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, March 31. 2014
Wes Montgomery Arranges A Song In Real Time
Pastor: Evangelicals ignore sin
Women like guns
Interview with Freeman Dyson
Plato, Rawls and the Liberal 'Comfort Zone' at Harvard
Rawls and the Liberal 'Comfort Zone' at Harvard - See more at:
You Can't Make This Up: MF Global Sues PWC, Blames It For Its Collapse
One Doctor’s Viral Letter Exposes the Harrowing Reality of Obamacare’s ‘War Against Doctors’
A Personal Note on Larry Kudlow — James Pethokoukis
Larry Kudlow Says Goodbye: 'I Am a Blessed Person'
College Students Can’t Name a Single U.S. Senator
Charter Schools Emerge As Proof of the Strategy Of Putting a Priority On Student Achievement
Scottish plan facing legal challenge for installing bureaucrats in families
More on Arrest Climate-Change Deniers
The Race-Hacks Defend Their Industry
Central banks do not deserve our respect
Campus Brownshirts Rising
Covered California Sends Out Voter Registration Cards Pre-Marked for Democrat Party
Behind the Russian rage
Yankee rebels: Why We Won't Yield To Unconstitutional Gun Law
It is impossible for a US president to be irrelevant, but Obama is testing the proposition.
Dem Bob Kerrey Calls Obama a Delusional Liar; Renders Himself MSM Nonperson
Sunday, March 30. 2014
Reposted from 2012 -
I am studying up as I gradually learn about the places I am scheduled (by my tour planner, Mrs. BD) to visit over the next couple of weeks. I regret that our contributor, Roger de Hauteville, King of Sicily, cannot accompany us because I am sure he would have some good historical reminiscences from the time of his reign.
The Mediterranean world went through some or most of these cultural phases (or empires) which you can mix and match according to location:
Sicily experienced pretty much every bit of that sequence, which is how the Norman Roger de Hauteville became King of Sicily.
Best as I can tell thus far (I have a pile of books I am getting through), Sicily's high point was around 200 BC when it was still a Greek culture (Syracuse was considered the finest city in Magna Graecia), when the Syracusan Archimedes was busy discovering and inventing things in the old Greek way.
It's been downhill for Sicily since the kingdoms were abolished in the 1860s during the unification of Italy as a nation. But never unified, really. The "maffia" filled the power vacuum, and today they basically run the island. (Most people in Sicily speak Sicilian, if not Italian also. "Maffioso" is Sicilian for an entrepreneurial braggart or bully. It has been estimated that 80% of Sicily's businesses pay protection money to the Mafia, and Sicily's main exports are oranges, lemons, population (impossible to build a new biz there due to the mob "tax", so energetic people leave for the US and northern Italy and Europe) - and organized crime.
Despite their Greek history (genetically, Sicilians are a mix of European, Greek, and African), most Europeans to the north (which is all of them) look down on them just as the Romans look down on the Neapolitans, and the Italian Swiss look down on Romans - and even the Tuscans.
It's a lovely island, with around a 5 million population. The rural areas, the active volcanoes, and the well-preserved Greek ruins are the main attractions, and I plan to explore them.
Photo: Mount Etna -
What about the Elk and the Bison and all the other ungulates? What about Manatee farts, which are very high in greenhouse gasses?
Thanks to AGW, looks like we're in for two days of soaking rain. That's perfect timing, because I did all of my Spring fertilizing this weekend: lawn, perennial gardens, shrubs, Raspberries - and Holly-Tone for the Rhodies, azaleas, hollies, etc. (I also put down Preen on most of the flower gardens. It saves a lot of trouble to put it down before the first weed seeds germinate.)
It makes sense to fertilize before things green up, because the roots wake up hungry and begin growing many weeks before anything green emerges. Early Spring is when roots do most of their growing.
My grass should be happy this year because I plugged it last year. Big power plugger, a bitch of a machine to handle. I went over all of it twice. The plugs disappear fast.
It's all mind-boggling to me. What is outside the universe, or is my sense of space-time too parochial?
Video on the big discovery.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:02 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
The incredible truth about time.
Most physicists believe that it is an illusion, but some still debate the subject.
(Pic is this fancy Audemars Piguet. Timex is the official watch of Maggie's Farm, not AP.)
This 2003 movie, which had the misfortune of being overshadowed by Gibson's The Passion and was never released in theaters, would make a good Christmas present.
Sticking tightly to the language and sequence of this very literary Gospel which was written 2 centuries after Christ's death, the 3-hour version captures all of the key moments of Christ's ministry, and is especially good at capturing the rabble-rousing, reckless and provocative style of his ministry and its inevitable culmination on the cross. It's easy to see why people wanted him out of the way - he was a big trouble-maker and no-one was insulated from his demands or his harsh judgements. Not a go-with-the-flow guy, and John depicts more the Jesus of Truth than the sweet Jesus of Love, yet love of God is the whole story.
The role of Pilate is small but fascinating, and made it clear that we are all Pilates. What would I have done? Probably what Pilate did. Captain Vere in Billy Budd. The story of Pilate is a Greek tragedy, and I feel sympathy for his fate. My only complaint about the film is that Jesus spends more time talking about his relationship with God than he does preaching the rest of his message that was to change the world. I am not a Bible student - but that focus is a reflection of John's Gospel, which was a message to gentiles - "He is in me and I am in Him" - obviously not a message designed to engage the Jews of the time: "Crucify him. Crucify him."
The Jews were not quite ready for a Messiah, nor is anyone, anywhere, any time. How are we to know whether a messiah is the real thing? Pilate is us, and the Jews are us. A holy dream in which we ourselves play every role, as we do in all dreams. Anyway, powerful and very moving stuff, and the narration by Plummer adds a lot.
It is something special.
AVI was right - most guys would not know her name, but most females would. When we visited Nova Scotia a number of years ago, the gals had to see everything about her - including the house.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:28 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
I can't tell the difference. They're all Bluebills to me. I saw these guys yesterday.
Saturday, March 29. 2014
I posted this once before, but it still cracks me up. Besides being a slice of life of a piece of NYC, it does a great job of depicting/satirizing one subculture of NYC. You have to know a bit about the Jewish subculture of the NYC environs to fully get it. More real than satire, though, according to a BD daughter who is not Jewish but knows the scene.
The real message of this is that, no matter how dorky you are, a strong self-confidence can go a long way. Lubel does a great job with that. He's a very cool dork, with a posse, too. I knew guys like him, and always wondered why they got so many chicks. As Sipp emailed me, rhyming Giapetto with Warsaw Ghetto gets a gold star.
Acting confident is a chick magnet, no matter what you look like or what your resume looks like.
I plan to turn on every piece of electric I have. Make some banana/strawberry daiguiris with the blender, too. Electricity is the greatest invention ever, and it deserves one hour of celebration and gratitude.
It's not really the nanny state, it's tort lawyers driving the nonsense. We did wild and crazy things when I was a kid, including BB gun battles and stone-throwing battles. We made bonfires in the woods, and swam in the reservoir in our underwear. We stole our parents' cigarettes and smoked them in the woods. Of course, that was not on school property. I was a tomboy.
We broke our arms and our legs, got banged up, and got lost. Good adventures, good training for life. I got to the point where getting lost was a fun challenge.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:02 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
I should have linked this article when I posted on the topic recently.
Another good one, which makes the point that over-fertilizing can be destructive.
I fertilized most of my shrubs and perennial gardens today, with Hollytone for the evergreens. In some spots, I had to put it down on ice but I wanted to get it done.
Thanks to our pal at Never Yet Melted for mailing me that book. That was my Mom's life, or an aspect of it.
What one needs to know about female orgasm.
Females like orgasms.
The moving moment a deaf woman is overcome by emotion as she HEARS for the first time after having her cochlear implants switched on
How did she understand speech?
Can Boys Be ‘Coerced’ Into Sex?
Depends on how you define "coerced"
California Bullet Train Tallies Yet Another Failure
New IPCC report will back off on alarmism
"Even with its too-high, too-fast assumptions, the recently leaked draft of the IPCC impacts report makes clear that when it comes to the effect on human welfare, "for most economic sectors, the impact of climate change will be small relative to the impacts of other drivers," such as economic growth and technology, for the rest of this century. If temperatures change by about 1C degrees between now and 2090, as Mr. Lewis calculates, then the effects will be even smaller.
Religious tide turns against 'Noah'
Is College A Waste Of Time And Money?
Should The Post run a correction to the Koch oil sands story?i
Charming image below from University of Michigan Exhibit Celebrates Abortion as ‘Life-Sustaining Act’
Nobody who loves abortion was aborted. Thanks, Mom, for not aborting me.
The more tolerant society becomes, the more desperate the race and gender hustlers become.
Another outrageous UN appointment
Via a money manager friend:
Why not? This is "The Hunter" (1660). Holland was a nice place and it's a wonder that the Pilgrims left it. Here's Metsu's wiki entry.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:00 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, March 28. 2014
Here's a good piece on the latest: Proof of the Big Bang - A stunning discovery made at a research station in Antarctica indicates that Albert Einstein was right about the nature of the universe:
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:13 | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)
Simple and delicious. I think adding chicken ruins it, but some people prefer it like that. Bean sprouts are essential, as are chopped scallions on top. I usually sprinkle more soy sauce on top after it's done.
Angel Hair or Thin spaghetti are right for this. When you think about it, is normal-sized spaghetti good for anything? I don't think so. I hate it because the flavor/pasta ratio is too low with it.
Here's the recipe.
Finding a House That Won't Destroy You
Northwestern Football Players Win Union Ruling … So What Now?
How you start a conversation with a stranger depends on where you live. video
Man Arrested for Public Consumption of Iced Tea Urged to Take a “Deal” from Prosecutors
‘War on drugs’ is supposed to be a metaphor, not a real war
Inside the Knife Rights Movement
Boko Haram: How a Militant Islamist Group Emerged in Nigeria
Arrested for Public Consumption of Iced Tea Urged to Take a “Deal” from
Prosecutors - See more at:
http://www.thedailysheeple.com/man-arrested-for-public-consumption-of-iced-tea-urged-to-take-a-deal-from-prosecutors_032014#sthash.0kaZdyYd.dpufBoko Haram: How a Militant Islamist Group Emerged in Nigeria
Robert Gates: Putin's Challenge to the West
Thursday, March 27. 2014
Isn't all sex recreational in some sense of the word? Eating is recreational too, in part, and they are both fun. Well, unless these things are dutiful chores which they can be, sometimes, for some people.
What's wrong with recreational sex (eg FB's, friends with benefits, dorm trios - meaning studly guy plus 2 playful and adventurous gal roomies, one-nighters, etc) among the uncommitted? And isn't lots of marital sex really recreational, in some sense, anyway? If not "casual" - see "kitchen table sex."
It's a serious question. In the old days, people married in their teens so that an extended period of sexual ache, longing, and loneliness was more or less taken care of. Of course, we all have our morals, scruples, religions, ethics, and considerations for the feelings of others to take into account. That's the issue, isn't it?
Frequent sexual and romantic thoughts and desires are, for better or worse, a routine part of being human. People can fall into love, lust, or desire readily. (They can fall out of those things too, fairly readily.) I am constantly reminded in my work about how prevalent, but far from universal, recreational sex is among the young, and among older singles. (No, I am not one who views sex as sacramental but more as an animal aspect of humanity with an overlay, so to speak, of a hundred other meanings. In my youth, I think I was too sentimental, religious, soulful, respectful - and controlled - to ever have been a party girl. Some regrets? Not saying. My fantasies are exciting, but private.)
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