Monthly Archives: July 2017

Steve Pierce Family Visit

Robert’s brother Steve and niece Nora visited this week!  Robert kept the schedule packed, to much groaning of the family. Treasure hunting, bike ride across Golden Gate Bridge, ferry ride, Limontour Beach, Mexican Food, and sailing trip, among other adventures! Plus, Rory and Cadie took some swimming lessons . . . finally.

Where Does He Get the Time?

In contrast to yesterday’s post about Maryam Mirzakhani, here’s another story from the world of academia . ..

From the LA Times:

In USC’s lecture halls, labs and executive offices, Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito was a towering figure. The dean of the Keck School of Medicine was a renowned eye surgeon whose skill in the operating room was matched by a gift for attracting money and talent to the university.

There was another side to the Harvard-educated physician.

During his tenure as dean, Puliafito kept company with a circle of criminals and drug users who said he used methamphetamine and other drugs with them, a Los Angeles Times investigation found.

Read more here.

Now This

This just in from the The World Isn’t Already Fucked Up Enough Department

Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian mathematician who was the only woman ever to win a Fields Medal, the most prestigious honor in mathematics, died on Saturday. She was 40.

Read more here.


Dos Carreras

Yesterday was sailboat racing day. Robert and his friend Jakob spent the day preparing for, and then waiting for, the start of the Plastic Classic Regatta held by the Bayview Boat Club in San Francisco.  After a number of postponements, the regatta was eventually canceled due to lack of wind!  Robert and Jakob, aboard the only boat without an engine, managed to drift southward to somewhere near Brisbane before the committee boat finally called the race.  They could barely see the starting line!

Meanwhile, Rory spent the day at the Encinal Yacht Club in his first regatta representing the Richmond Yacht Club!  Woo hooo!  Crushed ’em.  Well, not exactly.  These were the big leagues.  But he hung in there.  Very impressive.

Three Cheers

Three cheers for the Marin County Free Library! Especially the Civic Center branch!


Robert believes it is important for citizens to have a direct experience watching and listening to the operation of government. Importantly, the federal government. He thinks it is undeniable that watching and listening to government workers doing their jobs gives one confidence that things are working better than they are portrayed in the popular media.

Here’s a link to the Oyez site, which provides a fantastic application for listing to oral arguments at the US Supreme Court.

There’s lots of cases to listen to.  Try it.

If you don’t know which one to chose, you might listen to one of the most important cases of the twenty-first century:

Bush v. Gore (Recount of votes in Presidential Election)

Roper v. Simmons (Execution of prisoners for crimes committed before age 18)

Van Orden v. Perry (Ten Commandments at statehouse)

District of Columbia v. Heller (Handgun ban in Washington DC)

Citizens United v. FEC (Regulation of electioneering communications)