23 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 A Sonata as Teacher

Music makes things in our minds, but afterward most of them fade away. What remains? In one old story about Mozart, the wonder child hears a lengthy contrapuntal mass and then writes down the entire score. I do not believe such tales, for history documents so few of them that they seem to be mere legend, though by that argument Mozart also would seem to be legend. Most people do not even remember the themes of an evening's concert. Yet, when the tunes are played again, they are recognized. So...
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26 FEB 2014 by ideonexus

 A Small Contribution to a Large Project

That evening, at a café near the work site, I had a drink with an iter physicist, who was despondent, fearing that the machine would never work. Why he was staying with the project he couldn’t say. But a few weeks later, after thinking about it, he told me that his mood had lifted. He had come to see his role in both small and sublime terms—akin to a stonemason toiling for years on the York Minster cathedral (begun 1220, finished 1472) without witnessing the work being completed. “I no...
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What's it like to be a single individual working on a project that takes many lifetimes? Perspective.

18 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 Jupiter's Pattern in the Night Sky

Every 12 years Jupiter returns to the same position in the sky; every 370 days it disappears in the fire of the Sun in the evening to the west, 30 days later it reappears in the morning to the east...
Folksonomies: astronomy
Folksonomies: astronomy
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4th Century BC observation from Gan De.

12 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Mystery is a Cover for Absurdity

A pleasant morning. Saw my classmates Gardner, and Wheeler. Wheeler dined, spent the afternoon, and drank Tea with me. Supped at Major Gardiners, and ingag'd to keep School at Bristol, provided Worcester People, at their insuing March meeting, should change this into a moving School, not otherwise. Major Greene this Evening fell into some conversation with me about the Divinity and Satisfaction of Jesus Christ. All the Argument he advanced was, "that a mere creature, or finite Being, could no...
Folksonomies: religion mystery
Folksonomies: religion mystery
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John Adams comment on a debate he had with a a Major concerning the Divinity.

10 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 Teddy Roosevelt Considers the Night Sky

After an evening of talk, perhaps about the fringes of knowledge, or some new possibility of climbing inside the minds and senses of animals, we would go out on the lawn, where we took turns at an amusing little astronomical rite. We searched until we found, with or without glasses, the faint, heavenly spot of light-mist beyond the lower left-hand comer of the Great Square of Pegasus, when one or the other of us would then recite: That is the Spiral Galaxy in Andromeda. It is as large as our...
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...each night to feel appropriately small.

21 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 Get Babies Used to Strangers

Grandmother says, "You had them and you should never leave them." Such martyrdom is selfish and harmful to both you and the child. Someday such clinging, dependent children will have to be torn from their mothers and get the rude shock that there are other people m the world—on the first day at school, for instance. This shock will be far less and the adjustment to the presence of other residents of this planet far better if they get a sneak preview in advance that there are others. There i...
Folksonomies: child rearing
Folksonomies: child rearing
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To prevent them from being to clingy later in life.

28 FEB 2011 by ideonexus

 Biblical Account of Human Origins

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. 6 And God said, “L...
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The natural progression of life described here, from sea to land, with plants leading the way, suggests that the path described in evolution is intuitive to even primitive cultures.