Monthly Archives: September 2018
Secure voting machines? We don’t need no secure voting machines!
New study says we’ve been underestimating number of undocumented aliens
The usual reaction to an academic study that challenges the current paradigm (in any field) is skepticism and deferred judgment. The new study may be right but it won’t be accepted until other researchers have examined it, checked out its methodology, and seen if they can reproduce its results. So I’m reserving judgment on this.
Poem of the day
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)
The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,
Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
And after many a summer dies the swan.
Me only cruel immortality
Consumes; I wither slowly in thine arms,
Here at the quiet limit of the world,
A white-hair’d shadow roaming like a dream
The ever-silent spaces of the East,
Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.
Alas! for this gray shadow, once a man—
So glorious in his beauty and thy choice,
Who madest him thy chosen, that he seem’d
To his great heart none other than a God!
I ask’d thee, “Give me immortality.”
Then didst thou grant mine asking with a smile,
Like wealthy men who care not how they give.
But thy strong Hours indignant work’d their wills,
And beat me down and marr’d and wasted me,
And tho’ they could not end me left me maim’d
To dwell in presence of immortal youth,
Immortal age beside immortal youth,
And all I was in ashes. Can thy love
Thy beauty, make amends, tho’ even now,
Close over us, the silver star, thy guide,
Shines in those tremulous eyes that fill with tears
To hear me? Let me go: take back thy gift:
Why should a man desire in any way
To vary from the kindly race of men,
Or pass beyond the goal of ordinance
Where all should pause, as if most meet for all?
A soft air fans the cloud apart; there comes
A glimpse of that dark world where I was born.
Once more the old mysterious glimmer steals
From thy pure brows, and from thy shoulders pure,
And bosom beating with a heart renew’d.
Thy cheek begins to redden thro’ the gloom,
Thy sweet eyes brighten slowly close to mine,
Ere yet they blind the stars, and the wild team
Which love thee, yearning for thy yoke, arise,
And shake the darkness from their loosen’d manes,
And beat the twilight into flakes of fire.
Lo! ever thus thou growest beautiful
In silence, then before thine answer given
Departest, and thy tears are on my cheek.
Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy tears,
And make me tremble lest a saying learnt,
In days far-off, on that dark earth, be true?
“The Gods themselves cannot recall their gifts.”
Ay me! ay me! with what another heart
In days far-off, and with what other eyes
I used to watch (if I be he that watch’d)
The lucid outline forming round thee; saw
The dim curls kindle into sunny rings;
Changed with thy mystic change, and felt my blood
Glow with the glow that slowly crimson’d all
Thy presence and thy portals, while I lay,
Mouth, forehead, eyelids, growing dewy-warm
With kisses balmier than half-opening buds
Of April, and could hear the lips that kiss’d
Whispering I knew not what of wild and sweet,
Like that strange song I heard Apollo sing,
While Ilion like a mist rose into towers.
Yet hold me not for ever in thine East;
How can my nature longer mix with thine?
Coldly thy rosy shadows bathe me, cold
Are all thy lights, and cold my wrinkled feet
Upon thy glimmering thresholds, when the steam
Floats up from those dim fields about the homes
Of happy men that have the power to die,
And grassy barrows of the happier dead.
Release me, and restore me to the ground;
Thou seest all things, thou wilt see my grave:
Thou wilt renew thy beauty morn by morn;
I earth in earth forget these empty courts,
And thee returning on thy silver wheels.
Game of the week
International master Jean Hébert sacrifices his queen and secures an easy draw against future strong grandmaster (and World Champion candidate) Kevin Spraggett. Hébert then gets the win when Spraggett (possibly in time pressure, possibly trying to avoid the draw, possibly both) stumbles into a mating net.
Forward to the past!
An ugly history (here retold in some detail) threatens to repeat itself under a new conservative court.
The upcoming term that begins on Monday
Poem of the day
Soneto de Galatea
by Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)
Afuera el fuego, el lazo, el yelo y flecha
de amor, que abrasa, aprieta, enfría y hiere;
que tal llama mi alma no la quiere,
ni queda de tal ñudo satisfecha.
Consuma, ciña, yele, mate; estrecha
tenga otra la voluntad cuanto quisiere,
que por dardo, o por nieve, o red no’spere
tener la mía en su calor deshecha.
Su fuego enfriará mi casto intento,
el ñudo romperé por fuerza o arte,
la nieve deshará mi ardiente celo,
la flecha embotará mi pensamiento;
y así no temeré en segura parte
de amor el fuego, el lazo, el dardo, el yelo.