Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Accomplished in Steps*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:09 PM

See also Harvard ex-president Faust on Hogwarts
and (like the above photo, also on Aug. 13) 

* See previous instances of the title in this journal.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

For Law Day

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Harvard Gazette , March 4th, 2013:

"Winfrey will speak on May 30 during Commencement day’s
Afternoon Exercises, which serve as the annual meeting of
the Harvard Alumni Association. The exercises will take place
in the Tercentenary Theatre of Harvard Yard,
between Memorial Church and Widener Library."

On the 1977 Octavia Butler novel Mind of My Mind :

"The first chapter in a history that Butler has already taken up
at a much later stage in Patternmaster  (1976).
Mind of My Mind  begins with Doro, a ruthless mutant
as old as the pyramids who has spent the last 4,000 years
trying to breed a race in his own image. The culminating
experiment is his daughter Mary. But, to Doro's astonishment,
Mary's first instinct on attaining her full powers is to begin
building a mental community— a Pattern— out of the
wretched thousands of Doro's half-telepathic failures
and partial successes. Despite some ragged moments,
Butler is clearly on to a promising vein— something like
Zenna Henderson's 'People' stories without their
saccharine silliness. There's a lot of intrinsic energy in the
Pattern idea, and one wants to see where this erratic, gifted
storyteller will pick it up next."

Kirkus Reviews , Vol. XLV, No. 8 (1977), p. 453.

See this journal on Butler's dies natalis , the feast of St. Matthias, 2006.

Those who prefer Eastern approaches to religion may consult
Robert Thurman and his daughter Uma.

"Oprah, Uma. Uma, Oprah." — David Letterman

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:48 AM

Death and the Compass  and The Library of Babel .

Related material in this journal—

Wag the Dogma and Widener.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Now, Here’s My Plan

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:04 PM

"Plan 9 is an operating system kernel but also a collection of accompanying software."

Webpage pointed out by the late Dennis Ritchie,
     father of the programming language C
     and co-developer of Unix, who reportedly died on October 8.

From Ritchie's own home page

"A brief biography, in first person instead of obituary style."

From that biography—

"Today, as a manager of a small group of researchers, I promote exploration of distributed operating systems, languages, and routing/switching hardware. The recent accomplishments of this group include the Plan 9 operating system…."

Another operating system is that of Alfred Bester.
My laptop now includes his classic The Stars My Destination ,
downloaded this morning…

(Click to enlarge.)


Not much compared to Widener Library (see this morning's Lost Cornerstone),
but sufficient for present purposes…

"Simple jaunt." — "The Comedian as the Letter C"

See also Plan 9 from Outer Space in this journal.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday September 7, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:16 PM
Pro Bono

Thanks to UD for her
notes on Sen. Joe Biden
as a teacher of
constitutional law
at Widener.

Related material:

Hitler’s Still Point,

U2’s Achtung Baby album —

U2's 'Achtung Baby' album
— and The Bangles’  
Different Light:

The Bangles' 'Different  Light' album

See also

“Oooh, oooh,
  (oooh) oooh”

— The Bangles,
September Gurls,”


Random Thoughts
for St. Patrick’s Eve.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday January 25, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:01 PM

Time and the River

Harvard Class of 1964
Twenty-fifth Anniversary Report:

"At this writing (November, '88), President-elect Bush has just announced his intention to name me to his Cabinet and to nominate me as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Given the state of play in Washington, I suppose I may find myself in premature retirement by the time this report is published.

That is not an entirely unattractive prospect. Kath (Kathleen Emmet, '64) and I live in an idyllic setting, overlooking the Little Falls of the Potomac, just twelve minutes upstream from the Capitol. She writes– she's now completing a book on American writers in Paris after World War II. Our children (Willy and Jonathan) do what healthy growing twelve- and seven-year-olds do. The river works its way peacefully over the falls and riffles around a woodsy island through the Chain Bridge narrows, and then on into the familar wide mud-basin of Washington– a wholly different world.

When I was an undergraduate, I asked all the adolescent questions. I still do: Why does the river flow the way it does? Why does one move downstream and back? The allure of such simple questions is as great for me today as when we talked of them so seriously and so long at the University Restaurant or the Casablanca, or on the steps of Widener. The only difference seems to be that I'm now a bit more willing to settle for answers that seem simpler, less profound, sometimes even trite. But only a bit."

— Richard Darman, who died today at 64

Monday, July 29, 2002

Monday July 29, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:34 PM

At Random

Today’s birthday: poet Stanley Kunitz 

“I’m Stanley Kunitz. I live in New York City. I published my first book of poems some 70 years ago. Back in 1926, I was roaming through the stacks of the Widener Library at Harvard. While I was walking through the section on English poetry of the 19th century, I just at random lifted my arm and picked a book off the shelf. It was… an author I was not familiar with, Gerard Manley Hopkins. The page that I turned to and began to read was a page devoted to a poem called “God’s Grandeur.” I couldn’t believe what I was reading when I opened this book and started reading that poem. It really shook me, because it was unlike anything else I had ever read before. When I started reading it, suddenly that whole book became alive to me. It was filled with such a lyric passion. It was so fierce and eloquent, wounded and yet radiant, that I knew that it was speaking directly to me and giving me a hint of the kind of poetry that I would be dedicated to for the rest of my life.”

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