All posts by rgsmith

The War Prayer

Once again I had the pleasure to watch actor Hal Holbrook’s portrayal of American humorist and raconteur Mark Twain. It was in a large theatre in a small city. All 15-hundred seats were filled. At one point Holbrook goes into Twain’s “The War Prayer”. Twain wrote it around 1905. It was rejected by his publisher and then found after his death among his unpublished manuscripts. Twain apparently wrote it as an opposition to the Philippines War of 1899-1902. The whole story is too long for…

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California Fires

Dear Friends,There is fire’s devastation again in California. I have friends in the area and though their homes were sparred, others were not. A house for some and home for othersFamilies, friends, sisters and brothers.Gone! Vanquished in the force of flame.Nothing left! No photo! No frame! We cannot know not being thereThe loss, the ache, for hearts to bearAnd minds to seek a place called homeWhere hopes can rest and memories roam. We’re oft surprised by nature’s rathThat brings the wind and chewing pathOf flames…

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Discovery

Astronomers reported yesterday that they have the first snapshot of planets in another solar system. Somewhere in the constellation of Pegasus there is a large star. It doesn’t have a name. It has a number, HR 8799. It’s really far away. 128 light years away and one light year is about 6 trillion miles. Orbiting HR 8799 are three planets each larger than Jupiter. The picture at the upper left of this post is what the scientists who discovered the system call the snapshot. The…

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Infomatique

Some thoughts on computer language. Sometimes it is hard to make ourselves understood in our own language, let alone in another and when the technology of one language coins new words for specific things it can be very confusing. Back when computers were beginning to be used on a wide scale. America was the leader in computers and computer software. The French, who have long been sensitive in keeping the purity of their language, tried to figure out a literal translation for the computer term…

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