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, May 20. 2017
A new shade of blue
More on that dinosaur fossil
What Changed The Green Sahara Into A Desert?
Graphic Novels Are Trending in English Departments
"Graphic novels" is an academic term for comic books. Next, coloring books. Re "graphic novels," I did read Maus. I recommend it, but not as literature. Same with Ros Chast's Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir
Swallow a single balloon, lose 34 pounds
Tampons in Men’s Rooms? It’s Just a Small Part of ‘Menstrual Equity’
Not cool. I mean like totally uncool. Sheesh. Condoms might make sense.
Hava Nagila’s Long, Strange Trip - The unlikely history of a Hasidic melody.
UK Government Moves Aggressively To Censor & Control The Internet
Extremely creepy. 1984.
Connecticut, the wealthiest U.S. state, may be tapped out on taxing the rich
Chanel's $1,325 boomerang condemned as 'cultural appropriation'
I am completely in favor of cultural appropriation - including boomerangs. Also, hot peppers (stolen from Mexico)
The NYT: LOOMING FLOODS, THREATENED CITIES
Scared yet? If so, stop driving and stop heating your house.
California Governor Brown imposing massive regulations for meaningless climate goals
Authoritarian Moonbattery in Action: Cuomo’s Closing of Indian Point
"Evil Eyes" Cuomo destroying his state one step at a time
Harvard Study Reveals Huge Extent of Anti-Trump Media Bias
Trump Officials: ‘He Looks More and More Like a Complete Moron’
McArdle: Trump unfit for office
As Leaks Pile Up, It’s Evident Trump Is Under Attack From His Own Staff
From Legal Insurrection:
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What Changed The Green Sahara Into A Desert? ... Most scientists believe the Sahara dried up due to a change in the Earth’s orbit, which affects solar insolation, or the amount of electromagnetic energy the Earth receives from the Sun.
What will those crazy climate scientists come up with next!?]
The global warming scientists like Al “massage parlor” Gore claim that unless they are given 13 trillion dollars, global government control, and the shutdown of automobiles, cowfarts, oil, homeheating and breathing out our own CO2, the polar caps will melt to kill the cute polar bears, the seas will rise to the base of Mt. Everest and palm trees will grow in Antartica to displace the cute penguins .
Here’s an alternative. There is a vast depression well below sea level in Northern Africa. A century ago it ws proposed to divert part of the Nile flooding to this depression to create a vast lake and oasis. More recently, running Mediteranean salt water into this depression was proposed for hydroelectric power. Either way, the temperature of this region would be greatly reduced, atmospheric water increased to induce rain, and the area would be restored to lush greenery as it was in the past. The Sahara would return to a tropical paradise. Valuable realestate created for the political crooks. A mideast with something to do other than pump oil and migrate elsewhere. The sea level would go down. No fascist world government needed. Al “I’ll make billions in my carbon trade business” Gore won’t get his billions. We won't have to spend any more money funding "Climate Scientists".
Periodically (on a scale of tens of thousands of years) the monsoons from the indian ocean make it to the Sahara. This capability would be induced by a "Great Lake” and surrounding greenery. Viola, problem solved!!
Similarly, Australia is a vast desert. The Western mountains block rain to the middle, which is too hot without greenery to induce rain from what moisture does get past. Pumping water across the mountains to the interior would also induce greenery, cooling, more rain, and “climate change” for the vast continent of Australia, which would cool the earth. Problem solved.
Large amounts of water are routinely transported large distances (eg, California). Projects possible a century ago can more easily be done now.
"unless they are given 13 trillion dollars, global government control"
That's all you needed to say - the Left isn't looking for solutions.
Goats Zach, goats. The Arabs brought in goats, the goats ate the vegetation, no more vegetation to take CO² out and pump water into the atmosphere, then things dried up, big time. That's one of the theories we aero-scientists cooked up back in the '50s flying low and slow across the Sahara, usually at night. Things get real squirrelly when you spend countless hours flying across a black desert in the black of night.
BillhH: The Arabs brought in goats, the goats ate the vegetation, no more vegetation to take CO² out and pump water into the atmosphere, then things dried up, big time.
The Arab expansion beyond the Middle East didn't occur until the Islamic conquests. It's possible that humans indigenous to the area aggravated desertification, but the drying of the Sahara was going to occur regardless due to macro-climatic changes.
Uh Zach, we were youngish aircrews hauling cargo around NA and the ME. We relieved inflight boredom by coming up with cockamamie stuff like the goat theory. Only someone like you would react to it seriously, especially 65 years later.
BillH: We relieved inflight boredom by coming up with cockamamie stuff like the goat theory. Only someone like you would react to it seriously, especially 65 years later.
Overgrazing is a known factor of desertification. Goats, in particular, can contribute to the problem because they tear plants out from the roots, unlike many other grazers that shear only the tops of the plants. This is a major issue today in Mongolia, wheregoats raised for cashmere have become more prevalent, which, along with the warming climate, is leading to the expansion of the Gobi Desert.
As for the Sahara, changes in the Earth's orbit is considered the primary cause of its desertification.
Zach, I can't decide whether you're Charlie Brown's Lucy spectre, Dennis' Margaret spectre, or the bloviating old guy in The Wrong Box. Maybe just a bot that's been programmed to mimic those niggling characters.
"Most scientists believe the Sahara dried up due to a change in the Earth’s orbit..."
How very unscientific that sounds. Why, it's almost as if they took their scientific reasoning to be an article of, er, faith.
JJM: How very unscientific that sounds.
From context, it's clear "believe" is referring to a tentative scientific opinion.
Sam L: Sooooooooooooooooooooo, it's a hypothesis.
A hypothesis with significant scientific support.
Looks like what they came up with is another controversy.
Or as they call it, "settled science."
Read the Canadian "cultural appropreation" shtick. A lot of words and I still have no idea what they were going on about. Can anyone provide some insight into that gibberish? What was the problem?
It would be culturally inappropriate to even talk about it. Besides I'm not sure you can discuss indigenous issues in English and as a white person I cannot speak in their language as that would be cultural appropriation (although I cannot understand why those who say they are indigenous people can wear clothes and speak English never mind publish in a magazine?).
The rules of cultural appropriation are:
1. Only white people can appropriate another's culture.
2. Even if a non-white appropriates another's culture they cannot be accused of cultural appropriation as that would be racist.
3. When in doubt, shout cultural appropriation because once accused the white person is guilty and must be fired.
4. If confronted by people with logic and common sense scream, cry, demand a safe space, use violence and report them to the ACLU and the SPLC.
Not even I can help. And I'm Canadian.
As one of my sainted great aunts would have said when confronted with such inanities: "Jesus, Mary and Joseph, give me strength."
Oh, and unless you're Catholic, don't ever use that expression.
That would be cultural appropriation of course.
(But seriously, this is just nonsense on an epic scale.)
With respect to the dinosaur, two questions:
1. How do they know that it died in a river-bed and was subsequently swept out to sea?
2. How does such a large creature become so perfectly preserved if the estimated mean rate of sediment deposition throughout palaentological 'history' is estimated to be 0.2 millimetres per year?
The guess is died in a river, washed to the sea maybe in a flood, buried in enough sediment to protect the body. An unlikely occurrence. Wonderful.
DeGaulle: 1. How do they know that it died in a river-bed and was subsequently swept out to sea?
It's speculation, but the fossil was found in what was then a seabed. It apparently floated out to sea, then when the internal gases burst, fell quickly to the bottom where it left an impact crater, kicking up enough material to be buried. It didn't fossilize in the normal fashion with the bone material being replaced by stone, but was preserved through a process called concretion where the encasing rock formed a tomb.
About cultural appropriation: I can recommend a 2005 history, "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World." Apparently the Mongols did an amazing jobs of cross-fertilizing cultural traditions from East Asia to Europe. It all lasted for only a century or so before the Plague tore everything to bits, but it had a lasting impact: international secular law, religious tolerance, paper money, and the spread of an array of food and textile crops between East and West.
When I was quite young, perhaps about 1950, some friends and I were playing football in a friends yard. Suddenly one of the friends yelled "what is that" pointing to a second floor window. I looked up and didn't really know what I was seeing but it was my friends older Down's syndrome brother. This incident caused my friend some anguish and he began to cry and went into the house. Because back then they hid down's syndrome children away. I do not remember seeing another down's syndrome person again for literally years and years.
Now it is common to see Down's syndrome children and adults. Many function well in society and some not as well. Overall the better understanding of this issue and the greater acceptance by society has made it easier for parents and the Down's Syndrome children and adults.
Calculus and higher mathematics, and engineering are the culture of old white Western Civilization males. It should be illegal cultural appropriation for any other "culture" to adopt these products of evil colonialism. Semiconductors, electronics, organic chemistry, manufacturing and mass production, modern farming are also evil products of Western Culture which should be prohibited from adoption. Also, the English, French, German, Italian, Spanish languages, printing presses, electric motors, TV, gas/diesel engines, constitutional government, women's suffrage, modern medicine, etc. should be banned from use by all other (much more worthy) cultures.
"'Graphic novels' is an academic term for comic books. Next, coloring books."
I have to agree. I've been a fan of bandes dessinées since I was a kid. Les Aventures de Tintin is still the best.
But - mille millions de sabords! - comic books are not literature and never will be.
Oh my! I made a substantial investment in Classic comic books as a yout and evidently all for naught.
"She had a Down Syndrome baby."
Thanks for this. Very moving.
God bless that Mum.
Maus is amazing. Art Spiegelman is a fantastic writer and illustrator. Definitely read it if you have the chance!
National Geographic has created a 3D version of Zuul, I mean the nodosaur:
re Survey: 60% of Millennials Don't Believe in Right and Wrong
If there is no right or wrong then there is no need for rules, yes?
If there is nothing wrong with murder, rape, theft, fraud, etc, then there is no need for a legal system and prisons is there?
Furthermore there would be no need for a bureaucracy to enforce rules on the rest of us if polluting, speeding and letting junk cars sit in our weed grown front yard is not wrong, yes?
So is this just poorly thought out on the part of millenials or do they favor total anarchy? Or am I missing something?
The millenials aren't thinking past their own selfish selves. Since they aren't reproducing, they don't care about their heritage, and leaving the world better than they found it. It's more important to them to have freedom without responsibility, than ignore their lives' impact on others. In short, they don't know how to love.
Why the animosity toward comic books? :-(
I'd rather read Chris Claremont, Brian Michael Bendis or Gail Simone, than Poe or even Twain.
(And Maus blows)
As to the "new blue," artists are not going to be lining up for this stuff considering the cost and the fact that a reasonable equivalent can be mixed with what is already on most of our palettes.
Menstrual equity, you've got to be kidding! And this from the bastions of higher education no less. The only men who are menstruating are women dressed up like men. Lets be honest here, Caitlyn Jenner has never had a period in her life. If she is walking around with tampons it is only to add to her costuming.
And to think that people actually pay to send their children to these indoctrination factories we call higher education. Just when you think you've heard it all. Idiocracy! What's next jock straps for everyone?
This map shows what white Europeans associate with race – and it makes for uncomfortable reading
"Trump officials" would not call Trump a moron. I would hope regular everyday people can sniff out a fake news story pretty easily. Would Democrats who still have government jobs say this? Absolutely.
Considering the high percentage of Democrats in federal government jobs, it is no surprise to me that these types of stories keep appearing. They HATE Trump. They want nothing to do with draining their swamp...as they rely on the swamp.
I'd be surprised if we WEREN'T hearing stories like this, to be honest.
Trump is no moron. You don't build a billion-dollar company being a moron. If morons could do that, we'd have a LOT more billionaires.
Just because you don't like someone's politics is not a reason to act like a bully, call people names, refuse to even consider their ideas. That is call snobbery. I'm tired of it and so is most of America.