, you are able to answer the question: does a sham version of this surgery work as well as a real version?

"A pill can provoke a placebo effect, but an injection produces an even stronger one. Cutting into someone appears to be more powerful still."

As for me, I'm hopin'
Not to get cut open.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Reviews of All Mixed Up NYC

We received a simply lovely review from Rachel Rocano at Drama Queens Reviews: Fresh Fruit Fest births “All Mixed Up”

"The script was both funny and poignant with messages evident and for the coffee shop discussion later."

"Ensemble cast was superb"
Ah, what a lovely blurb!
"Really enjoyable piece"
Please, go on, do not cease!

We also received a very thoughtful and enthusiastic review from Walter Donway:

"Romantic comedies are not tragedies, which this situation seemed to be becoming; they are entanglements of frustration, rage, maddening personalities, and even danger from which the characters somehow emerge and find love or some reconciliation with life. John Enright's brilliance is that the audience hardly could ever believe that this contemporary ambush of innocence in the equivalent of a PC firefight would end well."

On Facebook, my wife posted a photo of me with my hands clasped together in front of me, at a restaurant table, as if in prayer. It was taken on Sunday afternoon, before our last performance. Someone asked if I was saying grace, but I replied that I was praying to Dionysus for big audiences and good reviews.

For what I have received,
I would not dare complain,
God of theater.

I wrote with spirit cleaved,
But prizes after pain
Taste much sweeter.

T-rex Specs

Some scientists are now saying that T-rex couldn't really run fast. They're saying that the average human could outrun one of them - if only humans had coexisted with the mighty dinosaur carnivore.

Of course, it's all speculation. What we need is genetic reincarnation, along the lines of Jurassic Park.

Once we bring them back
We can bring them to the track.
I have to admit, just seeing that face
Would motivate my feet to race.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Jayden K. Smith

A Facebook friend sent me an urgent warning about Jayden K. Smith, a hacker who, if you let him become your Facebook friend, will take over your computer.

I'm not sure how that's supposed t work. And some apparently responsible reporters are saying that the warning is itself a hoax:

"There is no evidence of any account with the name Jayden K Smith going on sprees of adding users, and even if there were, they would not be able to hack into an account just by becoming a friend."

But I prefer to believe my friend.

Jayden K. Smith!
Not sure who he's with,
But all the best hackers
Have government backers.
I blame a cabal
From out of Nepal.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Closing Time

After three days of genial madness,
The show has closed. We had fun.
It all went well, but still some sadness
Comes when the fun is done.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

We Opened

We had a good New York premiere
And one of the major factors
Which you can glimpse right here
Is a gaggle of gifted actors.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Program Panic

I had an adventure getting the theater programs designed on Fiverr.com. I wanted bi-fold 8.5 x 11, to slip inside the general "festival program".

I had 2 different people work on it. And both did something odd about the paper.

One designed it for 11 x 17. And the other designed for the right paper size but designed it to fold the long way, not the short way, even though the example of "how we did it last time" clearly folded the short way.

I'm sure I could have been more specific, blah, blah.

Anyway, got a working version, much better than I could have done, took it to a local printer, and the programs look great.

When time is so tight
Trial and error
Gives me a fright,
A slight touch of terror.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Plus Or Minus

Negative thinking
Can be powerful too
But it's not the kind
You hope comes true.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tick Tock

My time machine,
Even at full power,
Only moves forward
At sixty minutes per hour.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Porcine Terpsichorean

If a pig
Had a gig
To dance a fine jig,
Would he snort
And cavort
In ecstatic transport?

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Visit

Our grandson came to stay with us
But now he has gone back.
He made us chase around too much,
But now we feel his lack.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Scientists Investigate Why Monkeys Refuse To Talk

The Washington Post reports on scientific efforts to figure out why monkeys and apes don't make noises that sound like human speech. "Scientists figured there were two likely sticking points. Either the brain was not wired for speech in nonhuman primates, or their windpipes were shaped the wrong way."

Quick-skim spoiler alert: Seems like it's more of a brain issue.

Why can't monkeys generate speech?
Somehow the stuff stays out of their reach.

Parrots, of course, at least make the sounds,
But full understanding is out of bounds.

Problematic Pragmatic Truths

This "Russia hacked the election" meme seems to be dying down, since apparently they didn't, and since Trump doesn't seem to be leaning especially pro-Russian.

People just seemed to leap at this meme, which never had a lot of evidence. It recalls the pragmatic theory of truth, which is that truth is that which works, often understood to mean that truth is whatever works right now, tomorrow be damned.

The trouble is,
Tomorrow will come,
And made-up truths
Will look kind of dumb.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

GOP

They promised to repeal and replace,
But never said with what.
They never thought they'd win that race!
Now egg goes splatter on the face.
They stutter: but, but, but...

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Interview

Charming actors have things to say
About the New York production of my play.


Monday, July 03, 2017

Virtual Travels

The New Yorker has an article: An Agoraphobic Photographer’s Virtual Travels, on Google Street View

That's one way to enjoy the view.
And it's a whole lot cheaper, too.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Orwell Your Orwell

I heard David Ramsay Steele talking about his new book, Orwell Your Orwell: A Worldview on the Slab. I bought a copy, too, but have just read the preface so far.

This was a real labor of love for Ramsay Steele, who has been working on this book, off and on, for twenty years. It sounds like it's the most careful delineation of what Orwell actually thought and believed. Of course, his political views changed over time. At least once, in the case of whether it was a good idea to go to war with the NAZIs, they changed overnight.

Ramsay Steele thinks that Orwell ws never really controversial, as such, in the sense that Orwell's views generally mapped to views that were held by a large part of the British Left, at any given time. He's not saying that Orwell always followed the majority views of the British Left, but that his views were at least in line, at any given time, with some substantial minority.

He thinks Orwell's lasting legacy is his attack on totalitarianism, which had a real impact over time.

Orwell, himself, remained a socialist, but an anti-totalitarian. He thought the government should own everything, but that there should be freedom throughout the land. I know, somehow that never seems to work out compatibly.

Ramsay Steele aims to dissect
Orwell's worldly views
Which did indeed change to reflect
Evolving world news.