. . . ...a city in thought... . . .

my blog on this and that and everything else


…Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.

By |August 4th, 2015|

Near this Spot
are deposited the Remains of one
who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
and all the virtues of Man without his Vices.

This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
if inscribed over human Ashes,
is but a just tribute to the Memory of
Boatswain, a Dog
who was born in Newfoundland May 1803
and died at Newstead Nov. 18th, 1808



When some proud Son of Man returns to Earth,
Unknown to Glory, but upheld by Birth,
The sculptor’s art exhausts the pomp of woe,
And storied urns record […]

…the art of measuring.

By |July 18th, 2015|

noted mathematician, physicist, and alchemist. Today I learned about the vast corpus of his unpublished work, some 10 million words according to Prospect, and apocryphal stories of laboratory antics and diamond dogs knocking over candles and burning 20 years worth of work in manuscripts. Can’t wait for the Gutenberg project to publish the complete works of Issac N.

I wonder if somewhere in those papers he wrote about poker strategy. Probably not, if Star Trek is to be believed.

From the […]

The smallest sprouts show…

By |July 16th, 2015|

A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full
How could I answer the child?. . . .I do not know what it is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we
may see and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass […]

The Deadliest of Sins

By |June 18th, 2015|

It is June, and that time of year that many students will be graduating. So in the spirit of convocation, I want to share some of the best advice I’ve ever heard, from a convocation speech delivered many years ago by the one and only Robertson Davies (who was also receiving an honorary degree that day).


“What shall we talk about, you and I, who are getting our first degrees from Queen’s today? The problem is a little easier than is […]

I’m a cop… from the future.

By |June 17th, 2015|

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you quite possibly the greatest 31 minute film ever made (with or without kickstarter :-)

From the geniuses at Laser Unicorns, behold the retro-80s wonder that is…


Two words: HECK YES.

… and of course, the experience wouldn’t be complete without the music video of David Hasselhoff’s amazing title track, “True Survivor”. I want the jacket :-)

Don’t Hassell the Hoff!

The Viking Age? That explains the laser raptors…

till a’ the seas gang dry…

By |June 17th, 2015|

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while!
And […]


By |January 14th, 2015|

A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that is unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.
– Ludwig Wittgenstein

nosce te ipsum…

By |January 14th, 2015|

The old woman gives you a cookie and points to the cross-stiched sign that hangs above the kitchen door.

“It means, ‘Know Thyself'”, she says, drawing a cigarette from the pack she pulls from her apron pocket.

“The thing is,” she pauses to strike a match, lighting her cigarette, inhaling slowly, “you never know, do you?”. She exhales, the smoke casting a blue aura over the kitchen table at which she has seated herself heavily.

You blink, look away, out the open kitchen […]

Strange, indeed, that you should not have suspected…

By |January 14th, 2015|

For as much as a year Satan continued these visits, but at last he came less often, and then for a long time he did not come at all. This always made me lonely and melancholy. I felt that he was losing interest in our tiny world and might at any time abandon his visits entirely. When one day he finally came to me I was overjoyed, but only for a little while. He had come to say good-by, he […]

A city in thought…

By |January 13th, 2015|

In Plato’s Republic, Socrates proposes that, to pass the time, they bring into being a “city in thought.” What follows is nothing less than that to which all future philosophy is but a series of footnotes. This is an attempt to reconstruct a history of political, social and economic thought, presented as a series of footnotes to Plato, the intended effect is to bring the reader to see the progress of the history of ideas as being a part of an […]