by Rodney Yonder, Ogash Ogalla, Sushi Sashimi, Alf Wiedersein, Moxie Marlinspike, Jerry and Johnny Terk, Olive Kalamata, Miles Davis, Bertha deCool, Mobutu Sese Seko Nkuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga, and Philo Steen
Epigraph: "Do we really know nothing at all? When you brush the foam off the beer, is there really no beer? If radical agnosticism and epistemological pessimism are true, is there any comfort, or is reality all just hard cheese?” --Sir Harry O. Triggerman
“Paragraphs should not be considered self-contained units to be lined up without transitions or links between ideas. They should be seen as parts of larger, tightly interlinked sections that sequentially develop a major idea or a cluster of ideas.”
The word “cluster” appears in my idea of a paragraph, too. Actually, my philosophy of the paragraph is far too nuanced and subtle to be put into words, but gun to my head? “A fustercluck of ideas that shouldn’t really run over five lines.”
As America’s back alleys go, this is a nicer one. This picture is first in a series meant to get you ready for life in the deep poverty that’s on its way.
Are you off the shelf, off the reservation, off the rack, an outlier, over the moon, ‘round the twist, beyond the pale, or on the strait and narrow? Declare yourself, and you’ll be off the hook.
Humans have a natural tendency to project. Do you see a hint of a smile on this tennis ball?
Bipolar disorder may be closer to schizophrenia than to depression, some psychologists think.
By studying mastodon bones for evidence of human activity, paleontologists have determined humans might have lived in America as early as 130,000 years ago. That’s about 100,000 years earlier than previously thought.
Dr. Davis Logsdon, chair of the University of Minnesota anthropology department, urged caution: “Let’s not rush to premature conclusions. We’ve all been burned by mastodon bones before.”
These cycling enthusiasts have learned how to shrink themselves temporarily to 4% of their normal size so they can go for the equivalent of a 17-mile ride without leaving their own back yard. As soon as they’re back to 100%, Eddie will mow the grass.
I’ve come to think that there are four cardinal virtues of contract drafting: accuracy, clarity, concision, and coherence, and that the other virtues fall under those.
Accuracy is simple: the contract reflects the deal without additions, omissions, or errors. Clarity means that the meaning is accessible to the intended readers without needless obstacles. Concision means all the brevity possible consistent with accuracy and clarity.
Coherence means technical perfection (spelling, numbering, font consistency, etc.). Contract drafting is a specialized undertaking, and may differ as a skill from general prose writing. Consumer contract drafting is a subspecialty within contract drafting.
People keep asking for examples of irony. A liberal and a conservative think tank are housed side by side, but the employees never socialize, and they keep their findings and reports in separate silos. That’s ironic.
If you’re looking for something unusual to put on your bucket list, try this: writing an obituary for a cassowary.
Haiku often concern nature and rural matters. My favorite is this one by Issa:
Rest easy, spiders,
I keep house
I wonder whether there are urban haiku. That would be kinda weird.
Speaking of kinda weird, we have got to stop mixing Julia Roberts’ DNA with fish.
Now a deep dive:
“It is indeed an error to say that a nation or a political society is merely an aggregate of individuals. For the use of the word ‘merely’ shows that the speaker overlooks the fact that the individual's moral capacities are actualized only in concrete social relations. It implies that individuals could possess their moral and spiritual qualities and fulfil their moral vocation quite apart from membership of society.
“At the same time the premiss that the nation or State is not ‘merely’ a collection of individuals does not entail the conclusion that it is a kind of self subsistent entity over and above the individuals who compose it. ‘The life of the nation has no real existence except as the life of the individuals composing the nation.’
“[I]n a certain sense there are natural rights which are presupposed by the State. For if we consider what powers must be secured for the individual for the attainment of his moral end, we find that the individual has certain claims which should be recognized by society.
“It is true that rights in the full sense of the term do not exist until they have been accorded social recognition. Indeed, the term ‘right,’ in its full sense, has little or no meaning apart from society.
“At the same time, if by saying that there are natural rights which are antecedent to political society we mean that a man, simply because he is a man, has certain claims which ought to be recognized by the State as rights, it is then perfectly true to say that ‘the State presupposes rights, and rights of individuals.
“It [the State] is a form which society takes in order to maintain them [individual rights].’” (Footnotes omitted.) -- Copleston, A History of Philosophy
Talk about burying the lede. The money quote is at the end. I paraphrase: “The State is a form society takes to maintain individual rights.” If that sounds self-evident to Americans, it’s because it’s the creed of the Declaration.
This man will soon grace/has recently graced our area. If you don’t immediately recognize him, think M*A*S*H.
There’s no such thing as High Yiddish because Yiddish has an inferiority complex called “not being Hebrew.”
Who said this: “Talk amongst yourselves; I’m a little verklempt”?Isn’t that a thing of beauty? It triggers guilt feelings about all the thank-you notes I should have written and didn’t. I’m not George H.W. Bush. The pic reminds me of my friend’s description of the Levenger catalogue as “office supply porn.”
Zen hypograph: “My daughter bakes Zen cookies. I never tell her, because if she knew it, she couldn’t do it.”