Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Peace Is More Precious Than Diamonds

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech took place on December 10, 1964, in Oslo, Norway. Take 12 minutes if you can to watch the entire speech. If you want to read the full text of the speech, click here.

A few highlights:

"I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsom and jetsom in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. I believe that even amid today's mortar bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood-flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men. I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down men other-centered can build up."

"Today I come to Oslo as a trustee, inspired and with renewed dedication to humanity. I accept this prize on behalf of all men who love peace and brotherhood. I say I come as a trustee, for in the depths of my heart I am aware that this prize is much more than an honor to me personally. Every time I take a flight, I am always mindful of the many people who make a successful journey possible - the known pilots and the unknown ground crew."

"I think Alfred Nobel would know what I mean when I say that I accept this award in the spirit of a curator of some precious heirloom which he holds in trust for its true owners - all those to whom truth is beauty and beauty truth - and in whose eyes the beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold."

A Society Is Only As Good As Its Worst Magazine Cover

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Stick Figure Society

Still Waiting For My Spandex Jacket

In 1982, Donald Fagen predicted a future with spandex jackets, "one for everyone."

Where's mine?!

The Role of Friendship in Marriage

I'm bookmarking this article in The New York Times about the role of friendship in marriage. I'll probably discuss this article with my Research Methods class in the upcoming semester. The article notes: "Those who consider their spouse or partner to be their best friend get about twice as much life satisfaction from marriage as others, the study found." I try to reference a classic rock song whenever an opportunity presents, so here's "You're My Best Friend" by Queen:

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Stick Figure Society

In case you've been waiting for me to start a comic strip, today's your lucky day.

Monday, January 5, 2015

My Father is Bigger Than You and Other Happenings

A few days ago I picked up my 4-year-old from daycare. Some of the other kids huddled around us as I gathered his things to bring home. This has happened on a few occasions. They will hug him and say little kid funny stuff before we have a chance to leave. On this day, one of his friends said to me "My father is bigger than you. He's 6'5." I'm still impressed the kid could report his dad's exact height. I doubt my 4-year-old knows or could announce that I'm 5'5. There's not much one can say to a 4-year-old about being short. It kind of reminded me of elementary school/middle school/high school/the rest of life when people have occasionally observed my height. What can I say, I'm short? It's pretty comical that a 4-year-old got in my head and I'm writing about this. But really it was just an interesting interaction that I wanted to file here.

I have no else to put my brief review of Handlebar in Buffalo so I'll briefly do it here. I went there last week for the first time. When I walked in, "Teenage Riot" by Sonic Youth was playing, so that set the stage for a great experience. I love that song. It always sounds better in winter. The song pairs perfectly with a long, cold Buffalo winter. They have a bunch of beers on tap and serve flat breads and other good lunch fare. I enjoyed the Marrakech rice bowl (chickpeas, carrots, red peppers, cilantro). One good song after another played while I was there, including "Cut Your Hair" by Pavement.  When the Pavement song came on, I caught the attention of the person who looked to be in control of the tunes and said "That's one of my top ten all-time favorite songs." It's probably true. It's easily in my top twenty. Truth is they could have played lousy songs and had sub-par food because the major reason I had such a great time is that I was having lunch and drinks with a friend who is super smart, nice, and funny. The good food and music were icing on the cake.

The Spring semester begins soon so I'm working on a syllabus today. I also baked banana bread today.  This recipe was easy and worked like a charm. I added chocolate chips. It came out nicely. Next time someone busts my chops about my height, I'll say "Yeah but I make the best banana bread." Confusion usually does the trick.