Wednesday, January 26, 2022


Theodosius Dobzhansky was born January 25, 1900! He was one of the key figures in the synthesis between Darwinian evolutionary theory and the principles of genetics and heredity: that genetic diversity created by genetic mutation is the raw material for natural selection. ... That's about all I understand, LOL, but I'm still workin' on it. A book that I just purchased, "Debating Darwin" has a good Dobzhansky section. 

Monday, January 24, 2022

"Woman in Science"

I have posted for a while about cool old science books.  Here is one, "Woman in Science" by H. J. Mozans (pseudonym for Rev. John A. Zahm, CSC) from 1913. Mozans profiles women in history involved in the sciences (up to the early 20th century). He argues that women have been less prominent in science because of a lack of career and educational opportunities. It was one of the first surveys of the subject, aimed at encouraging women to pursue careers in science. Purchased from the bookseller Type Punch Matrix. 

Friday, January 21, 2022


This past fall, we adopted a sweet little ginger cat. Trying to think of a name, Beth remembered Puddin. 

Puddin wa a tomcat that my parents and their neighbors, the Blythes, fed and looked after, back in the '80s or ‘90s. Filing some old photos and papers in archive boxes, I was thrilled finally to find my two pictures of Puddin. He was visiting my parents' front steps as I came up the sidewalk. He had that look, "Do you feel lucky, well, do you, punk?" You can see that he started to step away as I took the second picture. Eventually he got into a fight with something and had to be put down, but for quite a while, he was a fun little visitor for my folks and their neighbors. He knew and trusted them. 

Here is the original Puddin, and our new little boy whom we adopted!  

A Big Day in Music History

Edwin Starr was a singer-songwriter who worked in music for many years, in the U.S. and the U.K. His 1970 song "War" became a famous anti-war anthem that spent time at #1. It is still so well known! ..... Mac Davis was a singer-songwriter-actor who had success on country and pop charts, particularly in the '70s. When told a song needed a good hook, he came up with the lyrics of one of his most famous songs, "Baby, Don't Get Hooked on Me." He also wrote "In the Ghetto" for Elvis .... Martin Sharp was an Australian artist-cartoonist-poet who had a long career in art. During the mid-'60s, he was working on a poem, "Tales of Brave Ulysses," set to the tune of Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne," when he happened to meet Eric Clapton with a mutual friend. Clapton liked the poem and thought it would fit with a chord progression he had in mind, inspired by the Lovin' Spoonful's "Summer in the City." Sharp went on to design that colorful cover of Cream's classic album, "Disraeli Gears." ... These three artists were all born on January 21, 1942. 

(Photos copied under fair use principles.) 

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Clement Greenberg

 Art critic and essayist Clement Greenberg was born January 16, 1909. I found this quote about him: 

"Greenberg’s writings mostly dealt with non-objective art, Abstract Expressionism, and other forms of formalist and abstract styles, such as color field painting. The crucial importance in a painting for him was in lines, shape and color, while emotional content was considered secondary. Throughout his writings his focus is on a formal purity and dissolution of a subject as the necessary qualities of modernism. Among the creatives he praised early on was Hans Hofmann whose paintings he saw as the highest level of contemporary art, executed in a “radical and uncompromising way.” He also ‘discovered’ Jackson Pollock, and was the first critic who mentioned the most famous figure of action painting in print. It was in his essay for the Nation in 1943. Greenberg described Pollock as “the first painter I know of to have got something positive from the muddiness of color that so profoundly characterizes a great deal of American painting.” Flatness of the picture plane came from the evolution of modernism which started with Manet, and was of utmost importance to Greenberg, who observed it as the unique and exclusive pictorial trait."

Photo copied under fair use principles from:

Dr. King's Birthday

On Dr. King's birthday: here is his mug shot, with his arrest number, when he was arrested in 1956 during the Montgomery bus boycott. Interestingly (according to the site I just checked) this picture was only discovered in 2004, among stored police files:

Here is an interesting article about his strength of listening:

Saturday, December 25, 2021

"It Was the Winter Wild"

It was the Winter wild, 

While the Heaven born child,

    All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies;

Nature in awe to him

Had doffed her gaudy trim,

    With her great Master so to sympathize:

And waving wide her myrtle wand,

She strikes a universal Peace through Sea and Land.

No war or battle's sound

Was heard the world around,

    The idle spear and shield were high up hung;

The hookèd Chariot stood

Unstained with hostile blood,

    The Trumpet spake not to the armèd throng,

And Kings sate still with aweful eye,

As if they surely knew their sovran Lord was by.

But peaceful was the night

Wherein the Prince of light

    His reign of peace upon the earth began:

The winds, with wonder whist,

Smoothly the waters kissed,

    Whispering new joys to the mild Ocean,

Who now hath quite forgot to rave,

While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmèd wave. (Milton)