Thursday, October 21

flatulence = divine inspiration

It is not the first time that melancholy enthusiasts have taken their flatulence in retrospect for devilish assaults or for divine inspiration

--Friedrich Nicolai, on the 18th-century sculptor Franz Xaver Messerschmidt

Monday, October 18

Great examples of negative externalities

If you're looking for a great example of a negative externality, an act, remember, that comes about because the decision maker doesn't bear a large percent of the cost of his decision, look no further than Bush's Iraq invasion or Obama's "stimulus" package.

Friday, October 15

The Most ‘Chinese’ Chinese Characters

From here
Characters representing Chinese society & civilization:

Characters related to Chinese philosophy, religion, society & thought:
(probably concepts like 顿悟)、 ( and 八戒 eight precepts1)
Characters representing Chinese feelings:

Characters representing key Confucian terms:
2、和 (harmony)、礼345
Characters related to Chinese folk culture:

Others: 6

1 The Buddhist "eight precepts" (via Digital Dictionary of Buddhism)
  1. not to kill
  2. not to take things not given
  3. no ignoble (i.e. sexual) conduct
  4. not to speak falsely
  5. not to drink wine
  6. not to indulge in cosmetics, personal adornments, dancing, or music
  7. not to sleep on fine beds, but on a mat on the ground
  8. not to eat out of regulation hours, i.e. after noon

2 天 “was viewed as a personal entity responsible for various natural phenomena, having control over human affairs, and having emotions and the capacity to act.
3 礼“originally referred to rites of sacrifice, and later came to be used to refer to rules of conduct governing ceremonial behavior as well as behavior in other social contexts.”
4 道 is not just the Daoist “way” above. It's also any philosophy's “right way.”
5 仁 “attributes as wisdom, courage, filial piety, conscientiousness, trustworthiness” etc.
6 The person who recommended this character meant something like "calm" (淡定).

Sunday, October 3

Warming Mattress Pad

I love my St. Cloud Queen Size Warming Mattress Pad that I got at Aldi last winter. It's great for those of us who get cold legs in the middle of the night. There's a slight problem with the connection between the cord & the pad, so I just duct-taped them together.