I thought that today I would show you what I am looking at whenever I am at the computer.
1. A self-portrait screen print Matthew did in high school art class.
2. An self-portrait sketch from a Leonardo calendar Andrew brought me from Florence (he spent spring break there during his freshman year, courtesy of the NYU honors program).
3. Some favorite quotations:
"First they came for Communists,
And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
And I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
And by that time there was no one left to speak up for me."– Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945"Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it."– Niels Bohr
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men* to do nothing."– Edmund Burke
4. Galatea of the Spheres by Salvador Dali, another Andrew gift from Italy.
5. More favorite quotations:
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you. Then you win."– Gandhi
"The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom."– Justice William O. Douglas
"In mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them." **– John von Neumann
6. The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats. I don't know exactly what he was writing about, but the words have always resonated deeply within me, giving me the same deep feeling of despair and impending doom that Stephen King is so good at creating. But King requires hundreds of pages to achieve that effect; Yeats does it in twenty-two lines.
"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer.
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun.
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"
7. Important phone numbers.
8. My most favoritest email ever received:
"Bear in mind the object of life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, and shouting, "Holy shit, what a ride!"
* Burke was writing 250 years ago, so I will forgive him using only the masculine term. In my own head I read "men" as "people".
** I used to think this exact thing back when I was a math major during my first few quarters in college, but I am not a famous mathematician like John von Neumann.