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Monday, June 20, 2005 - 9:57amSanction this postReply
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There has been too much focus on the negative recently. But to avoid people endlessly or exclusively focusing, for example, on other people's lack of manners or flaws they find in each other(and even multiplying new threads to discuss that) one needs threads about positive values, admirable things. About the high and noble and beautiful. So here goes. Please contribute if you want to change the subject - to a more uplifting one.

Great athletes and teams doing what they do with sustained intensity and utter perfection have always been among my examples of excellence in the world around me today. Last night I watched the two best teams in basketball play each other to a photo finish. One play is burned into my mind. The guard gets the ball very distant from the basket. He is immediately swarmed by two of the other team's zealous, hard-charging defenders. At the last possible second he zips the ball inside to the seven foot tall center, who is immediately swarmed by two more defenders, as desperate as if their lives depended on it. The ball is passed again. In about five seconds the ball is passed eight times, until finally one man is left undefended for a split second who promptly buries a thirty foot shot.

Everybody on both teams, all ten men, did what they had to do with perfect excellence. There was not a misstep, not a man out of position, not a single lapse in skill or effort. Perfect offense. Perfect defense. Perfect shooting in this short episode (and repeatedly during the game..these are the top two teams in their sport.)

Examples of unflawed, perfect excellence are rare.

What are your top examples of something without a single flaw? Of perfect excellence?

Phil
(Edited by Philip Coates
on 6/20, 10:01am)




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Monday, June 20, 2005 - 12:24pmSanction this postReply
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Philip -

I watched the same game last night and had the identical reaction.

The two best teams playing their hearts out, nothing held back -- and what joy and ecstasy that can bring (as well as the agony of defeat).

This was especially well-illustrated by the left-handed driving dunk by Robert Horry. His left shoulder not 100% but by sheer will breaking through the defense to score. Then, in agony because of this injury, and for awhile unable to use his left arm fully, he continued to make clutch shots.

Thrilling! Inspiring!




Post 2

Monday, June 20, 2005 - 12:26pmSanction this postReply
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Justine Henin-Hardenne making it to be the number 1 women's tennis player in the world at 5'3" and 105 pounds and doing it on grass and hardcourts where power strokes are a must.

Jim




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Monday, June 20, 2005 - 12:38pmSanction this postReply
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The performance of the crew of Apollo 13 and ground control in getting home safely.

Jim




Post 4

Monday, June 20, 2005 - 12:39pmSanction this postReply
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Ernest Shackleton getting all of his men home alive from his ill-fated Antarctic expedition on the Endurance.
 
Jim




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Monday, June 20, 2005 - 1:05pmSanction this postReply
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Viktor Yushchenko braving near-death from dioxin poisoning to lead a peaceful revolution in the Ukraine and free 40 million people from autocratic rule.

Jim




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Monday, June 20, 2005 - 3:03pmSanction this postReply
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Evariste Galois putting down his mathematical thoughts on paper in a frenzy just a few hours before a duel he knew he wouldn't survive.


He created a whole new branch of mathematics (group theory)... and died at the age of 20.



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Post 7

Monday, June 20, 2005 - 3:11pmSanction this postReply
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James, I'm with you on the Apollo 13 crew and NASA ground support. The film of that name is pure inspiration, a chronicle and celebration of man at his absolute best.

As for sports, I think of some of the magical performances of ice dancers Jane Torville and Christopher Dean. They made time stand still. I don't think I breathed during some of their Olympic performances. I do know that I cried.




Post 8

Monday, June 20, 2005 - 4:00pmSanction this postReply
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How about some really *personal* highlights? Anyone?



Post 9

Monday, June 20, 2005 - 4:05pmSanction this postReply
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The integration that Ayn Rand performed in writing Galt's Speech.

Reportedly she said writing it raised her IQ by twenty points.



Post 10

Monday, June 20, 2005 - 4:23pmSanction this postReply
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The performances of the Auckland rugby team in the late eighties.



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Monday, June 20, 2005 - 4:32pmSanction this postReply
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I nominate Jennifer Iannolo's food magazine.  See here:  http://www.gastronomicmeditations.com/

I am not a food person.  It is all Chinese pizza to me, but anything would be better than some of the native Hungarian food I grew up with.  How about sauerkraut and sour cream?  Can you imagine what that looks like on a plate?  To me, a glass of milk with brewer's yeast in it washing down a handful of vitamin pills is the perfect meal.  Downing the pills with water is the lo-cal version.  I just had the epicurean version: vanilla yogurt with the pills.

I hate all restaurants. I think they should all be closed because they are all leftovers from medieval London's laws against fires indoors, which is how they got started -- why there are so many people named Cook.

So, when I say that Gastronomic Meditations is perfect, I am the East German judge giving a 10 to the American gymnast. 

Lush and luscious, GM is a celebration of life's most basic pleasure: good food is even better than good sex. If you doubt my claim, before you argue, click on the hyperlink and then ask yourself which you would rather have tonight. Jennifer Iannolo's Gastronomic Meditations is perfect.




Post 12

Monday, June 20, 2005 - 4:37pmSanction this postReply
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Michael, I second your nomination of  Gastronomic Meditations.



Post 13

Monday, June 20, 2005 - 5:08pmSanction this postReply
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The scene in "All About Eve" where Bette Davis reads aloud from a newspaper and bursts into tears.  It was the first time I realized that actors can do something nobody else can.



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Monday, June 20, 2005 - 6:36pmSanction this postReply
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Michael and Joe, I'll add my voice to that. I have Jennifers site bookmarked and everytime I visit (like today) I comment to anyone who will hear that the site in design, and content is a prime example of excellence.

John




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Post 15

Monday, June 20, 2005 - 7:40pmSanction this postReply
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"Examples of unflawed, perfect excellence are rare."

Nonsense. I'm right here for you! Behold me in all my excellence! Bask in my brilliance! Wonder at my wit!



Post 16

Monday, June 20, 2005 - 9:32pmSanction this postReply
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As long as we're on sports, Tiger Woods's chip shot at this year's Master's.



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Post 17

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 5:25amSanction this postReply
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1) Michael Campbell's phoenix-like return to win the US Open (a Kiwi, of course!! :-));

2) Daniel Carter's & J. Wilkinson's goal-kicking;

3) Newby Rafael's tennis-court pyrotechnics;

4) Mario Lanza's High C in Che Gelida Manina;

5) Mario Lanza;

6) Anaa Moffo's High As in Ch'il bel sogno;

7) Anna Moffo;

8) The Adagio in Beethoven's 9th;

9) Beethoven's 9th;

10) Beethoven;

11) Puccini's Intermezzo from Manon Lescaut;

12) Puccini's La Boheme;

13) Puccini;

14) Rach, Johann Strauss, Chopin, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Liszt, et al;

15) The aeroplane, space travel, the internet ....

16) The Reardon/wet nurse scene in Atlas Shrugged;

17) Atlas Shrugged;

18) Ayn Rand;

19) Romeo & Juliet;

20) Shakespeare;

Etc., etc., etc..

GENIUS RULES.

But pomo wankers try to tear it down. They even come to *this* forum. The poor benighted fools. They're toast. :-)

Linz





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Post 18

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 6:29amSanction this postReply
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Man at his best ...

1) Kirsten Flagstad's 'Liebestod' by Wagner. Versinken.

2) Frank Lloyd Wright's ouvre of forty-odd Usonian houses.

3) Ernest Rutherford splitting the atom (another Kiwi, of course).

4) Gary Ablett's goal-scoring.

5) Richard Hadlee's bowling.

6) Duke Ellington's 'Lotus Blossom.'

7) Angioplasty becoming more routine than a root canal.

8) Russell Coutts' helmsmanship.

9) Newberry's paintsmanship.

10) The E-type Jaguar.

11) Michael Schumacher under pressure.

12) The Declaration of Independence. (Apart from the 'God bit.' And the self-evidence.)

13) The British common law. Majestic.

14) Double entry book-keeping.

15) Menger's theory of marginal value.

16) Ayn Rand's theory of value, of knowledge, of aesthetics ...

17) Ayn Rand.

18) Maria Montessori's identification of the nature of childhood.

19) Maria Montessori.

20) Rodin's 'Burghers of Calais.'

21) Rodin.

22) Alison Roe winning the New York Marathon.

23) Hamish Carter winnning the Olympic Triathlon.

24) An O. Henry short story.

25) The clarity of Aristotle.

26) The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge; of the Suez and Panama Canals; of the London Underground.

27) The Three Rivers Dam.

27) Boehm-Bawerk's theory of capital.

28) Concorde.

I am in awe of genius ... of the right note at the perfect time ... the right word at the right moment. Of inspiration. Of the highest possible. Of working towards a goal, and reaching it. Of making the perfect point, with absolute economy.



Post 19

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 6:44amSanction this postReply
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The Internet,
The Mobile Phone,
Gershwins 'Rhapsody In Blue' ,
Rachmaninovs 'Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini',
The Empire State Building,
The Statue Of Liberty,
Marconi and His Radio,
Hershey and his Chocolate Bar,
Coca Cola,
The Printing Press




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