Category Archives: Isaac Asimov

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy.” — Milan Kundera

KICK UP YOUR SHOES

We need easy to digest aphorisms, quotes, comments, and charts today. Which is code for: I’m too lazy to come up with original stuff.

It’s a glorious Saturday morning, with the Grant Street Jazz festival set to begin in a couple of hours. See GO!, below, for the the lineup. Today’s GO! is chock-full of things to do — it’s the best events listing in Bloomington, kiddies.

Summer, at last, is enjoyable — as opposed to the earthly hell it’s been for a few months now.

BTW: Woodstock wound down 43 years ago yesterday. Today would have been the anniversary of the most miserable cleanup imaginable.

So let’s be thankful we don’t have to fish missing car keys out of LSD-tainted mud.

Edward R. Murrow:

Ha-Joon Chang:

UPWORTHY:

ISAAC ASIMOV:

VOLTAIRE:

STEPHEN FRY:

Dustin Glick:

Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.

I Love ChartsLife as seen through charts.

XKCD — “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”

SkepchickWomen scientists look at the world and the universe.

IndexedAll the answers in graph form, on index cards.

Indexed

I Fucking Love ScienceA Facebook community of science geeks.

Present & CorrectFun, compelling, gorgeous and/or scary graphic designs and visual creations throughout the years and from all over the world.

Flip Flop Fly BallBaseball as seen through infographics, haikus, song lyrics, and other odd communications devices.

Mental FlossFacts.

SodaplayCreate your own models or play with other people’s models.

Eat Sleep DrawAn endless stream of artwork submitted by an endless stream of people.

Big ThinkTapping the brains of notable intellectuals for their opinions, predictions, and diagnoses.

Click For Full Article

The Daily PuppySo shoot me.

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, games, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Frank Southern Ice ArenaBloomington Community Yard Sale; 8am

City Hall, Showers PlazaFarmers Market; 8am-1pm

Monroe County Public LibraryBasic Literacy Tutor Training, 1st of 4 sessions, call 812.349.3173 to register; 9:30am-1:30pm

Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural CenterOne-Day Retreat: Introuduction to Buddhist Philosophy in Daily Life, led by Ani Choekye; 10am-4:30pm

City Hall, Showers PlazaCommunity Volunteer Fair, +40 nonprofit organizations represented; 10am-1pm

Monroe County Courthouse — Backstreet Missions Fundraiser: A Slice of Heaven, homemade pies; 11am-3pm

First Church of God, Ellettsville — Classic Car Show; 1-4pm

◗ Grant Street between Kirkwood and 6th — Grant Street Jazz Festival, featuring:

  • Mayo Jazz

  • Paul Kirk & Dave Bruker Duo

  • Craig Brenner Duo

  • Monika Herzig Trio featuring Janiece Jaffe

  • Jazz Fables led by David Miller

  • Postmodern Jazz Quartet led by Jeff Isaac

  • Café Cubano

  • IU Jazz Faculty: Pat Harbison, Tom Walsh, Luke Gillespie, Jeremy Allen, Steve Houghton, Michael Spiro;

  • 1:30-11pm

Trained Eye ArtsWriters Guild Social & open mic, potluck snacks & beverages, 3-minute readings of original writings; 3pm

◗ IU CinemaLive action shorts from 2012 Seattle Children’s Film Festival; 3pm

HousebarEnd of Summer Gala, food, alcohol, live music:

  • Tim Baker

  • Deadghost

  • The Vorticists

  • Jerome and the Psychics

  • !mindparade

  • Elephant Quiz;

  • 5-11pm

◗ IU Fine Arts Theater — Ryder Film Series, “The Well Digger’s Daughter”; 6:45pm

◗ IU CinemaFilm: “Beasts of the Southern Wild”; 7pm

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Travis Creek; 7-9pm

Max’s PlaceSuzette Weakley, Broken Fences; 7-9pm

◗ IU Wells-Metz TheatreDrama, “Solana”; 7:30pm

Brown County Playhouse, Nashville — Dave England & the Haters, Forest Gras Experience; 7:30pm

◗ IU Woodburn Hall Theater — Ryder Film Series, “The Pigeoneers”; 8pm

The Comedy AtticNick Griffin; 8pm

Bear’s PlaceWilliams & Company; 8pm

◗ IU Fine Arts Theater — Ryder Film Series, “Polisse”; 8:45pm

Max’s PlaceHoney Locusts; 9-11pm

The BluebirdDot Dot Dot; 9pm

The BishopBobby Bare Jr., Prayer Breakfast; 9:30pm\

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Cootie; 9:30-11:30pm

The Root Cellar at Farm Bloomington — Oldies Night: Elvis, Beatles & Stones Dance Party; 10pm

The Comedy AtticNick Griffin; 10:30pm

Max’s PlaceCarpenter & Clerk; 11pm

ONGOING:

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • “40 Years of Artists from Pygmalion’s”; through September 1st

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “A Tribute to William Zimmerman,” wildlife artist; through September 9th

  • Willi Baumeister, “Baumeister in Print”; through September 9th

  • Annibale and Agostino Carracci, “The Bolognese School”; through September 16th

  • “Contemporary Explorations: Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists”; through October 14th

  • David Hockney, “New Acquisitions”; through October 21st

  • Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Paragons of Filial Piety”; through fall semester 2012

  • Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan, “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers”; through December 31st

  • “French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century”; through December 31st

◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibits:

  • Coming — Media Life; August 24th through September 15th

  • Coming — Axe of Vengeance: Ghanaian Film Posters and Film Viewing Culture; August 24th through September 15th

◗ IU Kinsey Institute Gallery“Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection”; through September 21st

◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit, “Translating the Canon: Building Special Collections in the 21st Century”; through September 1st

◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesClosed for semester break, reopens Tuesday, August 21st

Monroe County History CenterPhoto exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I’ll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be.” — Isaac Asimov

ARBUSTO BUSTLE

A Bush is saying the GOP is whacked out?

The Republicans are “dysfunctional” and “disturbing,” according to Jeb Bush?

At this point the only reason Rod Serling is not the spokesperson for the Republicans is that he’s long dead. Come to think of it, they ought to use old film of him anyway.

“Welcome to the 2012 Republican National Convention….”

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE

h/t to Hondo Thompson for the Asimov quote above.

Hondo

PUT ON YOUR SUNDAY BEST

Click.

FLIPPIN’ BURGERS FOR THE MAN

Does this surprise you?

McDonald’s, Applebee’s, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, Chuch E. Cheese, and Burger King are among the worst restaurant chains to work for, according to a poll by the Restaurant Opportunities Center-United, an advocacy group for food workers.

Nothing Like Associating Your Restaurant With A Rat

At the very least, the unflattering, uncomfortable, chintzy-cheap uniforms those outfits make their wage-slaves wear is abusive enough.

I’ll scarf a Big Mac or a Whopper on occasion but I will not — repeat, will not! — allow a Pizza Hut, er, thing to touch my lips.

The inclusion of one restaurant on the list did bum me out, though. Uno Chicago Grill made it. Too bad. Excellent pizza.

NINE REASONS TO KEEP ON LIVING

As long as we’re on the topic, here’s are my fave Chicago pizzas, in no particular order:

Coalfire Pizza With Basil

Gino’s East Deep Dish

Next time you head up north, go to one of these places. Except for Uno’s. Let’s let them treat their people a little better before we toss them any more of our dough.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'” — Isaac Asimov

MIKE ELK SPEAKS

Studs Terkel, in his book “Talking To Myself: A Memoir of My Times” writes that the best reporter is the one who asks the impertinent question.

Studs Terkel

As you know, if you’ve been paying any attention at all, reporters today ask mostly gotcha questions, the kind they know the answer to already but are designed simply to embarrass the subject, or softball questions that even the editor of a high school newspaper should be embarrassed to ask.

Let’s go a step further. Linda Ellerbee once wrote that if she hadn’t made someone feel uncomfortable in her reporting for the day, she felt as though she hadn’t done her job.

Linda Ellerbee

Then, of course, early 20th Century newspaperman Finley Peter Dunne said the job of the the journalist is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

Mike Elk yesterday asked an impertinent question (actually, two), made a bunch of people feel uncomfortable, and afflicted a big shot.

Bingo! The man is a three-time winner.

Elk got up yesterday at a business/political masturbatory press event in Washington where the big boss of Honeywell International, David Cote, expected to be lavished with praise for…, um, well, for being the big boss of Honeywell.

See, Honeywell sachems were also scheduled to guide Barack Obama around by the elbow at the company’s headquarters in the appropriately named Golden Valley, Minnesota, so both the prez and the company could tell the world how wonderful they both are.

Only Mike Elk elected not to play the game. He took the audience microphone and referred to a Fortune Magazine handjob article about Honeywell and Cote, wherein the boss crowed what terrific corporate citizens he and his outfit are. Then Elk flung two impertinent questions at Cote: one about Honeywell’s union busting practices (the company’s Metropolis, Illinois, plant first locked out, then axed 1400 union workers) and the other about a possible radiation leak there. The idea being, those aren’t the acts of nice neighbors.

Well, the assembled reporters, PR flaks, pols, and execs gasped, we never!

Elk got the mic yanked out of his hand and he was given the thumb. When he protested that he was a reporter and showed his credentials, one woman’s off-screen voice can be heard saying, “That’s not a member of the press from the Hill; this is a member of the press.” Presumably, she’s pointing at some well-behaved media stenographer who’ll only ask Cote what wondrous things he and Honeywell have done lately.

Tell Me, Mr. Cote, What’s It Like To Be You?

In fact, after Elk was given the bum’s rush, another person got up and said, “One of the things I’m concerned about is, the, um, y’know, the unemployment rate for African American young people is — I don’t know whether this is true, it says 38 percent? — and, um, my son was an all-best high school….” Here, the vid ends, cutting her off in mid-interrogation, which is too bad because it seemed to be the preamble for an all-time great softball question.

The speaker clearly was telling the assembled multitude how fabulous her kid is and then probably was going to ask what Honeywell proposed to do about putting such fine young lads to work in plush corner offices ASAP. Then Cote could tell her how terrific Honeywell is at hiring African-Americans and all other people who were born with brown skin. Then everybody could have glowed and grinned, the men could arrange a circle jerk and the woman could have a group hug.

We’re fabulous!

I thank the god I don’t believe in that I never was able to fit into a corporation environment like Honeywell’s.

BTW: I love how the woman wonders if it’s true that unemployment among African-American young people could possibly be 38 percent. It introduces just the right amount of faux-skepticism about a real problem that could just as easily have been described as “the historically persistent high levels of joblessness among young blacks.”

Man, the corporate world demands an unconscionable amount of toadiness — not only from its paid minions but from the public at large.

Be thankful Mike Elk is not a toady.

On the other hand, Elk never got answers to his questions and most of the mainstream news yesterday was about the Obama tour of the Honeywell plant. So score one for the corporatocracy versus the impertinent journalist.

LEO’S BLOOMINGTON (OR IS IT BLOOMINGTON’S LEO?)

Leo D. Cook ought to be granted the title of Mr. Bloomington here and now.

Wouldn’t he be perfect as the local radio or TV host who interviews all the fascinating characters who live in and pass through this bustling metrop?

The Definitive Leo D. Cook Photoshopped Photo

He could tell stories, draw the people out, and otherwise create a weekly hour’s worth of whacked-out chat. Can you imagine a show with the guests Steve Volan, Jeremy Gotwals, and, say, Lynda Barry, who’s in town for this coming week’s IU Writers Conference?

People In Our Listening Area Are Advised To Take Cover

That conversation might be declared a hazardous incident site by FEMA. Or it could be great radio.

Anyway, Leo’s long-range plan to attain celebrity takes another step forward this coming week with the commencement of “Bloomington’s Got Talent,” a weekly talent (duh) show at The Bluebird. The thing will run every Tuesday night through the summer. Leo will emcee.

Registration begins at 9:30pm with the first acts going onstage at 10.

TURN OFF YOUR TV — GO OUT

Lots to do this weekend. Luckily, you’ve got the Pencil’s GO! events listings. Click the logo. Follow instructions.

SUMMER SOFT

It’s June. The blazing days are coming. But it’s perfect out right now.

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