Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Quote of the day (forward-looking edition)

redbudsMeasure your health by your sympathy with morning and spring. If there is no response in you to the awakening of nature,—if the prospect of an early morning walk does not banish sleep, if the warble of the first bluebird does not thrill you,—know that the morning and the spring of your life are past. Thus may you feel your pulse.
Henry David Thoreau
Journal entry, February 25, 1859
(via the Thoreau blog)


It's just what we've come to expect from our leaders: when a scandal of neglect is revealed, their response is to punish the whistle-blowers and cut off media access. But all with the best interests of our troops at heart, of course...

(via Talking Points Memo)

Wednesday shrapnel

It's kind of a mixed bag of bits today, some that make you glad, others that make you want to bang your head against the wall. Typical of recent days...
Good news:
A federal court has ruled that bloggers cannot be held liable for the contents of comments left on their posts -- seems like a no-brainer to me, but it involves defining the two authors as separate "content providers" and working from there...

Bad news:
Not only is the Internet addicting, but it can kill you. eesh...
(via dailyKos)

Worse news:
Trying to get dental care through Medicaid is so difficult, that at least one boy died for lack of a pulled tooth. Note too that his original care would have cost $80, while the surgeries and emergency care after it was too late came closer to $250,000...
(via XOverboard = Some Guy with a Website)

Just realizing that you're getting exercise can help you lose weight. Score another one for the power of positive thinking...
(via Rebecca's Pocket)

Apparently unsatisfied with indefinite detentions of prisoners in remote facilities, we're now keeping a group of immigrants (many legal) in long-term confinement that, among other things, is leaving their children unschooled and/or without their families, and many families chronically undernourished. What are we becoming?!
(via Medley)

Potentially surprising:
Contrary to what conservative fear-mongers would have you believe, immigrants are statistically more law-abiding than those born here, and their presence actually raises local wages.

More of the same:
In the rush to support Bush's "surge," we're sending troops to Iraq without specialized desert training that was previously considered key to their success. As kos says, another blow to the "support the troops" refrain...

I always suspected

Abhorrent Creature of Madness

Get Your Monster Name

(via Medley, the Malevolant Evil Demon from the Legendary Enchanted Yonder)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I had my cake, but now she won't let me eat it!

A subset of men seem to think that feminism is to be blamed for all the ills of modern life, most explicitly the challenges to their own sense of worth and power. Amanda picks up a typical example (I was going to say "particularly egregious," but then I thought again) in which a guy is utterly emasculated when his wife's salary begins to exceed his own.
Money is a cold arbiter of power, and when a wife starts making more, both spouses may feel that the husband has somehow been demoted.
Rather than blame feminism for "warping" women's priorities away from feathering the nest into self-actualization, perhaps such gents should focus their ire on the patriarchal structure of our society, which provides men (as well as women) with such a narrow definition of worth that they are left "strangely fragile" in the face of the need for change and communication. As one commenter in this thread put it:
There needs to be some movement to support men in reclaiming their identity from belittling, dehumanizing stereotypes like this.

OH wait there is, they call it feminism.
femsignIndeed, feminism isn't about women hating on the menfolks; it's about breaking out of the rigid structures that our parents (and teachers and peers and media and...) have inflicted upon us, and deciding for ourselves what our aptitudes, interests, and general contributions to our families and to society should be. That the answer could be different for every individual (or couple, or family, or...) should be a source of joy, not terror!

(via Medley)

Monday, February 26, 2007

This rings obvious to me

It's never seemed right to me that "all carbs are bad" or "all fat must be avoided" or any of the extremes touted in various waves, not only because they are extreme (balanced diet, anyone?) but because it seems so unlikely that all body chemistries are the same and will respond the same to a range of foods. Never had anything spicey? it might give you indigestion, but leave your Indian neighbor feeling calm and happy. Those who've grown up on vegetarian diets often find the meat and dairy-heavy American diet takes a long time to adjust to, as the necessary enzymes come "on-line." When my g.i. tract acts up, it's a bowl of cereal that is the only guaranteed gentle meal, while others would claim themselves bloated or unhappy after the same. Neither of us are "wrong," just dealing with different chemistries and adaptations.

Anyway, all that was by way of introduction to a new Scientific American review of a new book that indicates that we actually absorb nutrients better from foods with which we are familiar and that we enjoy. Whether that's a side-effect of a happy mood or of the chemistry we've built up by prior exposure to those foods, it's evidence that we're just not all the same and should stop assuming that one-size-fits-all recommendations are reasonable.

(via Rebecca's Pocket)

Amazing if true

Not sure why this isn't getting more coverage on our side of the pond, but it's a pretty substantial development:
"There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran," a source with close ties to British intelligence said. "There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible."
There is a strain of military mores calling for resisting an unjust command. Guys who actually manage troops know what these ridiculous Bush ego trips are costing in actual human suffering...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Fun with graphics

Wow, Indexed is a blog that's made up of little graphs and venn diagrams done on index cards, some showing deep truths (see here or here) and others random silliness (try this or this). Brilliant. I'll have to visit again (as well as mining the archives).

And yes, it reminded me of the classic Cartoons Drawn on the Back of Business Cards as well.

(via Hugo Schwyzer, in a round-about way)

Update: heh, here's another good one... (ok, I'll leave you to surf for yourselves now)

Friday cat blogging, nostalgia edition

Looking back through all my old posts (for keyword purposes) triggered a wave of nostalgia, so it seemed appropriate to mine the kitten files for photos. Here are two of Pixel at around three months (so long ago!) looking cute and groggy in the spotlight in our family room...

Pixel the tiny queen
A great portrait by my father-in-law, with hints of the regal disdain to come...

Between games, lots of sleep.
(She was so dead to the world that we called her "the cutlet"...)

Previous Pixel blogging (in reverse order of appearance): 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, doh!, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, arrival, teaser, homepage

Tiny, tiny steps

femsignTake your victories where you can: Wimbledon will equalize prizes for men and women (after years of advocacy from Billie Jean King and more recently by Venus Williams). Apparently they were the last of the Grand Slams to recognize that the women's game has been as much, if not more, of a draw as the men's in recent years and deserves equal compensation.

There's still plenty of work to be done in other arenas, but let's celebrate those blows for sanity where we can.

(via Bitch, Ph.D.)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Belated silliness

That is, I got Monday off and didn't leave you with any amusements for the long weekend. It's too late for diversions now, but here are two of the funniest things I've encountered over the last year or so:
  • The ultimate mock pie-chart, an instant classic. (I won't spoil your fun by giving the title.)
    (via boing boing)

  • Order of the Science Scouts of Exemplary Repute and Above-Average Physique. An inspired tribute to the arcane wisdoms and nerdy joys of a life of science. My favorite of their many merit badges is "I work with way too much radioactivity, and yet still no discernable superpowers yet" heh.
    (via kottke)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

By the grim light of day...

We've clearly overstayed our welcome in Iraq, but Mithras goes further:
If you're still alive in Iraq, you realize that the Americans are going to leave, sooner or later. So, you focus on your ultimate opponents - other Iraqis, usually - and use the Americans as a shield or a sword or you ignore them, whichever makes sense in light of your aims.
Seems about right. What are we achieving with that surge again? Can we go home now??

What's on your "permanent record"

Katha Pollitt visits TPMcafe to offer her thoughts on the recent Edwards blogger scandal, which boil down basically to the thought that "mainstream America" isn't really ready for the rough-and-tumble norms of the blogging world:
The man is running for president, not king of the blogosphere, and he's running now, not in some putative future when words like "christofascist" and "fuck" have lost their punch.
It's all very well to dismiss as outmoded people who respond poorly to obscenities and dirty jokes about religion. Fact is, there are a lot of them. A candidate would be out of his mind to alienate them over a staffing matter.
It's hard to disagree. I've had similar discussions with my mother and others (see, e.g., here), who are sufficiently jolted by certain types of phrasing that they become unable to hear the larger arguments getting made. Further, the heat of even shared frustration can dissipate with time, making excerpts appear even more damaging in hindsight. I myself am pretty comfortable with a wide range of snark, parody, swearing, and other forms of mixing personality with intellectual arguments, but it will be a long time before there majority of the country shares that familiarity.
I was also interested in Rafe's response to this same series of events, which looks at the Marcotte experience and Dooce's long-ago blog-related firing (see, e.g., here) and sees a lesson for the ages: be careful about what you share with the public, for it may come back to haunt you.
I think this is really the bottom line, and it's true regardless of your field of endeavor. Political bloggers are in the spotlight now, but unless you are anonymous, what you blog about will affect your career. If you write ugly things about Microsoft, you probably shouldn't expect to later be hired by Microsoft, or people who like Microsoft, or people who dislike people who write ugly things. Yes, your blog can raise your level of visibility and present you with new opportunities, but it can also foreclose opportunities that might otherwise have been available.
Among other things, he notes that many employers now Google job applicants. (Heck, I once was Googled by a blind date, to disconcerting effect.) You may not mind those linkages right now, but will you feel as cavallier about your bloviation when you're applying for executive positions or running for political office? Eventually people's attitudes about such things may change -- either tolerance for tough language might increase, or people might learn to be more forgiving of adolescent websites abandoned long ago -- but that could take a mighty long time. It might be best to keep in mind that even if you're writing for your friends, the record you leave behind could be revisited by anybody...

Quote of the day -- political edition

The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the goverment.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt
(via digby)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Roberts and the Supremes

scales of justicA flip title to introduce two interesting stories about what's going on at the Supreme Court. One more intriguing, the other more grim, from my point of view:
  1. Howard Bashman reports that Chief Justice Roberts is attempting to get more unified rulings in more cases, rather than the close counts and/or flurry of dissents and concurrences that leave lawyers scratching their heads over how to proceed. Roberts says, among other things,
    The whole notion that it's functioning as a Court doesn't seem to appeal to anyone ... I think it's bad, long-term, if people identify the rule of law with how individual justices vote.
    Bashman notes that achieving greater consensus is easier in theory than in practice (noting some of Roberts' own minority positions).

  2. The L.A. Times speculates that Justice Scalia may emerge as the leader of a new conservative majority in some of the major cases this year. If he writes the majority opinions in some of the hot issues coming before the court in the near future, he could leave his black-and-white thinking to guide development of some whole swaths of social issues.
    Even when in the majority, Scalia has written relatively few major opinions for the court. Rehnquist, during his tenure as chief justice from 1986 to 2005, rarely turned to Scalia, because doing so risked losing the crucial votes of moderates, in particular O'Connor and Kennedy.
    His popularity hasn't increased, I don't think, but the substitution of Alito and Roberts for O'Connor and Rehnquist means that there may be more ideological allies for Scalia's conservative views on more cases to come. Only time will tell how that will play out.

(via How Appealing)

Today's schadenfreude

In retrospect it seems almost inevitable, in today's Through the Looking-glass world, that after years of accusing Democrats of "supporting terrorists" by questioning Administration policy, it turns out that the Republicans have been benefitting from likely terrorist supporters of the real (financial) kind . . .

Anything to make a buck!

Quote of the day

candle (sm)Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
- Gladys Browyn Stern,
writer (1890-1973)
[The same might be said of unvoiced admiration, or unexpressed love...]

(via A.W.A.D.)

Chinese New Year

We're a couple days into the Year of the Pig, in honor of which Cute Overload offers an appropriate deluge of piglet adorability. Tis the season!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Shamelessley lifted from Atrios

One of the infinite absurdities surrounding the recent "SCARY WEAPONS FROM IRAN" was assertions like this one from Tony Snow:
You cannot deny that these weapons exist. You cannot deny that there is presently no manufacturing capability within Iraq able to produce those kinds of weapons.
It wasn't long ago that Iraq was an existential threat to the United States, and now they can't even manage to produce relatively simple weapons.

Except, of course, they can.

Friday cats -- some spotted, some not

I've been accused of disguising the fact that our household holds *4* cats and not 2, by showing pictures only of the bengals. I can only anwer by noting the difficulty in capturing a picture of a black cat (like our two non-bengals) that looks like anything other than a black blob. Anyway, we do get a decent one occasionally, including this one that pairs Pixel (right) with onetime Master of the Household, Yogi (left).

Yogi and Pixel
You're blocking my heatlamp!

Prior evidence of additonal cats:
foursome, playtime!, three-fer, catnip!, Pixel and Yogi, and of course my cats page (where the "blobs" have been Photoshopped lighter until some features emerged)

Update: here's another one -- a solo appearance by a black cat, no less!

Easy come, easy go

Defense Secretary Robert Gates hasn't been around long enough to know that you either march with the Cheney drumbeat or learn to look confused about the particulars....
'For the umpteenth time, we are not looking for an excuse to go to war with Iran,' he said at a Pentagon news conference. 'We are not planning a war with Iran.'
I suppose that the other alternative is that the new guy is being kept strictly out of the information loop, so as to provide him with heartfelt deniability -- it worked with Colin Powell, didn't it? Sigh. I figure he'll be replaced long before we start bringing any of our troops home...

(via Follow Me Here)

More news of the ridiculous

Don't know if you've heard about the story of the Connecticut teacher (a substitute!) who was taken to court because her inadequately protected classroom computer began to spout porn in the middle of a classroom presentation. Probably anybody who's been on the Internet has bumped into things they didn't want to find, but viruses and other malware make this kind of thing the responsibility of the tech folks, not the innocent teacher. Anyway, This Modern World recaps the story (with lots of links along the way) and updates its status, which involves a volunteer-funded legal team attempting to overturn her absurdly unjust conviction.

Sometimes doing right pays off!

Apparently media companies that invest in their newsrooms, upping the quality of their reporting, do better than those that try to get ahead by slashing staff and other costs. That's sure how you'd like it to be, but it doesn't seem like many current executives are willing to think past this quarter's profit line...

(via This Modern World)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Nose buried in a book

animated reading glassesHave been putting a lot of my energies into the archives, getting all the images restored and keywords added. Has been fun, to see the kaleidoscope of topics and moments of eloquence along the way, but also a bit mind-numbing in total effect. Anyway, I'm not lost, just stupidly occupied. Hope to be back to normal soon.

Meantime, go check out this thought-provoking post at dailyKos about immigration policy, domestic wages and prices, and the historical view of what we lose by narrow-mindedness.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bob and weave...

I heard some of Bush's press conference this morning, and I agree with Josh Marshall that he's trying to make a case against Iran by innuendo. I have my fingers crossed that the American people will see the obvious parallels with the "because I say so" proof of the need to invade Iraq, but within an hour I heard the NPR commentators slip from discussing whether there was any verifiable evidence into speculating about the motives of Iranian agents, how they were getting such arms in, etc... Ack.

Neuromancer meets Minority Report

This is just about the coolest thing I've seen in a long time:

Multi-touch, by Perceptive Pixel

Perhaps the hypnotic music contributes to the effect, but watching the way these guys can easily manipulate images and information makes me imagine that the next generation might conceive of time, distance, and information completely differently than even we of the Computer Age already do. A million applications came abstractly to mind, but it was more the feeling of naturalness and seamless integration. Yes, the interface brings "Minority Report" to mind, but it's hard not to feel that the user of such a system would be immersed in the information in a way much more analogous to the "jacking in" envisioned by Gibson a few decades ago...

(via R and some crazy academic long-term planning)

It's good to be on salary

snowflakeI'm home today because my office is having a snow day. It's even better than in elementary school, because instead of having to camp out in front of the radio all morning, they called me, before I'd even gotten out of bed. Good stuff.

(condolences to Spouse, who went to work today as usual)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Quote of the day

It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way.
- Rollo May,
psychologist (1909-1994)
(via A.W.A.D.)

Showing his spots (installment, the next)

John McCain, perennial media darling, celebrates Darwin's birthday by giving a keynote for creationists. I suppose he hopes it's early enough that it will be forgotten by the general public by next year...

(via Atrios)

But they love those troops!

solitudeBush is asking for billions and billions to slaughter Iraqis and foment terrorism in the Mideast, but meanwhile he's yet again asking to cut funds for veterans just as the number of walking wounded is spiking. How can he continue to make these proposals with a straight face? When will the public start to take notice?

(via Atrios)

Monday, February 12, 2007


Design Within Reach sponsored a contest for best chair made out of a champagne cork and its surrounding metal sheath -- the entries are really very impressive, ranging from the goofy to the extremely chic.

(via boing boing)

Just how I wanted to start my week

With the confirmation of our suspicions that the Cheney administration is gunning for Iran. (Certainly, the weekend papers were full of stories about how "it seems like" some explosive devices are coming into Iraq from Iran. I noted that they didn't talk about how most of the rest of the weaponry there was put into

Update: yes, and then there's this...

Update 2: Josh Marshall spells out why even the evidence proffered is insufficient to the Administration's aims...

Friday, February 09, 2007

Friday non-cat blogging

In honor of our lengthy recent cold snap, which has driven me to pull out all my heavy Yellowstone gear just for the daily commute to work, a little snow-flecked photo of Rob, demonstrating his own winter bundlage (and prize-winning smile)...

Rob in Yellowstone

Have a great weekend, all!

Blogger does a good thing

There's always time for it to backfire, of course, but today Blogger forced (as well as finally allowed) me to upgrade to their current standard. Things may not end up looking that different, but it's much easier to shift the format a bit, and -- big news! -- add keywords. This is a pretty miscellaneous blog, so hopefully visitors will find some value in being able to read my collection of posts on a particular topic (say, science, or religion, or pesky politicians) if so inclined. Look for a sidebar list of topical headings in the near future.

Note: this is a much slower process than I foresaw. Am unlikely to put keywords in the sidebar until I've worked through my archives, which could be quite a while. (New posts will have keywords going forward, however.)

What passes for news

Apparently some hot chick died yesterday. Bob Harris notes that she dominated all news sites, despite some pretty significant stories in other quarters of the planet (at least the first two of which seem like pretty big deals to me!)...

We are a sad people.

(via This Modern World)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Quote of the day

candleI was misunderstood growing up and have often been misunderstood since, but then so is everyone else. People are busy, and you can’t expect them to drop everything and try to understand you. If you want to be understood, practice kindness and mercy. Kindness is seldom mistaken for anything else. Small kindnesses reverberate a long time in people’s hearts.
– Garrison Keillor
(via A Mindful Life)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Aftermath to a cleansing

We're not talking about New Orleans much anymore, so it looks like the displacements are becoming permanent. The radically smaller size of the city is given visual expression here, in a comparison of Before and After phonebook thickness...


On the flip side of technology

Is the gap between "having an Internet guy" on the team, and actually "getting" the Internet and how it lets you directly connect with people all around the country. This essay is centered around Obama and whether he'll make the leap to using electronic means for real organizing activity, but the message there is one that many politicians need to learn.
If candidates think they can outsource their emails to “Internet guys,” then why not outsource their role in ads to actors? When they do “call time” to large donors, why not use someone who does a good voice impersonation? You can’t outsource a real personal connection between yourself and your supporters. Come on people: you’re our leaders, this is a new medium for leadership, pick it up with your own two hands and see what you can do with it.
By the time the current crop of college students hits the Insider League, this will be obvious, but right now there's an opportunity to be the first to understand the power of the new medium and make out like a bandit as a result. I hope the one to manage that is somebody I like....

(via Atrios)

Kinda cool

YOU're the future of the WebHere's a little YouTube video called Web 2.0, which does a good job of explaining how technology has changed our relationship with information, and gradually our relationships with each other. A kind of information systems anthropology. (And, of course, rather dependent on the current democratic instantiation of the Web, complete with Net Neutrality...) Worth the 4 minutes.

(via boing boing)

Today's debunkery

Marijuana is not a gateway drug, despite what the War on Drug folks might say. Time for a more productive frame of thought about this one.

(via Alas, a blog)

Local boy makes good!

Along with big boys Obama and Thompson, Patrick Murphy is the co-sponser of legislation to force "de-escalation" in Iraq.
"As someone who served in Baghdad with the 82nd Airborne, I can tell you that what's needed in Iraq is a surge in diplomacy, not an escalation of force. This legislation seeks a much-needed political solution and puts forward a tough and sensible plan to end the war," said Congressman Patrick Murphy. "We shouldn't be sending American men and women to referee a civil war. Our troops have done their job, now it's time to start bringing them home..."
Yeah, we worked hard in PA to get a few good prospects into Washington, and it appears we chose well.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Another bit of time-travel, thanks to the Bushies

ack!I'm disheartened, although not surprised, to learn that the Bush Administration has systematically converted the federal government into a giant patronage system -- certainly we know that Brownie wasn't hired for his disaster management expertise...
These are two different pieces of the same story: under the guise of promoting a conservative agenda, the Bush administration has created a supersized version of the 19th-century spoils system.
. . .
Those political appointees chosen for their loyalty, not their expertise, aren’t very good at doing their proper jobs — as all the world learned after Hurricane Katrina struck. But they have been very good at rewarding campaign contributors, from energy companies that benefit from lax regulation of pollution to pharmaceutical companies that got a Medicare program systematically designed to protect their profits.
That they're doing it seems completely in line with everything we've seen; that they have some kind of intellectual argument/underpinning for unraveling the notion of civil service sickens me.

A pleasant perversity

Washington state legislators decided to define marriage as between one man and one woman, and the courts upheld their right to do so based on "state interest in protecting marriage for procreation." Well, ok then; gay rights activists have submitted legislation to require proof of procreative potential/activity from all license-seekers:
I-957 has five clauses that would have to be met for a legal marriage.

It would allow only couples capable of having kids to marry, and that they file "proof of procreation" within three years of the marriage. If not, the marriage would be annulled.
I have to agree with Markos, who says,
Damn right! If marriage is about procreation, then it should be about procreation.

Otherwise -- and I can't believe this is still controversial! - let marriage be between people who love each other.
Amen. Put up or shut up, Washington.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Now that's what *I* call a folding chair!

From couch to book thickness. But is it comfortable to sit on?!

(via boing boing)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Friday cat-blogging

Groggy, slow-moving day. Too much thinking brings me to a halt. Sounds like a good excuse for some bengal pictures! It's been a while since Pixel got a solo showing, so here she is at just under two years.

Pixel with ears akimbo
Crazy look induced by a last-minute kitchen noise.

Previous Pixel-blogging (in reverse chronology): 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, doh!, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, arrival, teaser, homepage

The cruelest holiday

Not looking forward to Valentine's Day? Despair, Inc., comes through with the perfect solution:grim heart
"The Valentine's Candy for the Rest of Us." Too fabulous.

(via a KoL forum poster)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

See hole, dig it all the way through the earth

This just makes me grind my teeth.
One disastrous war is more than enough.

I love the Internet (installment #483569)

Went looking for a goofy song by a band that was one of my favorite live acts until they went their separate ways, Moxy Fruvous (with an umlaut over that first u). Anyway, I came across an online record of one of their live concerts from some time back, including some favorites and a couple that I swear were never performed elsewhere (Marion Fruvous?!). Has made me happy listening to it all morning, and now I'll have to dig out the one live show tape that I have buried somewhere -- the random patter and musical ad libbing between songs is part of what makes their lives shows much better than their albums. (This isn't their best, but does make me long for another tour!!) Thanks, Internets!!

photo of the Fru boys

And there are many more! whoot!! (I think Iron Horse is the one I have from a tape tree...)

Quote of the day

Was home yesterday watching a new furnace come into being. Forgot to blog, which isn't a bad thing. back now...
We too have our thaws. They come to our January moods, when our ice cracks, and our sluices break loose. Thought that was frozen up under stern experience gushes forth in feeling and expression. There is a freshet which carries away dams of accumulated ice. Our thoughts hide unexpressed, like the buds under their downy or resinous scales; they would hardly keep a partridge from starving. If you would know what are my winter thoughts look for them in the partridge’s crop. They are like the laurel buds,—some leaf, some blossom buds,—which, though food for such indigenous creatures, will not expand into leaves and flowers until summer comes.
- Henry David Thoreau
journal entry of January 31, 1854
(via the Thoreau blog)