Albert Einstein: Meowing in Los Angeles

You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat.
You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles.
Do you understand this?
And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there.
The only difference is that there is no cat. ‘

 – Albert Einstein, when asked to describe radio

 

Very long William and Very long tail

 

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English: at the age of three years. This is be...

English: at the age of three years. This is believed to be the oldest known photograph of Einstein. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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Amazon… A virtual marketplace, or Big Brother?

Kathy Waller:

If you write, you will want to read this post. If you read, you’ll want to read it. If you post reviews on Amazon, you’ll want to read it. It raises one BIG question.

Originally posted on imy santiago:

A couple of weeks ago I read the third installment of a series I really loved. I will refrain from sharing the name of the novel and its author.

Like any reader, as soon as I finished reading, I wrote my review. When I tried posting it on Amazon (I did buy the eBook, just like any normal and decent human being would), I received a rather concerning email.

I will not share the screenshot of the email as it does contain the title of the book and name of the author. In its place I have copied the body of the email below.

Dear Amazon Customer,

Thanks for submitting a customer review on Amazon. Your review could not be posted to the website in its current form. While we appreciate your time and comments, reviews must adhere to the following guidelines:
http://www.amazon.com/review-guidelines

Here I was, thinking I had included an…

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For some, the Confederacy fought to preserve slavery; for others, it’s states’ rights

Kathy Waller:

Mike Staton offers a well researched and thoughtful post on the meanings of the Confederate battle flag, racism, and change. Mike is a retired journalist.

Originally posted on Writing Wranglers and Warriors:

This blog post was written by Mike Staton. This blog post was written by Mike Staton.

The times they are a changin’.

It’s the title of a rather famous song by Bob Dylan, released as the title track of his 1964 album of the same name. He wrote it to create an anthem of change for the time.

The song fits my mood right now. Listen. Remember: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abGzxWuLQP8.

We do change, right? We’re not the same people we were decades ago, right? We grow. Or de-evolve. We become better people. Or demons in human flesh.

In 1976, I joined a Civil War re-enactment group, a Confederate regiment, the 26th North Carolina. It was a way for me to learn about the life of a soldier in the 1860s. One summer during my college years I’d drawn meticulous maps of Civil War battlefields, places in rural America that would collect forever-bloody names like Antietam, Gettysburg and The Wilderness…

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Abraham Lincoln, Lewis Thomas, George Will, & Me: Great Minds Think Alike; or, Kurt Vonnegut, Go Fly a Kite

Semicolon

Semicolon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 Abraham Lincoln

“With educated people, I suppose, punctuation is a matter of rule; with me it is a matter of feeling. But I must say I have a great respect for the semi-colon; it’s a useful little chap.”
Abraham Lincoln

Lewis Thomas

Sometimes you get a glimpse of a semicolon coming, a few lines farther on, and it is like climbing a steep path through woods and seeing a wooden bench just at a bend in the road ahead, a place where you can expect to sit for a moment, catching your breath.
Lewis Thomas, M. D.

Kurt Vonnegut

“Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.” 
 Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

George Will

Semicolons . . . signal, rather than shout, a relationship. . . . A semicolon is a compliment from the writer to the reader. It says: “I don’t have to draw you a picture; a hint will do.”
George Will

Kathy Waller

I love semicolons.

But I’m not allowed to use them any more. When I write fiction, Kurt Vonnegut’s lesson in creative writing rules. My critique group insists.

Mr. Vonnegut, however, is wrong. The semicolon is not a transvestite hermaphrodite, representing absolutely nothing.

It is a compliment from the writer to the reader.

It is a wooden bench, where you can sit for a moment, catching your breath.

It’s a useful little chap.

When Mr. Vonnegut called the semicolon a transvestite hermaphrodite–well, bless his heart, he must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.

 

 

the semicolon project

Kathy Waller:

This post isn’t about punctuation. It’s much more important.

Originally posted on hpwritesblogs:

FullSizeRender-1FullSizeRender Today I went to a tattoo artist, and for $60 I let a man with a giant Jesus-tattoo on his head ink a semi-colon onto my wrist where it will stay until the day I die. By now, enough people have started asking questions that it made sense for me to start talking, and talking about things that aren’t particularly easy.

We’ll start here: a semi-colon is a place in a sentence where the author has the decision to stop with a period, but chooses not to. A semi-colon is a reminder to pause and then keep going. 

In April I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. By the beginning of May I was popping anti-depressents every morning with a breakfast I could barely stomach. In June, I had to leave a job I’d wanted since I first set foot on this campus as an incoming freshmen because of my mental…

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A Secret Pleasure at the Gym

recumbent bike trainers with TV monitors on top

recumbent bike trainers with TV monitors on top

No, it’s not the swimming pool. It’s not the hot tub. It’s not the gorgeous male trainers.

It’s the closed captions.

Some machines at the gym have TV monitors attached so users won’t become bored. A wise move.

My first day on the recumbent bike, I said to myself, “Oh, pish-tosh! I don’t need television. I have an active mind and a rich internal life.”

The second day, I discovered my internal life isn’t rich enough to keep me pedaling for twenty minutes without my active mind imploding. So–on with the TV. Since I hadn’t brought earbuds, I turned on the closed captions.

Viewing choices are limited: some cable movies, lots of sports, a travel show, all about as stimulating as watching your knees rise and fall. But one news station runs unscripted programs, most related to business and the economy.

And the closed captions for those unscripted programs are a hoot.

During one session, I managed to take notes. Here are some of the fragments I recorded. Remember, the program was about finance, and my knees were moving up and down at 9.4 mph.

 Captions

 1. … when people gathered to talk about the economy and cucumbers…

2. …too much of Peoria for political to sin…

3. …when like at Europe the monkey is struggling and falling apart…

4. …and to see Barry big surprise interest from some pastries…

5. …we have the armpit that all of our options fade with time…

6. …the importance of a kiwi in Europe…

7. …call the stow the hillbilly of what is coming…

8. …take on a ministry the comics not to forget…

9. …the markets found some milk without the markets coming up…

10. …learned from a tumor and people said a tomato…

All that in just one session of violent bodily exertion. What more could I want?

Yesterday earbuds were available, but plugging them in didn’t cross my mind. Nor did announcing my find.

Those captions are my own little secret. When other cyclers look my way, wondering why I laugh aloud, they can just wonder.

And when the rest of the health nuts have dropped out from indolence and ennui, and I alone register perfect attendance, and when the muscleiest trainer can’t drag me off the bike, the Powers That Be will admire, nay revere, me. And they will give me head pats.

Gad, I love those headpats.

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If you missed yesterday’s post about torture at the gym, you can read it at O Treachery, Thy Name Is Puller-Downer Thingey.

And yes, I’m pretty wiped out today.

wiped out

pretty wiped out

O Treachery, Thy Name Is Puller-Downer Thingey

Brightly colored instruments of torture, heavier than they look.

052

hand weights

More colorful double-dealers.

046 balls

exercise balls

For strengthening the core. Deceptively innocent in appearance, but treacherous at its core. One mission: to unseat the trusting rider. Passive-aggressive.

Nemesis

Nemesis

For strengthening the cardio-pulmonary system. Old technology corrupted by new. See below.

recumbent bike trainers

recumbent bike trainers

Digital conspiracy #1: Information dump–time, speed,calories, watts, resistance, heart rate–heart rate? None detected. So much for cardio.

recumbent bike: "NO HEARTBEAT DETECTED"

recumbent bike trainer monitor: “NO HEARTBEAT DETECTED”

Digital conspiracy #2: TV monitor/pacifier. Vast wasteland pulls cyclist in, won’t let go. Twenty-minute rep turns into forty. Dr. Phil. “Shape It Up, Woo Woo!” (I did not make that up. It’s in Wikipedia.)

recumbent bike trainer TV monitor: Dr. Phil

recumbent bike trainer TV monitor: Dr. Phil

Vile trickery.  Toil masquerading as recreation. It seemed like fun. Too long did I tarry.

puller-downer thingey

puller-downer thingey

Today’s lessons:

1. When the trainer says to do 12 of something, do 12. Don’t do 30.

2. When you’re counting, pay attention. If you think you’ve done 12, don’t do another 8 or 10 just to make sure.

3. When the trainer says to go home and ice something, go home and ice it. Don’t forget and then decided it’ll probably loosen up and resume bending of its own accord.

4. When the sky opens and water pours onto the parking lot only three minutes before your cardio session is set to end, don’t just keep pedaling until the downpour stops. That’s too much pedaling.

5. Curb your enthusiasm. Stop doing more than the trainer and your brain tell you to. OCDs do not win. They just go home and ice things.