Tuesday, July 26, 2011

YouTube Tuesday: Dante's Inferno in 10 minutes

Given the local temperatures around here lately caused by an infernal Heat Dome, I thought this brief synopsis of Dante's Inferno seemed apropos.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Formsprings Eternal #1: Innie or Exie?

I remarked in a conversation the other day that I've reached the age when I can pretty much give you an answer to any question you ask.

Of course, I don't think my 8-year-old daughter realized that it might not be the right answer, or even a good answer. Then again, it's important to keep in mind the words of contemporary American philosopher Francis V. Zappa who wrote…
Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth.

That said, since I put it out there that I'm now taking questions, my in-box has been flooded with inquires by the curious, the truth seekers, and the desperate. So today starts my effort to make good on my promise and work through the backlog.

Question 1: Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

You see, this is the kind of false dichotomy that is so common these days. Are you introvert or extrovert? Liberal or conservative? Mac or PC? Pale Ale or Unfiltered Wheat? I don't know if it's a symptom of our digital culture or just a byproduct of lazy education that has foregone the instruction of critical thinking.

But the short answer is that I don't think a person has to be either an introvert OR an extrovert. Obviously since I do a blog on the internet, I've got a pretty strong introverted side. But I also like to hang out and meet new people, talk about stuff I don't know much about, find out what interests others.

But as far as it goes, with all things being equal, I'm just as likely to hang out with the family on a Tuesday evening than go out an party. So, if I had to choose one, I'd say "introvert." But come on, get some nuance, man.

There's still plenty of time to get some advice from Yours Truly. Just jot down your question in the Ask Me Anything field up to the left, no... a little further... yeah right there. I promise I'll answer your question first.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Don't know much about history…

Say what you will about the new Netflix pricing changes/fiasco, they still have some really good, not to mention educational, video content.

The other night I logged in through our Wii to watch a fascinating documentary about ancient Persia. And while I still believe our civilization is accelerating downward and that my kids will probably be the last generation to truly benefit from the heights we've reached, these heights are really impressive.

The shear amount of information and analysis that is at our fingertips is mind boggling. Just a few watts of power and a half dozen click was enough to bring up an extensive 2-hour program about a little known chapter in the long history of ancient Persia.

The documentary, narrated by Hollywood's hunky Jake Gyllenhaal, told the story about a Persian king and his efforts to keep his family together, build a dynasty and thwart schemes and coup attempts by those who would usurp his throne.

This fascinating history isn't something we covered in World History back in high school.

At the center of the king's efforts to maintain control of his empire was a magical dagger that could give its wielder control over the flow of time itself!

Needless to say, I was blown away by the amazing historical account and by the fact that very few people in our increasingly superficial country are even aware of these events.

But what blew me away even more was the revelation that people in ancient Persia spoke a language and dialect that sounds almost exactly like English spoken with a fake British accent.

I know what you're thinking, you would expect a Persian accent, or maybe something that sounded like a Greek accent or something. But no, it's a British accent that all the ancient people seem to have.

Amazingly, it's the same dialect that was spoken by Senators, Legionaries and gladiators during the Ancient Roman empire and by the Pharaohs and Jewish leaders of the Ancient Egyptian dynasties.

I tell you, the more I learn about history, the more amazing it is.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2011


So a couple of weeks ago I posted some pics of a photo safari to the Kaw Point riverfront park in KCK.

You no doubt had this image of the Lewis & Clark sculpture seared into your memory…

The reason I bring up is that I went back to Kaw Point over the July 4th weekend, just to check things out. Most of the trails were blocked off for a pretty good reason, that being that they are now under water.

Here's a pick from Monday by way of illustration. This is as close as I could get without getting wet.

So you can see that if you did venture out to stand beside the sculpture, you'd be about neck deep in icky, dirty brown Missouri River mud. Also the mosquitoes are pretty bad down there, so if you go be sure to take a harpoon to defend yourself.

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Sunday, July 03, 2011

Where the sidewalk ends

I came upon this rather suddenly during yesterday's bike ride while exploring the Indian Creek Greenway trail in KCMO.

Not sure if it represents a depletion of Parks and Rec budget or just a depletion of political capital. But it did make me think of these classic lyrics…
Turnaround... Every now and then I get a little bit tired of listening to the sound of my gears…
or something like that.

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