Speaker for the Diodes

Jul. 13th, 2007

05:28 am - QotD

"I have a grown daughter that I raised with another woman. When she was four, we left her one afternoon with my parents to go shopping. My Baptist father usually slept afternoons away on the couch while my far more progressive mother delighted in children. Upon our return, I opened the door to hear our daughter saying 'Yeah, he only hangs out with guys and wears a dress? Plus that long hair? Never got married? I just figured it out one day: Jesus is a Radical Fairy.'

"My father was sitting bolt upright, his eyes bulging. My mother was doing her best to keep from collapsing in hysterics. I rushed in to hush my daughter, but my mother said 'Don't you dare.' She repeated to my daughter, 'Radical Fairy?' And the child says 'Yeah, not like Bert and Ernie. They're more like preppie gay guys.'"

Maggie Jochild, 2007-07-01 (one of many people responding to a contest for stories of children embarassing their parents (thanks to [info] realinterrobang pointing out the collection))

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Jul. 12th, 2007

05:28 am - QotD

"Walking down a path between a forest and a high-grass meadow one bright day in late June, hundreds of grasshoppers leap out of your path at every step. The high grass to one side is alive with the sounds of grasshoppers leaping and falling, almost like the sound of steady rain on your car roof. They are all so busy.

"And you realize: Everything alive is so fully busy living. It is only us humans that make such a... a production of it."

[info] silmaril, 2007-07-02

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Jul. 11th, 2007

05:30 am - QotD

"I have been complaining about this for ages. Religious issues aside, it is positively criminal to ruin the cadence of another person's poem like that." -- [info]viaticus, 2005-09-20, on the subject of the phrase "under God" being added to the Pledge of Allegiance on 1954-06-14. (The Pledge was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy.)

Note that a similar complaint could be made about the change in 1923-1924 to replace "my Flag" with "the Flag of the United States of America."

Note also that today is the anniversary of "In God We Trust" being added to US currency, in 1955.

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Jul. 10th, 2007

05:28 am - QotD

"The more he watched churches, the more they seemed like living creatures with personalities. There were stone churches on the corners of older neighborhoods, some of them erected in the 19th century. Their solidity seemed to transcend movement and change, as if ancient hammers had pounded them into place to keep the town from blowing away like a tarp in the wind." -- Real Live Preacher (Gordon Atkinson), 207-06-27 (RLP has a syndicated feed on LJ as preachermanfeed; I haven't gotten around to checking whether RSS feeds have already been configured at GJ, IJ, or Blurty)

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Jul. 9th, 2007

05:28 am - QotD

"I find the whole 'thought crime on the web' trend frightening [...] this is a free speech matter. Heck, this is even a free MIND matter." -- [info] pattytoo, June 2007 (locked entry, quoted with permission)

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Jul. 8th, 2007

05:28 am - QotD

From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2005-06-11:

"The audience and the director, it's an S&M relationship, and the audience is the M. It's exciting!" -- Quentin Tarantino, writer and director, in an article published in the October 20, 2003 issue of The New Yorker.
(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)

[This is similar to something I've said for years about the relationship between performer and audience, at least for live performance, except that there are elements of both roles simultaneously for the performer.]

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Jul. 7th, 2007

05:28 am - QotD

"Don't ever become a pessimist... a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events." -- Robert A. Heinlein (b. 1907-07-07, d. 1988-05-08)

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Jul. 6th, 2007

05:28 am - QotD

"I'm not the Beatles. I'm me. Paul isn't the Beatles ... The Beatles are the Beatles. Separately, they are separate." -- John Lennon

"The hardest act to follow is yourself." -- Paul McCartney

[And a bit of trivia: according to either Wikipedia or the BSD system calendar files (I don't remember where the comment got into my QotD file from (nor how often anyone even notices the HTML comments)), it was fifty years ago today that John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met (and tomorrow is Ringo Starr's birthday).]

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Jul. 4th, 2007

05:28 am - QotD

"I confidently trust that the American people will prove themselves ... too wise not to detect the false pride or the dangerous ambitions or the selfish schemes which so often hide themselves under that deceptive cry of mock patriotism: 'Our country, right or wrong!' They will not fail to recognize that our dignity, our free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: 'Our country-when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right.'" -- Senator Carl Schurz, "The Policy of Imperialism," Speeches, Correspondence and Political Papers of Carl Schurz, vol. 6, pp. 119-20 (1913). ( thanks to [info] bunnyjadwiga, from whom I copied this entry)

[And to all of my countrymen, a glorious Independence Day!]

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Jul. 3rd, 2007

05:28 am - QotD

"It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America." -- Molly Ivins (via Jone Johnson Lewis' collection of quotations on about.com)

Bonus quote in honour of the speaker's 70th birthday: "I write plays because dialogue is the most respectable way of contradicting myself." -- Tom Stoppard, quoted in The New Yorker 1977-12-19

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Jul. 2nd, 2007

05:28 am - QotD

"Authority under law must, I know, be respected as the foundation of society and as the protection of peace. The extension of state power, however, into every phase of man's life and thought is the abuse of authority, the destroyer of freedom, and the enemy of real peace." -- Lester Bowles Pearson (b. 1897-04-23, d. 1972-12-27), 14th Prime Minister of Canada (1963-1968), in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, 1957

[And a happy Canada Day to my Canadian readers! I actually stumbled across this quote while searching for something QotD-worthy about the phrase "Peace, Order, and Good Government". I was about to use:

"Indeed, the phrase 'peace, order and good government' has become meaningful to Canadians and defines Canadian values in a way that is comparable to 'liberté, égalité, fraternité' in France or 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' in the United States. It is a phrase that truly articulates the journey toward peaceful accommodation throughout Canada's evolution as a nation." -- from "Canadians and Their Government: A Resource Guide"

until I read a little farther down the page and saw the Pearson quote.]

[Also, a happy birthday to a beloved college friend who I know sometimes reads this -- hello, Barbara!]

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Jul. 1st, 2007

05:28 am - QotD

From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2005-06-06:

"The U.K. is a European Quebec, and France is like Ontario in Canada. It is quite an irony, isn't it?" -- John Erik Fossum, a political theorist at the Centre for European Studies in Oslo. Quoted in "Europe's suddenly a lot like Canada", The Globe and Mail, 31 May, 2005.
(submitted to the mailing list by Duffy O'Craven)

[And a very happy 140th anniversary to my friends up north! Have I got it right, that the holiday celebrating the anniversary is tomorrow 'cause today's a Sunday?]

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Jun. 30th, 2007

05:28 am - QotD

"I don't think these nut jobs, with their movie-plot threats, even deserve the moniker 'terrorist.' But in this country, while you have to be competent to pull off a terrorist attack, you don't have to be competent to cause terror. All you need to do is start plotting an attack and -- regardless of whether or not you have a viable plan, weapons or even the faintest clue -- the media will aid you in terrorizing the entire population.

[...]

"Following one of these abortive terror misadventures, the administration invariably jumps on the news to trumpet whatever ineffective 'security' measure they're trying to push, whether it be national ID cards, wholesale National Security Agency eavesdropping or massive data mining. Never mind that in all these cases, what caught the bad guys was old-fashioned police work -- the kind of thing you'd see in decades-old spy movies."

-- Bruce Schneier, "Portrait of the Modern Terrorist as an Idiot", 2007-06-14 [Note: original contains several links to other essays (and, in other sections than what I've quoted, news articles) providing additional background.]

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Jun. 29th, 2007

05:28 am - QotD

"You can look at practically any part of anything manmade around you and think 'some engineer was frustrated while designing this.' It's a little human connection." -- Randall Munroe, xkcd, 2007-06-15 (Nota bene: Always hover -- or click "view image properies" or whatever it takes in your browser -- to read the Title string on the xkcd cartoons. This quote is the Title string for the image linked to.) [ Thanks to [info] silmaril for pointing it out (though I really ought to just add xkcd to my "check every day" list of webcomics...)]

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Jun. 28th, 2007

05:28 am - QotD

"Combatting hate with love is not an action that comes naturally. And OMG, it is not easy. But it is the best thing to do - not just in a self-congratulatory way, but in the fact that it is the only practical defense we have. Hate must be opposed by something other than hate; otherwise, the battle's lost." -- [info] scooterbird, 2007-05-16

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Jun. 27th, 2007

05:28 am - QotD

another interesting paragraph )

"The Christian bible is not, despite the claims of some fringe extremists, the literal dictated Word of G-D; but rather, the inspired or revealed word. This distinction is critical. It is the Word as filtered through human, and therefore imperfect, agents. This is the reason that non-Christians assume that the differences between the Gospels are errors, when in fact, they are simply differerences of perspective and empahsis between the various authors. It is an extension of the biblical legal principle of not accepting any claim unless it is supported by at least "two or three witnesses". Nowhere in scripture is it claimed to be literal. It is revealed through the Holy Spirit, and through the Spirit, the fundamental message is preserved through multiplication of witnesses and viewpoints. G-D never says that His literal word will endure unchanged, but that the Spirit will ensure that the message endures regardless of the method of transmission."

-- [info] luchog, 2007-06-04 (these paragraphs are part of a response spanning multiple comments)

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Jun. 26th, 2007

05:28 am - QotD

"I don't like not knowing about the subcultures I brush up with from time to time. As a result, I have a pretty in-depth understanding of all sorts of esoteric things- kind of like intellectual lint." -- [info] sunfell, 2007-06-03

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Jun. 25th, 2007

05:28 am - QotD

"[...] What the Romans were persecuting [early Christians] for was not their religion per se; it was sedition - see, these new cultists wouldn't sacrifice to the gods for the Emperor, an act which had a similar sort of standing to saying the Pledge of Allegiance or saluting the flag during the National Anthem in the US now. I mention this because it makes the flag-idolatry of a number of Religious Right groups deliciously ironic." -- [info] omorka, 2007-06-06

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Jun. 24th, 2007

05:28 am - QotD

From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2007-03-20:

"You can't steal a gift. Bird gave the world his music, and if you can hear it, you can have it." -- Dizzy Gillespie, consoling fellow musician Phil Woods after Woods had been criticized for "stealing" the music of Charlie "Bird" Parker. Cited in "You Can't Steal A Gift: Dizzy, Clark, Milt, And Nat" by Gene Lees, Yale University Press (2001).
(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)

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Jun. 23rd, 2007

05:28 am - QotD

[Alan Turing's birthday seemed an appropriate time two quote two fictional artificial intelligences discussing the design of their brains. :-)]

From the comic strip Freefall by Mark Stanley, 2007-05-30 -- engineer Florence Ambrose, a first-generation genetically-engineered "Bowman's Wolf" is describing her creator:

Florence Ambrose: "I'd love to say [Doctor Bowman] is a great human being, but he's been described as rude, arrogant, prone to act without considering the risks, and having a foul temper. On the plus side, he made sure our brains would have the self-control he knew he lacked."

AB2Y (a robot): "That does not make me happy. But for maximum flexibility ... a jerk with a conscience is not a bad starting point."

[For the immediate context of the conversation, you probably want to go back to 2007-04-09, but if you're not familiar with the strip, the larger context is really set up in the strips from 2002-11-18 to 2002-12-06. Some of us readers have been waiting quite a while for Mr. Stanley to give us more of the pieces to the puzzle introduced then.]

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