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, July 31. 2006
We have done a couple of pieces on Pogo, our favorite cartoon strip by our favorite cartoonist, the late Bridgeport boy Walt Kelly. Here's another:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 10:47 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
The second answer: place a one- mile circumference around the north pole. Start point - one mile south of that:
Re-posted from Aug 29, 2005
Zulu Time, and Weather Bloggers
In the NOAA and other hurricane and weather reports, they commonly notate Greenwich Mean Time with a suffix Z (or sometimes GMT), and spoken as "Zulu". The military, aviation, and commercial shipping commonly operate on Zulu time.
Why "Zulu"? The story goes back to the great navigator, mathematician, and Salem, MA sea captain Nathaniel Bowditch (1773-1838), author of The American Practical Navigator - also known as "The Sailor's Bible" - which remains in use today. He divided up the world's time zones, one hour per 15 degrees of longitude, assigning each one a letter of the alphabet. Longitude 0, running through Greenwich, England received the Z. That story is here.
Jean Lee Latham wrote the classic Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, which I remember fondly from 6th Grade, and which, along with Richard Henry Dana's Two Years Before the Mast, nurtured my love and respect for the sea and ships.
A fairly decent Wellfleet, Cape Cod, fish restaurant. Good raw bar with Wellfleet oysters - the best in the world.
Take more time if you need it. Answers on continuation page, below.
Continue reading "Answers to yesterday's Brain Exercise"
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 06:33 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Mr. Chavez visits Iran with Mr. Morales and If Graham Greene were writing the novel how would it end? It seems the Mid East and Asia are not the only worries for the mighty US, no me thinks I smell more than one ratoncito in Latin America. Condi and George W will need our allies to start speaking up soon. If you do not read the ATLANTIC, then I highly recommend you buy the May issue:
Piece here: The Talented Mr. Chávez
New Orleans getting back to normal: 6 murders in one day.
A cease fire is a Hez victory. Jerusalem Post
Mel Gibson? Why do we care what movie stars say, drunk or sober? But that was really bad.
Atlas is covering the war from up close.
A pastor disowns pulpit politics. Makes sense to me, but his parishioners are not pleased.
Sunday, July 30. 2006
July 30, 2006 (yesterday, for us in the US) Shabbat News at the front
Here’s what happens at a Jewish front.
A unit returns from Lebanon, all alive (on a day before nine others are killed). As their tanks, bulldozers, armored carriers cross into Israel, a “mitzvah mobile,” a Lubavitch version of Ken Kesey’s Kandy-Kolored Kontraption of the 60’s, greets them. The Lubie-mobile is blaring songs from an oversized speaker that strains against its metal stays, as if it might collapse backwards at any moment -- from its blasting volume, rather than from driving speed. Hairy faced Lubies leap out of this van, many more emerge than seems feasible to fit into this contraption. An Orthodox version of circus clowns piling out of a VW welcomes these worn soldiers. Tzitzit fly as Lubies twirl (like Dervishes), leap like gazelles, bear tefillin and extra talletim (fringed prayer shawls). They fling talletim on soldiers, grab arms, yank up sleeves, wrap the tefillin seven times around the left forearm, followed by the mysterious wrapping of knuckles that write “Shadai” on the fist ... and begin to pray. Soldiers appear stunned, or pleased, and mostly exhausted. The bearded, black-hatted, black-suited, fringed clowns of God are dancing about the soldiers, leaping on tanks, singing the praises of God for returning these men alive and well.
The Lubies believe that such performances influence God well.
A Jewish front.
Continue reading "Another note from Nathan in Israel: Clowns of God"
You are on a horse, galloping at a constant speed. On your right side is a sharp drop-off, and on your left side is an elephant traveling at the same speed as you. Directly in front of you is a galloping kangaroo and your horse is unable to overtake it. Behind you is a lion running at the same speed as you and the Kangaroo.
What must you do to safely get out of this highly dangerous situation?
Get your drunk ass off the merry-go-round!
Not a joke:
There are only two locations on earth where you can walk one mile North, then one mile East, then one mile South, and end up where you started.
What are they? Answers tomorrow (I doubt our brainy readers will need them by then, but it might take a bit of thought).
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:41 | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)
Nashville Skyline. Maggie's Farm's Dylanologist is making the big move from Yankee-land, across the Mason-Dixon line to Music City to pursue his career. We wish him the best, and ask that the Volunteer State rebels treat him well. Even though he is a Yank, he's one of the good ones, and he'll keep working for us. To commemorate this, we offer two old YouTubes of Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan, One Too Many Mornings and Girl from the North Country.
And, speaking of the Southland - the Aquazone Bass Edition. Turn your monitor into a wild bass aquarium. The flag? That flag don't stand for slavery none: it stands for the never-ending rebel, anti-authoritarian, anti-smarty-pants expert, free-thinkin' American spirit. Plenty of us Yanks admire and respect that rebel heart and soul and especially - God Bless him - the great American, Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Bush made me buy property in Crawford, says Cindy Sheehan. Wizbang. This peculiar lady is an endless source of humor, but sometimes one feels sorry for her due to some emotional condition, despite being a traitor, an idiot, and a tool.
The Top 100 Fly-Fishing sites. Here.
Chicago shoots itself in the foot. Why not go all the way and set the minimum wage at 100/hour? Rick explains, patiently.
The ACLU scam: find a sympathetic judge, then clean up with the big bucks, just like trial lawyers with juries. But, win or lose, WE PAY the bill. RWN explains.
New Sisyphus is thinking that something evil is loose in the world.
The Congregational Church, Town Meetings, and American democracy. Tom Brewton
Juan Williams leaves the Plantation. God Bless him. YARGB
The architectural origin of the steeple lies in the belltower, and the origin of the belltower in the watchtower.
Medieval watchtowers, like this one in Umbria,
and this one in San Gimignano, the town of towers,
used bells, guns, and fire to signal each other in time of trouble. Church belltowers, at first identical to watchtowers, were often separate from church buildings through the early renaissance. You had to place those bells up high to send out the sound. Here's a famous one, which is the belltower of Pisa's Duomo (c. 1100):
In time, the belltowers were integrated into the architecture of church and cathedral buildings. Without clocks and watches, you couldn't be called to church or prayer - nor would you know what time it was (except for sundials) without the bells sounding across the villages and fields. And they were a regular reminder of Christ's presence during the day. (But how did the bell-ringers know the time? That's another subject.)
Canterbury Cathedral (c. 1300) has the Gothic integration of tower. It took 63 men to ring its heavy bells; six men alone to ring the heaviest:
More modest English parish churches had bell towers on the roof (Holy Cross, Greenford Magna, Middlesex - much of the building c. 1500):
Puritan (Congregationalist) Meeting Houses in the US typically had no steeples, as part of their purifying their congregations from papistry, vanity, and other fanciness (no bells, no stained windows, no singing, 6-hour sermons, etc). They didn't even want to call them "churches, " and you went to "meeting", not to church, where the God of Grace played second fiddle to the God of Truth. This is the Rocky Hill Meeting House (c. 1785) in Amesbury, MA:
By the early 1800s, steeple bell towers came back into acceptance in the US, along with singing. I can imagine the debates between the stodgy old-timers and the young folks in their Building Committees. Many old New England churches are meeting houses with steeples (and pillared porticos too) added generations later, leading to steeple engineering problems in later years. Here's an example of an added steeple in Alford, MA (c. 1740):
Belfries, containing the bells and their mechanisms (and bats), usually have/had louvers to direct the sound up and away from the church itself. Oftentimes a steeple - the tower which supports the belfry, is roofed by an elegant spire, leading to the stereotypical appearance of the 19th Century New England Congregational church - which has since been copied by all sorts of denominations including Catholics - seemingly unaware of the Puritan, anti-Anglican, anti-hierarchical, and anti-Papist theological origin of the architecture:
We always need to be reminded that a "church" is not a building - it's a congregation of people who seek God through Christ ("whenever two or three of you are gathered together"). The building doesn't really matter, but having a special place never hurts. I think the spires are optional.
Here's a nice piece on church bells.
YouTube of Dylan doing All Along the Watchtower here. (with JJ Jackson, Winston Watson, and Bucky Baxter)
Saturday, July 29. 2006
Scots prefer the spelling “whisky”; Americans follow instead the Irish spelling, so Kentucky bourbon is “whiskey.”
Let's all hoist a glass or two of the Highland's best to the IDF tonight.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:39 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Video of their She's My Baby. YouTube. Amusing.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:10 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Hostas are often viewed as a junky plant. They are not. When they are in a small clump in the sun in front of a bank, they look awful.
They need to be massed, and in the shade - minimal to no direct sun, and humusy soil. The variety available these days is remarkable. Some people (not us) remove the blooms, preferring them only for the simple and understated foliage.
Once known as the Plantain Lily, their origins are in Northeast Asia. One of their virtues is that they shade out all weeds. Another is that they now come in all sizes, from miniature to giant.
Every type of garden plant has its fans and afficionados. As hobbies go, it's as pleasant and harmless as gun collecting...but cheaper. And guns, alas, do not reproduce.
On his way east from LA and Seattle, the Dylanologist stopped by to see his old friends at Pine Butte this week. Yes, snow in July. Great place. Photo.
If you are concerned about global warming, you will support this fix.
The genetics of "tameness," in NYT Science News/ I think I have enough of these genes to grow a garden, but not enough to be a good husband.
Bumble bee flies 8 miles to its home.
Zero to sixty in 4 seconds - on a battery. Alphapatriot. Cheap too.
Fisk - of all people - on Beirut. Many people are fond of Lebanon.
Cluck, cluck. Women in the UK may be able to sell their eggs. Tangled Web. Just like Brave New World. Can you get, brown, white, organic, large and medium?
Lamont: 2.8 million in 2005 income, 5000 in charity. Typical Dem - Let The Govt Do It. Just One Minute. Cannot include the Family Fund - I suspect that's a foundation with legally-required disbursement.
What's wrong with English instruction? Newmark, via Betsy
Cohen on survival and proportionality. Sanity.
How is this? Whole thing here:
Friday, July 28. 2006
The Mainline Churches are still crazy: Listened to "Imagine" one too many times while stoned in college or seminary
The anti-Israel and anti-American trend of the mainline churches continues apace. In a disturbingly lock-step manner support for Hezbollah and the Palestinian terrorists flows out of these churches, as listed here, with their recent statements, in Camera. And let's not forget the loony tendencies of the dying Anglicans.
Dr. Bliss wrote about the phenomenon here. The co-opting of the churches (along with all sorts of non-profit orgs) has been going on since the late 60s, but it hasn't run its course yet. (We recently discussed the WCC here.) In the meantime, more people are attending livelier churches with more conservative approaches to life and politics.
Why is this a Left-Right issue? Beats me. I've read lots of explanations, but none of them seem to stick. Heck, Israel is basically a socialist country, while the Arab countries are paleo-capitalist and paleo-everything else. The only clue I have is that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." And America is their enemy, for some reason and, of course, Israel is just an American military outpost.
Or it could be that these ministers and priests listened to John Lennon too many times:
Imagine there's no heaven
Maybe we should broadcast this song to the Palis and the Hezzies and Ahmadinejad and Osama 24 hrs/day - it is a good tune, but the lyrics are those of a wealthy, drug-addled infant. I tried to satirize this song once, but it satirizes itself too well.
Convert your LP records to CDs, with an Ion Turntable. Great idea. Does it eliminate the scratches?
Believe them - or don't. Moslems want to re-establish the Caliphate. They are not joking. Kidding around is not their schtick.
Dems propose a bill to halt global warming. It's another feel-good thing. If it does any good, I'll let you smack me with a mackeral and call me Mildred. On same subject, more evidence that Kyoto is a scam. Env. Repub
Doug Ten Napel provides a penetrating rebuttal to a comment on embryonic stem cells. Doug is like one of those guys who got Ds in college, read only comic books, and was smarter than anyone else.
Nasrallah is displeased. The IDF hacked into his communications network. I heard on the radio that he ran away and is at the Beirut Sheraton. Would love to run into this guy down in the bar, trying to pick up chicks.
How "assortive mating" affects social mobility. People tend to mate with those of similar income/education. Stumbling. Maybe a govt regulation against this insidious practice?
The Long Tail. Am I the only one who hasn't read this book? A review
Ampakines sound like good stuff. They reverse memory loss. They reverse what?
Thursday, July 27. 2006
The dog days of July and August are
Our threat is this: If other bloggers don't blogroll us, and throw us a pity-link once in a while, and if our readers don't forward our blog with a hearty recommendation to all of their friends and colleagues and relatives and enemies, we will go on a Hunger Strike until Labor Day, limiting our diets solely to beer and pizza.
That includes breakfast.
We do make make such threats lightly - so be forewarned. Maggie's Farm is our name, and passive-aggressive is our game. No negotiating: Do what we demand - or else we will damage our health!
Look - I know we aren't the best blog in the world, but we are all proud to be listed in Harmons' World Weblog Review (Copyright 2006) as:
If we find this hunger strike to be effective, we just might decide to continue it until war is eliminated from the earth, and all people find happiness. (Hope you enjoyed the Elevator piece - interesting basic info.)
Edith let me take her photo at the beach on Sunday, but she refused a dinner date. (Is it still Sweeps Month? But we don't do ads anyway...) What the heck - she says she's 24 but she could be under-age anyway. Sour canteloupes?
Anderson Cooper confused about what a terrorist is. Wizbang
Nuclear power. The NYT can't figure it out. Jim Miller
Clinton duplicity: Do as I say,... Pardon My English
Cindy Sheehan's fast: Not looking any skinnier...
Lee might be right about this:
Al Jazeera is supporting Rick Santorum's opponent.
If you passed over it, go back and read yesterday's link to Brussel's Journal.
From Nathan, re the battle deaths yesterday:
7-27-06 Two weeks fighting
Continue reading "Note From Israel"
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