- 27 November 2008
- No. 9,666 (cartoon)
- Do you have a death wish?
No, but I dont have a life wish either.
- 28 November 2008
- Turkey or Chop Suey?
- I told my eighty-seven year old uncle that I spent yesterdays thanksgiving holiday with Japanese friends.
Whatd they serve, turkey or chop suey? he asked.
I have no idea whether he was joking or if he was serious. I shall continue to strive for such rewarding ambiguity.
- 29 November 2008
- The Futility of Checkers
- I rarely even scan the obituaries; Im not that old. Yet.
Yet for some reason, I stumbled across the headline, Richard L. Fortman, a Champion at Checkers, Dies at 93.
The publications editors thought his passing merited a two-sentence eulogy.
Richard L. Fortman, an internationally known authority on checkers, the sport of men and kings, died on Nov. 8 in Springfield, Ill. He was 93 and a lifelong resident of Springfield.
The brief piece didnt mention the cause of death, but I knew what it was: a broken heart. No other explanation is possible, and I know why.
Last year, scientists devised a program that allowed a computer to never lose a game of checkers. The best an opponent could hope for was a tie, thus putting checkers in the same category of games as tic-tac-toe.
Fortman had to have known about that, and its easy to imagine his reaction. Heres a person who spent all of his life studying the nuances of checkers and improving his game, only to learn that checkersunlike chessis a math problem that can be solved.
If I discovered in my nineties that art, music, and writing were futile and worthless, I think Id lose my will to live as well. Fortunately, I learned that my creative pursuits were a waste of time when I was a teenager, so I suffer from no delusions of adequacy.
- 30 November 2008
- Michael Jackson Unmapped
- Where does creativity come from and where does it go? Thats the question Sheikh Abdulla bin Hamad al-Khalifa may have been asking himself not too long ago. Just as every problem looks like a nail when the only available tool is a hammer, the son of the king of Bahrain thought money might solve his predicament.
The thirty-three year old sheikhs problem was Michael Jackson. Bin Hamad al-Khalifa gave Jackson millions of dollars in advances toward creating a new album, a musical, and an explicit autobiography. This proved to be an unwise investment, since the former musicians creative pursuits have recently limited to plastic surgery disasters, freakishly outlandish behavior, and, of course, dubious interactions with children.
Enter Tony Buzan.
The sheikh paid the mind-mapping and motivational guru some $350,000 to cure Jacksons acedia. Empirical evidence, as well as a lawsuit, suggests that Buzan was unable to motivate Jackson, and that the singers mind remains unmapped, terra incognito.
Too bad for the pathetic Jackson; Im sure he could have learned a thing or two from Buzan. Anyone clever enough to get a third of a million dollars from an opulent potentate is clearly one very creative hombre!
- 1 December 2008
- Clock Killed
- When you play solo, a lot of its just killing time, killing the clock.
Dave McKenna said that; the pianist died last month. McKenna killed the clock until the clock killed him; thats what I call a cautionary tale!
- 2 December 2008
- No Hadean Photographs
- The sun is fifty percent brighter now than it was four billion years ago, give or take. I suppose thats why it took so long for someone to invent photography; its much easier in bright light. Thats too bad; Id like to see some photographs from the Hadean Eon, even if they were underexposed.
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©2008 David Glenn Rinehart