Edward M. Kennedy, 1932 – 2009: “I have lived a blessed time.”

“During my service in the United States Senate, I have often been called a Liberal, and it usually was not meant as a compliment. But I remember what my brother said about liberalism shortly before he was elected president. He said: ‘If by a Liberal, they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind… Someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions… Someone who cares about the welfare of the people—their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, their civil liberties…Someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and the suspicion that grips us… If that is what they mean by a Liberal… Then I am proud to say I am a Liberal.’

 “As I said in Denver last summer, for me, this is a season of hope.

 “Since I was a boy, I have known the joy of sailing the waters off Cape Cod. And for all my years in public life, I have believed that America must sail toward the shores of liberty and justice for all. There is no end to that journey, only the next great voyage. We know the future will outlast all of us, but I believe that all of us will live on in the future we make.

 “In that spirit, I thank Harvard for this great honor—and I thank Massachusetts for the privilege of serving its people and its principles.

 “I have lived a blessed time. Now, with you, I look forward to a new time of aspiration and high achievement for our nation and the world.”

Words spoken by Senator Edward M. Kennedy upon receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws from Harvard University, December 1, 2008.


Ira Glass on Telling Stories

Ira Glass, of This American Life discusses “The Art of Storytelling” in a set of 4 videos on YouTube.    The first one – “On the Basics” –  appears below.  I came across this on Garr Reynolds’ blog.  In his blog piece, Garr distills the lessons of the videos. 

The other videos can be found here:



Bobby McFerrin Plays the Audience

In June, Bobby McFerrin was a panelist in at the World Science Festival. The panel explored whether our response to music is hard-wired or culturally determined. Here is a clip from the Festival where McFerrin gets the audience to improvise a song to demonstrate the universality of the pentatonic scale: https://vimeo.com/21536636

The whole conference can be seen at: http://www.worldsciencefestival.com/video/notes-neurons-full.  

Thanks to David Pogue of the NYTimes for directing my attention to this.