Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

September 15, 2011

A Reading Sabbatical

by thefulllidvmg

I decided this week that I would take an indefinite reading sabbatical. What does this mean? I am going to steer away from my daily online reading, which if you didn’t know, consists of a about two dozen or so blogs and online media outlets, as well as my own blogging/online writing, and start to chip away at my “to read” book list. This has been long overdue on my part. I have a hard time balancing both reading outlets (electronic and paper) and feel more pulled towards books at this point in life. The frenzy that I feel I get caught up in with blogs and the general media cycle can fall to the wayside for a while. I will still check a few blogs that I go to for pictures and articles that I can’t resist.

I will keep you all updated as to my return. There are some articles written here from time to time by other authors. Look for them!

August 31, 2011

Quote of the Day

by thefulllidvmg

“[W]omen in Congo have enough home-grown problems without importing irrelevant, Western controversies. While both the pill and condoms are generally available in larger cities such as Goma, access is limited in rural districts. … Contraceptives do not solve every problem. But women in Bweremana want access to voluntary family planning for the same reasons as women elsewhere: to avoid high-risk pregnancies, to deliver healthy children and to better care for the children they have. And this is a pro-life cause,” –Michael Gerson.

August 30, 2011

Flooding, Evacuations, and Delayed Snorkeling?

by thefulllidvmg


August 30, 2011

Don’t try to make me feel guilty about being selfish!

by thefulllidvmg

H/T: White Whine

August 26, 2011

Quote of the Day

by thefulllidvmg

“If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

– Steve Jobs

A quote from Steve Jobs 2005 Stanford commencement address about the creative value of dot-connecting and cross-disciplinary curiosity.

(via curiosity counts)

August 8, 2011

I’m still here

by thefulllidvmg

Summer continues to draw me away from the computer. I am not complaining. Sorry for those of you that really rely on the postings. I can’t guarentee a certain amount of posts per day or week but that what is posted is solid.

I hope to take some of my summer and blog about it. Much of it has revolved around music. I may post some lists on albums that have struck me as great. I may do the same with some books. I’ve also enjoyed turning my laptop wallpaper into a slideshow based off of different blog’s pictures of the day. Welp, that’s all for now.

June 13, 2011

Comments Are On

by thefulllidvmg

I figured I’d give them a try. Comment away.

June 12, 2011

Quote of the Day

by thefulllidvmg

“In 1989 Joseph Brodsky gave a commencement address at Dartmouth College on the subject of boredom that has a higher truth quotient than any such address I have ever heard (or, for that matter, have myself given). Brodsky told the 1,100 Dartmouth graduates that, although they may have had some splendid samples of boredom supplied by their teachers, these would be as nothing compared with what awaits them in the years ahead. Neither originality nor inventiveness on their part will suffice to defeat the endless repetition that life will serve up to them, as it has served up to us all. Evading boredom, he pointed out, is a full-time job, entailing endless change—of jobs, geography, wives and lovers, interests—and in the end a self-defeating one. Brodksy therefore advises: “When hit by boredom, go for it. Let yourself be crushed by it; submerge, hit bottom.”

The lesson boredom teaches, according to Brodsky, is that of one’s own insignificance, an insignificance brought about by one’s own finitude. We are all here a short while, and then—poof!—gone and, sooner or later, usually sooner, forgotten. Boredom “puts your existence into perspective, the net result of which is precision and humility.” Brodsky advised the students to try “to stay passionate,” for passion, whatever its object, is the closest thing to a remedy for boredom. But about one’s insignificance boredom does not deceive. Brodsky, who served 18 months of hard labor in the Soviet Union and had to have known what true boredom is, closes by telling the students that “if you find this gloomy, you don’t know what gloom is.”

“Boredom,” as Peter Toohey writes, “is a normal, useful, and incredibly common part of human experience.” Boredom is also part of the human condition, always has been, and, if we are lucky, always will be.

Live with it.”

Joseph Epstein on boredom. His whole piece is long but worth checking out.

June 5, 2011

This and That

by thefulllidvmg

June 1, 2011

Does Mentioning Racial Disparities Make One a Racist?

by thefulllidvmg

Some would say yes in the case of Rush Limbaugh. Many of his analogies on his radio show are race-laden (“Obama is working for reparations with his new health care bill“). His logic generally looks like this:

Let’s see, we’ve got a black president, and I’ve been implicated in several racially tinged controversies, so why not compare him to a slave holder? Plus I can riff off his Abraham Lincoln complex by adding that he’s actually more like a Confederate. Ha. Comparing our first black president to Jefferson Davis! That will get ’em going.

Conor Friedersdorf makes an important note about Rush Limbaugh (and other talk radio hosts on the right). He conducted email interviews with GOP county chairmen across the country and had this one response:

Their listeners do not always or ever understand that they are entertainers. I’m not discounting their ability to formulate opinion or the good they might do as watchdogs. However, we must understand that in order for them to be successful, they have to have good ratings. Their decisions therefore are not based on the good of the Republican Party, but on how certain subject matters will affect ratings. We have to clearly delineate between members of the Republican Party and entertainers. We should be careful to ensure that people do not feel they are speaking for the Republican Party.

Now, on to the left.
Bill O’Reilly continues to make the identical claim of race-bating with Barack Obama. O’Reilly claims that Obama’s poor choices of churches to attend brings him again and again into the presence of reverends turned race activists. This, O’Reilly argues, makes Obama the inciter of (or supporter of inciting) racial disparities and he should be the last one to support racist incitements since he “has made it” through the Ivy League’s and into the Oval Office.

I come away with this question: should Obama never support racial equality since he has made a nice life for himself and his family?

After looking at both sides, the far right with Rush Limbaugh and the racially activist side with Obama’s preachers, I can see it as unfair to quickly label Rush as the racist. Rev. Jeremiah Wright did make some harsh criticisms of America that included racial injustices spanning America’s history. However, with both examples from their respective sides, you have to ask what their goals are from their diatribes. Are they pushing for the topic of race to be discussed openly or higher entertainment ratings? An even better question is if these two sides are ostensibly hoping to play racial peacemaker but the money, fame, or power is the real goal underneath it all.

June 1, 2011

Adele Does Angrybirds

by thefulllidvmg
May 26, 2011

“The Tucson Shootings Never Actually Happened”

by thefulllidvmg

Up comes another conspiracy theory.

May 22, 2011

Failed Rapture Details

by thefulllidvmg

All of them and more here.

May 14, 2011

New Name

by thefulllidvmg

Pretty self explanatory.

March 31, 2011

The Dark Knight Chase Scene

by thefulllidvmg

Enjoy this awesome scene from one of my favorite movies.

March 31, 2011

A Yankee, A Met, and a Phillie Fan

by thefulllidvmg

“A Phillies fan, a Mets fan, & a Yankees fan are climbing a mountain & arguing about who loves their team more. The Yankees fan insists he is the most loyal. ”This is for the Yankees,” he yells, & jumps off the mountain. Not to be outdone, the Phillies fan is next to profess his love for his team. He yells “This is for the Phillies!!” & pushes the Mets fan off the mountain.”

H/T: M.B.

March 29, 2011

An Artificial Leaf?

by cpmy3rs

I know that this is a bit outside of what usually comes up here, but an MIT Professor is making some pretty impressive claims about what his artificial leaf can do.

The device is an advanced solar cell, no bigger than a typical playing card, which is left floating in a pool of water. Then, much like a natural leaf, it uses sunlight to split the water into its two core components, oxygen and hydrogen, which are stored in a fuel cell to be used when producing electricity.

Nocera’s leaf is stable — operating continuously for at least 45 hours without a drop in activity in preliminary tests — and made of widely available, inexpensive materials — like silicon, electronics and chemical catalysts. It’s also powerful, as much as ten times more efficient at carrying out photosynthesis than a natural leaf.

He has also evidently signed a deal with a large technology conglomerate, so somebody thinks his idea may be viable.

March 29, 2011

GOP Presidential Candidate Endorses Affirmative Action

by cpmy3rs

One of the so-called “third rails” of American Politics is race, and one of the most contentious race-related topics is affirmative action. That is why I was so happy when Herman Cain, at the Conservative Principles Conference in Des Moines Iowa, had the guts to say that he would make his hiring decisions based on religious quotas. Specifically, Mr. Cain took the position that there would be no Muslims allowed in his cabinet when he said

KEYES: You came under a bit of controversy this week for some of the comments made about Muslims in general. Would you be comfortable appointing a Muslim, either in your cabinet or as a federal judge?

CAIN: No, I would not. And here’s why. There is this creeping attempt, there is this attempt to gradually ease Sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government. It does not belong in our government. This is what happened in Europe. And little by little, to try and be politically correct, they made this little change, they made this little change. And now they’ve got a social problem that they don’t know what to do with hardly.

Unfortunately, Mr. Cain appears to be confused about the purpose of affirmative action, which is to include rather than to exclude. Then again, since so many on the right have conflated affirmative action with racism, perhaps Mr. Cain simply forgot that there was a difference. At any rate, I do hope that he and his Tea Party friends remember to read the Constitution they so revere. Specifically, Article VI, Paragraph 3.

March 16, 2011

Mid-Day Links

by thefulllidvmg

Ever wonder why there was looting in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and in Haiti after their earthquake but not in Japan?

Some interesting caricatures of Muammar el-Qaddafi.

Some eye opening pictures of where kids around the world sleep.

Look for a book review by me in the near future on a book I just read on loneliness.

March 15, 2011

Unintended Consequences of Federal Student Aid

by cpmy3rs

The rise of “for profit” Universities (if one must stoop to calling them that), has led to a rather perverse incentive structure. As a recent Senate hearing revealed, one need only buy a struggling college (for ‘legitimacy’) before aggressively recruiting desperate students who are unable to find meaningful employment after graduating high school without meaningful skills — and without the grades to have other options. Or, as one ITT Technical Institute document put it, “poke the pain a bit”, until you have successfully bullied your recruit into buying your product. The next step, of course, is to have the overwhelming majority of them apply for (and receive) student loans while telling some of them to lie in order to get more money.

It is tempting, after seeing that last part, to make the counter-argument that — were loans of this nature left up to private entities (i.e., banks) — this sort of abuse would not occur. The National Review Online gives a nice sample of this argument.

Simply put, we reached the point years ago at which the traditional colleges and universities could no longer accomodate the demand — that’s where for-profit schools stepped into the picture. And, because we have increased higher-ed subsidies so dramatically, both traditional and for-profit schools have increased tuition to capture their share of the rents. Tuition inflation routinely outpaces other measures of inflation. Tuitions at for-profit schools are particularly high.

Rather than curb the subsidies — a move that by itself would reduce the cost of postsecondary education — Obama’s [Department of Education] would prefer to use a price control, and boy, have they come up with a doozy.

This is an argument which is persuasive if taken at face value. The flaw in the model, however, is an assumption that private entities would not engage in the same sort of reckless lending to borrowers who were unable to pay for the (well beyond their means) purchase they were about to make. One could look at the buildup to the financial crisis of 2008-2009 to see an obvious counterpoint or, since the exact role of federal subsidies in that mess is still being debated, one could ask the following question:

If declaring bankruptcy is not guaranteed to absolve one of student loan debt, then could loans be packaged, insured, and sold on the market the way mortgages were? If I had to venture a guess, I’d go with yes.


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