Skip to content

Category: mechanics

tony couldn’t fly

  Billy Wilder: I made it a little bit more difficult for myself with Sunset Boulevard. It was about the closest of things, you know, to make a picture about Hollywood, about an old star, falling love with a young writer, and committing suicide, attempting suicide. Tough, and then, how are we going to end it? So we just had him shot. That was a…

1 Comment

hairdressing (peluquería)

Don’t cut it too short.
No me lo corte demasiado corto
. no me lo kor-te de-ma-sya-do kor-to

Shave it all off!
Aféitelo todo!
A-fay-te-lo to-do

Please use a new blade.
Por favor, use una cuchilla nueva. 
Por fa-vor oo-se oo-na koo-chee-lya nwe-va

I should never have let you near me!
No deb
ía haberla dejado tocarme! No de-bee-a a-ber-la de-kha-do to-kar-me

from a Latin American Spanish phrasebook


1 Comment

the young earth today

  “Don’t you remember what happens when a Knid enters the earth’s atmosphere at high speed? He gets red-hot. He burns away in a long fiery trail. He becomes a Shooting Knid. Soon these dirty beasts will start popping like popcorn!” As they streaked on downward, sparks began to fly off the side of the Elevator. The glass glowed pink, then red, then scarlet. Sparks…

Leave a Comment

i like banana ice cream



“Cognitions must be relevant before dissonance theory is applicable. For example, “I’m a thoughtful person” and “It’s a nice day today” would probably be considered irrelevant—that is, one cognition does not imply anything about the other. Therefore, dissonance theory would not be applicable. In contrast, “I’m a thoughtful person” is relevant to “I forgot my father’s birthday” because the first relates to the second in a psychological sense; therefore dissonance theory is applicable.”

Social Psychology in the 90s

1 Comment

different reds



If one says “Red” (the name of a color)
and there are 50 people listening,
it can be expected that there will be 50 reds in their minds.
And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different.


Josef Albers, Interaction of Color


1 Comment

three troublesome pairs of verbs

Three pairs of verbs require special study and drill because they are more difficult to use correctly than any other verbs. These special verbs are lie, lay, sit, set, rise, and raise. Most difficult to use correctly are the verbs lie and lay.

If you do not habitually use these verbs correctly, you must begin your work on them slowly and thoughtfully. Only by taking time to think through each form you use can you eventually establish the habit of using the verbs correctly.

Warriner’s English Grammar and Composition


1 Comment

imaginary numbers


“Quite right; but why shouldn’t you try to apply the operation of a square root calculation to a negative number anyway? It can’t produce a real value, of course, and that’s why the result is called imaginary. It’s as if you were to say: someone always used to sit here, so let’s put out a chair for him today; and even if he’s died in the meantime, let’s act as though he was going to turn up.”


from The Confusions of Young Torless




1 Comment

apologies to mister fuller

“There is nothing in the chemistry of a toenail that predicts the existence of a human being. “–R. Buckminster Fuller, Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth


okay… that went down easy . . .are you ready for more?

“Thinking itself consists of self-disciplined dismissal of both the macrocosmic and microcosmic irrelevancies which leaves only the lucidly-relevant considerations. The macrocosmic irrelevancies are all the events too large and too infrequent to be synchronizably tuneable in any possible way with our consideration (a beautiful word meaning putting stars together). The microcosmic irrelevancies are all the events which are obviously too small and too frequent to be differentially resolved in any way or to be sychronizably-tunable within the lucidly-relevant wave-frequency limits of the system we are considering.”



hoe the phone

The Copenhagan Interpretation . . . merely said that the world is decided when the many possibilities of the quantum world “collapse” to become the certainty of the classical or physical one. Which, if you can get around the peculiar scientific usage of the word collapse, seems to imply that the world is made up as we go along. More recently, theorists have suggested that our universe is simply a quantum fluctuation in some pre-existing region of space-time, and that this can work both ways—ours came from some earlier universe, and ours leads in turn to a further universe, in a process that really has no beginning and end. –marq de villiers, the end

1 Comment

What then about reproduction?

Suppose we split this chain in two. How can we make another one just like it? If, in the substances of the cells, there is a manufacturing department which brings up phosphate, sugar, and A,B,C,D units not connected in a chain, the only ones which will attach  to our split chain will be the correct ones, the complements of BAADC . . .  , namely, ABBCD . . . Thus what happens is that the chain splits down the middle during cell division, one half ultimately to go with one cell, the other half to end up in the other cell; when separated, a new complementary chain is made by each half-chain.

richard p. feynman,  “six easy pieces”

1 Comment

Pin It on Pinterest