Oct 22, 2014 · 3 minute read · Comments
exerciseCathedral of LearningPittsburghHarvard Classicsebooks
I recently learned that the Harvard Classics, a 51-volume set of classic writings first published in 1909, are now available for free download as ebooks. This isn’t really news, but was just something that appeared on my radar.
What relevance such an ancient collection has today is an interesting question, especially in light of the fact that a century ago the concept of what was of interest in the history of the “world” was fairly narrow, but not something I’m discussing right now.
I had a hunch where I could find a physical copy of the Harvard Classics. I tested my hunch:
Read On →
Oct 16, 2014 · 1 minute read · Comments
For The Chess Improver, I wrote “Basic endgames teach how to tie together mathematics and logic”.
Oct 9, 2014 · 1 minute read · Comments
For The Chess Improver, I wrote “The temptation to play safe can prevent improvement”.
Oct 5, 2014 · 3 minute read · Comments
Frick ParkNine Mile Run TrailSummerset at Frick ParkDuck HollowPittsburgh
Abby and I hadn’t gone hiking for a while, because of schedules, but decided on a free Sunday afternoon to simply go for an exploratory hike in our local Frick Park, as we’ve done many times before. There’s never any shortage of ways to try something new. Lately, this has meant exploring narrow and hilly trails that mountain bikers use. We have to be careful on these to avoid a bike coming down out of nowhere!
We hiked about eight miles, starting with familiar territory but then entering the very strange!
I took a few photos along the way that you can check out.
Read On →
Oct 2, 2014 · 1 minute read · Comments
For The Chess Improver, I wrote “Your Pawn is threatened: do you defend, advance, or trade?”
Sep 18, 2014 · 1 minute read · Comments
For The Chess Improver, I wrote “The Chess Improver: Accept the sacrifice if the alternative is to lose anyway”.
Sep 17, 2014 · 3 minute read · Comments
ConstitutionCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghMary Jo MillerNSA
I have a habit of observing Constitution Day every year by attending a presentation at CMU and thinking about issues relating to the Constitution.
Last year (2013), I was too disheartened to observe Constitution Day but wrote a little bit about why.
This year, I returned because the topic for discussion sounded interesting: Mary Jo Miller gave a talk “The Supreme Court and Privacy: The Fourth Amendment in the Digital Age” in the Posner Center. (Miller is a Staff Attorney for the Pennsylvania State Education Association and an adjunct professor in Carnegie Mellon’s Social and Decision Sciences Department.)
Read On →
Sep 11, 2014 · 1 minute read · Comments
For The Chess Improver, I wrote “The difference between a Knight developed at c3 and at d2”.
Sep 4, 2014 · 1 minute read · Comments
For The Chess Improver, I wrote “Fianchettoing your King’s Bishop may weaken your c4-Pawn”.
Aug 28, 2014 · 5 minute read · Comments
musicpianoRobert SchumannSviatoslav RichterAlexandre Moutouzkine
My single favorite work of music by Robert Schumann is his Fantasie in C for piano, Op. 17. I was introduced to this piece in a course for non-musicians I took first semester of freshman year in college.
I have to confess that in the past two decades since discovering that piece, I never found a perfect performance of it, although Sviatoslav Richter’s came close, and I remember rushing to buy it when it was reissued on CD (back when one had to wait to transition from LPs). But I always felt something was missing.
I just accidentally discovered the performance of a lifetime, captured in video on YouTube. Why did I like this one so much?
Read On →