Archive for the essay Category

Who said “The Definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”?

Posted in books, essay, television, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2011 by tymora42

Last night over dinner my father tells me, “Einstein said – The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” I thought about this for a second and considered the fact that Einstein was a scientist. By profession scientists tend to do the same thing over and over and tend to get different results. Granted the variables change through the course of the process, however, each experiment must be performed repetitiously as close to the same way as possible to account for the various results and determine what variable must be changed to achieve a different and sometimes desired result. In my mind there was no way Einstein or any scientist worth their salt could ever manifest a quote such as this.

So, I told him this. He says he heard it on the news. It was Einstein. Then he dared me to “Look it up.” I do not know what news broadcast spouted this obvious misinformation. Knowing my father’s politics and the reference he was making toward the Obama entitlement spending force I can only assume it was probably FOX.

Einstein also proclaimed that “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” I do not see FOX repeating this quote anytime in the near future.

Anyway, I took his challenge and decided to look it up. This is what I have found:

The quote, through great debate, has been attributed to Ben Franklin, Mark Twain, Albert Einstein and Rita Mae Brown. It has been repeated through variation by coaches, athletes, overweight women, neurotic psych patients, housewives and, most recently, conservative political commentators.

I decided to look for primary sources with years and dates attributed to the article. There is no citation of Franklin or Twain actually writing this piece of wisdom or being recorded saying it in an interview. Franklin is cited in Wikiquotes without documentation and with serious debate about redacting it. In that same discussion one user claims to have found an article in an issue of the 1925 New Yorker verifying that it was, actually, an Einstein quote. I followed her link to Google Books to find not enough information to satisfy myself. The picture near the article did not look like it was from 1925, nor did the citation reveal any dates printed on the page. The image was too small to be zoomed into a legibly readable size and there were no links for further perusal. Finally, it seems through context to have been written by a fiction author offhandedly claiming that someone else, Einstein for instance, said it. Thankfully the comment and source was redacted as being unreliable.

Did this leave Rita Mae Brown’s novel, Sudden Death, as the only originator? No. Narcotics Anonymous also used the quote “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results” in their Basic Text (otherwise known as the Red Book yet filed under the title Narcotics Anonymous: Approved Literature) published about the same time. I went to the Library of Congress to determine the actual date of publication for these texts. Brown’s Sudden Death was published by Bantam in 1983. It appears on pg 68. Narcotics Anonymous has a publication date stating 1982, however, a source profiling rare books states that the actual publication was March of 1983. To further shroud the origination in mystery there are claims (without documentation that I could find) that Brown used it in a 1981 interview before her book was published and that the quote was included in the original preview edition of the NA handbook in the same year and that it dates as far back as 1979 when NA began researching and putting together the manuscript.

Who knows? It could very well be just an ancient Chinese proverb. I would sincerely love any information you come across regarding this. After all, the great Einstein once said, “Knowledge is power and knowing is half the battle.”

Past, Present, and Speculation of the Future of Writing Technologies

Posted in blog, books, essay, technology, work, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2011 by tymora42

Writers Block by miss pupik

Standing outside for a breath before testing a writing program I am not familiar with recalls those writers who have come before with their limited technologies. I take a moment to daydream on the process of constructing novels, plays, screenplays, and even short stories in the time previous to the word processor. How easy it is for us in this new century? How easy will it become? It is no wonder why the once elite market has exploded in a variety of those dedicating their life to the craft of being a writer.

My first retrospective goes to the typewriter, the tapping out of solid words onto the page. The immediate editing process of Microsoft Word, simply hitting the delete key over the highlighted section and reconstructing the previous thought to closer perfection as the writer intends it, could not even be considered to such technology. Even when the liquid papering function was installed in the machine, it could only perform menially, a letter at a time, a punctuation mark, at most a whole word at a time, never a full sentence. Only years before this they would have to spool up the page, apply the whitener, and let it dry before they could continue the thought. Before this they would have to key the whole page over and over. Once the first draft of those thoughts were finally smashed onto paper, the real editing began. Sentences and sometimes whole paragraphs, cut and pasted into different locations of the document, are circled and arrowed with pen knowing that the entire piece must be retyped again and again until it is correct. Obsessive Compulsive editors like myself would never have made it without superior discipline. This is where the admiration of greats like Thomas Pynchon, where every word and placement has significance, must be recognized. And those like Stephen King creating volumes of work with such immensity. It is no wonder he hates the abridgment of them when every revision of a thousand page volume needs retyping after each editing. I can see the dry portion of those novels being the result of the editor self proclaiming pages as worthy for the sole reason of decreasing the workload. Did Steinbeck own a typewriter in the early years? Could he afford new ribbons and paper? This must be why Of Mice and Men is so short. What of Mellville? Jane Austen? Did they pen their works initially before consigning them to typed manuscripts? Were the walls of their rooms covered in index cards with brief character biographies, plot devices, scenery descriptions pinned into the drywall with threads of yarn connecting them to black and white photographs and illustrations like a detective movie?

Shakespeare did not have a typewriter. He jumps further backward in time to the days of quills on parchment. Notes of scratches and older versions of Midsummer Night Dream have yet to be recovered by English archaeologists. Like the zen quote about the river, one can never see the same play twice. It is constantly being rewritten as it is being performed. Lines drop. Actors ad lib. Blocking and scenery is constantly in flux to the whim of the players on stage. Surely their was a stable copy at the start and a final after the run. And I have to picture them learning their lines. Did Willie stand before them in the empty Globe Theatre running through his mix and garble of word from memory expecting them to regurgitate it after a single once over? I would like to have seen his one man show describing the first act with all of the characters and blocking and details of the scenery and pit it against the closing night for consistency. No, to construct a single line with a quill would take considerable thought before the ink every touched the surface. Taking in the scenario of a poet lingering over the page for hours on end before scribbling out a word or two gives credence to the thought that writers were lazy.

Before Email by vas0707

Now, the future is here and their will be more future tomorrow. We print one copy and xerox the rest of our novels in multiples for out writing groups to peruse. We edit. We print more. Ink is cheap and paper grows on trees. We post them on Trigger Street and The Red Room and Smashwords for user to (hopefully) read and comment. We post blogs. We podcast. We delete whole sentences at a time. We reorder paragraphs. The tacks have been removed from the walls of our study. The index cards are filed away in drawers where we can wonder what they were ever used for in the first place. Final Draft and Scrivener and Celtx organize the bodies onto virtual corkboards and sticky notes. Characters have tabs for their biographies with images and research encompassed in quick click of a button reference. We hardly even have to type anymore if we do not want. We can tell the story into a microphone and DragonNaturallySpeaking (dragonspeak) will convert the dialogue into text. Windows Journal and similar programs type out scanned handwritten documents for you.

The next great leap in writer evolution that will flood the market over the walls of the dam will be the invention of thought to text. From there it will be a short stroll into the conversion of dreams into movies. Pioneers will consume hallucinogenic drugs to record their experiences. A new Hunter Thompson will arise. Loving or being hated by a writer, if we can still call them writers, will have further consequences than they already have when they are hooked up to these experiential machines transcribing their emotions into novels.

Whole stories will be constructed in the blink of an eye, as fast as one can think them up. Is this what they thought about the video camera? We have come so far from the day when the Guttenberg Press made the scribe monk obsolete. From the days when the ancients chiseled letters into stones. Imagine the editing process of that form. We stepped over the home typesetting invention of the QWERTY keyboard, designed to be less functional than the Dvorak because the speedy keys kept sticking, to the digital manifestation of the word processor. We are now in the age of the work specific visual writing program. As much as the imaginative can prophesize, only the future can tell where we will go next. Who knows? Maybe there will be someone in the distance looking back at you for your contribution to the world and he will say, “And they had to actually write it all by hand.”

Kinetic Hula Hoop

Posted in essay, how to, hula hoop, work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2010 by tymora42

Kinetic Hula Hoops? They don’t work. There is lots of kinetic energy rolling around in a hoop as you spin it, twirl it, trick it, and work your body to keep it going. Unfortunately, this is a difficult energy to harness. It seems like the 30lb force magnet does not get enough force to travel fast enough through the wire coils to conduct the electromagnetic energy needed to power the 5mm LEDs. The centrifugal force tends to hold the magnet in place rather than rotating it quickly around the hoop. To harness the energy I would need spikes jutting from the outside for the magnet to travel up, but this would be unsightly and cumbersome for the hooper.

I was excited to write this article once the prototype was finished and proved to be viable; however, it failed. There are many articles on how to do something that does work. There are very few that tell you how to do something that does not. This is my eHowNot. Why? Because maybe you can tell me how to fix it. It is also a warning to others who decide to embark upon this venture. There are no articles online with the tags “kinetic” or “friction powered” combined with “hula hoop.” At first I thought, “Yes! I can be the first.” A month into the design and creation made me realize why.

This was the final implementation of my design including all of the experimentation that went along with it. Learn from my mistakes. And if you find a working solution, please let me know. I would also appreciate any suggestions on improvement.

I decided upon two tubes: an inner tube with the wire coils wrapped around it and the magnet would travel inside of that one. The outer tube would be for hooping comfort with holes cut into it for 5mm LEDs and their reflective housings. I chose the LED size of 5mm because it would take the lowest amount of energy to power them. The reflective housings were to strengthen their luminescence. The magnet was a 30lb force cylindrical 1″ x 7/16″ neodymium. This was the strongest at that size that I could find. The size was important because it had to fit inside the 1/2″ inner tube and be unrestricted in the travel around the hoop. I also used a spherical 7/16″ ball bearing magnet with considerably less pull. Both were tested in a foot long piece of the inner tube with the wire coiled 750 times in a 1.5″ section. This test proved that it could power the LEDs with enough force. The spherical ones were less effective than the cylinders and the more cylinders, the less friction necessary to power the light.

The ??? gauge copper enameled wire was wrapped 1500 times within a 2.5″ area on the final product. In one case it was wrapped 1370 because the wire broke in the middle of winding. In another case it was wrapped 2000 times for experimental purposes. I should have wrapped one 1000 times and one at 750, but I did not. When I feel like working on it once again I am sure these will be problem solving techniques I address. Both the LED leads and the ends of the wire attached to them were filed with a fingernail file to scrape any protective residue from them to ensure a sound connection. The conductivity was also tested with an ohm meter from the LED leads and the ends of the solder.

Each unit was treated as an individual circuit powered by one magnet. Two spherical magnets attached to either end of one cylinder were attempted first. The final problem I encountered in the structure was to connect the inner tube inside the outer tube’s connector piece. It was not a solid fit, so I resolved to put an assist on the cylinder magnet with the spherical magnets. To compensate for either way the hoop might be spinning, the spheres were attached to both sides. Also tried were a single ball, multiple balls, only the cylinder and two cylinders. My next trials will be the same combinations with grease on the surfaces of them.

The LEDs were secured using a nonconductive cement glue around the edges of the housing. I had no problems keeping them fastened despite much roughhousing with the tubes. They were dropped, pulled, and thrown in the name of testing and not necessarily frustration.

See? This was helpful. I found numerous new experimentation methods just by talking about it with someone to maybe make it actually work. The greasing is the prize, I think. First, I will try wrapping the magnet in wax paper like we used to do with slides in elementary school. This will keep it from getting dirty inside the seals. The other test will need to be the coiling amount and the span of the area. These will be done on a separate piece like the initial tests before doing the entire hoop. Truthfully, though, I believe it is the speed of the magnet that needs to be addressed.

Again, comments would be appreciated.

Saying I Love You

Posted in essay, life, love, photography, review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2009 by tymora42
Saying I Love You - story by tyson moore - image by Ryan Davis

Saying I Love You - story by tyson moore - image by Ryan Davis

a prose form short story essay about the relationship jaded society expressing love in the post modern world by tyson moore.


a photo review of Ryan Davis, a vulgar sense of the sensitive making Hallmark cards for the disenfranchised, creator of the original image “I Heart You” manipulated for the header and featured below.

I am a member of the modern socially disaffected who has difficulty with traditional folkways that long ago lost their meaning. Among those that I question in the department of commitment are marriage, career, and saying “I Love You”. We no longer expect our marriages to last forever, which is obvious by our divorce rate. If we do, then we are as delusional as the burgeoning twenty something thinking they will keep the same job until they retire or the college graduate hoping for a future with a Philosophy degree. Recently, I have come into skepticism of my skepticism about saying “I Love You”.

read more of the story -or- read photo review of Ryan Davis

photography by Ryan Davis

photography by Ryan Davis