Laziness vs Incomptence


A 7 Quick Takes Post

(1)

Do yuh think?

“Nationals owner Mark Lerner says the club’s payroll is ‘beyond topped out’ and they aren’t going to do something to lose money.”

Colorado Springs Gazette, Saturday, April 5, 2014

(2)

We’ve been listening to a course put out by the Teaching Company, The Foundations of Western Civilization, done by Prof. Thomas F. X. Noble of Notre Dame, that has been fascinating. It consists of 48 lectures covering the period from the dawning of civilization in Europe down to the period just after the Reformation. We enjoy many of the Teaching Company courses and listening to or watching them now that we have time to learn things we’ve either forgotten from our school days, or sadly never learned. It has been a most enjoyable educational experience. From this current course, we’ve learned, for example, that historians no longer talk in terms of the Fall of the Roman Empire. Dr. Noble is quite certain on the point that Rome never “fell” to barbarians, stating emphatically that both terms, fall and barbarian, are misnomers and henceforth should be banished from the mind. A more accurate description is that Rome voluntarily adapted to her changing fortunes, both internal and external, and more or less ran out of steam. The “sacking” of Rome by the Visigoths wasn’t an invasion by a hostile army, rather an effort by a group of Roman subjects on the borders of the empire to gain permission to live and move about within the borders. In effect, they wanted to become Romans, not supplant the Romans. He also never, anywhere in the course, uses the term “Dark Ages.”

If you get the chance to get hold of this course, I strongly recommend it.

(3)

You knew it was true, of course, but I see where researchers from Cornell University have spent a lot of time and who knows how many dollars to determine that the eyes of the cartoon characters on cereal boxes are drawn so as to focus at an angle of 9.6 degrees down. It so happens that this is the perfect angle to catch the attention of a child standing next to you in the grocery isles. What would be really interesting is to have polled the designers of those cereal boxes before the research was publicized, just to see if they were aware of the fact.

(4)

image“Laziness has become the chief characteristic of journalism, displacing incompetence.”

Kingsley Amis

Just sayin’ . . .

(5)

Has anyone else uninstalled the Firefox browser this week? It wasn’t that good anyway.

(6)

I can’t believe Sunday is Palm Sunday, it seems like we just had Ash Wednesday last week! Before I retired the chief worry I had was that the days would begin to drag and I’d have a difficult time coming up with things to do. It’s been helpful that my employer has wanted me to help out on a couple of project and that I can put in a few hours a month doing that. But even so, there’s been no difficulty staying active between writing here on the blog, working on various courses, reading and working out (pretty) regularly, the days have flown by. I’m grateful for that and looking forward to more time outdoors come summer.

BTW, not sure when summer will arrive, we woke to nearly 2 inches of snow on the ground Monday morning but have had relatively warm days since. It may be slow, but summer will surely arrive. To mark it’s arrival, here’s a poem by R. L. Stevenson:

Summer Sun

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Great is the sun, and wide he goes

Through empty heaven with repose;

And in the blue and glowing days

More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull

To keep the shady parlour cool,

Yet he will find a chink or two

To slip his golden fingers through.

The dusty attic spider-clad

He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;

And through the broken edge of tiles

Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

Meantime his golden face around

He bares to all the garden ground,

And sheds a warm and glittering look

Among the ivy’s inmost nook.

Above the hills, along the blue,

Round the bright air with footing true,

To please the child, to paint the rose,

The gardener of the World, he goes.

 

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