Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Song for Daniel: Fare Thee Well

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

PhilosFX's Global Reach (and Stretch!)

Readers of PhilosFX come to us from all around the globe. That is a fact that humbles your faithful scribe. I suppose there are lots of reasons why folks visit PhilosFX from far flung places such as Caribbean Netherlands, French Guiana, and Tajikistan. One hypothesis: they all like my Road King post!  

Figure 1. Flags of the 189 countries with at least one visitor to PhilosFX

Whatever the reason, I am grateful for the global reach of this blog. I enjoy feeling as if I am adding content, rather than merely consuming it, and that my content interests others besides myself. I enjoy swimming in the wide electronic ocean and occasionally finding another swimmer or schools of swimmers. I really love it when someone takes the time to leave a comment or ask a question about a topic of mutual interest. The connections, and feeling connected, are what matter.

According to Flag Counter, there are some 242 unique countries, protectorates, and territories around the globe. This total does not include the states and provinces within the larger entities, such as the 51 states or districts of the USA or the 13 provinces or territories of Canada. So with 189 flags collected so far, there are 241-189=53 countries which have yet to visit. The Flag Counter on PhilosFX lets me know the names of the "Never" countries, so I am going to stretch a little beyond my reach and attempt to connect with some more of these more distant locales.


Table 1. The "Never" Countries: 53 countries who have yet to have their first visitor to  PhilosFX

American Samoa Guinea Sao Tome and Principe
Angola Guinea-Bissau Sierra Leone
Bhutan Lesotho Sint Maarten
British Indian Ocean Terr. Liechtenstein Somalia
Burkina Faso Marshall Islands South Sudan
Cape Verde Mauritania Svalbard
Central African Republic New Caledonia Swaziland
Christmas Island Niger The Gambia
Comoros Niue Timor-Leste
Djibouti Norfolk Island Togo
Equatorial Guinea North Korea Tokelau
Eritrea Palau Tonga
Falkland Islands Republic of the Congo Turkmenistan
Faroe Islands Rwanda Tuvalu
Fiji Saint Barthelemy Vanuatu
French Polynesia Saint Helena Vatican City
Greenland Saint Pierre and Miquelon Wallis and Futuna
Guernsey Samoa

So next time one of you is in French Polynesia, Svalbard, or Vatican City, do a brother a solid and visit PhilosFX! I would like to see the number of "Never Countries" slowly reduce to zero and for the evidence of connections in the world of ideas to spread.

What is driving this quest is similar to the passion behind my global stamp collection or the fact that I keep track of all the different beers I've tried from countries around the world. Life is short and precious. We only get so much time. I do not want to live in isolation, Rather, I long to connect, and one way to connect is via the hive mind that is the Internet.

Thanks for reading. If you know someone in one of the 53 countries in Table 1 above, send them a link to your favorite blog! And keep that link handy when you leave home for Saints Barthelemy, Helena, or Pierre and Miquelon! 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Happy PhilosFX Day!

At midnight UTC (8 pm Eastern) between 6 and 7 Aug, we completed 60 months (5 years!) together. Five years of musing, writing, sharing, and inquiring about this wonderful world of ours. Five years! 


As a bit of a numbers geek, I thought it would be fun to celebrate with a statistical snapshot illustrating a year of growth and change:

  • Total views have climbed 52% to 201,692 from 132,500 this time last year
  • First-time views rose 43% to 42,619 vs, 29,770 after four years. 35% of all first-time views are from outside the United States.
  • Countries with at least one unique visitor barely increased to 189 from 187 a year ago. It's getting harder to add new countries. However, all of the top 48 countries have at least 35 unique visitors.
  • In terms of content, we have now published 836 posts (this will be 837), which is a 12% increase over the 746 we had last year. 
Thanks for reading and helping celebrate five years of Philosophy + Special Effects here at PhilosFX!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sternberg's Triangle Theory of Love

Interesting how things come to one's attention. I had not heard of the triangular theory of love nor of its chief proponent, psychologist Robert Sternberg. Or, if I had ever heard of this model, the knowledge had slipped over the rim of my over-flowing mind. 

But as recent posts here at PhilosFX will attest, I am interested in the topics of self-awareness, character development, and receptivity. I think of receptivity in the sense of openness to relationships, love, and companionship. 

All that is well and good, yet the "thing" that caught my eye, captivated my attention, and motivated this post was the below diagram which is circulating on social media.  
And by now you may have recognized the "hook." Sternberg's Triangle Theory of Love is about the three components of love: intimacy,passion, and decision or commitment. Meanwhile, a "Love Triangle" has a very different meaning!

For this reason, I commend the second figure. Figure 2 is not perfect, either, but at least it is more faithful to Sternberg's concept. I do appreciate a good Venn diagram, and I also like the addition of the Mind, Body, and Spirit components in Figure 1.




Perhaps I will take it upon myself to create Figure 3, the error-free depiction of Sternberg's Triangle Theory of Love.

In the meantime, stay (intellectually) thirsty, my friends!

Matching Game: Architecture

At PhilosFX, the only thing we love more than art or engineering is architecture. Architecture is one of the few professions where both hemispheres of the brain are challenged to the limit. This quiz is a fun way to test your awareness after reading the recent post about the 12 Most Daring Architects in the World.











Answer key is HERE. But don't look until you have written your responses in a table 3 columns wide by 4 rows deep, like the one in the middle of this post. 

Good luck! 


Matching Game: Architects

You've seen the article HERE. Now it's time for a pop quiz! Write your quiz responses in a table 3 columns wide by 4 rows deep as shown in the example in the middle of this post. Then, simply match names and faces, and fill the squares with the corresponding letters. Have fun!  









At PhilosFX, the only thing we love more than art or engineering is architecture. Architecture is one of the few professions where both hemispheres of the brain are challenged to the limit.

This quiz is a fun way to test your awareness after reading the recent post about the 12 Most Daring Architects in the World.

Answer key, should you wish to check your answers, is HERE





Re-Mission: To Mission Again

Today I am quietly celebrating four years of remission. 



Any joy I feel is tempered by the fact that in the past year, by brother and so many other people around the world had their lives cut short by cancer. 

I want to take the opportunity on this anniversary to ask you to take some action with me, to accept this mission again:

  • celebrate of early detection, good facilities, and competent treatment, for these may have saved my life and the lives of a growing band of survivors
  • support those doctors, patients, caregivers, and family members who are in the fight
  • remember those caregivers and family members who are grieving
  • foster compassionate support and ongoing research to find a cure for this dreaded disease




Cancer changes everything. In a very real sense, we are all in this battle together.
"No one wants cancer. All of us who have heard their doctor pronounce the diagnosis have crossed a line no one wants to cross. Once crossing the line, one's perspective on life is forever changed. There is no cure for cancer (yet!), and one cannot un-get it. Once cancer is in your body, the best you can hope for is to get the disease into a management phase known as remission." --Read more HERE


For those of us who have walked the walk and survived. let us talk the talk to raise awareness, increase empathy, and improve funding for research and care. Remission means to mission again!




Mattis Quotes

Here, in words and pictures, are a half-dozen of my favorite quotes from

Marine General James "Mad Dog" Mattis

Some of these I made using WikiQuotes as the source for quotes and WikiPedia as the source of the underlying profile picture. Others I selected from among billions readily found in a Google image search. They should proliferate with abandon, in my humble opinion!

Readers Poll:

  • Which of these posters would you most like to have hanging on the wall in your home, office, or home office? (I really like #3 myself!)
  • Have you a favorite Mattis quote not shown here? 

Do tell...

Perhaps you feel General Mattis lacks a certain nuanced approach to engaging with others in the world we all share. Maybe his directness makes you uncomfortable. I understand that. No one thinks James Mattis would be a good candidate for Secretary of State. No one including Mad Dog himself would consider the man a diplomat. Here's the bottom line: when diplomacy fails and it's just you and the other guy and only one will survive, who are you going to call? John Kerry? Or James Mattis?













Sunday, August 2, 2015

L.I.N.K.S. (12): The Twelve Most Daring Architects in the World

Welcome to the 12th edition of L.I.N.K.S. (Lure, Intrigue, Nurture, Kindle, or Stimulate), in which we contemplate

The Twelve Most Daring Architects in the World




I have assembled a list of a dozen daring and influential architects from a variety of sources. The links I provide herein for your perusal include 
  • one link to each architect's professional website and 
  • one link to the Wikipedia entry on the architect. 

The Architects are in alphabetical order and no ranking should be inferred. 

What do you think of this list? Would you have chosen different architects? Tell us who you would add or delete in the comments. Perhaps you would have chosen different links? Feel free to share your comments.


Here are "links" to previous entries in the L.I.N.K.S. series. Enjoy them all!
L.I.N.K.S. 1: http://philosfx.blogspot.com/2010/12/links-that-lure-intrigue-nurture-kindle.html
L.I.N.K.S. 2: http://philosfx.blogspot.com/2011/01/links-that-lure-intrigue-nurture-kindle.html
L.I.N.K.S. 3: http://philosfx.blogspot.com/2011/03/links-that-lure-intrigue-nurture-kindle.html
L.I.N.K.S. 4: http://philosfx.blogspot.com/2011/05/links-that-lure-intrigue-nurture-kindle.html