27 July 2008

Slightly more unhappiest

Flooding has forced the evacuation of Moldova’s leisure zone. Moldova’s dehumanizing low wage industrial work zone and its Kafkaesque bureaucratic paper shuffling zone are on high ground, and should not be affected by the rising waters.

26 July 2008

Aphorisms found in an 18th Century fencing manual

“In offending to be defended, and in defending to be in an immediate Condition to offend.”

“There is the Foreseen, and the Unforeseen; the Foreseen is the Effect of the Understanding and of the Will, and the Unforeseen is the Effect of the Discernment of the Eye, and of Custom.”

“To be in Possession of what you know, you must be in Possession of yourself.”

“To know what you risque, you must know what you are worth.”

“Endeavour both to discover the Enemy's Design, and to conceal your own.”

“The Beauty of an Assault appears in the Execution of the Design.”

“Be always cautious, Time lost cannot be regained.”
 - from The Art of Fencing; or the Use of the Small-sword, by Monsieur L'Abbat, Master of the Art of Fencing at the Academy of Toulouse. Translated by Andrew Mahon, Professor of the small sword, Dublin.

25 July 2008

Know your Diogeneses

Diogenes of Sinope (b. 404 BC). Also known as Diogenes the Dog, or Cynic. Philosopher, jester, public nuisance. Student of Antisthenes. Sometimes slept in an empty wine vat. Coined the term cosmopolitan, announcing “I am a citizen of the world.”

Diogenes Laërtius (3rd Cent. AD). Biographer of Greek philosophers. Author of Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers.

Diogenes of Apollonia (c. 460 BC). Natural philosopher. Observed drunks act stupid and wine is wet; concluded moisture inhibits the mind. Observed plants are stupid; pointed out plants are full of moisture. Observed infants are angry and stupid. Did you know the typical baby goes through 8 to 12 diapers a day?

06 July 2008

He be an honest angler

Every 5th of July my grandfather and I put on our finest suits and go fishing in the pond in the woods in back of his house.

I don’t know why we do this; it has been the tradition between grandfathers and grandsons in our family for as long as anyone can remember.

The pond is odd. No one knows how it was formed. It has a diameter of 8 feet and is, as far as those who have examined it can tell, precisely circular in circumference. An attempt to determine its depth with a drop line was abandoned at 400 feet. The sides of the pond are like dark green glass. Local Indians and wildlife avoid it.

This year I didn’t catch anything, but Grandfather sure reeled in a big one: