I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

March 14, 2013 - 1:39 p.m.


Oh no, I'm really short on time. I have lots of work to do but not for school. I have to set up two event pages for people. If Facebook wasn't making things hard it would be simple but they of course do make things hard. The event photo used to be square in both the thumbnail and the event page. Now the aspect ratio is 8:3 (landscape) on the page but square in the thumbnail. It is not easy to make a photo work right in both cases. As I've become someone expert in Facebook events I have been thinking about volunteering to be part of a workshop on social media at next year's NERFA.

I'm going to a house concert today in Hastings. I have to catch a 4:30 train. I won't have much time after class to do the work. I'll be getting there well before the show starts. I hope I can get it done at Peter's house then. I will not have time now.

A student gave me a headache after class today. He missed a few days and got the test back last class. Today he was arguing about all the questions he got wrong. I told him that I dont' argue how many points I take off. He said he didn't want to do that just know the right answers. He then proceeded to argue about how many points I took off on every question. Then he argued that he wasn't arguing. Then he argued that he wasn't arguing about arguing. I was pretty much ready to kill him. Here's a tip for all teachers, when a student says "Technically" just stop the conversation there. He or she is trying to say, "I know this isn't right but you should give me credit anyway. It's like my joke from the high school English Regents. The way they would give spelling on a test without someone reading the words aloud is by giving four words with the instructions, "one of the following words is misspelled. Spell it correctly. I argued (jokingly), you could make every answer c-a-t because technically whatever they gave wasn't the correct spelling of cat. That is pretty much what he did. The question was on rationalizing the denominator and what he did was write it as an exponent. We did a large number of exactly those kinds of questions in class and homework so there was no excuse for not knowing what was wanted. He didn't do any of the correct steps in answering the question but wanted credit for obfuscating that he didn't know what to do. He wouldnt take 'no" for an answer. It would be OK for me kill him, right? When you tease a tiger you have to expect to be mauled.

Another student made me very happy. She had missed the test because she had the flu. She took it today after class. She did great. I have one more good student! She also fit the pattern of the women doing either very well or very poorly, The class mean and median are now both 62. I thought the median would be higher as there are very low grades including a 6. But I guess the very good grades counter them.

I forgot to say something about last night's On Your Radar. I loved the mix of the music. Bobtown, Carolyn Waters, and Jon Brooks all appeal to different parts of my brain But there is also a unity, none of them jar with the others. It's like the old Fillmore shows where they'd throw together such varied musicians.

I have to go and didn't get to what I wanted to write about. I'll make it very brief. This year I rebelled and denounced calling today, 3/14 pi day. If it were three fourteenth it would be better as 3/14 doesn't even look like 3.14. More importantly Pi isn't 3.14 that's just the first three digits of the decimal that goes on forever. It isn't even that it is inaccurate. It isn't even that it fosters the misconception that pi is 3.14 or maybe 3.1416 or whatever approximation your teacher taught you. It's that it is totally devoid of meaning. It's nothing but a silly coincidence. If one person made the joke I'd probably laugh or at least smile. But making it a big deal that I see on everyone's FB page is ridiculous.

No what is important about 3/14 having the same digits as 3.14, it's a good mnemonic for remembering Einstein's Birthday. Now that's important. He is my hero of heroes. That is not something I have to think about. It isn't something that depends on my mood. It doesn't change from year to year. He's been my hero since elementary school. I'm pretty sure he'll remain my hero till I die. He got everything right. He was the consummate scientist and he did it the way I like, with brilliant flashes of intuition. His personality was funny and humble. Being universally acclaimed the greatest scientist, being THE Scientist never went to his head. His politics was right. He fought for the right causes. I just found out today he was a member of the NAACP. He said, "Race prejudice has unfortunately become an American tradition which is uncritically handed down from one generation to the next. The only remedies are enlightenment and education." He asked that his ashes be put someone secret so it wouldnt become a shrine.

OK now a quick prep for class and lunch.

I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.

Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
Wise Madness is Now In Session - May 28, 2018
The NFL and the First Amendment - May 27, 2018
On The Road Again - May 26, 2018
Oliver the Three-Eyed Crow - May 25, 2018

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Horvendile March 14, 2013
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