Night Music: You Really Got MeJune 30, 2022
Dinner Tonight #78June 29, 2022
This — New Orleans style barbecue shrimp — may not look very exciting, but it was really tasty! Served with rice and a cucumber/strawberry salad.
Image: Greenspace #3June 29, 2022
Night Music: Always On My MindJune 28, 2022
Happy Tau Day!June 28, 2022
I have for many years enjoyed celebrating each 14th March as Pi Day, in honour of pi = 3.14…. However, I have been persuaded that Tau Day is at least as important if not more so.
The value of Tau = 2pi and is thus celebrated on 28th June (6.28). Why this is important is explained in this good short piece from ScienceNews.
“The simplest way to see the failure of pi is to consider angles, which in mathematics are typically measured in radians. Pi is the number of radians in half a circle, not a whole circle. That makes things confusing: For example, the angle at the tip of a slice of pizza — an eighth of a pie — isn’t π/8, but π/4. In contrast, using tau, the pizza-slice angle is simply τ/8. Put another way, tau is the number of radians in a full circle.
That factor of two is a big deal. Trigonometry — the study of the angles and lines found in shapes such as triangles — can be a confusing whirlwind for students, full of blindly plugging numbers into calculators. That’s especially true when it comes to sine and cosine, two important functions in trigonometry. Many trigonometry problems involve calculating the sine or cosine of an angle. When graphed, the two functions look like a series of wiggles, shaped a bit like an “S” on its side, that repeat the same values every 2π. That means pi covers only half of an S. Tau, on the other hand, covers the full wiggle, a more intuitive measure.”
So, Happy Tau Day to you all!
100 Years Ago TodayJune 27, 2022
I would wager this house is still there, but the price may be a touch higher.
Image: Two CyclistsJune 27, 2022
Happy Birthday, Wobblies!June 27, 2022
Today is the 117th anniversary of the founding convention of the Industrial Workers of the World (the I.W.W.)
The I.W.W. was, and is, an industrial or class union aimed at unifying the working class under the slogan “an injury to one is an injury to all.” The One Big Union was in direct opposition to the trades unions that seek to divide workers into narrow crafts.
The Wobblies were founded by some of the great people of the labour movement — heroes such as Big Bill Heywood, Daniel de Leon, Eugene Debs, Mary other Jones, and so many others. The Constitution they struck was a marvelous call to arms:
“The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of the working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things of life.
Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the means of production, abolish the wage system, and live in harmony with the Earth.
We find that the centering of the management of industries into fewer and fewer hands makes the trade unions unable to cope with the ever growing power of the employing class. The trade unions foster a state of affairs which allows one set of workers to be pitted against another set of workers in the same industry, thereby helping defeat one another in wage wars. Moreover, the trade unions aid the employing class to mislead the workers into the belief that the working class have interests in common with their employers.
These conditions can be changed and the interest of the working class upheld only by an organization formed in such a way that all its members in any one industry, or in all industries if necessary, cease work whenever a strike or lockout is on in any department thereof, thus making an injury to one an injury to all.
Instead of the conservative motto, “A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work,” we must inscribe on our banner the revolutionary watchword, “Abolition of the wage system.” It is the historic mission of the working class to do away with capitalism.
Poem: From Here To ThereJune 27, 2022
the wind wound round my legs,
changed direction, wiping my face
with a salty slap as it whistled away.
I veered with it, swinging south
along the strand, grinding my heels
into the beach to stand my ground
against the tempest’s growing bloom.
And though I’ve felt the lash
of fortune’s back of hand before,
never before did I assume the depths
of despair I felt that day. No,
not even close. I looked ahead
as best I could through the spray
that pebble-dashed my view.
The future spread before me,
flat as prairie, expressionless, gray
and drab, devoid of interest, latent or
exposed. I sighed the sigh of the
homeless man; then,
like a seasoning sapling,
I bent with the rain and trudged
on to Desolation Sound.
Night Music: Another Bolero Flash MobJune 26, 2022
Happy Birthday, Son!June 26, 2022
Image: Library Exterior #1June 25, 2022
In Praise of Emergency ServicesJune 25, 2022
Not long after going to bed last night, I suffered from a major low blood sugar event. I have had these before and keep glucose gels handy for just such an eventuality. However, last night, my wife was unable to revive me and could not get me to swallow the gel. She called emergency services.
By the time I was conscious of my surroundings there were five medical staff from the local fire hall attending in my bedroom along with two paramedics, and with another two apparently on standby. The whole crew helped to bring me around, and the two paramedics stayed for about an hour to make sure I was safe.
We kind of expect them to know what they are doing medically, and they sure do. But over and above all that, their attitude, as I have witnessed before in earlier incidents, was one of humour and courtesy and kindness and a constant desire to help.
With all the news stories circulating these days about wait times and service delays with emergency services in BC, I believe it is important to recognize these folks for the guardian angels they usually are. And I know that I am able to write this today only because they were they were there to help when my wife and I needed it.
Night Music: No RegretsJune 24, 2022
Learning to Appreciate Gertrude SteinJune 23, 2022
I have been someone who admired the idea of Gertrude Stein from afar; I’m sure I read some Stein decades ago but really was too lazy to work my way through her word soup of a style. However there is an article this month on JSTOR Daily that helps me have a better understanding of this fountainhead of modernism.
“The work of … Gertrude Stein is at times puzzling, but always delightful because language becomes a playground, a landscape populated with metallic swings which sway sideways; monkey bars with labyrinthine constructions; everything necessarily, and properly, out of joint, like Hamlet’s time/sense. Stein warps reality to give us a taste—or perhaps an impression of—beginning and beginning again, but from different points within the Venn diagram of paragraphically rich distortions.”
The author links Stein’s modernism with one of my favourite genres, the detective story. Stein
“believed that detective fiction—in the American tradition of Dashiell Hammett … could lay the groundwork for a new type of fiction. Stein was a modernist in that very modernist way of not being easy to read, or to understand, whose works fractured narrative expectation from word one.”
A good brief history of Stein’s work and its intermingling with the development of noir and early sci-fi makes this a worthwhile read.
Image: Family At BeachJune 23, 2022
Night Music: Against All OddsJune 22, 2022
Image: CA 7June 21, 2022
Night Music: Oye Como VaJune 20, 2022
Wise WordsJune 20, 2022
The plural of anecdote is not data.