Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Before he died in 2008, Carnegie Mellon Computer Science professor, Randy Pausch, gave a now famous talk called the Last Lecture.  He wrote a book with the same title.  Both are about achieving your childhood dreams.  Although he was dying, his book and lecture were all about the role and the power that dreams play in how we live.  Dreams are the Cold Fusion of the human endeavor; though without mass they defy the laws of physics by turning their unlimited potential energy into action and into really cool stuff.

Vanity Fair recently ran a retrospective of photos from the making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.  This picture brings to light the ‘stuff that dreams are made of’ and the stuff that they can make.   How many people reading this blog haven’t had a dream resembling this scene in the top 3/4 of the photo, hanging precariously, threatened by an ominous figure, little option other than to fall?  (Of course, many of us might always cast ourselves as Luke, though David might dream more of being Vader).  But the best part is the bed of mattresses (the other stuff of dreams) and the strange silhouette at the bottom – revealing the trick to George Lucas’ magic.  Lucas’ dream, a sci-fi replication of the dreams of Sophocles, Shakespeare and many others before him, ignited

the dreams of millions, while building a multi-billion dollar empire.

Dreams like Lucas’ and those before him, in turn, spurred on the real exploration of space, which has produced dream-like results.  Before seeing the picture of the Comet Hartley 2 on the right, who would have thought that we could build a spacecraft to intercept a rock traveling through space, freeze it in time and send its image back to us?

As Prospero said, ‘we are such stuff as dreams are made on.’  Yet, we spend so much time distracting ourselves from our own dreams, or inadvertently squelching the dreams of others, including our children.  But, if we listen to them, if we strive to enable those of others, especially those younger than us, these dreams, which begin in our early years have the power to propel us just about anywhere we may want to go in the universe.  Including on to a stage to sing  with your  favorite musician, as happened several weeks back for a Burke student who was picked to sing with Jenny Lewis when she performed at the Black Cat.

Thanks to Kevin M. ’11 for the video.

[Ed Note: for Jenny & Burke fans, take a look beginning at about 0:53 as Jenny looks into the crowd at the 7th grade sister of the Burke student on the stage, just as she’s about to sing about somethin’ naughty… As Bogart/Sam Spade said in the Maltese Falcon: this is the stuff that dreams are made of.]

[Another note: one of Burke.Word‘s early dreams was flying a glider.  What was/is your’s? Leave a comment.]


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Two videos from our good friend youtube to entertain you this rainy morning.

First Off – an example of the kind of entertainment i don’t think you’ll ever see at a BURKE pep rally:

Part I:

And A Caveat on the second video:

This writer, nor the Edmund Burke School is promoting the drinking of Beer by posting this video. I am however, promoting the creation of awesome projectos/installations  that use both your artistic/creative skills as well as your mathematical/precision skills. Check it out:

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On Your way in….

Welcome Back!

As students, faculty and staff return to school for meetings, orientations, and preseason, here are some doormats you won’t see on your way in to the building.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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I’m a big fan of the website Letters of Note – which posts actual letters from the famous and the not-so-famous from deep in history up to today.  There are letters ranging from Churchill to Paul Newman, from Gandhi to Iggy Pop, every one of which will produce a smile and/or pack a wallop.

The letter below is from Bill Watterson, author of the great Calvin and Hobbes comic strip.  In it he dispenses valuable wisdom useful to any aspiring cartoonist (yo koaly!) — as well as to anyone who is working on learning more about how to draw the daily strip of his or her life.

Click here to read the whole thing at Letters of Note.

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Recently on Reddit.com bloggers asked some google employees anonymously what it’s really like to work for them.  It’s a pretty interesting interview – definitely worth a read.                                    Check It Out Here

Rumor has it that google is developing a site to rival facebook – check out the article here on cnn.com

Have you heard about the google.cn drama? Basically, China has asked google to censor it’s search results, something that goes against everything google stands for. You can read about the latest in that saga here.

In addition to the rumors about a facebook rival, google is also in development for a music download service.The rumors are pretty huge – and when the wall street journal is reporting it, it must be true.

also check out: 10 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Google

And Finally…Like all those fun google Logo images that happen throughout the year? Want to see them all? Well then you should click popeye and check em out!

There is so much info our there about google – so go google it (ba dum ch)

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Scissor Lift Ballet

Ever Seen Cory or Eddie driving around the building in the scissor lift?

Ever thought to yourself – I wonder what it would be like if we owned two of them, and created a dance piece using the two scissor lifts?

Well, now you don’t have to wonder anymore, here’s what it might look like:

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This summer the featured exhibition at the National Building Museum is, LEGOs!!                                                                                                              According to the website: “Piece by piece, brick by brick, this (Adam Reed Tucker) LEGO Certified Professional (one of 11 worldwide) creates large-scale artistic models of some of the world’s most famous structures including the Empire State Building, St. Louis’ Gateway Arch, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece Fallingwater. The simplicity and nostalgic quality of LEGO affords viewers a new, detailed look at familiar buildings. Visitors can lean in close to see the complexity of a building’s intricate design and engineering or take a step back to appreciate its stunning sculptural form in full.”

“Trained as an architect, Tucker rekindled his childhood interest in LEGO® bricks and began experimenting with LEGO as a medium for his art in 2003. The result of his vision—15 buildings from around the world made entirely from LEGO bricks—will be the centerpiece of the exhibition LEGO® Architecture: Towering Ambition.”

Go Check out this pretty freekin cool exhibition at the National Building Museum, running now through Sept. 5, 2011 (yea, you have a lot of time)

More Info on this Exhibition here

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