"When I get new evidence I change my mind. What do you do?" John Maynard Keynes
- Work In Progress: The Problem of Peace In the Context of Religions
- Teaching Cartoon: Secret of a Long Life
- Sitting On the Bay
- Free Play Means Free Plus Play
- ARK Pieces; and About Process
- Google Glass Chamber Music Mix
- Scrappers Edge Freeplayers 6-5!
- Painting on a Pad
- The Adolescence of the Tubes
- Gods of the Abstract Social
- Twenty Six Zeroes! The Oldest Sound
- Rep ‘n’ learnin’
- Ding Dong
- Another Grid; A Green Man
- Doorkeepers of the Heart
- If, during the long course of ages and under varying conditions of life, organic beings vary at all in the several parts of their organization, and I think this cannot be disputed; if there be, owing to the high geometric powers of increase of each species, at some age, season or year, a severe struggle for life, and this certainly cannot be disputed; then, considering the infinite complexity of the relations of all organic beings to each other and to their conditions of existence, causing an infinite variety in structure, constitution, and habits, to be advantageous to them, I think it would be a most extraordinary fact if no variation ever had occurred useful to each being’s own welfare, in the same way as so many variations have occurred useful to man. But if variations useful to any organic being do occur, assuredly individuals thus characterized will have the best chance of being preserved in the struggle for life; and from the strong principle of inheritance they will tend to produce offspring similarly characterized. This principle of preservation, I have called, for the sake of brevity, Natural Selection. [Charles Darwin (1859) On the Origin of Species]
- “It is essential to such a government, that it be derived from the great body of the society, not from an inconsiderable proportion, or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans, and claim for their government the honorable title of republic.” James Madison
- All the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it. -Benjamin Franklin
- Man of Steel trailer shows off Superman's HEAT VISION May 22, 2013Cue the theme music; there's a brand new Man of Steel trailer that showcases a whole pant-load of new superhero footage, including lots of new threats and violence from General Zod and his minions, Lois Lane and Faora footage, and HEAT VISION! Clark Kent is aaaangry! Read more... […]
- We'll seriously miss Warehouse 13 May 22, 2013Now that Warehouse 13 has been consigned to the same fate as Eureka — tying off loose ends and then going away for good — each episode is a reminder that this show is still seriously fun, and quite agile. Last night's episode was mostly a standard "artifact of the week" outing, but it packed in a lot of goodness in one hour.Read more... […]
- Your daily dose of nightmare fuel: squiggly ant-parasites from hell May 21, 2013From entomologist, blogger and insect photographer Alex Wild comes this remarkable image of a trapjaw ant, torn asunder to reveal the wriggling, 8-inch parasitic worm living inside. (The ant, by comparison, measures about half an inch long.)Read more... […]
- The Only Character in Revolution Who's Still Worth Rooting For May 21, 2013I can't bring myself to complain about Revolution any more — about the fact that this show isn't living up to its fun, swashbuckling pilot and also doesn't seem to be about anything, other than "war is awful and soldiers are bad people." So here's a tribute to the show's best character instead.Read more... […]
- Medical Lawsuit: Stop Wrecking Babies' Genitals May 21, 2013A landmark legal case may finally put a stop to almost half a century of bizarre medical procedures in the United States, where children's genitals have been surgically altered to fit a standardized definition of the proper sizes for penises and clitorises. Read more... […]
- Man of Steel trailer shows off Superman's HEAT VISION May 22, 2013
- Animatronic Beaker Puppet Lip-Syncs to Tunes May 21, 2013
- MAKE Asks: Projects from our Pages May 21, 2013
- Controlling 5 Servos With a Raspberry Pi May 21, 2013
- LA Times: Maker Faire may be Silicon Valley’s Most Important Export May 21, 2013
- Pirate Pancake Follows Captain Crepe May 21, 2013
Category Archives: personal
Last May, when Sonny, our male cat, was five months old and a lithe leaper, I constructed a video and posted it to youtube. Since then 62 people have viewed the video. Thank you. I did my part. The video did not go viral.
Sonny, grown-up, apparently.
Yeah, now he’s a big lad; 15lbs. He cannot really elevate like he used to be able to do, but when he gets up a head of steam he can get himself up five feet. As always, he doesn’t stick the landing as much as try to wrestle his ‘touch-down’ momentum back down to zero.
It’s six weeks after our move, and I’m sensing in myself small urges to publish stuff on the Explorations Blog. Probably, on some morning in the near future, I will climb the stairs into the new third floor studio-in-progress, sit down at the screen, and, keep this endeavor lurching into the new year.
It is likely that there will be a “flurry” of activity.
For the moment, I am ticking off tasks on the formidable master list, re-acclimating to the demands of home ownership, printing and framing the results of visual experiments (and littering our fresh walls with these,) and, building strength to set up shelving and unbox the darn music collection.
I’ll have something to express about our finding a kome almost exactly one mile from the house I group up in between zero-seven years of age in good ol’ Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
Kizzy. Looking over the wash of posts oriented to the recently past political season, and the interjections of Freeplay Softball reports and a few postings of my art, I see right away the points of emphasis will soon be shifting. I don’t plan much out, still, I’ve been collecting teaching cartoons, and interesting captures from the web tubes, and, other stuff, while I neglect packing up for the big move into the new house–except I’m remaining behind in important respects until the current house is sold!
People who know me well might find it amusing to learn my preoccupations aren’t throwing me all about as they usually do. Ironically, the research project into Strategic Serendipity is on hold just as the whole field blows up on the breath of several best-selling, albeit non-technical, treatments of the subject.
Before packing up 18,000+ records and discs, and, after emptying out the basement record library, prior to the excellent Pure-O-Clean coming in to remove the Pergo. I’m still sorting out the damage from the August water tank leak. It is what it is.
In fairly short order between August 6 and 17th, first the apple tree’s main limb parted ways with the trunk and fell five or so feet onto the garage roof, and ten days later the water tank for the upstair’s suite sprang a leak and over forty-five minutes several hundred gallons poured on the floor and migrated over to the music library.
Luckily, I was home at the time. It could have been worse. The bottom rows of vinyl records actually served as a dam and prevented the water from reaching the walls. A laminate floor was destroyed, and a lot of vintage record covers were trashed too.
…trivial problems in the scheme of things. My blogging activity is going to be even more reduced as I manage some repair and insurance situations, and figure out with Susan where we’re going to move to in–most likely–Cleveland Heights later in the fall.
This photo of my dad holding my twin brother Timothy likely taken close to the day we came home after a little incubation at the beginning of 1954 surely has a companion picture with yours truly in the same position.
I couldn’t find it. Going through family pictures today I quickly realized my dad is the one taking almost every picture. I didn’t find any pictures with us both in the frame.
When I think of my dad, I reflect on a number of amusing incidents, and, in reflecting on myself and my endowment, consider the several ways I am much like my father, besides sharing his perfect Calhoun nose. I’m grateful for the positive aspects, and so I’m thankful for being intelligent, charming, fearless, and, until recently, for replicating to a great extent his tidy, athletic physical stature.
On the other hand, I am really quite different too, and count my lucky stars I’m not messianic or a warrior, not quick to anger, and not enthusiastically certain about very much. That I’m not like him in these ways are the highlights of my opposing compensation.
There aren’t pictures of us together after a specific point because I finally begged off being trained into a crew member–sailboat racer–and so after 1967, my dad left me alone. Scroll ahead twenty-six years. He’s sixty-nine and I’m thirty-nine. He and I are sitting in his home office–I had returned to Cleveland the year before after eighteen years elsewhere–and he’s asked me what I’m interested in, only to answer,
“Psychology is crap, Stephen.”
Nevertheless, he and I spent some quality moments together in what turned out to be the last decade of his life, and I guess I forgot to say we both possessed an often puerile and bawdy wit. So, we laughed together a bunch.
The Foretopman’s Vision
I don’t know who they are–
those two with arms
paddling through a sea of drifting wheat,
how love tacks
against the course of passion.
Their hands collapse on faces
like falling sails.
She arches over him
a human wave.
Then dusk-shadow of the barn’s rotting hull
covers them like a cloud
as they sink in deep
The wind beats my face A
making all these metal shrouds lonely swing.
Chants For the Root Cutter (1983; Burning Press, Cleveland)
No Way Out
In the far suburbs
when windows go black
and moon brings gauze
down to the rooftops,
while strangers cruise
listening for happenings
unable to sleep
because of neon,
I saw in a vision Theseus
lost and without his gold thread
running in backyards like a burglar
while in every bed
the minotaurs slept peacefully
knowing the maze had conquered.
In the aftermath of our mother’s passing, a lot of documentation comes to the surface. Well, we’ve been going into the archives.
My late brother was a father, poet, philosopher, communitarian, street prophet, Christian, lady’s man–this is my own reckoning with his personal hierarchy. He was a ‘vertical’ personality, and was so in almost–seemingly–reaction equal and opposite to my own horizontal personality. We were fraternal virgo twins.
As a poet he was prolific and self-critical, and it is now clear enough that his opus was created from 1971 until his death in 1993. His output is, today, residing in two crates and a collection of floppy discs. I didn’t live in Cleveland between 1974 and 1991, so I learned of his stature as an artist only upon returning, and this was just a small, brighter, part of the saddened learning.
The only photo I’ve seen of the five of us, taken at my brother Crede and sister-law Carol’s wedding in July 1992.
Jean S. Calhoun, March 20-1927 – January 25, 2012 (with her granddaughter, Caileigh Raine Calhoun, daughter of my brother Crede and sister-in-law Carol)
With me holding her hand, streaming into the last seconds of a four month long, unwinding process, my mother passed away last Wednesday, at 1:00pm, and, did so in her home, as she had both wished and planned for.
There is a great deal I could say about my relationship with Jean, who I usually just called mom. I spent a great deal of quality time with her over the twenty years here in Cleveland, after I returned. We were both Fabian Social Democrats–although she would tell you she remained an “Adlai Stevenson Democrat,” whereas I would harken farther back to the 17th century and tell you I am a Digger. We managed to eat up great gobs of our time together in our lamentations on the state of current events; oh, and decrying also–whatever–year’s dashed Cleveland sports hope was then unfolding.
Even a neutral observer could pick out the extraordinary nature of our mother-son relations–for the simple reason that such an opportunity is likely to be realized when two fiercely intelligent, and curious, and sophisticated, sensibilities are set upon each other as friends in adulthood. (Then, you put in the time.) I had occasion many times to remind her I was like her, and was, like her father, self-taught and a lifelong student.
(Because the process of interpersonal knowing is one of a handful of subjects I am most focused on, and its procedures are enacted as a matter of course, almost everything else about my mom is in the context of the vigorous inquiry I waged over two decades.)
At the same time, it’s complicated too: we worked through a lot of our ‘stuff’ at the beginning (in the early nineties,) moved as a family through the suicide of my twin brother Tim, got through her first cancer year, went through other intense stuff. And: then there was the time I dropped by to visit on a whim and ended up saving her life. Our relationship was, for her, at exacting moments, bittersweet. I suppose it had to be so for one of us.
So, yup, it’s complicated, yet our relationship was complicated in the way poetry and music come to be deeply summed. This was very cool and the consequence is that I can access my mother’s sensibility by accessing her resonant facts, facts which remain easily found in myself.
This is the true joy in life being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. George Bernard Shaw
Speaking of Shaw, my mom sorted her own version of the hundred versions of the one religion, describing it to me one day as being, in the main, sensual and oceanic.
Jean S. Calhoun, a trailblazing college administrator and educator, passed away at home after a short illness on Jan 25, 2012. Mrs. Calhoun was the first female Vice President of Case Western Reserve University, serving as Assistant Vice President of the University between 1974-1982. She finished her career as Associate Vice President For Academic Affairs, retiring in 1988 after being named the university’s first female Vice President Emerita.
She began her career as a teaching fellow at Western Reserve University, earning her masters in English there in 1959. Later she was a lecturer on the faculty of the English Department until 1966. At that point she served as a senior associate on The Heald Commission, and co-wrote and edited the final report that recommended the merger of Western Reserve University with Case Institute of Technology. From there, she became a special assistant at the new university, and later Assistant Dean, and then Vice Provost.
She graduated magna cum laude from Bryn Mawr College in 1948, after graduating as Valedictorian of Batavia High School in Batavia, New York.
She and her former husband moved to northeast Ohio in 1951. She was active in the humanities and libraries, and served on the Ohio Humanities Council from 1972-1979, including a term as its Chairperson between 1976-1979. She served on the board of the State Library of Ohio between 1985-1992, and served as Chairperson between 1986-1990. She was invited on several occasions to participate on the Grant Review Panel of the National Endowment of the Arts. She was an Advisory Trustee of the Cleveland Music School Settlement between 1979-1992.
After co-authoring the Final Report of the Heald Commission in 1967, Mrs. Calhoun contributed to various studies in the humanities, and she gave the Jennings Lecture in 1975 for Martha Holdings Jennings Foundation. In her retirement she wrote for Shaker Magazine, where she resided after 1977. She also published on a wide range of topics in CWRU, the alumni quarterly. She co-authored and edited The Library and Its Future on behalf of CWRU in 1989.
She traveled widely, and remained in special affinity with the country and people of Greece. A sportswoman, she loved golf and tennis. She was an optimistic enthusiast of the Indians, Browns, and Cavaliers. Retirement freed her to become a very fine chef and flower gardener. Above all she was a lifelong devotee of the arts and classical music. She was a decades-long patron and supporter of The Cleveland Orchestra and Musical Arts Association. (Stephen Calhoun)
Lovers of Truth- rise up!
Let us go toward heaven.
We have seen enough of this world,
It’s time to see another…
No, no- don’t stop here.
The gardens may flow with beauty
But let us go to the Gardner Himself.
Let us go,
Bowing to the ocean
like a raging torrent.
Let us go,
Riding upon the foaming waters
of the sea.
Let us travel from this desert of
Hunger and tears
To the feast of the newlyweds.
Let us change our expression
From one of saffron
To the blossoms of the Judas tree.
Our hearts beat fast
We tremble like leaves about to fall.
Let us become the immovable mountain.
There is no escape from pain for one in exile;
There is no escape from dust
For one who lives in a dustbowl.
Let us be like the birds of paradise,
That fly about drinking sweet water.
We are surrounded by the forms
of a formless creator.
Enough with these forms!
Let us go to the Formless One.
Love is our steady guide
On this road full of hardships.
Even if the king offers you his protection,
It is better to travel with the caravan.
We are the rain that falls upon
a leaky roof-
let us miss the holes
and fall smoothly down the spout.
We are crooked bows
With strings that run from our head to toes;
Soon we will be straight
like an arrow in flight.
We run like mice when we see a cat -
yet we are the lion’s roar.
Let us become that Lion.
Let our souls
mirror the love of our Master.
Let us go before Him
With a handful of gifts.
Now let us be silent
So that the Giver of Speech may speak.
Let us be silent
So we can hear Him calling us
Secretly in the night….
We are surrounded by the forms
Of a formless Creator.
Enough with these forms!
Let us go to the Formless One!
(version of Rumi by Coleman Barks)