Tuesday, September 29, 2009


"Since when, in this mixed world, was any good thing given us in purest outline and isolation? ...The sole condition of our having anything, no matter what, is that we should have so much of it, that we are fortunate if we do not grow sick of the sight and sound of it altogether...Without too much you cannot have enough, of anything. Lots of inferior books, lots of bad statues, lots of dull speeches..."

William James

Tuesday, September 22, 2009




“The authentic is an ever-receding horizon."
—Nick Currie, Wired.com columnist and Click Opera blogger

“I basically walk around in a very alert stupor."
—Mara Kalman, illustrator and author, The Principles of Uncertainty


Friday, September 18, 2009

Geeky Distractions in Church: A Story Problem

Assuming that I'm correct in my suspicion that my cell phone isn't sitting safely on the dashboard of my car where I'd intended to leave it but is instead buried like a time bomb in my purse, which is under a pew behind many people's legs, and therefore not retrievable without causing distraction, is the phone more or less likely to ring as the service progresses?

I might lean toward its being less likely, simply because there are fewer remaining minutes for it to do so, which means an ever-narrowing window of opportunity, but on the other hand, it might be more likely, since if it hasn't happened yet, the only time in which it could happen is the time that still remains.

Or maybe the second possiblity is true only if we add the variable that someone is definitely going to call during the service.

I am just mathematical enough to be disturbed by this, and to wonder if I should preemptively retrieve my purse and check, thus substituting a definite and local distraction for the merely potential but global one of my phone actually ringing, yet not mathematical enough to know how to solve it.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009



"She shook her head and whispered, 'No. No! That can't be true. Impossible!'

'You think things have to be possible? Things have to be true!'"

The Subtle Knife, Philip Pullman


Interactive --"Name That Image"



(I couldn't get this right to save my life, but it's still fun to look at!)


Friday, September 4, 2009

Neither Out Far Nor In Deep



The people along the sand
All turn and look one way.
They turn their back on the land.
They look at the sea all day.

As long as it takes to pass
A ship keeps raising its hull;
The wetter ground like glass
Reflects a standing gull.

The land may vary more;
But wherever the truth may be-
The water comes ashore,
And the people look at the sea.

They cannot look out far.
They cannot look in deep.
But when was that ever a bar
To any watch they keep?