I’m telling you up front that I’m not sharing anything valuable or useful today, but don’t let that keep you from continuing.
Today we’re going to talk about 7 guys named Francis.
Alan Lightman is not one of those 7 guys.
Lightman is a past professor at Harvard and a current professor at MIT and a famous physicist who was responsible for establishing MIT’s policy that requires all students to be trained in speaking and writing during each of their four years as an undergraduate.
Alan’s father Richard Lightman was a movie theater owner who played a major role in desegregating movie theaters in the South in 1962. Richard taught Alan how to get things done and make a difference.
In his book, A Sense of the Mysterious, Alan writes,
“Not long ago, sitting at my desk at home, I suddenly had the horrifying realization that I no longer waste time.”
After he wrote that sentence, he wrote an entire book titled, In Praise of Wasting Time.
That’s what you and I are doing right now. We are wasting time in a way that will invigorate you and cause you to think new and different thoughts.
You are about to jump out of a deep rut in the road that has been your life.
We are at the intersection of Monotony and Surprise. Are you ready to jump?
Francis Scott Fitzgerald is the Francis we quote in the first hour of the 3-day Magical Worlds class at Wizard Academy.
“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”
Francis Ford Coppola gave us Apocalypse Now and The Godfather trilogy.
Francis “Frank” Sinatra gave Indy Beagle the song “It Was a Very Good Year.” Indy told me he plans to share it with you in the rabbit hole.
Sir Francis Drake was a contemporary of Shakespeare and an explorer and a pirate for England, and a seafaring thorn in the side of King Philip II of Spain, who offered a reward for his capture that would be nearly $9 million today. Queen Elizabeth gave Francis a knighthood.
Francis “James” Cameron gave us Avatar and Titanic, the first and third highest-grossing films of all time, bringing in $2.85 billion and $2.19 billion respectively.
Francis “Frank” Zappa was an iconic musician, composer, singer and songwriter whose work was characterized by nonconformity, free-form improvisation, musical virtuosity and the comedic satire of American culture. His kids are Dweezil, Moon Unit, Diva Muffin, and Ahmet Emuukha.
Francis Bacon is my favorite Francis. Like Francis Drake, he was a contemporary of Shakespeare. Bacon was a statesman, a philosopher, and a master of the English tongue. After the death of Queen Elizabeth, Francis Bacon served as lord chancellor of England for King James I, for whom the 1611 King James translation of the Bible was named.
These are some of my favorite memories of Francis Bacon:
- “The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.”
- “A dance is a measured pace, as a verse is a measured speech.”
- “Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact (man.)”
- “There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.”
- “Nothing does more hurt in a state than when cunning men pass for wise.”
- “A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.”
- “Truth is so hard to tell, it sometimes needs fiction to make it plausible.”
- “The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses.”
- “Where philosophy is based on reason, faith is based on revelation, and is consequently irrational. The more discordant and incredible the divine mystery is, the more honor is shown to God in believing it, and the nobler is the victory of faith.”
- “But now we are to step back a little to that, which by premeditation we passed over, lest a breach should be made in those things that were so linked together.”
If the plural of hippopotamus is hippopotami, and the plural of cactus is cacti, and the plural of alumnus is alumni, is the plural of Francis, Franci?
If so, Indy Beagle has examples of the works of all 7 Franci in the rabbit hole.
Aroo to you.
And again, I say Aroo.
Roy H. Williams