One of the most remarkable events in human history occurred on a quiet Saturday in August 2012.

No one celebrated.

No one served witness.

No one received credit.

It’s unlikely this milestone would have taken place—at least not in the beautiful way it did— if not for the audacity and disobedience of a few stubborn dreamers.

In 1961, a mathematician, Michael Minovitch, joined NASA as an intern. After begging his boss for extra planetary data and time on NASA’s supercomputer, Michael ran simulations of an algorithm he wrote in his spare time that successfully cracked a 300-year-old maths mystery called the ‘3 Bodies Problem’ — a problem Sir Isaac Newton had failed to solve.

No one seemed to notice what Michael had done.

Instead of a celebration, he lost his allotted time on the computer.

Michael’s response?

He drew hundreds of graphs by hand using his groundbreaking algorithm to plot out possible flight trajectories through our solar system.

Still, no one cared.

Three years later, Gary Flandro, another intern, who was looking through Michael’s graphs, spotted what everyone else had overlooked. In 12 years, the solar system was going to align in such a way that a trip across it would be realistic using the technology of the time. If the window was missed, humanity would wait another 175 years.

Fast forward a bit.

NASA finally realizes what Michael had done and, with slight allowances made for storytelling, two things happened:

  1. NASA excitedly rushed to plan a “Grand Tour” across the solar system
  2. US Congress immediately responded by canceling a large portion of NASA’s funding. NASA retained just enough to visit two planets over five years—Jupiter & Saturn. No more.

However, NASA’s engineers decided they were not going to settle for two measly planets or five short years. Quietly and without permission, they kept planning their Grand Tour.

To realize their dream while on a budget, the spacecrafts that would become Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were allotted the total computational power equivalent to a modern-day car’s key fob and much of their protection was constructed out of store-bought aluminium foil.

Fast forward again.

We flew by moons, Saturn’s rings, a massive frozen ocean and a hurricane so large that you could fit multiple Earths inside of it. We saw lightning strikes the size of continents, active volcanoes, geysers, and came so close to Neptune’s cloud tops that scientists feared we may lose the spacecraft in the atmosphere.

Then, on that uncelebrated day in August 2012, Voyager 1, nearly 30 years past its “expiration date”, wrapped in store-bought aluminum foil, and flying on a trajectory hand-drawn by an ignored intern became the first human-made object to burst out of the bounds of our solar system and into interstellar space.

It’s a beautiful and unequivocally human story.

Don’t discard your remarkable ideas just because they are hand-drawn.

Don’t wait for permission, a round of applause or credit. They’re unlikely to come.

Do, however, keep pushing. Who knows how long humanity will need wait for another opportunity if you don’t start or choose to give up.

We’ve 4 classes starting in January to help you on your Journey:

Joshua Maddox

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The Tyranny-Liberty Cycle of Government

Source: The Tyranny-Liberty Cycle of Government

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Spell To Be Said Against Hatred

Until each breath refuses “they,” “those,” “them.”
Until the Dramatis Personae of the book’s first page says “Each one is you.”
Until hope bows to its hopelessness only as one self bows to another.
Until cruelty bends to its work and sees suddenly “I.”
Until anger and insult know themselves burnable legs of a useless chair.
Until the unsurprised unbidden knees find themselves nonetheless bending.
Until fear bows to its object as a bird’s shadow bows to its bird.
Until the ache of the solitude inside the hands, the ribs, the ankles.
Until the sound the mouse makes inside the mouth of the cat.
Until the inaudible acids bathing the coral.
Until what feels no one’s weighing is no longer weightless.
Until what feels no one’s earning is no longer taken.
Until grief, pity, confusion, laughter, longing see themselves mirrors.
Until by “we” we mean I, them, you, the muskrat, the tiger, the hunger.
Until by “I” we mean as a dog barks, sounding and vanishing and sounding and
vanishing completely.
Until by “until” we mean I, we, you, them, the muskrat, the tiger, the hunger,
the lonely barking of the dog before it is answered.

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Important Rules to Remember When Learning Ancient Greek Part 1


There are many reasons why one may study ancient Greek and Koine Greek; as a student of the classics, archaeology, new testament studies, pure interest, but when we learn a new language we are often bowled over by the amount of rules and terms to remember with just the basics. So in response to some of my students I am here providing some of the most important rules when learning basic Greek so one can remember them, refer to them and read the Greek better.

The Alphabet:

  • 24 Letters, many similar to English ones
  • 7 vowels
  • Short vowels = α  ε  ι  ο  υ
  • Long vowels = α  η  ι  ω  υ = note Eta and Omega are long forms of Epsilon and Omicron
  • Γγ is pronounced as ng. Thus ἅγγελος is angelos (angel)
  • There is still debate over how eta is pronounced
  • Iota can sometimes behave as a consonant when…

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Christmas Day, 1914

Christmas Day, 1914

My dear sister Janet,

It is 2:00 in the morning and most of our men are asleep in their dugouts—yet I could not sleep myself before writing to you of the wonderful events of Christmas Eve. In truth, what happened seems almost like a fairy tale, and if I hadn’t been through it myself, I would scarce believe it. Just imagine: While you and the family sang carols before the fire there in London, I did the same with enemy soldiers here on the battlefields of France!

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James Demore of Google

Published on Aug 9, 2017

James Demore of Google recently wrote a memo detailing his thoughts about Google’s various diversity initiatives. Inside the company, and then outside, it went viral. He lost his job, in consequence: for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.” The problem is that everything James claimed is solidly backed by well-developed scientific literatures. Thus, the company that is arguably in charge of more of the world’s communication than any other has now fired a promising engineer for stating a series of established scientific truths.

That’s worth thinking about.

Here are a series of references buttressing each and every claim James made in his memo, which has been erroneously deemed pseudo-scientific (full papers linked where possible):

Sex differences in personality:
Lynn (1996):
Lippa (2008):
Weisberg (2011):
Del Giudice (2012):

Larger/large and stable sex differences in more gender-neutral countries: (Note: these findings runs precisely and exactly contrary to social constructionist theory: thus, it’s been tested, and it’s wrong).

Katz-Gerrog (2000):
Costa (2001):
Schmitt (2008):
Schmitt (2016):

(Women’s) interest in people vs (men’s) interest in things:
Lippa (1998):
Rong Su (2009):
Lippa (2010):

The general importance of exposure to sex-linked steroids on fetal and then lifetime development:
Hines (2015)

Exposure to prenatal testosterone and interest in things or people (even when the exposure is among females):
Berenbaum (1992):
Beltz (2011):
Baron-Cohen (2014):
Hines (2016):

Primarily biological basis of personality sex differences:
Lippa (2008):
Ngun (2010):

Status and sex: males and females
Perusse (1993):
Perusse (1994):
Buss (2008):
de Bruyn (2012):

To quote de Bruyn et al: high status predicts more mating opportunities and, thus, increased reproductive success. “This is true for human adults in many cultures, both ‘modern’ as well as ‘primitive’ (Betzig, 1986). In fact, this theory seems to be confirmed for non-human primates (Cheney, 1983; Cowlishaw and Dunbar, 1991; Dewsbury, 1982; Gray, 1985; Maslow, 1936) and other animals from widely differing ecologies (Ellis, 1995) such as squirrels (Farentinos, 1972), cockerels (Kratzer and Craig, 1980), and cockroaches (Breed, Smith, and Gall, 1980).” Status also increases female reproductive success, via a different pathway: “For females, it is generally argued that dominance is not necessarily a path to more copulations, as it is for males. It appears that important benefits bestowed upon dominant women are access to resources and less harassment from rivals (Campbell, 2002). Thus, dominant females tend to have higher offspring survival rates, at least among simians (Pusey, Williams, and Goodall, 1997); thus, dominance among females also appears to be linked to reproductive success.”

Personality and political belief:
Gerber (2010):
Hirsh (2010):
Gerber (2011):
Xu (2013):
Burton (2015):

Occupations by gender:

Problems with the measurement and concept of unconscious bias:
Fielder (2006):
Blanton (2009): (this one is particularly damning)

And, just for kicks, two links discussing the massive over-representation of the left in, most particularly, the humanities:
Klein (2008):
Langbert (2016):

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A conversation about gun control

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants:

Thomas Jefferson.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

(Second Amendment to the Constitution.)

Continue reading

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Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
Bends low, comes up twenty years away
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade.
Just like his old man.

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.

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Place Name: Oracabessa by Kei Miller

Oracabessa – origins disputed but most likely leave over
from the Spanish. Oracabeza, Golden Head, though
what gold was here other than light shining off the bay,
other than bananas bursting out from red flowers? But
this too is disputed – not the flowers – rather, the origin
of bananas; they may have come here with Columbus on
a ship that in 1502 slipped into Orcabessa the way grief
sometimes slips into a room. In those days the sailor
tried to name the island Santa Maria, as if not knowing
we already had a name, in another language, a language
whose speakers would soon die – though this too is
disputed – not the deaths, but the completeness of
genocide. Consider, if you will, such leave-over words as
barbecue; consider hurricane; consider the word Jamaica,
land of wood and water – but not of gold. Could someone
please go back in time and tell Columbus, in Taino there
is no word for gold. Christopher Columbus, in Italiano
Cristoforo Colombo, en español Cristóbal Colón. A teacher
once told me ‘Colón’ is root word for colonist, and though
I know that was false etymology, there is some truth to it.
Oracabessa – place where you might find such tranquil
villas as Golden Cove, Golden Clouds or Goldeneye –
longtime home of Ian Fleming who sat there on cliff’s
edge, the morning’s breakfast brought to him by a woman
named Doris, the scent of ackee and crisp-fried
breadfruit wafting up to his nostrils while between his
teeth he bit a number 2 pencil, all the time looking out to
sea as if fishing for a story – maybe a man – an incredible
man – let’s call him Bond. James Bond. Who knew 007
wasn’t Scottish, but a barefoot bwoy from St Mary, Jamaica.
Like so many others, he too would migrate – the brutish
winter cooling his complexion down to white. Such stories!
Goldfinger, GoldenEye, The Man with the Golden Gun.
Did you never stop to wonder where all this gold came
from? Did you never stop to ask, what was found in El
Dorado? Well, let me tell you: not a nugget, not an ounce
of ore – but light gilding the bay, and perhaps bananas, and
perhaps ackee, and such language as could summon
wind to capsize Columbus’s ships – and if that’s not gold,
then what is?

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A Small Needful Fact

A Small Needful Fact
Ross Gay

Is that Eric Garner worked
for some time for the Parks and Rec.
Horticultural Department, which means,
perhaps, that with his very large hands,
perhaps, in all likelihood,
he put gently into the earth
some plants which, most likely,
some of them, in all likelihood,
continue to grow, continue
to do what such plants do, like house
and feed small and necessary creatures,
like being pleasant to touch and smell,
like converting sunlight
into food, like making it easier
for us to breathe.

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