Michael Nystrom's blog

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Thank you for a great ride, and for 8 years of support!
75 votes

Packed Up and Ready to Go

Friends, as some of you know, Samantha's sister was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks ago, and given 3-6 months to live.

23 votes

(Pink isn't well, he stayed back at the hotel.) The ecstasy of the GOP this weekend.

So ya, thought ya, might like to, go to the show?

The reinforcements never came.

As a result, this is what it's going to look like in the Grande Old Par-tay this weekend:


Party on.

18 votes

Who Am I? Why Am I Here? The Stockdale Paradox (Another short history lesson)

Remember what a fool they made of Admiral Stockdale in the VP debates?


Did anyone ever bother to find out, who he was? Again, a short history lesson, courtesy Wikipedia:

Flying from USS Oriskany on a mission over North Vietnam on September 9, 1965, Stockdale ejected from his Douglas A-4E Skyhawk, which had been struck by enemy fire and completely disabled. He parachuted into a small village, where he was severely beaten and taken prisoner.

41 votes

If you love someone, what is the greatest gift you can give them?

Thich Nhat Hahn was in Boston this past Sunday. He was here for a sitting meditation in Copley Square, in front of Trinity Church, across the street from the Boston Public Library, and just a few hundred yards from the infamous site of the Marathon bombings. The John Hancock building towered next to us, reflecting his figure and the image of the Trinity Church.

In was an incredible experience, sitting silently in the sun, silent and present among a sea of thousands of others, as the city went bustling on around us.

34 votes

All things must pass

A picture from the Beatles last photo shoot:

Just remember, all things must pass...

26 votes

Love is Louder

Found today at the corner of Boylston Street & Arlington, downtown, not far from the site of the bombing.

I'm leaving tomorrow morning for a short trip to Japan on business. This will be my first trip back since 1998, which came at the tail end of a 5 month backpacking trip around the world. I'm sure things have changed a lot.

27 votes

The Commander in Chief, 1775

This is (finally) and update to the January 26 post, "Who's the Commander?"

The Commander is none other than George Washington, Commander in Chief of the Continental Army.

Below is a diorama in the lobby of the Commander Hotel in titled "Washington Takes Command - July 3, 1775, Cambridge Massachusetts." The diorama depicts


Across the street in the Cambridge Common, where Washington took command, is this memorial:

144 votes

The American Revolution: Battle at Lexington and Concord

On the night of April 18, 1775, 700 British soldiers marched through the night and into the morning of the 19th, on their way to confiscate and destroy American guns and military supplies in Concord, Massachusetts.

The Patriots were prepared.


The Colonists had known of the planned confiscation for weeks in advance, and were alerted by Paul Revere that the hour was nigh. Having waited through the night at the Buckman Tavern, just across from the Lexington Green, the soldiers were prepared when the British arrived at the break of dawn.

47 votes

Paul Revere and the Old North Church

Paul Revere and the Old North Church

Speaking of Paul Revere, there is a lovely statue in Boston's North End of Revere on his horse. In the background, you can see the Old North Church, where the lanterns were hung -- 'One if by land, two if by sea' -- to warn the colonists of the impending British invasion:

Paul Revere Statue in Boston's North End
Behind the statue is the Paul Revere Mall, which is a lovely and peaceful plaza that leads to the Old North Church.

145 votes

"I am too old to run"

Hey guys, I started a new little fun blog/slideshow at Postcards from the Revolution.

Boston, where I live, was a pivotal place in America's first revolution, and everywhere are markers of that historic period. I have a feeling my days here in the Northeast are numbered, and so I wanted to document what have been my stomping grounds for the past 7 years, as much for myself as anything. All of the pictures on the blog are within a short walk or drive from my home. As such, I see them daily, and they have become as much a part of me as anything. When I see these monuments and reminders, I am touched with a profound feeling of what has happened here long before me, and made my way of life possible.

Without further ado, here is a picture I snapped yesterday, and short post I wrote about it this morning:

"I am too old to run"

What happens when you're too old to run? You stand your ground and keep shooting.

The memorial pictured below at 181 Washington Street in Somerville MA, just down the hill from America's First Flag, serves as a reminder of the great courage that built this country:


It reads:

38 votes

Why New Year's Resolutions Rarely Work

Here is the reason, on page 152 of this book, The Willpower Instinct. My wife got it for me for Christmas. When I read this, it made me laugh out loud, so I thought I would share it with you:

Vowing to change fills us with hope. We love to imagine how making the change will transform our lives, and we fantasize about the person we will become. Research shows that deciding to start a diet makes people feel stronger, and planning to exercise makes people feel taller. (Nobody said these fantasies were realistic.) People will treat us differently, we tell ourselves. Everything will be different. The bigger the goal, the bigger the burst of hope. And so when we decide to change, it's tempting to give ourselves some very large assignments. Why set a modest goal when setting a gigantic goal will make us feel even better? Why start small when you can dream big?

Unfortunately, the promise of change -- like the promise of reward and the promise of relief -- rarely delivers what we're expecting. Unrealistic optimism may make us feel good in the moment, but it sets us up to feel much worse later on. The decision to change is the ultimate in instant gratification -- you get all the good feelings before anything's been done. (That's the part that got me to laugh out loud.)

160 votes

Open Thread: Where does the Daily Paul go from here? (I'm going to China)

I know this sounds funny, but I am literally packing my bags right now for China. It is not what you think. My wife, who is a neuroscientist, is presenting a paper at the Human Brain Mapping conference in Beijing. I'm just going along for the ride ;)

I was hoping to be able to slip out the back door and take a little break from the DP for the next 10 days or so, and let the moderators run the show.

But in light of the recent news - Ron Paul's email, and now Rand endorsing Romney - I realize it is incredibly unfair to the moderators, who do such wonderful work with such a thankless task. So expect a little chaos on the site over the next couple of days. The front page might not get updated as much. A lively and spirited debate is likely to ensue. But a little chaos is good, every once in a while.

56 votes

Watch Out for the Hole!

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters,
by Portia Nelson.

From her book, There's a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery. Spotted on p.32 of the The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Chapter One

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost. . .
I am helpless.
It is not my fault.
It takes forever to find my way out.

Chapter Two

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there.
I still fall in . . . It’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five

I walk down another street.

88 votes

If You Meet The Buddha On The Road, Kill Him

A parable, in which you may (or may not) find meaning.


I have heard the phrase,"If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!," many times. Can you explain this?


It actually comes from an old koan attributed to Zen Master Linji, (the founder of the Rinzai sect). It’s a simple one:

"If you meet the Buddha, kill him."

I’m sure you already realize that it’s not literal. The road, the killing, and even the Buddha are all symbolic.

209 votes

Freedom to what end? Leave the guys at Mitt Romney Central alone.

I just unpublished a thread, by a DPer called "chabotjo." The thread, which received a net positive 8 votes (only one vote against) reads, in its entirety:

Banned At Romney Chat After 1 Comment! Wooo Hooo!

I wrote, "I have been a Romney supporter for a long time, but him not being able to manage the delegat process is certainly raising my eyebrow."

When I tried to post again. Banned. LOL What turd burglers. Just needed to say that!

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