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, October 22. 2018
Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard and guitarist Sharon Isbin collaborate on Manuel de Falla’s Polo from Seven Popular Songs.
“Last night, I was sitting on the sofa watching TV, when I heard my wife in the kitchen ask: ‘What would you like for dinner, sweetheart: chicken, beef or lamb?’”
“I think I’d like chicken, dear,” I replied.
“You’re having soup, numbnuts. I was talking to the dog.”
Prof. Gelernter: "For now, though, the left’s only issue is “We hate Trump.” This is an instructive hatred, because what the left hates about Donald Trump is precisely what it hates about America. The implications are important, and painful..."
Advice from Our Food Critic: If I Have One Day in New York, Where Should I Eat?
I pulled a 1,500-year-old sword out of a lake
Paul Simon: Fathers, Sons, Troubled Water
How much do you remember about the miracle of photosynthesis?
Striking photos of human scars on earth
Americans Strongly Dislike PC Culture - Youth isn’t a good proxy for support of political correctness, and race isn’t either.
The more equal women and men are, the less they want the same things, study finds
What Do You Do When You Are Anonymously Accused of Rape? The writer Stephen Elliott is suing Moira Donegan, the creator of the Media Men list.
How Manhattan Became a Rich Ghost Town - New York’s empty storefronts are a dark omen for the future of cities.
The Japanese Man Who Saved 6,000 Jews With His Handwriting - What the astonishing Chiune Sugihara teaches us about moral heroism.
South Carolina convicts 'blackmail soldiers in sexting scheme'
Old Interview With Heavy-Drinking ‘Thug’ Obama Puts Wild-Man Brett Kavanaugh To Shame
Everyone Is Smart Except Trump
Kanye West’s White House Rant Steals Trump’s Spotlight
KKL: Incendiary balloons caused environmental disaster
Pentagon faces 'mounting challenges' protecting its weapons programs from cyberattacks, audit reveals
Travesty of Palestinian education
Sunday, October 21. 2018
That means Situation Abnormal All F-ed Up. Things generally go OK for us. When I got home, learned my office phone had been out for 12 days. Not good. And more.
If any readers care, when I get reorganized here I will post some photos from my reconstituted HQ and after a semi-catastrophic (4 days in Italian government hospital for Mrs. BD, but then 6 days buzzing all around the environs of southern Tuscany with our great VW were pretty fun using an elegant villa in the countryside outside Montepulciano as our base). Good food, still lost 5 lbs which I did not need to lose.
It's a long story, but, in brief, due to the accidental stay in the hospital in Ostia, we made a wonderful new friend of a lovely young Slovenian gal who speaks 8 languages fluently, I got to spend 5 hours wandering around Ostia Antiqua, spent a day on the Lido in Ostia, and hopped the train to spend a day urban-hiking Rome which reminded me of how much I dislike that city. I can say that 5 days in an ordinary Italian suburb, no tourists, was a cultural education than few if any Americans could get. I was an alien.
Also learned that I need to update my Civil War-era iphone.
A lengthy interview with many good moments. Listen while cleaning a closet or something. It will save you the trouble of reading their book. Peterson does the interview but he properly keeps himself out of it and lets them talk.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:20 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
3:2 For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle.
3:3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies.
3:4 Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.
3:5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire!
:6 And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell.
3:7 For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species,
3:8 but no one can tame the tongue--a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
3:9 With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God.
3:10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so.
3:11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water?
3:12 Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.
Saturday, October 20. 2018
Hvorostofsky (RIP) and Netrebko
Dec. 14, 1799. Acute epiglottitis, easily cured today. The excruciating final hours of President George Washington
Usually, when we speak of financial news, we're referring to central bank machinations and Wall Street piracy and great big old honking government budget contortions and hedge fund rapacity and interest rate shenanigans and so forth. That's great, because talking about the monetary policy of your next door neighbors on the evening news could get boring. "Well, Stefanie, we see a period of instability in cross-border money transfers for the foreseeable future. Ms. Howard maxed out the Discover card on those super-cute Louboutins I was telling you about during the break, and Mr. Howard, oh dear, has been to the strip club again, so I don't see them going to Sandals this winter. Now the weather..."
Well, I don't have time to scrape all your data from your Facebook pages to see how your personal finances are going, so going personal in the financial news isn't practical for me. And I would never peek in your windows to see how you're doing, but hey Ted, you should really tell your wife to stop undressing in front of the home security camera with the default password still on it. No reason. But let's at least take a Saturday look around the internet to see how we're doing in general, shall we?
My household has shrunk, too. My wife keeps wallpapering and the walls are getting closer.
Oh dear. No ready meals in Ireland. This sounds vaguely familiar. The company was obviously poorly run, though. Look, they made a profit one year. Any Musk could tell you that's not how to run a company.
I don't see the problem. They wanted a non-profit, and that's what they got.
Gratitude? For adolescents, Halloween now lasts for three months, while Thanksgiving consists of texting all day while your stepfather watches football and your mother orders takeout Chinese. Do the math.
Hmm. This article is unconcerned about HealthCare.gov data collection and an ensuing security breach, but doesn't like the timing of the announcement. Oh, and one of the squeegee buckets at the Sheetz is nearly empty.
I hope the tax money goes to fund $10,000 community art grants to help the homeless open non-profit, small press/artist-run spaces of their own.
If they get evicted, they can always take an Uber to San Francisco and vote for a homeless tax on Lyft.
I once played an Aerosmith record on my mom's stereo the day after my goldfish died. I still feel pretty bad about it.
I had no idea things had gotten this bad. The United States is apparently running out of Patels. Gentlemen, our country can't afford a Patel gap.
Typhus? Oh dear. I hope Prince Albert is OK.
The CEO of Cleveland-Cliffs forgot to mention the lamentations of the Goldman women, but other than that, a fine, Muskish tirade. I bet that shortselling Goldman employee won't be deejaying anytime soon after that verbal beating. In other news, Cleveland-Cliffs Initiates Dividend, Expect More Upside
I hope you have a great Saturday everyone, with very few lamentations around your hopefully typhus-free home!
Dr. Newman with his crooked pince-nez
Friday, October 19. 2018
These of course range from very mild to intense. It is difficult for people to focus on what they intend to do when there is a powerful attraction to a nice person of the opposite sex who is in regular proximity and contact. I have had people say to me "Is there anything you can do to help me get rid of this crush on so and so? It's messing up my workout/job/tennis game, etc."
A colleague and I were talking about this recently, and he (jokingly) suggested that people in that situation should just jump into bed together and eliminate the romantic/sexual tension and eliminate the mystery. "Get it over with. It's just biology." And of course their are rules about these things in the workplace.
In my view, such things are not necessarily a sign that a person is in a lousy relationship. Could be, but humans are designed to experience these things.
If a close friend confesses to you that some guy or gal at work or somewhere else is driving them nuts with desire, what would you say to them? Would you say"Grow up!"?
Friends would like us to join them for the Milford Trek next year, but I am not inclined to travel that far for a good hike.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:52 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
About a year ago our niece had a child. Shortly afterward, my in-laws felt it was time to go meet their great-grandchild. It became a family event. 5 of us flew from various locations to Arizona. We rented a van and took the 8 week old on her first grand family adventure, spending a weekend traveling through Sedona, up to Williams, and riding the Grand Canyon Railroad up to see the big hole in the ground.
A friend of mine recently posted a picture on Facebook of an old church in Europe, commenting "I wish we had old things like this here in the U.S." My tongue-in-cheek reply was "We do! The Grand Canyon is much, much older." In many ways, the Grand Canyon is much more beautiful than a church or any architecture man could devise.
I had never been to the Grand Canyon before. I can't say anything which hasn't already been said about its grandeur. I'll toss in a few pictures of Sedona and the Grand Canyon, but the reality is pictures simply can't capture the immensity and beauty.
We were on the South Rim, about mid-point of the canyon. It's 18 miles across at this location, and the North Rim is higher than the South Rim, so you look 'up' at the far side. Nowadays, there is no private property in the area, except for whatever was grandfathered in when the park was created. At this location, the El Tovar Hotel is right on the rim. We didn't stay, but it is a beautiful hotel if you enjoy the look of rustic West (I do).
The Grand Canyon Railroad is a fun way to get to there, especially if you're a family with kids. You don't get much time at the canyon itself, about 3 1/2 hours. However, you don't have to drive, you get to take in the scenery, the kids interact with cowboys and there is a train robbery on the ride home. It leaves at 9:15 am from Williams, Arizona (the last town bypassed by Interstate 40, and a town chock full of Route 66 memorabilia) and arrives at the canyon around 11:30. A tour guide gives a running commentary as cowboys stroll up and down the train strumming guitars and singing tunes for tips. There are a variety of vistas which are passed. High plains, forest, ranch, and mountains are all part of the two and a half hour trip. We saw elk, antelope, and jackrabbit galore.
I really enjoyed this trip, and there's so much to see I am inspired to return. I doubt I'd do the railroad again, and I'd like to see the canyon from several different places. I'd also like to go down into it, which I didn't have time to do. Always leave something for the next time. That's pretty much my motto when I travel.
Continue reading "The Grand Canyon"
The left has a pantheon of go-to authorities for this and that that I find amusing. In any setting where real work is performed, these dangerous intellectuals would be getting everyone else coffee, and getting the coffee order wrong, too. They'd be unable to give you correct change for their encore. The media takes the easy out, every time, by selecting someone from this Mount Rushmore of lamebrain notoriety to opine on the issues of the day, be it Krugman, or Bill Nye, or the knucklehead with the vendetta against Pluto, I forget his name. You know all their names if you watch TV. They once asked Krugman, the king of this empire of ill-formed opinion, what he thought of the internet. That's an accurate quote from the guy.
It's a ridiculous opinion, which is his stock in trade, I gather. It gets floated endlessly across the internet, and I saw it all over the place this week while looking for Maggie's Farm links. This opinion held him up to ridicule so badly that he got internet fellow travelers like the Snopes dissemblers to explain that he was just joking, or stirring the pot, or performing a thought experiment that the uncool couldn't grok. In short, he admitted he was wrong, without admitting he was wrong, of course.
Look, I'm not arguing that Paul Krugman isn't a rantipole, addlepated, intellectually stunted jerkwad hack, or that his mother doesn't dress him funny. I'll leave that to others. What I'm saying is that it's funny that he disowned this comment, because it's the only time he was on the right track with his opinions. The quote gets posted on the internet as prima facie evidence that Krugman is a fool, as if no further exposition is necessary. That's because the average internaut has no idea how profoundly the fax machine, and technology like it, changed the economy.
Posting this little quote is a form of begging the question. No, we don't all know reflexively that fax machines never mattered much, and the internet is everything. I stood in front of a teletype machine taking orders in the past, and slit open envelopes with mail orders from Fortune 500 purchasing agents, so believe you me, I know that fax machines transformed business. Many businesses in many parts of the world still use fax machines today as a primary form of business communication.
Google stole the Yellow Pages, Facebook stole magazine ads, Craigslist took over newspaper classifieds, Amazon got the Sears catalog, and Shopify is just a bunch of Fingerhut catalogs. Most other internet businesses are just unintentional Ponzi schemes who haven't run out of seed money or IPO cash yet. The fax machine soldiers on in the corner. So I say Krugman was almost right, for once in his life, and then immediately disowned his own comment, keeping his batting average at a thousand.
On to the links!
A charming story, but no, it doesn't make you the Queen. The guy you handed the sword to, however...
Millennials will go to any lengths to avoid admitting that they're wrong about anything, including cubicles, which were a fine way to balance privacy and office camaraderie.
I'm not sure if I'll trust this to replace streetlights until Paul Krugman weighs in.
What is it with these phlegmatic Finns? What is it with these female writers and parentheses?
There are parentheses inside of other parentheses in this article. What is it with these male writers always trying to one-up the girls? Oh, and that balance sheet is a mess, so I bet Krugman would love it.
Paul Krugman's head will explode while trying to explain this news while still blaming both Donald Trump and Brexit for all the world's ills.
Maybe abject discrimination against males of the species can produce another Ginni Rometty!
As usual, women, minorities, and Paul Krugman hardest hit.
Well, everyone at the FBI and the CIA is too busy ghostwriting articles at the New York Times to get any work done, so they had to sub it out.
Please notice that Fermi followers never circle back to question their begged question: If aliens are so likely... Says who?
That's funny. The internet shopping experience that replaced mail order catalogs lets advertisers discriminate by age, sex, and race when they decide who will see their ads. In order to promote racial equality, I demand that we immediately replace internet shopping with mail order catalogs and fax machine ordering. Who's with me? Besides Krugman, I mean.
Now fax in your comments, and have a great Friday!
Thursday, October 18. 2018
They’re a two-billion-dollar industry. But are assessments like the Myers-Briggs more self-help than science?
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:35 | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)
For some reason, New York is upset that it pays 30% more, per capita, in taxes than the average state. Well, I'm from New Jersey and we pay slightly more than New York. New York is upset that it gets back much less than it pays out. Again, I'm from New Jersey and we get even less back.
New York is a big state, and a relatively wealthy one. New Jersey is wealthier. I figure we have more to be upset about.
Continue reading "Getting Something Back"
In the November Commentary:
Theirs is not an effort to raise boys into men who can integrate into a kinder, gentler future economy of helping professions and easily expressed feelings. It is an effort to overcome maleness itself. And it is an admission of failure, because when boys fail to grow into civilized men, everyone suffers, just as they do when women are denied equal opportunity. The answer isn’t reeducation in radical feminist notions of men’s innately violent natures. It’s raising boys and girls to treat one another with respect and to uphold gender-free values such as the presumption of innocence and due process and equal opportunity. Civil society relies on due process not only because it’s an objective good (though it is). Everyone should embrace both due process and the presumption of innocence because everyone might need these themselves one day, regardless of his or her gender.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:24 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
A long read but somewhat interesting. It makes one major error early: "Few people persist [in]doing actions that are obviously harmful ..." This assumes facts not in evidence, your honor. And your grammar is subtly atrocious.
Ah, the internet. You can be Amish, or you can be famous. Take your pick.
It's a testament to the mindset that this announcement is proffered like it's earthshaking news.
I filed this one under: If only Comrade Stalin knew!
Who are we to argue with a generation of balding toddlers who want to ride in the back seat while playing with their speak and spell long after mom's kicked the can?
It's almost like the President is pro-American or something. It confuses a lot of people. Not used to it.
These are always described as "sophisticated" scams. They're not. Telling a dullard clerk to click on stuff that looks vaguely like a bill is hardly Ocean's Eleven.
Thornton Mellon says been there, done that, got the T-shirt.
Alternate title: Three millennial women wonder aloud why Poland doesn't just do whatever Germany wants it to. Yeah, it's a mystery, gals.
Unfortunate choice of words there, Katanga. Anyway, can anyone recall some problem that appeared in 2008, that's not extant now? I'm drawing a blank, but something has changed. It's a mystery.
They got all that stuff from the military because Hollywood wasn't unanimously anti-American yet.
Why, this almost sounds like a church making a political, not an ecclesiastical decision. Does Putin want to behead a couple of wives or something?
Have a great Thursday, everyone!
Wednesday, October 17. 2018
Barber wrote this for Browning
Mrs. BD is planning a trip to Normandy with her Dad. She has already signed up a well-respected Brit guide who will drive them all around.
Flight to Paris, train to Normandy, guide pick-up at train and ride to their (first floor) rooms at a chateau. The old guy is not great with stairs anymore but what he lacks in agility he makes up with Rugged Determination. 7-day trip, with no doubt great food.
My father-in-law has been a history buff all his life. Always had regrets that he was far too young to get into the Army in WW2. His much elder brother was in the third wave at Omaha Beach, while another brother was stationed at the Bermuda air station for the entire war. Sheesh. Of course, I he had to take crap about that.
The old guy always wanted to tour Normandy, but his Mrs. would never OK it although they did travel everywhere on the planet - entire USA and Canada, Japan, Australia, China, Thailand, Scandinavia, Sicily, all of Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Hawaii, Mexico, Bolivia, India - you name it. Always up for adventure into their 80s.
Besides it having been a final item on his bucket list, Mrs. BD felt it would inspire him to get into better shape after his quadruple bypass, multiple heart attacks, botched back surgeries, protsate cancer, and other medical misadventures not to mention arthiritis, etc. The anticipation has gotten him out walking distances again, and thus far has managed to lose 30 lbs. by eating rationally on my advice. After his PT he gets to his gym every day.
An American story: Second-generation Irish. Shanty Irish. Reluctant HS graduate, worked since age 8 (at first, in bowling alleys as a pin boy), later as A/C repair and the like until got onto the NYPD. Yes, he can be a pretty tough SOB when needed. I have his retired billy club but never used it on my kids. When he got that pension, became an entrepreneur with his Mrs and they built a very successful business together (she had been working on it for years already). They sold it in their 70s with a nice profit.
I do love this youthful old fellow. Love his stories about taking his baby sister to the outhouse in snowstorms in Jersey City, and their summers working on a farm in Spring Lake (NJ). No father (died young), 5 kids, wonderful but poor childhood (His baby sis slept in a dresser drawer), and wonderful successful and adventurous life. And, being Irish, a brilliant and entertaining story-teller so he has always been socially popular. Very much so - he is a fun guy and a great companion. When he was younger, we would go for 10-mile runs and he would try to tell me jokes the whole way while I would try to point out the birds.
I am so pleased with Mrs. BD's plan with him. I am not going. I want them to have this trip together. I think it will be his last international trip. His passport is up to date. God bless him, he still loves chances to get into NYC to see his old haunts and to stop into Irish pubs for a beer or two even if he needs a cane. Some people are just blessed with joie de vivre. Can't keep a good man down.
Strength is the ability to move things which resist moving. Power is the ability to move things (including yourself) with speed and force. For example, bench press and rows are mostly strength exercises. Powerlifts are power exercises: deadlifts, squats, military press, etc. in which bursts of speedy intensity are required.
Where would we categorize pull-ups? I'd say Strength.
We have discussed cardio training at length. The main muscle it trains is the heart muscle. While any difficult exercise stresses the heart, only pure cardio training (HIIT via HIIT calisthenics/ aerobics class or sprinting intervals) gives the heart a specifically strength-building stress.
So what about endurance? If you are somebody who "gets too tired" from non-resistance activities, you have an endurance issue. It is not rare for very strong people to have poor endurance or for high-endurance people to be relatively-weak. We want both strength and endurance. Anything that is high-rep builds endurance but not strength or power: long-slow "cardio", high-rep (10-20) resistance work, calisthenics.
One caveat: Do not ever do high-rep (over 10) deadlift sets. The human body is made for low-rep heavy floor lifting (8 or fewer). If you can do over 8 deads, you need to increase the weight and reduce the reps.
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