Sunday, August 26, 2012

Top ten lists during technical difficulties

Son of a . . . my laptop has bit the dust, gone to the great digital landfill in the sky. I had a post I was writing on the death penalty on the word processor almost done, and now I can't get to it until I get a new computer and download everything I save online (well, if it works like it is supposed to I will).

Many years ago, during a televised baseball game, there was a rain delay. To kill time, the producers put on a little show, using their amazing cameras on the rain coming down. It was a little sensation at the time. I have no such capabilities with my blog (though, I'm sure some 8 year old could manage it), but I can write another of my endless top ten lists, so entertaining, you will forget all about Prince Harry and his lack of underwear. Seriously, can you believe that is a TOP news story this week. Note to the media - HE'S NOT A REAL PRINCE. IT'S MAKE BELIEVE NOW. STOP PRETENDING HE IS ANYTHING BUT A YOUNG AND VERY WEALTHY YOUNG MAN WITH A MILITARY CAREER WHO WAS HANGING OUT IN VEGAS. VEGAS . . . REMEMBER VEGAS. WHERE PERHAPS MILLIONS OF PEOPLE HAVE DONE DUMB THINGS, MANY FAR, FAR DUMBER THAN THIS. AND, SINCE WHEN IS IT A CRIME TO BE NAKED? As overblown and partisan as the attacks on Todd Akin are (for once, both in the same direction), at least he said something indefensibly stupid.

Okay, done. Anyway, in the spirit of the rain delay documentary I was talking about before I so rudely interrupted myself, here's some top ten lists, with no apologies if I am repeating any or changing any I've done before:

Top ten beginning reader's books

10) Put me in the Zoo (Can't even explain why I loved this one. Animals, I guess.)
9) The Little Engine That Could ("I think I can, I think I can . . . ")
8) One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (If you know the title, you pretty much know the book.)
7) Goodnight Moon (For pre-readers too. Something magical about it.)
6) Are you my mother? (Scary at points, for me, but a satisfying ending.)
5) Curious George (That crazy little chimp is so cute, but it did worry my tiny brain when he'd get in trouble.)
4) Harold and his Purple Crayon (This book excited my imagination like no other.)
3) Green Eggs and Ham (Why aren't there t-shirts with "I AM SAM I AM" on them?)
2) Go, Dog. Go! ("Do you like my hat?" "No, I do not like your hat." "Good-bye." "Good-bye.")
1) Horton Hatches the Egg (Includes one of my mantras. "I meant what I . . . ")

Some would, of course, put the The Cat in the Hat in there. I thought about it, then unthunk it. The Go, Dog. Go! quote is from memory, not having the book in front of me and various versions of it written by others coming up in the google search.

Top ten Greek philosophers (but not because I agree or disagree with them).

(9 & 10) Leucippus/Democritus. They were the atomists. I can't tell one from the other. Can you?
8) Pythagorus. I can't say I like his mysticism, but the mathematics he worked on is visible right down to the reason this computer is working. It might be argued that he was more the beginning of science than any other Greek.
7) Parmenides. The opposite of Heraclitus in a sense. His ideas that ideas really exist as things and that the past continues to exist seems ridiculous, but, it was developed in a like manner in the last century by Popper. I didn't really get it with him either, but my respect for him is endless.
6) Heraclitus. You can't step into the same river twice. 
5) Zeno. Technically a Phoenician, but born on Cyprus, so I'm taking him. And stoicism, honored in the breach, is still so full of potent ideas today.
4) Epicurus. Because it was about moderation, not hedonism. To bad he was so dogmatic, because he had some great ideas.
3) Diogenes. Because he was entertaining. He was more like the Buddha than a Greek philosopher, and thank goodness he had so little influence or we'd all be walking around naked recreating Rome every generation, but the stories about him are wonderful.
2) Aristotle. Another guy so learned, so brilliant, it is hard to comprehend for us mere mortals. Even if he was so wrong about almost everything, he is so important to us all. 
1) Plato and Socrates. This isn't cheating. Though we know of Socrates from other sources, we would not be talking about him without Plato. As for Plato, I abuse him as a founding father of philosophical apologists for totalitarian government, but he was so brilliant, even if almost always wrong, that writing that all Western philosophy is a footnote to Plato (Whitehead) is somewhat true.  As for Socrates, I celebrate him not for being the inspiration and perhaps mouthpiece for Plato in general, but because of his Apology, and especially because he knew he knew nothing, the first thing I remember learning about philosophy (thanks, mom) and perhaps the most important lesson of all, before he stupidly (though others would say Stoicly) accepted the death penalty. Which of it is Plato and which really Socrates I don't know, but I like to give the master credit for that which I like and the student for those things I don't.

Apologies to Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes (the three of the Milesian school, to whom, according to Popper, we owe critical analysis), Empedocles and whoever else should be stuck in here somewhere.

Top ten deisenberg, visits for the week as of 8/25
Aug 19, 2012, 2 comments
Jan 24, 2007, 2 comments
Nov 18, 2010, 4 comments
Apr 16, 2011, 5 comments
Sep 10, 2007, 1 comment
Jun 13, 2009, 9 comments
Mar 27, 2011, 8 comments

The most popular one this week is obviously because it is a new post. But, for the hell of it - numbers 3, 4, 5 and 6 are among my own all time favorites and number 7 is the actual all time champ. What percentage are spam, I have no way of telling. Certainly some.

Top ten Louis Prima pieces (check out the May 16, 2008 post for more on my Prima obsession. More interesting than you might think, if you are not already a fan.) Some of the following he wrote or co-wrote but all he performed, some in medley.

10) Somewhere over the rainbow and Robin Hood (vocal version).
9) Oh Marie - A song I often have running through my head anytime I talk to someone named Marie.
8) Brooklyn Boogie - The instrumental reprise is so arousing, I may have it too low on the list.
7) Jump, Jive An' Wail - I don't know how you can lump him with any other performer even as he re-writes whatever genre he is playing in, as he does here with a swing piece.
6) Angelina/Zooma, Zooma. About as infectious as it gets.
5) St. Louis Blue's - I've heard several versions of him doing this much covered classic and they are the best I know.
4) Bueno Sera. I've heard him do it fast and do it slow. I love 'em all.
3) I'm just a gigolo/I ain't got nobody. As good now as it ever was.
2)  I wanna be like you. He performed as the ape, King Louie, in Disney's Jungle Book, a very Prima like piece, but made it his own with his unmistakeable performance.
1) Sing, Sing, Sing. I argue in my post, the greatest jazz piece of all time.

Number ten was too painful to choose, so I cheated, as usual, and made a top 11. See my December 10, 2007 post for my take on his masterpiece, Sing, Sing, Sing.

A blessedly short post this week. I'll work on the computer because I know you can't wait.



  1. Listing and ranking your OWN blogs???? Move over, Joe Hollywood. Where's your sychophant, throwing flowers at your feet as you promenade down the walk?

  2. You need to read s l o w e r, you big goof. I didn't rank them, Google did according to how many people read them that week. But, sure I would rank my own posts. Why not? It's all for fun. Who do you really think in Hollywood is reading it? However, I will take applications for a sychophant. No experience necessary. Just enthusiasm.

  3. Hey if Frank Thomas can be "The Big Hurt" (famous baseball player you probably never heard of), then I can be "The Big Goof". I like it.

  4. And so another seemingly meaningless nickname is born.

    Of course I know Frank Thomas. I'm not into baseball, not in a coma.


Your comments are welcome.

About Me

My photo
I started this blog in September, 2006. Mostly, it is where I can talk about things that interest me, which I otherwise don't get to do all that much, about some remarkable people who should not be forgotten, philosophy and theories (like Don Foster's on who wrote A Visit From St. Nicholas and my own on whether Santa is mostly derived from a Norse god) and analysis of issues that concern me. Often it is about books. I try to quote accurately and to say when I am paraphrasing (more and more). Sometimes I blow the first name of even very famous people, often entertainers. I'm much better at history, but once in a while I see I have written something I later learned was not true. Sometimes I fix them, sometimes not. My worst mistake was writing that Beethoven went blind, when he actually went deaf. Feel free to point out an error. I either leave in the mistake, or, if I clean it up, the comment pointing it out. From time to time I do clean up grammar in old posts as, over time I have become more conventional in my grammar, and I very often write these when I am falling asleep and just make dumb mistakes. It be nice to have an editor, but . . . .