Jefferson on old age

...but our machines have now been running for seventy or eighty years, and we must expect that, worn as they are, here a pivot, there a wheel, now a pinion, next a spring, will be giving way: and however we may tinker them up for awhile, all will at length surcease motion.

Depart the tottering edifice

From Seneca: I will not relinquish old age if it leaves my better part intact. But if it begins to shake my mind, if it destroys its faculties one by one, if it leaves not life but breath, I will depart from the putrid and tottering edifice. I will not escape death so long as… Continue reading Depart the tottering edifice

Wisdom of the Beasts

Life cannot be classified in terms of a simple neurological ladder, with human beings at the top; it is more accurate to talk of different forms of intelligence, each with its strengths and weaknesses. This point was well demonstrated in the minutes before last December's tsunami, when tourists grabbed their digital cameras and ran after… Continue reading Wisdom of the Beasts


In a library we are surrounded by many hundreds of dear friends imprisoned by an enchanter in paper and leathern boxes. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

All we have

At the checkout at the Cosi near where I work, I accidentally stood in front of someone to get my coffee. I apologized and he graciously gestured for me to continue. "All I have is time," he says. Lovely little phrase and pause for thought. Thank you random person.