The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Faces of Science #2

Grace Hopper


Mark Connolly said...

Great new name for the series.

Hopper is known for her pioneering work in computer programming. Here's a link to an article that includes an image showing her celebrated 1947 journal entry in which she documents, and preserves, a bug that prevented an early computer program from running correctly. The bug is a moth.

Geoff said...

thanks for renaming the series, and i'm excited for more

Nate said...

A woefully under-appreciated character. She created the first compiler for a computer language in the late-40's. To put that into context, every program on your computer has been compiled (into a binary executable).

Joe King said...

The memory I shall always treasure about Grace Hopper is her profoundly practical and astonishingly useful advice:

"It is always much easier to apologize than it is to obtain permission."