The mechanism that allows you to feel is broken

I’m not a huge fan of grammar pedantry, but I loved this exchange from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. (Delivered by SWOON Michelle Monaghan)

Harry: I’m interrupting. I feel badly. What are you drinking?

Harmony: Bad.

Harry: Bad? Sorry?

Harmony: You feel bad.

Harry: Bad?

Harmony: “Badly” is an adverb. To say you feel badly says that the mechanism which allows you to feel is broken.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang really is one of the great underrated films.

Project Pigeon

From Wikipedia:

During World War II, Project Pigeon (later Project Orcon, for “organic control”) was American behaviorist B. F. Skinner‘s attempt to develop a pigeon-guided missile.

The control system involved a lens at the front of the missile projecting an image of the target to a screen inside, while a pigeon trained (by operant conditioning) to recognize the target pecked at it. As long as the pecks remained in the center of the screen, the missile would fly straight, but pecks off-center would cause the screen to tilt, which would then, via a connection to the missile’s flight controls, cause the missile to change course.

Although skeptical of the idea, the National Defense Research Committee nevertheless contributed $25,000 to the research. However, Skinner’s plans to use pigeons in Pelican missiles was considered too eccentric and impractical; although he had some success with the training, he could not get his idea taken seriously. The program was canceled on October 8, 1944, because the military believed that “further prosecution of this project would seriously delay others which in the minds of the Division have more immediate promise of combat application.”

I love everything about this.

(Image is B.F. Skinner With Project Pigeon, by Anton van Dalen, 1986. Oil on canvas (48 x 64”))

Things we ought to do

C.S. Lewis sent some advice to a young fan.

Remember that there are only three kinds of things anyone need ever do.

(1) Things we ought to do
(2) Things we’ve got to do
(3) Things we like doing

I say this because some people seem to spend so much of their time doing things for none of the three reasons, things like reading books they don’t like because other people read them. Things you ought to do are things like doing one’s school work or being nice to people. Things one has got to do are things like dressing and undressing, or household shopping.