palo alto trees
the four universal graphs
the unseen apollo 11
german WWI grave designs
This is my 2002 journal.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Also available: 2003 2001 2000 1990s 1980s
Everything on this page:
Copyright 1985-2002 by Thane Plambeck, except where obviously not.
30 December 2002
Financial restructuring, without the bitter aftertaste
An amusing ad from The Economist.
30 December 2002
Hopper the Rabbit
A story by Cole Plambeck (age 7).
24 December 2002
The Holiday Season
Cole (age 7) started to write a letter to Santa but couldn't think of anything to ask for.
Gloria: Well, what do you want?
22 December 2002
Watching figure skating on TV:
Thane: Is that Kristi Yamaguchi? She looks taller, somehow.
21 December 2002
The next total solar eclipse will occur on 23 November 2003.
It's in Antarctica.
At least it's the summer season. The hotels are probably booked.
13 December 2002
The Crime of Punishment (1968)
Walter Menninger, ca 2000
Here's a good book to read:
By Karl Menninger
305 pp. New York, Viking Press, 1968.
You'll have to look for at the library or somewhere online that deals in used books (Amazon does, via "zShops"). I found my copy in a fourth floor lobby of the Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas and read the whole thing in two nights.
About two years ago, I exchanged some email with Walter Menninger (pictured above, and the nephew of "Dr Karl"), at that time the director of the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. He told me that practically everyone in his family (seemingly) attended Stanford University at one time or another.
Here's the recently announced fate of the The Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas:
TOPEKA, Kans. [December 4, 2002] -- The Menninger Clinic announced today that its Boards of Directors and Trustees unanimously approved a partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital to create a comprehensive, world-class center for psychiatric care, research, and education...And here's an article I found on the web about an earlier attempt to find a place for the Menninger Clinic amidst today's increasingly technological approach to mental illness:
Menningers settle family feud over control of Dr. Karl's archivesHere you read of the troubles of a great American institution (and family) as it tries to recast itself for the future. In fact, the announced partnership with Baylor and Methodist Hospital went through after all (although the terms weren't disclosed). The 500 acre Menninger Clinic property in Topeka, KS will be sold and all its (willing) staff will move to Texas in June 2003.
The lesson? It's extremely difficult to create an institution that survives the genius of its founders. The Menninger Clinic was started in 1925. It's continuing in Texas, but likely in a much changed form (although I really don't know anything about it first hand).
Examples of lasting institutions:
The United States of America, the Jesuits, the Royal Society,...
One of the most untruthful things possible, you know, is a collection of facts, because they can be made to appear so many different ways.
12 December 2002
In the Audience
Bowling for Columbine
Film by Michael Moore. Aquarius Theatre, Palo Alto. 10pm showing.
The large diet Pepsi kept me up until 2am after I got home.
Einojuhani Rautavaara, Adagio CÚleste
Mendelssohn, Violin Concerto in E minor, opus 64
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Midori as soloist for the Mendelssohn.
Mikko Franck, Conductor
They played Sibelius too, but I cut and ran at the intermissionFinnish unfinished.
Owen's preschool concert. I videotaped "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer."
Cole performs handstands, round-offs and cartwheels to music I improvise on a synthesizer set to "Harpsichord."
6 December 2002
Jeff Ullman Symposium
In this photo, I'm telling a story at the Stanford faculty club about Joe Jonah Euclid and my PhD advisor, Jeffrey D. Ullman, (far right) on the occasion of his 60th birthday (and retirement from Stanford).
Inderpal Mumick, Ron Fagin, and Kwong Yung also appear in the (first) picture.
Another photo: I'm talking to Kwong Yung.
3 December 2002
The Bleeding Was All Inside
In January 1972, in a scene straight out of "Frankie and Johnny," trumpeter Lee Morgan was shot dead by his mistress at Slug's, a jazz club on New York City's Lower East Side. Morgan was thirty-three years old. His deathspectacular in jazz not so much because he was young as because it involved a woman instead of drugsis remembered thus by one of his closest musical associates: "For years Lee had been with Helen [More], an older womanmaybe ten years older than himwho sort of looked after him and had straightened him out a little, helped him stay away from dope. A few weeks before his death, Lee had started hanging out with a younger girl, very pretty; she looked like Angela Davis. He was taking her all over town, showing her off to his friends. One day he dropped by the school in Harlem where I was teaching jazz workshops and introduced her to all of us.David H Rosenthal, Hard Bop: Jazz and Black Music, 1955-1965, Oxford University Press, 1992
3 December 2002
Owen (age 4), after seeing his (next year) kindergarten teacher:
Owen: "And I already know Kindergarten Math!" (skips away proudly).But then, after the teacher is gone:
Owen: (Pausing) "Mama, do I know Kindergarten Math?"
Putting away dishes:
Gloria: "But that's not where that goes..."
Bumper sticker at the corner of Oregon Expressway & El Camino Real:
MY WIFE SAYS I DON'T LISTEN TO HEROR SOMETHING LIKE THAT
1 December 2002
An Amazing Optical Illusion (1995)
Using an "eyedropper" in a computer painting program, I verified that the squares A and B are indeed exactly the same shade of gray. Try squinting at it while holding your hands up so that all you can see is a narrow strip of the picture that includes the squares A and B.
For conclusive proof, print out the picture and cut out the diamond shapes of the "A" and "B" squares.