W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org > July 2006

Re: [personal] RE: BioRDF: URI Best Practices

From: Mark Wilkinson <markw@illuminae.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2006 13:16:00 -0700
To: Sean Martin <sjmm@us.ibm.com>
Cc: public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org
Message-Id: <1153512960.5844.3.camel@bioinfo.icapture.ubc.ca>

This URL vs. LSID discussion is reminding me of a poem that I think I
will share with you all, since it is a gorgeous warm and sunny Friday
afternoon here in Vancouver and I'm just in the mood to be cheeky ;-)  

Enjoy!  Have a great weekend everyone!


The Calf Path
-------------
One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves should;
But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail, as all calves do.

Since then three hundred years have fled,
And, I infer, the calf is dead.
But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.

The trail was taken up next day
By a lone dog that passed that way;
And then a wise bellwether sheep
Pursued the trail o’er vale and steep,
And drew the flock behind him, too,
As good bellwethers always do.

And from that day, o’er hill and glade,
Through those old woods a path was made,
And many men wound in and out,
And dodged and turned and bent about,
And uttered words of righteous wrath
Because ’twas such a crooked path;
But still they followed  do not laugh 
The first migrations of that calf,
And through this winding wood-way stalked
Because he wobbled when he walked.

This forest path became a lane,
That bent, and turned, and turned again.
This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load
Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some three miles in one.
And thus a century and a half
They trod the footsteps of that calf.

The years passed on in swiftness fleet.
The road became a village street,
And this, before men were aware,
A city’s crowded thoroughfare,
And soon the central street was this
Of a renowned metropolis;
And men two centuries and a half
Trod in the footsteps of that calf.

Each day a hundred thousand rout
Followed that zigzag calf about,
And o’er his crooked journey went
The traffic of a continent.
A hundred thousand men were led
By one calf near three centuries dead.
They follow still his crooked way,
And lose one hundred years a day,
For thus such reverence is lent
To well-established precedent.

A moral lesson this might teach
Were I ordained and called to preach;
For men are prone to go it blind
Along the calf-paths of the mind,
And work away from sun to sun
To do what other men have done.
They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,
And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do.

They keep the path a sacred groove,
Along which all their lives they move;
But how the wise old wood-gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf!
Ah, many things this tale might teach 
But I am not ordained to preach.

	by Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911)


-- 
Mark Wilkinson
Asst. Professor, Dept. of Medical Genetics
University of British Columbia
PI in Bioinformatics, iCAPTURE Centre
St. Paul's Hospital, Rm. 166, 1081 Burrard St.
Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1Y6
tel: 604 682 2344 x62129
fax: 604 806 9274

"Since the point of a definition is to explain the meaning of a term to
   someone who is unfamiliar with its proper application, the use of
language that doesn't help such a person learn how to apply the term is
 pointless. Thus, "happiness is a warm puppy" may be a lovely thought,
                     but it is a lousy definition."
                                                                Köhler et al, 2006
Received on Friday, 21 July 2006 20:16:05 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 26 March 2013 18:00:44 GMT