f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

April 18, 2005

haiku and the national pastime

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 5:54 pm

After quickly polling the various editors of this weblog, I’ve

concluded that you do not have to be a baseball fan to enjoy

haiku about baseball.   So, you’ll be finding the topic fairly often

here at f/k/a


Here’s a pair from our clean-up hitter, George Swede:



crack of the bat

the outfielder circles

under the full moon








abandoned ballpark

    gopher mound covers

         home plate





George Swede from Almost Unseen (Brooks Books, 2000) 




– plus, a benchwarmer’s contribution:



perfect line-drive

over second base —

coach says I swang late


                     dagosan [April 18, 2005]




“baseballg”  As I discover them, I’ll be collecting

the baseball haiku of our Honored Guests at



law school applicants need homework

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 3:39 pm

Sufflolk Law School Professor Andrew Perlman sent me off on quite 

a tangent last week, with his guest posting at Legal Ethics Forum 

on “Misleading Law School Promotional Materials” (April 13, 2005)  

So, I thought I better at least get a posting out of it. 


It seems Andy is worried that shady law school promotional tactics are  

misleading and unfairly enticing the nation’s law school applicants. To avoid

hypocrisy and unpleasantly surprised students or graduates, Andy wants to apply

the same “strict” advertising criteria to schools that are applied to lawyers (although

he thinks the restrictions should be lifted from lawyers).  I wasn’t sure that the

crisis was as big as Andy suggested, or that we should worry too much about

law school applicants (since they can and should protect themselves); check out


After doing a bit of research and reflection, I came to the following conclusions: 


Naturally, it’s absolutely improper for law schools to be using deceptive

tactics in the admissions process  [unless used to weed out particularly credulous

or lazy applicants!]


tiny check  Standards for ABA-approved law schools already exist . . .


                                      – click to read the entire post which opines:

“Given the existence and accessibility of this

information, the importance of the decisions,

and the kinds of skills and attitudes a good

lawyer needs, I cannot agree with Andy Perlman

that we should feel a lot of sympathy for “naive”

or ignorant law school applicants-turned-student.” 



prairie twilight…

the glow of the cattleman’s

branding iron


                Ed Markowski








during discussion

on the meaning of life . . . the crunch

of a student’s apple



                         George Swede

                                   from Almost Unseen








pencil shavings

the student’s tongue

curls and uncurls


                  DeVar Dahl

                          from A New Resonance 3


dKeyS Word for the Wise just had a great entry to honor the birthday

of Clarence Darrow (b. April 18, 1857), quoting him saying: “Inside

every lawyer is the wreck of a poet,”  and presenting a poem by his

onetime law partner, poet Edgar Lee Masters entitled “Clarence Darrow.”




by dagosan:  

a young man’s

erotic dream —

the old man’s bladder wakes him

                                                                    [April 18, 2005]






admissions week —

two fat envelopes

and two skinny ones


                              [April 16, 2005]

it’s all relative, squared

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:49 am

Today is the fiftieth anniversary of Albert Einstein’s death (April 18, 1955).          eMC2

I was five years old when he died, and have had no professional nor dilettante interest in physics

or mathematics.  Nonetheless, I’ve always been very fond of Old Albert and have never quite

known why.   Perhaps this quote from Sunday’s newspaper  (Associated Press, April 15, 2005,

Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is

something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.”

“einsteinTime”  I can picture it now:  Little Tyke David proudly dresses himself one morning in

a color-and-design combination that provokes from his mother (and big sister) that phrase every

male in the universe hears, from every significant woman in his life (and quite a few insignificant


“That doesn’t go!”  You can’t wear stripes with plaids!  And, never mix green

with orange!”

Then, Mama Giacalone probaby added: “Do you want to look as silly as Albert Einstein?”  Thus,

the bond was formed across the ages and the cosmos — like time, taste is relative.


That certainly explains my wearing stripes to visit the Einstein Monument in D.C. (1980)   “Einstein head small”  

                                                                                                                                          orig photo by A.J. Giacalone here



Of course, there is much more to know, respect and like about the complex man chosen by

Time Magazine as Person of the Century (by Eric Golden, Jan. 3, 2005) — famous for his

genius and profundity, his charm and humor.  Over the decades, as I have come to know some

very smart people who take themselves far too seriously, I’ve come to appreciate greatly Einstein’s

playfulness in public and his willingness to let the world see him being silly.  His biographer

Juergen Neffe recently said,  “He was the first global pop star of science at a time when world

stars were first emerging.”   And:

 “He was always fun to be with, always joking. Sometimes when he was supposed

to give a speech he would just play his violin instead.” (keralanext.com, April 14, 2005)

eMC2g  I think Albert would shake his shaggy head at Rolf Sinclair, the stuffy physicist who is

quoted in an AP article saying he despises the Einstein monument in D.C., because “It makes him

look like one of the Three Stooges reading his horoscope.”   The 12-foot bronze depicts Einstein

gazing at his famous energy formula.  Like myself, tourists of all ages climb on his lap for snapshots

and to peer at the map of the universe that is at his feet. 


a cool breeze–
the katydid brims
with energy

                      Kobayshi Issa


Lately, as more and more “believers” assert that only “peope of faith” can have a strong moral

code and sense of social responsibility (see my post, e.g., on religious law schools), Einstein the

humanist has been an inspiration for me.   As Rabbi Sherwin Wine explains:

    “Albert Einstein was an ardent humanist who believed that human power

and human responsibility were the foundations of the moral life.  Einstein
maintained that ethical rules flowed from human experience and from the
requirements of human survival.  While he stood in awe of the wonders of the
universe, he refused to worship them.  He firmly believed that reality was no
more than the natural universe and that neither chance nor supernatural
intervention governed its events.” 

Michael Dobkowski,  professor of religious studies, Hobart and William Smith Colleges in

Geneva, NY. captured the feelings of myself and millions of others in America and around

Democrat & Chronicle, April 15, 2005):

“Einstein carried an unprecedented moral weight, and he took carefully

considered, courageous and even original stands on a host of issues. Great

social ideas and great science come from the ability to question the obvious,

and Einstein had an abiding incapacity for self-deception and evasion. So he

was willing to modify his positions to meet new realities.


                                                                                             – see Time for orig.   EinsteinTime


“His face, with its unruly, white hair and soft dreamy eyes has become, in many   

ways, the human face of humanity and a reminder of the limitless potential of the

human spirit and intellect to overcome ignorance, prejudice, parochialism and the

dogma of uncontested assumptions.”

Let’s close with a few Einstein qutotations (from dailycelebrations.com):

  • Try not to become a man of success, but rather a man of value.

  • The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.

    We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift

  • Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts

    can be counted.

  • Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized.

eMC2    One final quote suggests that Einstein and Kobayashi Issa — two

wise, compassionate, and silly souls — would have enjoyed meeting over

a cup or two of tea or sake. 

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us Universe, a part

limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and

feelings as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion

of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting

us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.

Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle

of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its

beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such

achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.”

 [quoted in H Eves Mathematical Circles Adieu (Boston 1977)]




frogs sing, roosters sing
the east
turns light



the mountain moon              
gives the blossom thief






to a massive rock
grow quickly my pebble…




the round patches
the square patches…
snow floats away!




  from Kobayashi Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue

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