We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, January 23. 2012
Mead: How to read a book
Why isn’t the iPhone made in America?
Extinct? Cougar sightings on the rise in eastern United States
Steyn on how Romney gave us Newt
Snapshot of a Creative Destruction - Kodak, Rochester, and the decline of the industrial Northeast
Told ya so: Al Gore + Kilimanjaro = alarmist hype
Merkel and Sarkozy propose higher taxes to "strengthen growth now"
Hannibal and Me, and other books of conquerors
Charles Murray: Do we Need the Federal Department of Education?
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What a great compilation of links The Editor put up today - so much to say, so little time to say it.
Kodak, much like Polaroid Land (which could be the subject of another how not to run a business model), became stuck in the too big to fail syndrome. They had so much of the market that they figured losing some share wouldn't hurt so they became stuck - paralyzed really, with a old film product line. Fuji made a superior product, was constantly tinkering with their film formulas and kept innovating moving into 35mm movie film basically killing Kodak's film market.
On the other hand, while Kodak relied on their film business to keep them going, their research and development department was innovating like crazy. Not only did they develop the very first digital camera, they worked alongside Olympus to develop the very first 35mm emulator sensor - the 4/3rds System. 4/3rds was the very first integrated camera/lens system in which a camera cpu controlled both the camera and the lens producing the most technologically advanced digital camera of its time. Neither Nikon or Canon had anything to compare and in fact, Nikon was so far behind that they almost made a hostile take over bid for Olympus to grab the technology and patents. Kodak management, in a typical bit of shortsightedness, handed over the licensing to Olympus along with the patents as they didn't see a future in digital photography - film would rule the day. How'd that work out for them?
Kodak didn't understand the nature of the upcoming digital revolution. To be fair, neither did Nikon, Canon, Leica or Hasselblad - the major camera makers of the era. A good example was their documentation system designed in the mid-80's. Based on the Sun Microsystems operating platform, the Kodak document system did origination, storage, editing, emulation (PC and Mac), direct transfer capability from Windows/Mac documents to Unix for editing, graphics, etc, - in short, it was far beyond state-of-the-art (almost science fiction really) and believe it or not, nothing came even close to its capabilities until 2005 when the entire publishing industry flipped over to LINUX based software on the PC platform. Kodak never capitalized on that either - they made a half hearted attempt to market the product then sold the whole shooting match to Xerox Corporation for peanuts. Xerox killed the system preferring to market their own documentation system which was inferior, but had better manufacturing margins.
So it wasn't just film that did Kodak in. They refused to recognize the direction technology was going to take them and refused to take advantage of their research and development teams preferring to sell the results rather than market them.
Al Gore + Kilimanjaro = alarmist hype
So what else is new? This is nothing unusual - every honest scientist would tell you that understanding how Kilimanjaro had glaciers in an equatorial climate was impossible even to the point of why they existed in the first place. That was all buried of course by the hyperbole of Al Gore's fraudulent claims.
WaPo: Time to scrutinize Obama's record
Really? NOW you want to scrutinize his "record"? He doesn't have a "record". I doubt he even graduated from Columbia. Wanna bet that his college transcripts never get released? I'll even give you odds.
What a great compilation of links The Editor put up today - so much to say, so little time to say it
I thought calling the "cougars" was offensive. But as Spring blooms more and more will be seen upon the streets of New York and Washington.
I don't make it to DC or New York these days so I couldn't day but I'd bet they will be ravenous.
How to Read a Book? We really are in a serious decline. I'm currently reading a book, 'How to Study and How to Teach Studying' by F.M. McMurray. It has a detailed discussion of such studying as Mead laments has been lost to college students. Sad part is, McMurray's book, published in 1909, is targeted at teaching such skills to elementary school students. Today, this skill is heralded as a major benefit of an undergraduate liberal arts education, only called critical thinking.
Now, most pick up some of the skills in spite of suffering a Progressive education but the proper processing of books really does need explicit instruction. Otherwise, we fall back on the habits learned in recitation and math that all details are equal and none can be neglected.
Confidence in the general and growing good sense of children is a presupposition in the sensible parent and teacher. Having such confidence, their mission is to let these young people alone much of the time; to direct, not to control the selections that they make, assuming the role of advisers and critics but not dictators.
I can't say I got proper instruction in studying but at least parents and teachers left us alone. Kids today live in the most controlling of dictatorships with helicopters continuously hovering quick to correct the most unimportant mistake.
"WaPo: Time to scrutinize Obama's record" The time was 4 years ago. Those folks are sloooooooooooooooow.
Captain Tom, I wonder if you were aware of this website:
Ct Mountain Lion Sightings.
Most of the sightings are in the western part of the state, but Hampton and Columbia in the eastern part of the state have reported sightings.
The map with sightings is not user friendly.
Wasn't aware of the web site, but mountain lions? I'll tell you what....
I had a running battle with CT's DEP for eight years before I moved down here to SC about this. I had spoor pictures including paw prints, droppings, tree scratches including a very poor long distance shot of a mountain lion wandering along a line of apple trees at Woodstock Orchards across the lake from me and mutilated deer and turkey carcasses. There were at least two, possibly three if the tracks were any evidence - you could tell the difference because of the paw scars and one was missing a claw. I've also seen mountain lions up close and personal - well, ok, maybe not "up close" but closer than I would have liked - out west on fishing trips. I'm familiar with how they look standing, stalking, walking and running.
However, the brilliant biologists at DEP told me that (1) it wasn't a mountain lion, it was a really big bob cat (2) I didn't know the difference between feral dogs and cats (3) there couldn't be mountain lions in CT because it wasn't hilly enough and forage wasn't adequate (this despite the record numbers of deer, turkey, coyotes, etc.), (4) CT wasn't rural enough (5) there weren't any sightings in surrounding states (which was a flat out lie by the way), (6) see Item 1.
Meanwhile, sightings in Ashford, Pomfret, Woodstock, Woodstock Valley, Eastford, Tolland, etc., all kept coming in about a big mountain lion, maybe two, working along the geologic ridge stretching along the top part of the state. DEP kept up with the "nothing to see here, move along".
I kept on our local warden about it - good thing he was a friend because I rode this one hard. At one point, he did confess that "officially" mountain lions did not exist, but he knew damn well they did and more than one.
Then one got hit by a car down south near Wallingford I think.
HA!! No mountain lions my patootie....
Thanks for the link - that was interesting.
As you had posted previously on mountain lions in Woodstock, I figured I would get a response.
the biologists at DEP told me that
3) there couldn't be mountain lions in CT because it wasn't hilly enough
I suggest that they get on a bicycle and then tell us how NE CT isn’t hilly enough. It always seemed hilly enough to me.
4) CT wasn't rural enough
Why do they call NE CT “The Quiet Corner,” pray tell?
From my parents' house you could walk a mile west before hitting a road. North: three quarters of a mile before you hit a road. South: a quarter of a mile before you hit a road. Cross the road going by the house and walk east: two miles to hit a road. That seems fairly rural to me.
I was back in my hometown a year ago. What impressed me was how many places that were meadows in my childhood have reverted back to woodland.
I liked your comments on Kodak, especially because my sister was an engineer for Kodak for a quarter century.