Calvin Demmon tells all
 

   
 
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Saturday, April 26, 2003
Memo to self:

"Maybe you really don't want to write, maybe you want to read, but if you do want to write, life is going by very quickly and if you're not careful you're going to be 80 years old and have spent your life wishing that you'd gotten your work done. I think it's good to consider where you're going to be at 80. I believe at 80 we're not going to wish we spent more time cleaning our houses. I believe at 80 we're not going to wish we'd stayed out of warm tropical water more often 'cause our thighs were not firm. Really no one cares if you get your writing done, it's of no cosmic importance that you do. All I know that if it's in you you're going to get sick if you don't let it out. And it's your memories and your dreams and your versions of things and these characters who've selected you to be their typist. You're their own Rosemary Woods. If you don't have the luxury of writing 8 to 5, give up the 10 o'clock news. The 10 o'clock news only serves to ruin the next day's newspaper. And to tell you about fires in areas you never go to, so what's the point? So have you have an hour then, if you can budget the hour from 10 to 11, give up this one thing. It's like God will meet you half way and be like, 'Okay, cookie, let's go.'" -- Anne Lamott



Tuesday, April 08, 2003
Arts and sciences at their peak!

"What wonderful -- one might say stupefying -- advances has human industry made in the arts of weaving and building, of agriculture and navigation! With what endless variety are designs in pottery, painting and sculpture produced, and with what skill executed! What wonderful spectacles are exhibited in the theatres, which those who have not seen them cannot credit! How skillful the contrivances for catching, killing or taming wild beasts! And for the injury of men, also, how many kinds of poisons, weapons, engines of destruction, have been invented, while for the preservation or restoration of health the appliances and remedies are infinite! To provoke appetite and please the palate, what a variety of seasonings have been concocted! To express and gain entrance for thoughts, what a multitude and variety of signs there are, among which speaking and writing hold the first place! what ornaments has eloquence at command to delight the mind! what wealth of song is there to captivate the ear! how many musical instruments and strains of harmony have been devised! What skill has been attained in measures and numbers! with what sagacity have the movements and connections of the stars been discovered!" -- St. Augustine, in City of God (A.D. 413-436)



Friday, April 04, 2003
Was it a pipe dream? Or the biggest
story of one newspaperman's career?


"Who doesn't love reading a small-town newspaper with its Rotary Club meeting reports, comprehensive T-ball league coverage and front page exposes on hooligan vandalism of county road signs? But imagine picking up the Marthasville (MO) Courier, fresh off the presses on a Wednesday afternoon in March 1998, and finding this item on page 6 between the wedding announcements and classified ads: 'American Tube Using Untested Technology to Transport People Around the Globe.' Readers of this article discovered that sources had reported eye-witness accounts of 'human beings transported instantaneously from one place to another,' and that this had been observed 'right here in Marthasville.' " -- from The Muckraker, by A.C. Koch

I guarantee that if you read Koch's well-written little piece, the next time you're in a Wal-Mart you won't be able to keep yourself from looking up at the tubes and pipes in the ceiling.



Thursday, April 03, 2003
I LOVE L.A.:

"On Monday, March 31, the Los Angeles Times published a front-page photograph that had been altered in violation of Times policy.

"The primary subject of the photo was a British soldier directing Iraqi civilians to take cover from Iraqi fire on the outskirts of Basra. After publication, it was noticed that several civilians in the background appear twice. The photographer, Brian Walski, reached by telephone in southern Iraq, acknowledged that he had used his computer to combine elements of two photographs, taken moments apart, in order to improve the composition.

"Times policy forbids altering the content of news photographs. Because of the violation, Walski, a Times photographer since 1998, has been dismissed from the staff." -- Los Angeles Times

The altered photo and the two photos that were used to produce it are shown here.



Wednesday, April 02, 2003
FREEDOM BASKETBALL:

"Think of France as a kid who loves and knows basketball -- how to dribble, shoot and make plays as well as anybody in the world -- but who stopped growing at 5 feet, 5 inches. France loves the game of power politics, and it wants to play in the big leagues, but it's too short for prime time." -- Walter Russell Mead, Los Angeles Times


 

 
   
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