Happy Valentine’s Day from Mary Ann Evans

“What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined… to strengthen each other… to be at one with each other in silent unspeakable memories.”

– George Eliot

image003.gifIn case you didn’t know, and I didn’t, George Eliot was woman who’s real name is Mary Ann Evans. She was a 19th century English novelist.

Happy Valentine’s Day,

Especially you, Jahnavi!

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If you don’t podcast this year, you’ll be one year older when you do.


Today we have another quote from Warren Miller, the king of ski movies.

“If you don’t do it this year, you’ll be one year older when you do.”

Warren shares this observation in almost everyone of his movies. It might be his motto.

I was reminded of it last night when my friend and I did something we don’t do enough. We went moonlight snowboarding. It was wonderfully quiet and empty. With the bright moon and the white snow the visibility is excellent. Snowboarding is an activity I usually do in the day time so doing it at night is surreal. Everything is familiar except the context is wrong.

What should you do this year instead of next?

There is nothing to be learned from the second kick of a mule, even in podcasting



Today’s quote is an old axiom about learning lessons the first time

There is nothing to be learned from the second kick of a mule.

The idea being there is some value in the first kick or mistake. But getting kicked a second time or making the same mistake twice is foolish and offers nothing that you couldn’t have learned from the first time you got kicked or made the mistake.

The quote was recently used by Dick Armey in an Op-Ed piece in USA Today. I like the saying but I don’t think it is an appropriate lead-in for Armey’s argument for a flat income tax. [The USA Today article is no longer available online. –Scott Sunday, February 1, 2009]

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

Let’s finish the week off with a quote from Voltaire:

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.”

I like this quote because Voltaire, very clearly, reminds us that extreme positions are untenable and… absurd.

Voltaire is the pen name of François Marie Arouet. A French author and philosopher whose 18th century writings are some of best of the Enlightenment. He is most famous for writing Candide, a story of a hopeless optimist.

You can download and read many of Volatire’s writings at Project Gutenberg. His Dictionary of Philosophy is available from Hanover College’s website..

Either that podcast goes or I do…

Today’s quote is from Oscar Wilde by way of Eric Jean of Montreal, Quebec. Eric has a weekly blog podcast at DeadWhiteMales.net. His podcast offers a brief discussion of literature and the arts. “The aim of the show is not to pretend to any exclusive knowledge. Rather, simply to share his own thoughts on these subjects in an effort to make them that much more interesting and approachable.”

Here is his recommended Oscar Wilde Quote:

“Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.”

– Oscar Wilde, dying in a Paris bedroom.

Oscar Wilde was a 19th Century Poet and playwright. He is most famous for his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and the play The Importance of Being Earnest. The Complete text of The Importance of Being Earnest is available from WikiSource. If you don’t like reading you can watch the 2002 movie.

Happy New Year from Andy Warhol & Today’s Podcast

As we start a new year, here are some poignant and inspiring words from Andy Warhol.

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

Andy Warhol

Andy changed the art world and the world of pop culture.

I don’t have any specific new year’s resolutions, but Andy reminds me not to leave my life in time’s hands.

I wish you all a happy and fulfilling new year.

Today’s Podcast – In science one tries to tell people…


“In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite.

Paul Dirac
20th century physicist and noble laureate.

This is a great idea; that poetry is about what we already know and science is the exact opposite.

In a podcast nobody knows your a dog


Today we have a quote. It is phrase I see and hear a lot when people are talking about the anonymity provided by the Internet. The quote is from a 1993 New Yorker cartoon.

In the cartoon a dog is sitting at a computer telling another dog that “On the Internet nobody knows you are a dog.

I like this quote because it is often repeated and paraphrased by all types of writer when writing about the Internet. I noticed Brent Simmons of Inessential.com, writing in 2002 referred to the phrase as an old adage.

marseditIconLarge.png By the way if you are looking for a great news reader or blog client you should check out Brent’s work:

  • NetNewsWire– A news reader for OS X.

  • MarsEdit– A weblog editor for Mac OS X that works with various weblog systems: Blosxom, Conversant, Manila, Movable Type, Radio UserLand, TypePad, WordPress, and others.

Also Brent is really responsive to user questions and comments so his work is always getting better.

I am really impressed Peter Steiner, the cartoonist, understood and clearly articulated a fundamental truth of the Internet way back in 1993.

You can take a look at the cartoon or order a sweatshirt with the cartoon on it at cartoonbank.com. Cartoonbank.com is home to many of the cartoons found in the is the New Yorker. From it you can order posters, t-shirts and other paraphernalia emblazoned with New Yorker cartoons.

TodaysPodcast.com? I thought they stopped doing quotes

Remember when I used to do quotes?

Well today we have a quote. It is from an interview with Archibald Leach in 1985.

I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be until finally I became that person. Or he became me.

Now if you don’t recognize the name, you are not alone. Archie Leach, by sheer will power, became Cary Grant, one the best actors of all time. According to IMDB.com he starred in 75 films, including two of my favorites The Philadelphia Story & To Catch a Thief.

The Zero-Sum Podcast For Shaners

Yahoo! Another request. This one is from Shaners of TheResistanceArmy.com. I hope I do it justice.
Shane suggested the term “zero-sum game.” Now since I haven’t done a quote for awhile I decided to combine zero-sum game with a movie quote.

Bud Fox: How much is enough?

Gordon Gekko: It’s not a question of enough, pal. It’s a zero sum game, somebody wins, somebody loses. Money itself isn’t lost or made, it’s simply transferred from one perception to another.

Watching this movie, Wall Street, was the first time I learned about zero-sum games. I don’t think I appreciated the term till I took a game theory class in college.

Essentialy a zero sum game is just as Mr. Gekko describes it. A game or situation with a winner and a loser such that if you add the winner’s take to the loser’s loss you end up with zero. Most games are zero sum- the wins cancel out the losses.

Now not all games or situations are zero -sum. There are also non-zero-sum games and situations. A classic game theory non-zero-sum game is the prisoner’s dilemma. A game in which the sum of the outcomes can range from negative to positive depending on how the players “play.”

Imagine two partners are accused of a crime. If they both deny committing the crime neither will go to prison. If they both testify against the other they will each spend 5 years in prison. In the third scenario, the one that makes the game interesting, one testifies, one denies. In this case one partner goes to prison for a long time and the other for less time or not at all.

Obviously the best game play is for the partners to work together and not testify. But they will be tempted to testify to protect themselves from a lengthy prison term.

A less sinister example can be found on the playground. One kid has a basketball and the other a soccer ball. The kid with the basketball wants to play soccer and the kid with the soccer ball wants to play basketball. They decide to trade balls. In this game both kids win. They both get something they want and give up something they didn’t want.

I think life is better played as a positive-sum game.

Play the Prisoner’s dilemma and test your strategies