From Round to Square (and back)

For The Emperor's Teacher, scroll down (↓) to "Topics." It's the management book that will rock the world (and break the vase, as you will see). Click or paste the following link for a recent profile of the project: http://magazine.beloit.edu/?story_id=240813&issue_id=240610

A new post appears every day at 12:05* (CDT). There's more, though. Take a look at the right-hand side of the page for over four years of material (2,000 posts and growing) from Seinfeld and country music to every single day of the Chinese lunar calendar...translated. Look here ↓ and explore a little. It will take you all the way down the page...from round to square (and back again).
*Occasionally I will leave a long post up for thirty-six hours, and post a shorter entry at noon the next day.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Channeling Liam—Sayonara, Round and Square

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***  *** 
One year ago on Round and Square (31 January 2012)—The Emperor's Teacher: Talking Points (2)

[a] Liamspeak PD
I don't know who you are, 
but I will find you...

...and tell you that my thirty-day contract with Round and Square is up. 

It has been fun, and I am happy to introduce my 
successor, below...French Bulldog Puppy, 
whose posts will be somewhat more philosophical
than most of my channeled musings.
[b] Musing PD
[Originally posted 2014 04-30] 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Channeling Liam—Big Golf Holes

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***  *** 
One year ago on Round and Square (30 January 2012)—The Emperor's Teacher: Talking Points (1)

[a] Liamspeak PD
I don't know who you are, 
but I will find you...

...and tell you that fifteen-inch golf holes are 
the dumbest idea I have ever seen. 

Seriously? I have a much better idea, and will tell 
it to the Round and Square editors, who will post 
it (later) in a "Just Do It Over" piece. 

It's a much better idea than golf-holes 
the size of toilet bowls.
[c] Pin(head idea) RF
[Originally posted 2014 04-30]

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Channeling Liam—Sterling...Silver

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***  *** 
One year ago on Round and Square (29 January 2012)—Hurtin' Country: Big John

[a] Liamspeak PD
I don't know who you are, 
but I will find you...

...and tell you that just last week I thought to myself "Donald Sterling is the worst team owner in the the NBA."

Today...my thoughts are more complex.

That is all. 
[b] Complex RF
First Posted 29 April 2014

Monday, January 28, 2013

Channeling Liam—Democracy in America

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***  *** 
One year ago on Round and Square (28 January 2012)—Fieldnotes From History: Hand Signals

[a] Liamspeak PD
I don't know who you are, 
but I will find you...
[b] Just part of the story RF

...and tell you that I am rereading the greatest ethnography every written. I'm savoring every passage of Democracy in America

Beautiful work.

Oh, and please don't read it from the perspective of "Alexis de Tocqueville got this right, but he got that wrong." 

That is just about the only way to ruin it.
[c] Another part RF

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Channeling Liam—Reading Glasses

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***  *** 
One year ago on Round and Square (27 January 2012)—Heian Japan: Housing

[a] Liamspeak PD
I don't know who you are, 
but I will find you...

...and tell you that—when you get to be my age—reading glasses are important.

I have them in every room in the house, in my car (for when the car is stopped...and parked), in my office, and beyond. If I could, I would have pairs waiting for me (like bowling shoes) in bookstores and coffee shops. 

Reading glasses—they're the cat's meow for middle aged readers.
[b] Westie Civilization RF

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Channeling Liam—24-Hour Clocks

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***  *** 
One year ago on Round and Square (26 January 2012)—Asian Miscellany: Language and Literature

[a] Liamspeak PD
I don't know who you are, 
but I will find you...

...and tell you that 24-hour clock time is splendidly accurate (it is 15:00 in Chicago as I post this). 
 
There are fewer problematic a.m./p.m. lapses, and all it takes is a few minutes to learn.

And why some keep on calling it "military time" even in their humble civilian contexts, is beyond  me.. It does go to show, though, that when there needs to be absolute temporal precision, the military (anywhere) doesn't mess around.

Twenty-four hour time. 

It's for everyone (civil and martial; 文 and  武).

Onward, interdenominational and pan-temporal soldiers.

But...now a broken clock is only right...once a day—if it has a working battery.
[c] Well, okay...RF

Friday, January 25, 2013

Channeling Liam—Portable Bicycles

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***  *** 
One year ago on Round and Square (25 January 2012)—Seinfeld Ethnography: Pool Man

[a] Liamspeak PD
I don't know who you are, 
but I will find you...

...and tell you that the best bike I own (and I love advanced cycling technology) is a Bike Friday "Pocket Rocket" that folds up into a regular-sized suitcase.

I have taken it all over the world, and there is no airline charge for oversized baggage.

It may look funny from afar, but from the rider's angle, it is the perfect position of a sophisticated racing bike.

And if you abduct my kin, I will take my bike and track you down.
[b] Not...exactly...RF

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Channeling Liam—Daylight Savings Time

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***  *** 
One year ago on Round and Square (23 January 2012)—Fieldnotes From History: Settling In Again

[a] Liamspeak PD
I don't know who you are, 
but I will find you...

...and tell you that central Europe has "Daylight Savings Time," too. It is now a six-hour difference between Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) in the United States and every city in Germany.

Note this for future Skype calls (seven hours to CDT, eight hours to MDT, and nine hours to PDT).

Trust me.
[b] "Time"...and space RF

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Channeling Liam—Almonds

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***  *** 
One year ago on Round and Square (23 January 2012)—Fieldnotes From History: Settling In Again

[a] Liamspeak PD
I don't know who you are, 
but I will find you...

...and I will tell you that the perfect snack is almonds. 


No sugar, no flour. It's the perfect "Paleolithic" snack. There are no blood sugar spikes and fall (with disastrous consequences in morning presentations after coffee and a bagel).

It fills your hunger and keeps you on a roll.

Now I'll chomp a few almonds and go shoot the &(*^&@ who abducted my daughter.

Kinship energy (and gratuitous violence)...it's what I do.
[c] Energy RF








Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Channeling Liam—Instant Coffee

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***  *** 
One year ago on Round and Square (22 January 2012)—Hurtin' Country: She's Gone, Gone, Gone

[a] Liamspeak PD
I don't know who you are, 
but I will find you...

...and tell you that we are living through a golden age of coffee. 
[b] 1975 RF

Oh, and I don't only mean the wonderful brews available all over the world that come from ground beans, hot water, and pot. 

No, I mean that we are also living through a time in which even instant coffee—that formerly god-awful dry-to-liquid waste has become tasty...tasty indeed.

From Starbucks Via packets to those amazing little single-cup-thingies I see in the stores, the product is superior to all but the most toe-curling coffee I used to drink every morning at the Ole Store in Northfield, Minnesota.

Instant coffee—it isn't just for camping anymore.
[c] Respite RF

Monday, January 21, 2013

Channeling Liam—Book Weights

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***  *** 
One year ago on Round and Square (21 January 2012)—The "Thousand-Ask" Question (c)

[a] Liamspeak PD
I don't know who you are, 
but I will find you...

[b] Open RF
...and I will tell you that that for years and years
I struggled to keep books open while I tried to
type or take handwritten notes.

Then I discovered "book weights." They hold the book
open while you work, and are a godsend for serious research.

Oh, and I assume that you know what "books" are.

They are still quite useful. I recommend them, and urge
you not to eschew the kind that has covers...and ink.

These can often be found in "libraries."
[c] No book weight needed here RF

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Channeling Liam—The Right Pen

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***  *** 
One year ago on Round and Square (20 January 2012)—The "Thousand-Ask" Question (c)
Two years ago on Round and Square (20 January 2011)—Goofus and Gallant: Resource Center

[a] Liamspeak PD
I don't know who you are, 
but I will find you...

...and I will tell you that the art of writing is being lost,
day-by-day, as people unleash their inner finger-painters
and doodle on screens.
[b] Old School RF

You need a notebook, and you need the right pen.

Search for the pen that feels just right—not too thick and
not too thin. When you find it, buy several dozen of them
and keep them all over your house, in your car, and 
any other place you might go. 

You'll need that notebook we talked about
 the other day, too.

And don't tell me about your tablet. I don't want to hear it.

You can't spell "Situational Luddite-Man" without "L-i-a-m."
[c] You'll Need a Pen RF

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Channeling Liam—Bike Seat Height

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One year ago on Round and Square (19 January 2012)—The "Thousand-Ask" Question
Two years ago on Round and Square (19 January 2011)—Channeling Liam: Resource Center

[a] Liamspeak PD
I don't know who you are, 
but I will find you...

...and I will tell you that too many people ride around with 
bike seats that are positioned way too low. 

This may seem comfortable in the short run, but it is 
bad for your knees, and highly inefficient, on top of it all. 

Raise your seat a half inch a week until you become
comfortable with a position that has your leg not-quite-straight
at the lowest point in the pedal revolution.

Save your knees (and ride faster, too).
[b] Knees RF

Friday, January 18, 2013

Channeling Liam—Celsius

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***  *** 
On this date in Round and Square history:
18 January 2012—Seinfeld Ethnography: Swimming in East River
18 January 2011—Cultural and Intellectual History Tweets: Resource Center

[a] Liamspeak PD
I don't know who you are, 
but I will find you...

...and I will tell you that, if you travel, Centigrade and Fahrenheit 
conversionsare really quite simple. I'm assuming that you're and
American who is uncomfortable with the "metric system."

Just memorize the "fives" (this will take you ten minutes).

Now multiply the remaining degrees by two. 
[b] 27C and falling RF

Then add or subtract, as appropriate.

You will always be within a degree or so
(if you are meticulous, multiply by 1.8 
and you'll nail it).

C     F
0 =  32
5 =  41
10 = 50
15 = 59
20 = 68
25 = 77
30 = 86
35 = 95
40 = 104
(yes, it works below zero, too)

So the bank thermometer in Toulouse reads "27." 

25C is 77F (you have memorized this).

Now take the additional two (27-25=2, after all)...
...and multiply by 2.
2 x 2 = 4
77+4=81

Voilà (it's actually 80.6, which you would have known if you used 1.8).
[c] Global Conversion RF

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Channeling Liam—Yellow Highlighters

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***  *** 
One year ago on Round and Square (16 January 2012)—Just Do It Over: Mahler's Ninth Cellphony
Two years ago on Round and Square (16 January 2011)—Wonder Wines: Resource Center

[a] Liamspeak PD
I don't know who you are, 
but I will find you...

...and I will tell you that using a highlighter in a book 
does not by its very nature "mess up" the book. 

Just be neat.

If you are meticulous, the lines can be 
smooth and unobtrusive—highlighting key passages and not creating 
the unsightly mess I see in used college textbooks. 
[b] Wrong! Use the tip for a clean line. RF

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Channeling Liam—Free Will

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***  *** 
One year ago on Round and Square (15 January 2012)—Hurtin' Country: Upbeat and Downcast
Two years ago on Round and Square (15 January 2011)—Kanji Mastery: Resource Center

[a] Liamspeak PD
I don't know who you are, 
but I will find you...

...and I will tell you in no uncertain terms that the entire Western 
philosophical argument about "free will" is so flawed, from start to 
finish, that it is an embarrassment to every bit of the intellectual tradition. 

The inability to understand the deep social contextualization of everything 
humans do, combined with an utterly binary approach to the "structures" 
that we negotiate on many levels every moment of our lives, makes this 
a howler that should cause (but won't) twenty-five centuries of 
Western philosophers embarrassment for 
not even getting the question right. 

Ever heard of the ol' farmboy who was climbing the ladder of success? 
His dad shouted out to him "Hey, moron—wrong barn." 
And that little story reminds me of this sorry excuse for philosophical argument.  

Now, carry on willfully...
(and if you persist, I will call you):
...ontological carrion. 
[b] Will Freely RF