^z = Mark Zimmermann
(Copyright © 2001-2006 by Mark Zimmermann.
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It was most recently modified Saturday, 26-Apr-2008 21:57:31 EDT.)
^zhurnal — since April 1999, the ^z online journal — miscellaneous musings on mind, matter, method, metaphor, ...
ZhurnalyWiki — a live wiki of the ^zhurnal ...
The "Best of" Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall
of the Roman Empire — quotes and contexts
all ZhurnalyWiki pages — for the convenience of search engines, mainly (^_^) ...
Google Map Experiments — including:
- DC Metro Area Trails: Waypoints
. . . GPS coordinates collected by ^z = Mark Zimmermann along Rock Creek Trail, Capital Crescent Trail, Sligo Creek Trail, Northwest Branch Trail, Northeast Branch Trail, Paint Branch Trail, Indian Creek Trail, W&OD (Washington & Old Dominion) Trail, Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park, etc. — in Montgomery County and Prince George's County, Maryland, in Washington, DC, and in northern Virginia.
- DC Boundary Stones
. . . The District of Columbia is a diamond-shaped square, ten miles on a side. In 1791-92 Andrew Ellicott, with Benjamin Banneker and colleagues, slashed through the wilderness, surveyed the bounds of the Federal City, and placed marker stones every mile along the edge. Many of these forty historic stones yet survive. My self-imposed quixotic mission: visit them, photograph them, and record their GPS coordinates. This page contains a Google Map of the results. (The associated XML contains the latitude and longitude information which generates that map.) See http://flickr.com/photos/zhurnaly for photos and commentary.
The "Best of" Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall
of the Roman Empire — superb quotations in context, of both literary
merit and direct relevance to life today, from Gibbon's masterpiece
Passages from Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall
of the Roman Empire — more Gibbon quotations, selected and arranged by
the late Eugene Ho of Hong Kong
An essay, "Edward Gibbon, Historian of the Roman Empire", by Eugene Ho,
from the journal Intellectus of the Hong Kong Institute of Economic
ZhurnalyWiki — an experiment in collaborative thought, via a WikiWikiWeb
- ^zhurnal — an online journal of notes to myself, re mind, method, matter, and metaphor:
- ^z poems Volume 0.01 — 18 attempts at verse
Shakespeare Stacks — ^z's Apple
Macintosh HyperCard edition of the works of William Shakespeare, self-extracting
BinHex files of the comedies, tragedies, histories, and poetry by the Immortal
Bard, with annotations and hyperlinked definitions (plus some portraits of
Shakespeare, again in Mac-specific format) — now located at http://members.tripod.com/Mark_Zimmermann/Shakespeare/ShakespeareStacks.html
Condolences from Samuel Johnson — a letter
written in 1750 to a friend whose mother had recently died ... moving sentiments
on grief and veneration, beautifully expressed
(from James Boswell's Life of Johnson)
Jungle of Life — images from The Moor's
Last Sigh, a novel by Salman Rushdie
Michael Ventris — qualities of genius,
illustrated by the amateur scholar who in 1952 solved a decades-old archeological
and linguistic problem (as described by John Chadwick in
book The Decipherment of Linear B)
Three Chandrasekhar Parables — stories told by
and about the great astrophysicist
1852! — a fascinating year in history and in
numismatics, illustrated by coins from my small hoard
Gallery of 1852 Coins — additional
numismatic images and information concerning 1852
The Optimist Creed — inspiring
thoughts to live by
"The Definition of a Gentleman" by Cardinal
Newman — splendid guidelines for civilized life, from John Henry Newman's
1852 lectures on The Idea of a University
Quotes from Vernor Vinge's True Names —
thoughts from a powerful science fiction novel
Free-text IR Philosophy — my essay on critical
user-interface design attributes for "real-time high-bandwidth large-scale
free-text information retrieval". (An expanded version was published in
The Digital Word: Text-Based Computing in the Humanities, eds. Landow
& Delany, MIT Press 1993)
Forecast Factory — a 1920's vision of computational
- On Libraries — short speeches written and presented by
Paulette Dickerson, a libraries' friend (and former Chair, Montgomery County Library Board) — plus testimony on other community topics:
Taxes Are the Sinews of the State — Montgomery County Council, 7 October 2003
What Are Schools For? — Montgomery County Council, 30 September 2003
Free To All — Montgomery County Council, 7 April 2003
Library Moonspinners — Montgomery County Council, 6 February 2003
Founding Fathers — Montgomery County Council, Operating Budget Hearings, 4 April 2002
Living in TVLand — Montgomery County Council, Capital Improvement Program Hearings, 5 February 2002
Magic Wands — Montgomery County Council Hearings, 26 September 2001
Budget Cuts — letter to the County Executive, 25 February 1991
Children's Library Closure — letter to the County Council President, 25 February 1991
Chronic Library Users — Montgomery County Council, Operating Budget Hearings, 10 April 2001
Library Heaven — Montgomery County Library, Staff Days, Fall 1998
Libraries! 24/7! — Montgomery County Council, Operating Budget Hearings, 3 April 2000
Book People — Montgomery County Council, Capital Improvement Program Hearings, 8 February 2000
Urban Libraries — Silver Spring Library, 9 April 1999
Library Questions — Montgomery County Council, 7 April 1999
Neighborhood Libraries — Montgomery County Council, 20 March 1999
Friendly Libraries — Montgomery County Council, 2 April 1998
Libraries and Tight Times — Montgomery County Council, 1 April 1991 (!)
Student ID cards — ^z images from school days past
FreeText Archive — tools for real-time high-bandwidth large-scale free-text personal information retrieval, with newly recovered Macintosh Hypercard stacks (thanks to Nick Thieberger!) in addition to generic (UNIX & MS-DOS) source code and executables
Two Part Invention in D Minor by the
late Eugene Ho — duration ~1 minute, Mr. Ho playing his own
composition, first performed at
the Hong Kong Arts Centre on 9 September 1994 ... for 14.4 kb/s modem:
MP3 ... for 56 kb/s (streaming):
(please let me know which of these formats work best
for you ... all are from the same audio cassette tape sent to ^z by
Eugene on 5 May 1997, shortly before his untimely death ... digitized
& encoded by John Ferguson & Merle Zimmermann)
John Stuart Mill, Autobiography, Chapter 3
"I learnt how to obtain the best I could when I could not obtain everything;
instead of being indignant or dispirited because I could not have entirely
my own way, to be pleased and encouraged when I could have the smallest
part of it; and when even that could not be, to bear with complete equanimity
the being overruled altogether. I have found, through life, these acquisitions
to be of the greatest possible importance for personal happiness, and they
are also a very necessary condition for any one, either as theorist or
as practical man, to effect the greatest amount of good compatible with
Answer to a Riddle
The Sage, to the hot dog vendor:
"Make me one with everything!"
About ^z = Mark Zimmermann
I grew up in Texas, and went to the University of Texas in Austin and to
Rice University for undergraduate studies in physics. I attended
Caltech (the California Institute of Technology)
for grad school, entering in 1974 and receiving my Ph.D. in Theoretical
Physics in 1980. My thesis work was on astrophysical sources of gravitational
radiation and on models of stars with neutron-star cores. Professor Kip Thorne was
I live in the Washington DC area and have worked for the U.S. Federal
Government for the past couple of decades. My hobbies include chess (U.S. Chess
Federation life member, postal and over-the-board ratings marginally Class A
after much struggle), numismatics (especially coins of 1852, a century
older than I am), and distance running (marathons and a few ultramarathons). I'm a life member of the American
Numismatic Association and am active in the
County Coin Club. I've edited and annotated a free edition of the
works of William Shakespeare for Macintosh HyperCard users.
I'm a radio amateur Extra class, callsign N6WX.
I am trying to learn how to write better; see
for recent attempts.
I'm also trying to learn a bit of mathematics, computer science,
art, literature, history, and philosophy. I'm a fan of
Vernor Vinge, Daniel Dennett, Marcus Aurelius,
Douglas Hofstadter, Arnold Bennett, Martin Gardner, John Stuart Mill, Henry
Hazlitt, William Shakespeare, J. S. Bach, Stoic thought, humor, classical
liberalism/libertarianism, homeschooling, libraries, juggling, and numerous other people and ideas.
My wife, Paulette Dickerson, is an artist and musician,
heavily involved in helping libraries. See the links above for some of her speeches on library issues, and librariesfriend.com for
her most recent postings.
We've been married since 1978 and are a happily multiracial ("black"
& "white") family.
We do a lot of reading aloud and talking with our children —
and Robin — who have
been having fun learning at home throughout their educational careers
(homeschooled K-12) but who are now in college, getting ready to go off
and make their own ways in the world.
I'm excited about real-time high-bandwidth large-scale
free-text information retrieval, and have written some free software
to let people work and play with multi-megabyte
collections of unstructured text. I'm also excited about Wiki — "the
simplest collaborative environment that could possibly work". See
The Wiki Way by
Bo Leuf & Ward Cunningham,
and Wiki Wiki Web
And I'm trying to learn how to think better.
I don't know much, but that's ok ... it gives me something to work on.
Answer to a Riddle
What's brown and sticky?
If you have comments or suggestions to offer about this and other
pages of mine, please write — thank you!
E-Mail: z (at) his (dot) com
Paper Mail: Mark Zimmermann, P.O.Box 598, Kensington, MD 20895-0598, USA