Miscellaneous thoughts from a miscellaneous person


Schrodinger's Catfood: If your cat tries it just once, chances are he'll never eat anything else.


Zen Master: Does a dog have Buddha Nature? If you answer yes or no, you will lose your own Buddha Nature. Does a dog have Buddha Nature?

Student: Maybe.


Alternate answer: "Yes and no."


"In wickedness of pride is lost the light to understand how little grace is earned and how much given."

Robert Hunter
I took my son to Jones Beach to see Phil Lesh and Friends. The opening act was Robert Hunter, and I thought he was on top of his game. Bob had grown up hearing Hunter's songs, so he was a bit overwhelmed at being in the presence of the man himself. I think it's safe to say though that Deadheads don't appreciate how much this man has added to their whole scene.


When we were getting out of college, a friend once told me his theory that all success would be denied to our generation. The success bones had already been passed out, and we would be left sucking on the marrow for the rest of our lives. Thirty years later, we both have wives, kids and houses - this was how he defined success at the time.


My memory has a mind of its own. Sometimes, when I hear about repressed memories, I am skeptical. I have lived through experiences that are awful beyond all belief, and I remember them just fine.


My observation of people who call themselves "skeptics," is that they are as much true believers as the people they are fighting. In other words, I'm skeptical of skeptics.


I'm still making up my mind about the World Wide Web. Most of the time, it seems like the most important revolution in human communication since the printing press. Anybody with an idea or a picture can get it up for millions of people to see in a matter of seconds. Other times, I wonder if this is writing in the sand. For two years now, I have been able to keep up my pages here at Geocities, with only the small annoyances of popups to deal with, the page could change at an organic rate. In institutions, however, the tendency seems to be redesigning web pages every 6 months, so there is little chance to make a lasting impression. Sometimes, I feel like we are writing in sand.


If you press the button below, it will take you to something very interesting. If you come back and press it again tomorrow, it may take you somewhere else that is equally interesting, or it might take you back to the same place.


The best Chinese food that I have found in Greenwich Village is Sammy's Noodle shop on 6th Avenue and 11th St. If you are in an Italian mood, it is right across the street from Ray's Pizza, which has the best pizza I have ever eaten. Overall, the best meal in New York is the pastrami sandwich at Katz's on Houston. Another favorite meal is the schwarma sandwiches on MacDougall Street in the Village. They consist of grilled leg of lamb filling a pita pocket with vegetables and two kinds of yogurt sauce.


The things I don't know about computers could fill books. Fortunately, they do.


Baseball imponderable: why do they call it the foul pole if it is in fair territory?


Science popularizers often show their humanity by describing places in terms of football field lengths. Arguably, this makes them guilty of a form of Amerocentrism, since the dimensions of football fields vary from country to country, not to mention the definition of what is meant by football. However, given the importance of Football to the human race, I propose that scientific distances be thought of in football field lengths rather than miles or kilometers.

The NCAA Regulation Field is 300 X 160 feet in the playing area, plus the End Zones at 30' X 160' each. If you define the goalpost to goalpost distance as the length of a football field, then the length of a football field is 360 feet. Since 360 feet goes into 5280 14.6666 times, the simple miles to football field conversion is accomplished by multiplication. Here are some examples:

3,503,236 football fields to the moon at its average distance.

1,349,333,333.333 football fields to the sun, with the last few fields fully guaranteed sunny playing weather.

366,666 football fields circumference of the earth at the equator, although most of that would be unsuitable for running sports due to the presence of water.

2,727,876 football fields per second - the speed of light. Thus, using simple division, one arrives at the following figure:

3.666 times 10 to the -7 seconds is the time it takes for light to go from one goal post to the other. This could then be redefined as a fundamental unit of time measurement.

Try it yourself!

Enter a distance in miles:


That distance in football fields is:



I have a distorted time sense - I grew up reading science fiction, so now that I am old I keep reminiscing about the future.


One of the best books I've read in a long time is "Zen Computer" by Philip Toshio Sudo.


Why is it that every place I've ever lived, they pick up the garbage at 6:45 AM and deliver the mail at 5?



Terry Ballard's
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