I am confused!


Amanda Knox is getting $4 million for a book in which she wants to clear her name.

But then on TV she says she is proud of her one-night stands and drug use.



Excuse me? Is that not something that one does not broadcast to the world? Is discreet so last century or AM I LIVING ON ANOTHER PLANET???  Can tell you for sure then that Planet of the Apes are far more classy and decent. We have shame.

So no, I won’t be buying her book, no ways! ( I was not going to in the first place.)

My friend and I

Photo Challenge – Culture.


Culture is the characteristics of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts
But this is not a photo I took, Google did it!
Apparently this depicts the culture of South Africa   ( ? ) but is not clear which group.
Here, today is Freedom day but I must admit I am really not sure what it means

The truth being


In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame; two is a law firm and three or more is a government.
John Adams

If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.
Mark Twain

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of government. But then I repeat myself.
Mark Twain

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
Winston Churchill

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
George Bernard Shaw

Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.
Douglas Casey, Classmate of Bill Clinton

t Georgetown University

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
P.J. O’Rourke, Civil Libertarian

Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavours to live at the expense of everybody else
Frederic Bastiat, French  economist(1801-1850)

I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
Will Rogers

If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free!
P.J. O’Rourke

In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.
Voltaire (1764)

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you!
Pericles (430 B.C.)

No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.
Mark Twain (1866)

Talk is cheap…except when government does it

The government is like a baby’s alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.
Ronald Reagan

The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.
Mark Twain

There is no distinctly Native American criminal class…save government.
Mark Twain

What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.
Edward Langley, Artist (1928-1995)

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.
Thomas Jefferson

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.

I did love the man this side idolatry as much as any


from the foreword of The Pleasure of Finding things out by
Richard P Feynman



Richard P. Feynman



This is the edited transcript of an interview with

Feynman made for the BBC television program Horizon

in 1981, shown in the United States as an episode of

Nova. Feynman had most of his life behind him by this

time (he died in 1988), so he could reflect on his

experiences and accomplishments with the perspective

not often attainable by a younger person.


Epaulettes and the Pope

One of the things that my father taught me besides physics

(LAUGHS), whether it’s correct or not, was a disrespect for

respectable . . . for certain kinds of things. For example,

when I was a little boy, and a rotogravure–that’s printed

pictures in newspapers–first came out in the New York

Times, he used to sit me again on his knee and he’d open a

picture, and there was a picture of the Pope and everybody

bowing in front of him. And he’d say, “Now look at these

humans. Here is one human standing here, and all these

others are bowing. Now what is the difference? This one

is the Pope”–he hated the Pope anyway–and he’d say, “the

difference is epaulettes”–of course not in the case of the

Pope, but if he was a general–it was always the uniform,

the position, “but this man has the same human problems,

he eats dinner like anybody else, he goes to the bathroom,

he has the same kind of problems as everybody, he’s a

human being. Why are they all bowing to him? Only

because of his name and his position, because of his

uniform, not because of something special he did, or his

honor, or something like that.” He, by the way, was in the

uniform business, so he knew what the difference was

between the man with the uniform off and the uniform on;

it’s the same man for him.

He was happy with me, I believe. Once, though, when I

came back from MIT–I’d been there a few years–he said

to me, “Now,” he said, “you’ve become educated about

these things and there’s one question I’ve always had that

I’ve never understood very well and I’d like to ask you,

now that you’ve studied this, to explain it to me,” and I

asked him what it was. And he said that he understood that

when an atom made a transition from one state to another it

emits a particle of light called a photon. I said, “That’s

right.” And he says, “Well, now, is the photon in the atom

ahead of time that it comes out, or is there no photon in it

to start with?” I says, “There’s no photon in, it’s just that

when the electron makes a transition it comes” and he says

“Well, where does it come from then, how does it come

out?” So I couldn’t just say, “The view is that photon

numbers aren’t conserved, they’re just created by the

motion of the electron.” I couldn’t try to explain to him

something like: the sound that I’m making now wasn’t in

me. It’s not like my little boy who when he started to talk,

suddenly said that he could no longer say a certain word–

the word was “cat”–because his word bag has run out of

the word cat (LAUGHS). SO there’s no word bag that you

have inside so that you use up the words as they come out,

you just make them as they go along, and in the same sense

there was no photon bag in an atom and when the photons

come out they didn’t come from somewhere, but I couldn’t

do much better. He was not satisfied with me in the

respect that I never was able to explain any of the things

that he didn’t understand (LAUGHS). So he was

unsuccessful, he sent me through all these universities in

order to find out these things and he never did find out


Weekly Photo Challenge – Change


Over millions of years seasons change, weather changes and it is all written down in the history of the earth. All star dust that change into mountains, you, me…



We will never really know



It is normal for the human brain to want to know, to have closure, to have it explained. We need to know why, probably because in the evolution of mankind to understand is to be prepared for the future. Part of the DNA of survival. Of humans that is.

There’s something wrong with Auntie Dianne was on TV here last week. The story of an American mother who one morning with  kids in the car drove up the wrong way on the highway killing herself, 4 children and the people in the other oncoming car.

Diane Schuler, a 36-year-old Long Island “supermom,” caused a collision while driving a minivan the wrong way on New York’s Taconic State Parkway. She killed herself and seven others, including her 2-year-old daughter; her three nieces (ages 5, 7 and 8); and three men in the sport-utility vehicle that she hit head-on. It’s one of those ghastly crashes people will talk about forever.

Especially because of Schuler’s autopsy results: Sometime after packing up and leaving her family’s annual Catskills camp-out on a Sunday morning for the 140-mile trip home, Schuler began bizarrely zigzagging off her usual route. For reasons unknown, she consumed enough vodka after leaving the camp (a 1.75-liter bottle of Absolut was found in the wreckage) to attain a blotto-level blood-alcohol test result of 0.19, according to investigators — more than twice the legal limit for motorists. Lab results revealed Schuler also smoked marijuana that day.


She was not an alcoholic, or was she? It was said that she was not a drug addict, she occasionally smoked a joint to relax in the evening, she was a responsible wife and mother, and she turned up for work on time every day as the main bread winner. What happened?  What indeed happened for her to act completely out of her normal parameters of behaviour?  Did she have a psychotic episode? Out of the blue? Did she have stroke? How can the alcohol and marijuana be explained?  Or was she a closet alcoholic?

I have theory but it is only a theory

We will really never know.

M phoned the other day, one of their colleagues was found by his wife, -he had committed suicide. Or did he? A successful professional, no financial problems, a happy marriage with a wife who adored him, often went walking with the dogs was healthy and fit. The previous evening they had dinner with friends and it was a happy occasion. Afterwards the wife went to bed and he worked on his lecture to be given the following week in a foreign country.

No suicide note, no indications of depression. Nothing to explain this. How on earth must his wife and his parents come to terms with his death if they have no answers?

When my brother committed suicide at least I knew the reason – I had lived with this fear for a long time-   but there were 1000 other questions – unfinished business. There is always unfinished business when somebody commits suicide. At one stage I thought I should maybe go to a séance or something and mentioned this to me sister in law. If you know me you would surely know this is the last thing I believe in. My sister in law said my brother was net into this kind of stuff either and furthermore he would probably be spiteful and not come. But then she gave me the name of their marriage guidance councillor – a Dutch Reformed minister –  and said he should be able to provide me with some answers. And he did. God /religion / souls/ heaven/ hell / eternity/ we’ll meet again were never even mentioned. And I walked out of there with a ton lifted off my shoulders. I found some explanation and therefore I could eventually come to terms with the tragedy.

I know how important it is to know.



Once again, The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.
The winners are:

1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

5.  Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.

6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash.

9.  Flatulance (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

11.  Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by                proctologists.

13. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that when you die, your Soul flies up onto the roof and  gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent  (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.


The Washington Post’s Style Invitational also asked readers  to take any word from the  dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and  supply a new definition.      Here are this year’s winners:

1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone  layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

2. Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

3. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

4. Giraffiti  (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

5. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.

6.  Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

7.  Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.

8. Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

9. Karmageddon (n): its like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer.

10. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

11. Glibido (v): All talk and no action.

12. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

13. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.

14. Beelzebug (n.):  Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

15. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you’re eating.

And the pick of the literature:

16. Ignoranus  (n): A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.

There is no pill for stupid!


  • Researchers  found eclectic mix of items used to judge success and wealth
  • Gadgets  such as iPads and holiday destinations made the list
  • Status  symbols include where you do your food shop and designer  watches


The eclectic mix of items emerged in a poll of 2,000 adults which found that around one in seven Britons (14 per cent) have bought a status symbol simply to impress others or appear better-off than they are.

Worryingly, fewer than half used savings, with one in four putting the purchase on a credit card, and more than one in 20 taking out a loan.

Read more here 

(I have never been impressed by what people have or drive but who they are. Except I may be envious of where you live because I would love to live in Savannah!)

And all of this may be summed up by the article in the New Scientist.

Editorial:Time to get smarter about stupidity

You may read the article here   or subscribe to the New Scientist.

New Scientist


EARTH has its boundaries, but human stupidity is limitless,” wrote Gustave Flaubert. He was almost unhinged by the fact. Colourful fulminations about his fatuous peers filled his many letters to Louise Colet, the French poet who inspired his novel Madame Bovary. He saw stupidity everywhere, from the gossip of middle-class busybodies to the lectures of academics. Not even Voltaire escaped his critical eye. Consumed by this obsession, he devoted his final years to collecting thousands of examples for a kind of encyclopedia of stupidity. He died before his magnum opus was complete, and some attribute his sudden death, aged 58, to the frustration of researching the book.

And furthermore …..the variation in our intelligence may have arisen from a process called “genetic drift”, after human civilisation eased the challenges driving the evolution of our brains. Gerald Crabtree at Stanford University in California is one of the leading proponents of this idea. He points out that our intelligence depends on around 2000 to 5000 constantly mutating genes. In the distant past, people whose mutations had slowed their intellect would not have survived to pass on their genes; but Crabtree suggests that as human societies became more collaborative, slower thinkers were able to piggyback on the success of those with higher intellect. In fact, he says, someone plucked from 1000 BC and placed in modern society, would be “among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions” (Trends in Genetics, vol 29, p 1). This theory is often called the “idiocracy” hypothesis

Do you know who painted these?



Hint –  some of their early paintings before they became famous.

artist 1


artist 2


artist 3


You can find the answers here and 11 more paintings