You could never know what it’s like
Your blood like winter freezes just like ice
And there’s a cold lonely light that shines from you
You’ll wind up like the wreck you hide behind that mask you use

And did you think this fool could never win
Well look at me, I’m coming back again
I got a taste of love in a simple way
And if you need to know while I’m still standing you just fade away

Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I’m still standing after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah
I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

Once I never could hope to win
You starting down the road leaving me again
The threats you made were meant to cut me down
And if our love was just a circus you’d be a clown by now

You know I’m still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I’m still standing after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah
I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I’m still standing after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah
I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah
I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

Songwriters: Bernie Taupin / Elton John

The true story of an 8-year-old girl from Cantabria, Spain who, with her father, discovered what were at the time, in 01879, the oldest cave paintings ever found.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cave_of_Altamira

“In 01879, amateur [late 18th century: from French, from Italian amatore, from Latin amator ‘lover’, from amare ‘to love’.; An amateur is one who does something for the love of it, not quid pro quo in exchange for money] archaeologist Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola was led by his eight-year-old daughter María to discover the cave’s drawings. The cave was excavated by Señor Sautuola and archaeologist Juan Vilanova y Piera from the University of Madrid, resulting in a much acclaimed publication in 01880 which interpreted the paintings as Paleolithic in origin.”

Dogmatic religious leaders and purportedly scientific leaders falsely accused Señor Sautuola of having forged the paintings. His good name and reputation were destroyed and his honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. He died in ignominy in 01888 at age 57 years, before he was finally vindicated by decades of evidence which ultimately showed that he was right and they were wrong. Modern evidence indicates the paintings are ~35,000 years old.

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”
T.H. White, The Once and Future King

https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-it-seems-like-bullies-are-everywhereand-how-to-stop-them-11594743348

Why It Seems Like Bullies Are Everywhere—and How to Stop Them
Bullies try to intimidate people they see as weak or vulnerable. Here’s how to respond.

By Elizabeth Bernstein
02020 July 14 12:15 pm ET

I have something to say to the guy who pulled up behind my VW Beetle recently in a jacked-up pickup truck, honked furiously while I waited for a pause in oncoming traffic to make a left turn, then followed me for blocks so close on my tail I could see the sweat on his brow while he yelled obscenities at me out the window.

You don’t scare me.

People tried to push each other around before the pandemic. But lately it seems as if the bullies are taking over. Constant fear and anxiety fuel anger. The move of many of our interactions online means we are having less face-to-face communication; psychologists have long known that this decreases empathy, while anonymity—or the illusion of it—makes it easier to misbehave. And in a time of deep polarization, the tone of public discourse has grown more antagonistic.

A bully is someone who tries to intimidate another person, often repeatedly, whom he or she sees as weak or vulnerable. According to psychologists, bullies have four personality traits—called the Dark Tetrad—that often occur together: Machiavellianism, which is a tendency to calculatedly manipulate others for your own good; psychopathy, an attribute that includes a lack of empathy and a willingness to take risks; sadism, the propensity to derive pleasure from inflicting pain on someone else; and narcissism, an obsession with self and feeling that you are better than other people.

When we think of narcissism, we think of the extreme—someone loud, blustery and grandiose, who feels superior to others and needs constant admiration. These folks typically have narcissistic personality disorder, which is a formal diagnosis in the primary handbook for diagnosing mental disorders, the DSM-5. Yet, narcissism—an excessive interest in oneself and sense of entitlement—occurs on a spectrum, and most of us have some, says Brad Bushman, a professor of communication at the Ohio State University in Columbus, who studies narcissism and aggression. Have you ever rushed into an open spot in a busy parking lot before someone else can grab it? That’s narcissism.

In a yet-to-be-published review of 26 studies on bullying, with almost 17,000 participants, Dr. Bushman and his Ph.D. student, Sophie Kjaervik, found that the more narcissism a person has, the more likely he or she is to be a bully. People who have relatively high levels of narcissism are 20% more likely to bully than those with low levels, the analysis showed.

This is because people who are very narcissistic display a trio of behaviors called the Triple E: exploitation, entitlement and empathy impairment, according to Craig Malkin, a clinical psychologist, lecturer at Harvard Medical School and author of “Rethinking Narcissism.” They exploit others, doing whatever it takes to feel special. They feel entitled, acting as if the world owes them and should bend to their will. And they lack empathy, often becoming so fixated on the need to feel special that they stop caring about the feelings of others.

These people don’t want to be told what to do. When someone tries, they lash out. “They’re trying to shore up their sense of importance,” Dr. Malkin says. “Bullies are motivated by fear—fear of feeling insecure, fear of being unconfident, fear of being exposed.” The more stressed or threatened they feel, the more they bully.

While reporting this column, I heard stories of people being bullied by family members, co-workers and strangers. In Florida, a doctor described being screamed at by the husband of a patient. In California, a college student related a 20-minute bombardment of hostile texts from a former friend, accusing her of being a terrible person. In North Carolina, a writer told of an acquaintance who sent emails threatening to disrupt a meeting the writer was planning to attend.

How should you respond to a bully?

First, determine whether you are safe. If not, call security or the police. Document the bully’s behavior. This will help if you need evidence, and it will keep you from doubting yourself.

Do not engage. “The only winning move is not to play the game,” says Laurie Helgoe, a clinical psychologist and author of a book about narcissism called “Fragile Bully.” Engaging will encourage the bully, who will respond to feeling threatened by attacking more, she says.

Don’t let the bully take up space in your head. Try to limit how much you think or talk about the person to others. Block the bully on social media. “You’re establishing a boundary,” says Dr. Helgoe, an associate professor at Ross University School of Medicine in Bridgetown, Barbados. “You aren’t going to let the bully take over your life.”

Accept that you’re not going to change the person. Don’t blame yourself and don’t personalize the behavior. “You’re just the one in their line of fire at the moment,” says Ramani Durvasula, a clinical psychologist, professor of psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, and author of “Don’t You Know Who I Am? How to Stay Sane in an Era of Narcissism, Entitlement and Incivility.”

Imagine your reaction. Do you want to tell the bully off? Pummel him senseless? Picture all of it, including the look on the bully’s face. Just don’t act on any of this, says Dr. Malkin.

If you must respond—if the bullying is ongoing and destructive—make sure you offer a meaningful consequence. You’ll probably need an authority—the police, a teacher, a human resources department, a lawyer—to do this. “Consequences shape behavior,” says Dr. Durvasula. “A rat goes down a maze to get cheese.”

And remember what my grandmother, who grew up on a farm in Minnesota, taught me: “Don’t get in the mud with pigs. The pigs love it. And you just get dirty.”

[email protected]

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Appeared in the July 15, 2020, print edition as ‘.’

Part 2 of a 6-part BBC docuseries begins roughly at the end of the Roman Republic (the start of the Roman Empire).

History of Ancient Rome can be roughly divided into 4 phases:
1. The Roman Kingdom (753 BC–509 BC),
2. The Roman Republic (509 BC–27 BC),
3. The Western Roman Empire (TWRE) which for centuries included modern-day England and Wales, but never Scotland or Ireland (27 BC–00476 AD),
4. The Eastern Roman Empire (TERE) survived the fall of TWRE and lasted until 01453.

For context, The Scientific Revolution (which most scientists consider to have begun with The Copernican Revolution) began 90 years later in 01543 in Thorn, Royal Prussia, Poland (birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus).

The region now called Poland was never a part of Ancient Rome (which never extended significantly north of The Black Sea in the European mainland), and Poland was one of the last regions of Europe to accept Christianity, which (having been embraced in 00313 when co-Emperors Constantine the Great and Licinius issued the Edict of Milan, providing for restitution to Christians injured during the persecutions), could arguably be considered to be an extension of Ancient Rome.

-TWRE lasted roughly 1,200 years in duration.
-Ancient Rome (including TERE) lasted rougly 2,206 years.
-If one considers Christianity to be an extension of Ancient Rome, then predominantly-Christian nations could arguably still be considered to be a part of a Roman civilization that has so far lasted 2,773 years.

The fall of TWRE was a 74-year-long period from about 00402 (when the capital of TWRE was forcibly moved from the city of Rome to the city of Ravenna), through 00410 (when the Sack of Rome occurred: Rome was sacked by the Visigoths under their king Alaric I), until about 00476 (when Odoacer conquered the Western Roman capital Ravenna, forced Emperor Romulus to abdicate, declared himself king of Italy, and The former Roman Senate sent former Emperor Zeno the imperial regalia of the Western Roman Empire).

See the wikipedia timeline for more detail.

Part 1 of a 6-part BBC
docuseries
begins roughly at the end of the Roman Republic (the start of the Roman Empire).

History of Ancient Rome can be roughly divided into 4 phases:
1. The Roman Kingdom (753 BC–509 BC),
2. The Roman Republic (509 BC–27 BC),
3. The Western Roman Empire (TWRE) which for centuries included modern-day England and Wales, but never Scotland or Ireland (27 BC–00476 AD),
4. The Eastern Roman Empire (TERE) survived the fall of TWRE and lasted until 01453.

For context, The Scientific Revolution (which most scientists consider to have begun with The Copernican Revolution) began 90 years later in 01543 in Thorn, Royal Prussia, Poland (birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus).

The region now called Poland was never a part of Ancient Rome (which never extended significantly north of The Black Sea in the European mainland), and Poland was one of the last regions of Europe to accept Christianity, which (having been embraced in 00313 when co-Emperors Constantine the Great and Licinius issued the Edict of Milan, providing for restitution to Christians injured during the persecutions), could arguably be considered to be an extension of Ancient Rome.

-TWRE lasted roughly 1,200 years in duration.
-Ancient Rome (including TERE) lasted rougly 2,206 years.
-If one considers Christianity to be an extension of Ancient Rome, then predominantly-Christian nations could arguably still be considered to be a part of a Roman civilization that has so far lasted 2,773 years.

The fall of TWRE was a 74-year-long period from about 00402 (when the capital of TWRE was forcibly moved from the city of Rome to the city of Ravenna), through 00410 (when the Sack of Rome occurred: Rome was sacked by the Visigoths under their king Alaric I), until about 00476 (when Odoacer conquered the Western Roman capital Ravenna, forced Emperor Romulus to abdicate, declared himself king of Italy, and The former Roman Senate sent former Emperor Zeno the imperial regalia of the Western Roman Empire).

See the wikipedia timeline for more detail.

 

Democracy Now: Historic and Prophetic Speech of Martin Luther King, Jr.

https://www.democracynow.org/shows/2021/1/18

Opinion: How a little-known incident in 1956 unnerved MLK

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/15/opinions/martin-luther-king-jr-crisis-of-faith-lowenstein/index.html

Yolanda Renee King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s granddaughter, speaks at the March on Washington about racial equality, environmental justice and police brutality.

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/08/28/martin-luther-king-jr-granddaughter-speech-march-on-washington-nr-vpx.cnn

https://www.linkedin.com/video/live/urn:li:ugcPost:6755679333525831680/

LinkedIn presents Brian White, Tahlia Kahn, Manan Arya, Lizbeth B. De La Torre, and about ~1,000 commenters from several different social media platforms for the 02021 January episode of the monthly series “The von Kármán Lecture Series”. The presenters discuss how each of us at home, with nothing more than a flat surface and a piece of paper, can both (1) learn the fascinating Japanese art of Origami (written as “” and pronounced as “ ” in Hiragana or as “Ō Ri Ga Mi” in Romaji) that historical references indicate first began in the year 01680, and also (2) contribute to the ever-growing collection of design ideas for spacecraft that can be folded (folding is absolutely necessary for putting some spacecraft into orbit, in particular, those that have a very large surface area like a solar sail, but a relatively small volume).

This presentation draws on the very old Japanese art of Origami as well as physics, math, engineering, biology, and biomimicry.

 

 

Conan the Barbarian is a 01982 American epic sword-and-sorcery film directed by John Milius and written by Milius and Oliver Stone. It is based on the character Conan, created by Robert E. Howard. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Earl Jones, and tells the story of a young muscular barbarian warrior named Conan (Schwarzenegger), who seeks vengeance for the death of his parents at the hands of Thulsa Doom (Jones), the leader of a snake cult. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conan_the_Barbarian_(1982_film)

On the early history of Canada and the USA as influenced by France and Britain, in particular on the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Whose version of this historic event should prevail? Is history best served by documentary or fiction? We also meet Baron Georges Savarin de Marestan and Andrew Wolfe-Burroughs, direct descendants of Montcalm and Wolfe, both of whom died in the battle that would give birth to Canada and to the province of Quebec. In French (and some spoken English) with English subtitles.

Directed by Jacques Godbout

https://www.radio.com/podcasts/coronavirus-fact-vs-fiction-35277/teen-scientist-discovers-potential-covid-19-treatment-353793995

Fourteen-year-old Anika Chebrolu is the 2020 winner of the 3M Young Scientist Challenge. In this episode, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta hands things over to her to talk about her discovery of a potential therapy for Covid-19.

The Paradoxical Commandments

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

A related version sometimes attributed to Mother Teresa (perhaps incorrectly):

 

Thank you to my lifelong mentor Professor John Mix who introduced me to this quote on 02021 January 01.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/29/us/teens-arrested-throwing-bricks-cars-trnd/index.html

“After a brief pursuit, police arrested two boys, ages 15 and 16, and two girls, also ages 15 and 16, in connection with the brick tossing. In total, the teens struck 19 cars with bricks, police said.”

“All four of them were charged with aggravated assault and battery with a brick, five counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, mayhem, conspiracy, 19 counts of malicious damage to a motor vehicle, throwing missiles at a train or bus and resisting arrest.”

But of course the sun
Will come back tomorrow
Once again, I know
Darkness I’ve seen worse
To make people sane
Wait the sun is coming
There are people who are on the same side as you
But it should be on the other side
There are people who hurt others
There are people who don’t know how to love
There are people fooling us
See our life as it is
But i know one day we learn
If you want someone to trust
Trust in yourself
Who believes always reaches
But of course the sun
Will come back tomorrow
Once again, I know
Darkness I’ve seen worse
To make people sane
Wait the sun is coming
Never let them tell you it’s not worth it
Believe in the dream you have
Or that your plans will never work
Or that you’ll never be somebody
There are people who hurt others
There are people who don’t know how to love
But i know one day we learn
If you want someone to trust
Trust in yourself
Who believes always reaches

Thank you to Raphael A. Silva (for the song reference and for making and sharing pgModeler) who introduced me to this song while I was searching for software to help with drawing Entity Relationship Diagrams.

The human body has no mechanism for storing protein, so if you don’t eat enough protein in each meal then you’re depriving yourself if the body’s building blocks: amino acids (the units of all proteins). Some amino acids can be made by the body from others. Those that cannot be made from others are called essential amino acids, because without them, the body is not able to do some things that it can do with all essential amino acids. Quinoa is one of a few vegetable sources of all essential amino acids (meat also supplies all essential amino acids).

This protein calculator is a handy too for determining how much protein you should way in a day (RDA: Recommended Daily Allowance).

https://www.calculator.net/protein-calculator.html

I’ve been waiting for something to happen
For a week or a month or a year
With the blood in the ink of the headlines
And the sound of the crowd in my ear
You might ask what it takes to remember
When you know that you’ve seen it before
Where a government lies to a people
And a country is drifting to war

And there’s a shadow on the faces
Of the men who send the guns
To the wars that are fought in places
Where their business interest runs

On the radio talk shows and the T.V.
You hear one thing again and again
How the U.S.A. stands for freedom
And we come to the aid of a friend
But who are the ones that we call our friends–
These governments killing their own?
Or the people who finally can’t take any more
And they pick up a gun or a brick or a stone
There are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire

There’s a shadow on the faces
Of the men who fan the flames
Of the wars that are fought in places
Where we can’t even say the names

They sell us the President the same way
They sell us our clothes and our cars
They sell us every thing from youth to religion
The same time they sell us our wars
I want to know who the men in the shadows are
I want to hear somebody asking them why
They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
But they’re never the ones to fight or to die
And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire

https://www.coursera.org/specializations/python

Chuck Severance: “everyone [みんな] should learn programming”.

I agree. In my opinion, reading and writing computer code has become the new minimum educational standard. If you don’t know how to do computer programming, then in my view, this has now become tantamount to not knowing the alphabet of your first human language. Or perhaps it’s like being a very inexperienced young child and walking into a room full of adults who are all talking about stuff you don’t have the slightest understanding of.

Learning programming is not only fun (especially as taught by Dr. Chuck in the courses above), creative, and lucrative, but (perhaps most importantly), it teaches you how to think coherently. If you learn to program, you’ll become a better communicator with other humans too, because you’ll learn how to express your thoughts unambiguously, and you’ll encounter fewer misunderstandings with friends and family.

If you’re dedicated, all five courses in this specialization can be completed within the 7 day free trial. Just do it. But don’t stop there. Like learning any new human language, you will very quickly lose the skill if you don’t write at least some code every day. This specialization is full of recommendations on what to do next to continue to hone your coding skills learned in this course.

This specialization will give you the “ABCs” of programming, but it’s up to you to continue learning and practicing afterwards.

Billie Holiday (01939)

Nina Simone (01965)

The story behind “The Song of the Century” (02015)

01937 poem and song written by Abel Meeropol entitled “Bitter Fruit” about a photograph captured on 01930 August 07. 01939 song first recorded and performed at Café Society, an integrated nightclub in Greenwich Village by Billie Holiday entitled “Strange Fruit“:

Southern trees bear strange fruit,
(Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,)
Black body swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant South,
(The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,)
Scent of magnolia, sweet and fresh,
(And the sudden smell of burning flesh.)

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for a tree to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.

So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from hell?
Blue skies from pain?
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

Did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
Did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here
We’re just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl
Year after year
Running over the same old ground
What have we found?
The same old fears
Wish you were here

Songwriters: David Gilmour / Roger Waters

Walk across the courtyard, towards the library
I can hear the insects buzz and the leaves ‘neath my feet
Ramble up the stairwell, into the hall of books
Since we got the interweb these hardly get used
Duck into the men’s room, combing through my hair
When god gave us mirrors he had no idea
Looking for a lesson in the periodicals
There I spy you listening to the AM radio
Karen of the carpenters, singing in the rain
Another lovely victim of the mirror’s evil way
It’s not like you’re not trying, with a pencil in your hair
To defy the beauty the good lord put in there
Simple little bookworm, buried underneath
Is the sexiest librarian
Take off those glasses and let down your hair for me
So I watch you thru the bookcase, imagining a scene
You and I at dinner, spending time, then to sleep
And what then would I say to you, lying there in bed?
These words, with a kiss, I would plant in your head
“What is it inside our heads that makes us do the opposite?
Makes us do the opposite of what’s right for us?
Cause everything’d be great, and everything’d be good
If everybody gave like everybody could”
Sweetest little bookworm
Hidden underneath
Is the sexiest librarian
Take off those glasses and let down your hair for me
Take off those glasses and let down your hair for me
Simple little beauty, heaven in your breath
The simplest of pleasures, the world at it’s best

Songwriters: James Edward Olliges Jr.

You’re a fraud and you know it
But it’s too good to throw it all away
Anyone would do the same
You’ve got ’em going
And you’re careful not to show it
Sometimes you even fool yourself a bit
It’s like magic
But it’s always been a smoke and mirrors game
Anyone would do the same
So now that you’ve arrived well you wonder
What is it that you’ve done to make the grade
And should you do the same?
(Is that too easy?)
Are you only trying to please them
(Will they see then?)
You’re desperate to deliver
Anything that could give you
A sense of reassurance
When you look in the mirror
Such highs and lows
You put on quite a show
All these highs and lows
And you’re never really sure
What you do it for
Well do you even want to know?
You put on quite a show
Are you watching?
Are you watching?
(Mother)
Are you watching?
(Mother)
You’re a fraud and you know it
And every night and day you take the stage
And it always entertains
You’re giving pleasure
And that’s admirable, you tell yourself
And so you’d gladly sell yourself
To others
Are you watching?
(Mother)
Are you watching?
(Mother)
Are you watching?
(Mother)
Are you watching?
Such highs and lows
You put on quite a show
All these highs and lows
And you’re never really sure
What you do it for
Well do you even want to know?
Yeah you put on quite a show

Songwriters: Walter Andre De Backer

I went to a cobbler to fix a hole in my shoe
He took one look at my face and said, “I can fix that hole in you”
“I beg your pardon, I’m not lookin’ for a cure,
I’ve seen enough of my friends in the depths of the godsick blues”
You know I am a liar
You know I am a liar
Nobody helps a liar
‘Cause I’ve been down to Dixie and dropped acid on my tongue
Tripped upon the land ’til enough was enough
I was a little bit lighter and adventure on my sleeve
I was a little drunk and looking for company
So I found myself a sweetheart with the softest of hands
We were unlucky in love, but I’d do it all again
We built ourselves a fire
We built ourselves a fire
But you know I am a liar
You know I am a liar
And you don’t know what I’ve done
By the rolling river is exactly where I was
There was no snake oil cure for unlucky in love
To be lonely is a habit like smoking or taking drugs
And I’ve quit them both, but, man, was it rough
Now I am tired
It just made me tired
Let’s build ourselves a fire
Let’s build ourselves a fire

Songwriters: Jenny Lewis

I won’t take all that they hand me down
And make out a smile, though I wear a frown
And I won’t take it all lying down
‘Cause once I get started I go to town
‘Cause I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else
And I don’t want to ball about like everybody else
And I don’t want to live my life like everybody else
And I won’t say that I feel fine like everybody else
‘Cause I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else
But darling, you know that I love you true
Do anything that you want me to
Confess all my sins like you want me to
There’s one thing that I will say to you
I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else
And I don’t want to ball about like everybody else
And I don’t want to live my life like everybody else
And I won’t say that I feel fine like everybody else
‘Cause I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else
Like everybody else
Like everybody else
Like everybody else
Like everybody else
If you all want me to settle down
Slow up and stop all my running ’round
Do everything like you want me to
There’s one thing that I will say to you
I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else
And I don’t want to ball about like everybody else
And I don’t want to live my life like everybody else
And I won’t say that I feel fine like everybody else
‘Cause I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else
Like everybody else (like everybody else)
Like everybody else (like everybody else)
Like everybody else (like everybody else)

A long long time ago
I can still remember how
That music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they’d be happy for a while
But February made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more step
I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
Something touched me deep inside
The day the music died
So Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die
Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so?
Do you believe in rock and roll?
Can music save your mortal soul?
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?
Well, I know that you’re in love with him
‘Cause I saw you dancin’ in the gym
You both kicked off your shoes
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues
I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died
I started singin’
Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die
Now, for ten years we’ve been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rolling stone
But, that’s not how it used to be
When the jester sang for the king and queen
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
And a voice that came from you and me
Oh and while the king was looking down
The jester stole his thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned
And while Lennon read a book on Marx
The quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died
We were singin’
Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
And singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die
Helter skelter in a summer swelter
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter
Eight miles high and falling fast
It landed foul on the grass
The players tried for a forward pass
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast
Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While sergeants played a marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance
‘Cause the players tried to take the field
The marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?
We started singin’
Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
And singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die
Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again
So come on Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
‘Cause fire is the devil’s only friend
Oh and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in Hell
Could break that Satan’s spell
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died
He was singin’
Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die
I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away
I went down to the sacred store
Where I’d heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play
And in the streets the children screamed
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken
And the three men I admire most
The Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died
And they were singing
Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die
They were singing
Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die

Songwriter: Don McLean

Python is a very important and ubiquitous programming language with a free software license originally authored by Guido van Rossum who made the initial release of python in 01990 when he was 34 years old.

Django is a web framework for writing web apps which is based on python. Some well-known web apps are those found at the following sites: PBS, Instagram, Mozilla, The Washington Times, Disqus, Bitbucket, and Nextdoor. Django is perhaps the most widely-used web framework for this purpose although there are other widely used web frameworks too. Django was created in the fall of 02003 by Adrian Holovaty (who was then age 21 years) and Simon Willison (who was then age 22).

djangoforbeginners.com is an introductory book (first three chapters are free on the web and provide a great introduction) authored by William Vincent that anyone can use to learn django and thus acquire all the skills necessary to begin building web apps yourself.

Web apps represent one of the fastest growing sectors of the global and US economy, and web app designers are extremely highly sought after by myriad companies throughout the world. In the US, salaries for web app designers start at around $50,000 per annum (which is about twice the salary of someone who gets paid the legal minimum wage) and go much higher, perhaps $100,000 to $150,000. This book also introduces the reader to git, github, and heroku (ひろく) three ubiquitous tools associated with programming and web apps et. al.

CNN (Ryan Prior): 1 in 4 young people are reporting suicidal thoughts. Here’s how to help

Wikipedia article about this film.

Wikipedia article about Aaron.

Aaron’s website and weblog (or blog) .

I wish we lived in a society where Aaron could have truly felt like he could safely communicate his despair to someone he trusted (in order to help make the pain of his despair go away), rather than doing what he did: resorting to suicide (in order to make the pain of his despair go away).

All my life, I’ve tried to create at least a microcosm of that kind-of society. But it takes at least two honest, mature, self-assured, and mutually supportive people to accomplish that goal. And in all my life, though I remain open to the idea that there may be a few such people among the three hundred million in the US, I’ve never encountered a second such person myself. I suspect that Aaron might have encountered the same scarcity.

And I suspect that Alexandra Valoras might also have encountered the same scarcity when she took her own life in Grafton, MA at age 17 on 02018 March 19, between 5 and 6 years after Aaron. Tragically, even though she lived with her parents, it seems to me (based on her suicide and her written thoughts leading up to her suicide) that she felt like she could not trust even her parents enough to communicate her despair to them.

My mother tended to suffer from a similar despair, though she had the strength to soldier on through the despair and lived to a ripe old age, having passed away more than a decade ago from natural causes. Mom taught me an important poem that I wish someone would have shared with Alexandra in response to her writing in her diary:

“You are broken.
You are a burden.
You are lazy.
You are a failure.”

In his 01927 poem Desiderata, Max Ehrmann wrote: “Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Her to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Don’t strive to be a success or to be an engineer, Alexandra; just strive to be happy. Alexandra needed to hear that from someone who cared about her. Hearing that might’ve been all she needed to make it through 02018 March 19 alive. I wonder how many other people need to hear that today from someone who cares about them.

Instead of creating and fostering such empathic people every day, our society creates myriad people like Michelle Carter who at age 17, repeatedly urged and goaded Conrad Henri Roy III to take his own life in Fairhaven, MA on 02014 July 13 when he was age 18, between 1 and 2 years after Aaron. 

I like a quotation that highlights what I consider to be the only acceptable alternative for all people who encounter this scarcity: “And in the end, all I learned was how to be strong alone.” I don’t know who originally wrote this. And although I sense that the original author saw this sentence and its lesson as some kind of failure (“…all I learned…”), I see it as the most essential success for anyone (I would revise it as: “…I finally managed to learn how to be strong alone.”).

I wish I had known Aaron. If I had, I would have told him that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

It’s easy to say and to write this simple sentence, especially for someone like me who doesn’t feel that despair himself. But it’s more difficult to truly believe it, deep down inside, day after day, indefinitely, especially for someone like Aaron who was feeling that despair (most empathically demonstrated by atheist Ricky Gervais‘ in his character Tony after the loss to breast cancer of Tony’s wife Lisa in Netflix TV series “After Life”) for years.

For example, according to the wikipedia article about him, Aaron was arrested in Cambridge, MA on 02011 January 06 and was indicted on felony charges by a federal grand jury on 02011 July 11. And 737 days after being arrested, on the evening of 02013 January 11, Aaron’s girlfriend, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, found him dead in his Brooklyn, NY apartment. A spokeswoman for New York’s Medical Examiner reported that Aaron had hanged himself. So I think it is reasonable to guess that Aaron managed to live with that crippling despair day after day for at least 736 days before finally succumbing to the need to make the pain of his despair go away by suicide.

If Aaron had learned in his short bright life how to be strong alone, then I think he would still be with us today, and undoubtedly would be still a profoundly positive influence on his loving family and on society.

But I didn’t learn how to be strong alone until I reached my fifties, so I know it can be extremely difficult in youth. And even an incredibly highly accomplished person like then-CNO Jeremy Michael Boorda seems not to have learned how to be strong alone; even in his fifties. For Admiral Boorda also died by suicide at age 56 on 01996 May 16 (mere weeks before I was to meet him), between 16 and 17 years before Aaron. And Robin Williams (wealthy and world-famous comedian and apparently-happy funnyman and the voice of Lovelace the Rockhopper and Ramón the Adelie in the 02006 film Happy Feet) died by suicide at age 63 on 02014 August 11, between 1 and 2 years after Aaron.

It can apparently happen to the best of us at any age. I wonder how many consecutive days of that crippling despair Admiral Boorda and Robin Williams lived through before they succumbed to the need to make the pain go away. It seems to require not only decades of life experience, but also tremendous wisdom, to be able to learn this important ability: how to be strong alone.

But I think it’s a necessary life skill in the society we live in today. And I think this necessity is also an indictment of our society as it exists today; that our society systematically drives many people to consider suicide and simultaneously discourages us all from expressing empathy for those who have the courage to share that they are considering it; we relegate this to the role of a professional (who acts because it is their professional duty for which they receive financial compensation) rather than a friend or a family member.

I reject the notion that suicide is always the result of an individual suffering from a mental pathology like clinical depression. Instead, I would often diagnose pathology in the society. For I think that only the strongest young people are capable of learning how to be strong alone. I admire those strong young people immensely, for it’s a monumental task that even wealthy and successful people with 50 or 60 years of life experience often fail at.

In 01969, John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote: “And in the end, the love you take [receive?], is equal to the love you make [give?]…”.

And it’s a lovely and desirable sentiment, and I wish it were true in some society somewhere, but decades of living in the US has convinced me that it’s not true in our society today. Instead, in our society, to avoid the fate of Aaron (age 26) and Alexandra (age 17) and Conrad (age 18) and Admiral Boorda (age 56) and Robin Williams (age 63), “And in the end, each of us must learn how to be strong alone.”

Apparently in 02003 (based on the release date for his album Weather Systems which featured Track 02 “I”, an earlier take on his more popular “Imitosis”, a word I think he coined as the name of the diagnosis I would give to our society’s pathology mentioned above), Andrew Bird wrote the lyrics for his Armchair Apocrypha Track 02 “Imitosis”:

He’s keeping busy
Yeah he’s bleeding stones
With his machinations and his palindromes
It was anything but hear the voice
anything but hear the voice
It was anything but hear the voice
That says that we’re all basically alone

Poor Professor Pynchon had only good intentions
When he put his Bunsen burners all away
And turning to a playground in a Petri dish
Where single cells would swing their fists
At anything that looks like easy prey
In this nature show that rages every day
It was then he heard his intuition say

We were all basically alone
And despite what all his studies had shown
That what’s mistaken for closeness
Is just a case for mitosis
And why do some show no mercy
While others are painfully shy
Tell me doctor can you quantify
‘Cause he just wants to know the reason, the reason why

Why do they congregate in groups of four
Scatter like a billion spores
And let the wind just carry them away?
How can kids be so mean [Michelle]?
Our famous doctor tried to glean
As he went home at the end of the day
In this nature show that rages every day
It was then he heard his intuition say

We were all basically alone
Despite what all his studies had shown
That what’s mistaken for closeness
Is just a case of mitosis
Sure fatal doses of malcontent through osmosis
And why do some show no mercy [Michelle]
While others are painfully shy [Conrad]
Oh tell me doctor, can you quantify?
The reason why?

Wikipedia article about this documentary.

Philosopher and author Henry David Thoreau, who deeply considered many issues, also wrote about corporations: “I cannot believe that our factory system is the best mode by which men may get clothing. The condition of the operatives is becoming every day more like that of the English; and it cannot be wondered at, since, as far as I have heard or observed, the principal object is, not that mankind may be well and honestly clad, but, unquestionably, that the corporations may be enriched.A week on the Concord and Merrimack rivers ; Walden, or, Life in the woods ; The Maine woods ; Cape Cod (pp 343–344) (emphasis not present in original)

Use the “next” [>|] and “previous” [|<] buttons embedded in media controls at bottom of video display during playback to change between viewing episodes 1, 2, and 3.

A more complete (though written, not film) history is the article at wikipedia.

I think the period of roughly 01700–01950 in which Portugal, Britain, and The East India Trading Company (EIC) played a large role is more interesting because of the strong influence of opium and countries and corporations other than China on China’s history, with perhaps the Century of Humiliation or 百年耻辱 (01839–01949) being the most interesting.

Before watching parts 1 & 2 of this series, I was only dimly aware of this ideology as a component of modern USA. After watching them, I now sincerely think these people can be objectively diagnosed with several mental and behavioral pathologies.

I also think that the thought process they embrace is deeply disturbing and also increasingly common, especially among those who are less well-educated, but even among many extremely highly-educated people. Towards the end of this epidose a PhD candidate is shown to be among this group.

All rational historians agree based upon myriad evidence that the ancient Western Roman Empire was full of corrupt, wealthy, elitist people led by a man who openly styled himself as dominus et deus, “lord and god”. They also agree that the Goths played a major role in the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, starting by some estimates in the year 376 CE.

If the growing divide in the society of today’s USA can be likened to that of ancient Rome, then I think the people being documented in this episode can be likened to the Goths who played a major role in The Fall.

I hope law enforcement and the intelligence community treat these people as the single greatest threat in existence (arguably greater even than China) to the stability of the modern USA.

And I think it is important that everyone in the world and especially in the USA today is aware of this very real threat and that we all try to work together—as a community embracing a gentle spirit of kindness towards our fellow humans who oppose hatred—to make law enforcement aware of people who are known to be participants in this ideology of hatred.

Space, Time, and Einstein
with Brian Greene

Join Brian Greene, acclaimed physicist and author, in a visual and conceptual exploration of Einstein’s spectacular insights into space, time and energy. All the startling conclusions of special relativity, from time travel to E=mc^2, come from one idea: the constancy of the speed of light. Take a wild ride into the deepest aspects of reality that defy everyday experience. These lectures were filmed in 02014 July–August.

This online course is presented as a somewhat typical university course, including office hours with the professor for questions et. al.

Brian Greene may be the most eloquent living physicist today when it comes to explaining difficult concepts from science to anyone without a formal education in the sciences. If Carl Sagan (01934–01996) began this trend, then Brian Greene (01963–) may now be carrying the torch, so-to-speak. Brian Greene once said: “I’m thrilled by having my preconceptions of the world smacked around. I mean there’s nothing to me that’s more exciting than to learn that everything that I long thought about the world is wrong. That’s a glorious moment for me.” (While speaking with Lera Boroditsky, linguist and psychologist)
https://youtu.be/1FJWvEbeBps (1:12:16)