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
Saturday, February 17. 2018
Painting is a copy of a now-lost Leonardo painting
Leda and the Swan
A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
How can those terrified vague fingers push
A shudder in the loins engenders there
Being so caught up,
Hello everybody. If the news seems pretty grim these days, don't worry too much about it. The government will fix everything. They're peculiarly suited to coming up with the answers to today's problems. After all, the surgeon who leaves a sponge, retractors, and his watch inside a patient knows where to look when they open the poor sod back up. Been there, done that.
We soldier on. On to the links!
Doesn't anyone take responsibility for their own actions anymore? That was a rhetorical question.
The Internet is a woman riding the subway wearing a bustier and a thong while complaining that everyone is looking at her.
A smart politician would tweak stalking laws in the US to include covertly tracking people across the Internet without their express written consent, with a one-button opt-opt that erases every bit of your data at any time from any web service. I don't know any smart politicians, and don't expect to meet one anytime soon.
I hate to break it to you poindexters, but the Uber driver's only real job is to supply the car you ride in. Oh, and to clean the puke out of the back seat every third passenger. Getting rid of the driver is a sideways move.
When I was young I learned about the Triangle Trade in history class. Sugar, tobacco, and cotton to England, textiles and rum to Africa, and unpaid interns to the Americas. I could have sworn they outlawed that sort of thing.
When I was young the kids who walked into walls a lot had their own classes, which were held outdoors quite often. They had their own bus, too. Now they have their own office building, which is nice.
I use Femgoplaces.com. It's a pretty cool search engine, you probably haven't heard of it. You type in your search terms, and they dispatch a girl to drive to a part of town she's not familiar with. When she gets there, she rolls down the window and asks the first person shes sees for the information she wants.
Yes, but will they shoot a tractor trailer into space? That's the true measure of technical innovation nowadays.
If I recall correctly, Romney really cornered the Mormon vote in Massachusetts. Well, he drove his wife to the polls. Same thing. Say, are there any Mormons in Utah?
When I read the headline, I assumed all the employees joined a New York City longshoreman's union, and one of their brothers was a union delegate.
Have a great Saturday, one and all!
Friday, February 16. 2018
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
From Frank Herbert's Dune, The Litany Against Fear
One more shooting. One more chance for the Progressives to screech and whine about gun control. I'm really tired of this cycle. Progressives complain about the cycle, too, because they want action, and they want it now. In 3 weeks they'll be bored again, or outraged about something new such as the fact that Trump doesn't have a dog and doesn't seem to care for them. Progressive try to make it seem like those of us who actually support freedom and the Constitution are uncaring, because we don't do something other than the one thing they deride - "Thoughts and Prayers". I've noticed some are taking a new tack. Not necessarily better. Like every other event, they trot out the same emotions, same flawed statistics, bizarre comparisons to nations without cultures remotely similar to ours, and then one or two tricks. Progressives are not old dogs. They are young dogs and haven't learned that new tricks aren't necessarily smarter or better.
I wrote about mass shootings, and school shootings in particular, slightly over 5 years ago. Have my views changed since then, and the presumed thousands of mass shootings that Progressives point out? No. Not in the least. Does the fact this involved children change my views? Nope. Am I cold and heartless? No. I'm just rational. Gun control won't stop this. People who want to kill will kill and they will use whatever method they can. The Progressive argument is "with guns, you can kill MORE" and that's just not proven to be true. It's an assumption based on incomplete data sets. What is the real issue that needs to be discussed after a shooting and the outrage is building?
Continue reading "Here We Are, Again. Or the Politics of Outrage"
What a charming and inspirational message.
I'm sorry, I was being pretending to be pleasant. As you know, I'm no good at it. Let's start over: Keerist, what drivel. But it's unexceptional drivel. No need to comment on how trite and meaningless the message is. Let's look at the spelling. I guarantee it was written, and shared quite a bit on social media, by college graduates. "You body"? Really? However, I'd like to point out that the word isn't misspelled. It's not a typo, either. The person who wrote it, and apparently a lot of people who read it, are blind to the fact that it's the wrong word. They have a condition I hereby christen Facebook Aphasia. They no longer have the mental ability to tell one word from another. It's not that they don't have the innate intellectual horsepower to learn the difference between you and your and you're. After all, they probably learned Klingon for their cosplay wedding ceremony. They're broken, not dumb.
I think, technically, I'm talking about semantic anomia, but I'm just a blowhard on the Internet, so Facebook Aphasia is good enough for me.
Of course proper doctor-type persons know you generally need brain damage from a shovel to the parietal or a tumor that makes tempura of your temporal lobe to give you a proper dose of semantic anomia. I hereby posit that a contemporary public school education followed by a trip to the academy is on par with a severe blow to the head. People have become brain damaged by a refusal to enforce abstract standards of right and wrong for grammar, or anything else for that matter. Through a continual process of calling anyone who notices you're in error a Nazi, and exposure to a continuous stream of word salad on electronic devices, there are entire generations who are literally unable to tell one word from another. They've been taught from the cradle to simply take a stab at all things grammatical. They've been conditioned to rely on hunches, and they're blissfully ignorant of where the knee-jerk reactions they call hunches are spawned.
So, welcome to the Facebook Aphasia world, where every voice is passive, every sentence starts with an adverb, and to, too, two is just the sound a Sesame Street train makes. There's no use whining about it, when wining about it works better. And dismember, never leaf anyone who touches your sole more than you body.
On to the links!
The horror! Pornography will not be immediately displayed by default on your computer screen? What do I need one for, then? And remember, never leave anyone who touches your soul more than his own winkie with safe search turned off
Remember kids, Tesla's taxpayer-subsidized piece of automotive space junk is brilliant, and Donald Trump is a doodyhead for wondering if a space station could be useful to anyone. It's just a hunch you have, but you hunches is always wright.
I hereby support research that may, one day, after millions in grants, allow humans to live to be 41, too. I sleep by hanging upside down in the closet already, so I've got a head start.
I bet conditional cash transfers break the poverty cycle from the moment the recipients get the dough until the moment their boyfriends make it to the strip joint.
Hmm. Maybe brain damage from Pokemon-induced car crashes is the reason no one can spell "definitely" anymore.
I dunno. Screaming, "No raises for anyone, NOW GET BACK TO WORK," always works great for me. I find this saves the employees the embarrassment of hearing how worthless and lazy they are during formal reviews. See, I worry about other people's feelings too much. It's a curse, really.
In the room the women come and go, talking of Michelangelo the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
By definition, a parent who wants their minor child to get a Facebook page is unfit, so wangling clear consent from them shouldn't be too difficult.
I thought Mark Zuckerberg's mentor's name was spelled "Beelzebub."
Yes, I'll be glad to give a screenshot of my driver's license to "Bongo International." Sounds as buttoned-down as the Bank of England.
Everyone have a great Friday. I hope today's links touched your soul more than you body!
Thursday, February 15. 2018
For powerlifting and related high-resistance exercises, we tend to alternate between higher (10) rep days and lower (5-6) rep days. Obviously, the number of reps reflects the max weights that we can do at those reps. 10 reps means you can't do 11 with good form.
Of course, over time you keep upping the weights.
Our format is to do a light warm-up with the specific exercise, then only four-five working sets. And that's it for my weekly deadlifts, for example. A younger person could do more each week (like twice), but there is a time consideration too.
Our typical weight exercises are below the fold -
Continue reading "Weights: 5- rep and 10-rep days"
The endurance of teeth has to do with genetics, diet, hygiene, and injuries. Due to bad luck, I have ended up with a fine (expensive) bridge which is anchored in (expensive) implants. After all, nobody wants to look like they come from England.
The question du jour is this: What do you do about dental hygiene?
- Once daily or twice? Or, God forbid, after every meal?
From the article:
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:40 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
h/t American Digest
Try searching on the Internet for information about Thor. Good luck if you're not interested in comic book movies. The Internet is a million miles wide and 1/16" deep, and it's turtles all the way down. References to Thor, the actual Norse god of thunder, are an afterthought. The actual Thor, not the wisecracking Australian guy, seems like he was pretty important back in the day. When a day of the week is named after you, you matter.
I'm always fascinated to see who matters on the Internet, because I wandered the Earth before it existed. The Internet likes all kinds of people who seemed half a joke in their heyday to me. I think it's a totally ingrained fetish for pointless contrariness. It's a Howard Zinn world, and whatever you trot out, there must be a cranky alternative we can decide to like instead. That's why the Internet loves Tesla, a weird, mostly useless crank, and hates Edison. The daily Google Doodles are always nobodies that somebody has decided to exalt in place of people who accomplished a lot. I prefer the real deals. I have no interest in a movie about comic book Thor. The original article was interesting enough.
Speaking of original articles, How about Jack Kilby? Who's that you say? Oh, he's not Internet-famous enough to get welfare queens like Elon Musk to name their subsidized cars after him. He just more or less invented the integrated circuit by himself in 1958:
Almost all of the truly useful things in the world are invented by invented by guys like Kilby, not Tony Stark wannabes. They bring lunch to work in a paper bag, wear short sleeve shirts and clip-on ties with their J. C. Penney suits, and have ink stains on their shirt pockets. The Internet's not interested in them. Then again, the Internet isn't all that useful, so it's foolish to think a Facebook world would be interested in a real god, when a comic book god is available.
On to today's links:
The Gallivans don't sound like Internet people. The Free Sh*t Army wouldn't have asked for the packages to be stopped.
It's interesting that post-WWII Hungary didn't bother to collect taxes, because the money was devaluing so fast. They just printed some more and spent it. Stop me when I say something that sounds unfamiliar.
I'm a grown man, more or less. Like I said, I don't have heroes, or go to comic book movies looking for them. But Adam and Shivaun will do in a pinch if you put a gun to my head. Slaying dragons that desolate the landscape and sleep on mountains of gold still cuts some ice with me.
The Soviet Union used to announce they were lightening up every once in a while. Perestroika, tovarish! After a few months of letting you vent your spleen at the party meetings, they'd say, "Never mind," and anyone who opened their yap would be mining gold in Siberia with their bare hands for twenty years. Giving a recruiter access to your social media accounts is about the same idea.
I'm so old I remember when "scientists" warned us that living near power lines would give us cancer, but major roads giving us dementia is almost as good. Of course since next-to-no-one lives far away from power lines or major roads, your study can be bent, folded, or mutilated to suit any agenda.
Yeah, but at least your computer is finally doing something productive. I say leave it.
For $2,500 I'll promise to never work there in the first place.
Breakfast options and alcohol? That's a redundancy at my house.
I think there are still four or five days on the Millennial's calendar that aren't Halloween, but I wouldn't bet on it.
What's for dinner tonight, mom? Cling peaches in heavy syrup, creamed corn, and cranberry sauce with indentations from the can. You know, same as last night.
Well, that's it for today. Have a great Thor's Day! Look out for Saint Boniface, though.
Wednesday, February 14. 2018
The 25 Principles for Adult Behavior: John Perry Barlow Creates a List of Wise Rules to Live By
Among other things, the cowboy wrote these songs for the Grateful Dead
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:27 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
The universality and popularity of general fitness programs is partly because they have nothing to do with physical talent.
Your genetics do determine many of your physical capabilities at advanced levels, but rarely at ordinary levels. Short people can be fine basketball players, for example - but not at a college level. Long-limbed people can do good bench presses and deadlifts, although not as readily as compact people. Everybody can run, swim, and do bench presses. Most people are physically effective but not blessed with special talents. That is why general fitness is popular - anybody can engage in it.
Besides your physique/physical structure, genes determine your ratio of fast-twitch to slow-twitch muscle fibers, your neuromuscular connections, your brain-neuromuscular responses, eye-hand coordination, your aggressiveness and energy, lung volume, etc.
Not to mention non-genetic factors like drive, training, and practice.
The point I wish to make is that, as with musical talent or intellectual horsepower, everybody has a level at which they can best perform, and few people ever reach those levels. In fitness, your only competitor needs to be yourself from last month.
Of course, we all have varying degrees of competitiveness, but that should never be any obstacle. Not one of our readers will play in the NFL, the NBA, or in the US Open. Or, for that matter, perform in the NYC Ballet.
My advice, to be able to engage in the fullness of life, is to get out and move hard every day with weights, calisthenics, cardio, etc - and to do a lousy job of it if need be because there are no grades. Giving it your all is all that is required.
“One is never wounded by the love one gives, only by the love one expects.”
Here we go - planning a Maggie's Farm Urban Hike is a great Valentine's Day conversation for your spouse, significant other, or someone you'd like to impress. It's time for the first glimpse of the 4th Annual Urban Hike Itinerary. As we ate pizza last year outside of Chelsea Market, there was a general consensus that we needed to see the sights a girl can see from Brooklyn Heights. As you know, there's nothing in Brooklyn aside from a bridge, some heights, and possibly Patty Duke's identical twin cousin. And for those of you into bad 1970's B movies, The Warriors. Fuhgeddaboudit. Leave the gun, take the cannoli (Clemenza's house is in Gravesend, Brooklyn, but Paulie was probably killed in NJ since we see the back of the Statue of Liberty).
As usual, all are invited and welcome. I expect this may be our most well-attended hike yet. Last year I was surprised to learn one couple was from my hometown (hope we see you again), while yet another travels quite a distance from the MidWest just to share a few hours with us. They've attended the last two, and I hope we see them again, as well (my wife and I speak about your wandering ways often). A number of people in my office heard about last year's hike and asked me to inform them about this upcoming one.
Last year we were all dazzled by the 'secret lair' of the Manhattan Contrarian (my wife is still gushing). I suspect we'll be equally dazzled by some new sights this year. So feel free to add comments, observations, or suggestions. Even if you're not plannning on joining us (please join!), but you have suggestions, we'll welcome them if they fit into the time span/distance. We encourage additions, we encourage any additional commentary during the walk which you find useful (last year we even managed to glom on to a professional tour at one location). This is all about knowledge sharing.
The current plan is to start in Manhattan, possibly at a Dunkin' Donuts on Fulton, by Gold, about 3 blocks from the Brooklyn Bridge. We'll walk over the bridge, then head north to Dumbo, east to Vinegar Hill, the Navy Yard, and Admiral's Row. We'll then double back to the Heights where we'll take a look at Roebling's apartment (I think I've got the right address - 110 Columbia Heights at Orange and Pineapple), a brownstone that isn't a brownstone, the Atlantic Avenue tunnel, the original Abraham & Straus (a New York thing, A&S was an iconic store), the Wyckoff Street Mosaic, Gowanus Ballroom, the Gowanus Canal, the Red Hook Warehouse and the Red Hook Grain Terminal. Some other places of note where there may be stops include 299 Sands St (King's County Distillery - but it's early in the hike so maybe not), 141 Lawrence (Circa Brewing), Cacao Prieto (chocolates!), Prospect Park (a bit of a stretch, but we'll see), 195 Centre St (Other Half Brewing), 40 Van Dyke (Sixpoint Brewing), and 218 Conover (Widow Jane's Distillery - great bourbon).
Hello everybody. Roger de Hauteville here, King of Sicily. Bird Dog has asked me to sit in for him while he's away at a retreat. It's not exactly summer camp. He's in a 12-step program for toxic masculinity. He's been leaving puddles of masculinity on the floor here and there, and his minders have decided it's got to stop. So you're stuck with me again. I was available because I'm on a forced hiatus from my job, too. Damn HR harpy got me in hot water with the shareholders. She secretly recorded a marketing meeting I called. Total entrapment, in my estimation. I'll let you be the judge:
See? This is why American industry is falling behind the rest of the world. No respect for old fashioned quality control.
On to today's links!
I guarantee the wedding T-shirts all come in XXXL
For the sane reader who's avoided Snapchat's charms, a "Streak" is an endless stream of pointless, ephemeral messages sent between two instant message accounts. They give you a little gold star if you keep it going for 3+ days. Pavlov was born too soon, I guess.
Remember, if you want to test this theory, don't test it on animals if the HR lady is looking.
I didn't think this was possible. Apparently, you can rent a car with cash, too. The smart traveler always relies on carjacking only as a last resort.
They wouldn't have debated an invitation to golf with Donald Trump.
Now all you have to do to nullify your marriage is let your Snapchat Streak lapse.
Mr. President, we must not allow a radioactive harbor gap!
Do they have styrofoam classical columns for rent, too? Those things work great. You can pay for them with untraceable foreign credit card payments, too.
Further down the page there's a similar headline: New Macrobiotic family discovered in Whole Foods.
It's probably part of an ancient tradition that continues to this day. You make a pilgrimage to the shrine that holds the triptych with the sacred runes of plenty scrawled all over it. There are fantastic, indecipherable signs everywhere. You beg the totem for succor, and then while you're fumbling for a sacrificial offering, a disembodied, sonorous, god-like voice booms: Do you want fries with that?
That's nothing. Over 70 percent of Gen X-ers said they'd be willing to have their heads pounded onto a stake in a Swedish lakebottom for six months of free Netflix.
Have a great Wednesday, everybody!
Tuesday, February 13. 2018
What is higher ed for? It's used for all sorts of things, including credentialing, career training, adulthood-avoidance, beer-drinking, mating, social and networking opportunities, life-enrichment, a foundation for lifetime learning, etc. etc. From a purely career standpoint, there is no doubt that the first job somebody gets after higher ed can be the most important in career trajectory regardless of the school, major, or grades. Changing trajectory can be done, but it is more difficult if the first rung of the ladder is low.
Caplan is the author of The Case against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money. I suspect that Bryan Caplan had a fine higher education.
How often do you feel "bursting with physical energy"? It's a wonderful feeling. We see it in kids all the time. They have to run, have to move, have to dance, have to climb, can't sit still. It's hard to know what it's about, though.
Feeling as energetic as a 7 year-old, with that need for physical activity, is rare in those over 30. A sedentary lifestyle (roughly defined as less than 6-8 hours of exertion/week - not including walking unless elderly) is a mental habit rather than a measure of any sort of true physical "energy." Energy, however, accrues to the energetic even though we will never be 7 again.
I make distinctions between these biological and psychological things:
1. The drive, need, and desire for challenging physical activity that derives from high fitness (Get Up and Go is a result of fitness + attitude),
OK, so subjective "energy" is not mainly related to actual physical "energy". Same word, different things. #3 is of most interest to me even though it has nothing to do with how much Get Up and Go you feel when you wake up in the morning. I have a strong bias in favor of those with that Go Go attitude regardless of age or physical conditioning.
Energy details below the fold -
Continue reading "Energy and exercise"
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:44 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Why Tarantino sucks
Scientists Unearth Hope for New Antibiotics - Researchers identified new compounds by sifting through genetic material from soil samples
If gender is a social construct, how can gender identity be innate and immutable?
Earth to NBC: Russians did not change one vote in 2016 - CNN just lost its Fake News crown to NBC. Its effort to win the gold has been Olympic this month.
George Soros hits back at 'toxic, personal criticism' and defends donation to anti-Brexit campaign
The US is selling oil to the Middle East
Kimball: Our New Secessionists
MSNBC Host Isn't Sure If She's Out Of Touch After Getting Filleted Over Bonus Remarks
Unhinged Conspiracy Theorists: Leftwing Professor Lawrence Tribe Floats Theory that a Carter Page Associate Was Murdered in an Engineered Plane Crash, Then Deletes His Noxious Tweet
Dem Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: My Constituents Outside New York City Are “Wrong” And “Racist” About Guns And Immigration…
Trump Starts Year Two In a Far Better Position Than Democrats Imagined
Anchors Await - The Navy is failing at its most basic responsibilities.
Low Recruit Discipline Prompts Army to Redesign Basic Training
IDF shows Iran and Syria it’s serious about Israel’s security
Monday, February 12. 2018