Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be, but first I need more coffee.

Category: History

From The Ruins of the Dresden Library

I did not know that Albinoni’s Adagio was allegedly based on a fragment from the Dresden Library. I’d been a fan of this piece ever since I heard it used in the original Rollerball (1975) with James Caan. The composer Remo Giozatto used it to make the actual composition. He never produced the fragment to prove his claim.

The piece of music is fitting for the city of Dresden as it was firebombed by the Allies at the end of WWII. It was a war crime, and no one was ever brought to justice for it. Kurt Vonnegut was a prisoner of war in Dresden when it was bombed. He wrote about it in his novel Slaughterhouse Five and A Man Without a Country.

U.S. students bring Kurt Vonnegut back to Dresden for firebombing anniversary


In the summer of 2004 my wife and I went to the Red Cross Museum in Geneva, Switzerland. It was one of the most moving places I’ve ever been. If real compassion can be said to institutionalized and embodied in an organization it is the ICRC. The only place more moving that I’ve visited is Kilmainham Gaol in the summer of 2006.

ICRC never reveals the contents of their reports to anyone except the country’s government who is holding the detainees or prisoners. This is a book based on that report. How it was acquired is unknown.

Book Cites Secret Red Cross Report of C.I.A. Torture of Qaeda Captives

The Red Cross does not release these reports to anyone except the government holding the detainees or prisoners. It’s so they can continue to have access to them and work to improve humanitarian conditions and effect their release. However, that does not prevent officials from releasing or leaking those reports. I highly recommend a visit to the Red Cross Museum in Geneva. Few places can show you the best and worst humanity is capable of.

Note: I wrote the draft of this post on 11 July 2008 the day the article came out. The original link was to the International Herald Tribune which appears to have been purchased by the New York Times, so the link goes to the same article on NYT. Also, we weren’t married yet in 2004.

Should I blog more?

Yes, yes I should.

Currently surviving COVID-19 pandemic.  Staying safe as best we can.

Could things be better? Yes, yes they can.

Will they get better? Unknown.

Are other countries doing better? Yes, there are countries less advanced than ours that have the pandemic under better control.

Things We Should Be Using

  • Metric system
  • Human Era calendar
  • Tau (Ï„) instead of pi (Ï€)

I’ll try to elaborate more later but wanted to get that idea out there. The first one should be familiar to you. Technically the US uses the metric system and converts those measurements to English units.


The Human Era or Holocene calendar simply adds a 1 to the front of the year. So it’s 12,018HE instead of 2018AD, and next year will be 12,019. It’s based on the premise that we should make our Year Zero when the first city (town) was built some 12,000 years ago in Turkey. It’ll be easier to remember dates. It basically marks the beginning of civilization.


Tau is simply 2 Pi. Mathematically they are the same. But it is easier to understand the math around this irrational but very important number around 6.28318… and not 3.14159…


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