Going Green

How many people does it take to create a trend?  A revolution?

This one made the rounds a while back, but it is interesting to think about it in the context of events in Iran over the last several months.


Published in: on November 2, 2009 at 19:21  Comments Off on Going Green  
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Je Suis Le Commun Des Mortels

Et bien…


Published in: on October 30, 2009 at 16:55  Comments (1)  
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Fathers And Sons


The Cowboy found himself thinking about Eva Evdokimova the other day.  She died earlier this year at the relatively tender age of 60.  She is undoubtedly still dancing in the heavens.


Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 17:06  Leave a Comment  
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Autumn Rain

Walden Pond

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897); Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 1 in E Minor, Opus 38: Allegro non troppo.
Gregor Piatigorsky, Cello; Arthur Rubinstein, Piano.  1936


Thou comest, Autumn, heralded by the rain,
With banners, by great gales incessant fanned,
Brighter than brightest silks of Samarcand,
And stately oxen harnessed to thy wain!
Thou standest, like imperial Charlemagne,
Upon thy bridge of gold; thy royal hand
Outstretched with benedictions o’er the land,
Blessing the farms through all thy vast domain!
Thy shield is the red harvest moon, suspended
So long beneath the heaven’s o’er-hanging eaves;
Thy steps are by the farmer’s prayers attended;
Like flames upon an altar shine the sheaves;
And, following thee, in thy ovation splendid,
Thine almoner, the wind, scatters the golden leaves!

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1845

Published in: on October 16, 2009 at 22:44  Comments (1)  
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Batman, Higgs and Nuclear Terror: Dinner With Jim

The End of Dinner

Jules Alexandre Grün (1868-1938*), Fin de Souper, 1913.
Oil on Canvas, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tourcoing, France

At a recent dinner discussing the prospect of nuclear terrorism, the Cowboy found himself contemplating that Batman of particle physics: the Higgs boson.  Why Batman?  Well, the Higgs boson is dark and elusive, and kind of like a cosmological super-hero.

First though, you are probably wondering whether the frighteningly-high probability of a horrific terrorist act decimating an otherwise lovely city makes for appropriate dinner conversation among polite company.  Hmmm…  Good question.  The topic sort of encompasses religion (nihilism, the afterlife, eschatology) and politics (mutually assured destruction, containment, non-proliferation), so ostensibly the answer would be “no”.  Well, it was stimulating and oddly entertaining nonetheless.


Muddling On

Last week was a good one for Brazil.  We are consistently told that Asia will lead the world out of recession.  Except that’s not the whole headline.  In its entirety it reads: Asia and Brazil will lead the world out of recession.

Chicago #4.  Tokyo?  No way José (that’s the Portuguese pronunciation please – zhoze).  Spain?  European colonialists need not apply in the post-post-colonial era.  Não, não, não. In 2016 Rio will host the Olympics!

And if you are into those frivolous little sporting events, take note:  Brazil will host the World Cup in 2014.

Of course in the post-post-colonial era, globalization-epitomizing economic involvement is bem.  Mostly.  So how about the hottest IPO of the year…  any guesses?  Banco Santander.  Like the first headline though, we’re missing the important bit: Banco Santander Brasil.  Suddenly its São Paolo-based sub looks like the most valuable part of that Spanish empire.  And lest the irony be overlooked, Brazil is providing the lucre for a 21st century Spanish empire.  In your face, Portugal.


Published in: on October 14, 2009 at 21:51  Leave a Comment  
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Cue The Carrier


Whatever you thought of his politics, his weekly “On Language” column provided immense pleasure to many readers including the Cowboy.  Never retire indeed; his last column was two weeks ago.  He will be missed.


Who Knew?

It’s been a year since Lehman Brothers, that age-old, proud Wall Street institution was destroyed.  Hmm.  Well not quite.  The Lehman Brothers that went under was created in 1994, making it a venerable 15-year old institution.  The original Lehman was acquired by American Express’s Shearson unit in 1984.  Shearson Lehman (Hutton) was a far cry from the powerful institution Lehman had once been.  Amex and Shearson ran the show.  Shearson later bought what was left of EF Hutton after it collapsed in the wake of the 1987 crash, making it an amalgam of several prior firms owned by a large diversified corporation.  It’s a testament to the new Lehman, however, that it was able to become such a significant player over that 15-year period.  Well, 15-minus-one year period.  It’s an interesting history.  Who knew things would get so bad…


Published in: on September 16, 2009 at 19:33  Leave a Comment  
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Cinderella Must Go!


Published in: on September 15, 2009 at 10:06  Comments (1)  
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Afeição: (n., f.) fondness, affection, devotion, friendship.


What do you wake up to in the morning?

The sun rises across the high desert chaparral.  The sky, indigo, the mountains glowing their infinite hues of red and orange.


Published in: on September 14, 2009 at 09:19  Leave a Comment  
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