"It is easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor."
- Tyrion Lannister

"Lannister. Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that's ones on top and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground. I'm not going to stop the wheel. I'm going to break the wheel."

- Daenerys Targaryen

"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where's the God of Tits and Wine?"

- Tyrion Lannister

"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."

- Jorah Mormont

"These bad people are what I'm good at. Out talking them. Out thinking them."

- Tyrion Lannister

"What happened? I think fundamentals were trumped by mechanics and, to a lesser extent, by demographics."

- Michael Barone

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."
- Dorothy Parker

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Metamorphosis / "why is a raven like a writing desk?"

I saw Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, and thought it was good. Anne Hathaway is very beautiful as the White Queen and the actress playing Alice is very good, as is Depp's Mad Hatter, Stephen Fry's Cheshire Cat, Helena Bonham Carter's Red Queen and the others.

What was interesting to me was how Alan Rickman's Caterpillar said good-bye to Alice as he finished making his cocoon in preparation of turning into a butterfly. It had a finality as if the Caterpillar would lose his memory after his radical transformation.

This article in the New York Times reports a person's genome can be decoded for $50,000.
Besides identifying disease genes, one team, in Seattle, was able to make the first direct estimate of the number of mutations, or changes in DNA, that are passed on from parent to child. They calculate that of the three billion units in the human genome, 60 per generation are changed by random mutation -- considerably less than previously thought.
So presumably, a child receives 120 mutated genes along with 2,999,999,880 duplicate genes from her parents. Alice certainly received the genes for imagination from her father. I like how she had all of those random thoughts while dancing with her suitor.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Solace in Excess
We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like, "I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive . . ."And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about 100 miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming: "Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?" 
Then it was quiet again. My attorney had taken his shirt off and was pouring beer on his chest, to facilitate the tanning process. "What the hell are you yelling about," he muttered, staring up at the sun with his eyes closed and covered with wraparound Spanish sunglasses. "Never mind," I said. "It's your turn to drive." I hit the brakes and aimed the Great Red Shark toward the shoulder of the highway. No point mentioning those bats, I thought. The poor bastard will see them soon enough.

Monday, March 08, 2010

No Credit: Timothy Geithner’s financial plan is working--and making him very unpopular. 
by John Cassidy
The hardest part of his job, Geithner often says, is getting people to comprehend the inner logic of a financial-rescue operation, and the unpopular actions it entails. In fact, his problem may be not economic illiteracy but its opposite: Americans understand all too well what has happened. Financial crises have a way of revealing aspects of our economic system that otherwise remain obscured, such as the symbiotic relationship between Wall Street and Washington, the hidden subsidies that financial firms sometimes receive from the Fed and other government agencies, and the fact that the vast profits that firms like JPMorgan Chase and Goldman generate depend in part on an implicit guarantee from the taxpayer. When ordinary Americans are confronted with these realities, they get angry. "People just don’t get how these institutions got bailed out and their people are still making big bonuses," Mark Zandi noted. "It just does not compute. No matter what you say, you can’t persuade them it’s right."
Godzilla Haikus

(via Ezra Klein)