Archive | November 11, 2013

I salute Armistice Day as well as Veterans Day

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In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae

I salute the veterans in my family

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These men and many others in my family have served in the US military.
The first is my Uncle Don, WWII Navy pilot.
The second is my Dad, WWII US Army Cavalry. His older brother Frank was. Lt Commande in the US Navy and his little brother, Robert was a Navy pilot.
The last pictured is my grandpa, Carl, he was a WWI Navy pilot complete with leather Snoopy helmet that fascinated me as a kid. He was with the Seabees in WWII and according to my mom and grandma would be picked up in secret in the middle of the night to disappear for weeks at a time.  He would never say where he was or what he did.
Mom’s side was 1st generation but my dad’s side has fought in every war from the Revolutionary War, James Robb to a cousin in the 101st in Desert Storm.
I salute their service and courage.

Some good advice

Feminist Philosophers

The wonderful Math Babe has some really great advice for a student who’s worried she isn’t ‘good at math’ because she isn’t fast at math. Replace talk of math with talk of philosophy and this makes some damn good advice for philosophy as well.

Ignore your surroundings, ignore the math competitions, and especially ignore the annoying kids who care about doing fast math. They will slowly recede as you go to college and as high school algebra gives way to college algebra and then Galois Theory. As the math gets awesomer, the speed gets slower.

And in terms of your identity, let yourself fancy yourself a mathematician, or an astronaut, or an engineer, or whatever, because you don’t have to know exactly what it’ll be yet. But promise me you’ll take some math major courses, some real ones like Galois Theory (take Galois Theory!) and for goodness sakes don’t…

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Buried by Time and Wave

Something I’ve wondered about too.

Stone of Destiny

“The only true constant, is change.”

—Heraclitus of Ephesus, 4th century BCE

I am paraphrasing a bit there, I think.  I know that I have the actual quote, in the original Greek, stashed away somewhere around here, but it would take me a while to find it.  I’ve spent the last couple weeks trying to straighten up around the house, which has, in its own way, led to a certain amount of chaos.

I think Heraclitus would have appreciated that particular bit of irony.  He was a man who believed that every ‘thing’ was contained within it’s opposite.  It’s a difficult concept to wrap ones head around.  Yet as I take in the present state of my home, strewn as it is, with half-empty boxes and random piles of clutter (all of it somewhere in the process of re-organization, to be sure), I find it to be a…

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