Monday, May 27, 2013

The journey commences

Congrats to Older Daughter and her class of 2013! Oh the places you'll go, indeed. Just keep your noses clean at Bonnaroo, kids.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Best idea ever

Beyond the Darwin's large back yard [at Down House], we saw Sandwalk stretching ahead of us, a well-worn path, shaded by trees, beckoning invitingly... Darwin's own Thinking Place. Thinking Places: Where Great Ideas Were Born

The best idea anyone has ever had happened here. He circled Sandwalk endlessly, walking and thinking. Or sometimes just walking, maybe?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The walking cure

the act of ambulation – or as we say in the midwest, walking – often serves as a catalyst to creative contemplation and thought. It is a belief as old as the dust that powders the Acropolis, and no less fine. Followers of the Greek Aristotle were known as peripatetics because they passed their days strolling and mind-wrestling through the groves of the Academe. The Romans’ equally high opinion of walking was summed up pithily in the Latin proverb solvitur ambulando, “It is solved by walking"...
...Thomas Hobbes had an inkwell built into his walking stick to more easily jot down his brainstorms during his rambles. Jean- Jacques Rousseau claimed he could only meditate when walking: “When I stop, I cease to think,” he said. “My mind only works with my legs.”
In his brief life Henry David Thoreau walked an estimated 250,000 miles, or ten times the circumference of earth. “I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits,” wrote Thoreau, “unless I spend four hours a day at least – and it is commonly more than that – sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields absolutely free from worldly engagements.” Thoreau’s landlord and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson characterized walking as “gymnastics for the mind.” 
In order that he might remain one of the fittest, Charles Darwin planted a 1.5 acre strip of land with hazel, birch, privet, and dogwood, and ordered a wide gravel path built around the edge. Called Sand-walk, this became Darwin’s ‘thinking path’ where he roamed every morning and afternoon with his white fox-terrier. 
Of Bertrand Russell, long-time friend Miles Malleson has written: “Every morning Bertie would go for an hour’s walk by himself, composing and thinking out his work for that day. He would then come back and write for the rest of the morning, smoothly, easily and without a single correction...”

The Gymnasiums of the Mind | Issue 44 | Philosophy Now

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

So much more to do

The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars.
My favorite spacetweet from @Cmdr_Hadfield:
Spaceflight finale: To some this may look like a sunset. But it's a new dawn.
And though everyone on the planet surely has seen it by now, my favorite Bowie cover:

It shouldn't have been necessary to make space cool again, but it looks like he's about done it. As Carl said, the sky is calling. Can we tear ourselves away from the daily trivial backwash of "news" to hear? Accelerating Intelligence News