Saturday, January 15, 2011

Alea iacta est . . .


Today is the anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
(1929 - 1968)
Pastor, Civil Rights Activist

Martin Luther King, Jr. reportedly said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. "

And I believe that citizens of all countries in the 21st century would be well advised to remember those words and to then base their actions accordingly.


NASA is inviting student teams to design and build experiments the agency will fly into the stratosphere, a near-space environment, more than 100,000 feet above the Earth. The top four teams will receive up to $1,000 to develop their flight experiments and travel to Glenn Research Center May 18-20. During their visit, they will have an opportunity to tour the center, watch as NASA helium weather balloons carry their experiments to the edge of space, recover the experiments and present their results at Glenn's Balloonsat Symposium.

For more Balloonsat information, registration forms and project ideas, interested students, teachers, and education administrators can visit:


I certainly do not accept as truth everything I hear on Talk Radio (or anywhere else for that matter) but some of the stuff that seems ridiculous turns out to be (after giving it some deep thought) worthy of consideration after all. One example of that, taken from the blog of Neal Boortz -- "Are we going to wake up tomorrow to find a move by liberals to get Patrick Henry's famous "Give me liberty or give me death!" line removed from government school textbooks. Who knows! It might encourage someone to commit a violent act in defense of their freedoms!"

That observation is not so far-fetched as it might appear at first glance.

After all (as Boortz adds) Democrats are upset with the GOP's name for the ObamaCare repeal legislation. The, "Repealing the Job Killing Health Care Reform Act." They are upset that it includes the word "killing."


In No Thanks for the Memories (New York Review of Books) January 13, 2011, Gordon S. Wood writes (slightly paraphrased):

Harvard historian Jill Lepore, as a staff writer for The New Yorker makes fun of the Tea Party people who are trying to use the history of the Revolution to promote their political cause. From her point of view, "What would the founders do?" is an "ill-considered" and "pointless" question. It has nothing to do with the scholarly science of history. "No NASA scientist decides what to do about the Hubble by asking what Isaac Newton would make of it."

That opening paragraph made me think, and I am still pondering the questionable wisdom of using previous-era ideas and outmoded time-colored attitudes of those overly revered thinkers from an earlier age to determine the course of modern-day innovative thoughts and political or social pursuits. It is sometimes difficult to separate sincere ideals from mere control-seeking shenanigans.

Perhaps it's time to put aside such old bromides as "Our Founding Fathers" and "Framers of The Constitution" and describe current events and attitudes in our recognizably new and more enlightened frames of reference.

By the way, a bromide is a figure of speech used to describe a phrase that -- having been employed wantonly or repeated excessively -- now communicates insincerity. The American humorist Gelett Burgess in his book Are you a bromide?, classifies human beings into "bromides" and "sulphites", bromides being those who can be relied on to produce stock phrases and reactions in every situation and sulphites being those capable of independent thought and non-conformist behavior.


Again in the pursuit of things trivial, here is another sentence I recently read (in an official memo) that gave me pause... "Charles Bolden will travel to his hometown of South Carolina to participate in three events on Jan. 18 to celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr."

It seems to me that "...his hometown of South Carolina..." should be phrased as "...his hometown 'in' South Carolina..." because the original seems to indicate that South Carolina is the name of his hometown.


Purple Cow
written by Gelett Burgess


In conclusion:

These last three personal and grouchy paragraphs have been deleted. They were hastily written in a fit of wrathful rancor and are therefore unfit for publication.


rancor: resentment: a feeling of deep and bitter anger and ill-will


Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
--Martin Luther King, Jr.

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