Monday, January 23, 2017

Edward G. Robinson Break


Found at KA-CHING!:

Pulp Break

Image result for pulp novels amazon

It Does Not Pay

It does not pay to:

  • Be too clever.
  • View life solely in a rear-view mirror.
  • Keep score on who did what for whom.
  • Speak without a filter.
  • Assume that your interpretation is the only reasonable one.
  • Mention a minor fault.
  • Worry about matters that are beyond your control.
  • Store grievances.
  • Operate on unexamined assumptions.
  • Think that time moves slowly.
  • Rely on magical solutions.
  • Compose speeches while others are talking.
  • Ignore your homework.
  • Level frequent criticism at others and at yourself.
  • Believe that good intentions excuse poor results.

First Paragraph

There are things that upset us. That's not quite what we're talking about here, though. I'm thinking rather about those images or words or ideas that drop like trapdoors beneath us, throwing us out of our safe, sane world into a place much more dark and less welcoming. Our hearts skip a ratatat drumbeat in our chests, and we fight for breath. Blood retreats from our faces and our fingers, leaving us pale and gasping and shocked.

- From Trigger Warning: Short Fiction and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman

Quote of the Day

I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.

- Film critic Pauline Kael, 1972

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Find Something Beautiful Today

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Unwisdom of Crowds

When asked to summarize the record of his administration, Coolidge replied, “Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business.” The point wasn’t that he was lazy, the point was that it takes work to stop government from doing stupid things. “It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones,” he once remarked.

Read the rest of Jonah Goldberg by clicking here.

Nate's Take

Anderson Layman's Blog has a tantalizing portion of Nate Silver's analysis of why most journalists were wrong about the outcome of this election.

I see no sign that they are learning from the experience.

Dog Tested

David Kanigan has the Subaru commercial.

Very subtle and effective advertising.

The Pentatonic Scale

Reprise: Bobby McFerrin gives a classic demonstration.

You will smile.

The Wonderful World of Federal Regulations

The final rule requires that covered entities post notices of nondiscrimination and taglines that alert individuals with limited English proficiency to the availability of language assistance services. To reduce burden and costs, OCR has translated a sample notice and taglines for use by covered entities into 64 languages. For translated materials, visit 

 The final rule requires each covered entity to post taglines in at least the top 15 non-English languages spoken in the State in which the entity is located or does business. Those requirements are modified for small sized significant communications such as postcards; for these, the final rule requires entities to post a nondiscrimination statement and taglines in at least the top two non-English languages spoken by individuals with limited English proficiency in the State.

- From Summary: Final Rule Implementing Section 1557 of The Affordable Care Act.

Miscellaneous and Fast

Donovan: "Hurdy Gurdy Man."
Naturally 7: Beatboxing.
The trailer for "I Am Not a Hipster."
The finale to "Yankee Doodle Dandy."
Anderson Layman's Blog has another group to support.

The Recipe Book is Always Incomplete

When it comes to dealing with people, there are basic ingredients but you and the circumstances determine the recipe. What will work for one "chef" won't for another and, of course, customer tastes will vary.

This is where experience pays off. It will guide your formulations and, if you are fortunate, will eventually create a valuable form of intuition. That something may feel right (or wrong) at a particular point won't be because of happenstance but instead will be the product of informative experiences.

In human relations, a recipe book only works up to a point. Making decisions is one of the ways we acquire judgment. That process often involves making mistakes.

First Paragraph

Shortly before midnight on March 12, 1928, carpenter Ace Hopewell piloted his motorcycle up the twisting San Francisquito Canyon Road north of Saugas, about fifty miles north of Los Angeles. Through the scrub on his left, he had a moment's view of the St. Francis Dam, a looming 700-foot-wide concrete monolith, then he was into a curve and all he had was the roadway in his headlamp. He came out of the curve into a straightaway where he ordinarily would have opened the throttle, but he felt a sudden shaking - perhaps something going wrong with his engine - and instead he slowed. He was living in a construction camp next to Los Angeles Water Bureau Power Plant #1, just a few minutes' ride ahead, and there was no hurry. It was a typically cool but clear mountain night in Southern California - maybe it was a good time for a smoke.

From Water to the Angels: William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles by Lee Standiford

Quote of the Day

It is rare indeed for a nation to have at its summit a group so curiously gifted as Washington and Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Adams. And what was particularly providential was the way in which their strengths and weaknesses compensated each other, so that the group as a whole was infinitely more formidable than the sum of its parts. They were the Enlightenment made flesh.

- Paul Johnson

Friday, January 20, 2017

Takes from the Day

Art Break

They knew how to dress in those days.

Art Contrarian looks at portraits of Charles X of France.

Stalin's Own

In National Review, Jay Nordlinger notes a "damn good question" about nostalgia for Stalin.

Books That Have Timers

Scott Adams notes some of his books that had timers (by design) and thus were written before many people would be ready for their message.

First Paragraph

On the last day of the course that I teach at Harvard Business School, I typically start by telling my students what I observed among my own business school classmates after we graduated. Just like every other school, our reunions every five years provided a series of fascinating snapshots. The school is superb at luring back its alumni for these events, which are key fundraisers; the red carpet gets rolled out with an array of high-profile speakers and events. My own fifth-year reunion was no exception and we had a big turnout. Looking around, everyone seemed so polished and prosperous - we couldn't help but feel that we really were part of something special.

- From How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen

Some Essential Copland

The New York Philharmonic: "Fanfare for the Common Man."

All Best Wishes

All best wishes for President Donald Trump. May his presidency be a successful one.

Highly Recommended

Image result for plunkitt of tammany hall amazon

Quote of the Day

When I hear artists or authors making fun of businessmen I think of a regiment in which the band makes fun of the cooks.

- Anonymous

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Diana Rigg Break

First Paragraph

When the fair gold morning of April stirred Mary Hawley awake, she turned over to her husband and saw him, little fingers pulling a frog mouth at her.

- From The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck

Himmler's Cigarette

"We had the moral right, we had the duty to our people, to destroy this people which wanted to destroy us. But we have not the right to enrich ourselves with so much as a fur, a watch, a mark, or a cigarette, or anything else."  

- Heinrich Himmler in his 1943 speech at Poznan to his senior SS officers

Chilling and bizarre. Himmler could excuse, praise, and, of course, order massive numbers of cold-blooded murders but taking a cigarette from the victims was, in his eyes, unacceptable because it was enough to start a pattern of corruption. 

He was not worried about harming the victims. He was worried about corrupting the murderers.

Rest assured that the event, as with most formal business meetings, had an agenda. When he finished speaking, refreshments were served.

Quote of the Day

Occasionally, a good idea comes to you first, if you're lucky. Usually, it only comes after a lot of bad ideas.  

- Alex Blumberg

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

First Paragraph

"In conclusion, it is the view of Union Station Consulate that the trade in counterfeit Earth chess sets has not been impacted by enforcement activities, and perversely, the crackdown has forced the principal actors to master molecular tagging, thus accelerating their technical competency and leading to increasingly sophisticated forgeries of other high value exports, especially playing cards and kitchen gadgets."

- From Date Night on Union Station by E. M. Foner

Look Dignified for the Camera

True West magazine has yet another take on why people didn't smile in those old photographs.

Eclecticity Light

Where does he find this stuff?

Welcome Aboard!

Welcome aboard! 

You were hired because of your success either in school or at another organization. With regard to the latter, the place may have been entirely different from our own but we'll assume (pretend?) that the skills you acquired are transferable until you show them to be otherwise.

We were impressed that you did not badmouth your past employers  In turn, we put a rather happy face on our own environment. During your orientation, which will be all-too-brief, you'll meet some of the key players. We'll do our best to keep the local eccentrics from crossing your path for at least a couple of days.

Just kidding. They too have valuable things to teach you. Many of them are among the brightest people in this organization. [That is in no way a sarcastic comment.] Every organization needs a dash of eccentricity and we're proud of it. We don't use a cookie-cutter to select people.

You will, however, find a shared commitment to certain values; the stuff that makes all of us trustworthy. If you ever find us straying from those, give a very loud shout. 

We mean that.

Perhaps the best thing we can advise you to do is to observe. Listen carefully for meaning and not just general statements. Ask plenty of questions early on because that's when people expect them. [if you're really smart, you'll keep on asking and learning.] 

Don't believe everything you hear, whether it is good or bad. Make up your own mind. Look for mentors but remember that even the best mentor has biases and gaps. Start connecting dots. We hope you never stop doing that.

You are here for a reason. 

Let's be worthy of one another.

Highly Recommended

Image result for harry potter and the deathly hallows part two soundtrack amazon

Quote of the Day

Make your peace with the fact that saying 'no' often requires trading popularity for respect.

 - Greg McKeown

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Music Break

The Beatles: "Twist and Shout."

"Best Book" Lists

Wally Bock gives his pick of the "Best Book" lists. 

A very interesting collection.


In my life, I have heard the following sentences from people in the course of a conversation:
  • "I was in a concentration camp."
  • "I was with the Marines at Chosin Reservoir."
  • "A boy in our village was arrested by the Gestapo."
Words, of course, can be powerful. But when it comes to conveying the real essence of an experience, they can also be grossly inadequate.

The Downside of the Good

Disasters and setbacks get a lot of attention and study but it also pays to explore the downside of the good. 

For example, a large organization that has high turn-over will immediately set off alarm bells but what about a large organization with almost no turn-over? It is possible that the place has a termination phobia and is keeping employees who should have been terminated.

Another example: an organization that has high selection standards. Are the standards truly related to job performance or is an applicant with a flashy degree automatically regarded as better qualified than one with extensive and relevant experience?

Vigorously examine the "good" and often you'll find that its rationale is fragile.

And be prepared to hear "We've always done it that way."

Pick Three

Out of the 100 top things that you may worry about this year, pick the five most important.

Focus as much as possible on those and give special attention to your top three.

Do you really think that you'll miss a lot if you do this?

Highly Recommended

Image result for tools of titans amazon

Quote of the Day

I'm thirty years old but I read at the thirty-four-year-old level.

 - Dana Carvey