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, September 30. 2013
It's well-known that the Chinese rightly love Western music, and love our "serious" music more than our pop music (not that I believe that any music is really "serious"). It is no surprise that they love ours, because their traditional music is hideous.
Right now in China, it's not so much the violin as it is the piano:
I wish that I had had a better piano teacher when I was a kid but that sounds like lame excuse-making. I have no musical talent at all, but I always have wanted to make just a little music for myself instead of pushing a button for it like a king with his court musicians. I wanted to understand what was behind the pieces I was learning to play, and she kept saying "that's for later." Then, eventually, there was no later. I should have been learning scales, and why scales exist. Or maybe not. I have a friend who is taking up piano in middle age, and is having a wonderful time with it. Great delight learning scales and jazz chords.
Every home needs at least one person practicing music, however well or poorly.
Maybe this is like our post about new math. You either have it, or you don't, but there is a gray zone.
Tell 'em what you know how to do, not where you went to school.
Just back from an extra-long weekend around my old haunts in Oxford (UK). Same old, same old, and tourist-free in September.
But here in the USA, we have New! Improved! Education’s shiny toy syndrome.
A while ago, I mentioned how my math education was almost destroyed by New Math. Even my math teachers didn't get the point of it even though they were required to teach it. Base Nine. Base 11? WTF? I am not an Einstein and do not need my math deconstructed. Base 10 is plenty enough to keep my brain challenged.
Once I recovered from the now-discarded New Math (it took me 3 years), I was fine. One regret I have with my career, among others, is that it does not require any sophisticated math. I still believe that the Calculus is a beautiful gift from God and the real shiny toy of education.
And statistics remain a perfect tool to fool juries with no math knowledge.
Boys vs. girls on the math SAT test
Film review: Rush
Universities - Once upon a time, students’ political leaders kicked against authoritarianism; now they enforce it.
How Many People Is Too Many People?
Take the Food Out of Food Stamps - Poor people need money, not groceries
Rebel Without A Caste - Why Ted Cruz Drives Them Crazy
Bomber Bill Ayers’ College Tour
I just broke down in tears in boarding area at SFO while on phone with
Manbearpig Lives! Environmentalists Claim Global Warming Unleashes Plague of Hybrid Animals
John Boehner is a Genius
Has McDonald’s Declared War on the Middle Class? - Only if you define war as consensual trade in a free market.
Big Labor: In a showdown with Gov. Scott Walker, democracy is the big winner.
Worse Is the New Normal - Mid-20th-century assumptions of generational progress no longer obtain
China's 'love hunters' seek brides for picky billionaires
Government Is Largely Responsible for Soaring Inequality:
These guys will play you for money. Many of them prefer speed chess - 5-minute or even one-minute games. It's a wonderful thing, excellent mental exercise. I hear that these guys are savvy players.
There are a few checkers guys too, but isn't checkers too much like tic-tac-toe? If you start, you win or draw unless you make an error.
Sunday, September 29. 2013
A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease."
"That depends, sir," said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."
"He had delusions of adequacy." - Walter Kerr
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." - Winston Churchill
"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." - Clarence Darrow
"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." - William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)
"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." - Moses Hadas
"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain
"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." - Oscar Wilde
"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one." - George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill, "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one." - Winston Churchill, in response.
"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here." - Stephen Bishop
"He is a self-made man and worships his creator." - John Bright
"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial." - Irvin S. Cobb
"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others." - Samuel Johnson
"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up." - Paul Keating
"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." - Charles, Count Talleyrand
"He loves nature, in spite of what it did to him." - Forrest Tucker
"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" - Mark Twain
"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." - Mae West
“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." - Oscar Wilde
"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination." - Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
"He has Van Gogh's ear for Music." - Billy Wilder
"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." - Groucho Marx
Upper Manhattan Residents Say Skunks Are Stinking Up Neighborhood
Skunks are cute, adaptable little critters (weasel family), but their only real predator is the Great Horned Owl. My family never had a dog who didn't get skunked once, or a dog who never got slapped by a Porkie. The hard but non-fatal lessons of life.
As a country bumpkin from Minnesota, I wanted to be a tough New Yorker, but people told me I was just "too nice"
A movie to see if you haven't: Margin Call. It's on Netflix. It's a New York movie.
I don't think she is blaming the booze business for this. Women have always had their secret Mothers' Little Helpers, of one sort or another, since the beginning of time. Laudanum, alcohol, coca leaf, tobacco, areca nut and betel leaf, you name it - long before TV advertising and Mad Men.
16:19 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
Saturday, September 28. 2013
It's scheduled to be completed in 2026. I've been to see it. It's like Gothic on acid. Here's the completion, visualized (h/t Althouse):
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:12 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Rachel Lucas: Damn, I love this country
Bulldog reminded me of the Mississippi Bubble
Is fashion "art"? Commerce, fantasy, fetishism
Huge mess for CT commuters
Kimball: Racism Inc.
More harm from "disparate impact"
Via Insty, Barney Frank Fesses Up: Gov't Shares Blame For Financial Crisis
The truth comes out when he's retired
University Of North Dakota Says They’re Shrinking Enrollment With Tougher Admissions Standards
Obamacare: Destined to flop?
Paul Krugman on Plutocracy
Chu, Salazar: Everybody can just calm down already with the fracking hysteria
Me wishes we had some good shale beneath the farm
Green Energy is Hazardous to Birds. Should We Care?
Save a Forest: Print Your Emails
Not edible, too many chemicals in 'em
Sony Pictures TV Sets Space Travel Series As Space Heats Up As Reality Frontier
Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
The Curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
The rest of his poem is below the fold -
Continue reading "Saturday Verse: Thomas Gray (1716-1771)"
Friday, September 27. 2013
Via Powerline's Climate Countdown: D-Day Today:
My guess that the decline in the average is due to more "unprepared" kids taking the exam, dragging the average down.
Thanks for this odd bit, Gerard: Bob Dylan and the NERC
I was dissatisfied with the quality of humans available on this planet, so I made my own.
Image via Moonbattery
Schools Are Not Parents - Children in Virginia Beach are suspended from school for playing with an airsoft gun at home.
VDH: The Late, Great Middle Class - It’s never been harder to find a decent job making something real.
25 Reasons College Is Not At All Like Real Life
What Happens When Stores Let Customers Return Whatever They Want?
Daniel Henninger: Let ObamaCare Collapse - Congress can't kill the entitlement state. Only the American people can.
Detroit Spent Billions Extra on Pensions
Now Revealed by Stripper: Booker’s Twitter Messages
Are you ready for some “ObamaCare”!?
Campus Feminism. Is it forever?
Verbal SAT Scores Plunge To Fresh Record Low
Walsh: A political turning point?
Harsanyi: The Bogus Case for “Compromise” - Conviction is not a political liability
Look at the picture of this new trash can. It really is funny...
So is this: Brown University to sponsor Naked Week:
"The Facebook event page, also indicates that the six-day program will include a clothed event called “Stripping Privilege: Undressing the Isms” on Wednesday which will include discussion on “power, privilege, race, class, gender, ability, and other isms how they intersect with nudity, body image, nudity in relation to (de)sexuality, etc.”"
Rigid Campus Feminism: Is It Forever?
Thursday, September 26. 2013
Most of us are muppets, are we not? Investing is gambling, is it not?
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:41 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
How about the "Elvis" from Mississippi? Peanut butter, fried banana, and bacon on toast, with a splash of hot sauce on top. Sounds ok with me. Gimme one, to check it out:
"The average human being has one breast and one testicle."
From a chat with Gwynnie. I referred G to this classic.
5 Ways to Sabotage Your Marriage Before It Starts
FDA should regulate e-cigarettes, 40 state attorneys general say
No communion for Nancy Pelosi: Vatican court head
Yes, Obamacare's Exchanges Will Narrow Your Choice Of Doctors -- And That's A Good Thing
After Comeback for the Ages, a Last Dash for America’s Cup
A Fantastically Clear, Concise Explanation of Why Traffic Happens with a video from Tom Vanderbilt
Dear Hollywood, It’s Time to Stop Obsessing About Race
How Jeffrey Sachs failed to save Africa
Global warming believers are feeling the heat
The husband of US Senator Dianne Feinstein has been selling post offices to his friends, cheap.
Why the empty planes from Venezuela?
K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: NYC Charter Schools Plan Showdown With Future Mayor.
Full-Time to Food Stamps: Obamacare Hits The College Student
Behold my friends as you pass by
His apple and pear trees are bearing good fruit.
A random pic at the cemetery last weekend:
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