Saturday, April 15, 2006

Occam's razor

Occam's razor (n): a scientific and philosophic rule that requires the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex

(14th-century philosopher and theologian, William of Occam, embraced the 'keep it simple' concept. The basic premise, also known as the 'law of parsimony', has been traced to ideas proposed by Aristotle. But no-one wielded the principle as relentlessly as the scholar from Occam. He used it to counter what he considered the fuzzy logic of his theological contemporaries.)

Artist/Leonardo da Vinci

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Excerpt from a recently received email

. . . It still surprises me that I feel quite special on my birthdays. I do not really know why. Of course you could ask, Why not? But I think it is still a hangover from childhood, when a fuss was made of one and a nice hangover too. I find middle age kind of poignant actually. Even with an able body you have to conclude that it is not about the body. Sometimes when I see myself in the mirror or in a photo, I see a stranger. It is hard to let go the image of one as a youth or young man. In fact, I use these things as a means of becoming more acquainted with myself as I actually am now. It is, anyway, much better to be on good terms with the present than with the past. I had an experience a while back:We have a guy in our community, Brian.Very sweet guy, about fifty, quite bald, fairish. Someone came up behind me while dining in our community restaurant, embraced me and said good to see you Brian. It was momentarily confusing because I could not see myself as looking at all like Brian. He is way more bald than me. Isn't he? Wrong. I asked around and it seems we are about the same on that score. I feel much better to know that, it makes me feel a bit lighter. . .

Adagio's note: Hmm. Not sure I agree about it being much better to be on good terms with the present, as opposed to the past. The past becomes the present, especially if one is not on good terms with it.

Artist/Odilon Redon

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Sylvia and the Dead Poets

Jacq's post from China, regarding her screening of ‘Dead Poets Society’ to a class of young, Chinese, english literature students, reminded me: I have wanted to revisit the film for several years. I have also been intending to try my hand at the very well considered TradeMe site. See what the fuss is all about. Ok, I figured, I can combine the two intentions. In a nutshell, last night I successfully outbid other competitors to purchase, not only one, but two DVDs – well, in truth I was the only bidder (still, this little fact did not minimise my delight). The seller was also selling ‘Sylvia’. Another film I have been meaning to revisit. Why not, I thought. And so I did!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Speaking of figs

And to think I neglected to mention the lovely little Silvereye or Waxeye (Tauhoe). My information tells me they prefer the fruit of native trees but will also feed on other fruiting species. Well, at least in this neck of the woods, their contribution to fig eating is legendary. Present in flocks, or flurries, as I call them, they arrive armed with hearty appetites and settle in together, like a party of diners. The only drawback with this arrangement is that a party of avian diners can become fair game to one feline diner named Lucy. On these occasions, Lucy adds a 'k' to her name and refers to herself as Lucky. Saddened by this all too natural feline instinct, I refuse to humour her.

Photograph/from the Tiritiri Matangi website