Crazy Owls Perch Today

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 22, 2012

On April 4, 2011. Crazy Owl went to the sweat lodge in the sky. The last few years of his life, he had a web page, Crazy Owls Perch. When you go to that address today, you will see something else.

Whoever recycles old domains has a sense of humor. The top two links seen today are Elite Pest Control & Wildlife Removal and $1249 Stomach Liposuction. The latter offers other services, including LipoLite, Brazilian Butt Lift, and Male Breast Reduction.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress. The video is from WTF Japan Seriously.

Corruption In Georgia

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 22, 2012

An outfit with the oxymoronic name State Integrity Investigation has put out a report. Georgia is the most corrupt state in America. Here is how they stack up. To the surprise of cable tv fans, New Jersey is the least corrupt state.

The STI is a collaboration of The Center For Public Integrity, Global Integrity, and Public Radio International. According to Peach Pundit,
“The research done to determine Georgia fails with ethics was done by former Atlanta Journal and Constitution investigative reporter Jim Walls, among the best in the business. He now runs his own website,, and I encourage you to read his full report here“. (Some of the struck dogs say he is “just a blogger”.)
Peach Pundit is considered to be a conservative, republican blog. Her democratic cousin, Blog For Democracy, does not have this story on the front page. BFD does have a video, Rep. Terry England compares women to cows, pigs and chickens. This is how politics works… you work up the unwashed, about issues that you have no control over, while scraping the gold off the dome.

In its original report,Georgia Receives Deserved Dubious Distinction For Ethics Laws, Pundit has some grisly details.
In the last 4 years, Georgia has had a House Speaker who had an affair with a lobbyist for whom he sponsored a bill that would have granted her employer hundreds of millions of dollars for a natural gas pipeline. We had a candidate for Governor with 10 Political Action Committees set up in Alabama to illegally launder campaign funds from a single donor whom he regulated as insurance commissioner. We had a state legislator who dated a lobbyist and got her client a new building at the University she represented, and then threatened the University when they later fired her. He now is the State Labor Commissioner.
We have a Governor who had to file and re-file required disclosures throughout his campaign because critical information was either omitted or incorrect. When the director of the ethics commission prepared subpoenas to serve on the Governor and sought help from the FBI for forensic accounting, her staff was gutted and she was replaced.

We have a Senate Rules Chairman who has traveled to Israel with a lobbyist whom he listed on the official program as a Senate staffer. He uses his campaign account to fund a $2,100 per month condo just 30 miles from his home, yet continues to bill taxpayers for per diem for over 100 days when the legislature is in session. He bills for mileage to and from his home every working day, including the days he is not even in the state.

And we have a current Speaker, elected by his peers after scandal brought down the entire former House leadership team, who took his family on a Thanksgiving vacation to Europe at the expense of lobbyists which went unreported for months. The $17,000 expenditure – roughly the same amount of a base legislator’s pay – was so that the Speaker could learn about trains and transit.

For years the Democrats ruled the state. The Republicans screamed about the corruption. When the GOP took over the state, they showed how much they had learned from the Democrats. It will be interesting to see what “issues” are used as a smokescreen. (Maybe we need a new state flag. If we make it round, we could sell advertising space to Coca Cola.) Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”. The image above the text shows Herman Talmadge and Marvin Griffin.


Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 21, 2012

PG was gifted with a link to an article, Silence Is Not a Vow. The concept is to compare a monk’s vow of silence to a wedding vow. It is a good comparison, if the vows are taken for the proper reason.

Silence can have many benefits for the soul. It is said that prayer is talking to G-d, and meditation is listening. Does anyone know a Jesus worshiper who talks too much?

People who spend time outdoors might have come to a time, during a hike, when no one has anything to say. The majesty of the world is overwhelming, and it is time to be quiet. There is nothing you can say that is as worthy as the sound of the outdoors. Soon, you will hear things… wind whistling through trees, birds chirping, or the pounding of feet. The earth is not a quiet place.

Even the city is full of pleasant sounds. How often do you see someone listening to earplugs, when the birds are singing their feathers off? Dogs barking, planes flying, insects chirping, and cars coming and going… the world is a symphony, and you miss it all when you give your time to itunes.

Light pollution is an issue… with so much light in the enviornment, living things do not have the darkness their nature requires. The same could be said for too much sound. Having too much sound to deal with … either by listening or ignoring… is toxic for the soul. There is an innate need for darkness, and silence.

One problem PG has with this feature is a sentence… “But I’m taking the risk of sharing these thoughts anyway, for I believe that the silence of monastics is a reminder to all people of faith—even those of us who do not live in a cloister—to make room in our lives for at least a modicum of silence, hopefully every day.” The noxious phrase is “people of faith”. We have decided that religion is a bad word, and use faith as a substitute. When you do this, you confuse the meaning of faith, which is a pretty neat concept. (The sentence has 54 words. To write a feature about silence, and include a sentence like that, is ironic.)

Another issue with the phrase “people of faith” is the antonym, “people of no faith”. How can you label one of G-d’s children with a tag like that? How can you know what is in another man’s soul, to say that he has no faith in anything? The semantics of a religion, based on the concept that one book is “the word of G-d”, can make you lose faith in the speaker.

There is a story of a monk, who was allowed to say two words every five years. After five years, he said “bad food”. After ten years, he said “hard bed”. After fifteen years, he said “I quit”. His superior replied, “Good. All you ever do is complain.”

While looking for the videos that go with this feature, PG saw some suggestions from youtube. These include: Jack Kerouac Voice off the Road2:30 Good Times- Jon Schmidt – piano instrumental4:42 Doris Day & Friends talk about the real Doris Day5:51 How Gay Marriage Could End Humanity1:48 It Gets Better: Google Employees7:36 Jack Kerouac American Haiku4:45 A TED speaker’s worst nightmare3:51.

Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.

The Bubba Bubble

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 21, 2012

PG saw a link to Do You Live in a Bubble? A Quiz. The “bubble” of the title refers to the concept that “the super wealthy, super educated and super snobby live in so-called super-ZIPs: cloistered together, with little to no exposure to American culture at large.” PG decided that taking the test would be a good excuse for some text to go between the pictures. (The pictures are from The Library of Congress ).

When he typed the date, PG noticed a symmetry of the digits 032112. If he could describe this mathematically, he would be in the top .01%. The fact that he noticed it separates him from 98% percent of the population. This does not include the .7% who became tired of date trivia after y2k. The zip code 32112 is located in Crescent City, FL.

The test is 25 questions. Most are answered yes or no. Others have a list of things you may have done, like see movies or eat at chain restaurants. One showed the symbols for different military ranks, and asked if you knew what they meant.

PG didn’t know what to expect. He seldom watches tv, does not go to church, and tends to stick to a few friends. PG had a blue collar job for 25 years.

The final score, for PG, was 31. The lower the score, the more of a “bubble” you live in. If the test had asked “Will you write a blog post about taking this test”, a yes answer would have lowered your score.

A possible problem with this test is the phrase “close friend” People define this term in different ways. There are other questions with some semantic pitfalls. Question 12 asks if you know who Jimmie Johnson is. (The alternative question is whether you have bought Avon products.) PG remembers a football coach named Jimmie Johnson, which is an extremely common name. A visit to Mr. Google says that Jimmie Johnson is a NASCAR driver.

PG decided to retake the test, with all the answers the same, except for number 7, Have you ever had a close friend who was an evangelical Christian? PG does not have close friends in this dreaded category, but has had family members and co workers. With a yes answer to question seven (and no to the follow up, Are you an evangelical Christian yourself?), PG gained two points, to 33. (Remember, the lower the score, the more of a “bubble” you live in.) Maybe they should have an option for “No thank you”.

Furman Bisher

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 19, 2012


The facebook friend (who PG has never met in person) had a link to a story, Bisher’s career ends, as does an era. Sure enough, on the front page, was another link… Furman Bisher dies at 93.

There was a picture of Mr. Bisher, taken from the press box of the newly completed Atlanta Stadium. Below this was a picture of a black woman with blonde hair. The headline was “‘RHOA:’ NeNe meets with divorce attorney.” There is a comment about changing times in that image.

PG posted a feature, The Last Furman Bisher Column, after the retirement of the writer. It was suggested that the fishwrapper might not outlive Mr. Bisher. The newspaper lives on, even if it is a greatly reduced affair.

When he was a kid, PG had different interests. He would get into something for a while, then move on to something else. In 1965, it was baseball and football. The Atlanta Journal had a column every day by Furman Bisher. PG thought he was a very good, very funny writer.

Yesterday, the fishwrapper printed the last column by Furman Bisher. Many, many things had changed in those 44 years. The well crafted prose of Furman Bisher remained the same.

In 1965, Mr. Bisher produced six columns a week for the afternoon paper. Typically, five of them would be on a single subject. The sixth one would be a collection of one or two liners, separated by three dots. These mix and match columns were always signed “selah”. Selah is an untranslatable Hebrew word from Psalms. When asked why, Mr. Bisher said “your guess is as good as mine”.

In one of the columns signed selah, Mr. Bisher talked about sports cliches. His least favorite one was about a ballplayer “who can do it all”. ” Lets see one of them have a baby”

While the Cox family owned both the morning Constitution and the afternoon Journal, they were separate papers then. They had a TV section on saturday printed on green paper, which made the world look red after you turned away from it. The saturday paper also had a weekly ad by a restaurant owner who dabbled in politics, named Lester Maddox. The next year, he would be elected Governor of Georgia. Lester called the Cox Newspapers “the fishwrapper”.

In 1965, the Braves played a lame duck season in Milwaukee. The Crackers played one last season in the brand new Atlanta Stadium. It did not have the hyphen Fulton County in it’s name yet, and the people of Atlanta were so proud of that facility. The next year, the Braves set up shop in Dixie, and were horrible. The Falcons played their first season, and were even worse. Before long, PG found other things to be interested in.

Furman Bisher continued to plug away. A young man named Lewis Grizzard came to work at the fishwrapper, and Mr. Bisher was his boss. Eventually, Lewis Grizzard took a job in Chicago, a frosty exile from warm Georgia. A few years later, Mr. Grizzard came home, and became an institution. The only problem was his heart. Lewis Grizzard left us on March 20, 1994.

Mr. Bisher is 90 today, and in good health. He is leaving on his feet. The fishwrapper continues to shrink, and may not outlive one of it’s best writers.


Arrogance: Being Wrong In A Loud Voice

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 18, 2012

These visits to alternative reality are from a variety of sources. Included are Facebook (fb), Futility Closet (fucl) , and All Aphorisms, All The Time (Aph) .Attempts to maintain a no profanity blog will be suspended for this post. // “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore (fb) // “I have come to believe that religious traditions exist not to serve the faithful, but to help the faithful serve the world.” Brad Hirschfield (fb) // “If you remain in the present moment, you will never get hurt. Forget about your past life. Forget about your future life. Unless you open your heart, unless you jump into the inner abyss, you are not going to become enlightened. Ultimately, you have to knock on your own door; you have to beg at your own door; you have to come back to yourself.” (fb) // What doesn’t kill, oppresses. (Aph) // When I fall asleep beside you, you are condemned to resume my life (Aph) // searching for work is unpaid work (Aph) // Listen and you learn how to lie. Lie and you forget how to listen. (Aph) // I found out how to lie to hacks: I told the truth and nobody believed that. (Aph) // If you are completely attached to your ego, you perceive any criticism, disagreement with your ideas, or even analysis thereof as an attack, so of course you are compulsively defensive. Arguments, power games, judgment, and all the attendant drama in the world spring from this state. Your attempt to gain power overs via these means is insecurity, not strength. Your low cunning, “strategic” thinking, aggressiveness, competitiveness, attacking others in any form, all in vain, for they increase your fear, rather than alleviate it. Your attempts to feel substantial via the attainment of status, recognition, possessions, money, your success or that of your mate or children, a special relationship, power, your job, knowledge, education, skills, the way you look, your religious and political beliefs, your family history, or any other affiliation (what have I left out?)…are self-destructive because inauthentic. And no one else gives a crap, either. (fb) // In the absence that Which Is Not, that Which Is, Is Not.”, “Behold I say onto thee Ye Are As Gods.”, “Seek & You Shall Find.”, “As Above, So Below.”, “The Thing you are looking for is the Thing you are looking with.”Relieved yet? (fb) // A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life.-Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning (fb) // A celebrity is everyone but himself. (Aph) // An introvert is happy to be no one. To be someone requires the consent of too many people. (Aph) // I’m well over sixty. That’s not always true. Sometimes I’m fairly ill over it. (Aph) // The sky never quite recovers from a fallen tree. (Aph) // I only write the lines I would highlight in a novel or essay. Why bother with the rest? (Aph) // There are no right angles in the brain, though there may be wry tangles. (Aph) // Portion out pleasure so that one can always still increase it. – Immanuel Kant, Anthropology from a pragmatic point of view (fb) // No person wishes to abandon Christian terminology, but they can secretly change it so that it doesn’t require decision or action.-Soren Kierkegaard, Two Ages: A Literary Review (fb) // The public comes into existence because all its participants become spectators rather than participants.-Soren Kierkegaard, Two Ages: A Literary Review (fb) // “I wouldn’t say when you’ve seen one western you’ve seen the lot, but when you’ve seen the lot you get the feeling you’ve seen one.” — Katharine Whitehorn (fucl) // “I see that both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum now have Secret Service with them on the campaign trail. And in Santorum’s case I think it’s the first time he’s actually ever used protection,” – Senator Scott Brown, after Conan O’Brien. // Always leave your glasses where you can see them. (Aph) // The more I try to escape, the more the arrow of Everything considers me its bull’s eye. (Aph) // When a tiger attacks you, become a jungle. (Aph) // It is often not what you take off that leaves you naked, but what you take on. (Aph) // Maine is the only one-syllable state name. (fucl) // During a newspaper interview in March 1966, John Lennon said that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus.” On August 13, radio station KLUE in Longview, Texas, organized a bonfire in which protesting Christians burned their Beatles records. The following day, the station’s broadcast tower was struck by lightning, rendering the news director unconscious and knocking the station off the air. (fucl) // The longest unhyphenated place name in the United States is Kleinfeltersville, Pennsylvania. (fucl) // “Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.” — Robert Frost (fucl) // “Although violence and the use of force may appear powerful and decisive, their benefits are short-lived. Violence can never bring a lasting and long term resolution to any problem, because it is unpredictable and for every problem it seems to solve, others are created. On the other hand, truth remains constant and will ultimately prevail.” ~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama (fb) // “You have a moral responsibility when you’ve been given far more than you need, to do wise things with it and give intelligently,” J.K. Rowling (fb) // Reality leaves a lot to the imagination. John Lennon // beauty is in the eye of the beholder. ugly uses all five senses. // “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but for me looking as a Christian, I just don’t see the Jesus that I follow collaborating with the persecution of an already oppressed minority group.” ~ Aussie rugby star David Pocock (fb) // An introvert is happy to be no one. To be someone requires the consent of too many people. (Aph) // I’m well over sixty. That’s not always true. Sometimes I’m fairly ill over it. (Aph) // The sky never quite recovers from a fallen tree. (Aph) // I only write the lines I would highlight in a novel or essay. Why bother with the rest? (Aph) // There are no right angles in the brain, though there may be wry tangles. (Aph) // Wine in, whine out. (Aph) // “I find all books too long.” — Voltaire (fucl) // “One always tends to overpraise a long book because one has got through it.” — E.M. Forster (fucl) // “A big book is a big nuisance.” — Callimachus (fucl) // In 1959 Bertrand Russell and Lord Russell of Liverpool wrote a joint letter to the Times: “Sir: In order to discourage confusions which have been constantly occurring, we beg herewith to state that neither of us is the other.” (fucl) // Arrogance: being wrong in a loud voice. (Aph) // The more complicated something is the greater the number of ways it can break down. (Aph) // Buy what you need and you will never want. Buy what you want and you will forever be in need. (Aph) // When you are free to choose, the choice is compulsory. (Aph) // Selah

Accept Loss Forever

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 17, 2012

On this day four years ago, PG put up a post about Jack Kerouac. It was inspired by this appreciation at kikoshouse. Kikos, btw, is still producing, unlike many of the 2008 blogs.
00. Allen Ginsberg asked Mr. Kerouac to define the essentials of “Spontaneous Prose.”
01. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
02. Submissive to everything, open, listening
03. Try never get drunk outside your own house
04. Be in love with your life
05. Something that you feel will find its own form
06. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
07. Blow as deep as you want to blow
08. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
09. The unspeakable visions of the individual
10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
17. Write in recollection and amazement for yrself
18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
19. Accept loss forever
20. Believe in the holy contour of life
21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
22. Don’t think of words when you stop but to see picture better
23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
29. You’re a Genius all the time
30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven
While researching this post, PG stumbled onto an interview of Jack Kerouac. The interview was conducted by Ben Hecht, who is mostly forgotten today, but was a character. Mr. Kerouac thinks that President Eisenhower is a smart, friendly man. He probably did not play golf with him.
At 1:30 of part two, Mr. Hecht mentions that Mr. Kerouac, and his pals, particularly Mr. Ginsberg, have an “affinity for negroes”. “Negroes have a lot of fun”, they are “full of glee”. While they no doubt meant well by this, many today would consider this kind of talk racist.
Pictures are from The Library of Congress.
Chamblee54 posted a four part breakdown of Satori in Paris, by Jack Kerouac.

Profanity or Hannity

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 16, 2012

It is monday after work, and slack rules. What energy PG had is long gone. He started a nifty post about Truman Capote at lunch, but didn’t feel like finishing it.

Not to worry, Renegade Evolution has the answer. She displayed something called the Cuss-o-meter . Ren copped a 34.5% rating, which is not surprising for a sex worker.

Holy Cow, Chamblee54 got a 0% rating. Dad Gum, by Jingoes. Golly Gee.

The first question to arise is, what do they call cussing? The seven words of Carlin? Anything referring to excretion, reproduction, or the eternal destination of your soul?

The funny thing is, PG is not terribly offended by most profanity. He does try not to use cusswords, because they take attention away from the overall message.

Profanity is a social issue rather than a moral one. Certain words are not right or wrong, but when you use one inappropriately, you betray a lack of respect for the listeners.

There are words that offend PG…like Jesus…that many see as their moral duty to say as often as possible. And this eagerness to profane a sacred name is a violation of the third commandment. (That is, the eagerness of Jesus Worshipers to scream his name as often and loudly as possible. This use of a sacred name, as an annoying distraction, creates untold ill will for the object of  veneration.)

It is a matter of perception. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but ugly uses all five senses.

As the observant reader might notice, there are a lot of reruns on this blog. When you have an archive with 2000+ posts, there is a lot of material. On a slow day, a journey into the past can be a handy cure for writers block.

Part one of this feature was originally posted April 21, 2008. At the time, the Cuss-o-meter was working. When it was time to assemble this post, we made another visit. Chamblee54 got a 0% rating… “Around 0% of the pages on your website contain cussing.This is 100% LESS than other websites who took this test.” This was curious, since the no profanity policy at this blog has been relaxed for a long time.

Renegade Evolution is still in the blogging business, although she is less prolific than before. Her motto is “Damn Skippy it’s a personalized plate if your Dad made it in Prison!”. The last time we checked, damn was considered a wirty dord. Despite this, the Cuss-o-meter gave her a 0% rating.

The last test for the cuss o meter is E – m a i l s f r o m a n a s s h o l e. This site is both copyrighted and hilarious. A person answers an ad, a business arrangement is made, and then things go horribly wrong. Inevitably, there is profane name calling. (The propriety of using a vital, productive body part as an insult will be discussed at a later date.) Despite the copious carlinality of this blog, the Cuss-o-meter rated it 0% cussing. PG has come to the scientific conclusion that the cuss o meter is no longer functioning.

The Cuss-o-meter is affiliated with a dating website. You are invited to join, or click on the fine print to get the results without joining. PG chose the latter, which might influence the results.

This post uses the name of a prominent radio whiner. This name has nothing to do with the content, other than rhyming with profanity. (Nor do the pictures, from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library” , have anything to do with the content.) 


Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 15, 2012

WSB radio is 90 years old today. On March 15, 1922, The Atlanta Journal received a telegram authorizing it to broadcast weather bulletins. The telegram instructed the station to use the call letters WSB. (Later, a station in Nashville was named WSM.) While the letters were later said to stand for Welcome South Brother (as well as World Series Baseball, and We’re So Boring), they appear to have been randomly assigned at first.

WSB is a 50,000 watt, clear channel station. At night, it can be heard for hundreds of miles around. It’s transmission tower is on LaVista Road, across the street from Northlake Mall. In the seventies, you could hear broadcasts on pay phones in the area.

WSB was owned by the Atlanta Journal, and had it’s first studio in their building downtown. The radio station moved to the Biltmore Hotel when it opened in 1926. In 1926, WSB joined the NBC radio network. (Station logs show a broadcast of the inaugural NBC broadcast in November, 1926.) In 1939, the Journal, and WSB, were sold to James Middleton Cox, who founded Cox Enterprises. In 1950, Mr. Cox bought the Atlanta Constitution.

The thirties and forties were the glory days for radio. In the fifties, television started to move in. WSB-TV started to broadcast on Channel 2. A studio known as “White Columns on Peachtree” was built in 1955, and was the home for the radio and TV WSB.

When PG was old enough to listen, WSB had a format which is no longer in use. It played “middle of the road” music, and had lots of news broadcasting. As FM radio began to dominate music broadcasting, (including WSB FM), the venerable AM station evolved (devolved) into a news-talk format. This is what you hear today.

HT to Peach Pundit. Pictures are from WSB, and ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.

Pie Are Round Cornbread Is Square

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 14, 2012

Today is 3-14. It is a monday, and 314 are the first three digits of pi (affectionately known as π ). It is a math thing, the number you multiply a diameter by to get the circumference. When your grammar school math teacher told you about π, she probably used 3.14, or 3 1/7. (PG went to school when Hewlett and Packard were still in the garage.)

You might also have heard the formula for the area of a circle, the racy π r squared . This means that you multiply π by the radius ( half the diameter, a line from the border to the center point), and then multiply the whole contraption by the radius again. The formula has a funny sound to it. Pie are not square, cornbread is square, pie are round. Like Sly Stone says, all the squares go home.

According to wikipedia, π seems to have been known as early as 1900 b.c. The pyramids of Egypt have a π based feature. The Greek letter π is the first letter of the Greek word περίμετρος (perimeter) . This was determined OTP.

The pyramid- π function is fairly simple. The total length of the four sides, at the base, will be the same as the height of the pyramid, times two, times π. PG likes to make model pyramids. They are 6″ tall, and the base sides are 9 3/8″. The combination of these four sides is 37 1/2″. If you multiply 6x2x3.14, you get 37.68″ The .18″ is because of a measuring error.

A lady named Eve Astrid Andersson has a page of her website dedicated to π. The only trivia question that PG understood was the first one…1. What is the formal definition of pi? …the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter // 3.14159 // the radius of a unit circle // the surface area of a sphere of diameter 22/7 // a delicious dessert, especially if it contains cherries.

There is the football cheer from M.I.T. ” Cosine, secant, tangent, sine 3.14159 // Integral, radical, u dv, slipstick, slide rule, MIT!”

In 1998 a movie titled π was released. It caused brain damage in 3.14% of those who saw it. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that 1998 = 666 x 3.

π has been calculated to over five million digits. The second part of this feature are a few of those numbers. There are 82 characters in each line. This feature shows π extended to 10,165 digits. This is .02% of five million. The pictures today are from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”. This is a repost.

4419735685481613611573525521334757418494684385233239073941433345477624168625189835 6948556209921922218427255025425688767179049460165346680498862723279178608578438382

Revelations Revealed

Posted in Religion by chamblee54 on March 13, 2012

When a new book about religion comes out, the author inevitably pays tribute to mammon. The text must be promoted. Talk shows, print interviews, bookstore appearances… it is part of the game. You render unto Caesar, even when you  say Julius is one of the seven beasts. Which is  what Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation says.

Elaine Pagels is a professor at Princeton University. She appeared on “Fresh Air”, an NPR show hosted by Terry Gross. The web broadcast of the interview is sponsored by America’s Natural Gas Alliance. The listener is encouraged to go to a website, and hear the good news about fracking.

As you might guess from the title, the book is about Revelations. The last book in the New Testament, Revelations is a favorite of those who claim to see the future. According to Dr. Pagels, the book is about the past. .

GROSS:So what do we know about who wrote Revelation and when it was written?

PAGELS:(spell check suggestions:PANELS, PAGERS, BAGELS) Most people who look at this history think that the author – he calls himself John of Patmos, that’s his name – that John was a refugee from the Jewish war that had just destroyed his homeland, Judea. And the center of that whole territory, which was Jerusalem, the Temple of Jerusalem, had been utterly leveled by the Romans in response to a Jewish rebellion against the Roman Empire. So I don’t think we understand this book until we realize that it’s wartime literature. It comes out of that war, and it comes out of people who have been destroyed by war.

As you might imagine, John of Patmos is not fond of the Romans. They sent 60,000 soldiers to his home, and tore up the place.

GROSS: You consider the book of Revelation anti-Roman propaganda. Would you explain why?

PAGELS: Yes, the book of Revelation speaks about the great scarlet beast with seven heads and seven crowns, but it’s a very thinly disguised metaphor or image for the ruling power of Rome, and probably the seven heads of the beast, most people think, represent the emperors from the dynasty of Julius Caesar, Augustus and Tiberius, Claudius and so forth, up to the time John was writing at the end of the first century. So this is – on one level it’s anti-Roman propaganda that’s drawn from the language of Israel’s prophets to say that God is going to  avenge the nations that destroy his people.

GROSS: So 666, the name of the beast – many scholars, including you, think that that refers to Nero, the emperor, the Roman emperor. What would the connection be?

PAGELS: Yes, John says that the beast, whose identity he doesn’t say explicitly, perhaps because it’s quite dangerous to speak openly against Rome, he says the beast has a human number, and the number is 666. And this is a reference to the technique of calculating numbers and letters so that you can take anyone’s name and you have a numerical value of each letter. You add those up, or you multiply them in complicated ways, and you find out what the name is that’s represented by that mysterious number. Many people have worked it out that it could well be the imperial name of Nero, who was notoriously thought of as the worst emperor. Or it could be the name of Domitian, who was actually ruling when John was writing. John would have wanted his readers to understand that – that that number, which is couched in that kind of mysterious code, would be understood to his readers as the name of one of those emperors who had destroyed his people.

John of Patmos has other issues. In the early days of Christianity, there were disputes about the direction of the new religion. (Arguably, Christianity did not exist when Revelations was written.) Some wanted to new movement to stay within Judaism, and follow the laws of that religion. Others wanted to spread the “good news” to gentiles, and not be picky about what they ate. John of Patmos seems to be in the Jews only camp. This might explain some of his stories. 

The book of Revelations  included in the Bible was controversial. As the Roman Empire converted to Christianity, some of the prophecies were thought to have not taken place. As Dr. Pagels tells the story, an influential cleric liked Revelations. The decision was made to include it in the Bible, and to leave other books of prophecy out.

PAGELS: The Revelation of Zostrianos talks about a young man who is in despair because he can’t find any understanding of reality, he can’t make any sense of the world. He goes into depression and despair, decides to kill himself, and goes out to do it. And suddenly a divine being, a blazing light appears and says, have you gone crazy? And then he says he received internally a revelation. He says that I realized that the light within me was greater than the darkness.

Dr. Pagels has one possible explanation for the continued popularity of Revelations.

GROSS: So no matter what you’re doing, you can see yourself as the force of good and your opponent as the force of evil.

PAGELS:` Of course, because if you read it as John intended you to read it, you think God is on our side, we of course are on the side of good. Now, we could be, say, Lutherans fighting against the Catholic Church, we could be Catholics fighting against Lutherans. This is, you know, 1,500 years later. It could be people fighting against Muslims. It could be Muslims contending against, you know, the great Satan of the West. Those images have proved enormously powerful. What I found so remarkable, Terry, is the way that people on both sides of a conflict could read that same book against each other. For example, in the Civil War, people in the North were reading John’s prophecies, they’re reading the Civil War with the terrible destruction of that war as God’s judgment for America’s sin of slavery. “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” resounds with all of those imageries of the book of Revelation. People on the South, in the Confederacy, were also using the book of Revelation, seeing the war as the battle of Armageddon at the end time and using it against the North. And that’s the way it was read in World War II. That’s the way it was read even in the war in Iraq.

Jesus has inspired both sides in many conflicts. Joseph Kony and Invisible Children both draw inspiration from Jesus, who is probably embarrassed.

Dr. Pagels says Christians frequently think she is misguided. One example of this would be saintbubba. (spell check suggestion:paintbrush) He wrote his amazon book review after hearing the NPR interview.

Just heard her on NPR, March 7, 2012 saintbubba
I just finished listening to the author on NPR discussing this book, for a person who is a professor of religious studies I don’t know if she has even read or understood any of the new testament…in her discussion she stated that it was the apostle Paul that came up with the idea of preaching and accepting non-Jews (gentiles) to the church…Jesus clearly preaches and accepts the woman at the well who was not a professing Jew…and was by her own admission living outside of the will of God…she pushes the idea that there was a Gospel according to Paul, a Gospel according to John and a Gospel according to Jesus…the fact is that all of the Gospels and the people who wrote them agree with one another…which is amazing because they were written at different times and locations….if the opinions of the author were true the Bible would have been refuted a thousand years ago…on the subject of the book of revelation I think there is much to be learned and discussed about it…but I don’t see the value of reading something with such a difficult topic when the author doesn’t seem to even have a clear understanding of the basics of the Bible..too bad because the subject manner is interesting…

Pictures today are from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”

Truman Capote

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on March 12, 2012

Truman Capote was a phenomenon of the TV talk show era. If he hadn’t existed, someone would have had to invent him. He was known as much for his sissy voice as his writing. Becoming famous in the late forties for “Other Voices, Other Rooms”, he worked on a screenplay for “Beat the Devil”. When he met the men accused of killing the Clutter family in Kansas, he impressed one by telling him he worked on a movie with Humphrey Bogart. These chats led to the book “In Cold Blood”, which was probably his biggest triumph. He also wrote “Breakfast at Tiffanys”, which became a movie starring Audrey Hepburn.

He was on the Dick Cavett Show the same night as Georgia Governor Lester Maddox. After Maddox got offended and walked off the show, Mr.Capote remembered the time he ate at Maddox’s Pickrick restaurant.
“All I can say is that it wasn’t finger licking good”.
Mr. Capote was the darling of certain New York socialites. They unwisely told him some stories about their lives. In 1975 Esquire magazine published “La Côte Basque 1965”. It was a chapter from “Answered Prayers”, the book he received a large advance for and took his time writing. ( It was finally published three years after his death) .The chapter published told some sordid tales about his jet set friends, who immediately ostracized him. It was a stepping stone on his road to ruin.

One chapter of “Answered Prayers” involves a dinner party in New York. Three of the guests were Dorothy Parker, Tallulah Bankhead, and Montgomery Clift. The evening never got past the cocktail hour, much to the distress of the hostess. At one point, Miss Parker was tenderly touching the face of Mr. Clift. She purred “He’s so beautiful,sensitive. So finely made. The most beautiful young man I have ever seen. What a pity he’s a cocksucker. Oh Oh, dear, have I said something wrong. I mean, he is a cocksucker, isn’t he Tallulah? Miss Bankhead replied ” Well d-d-darling, I r-r-really wouldn’t know. He’s never sucked my cock.”

In the spring of 1976, Mr. Capote gave a speech at the University of Georgia. At the time, there was a comic strip called “Don Q”, which has long been forgotten. It showed people in medieval clothes making comments on current affairs. On the day of the speech, the comic featured two characters. One was Richard Nixon. The other was as lisping little man, apparently based on Truman Capote.

The scene that evening was magic. The lecture was given on the steps of Memorial Hall, with the audience in the quadrangle in front of Reed Hall. Mr. Capote’s contract specified a pink spotlight, and a wicker chair behind the podium. Mr. Capote spoke for a while, and read a section out of “A Christmas Memory”. After a break, he returned to answer questions. The questions were written on file cards, and read by a student. The last one, and the one the reader said best typified the attitude of the evening, was ” What does Johnny Carson look like in person?”

After this, Mr. Capote asked for questions from the crowd. PG raised my hand, and Mr. Capote pointed to him.
“Mr. Capote, did you see the comic strip Don Q this morning?” “No, what was it about?” ” It was about you, and Richard Nixon” “I don’t know who Don Q is, and I am beginning to not know who Richard Nixon is.”
Mr. Capote went downhill from this point on. He did a series of profiles for “Interview” magazine, which formed the basis of his last book ” Music for Chameleons”. His drinking and drug taking, always a problem, got worse. He became an embarrassment to those who once flocked to his side.

Truman Capote died in 1984.

Whenever you discuss Jack Kerouac, there is a quote by Truman Capote that gets mentioned. “That’s not writing, that’s typing”. PG thought a trip to Google city would help to show a bit of context on that quote. The first page of results, only, rule will be enforced here. The context of the original remains a mystery. ( Hey, maybe someone else made it up, and said that Capote said it. The ladies who lunch are not that clever, but Capote had big ears.)

There is a review of Going Rogue with the title, “That’s not writing, that’s someone else typing”. The nit picker has the audacity to say that the P lady gave a ghostwriter some tapes, and went off to hunt endangered species. A commenter observes “at some point in her book tour, someone will ask her a question that she won’t be able to answer because she won’t be familiar with what’s in her own book.” This post advertises downloading audio books, and copping grant money.

The Chicago Reader advertises teeth whitening chemicals with the post “That’s Not Writing, It’s Typing” It seems that someone is trashing today’s internet generation, with it’s tweets and blogs that say nothing, by comparing them to the product of Jack Kerouac. The money quote: “Kerouac survives because he (allegedly) wrote great works; the insufferable logorrhea the Beats inspired biodegrades in niche bookstores because, sensibly, nobody reads it. The Web makes things worse only in the sense that it democratically preserves the crap alongside the genius. Even more so than libraries!”

You probably know what is coming next. Yes, there is a blog titled That’s Not Writing, That’s Typing . It is written in Australia, and last had a post in 2007. The next to last post was about a trip to Dubai, and has a picture of a large hookah.

The results are a bit better at Writingortyping . It has been updated in 2011, and the lady knows how to write. Here is an example: “Overheard at our house, French steampunk edition… September 30, 2010 By Jill… Me: “So remember that trailer of that French steampunk film I showed you earlier this year?” John: “Yeah – I think so.” Me: “Well, apparently it was only in theatres on limited release and isn’t on DVD in the States at all.” John: “So, New York and L.A. basically.” Me: “Yeah probably.” John: “And Northern Maine.”

There are two sites for Truman Capote quotes They do not provide any more information about this quote, other than to repeat it. Mr. Capote was a clever man, who would be a challenge for Mr. Kerouac in a drinking contest. Mr. Capote also said “Mick Jagger is about as sexy as a pissing toad.” Brainy quotes sells digital speed plans and blackberries. There are links to quotes from “your favorite authors”, including Marilyn Monroe, Buddha, and Muhammad Ali.

The top result for *the phrase* is perhaps the most true to the style of Mr. Kerouac. It was written 27 days before 911 by Jonah Goldberg, of all people. He is trying to make it to a wedding, where he will play the underrated role of groom. He wants to get his dress shoes before he leaves town, because asking for “black loafers” in a Montana truck stop might lead to unexpected adventure. Being a thoughtful conservative, he makes the case that government intervention makes poor people poorer. The piece is written in a deadline driven frenzy, with jokes about black loafers and Truman Capote. The header ad is for Grove City College, and the Wall Street Journal.

Part two of this feature is a repost Pictures are from The Library of Congress