Sunday, March 23, 2008

Eostre moon

dragged myself out this morning for a few day-after-full moonset pictures (like the above). and here's an etymology quote from wikipedia for the day:
"The modern English term Easter developed from the Old English word Eastre, which itself developed prior to 899. The name refers to the goddess Eostre, who was celebrated at the Spring equinox, and has cognates in Old High German ōstarūn, plural, "Easter" (modern German language Ostern). The Old English term Eastre ultimately derives from ēast - meaning the direction of east. This suggests it originally referred to a goddess associated with dawn. Corresponding traditions occur with the Roman goddess Aurora and the Greek goddess Eos."

Friday, March 21, 2008

Obama describes "a typical white person"

Barrack Obama recently delivered a wonderful speech on race, in which he said he couldn't disown Reverend Wright any more than he could disown his white grandmother who supposedly said racist things. OK.

then in a followup interview on ABC he said he had more perspective on the issue because he was "half white" [since his mother is white]. i'm cool with that too and think it's a good thing to say.

but then in a radio interview on Angelo Cataldi morning show, 610 WIP sports radio, he said (in response to a question about what his white grandmother says about his being so close to the presidency):

"Well, you know, she is extremely proud, and the point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity -- she doesn't. But she is a typical white person, who, you know, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know, you know, there's a reaction that's been bred into our experiences that don't go away and that sometimes come out in the wrong way. And that's just the nature of race in our society. We have to break through it. And what makes me optimistic is you see each generation feeling a little bit less like that. And that's pretty powerful stuff."

[email me if you want an mp3 of the whole 6' 42" interview clip. i did my best to transcribe what he said.]

his speech may have been careful and polished and effective; but this interview was realtime and (to me) very revealing.

Barrack, you may be two generations removed from your "typical white person" grandmother, but how much "less like that" are YOU feeling? apparently not too much less.

[maybe if he comments on his comments on his speech, it will clear things up. or else he'll get crucified.]

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

better day

worse weather; better mental state. have done a lot of thinking about physics and why i drifted away from it. i guess it's that i don't like what our society does with developments in physics. quantum computer stuff would be cool, but that's about the only appealing thing i can think of.

and today i smile at my own particular brand of literature & language studies, with its focus on computational cognition. sometimes i find myself drifting away from my center of self-respect; good to be back.

good speech yesterday too, by Barrack Obama. i'd still prefer him as Hillary's VP, but it's nice to hear him give a thoughtful speech instead of the silly applause-generating nonsense.

Monday, March 17, 2008

i just realized . . .

twenty years ago this spring i was finishing up my senior year in high school and getting ready to go off to Cornell to study physics.

lately i've been reading books about Richard Feynman (my academic role model at the time) -- a biography called 'Genius' and another, 'The Character of Physical Law', a series of lectures he gave at Cornell back in the '60s.

'who am i?' i find myself asking, and 'what am i doing?'

this past summer i picked up an intro physics text -- the one i should have used, but didn't (because i thought i was smart enough to skip the first two years). i haven't started working through it yet; i just thought it was a good idea when i saw it.

maybe it's time to go back to Ithaca and start again in physics.

maybe it's not too late.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Obama backpedals (for the better)

hah, good job, Barrack -- this morning on Good Morning America, Obama indirectly said that he *would* probably accept the vice presidential side of the ticket if he couldn't be the presidential candidate; he couldn't bring himself to say it directly (he is after all a politician), but he did backhandedly fess up.

Geraldine Ferraro was also on for an interview, and she spent some time dispelling the silly nonsense about Obama's campaign accusing her of being a racist by taking a quote of hers wildly out of context in order to spin it in their favor. Obama himself didn't have anything bad to say about Ferraro or her comment, probably because he actually bothered to find out the context and wasn't giving in to the foolish hype.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

running again

right now my body feels a little like i just lost a fight; but instead, i won one. today i went running again, the first time in over fourteen months. my legs felt a bit like lead, and my lungs wheezed somet from the cold/cough thing i'm still recovering from; but it was magic nonetheless. (and i even sprinted the final hundred yards.)

pain in my right hip has prevented me all this time from running (and indeed even walking, without a lot of pain) all this time; but that's behind me now. maybe i'm not ready to run a marathon yet, but i'm out of the woods. (you can't run in the forest for the trees. ;-)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Obama is *not* a unifier. Vote for Clinton.

Barack Obama is now saying that he does *not* want to share the Democratic ticket with Hillary Clinton, who says that she's excited about one of them being the other's Vice President (to be decided later, when the voting ends).

Instead of trying to unify the Democratic party, which is nearly evenly split, Obama wants to keep it divided.

Obama has less than 10% more delegates than Clinton so far, yet he makes it sound like he's way in the lead.
He's not.

A vote for Clinton is a vote for Obama too; but a vote for Obama is a vote for him alone.

Unify the Democratic party -- vote for Hillary Clinton.

(And maybe Obama will come around and help unify the party.)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

No more

More than twenty years ago, i came to an important conclusion about my life. And then i went to college and let people change my mind, and i decided to ignore that hard-won conclusion.

But finally now i realize that my original conclusion was right for me and that i was a fool to have changed my mind. No more.

Monday, March 3, 2008

snow crow

took this while out tramping in the storm on the 1st; the locals were keeping an eye on me.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

"fussing and flapping in priestly black"

[Sting, 'All This Time']

woke again this morning to the raucous, crowful caw-caw-cawing of the local murder congregating outside my window.

no sun after this morning's snow yet, but above is another picture from the 10 February snow/rain/snow combo.

keep the sun in your heart!