Recent Writings 03/18/15

Hamburger-l

The below is a brief aggregation of recent blogging work authored by yours truly, craftily assembled for your perusal, scrutiny, and/or the fulfillment of duties pertaining to loyal readership:

Big Think

Congressional Politics Threaten NASA’s Mission – In which I compare NASA and other mission-based government agencies to an unfortunate child caught amid the incessant squabbles of two warring parents. Except these parents hold the purse strings that determine whether we visit Mars and/or learn how to deal with the effects of climate change. The unfortunate child is an $18.5 billion space agency.

You’re More Likely to Visit the Moon Than Pick a Perfect March Madness Bracket – In which I relay information compiled by many authors pertaining to calculations made by DePaul professor Jeffrey Bergen. The gist: Even in an alternate universe in which Warren Buffet is still offering $1 billion for a perfect bracket, Alternate Universe You isn’t going to win so don’t bother getting too excited. Actually, now that I think of it, there may very well be an alternate universe in which you do win because there may very well be an unfathomably large number of alternate universes out there, in which case you should still stave off excitement because you’re stuck in this one. Sorry.

Calm and Confidence Will Slay the Toxic People in Your Life – A riff off this article by a psychologist who astutely sums up the uncomfortable bind one is in when targeted by unhelpful, overly critical people. I don’t have anything particularly funny to say about this one. It’s just an intriguing thing to think about.

Words of Wisdom: Henry Becque and the Hypocrisy of Equality – I procured a nifty dictionary of quotations from a Little Lending Library this weekend, which is something that is both 1) an insufferably hipster sort of anecdote that I apologize for bringing up and 2) rather fortuitous considering my Words of Wisdom responsibilities rely far too heavily on random scouting on Wikiquote. Within said dictionary was the following quote by the somewhat-obscure 19th-century French dramatist Henry Becque:

“The defect of equality is that we only desire it with our superiors.”

I take that as pretty accurate.

Becque, who sort of looked like the dude who always gets held up in cowboy movies, was a pioneer of French naturalist theatre who somehow managed to avoid playing a major role in any of my assigned reading during grad school. It’s said that he wasn’t very popular in his day but served as an influence for the Ibsens and Shaws to come. I imagine there’s probably a lot more written about him in French on account of he’s French.


It was a slower week on the output front due to the celebration of this writer’s 26th birthday and the sad fact that this writer spent his 26th birthday, as well as the remainder of the weekend, sicker than the proverbial dog. On the bright side, I got to spend some quality time with the loving girlfriend who nursed me back to life. Making her the beneficiary for my work-issued life insurance policy has apparently not turned her heart against me. Score one for love.

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