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
Thursday, July 21. 2016
40 Percent of the Buildings in Manhattan Could Not Be Built Today
Case of Drone-Mounted Flame Thrower May Test FAA Authority
How Capicola Became Gabagool: The Italian New Jersey Accent, Explained
6 Top Sex Positions And How to Train For Them
The War on Sugar
A New Life for Urban Alleys - Once blighted and overlooked, these small streets are transforming into community and sustainability hotspots.
Do students actually need to know anything?
Fancypants College In Cleveland Offers SAFE SPACE For Students Traumatized By Republican Convention
Black Lives Matter lies force cops from policing to self protection
Liberal GQ Magazine Writer on Mother of Benghazi Victim: ‘I would like to beat her to death’
In a recent commencement speech, Michelle Obama complains she’s got it rough.
A true chronic malcontent
Trump Embarrasses the Old Guard - The Clintons haven't lost to a Republican in 36 years, so why should he listen to the losers?
Why even people who agree with him hate Ted Cruz
Mystery Surrounds Sources of Many Bill Clinton Speaking Fees
Media Ignore Clinton Sex Victims, Salivate Over Ailes Claims
Clinton to Resettle One Million Muslim Migrants During First Term Alone
EU Eyes Israeli Technologies for Spotting Militants Online
Dynamite essay. Our moral and intellectual superiors in Washington have minimal experience of the real world. Donald Trump Is Right About One Thing: Our Experts Know Nothing:
Donald Trump knows at least two things: how to build buildings and how not to double down when something doesn't work.
Wednesday, July 20. 2016
I resist the underlying idea of one-size-fits-all, or even the idea of a tyranny of "best practices." Each patient is unique. Furthermore, most areas of medicine are in constant controversy and dispute, with new ideas always emerging. For one example, the nutritional bureaucracies are about 20 years behind the times.
I have seen plenty of people poorly-served because of fear of rules or of law suits.
I would arbitrarily consider any movement High Rep if you can perform over 10 in a row. With or without weights, any exercise over that begins to fall into the Calisthenics category or the Warm-up category in my book. Sure, anything can feel heavy after a while, but high-rep is a different sort of exercise unless you are a professional.
Thus if you can barely do 6 pull-ups, it's strength-building Resistance. If you can do 20, it's more like Calisthenics. Likewise, 20 body-weight squats are Calisthenics, 4 Barbell squats to failure are Resistance.
It matters because High Rep exertions, even if reaching the breaking point, do not effectively improve strength. A useful thing about High Rep is that they do use your existing strength and help maintain. In other words, good for general fitness. Other examples are Jumping Jacks and Jump Rope which overlap Cardio and Cali categories but do not build strength.
Different sorts of muscle fibers are used. From here:
Getting stronger is mainly about stressing and damaging those fast twitch muscle fibers. You can do High Rep deadlifts all day long and still never be able to lift a 200 lb box of rocks.
Thus the general idea is that, for strength, Low Rep with very heavy (whatever that is for you). For general fitness maintenance, High Rep Calisthenic-type exercise. For overall conditioning, I do both, plus Cardio. Almost everybody can find time for this, especially if you do it at 5 am. Why not?
You can guess first - answer below the fold -
Continue reading "Efficiency in locomotion"
How many dead bodies on the streets of Europe will it take for leftists to realize that we are at war?
What Americans want is government to get out of their way. I might be wrong, but "making America great" still depends on what it used to, which is a culture of self-reliance without government micro-managing, over-taxing, and over-regulating their lives.
Photo: The new Tappan Zee Bridge (on left) under construction. A stunning engineering and construction feat. Drive by and take a look if you're in the area. Also get to see the world's largest floating crane. One of the working cranes fell down on the old span yesterday and remarkably nobody was hurt.
What’s in a Name? Plenty, if It’s a ‘GMO.’
500 elephants relocated in massive man-made African animal migration
Waldorf Astoria Through the Years
The Chinese are turning it into condos, mostly.
Didn't know it was man-made
New Hampshire city police use Pokemon Go to lure fugitives
Is This What You Had in Mind for Retirement? Here’s What Actual Retirees Found Out
Sheesh. Stupid beyond belief.
Obama is not a scientist. JAMA shouldn't pretend he is
Does Brexit Give Us Our Best Chance To Kill Too-Big-To-Fail?
Gov. Kasich: We Want Immigration - Population is Stagnant in Ohio
Maybe people prefer to live elsewhere
The world is taking its revenge against elites. When will America's wake up?
Why conservatives failed to stop Donald Trump
Unappealing candidates, old ideas
How Trumpism hid in plain sight for 15 years
Ten Reasons Why Trump Could Win
Pants suit on fire
Hillary, the Black Lives Matter Candidate - Where racist pandering and cop-hatred meet.
No More - After Nice, let’s stop the nonsense.
French woman and her three daughters stabbed by Moroccan-born man in Alpine resort
Tuesday, July 19. 2016
I think Trump was the only potential winner in that supposedly-deep Repub bench. Cruz would lose in a landslide, Rubio is wet behind the ears, Jeb is a schlub, etc. All true.
Also, Bushism is past: Is the Party Over for Bushism?
First Cicada Week:
Heard my first cicadas of the summer yesterday - just a few, and just for about an hour or two, but these are probably early risers - first emergers from the soil, practicing playing their instruments. Maybe this will be a good year for them.
It means that in a few days we will be hearing the remarkably loud raspy buzzing from the tree-tops on every hot sunny day - the characteristic sound of high summer in New England, until replaced by the more refined Katydid's evening song as late summer comes.
We have both 13-year and 17-year cicadas - that's how long the two species live as larvae underground, sucking on tree roots, before they emerge to mate, breed, and die.
Their life is a metaphor.
Cicadas are edible, but I don't know anyone who eats them regularly except birds who have great sport chasing them when they fly from tree to tree. We often find their empty exoskelatons attached to tree trunks - as they grow, they crawl out of their old coat.
The Problem Is That We Should Not Care About "Democracy", We Should Care About Protection of Individual Rights
Video at Gizmodo
Image stolen from American Digest
The Official Dunkin’ Donuts Power Rankings
The “Cooks vs. Cons” dream: How the Food Network got back in touch with its aspirational roots
Genderism dangers in Connecticut
I think I might be transgender. Now what do I do?
Questions raised about Pentagon’s new sex change manual. Wait… what?
Are Campus Bureaucrats Incapable of Respecting Free Speech?
Ingraham: Why Independence is the New Capitalism - The key issue in 2016 is not whether you trust Trump, but whether you trust yourselves
Prosecutors of officers accused in Freddie Gray death face pressure for disbarment
Obama: Police Can 'Make the Job of Being a Cop a Lot Safer' by Admitting Their Failures
Another Day, Another Allahu Akbar
Muslims Were The Real Victims Of The Nice Terror Attack, The BBC Explains
Hell no, we won’t go: Thousands of Muslim ‘migrants’ in Germany evading deportation
GOP Convention Speakers Trash Trump - They said he's a "con artist," "narcissist," "bully," and "pathological liar" whose candidacy is "a cancer on conservatism."
Mark Zuckerberg’s immigration reform group ramps up its attacks on Donald Trump as the RNC gets under way
How the Clinton Foundation Got Rich off Poor Haitians
Democrats' Education Platform: Pro-Government, Anti–School Choice - Language that was mildly positive toward reform efforts was beaten back by public school activists.
AP Exclusive: Document shows less limits on Iran nuke work
Erdogan Purges 20,000 As Europe Voices Concern Coup Was Staged With "Prepared Arrest Lists"
Europe's Impossible Refugee Math: Brexit Was Mathematical Certainty Eventually
From our place in the Sierras, where we are spending the summer.
Monday, July 18. 2016
Ever tried growing Blueberries?
I have tried any number of times and man, are they picky. I place them on the list of plants that only thrive where they feel like it. If they aren't happy, there ain't nothin you can do about it.
You just have to admit defeat.
Even if you have some modest success, without netting I would lose all of the berries to the Robins and Catbirds.
On the farm where I spent my weekends growing up, wild blueberries grew all along the hayfield edges, reaching out from the woods over the barbed-wire fences. They grew up to 8' high, so every age had his own level to pick. They were so productive that it was no problem sharing with the birds. My Mom took coffee cans, made two holes with a nail and strung a string through them to hang around your neck, and painted our names on them with blue paint spots to indicate "berry can." Those cans hung in the barn for years.
I have seen similar wonderful areas of wild highbush blueberries on Cape Cod, but was never there much during blueberry season. Despite what is said about growing them, the wild bushes seem to like boggy edges, or at least lowlands. There is no doubt that they need acidic soil. Not being a Maine guy except during grouse season, I have no experience with the Lowbush Blueberry.
After a picking, my Mom would always make a Blueberry flat cake with hard sauce. Wow. Such memories. It's too bad there are no wild Blueberries on Maggie's Farm, but there are none.
The Blueberry is not a true fruit. Furthermore, it's in the Rhodadendron family. It's in the (marketing) category of "superfruits" because they are supposed to be "good for you," whatever the heck that means (nothing).
With some new full-sun garden space, I was considering trying again with a row of around 6 Blueberry bushes. Problem is, I want the small dark wild ones that look more black than blue with the intense wild tang, and not the fancy, fat, overly-sweet hybrids that you can get at the store anyway. Plus I don't want to bother with netting.
"Tobacco netting" for berries. Other ways to keep the birds from eating all of your berry crops.
Also, in the NYT, a little story about a family of Scarlet Tanagers - a splendid bird - getting caught under bird netting. The netting has to be very well-secured to the ground unless you want to build a bird trap.
These Tanagers are not rare in Eastern deciduous woodlands, but they aren't seen often because they tend to forage high and quiet. Here's the CLO bit on them.
It is a risky plan. Let the police do what they have to do. And do not talk to them, innocent or not. Obey their commands - period. That's the deal.
A young writer, Karsh Askari, has done a service by writing a blog about his OCD and his treatment for it: The OCD Memoirist
Why Turtles Evolved Shells: It Wasn't for Protection
A Moveable Feast - The Four Seasons leaves the Seagram Building.
How to Knock a Dude Out - Of course, in the name of self-defense.
HOW JEFF BEZOS IS HURTLING TOWARD WORLD DOMINATION
Janet Yellen, in my opinion, is about to make a critical mistake. She is not going to raise rates in July.
Black Lies Matter Arrives in Maine
How’s that ‘libertarian moment’ working out?
Will Congress Claw Back Power from the Regulatory State?
Why you should care that the Diablo Canyon nuke plants are being shut down
No one reading this will live to see the day when America is getting the bulk of its electric from nuclear.
Britain Abolishes Pernicious Department of Energy and Climate Change
Cory Batey sentenced to 15 years in Vanderbilt rape case
How Obama Left Us More Racially Divided Than Ever - If
Sowell: The War on Cops
It's not just Dallas or Baton Rouge — police officers have been killed across the country
Former New Black Panther Leader Malik Shabazz: There Will Be Violence in Cleveland
Good grief: Therapists against Trump
The Goldwater era changed the GOP, so could the Trump nomination
Hinderaker: Why We Must Elect Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton and Personal Honesty
Hillary Clinton’s Greatest ‘Accomplishments,’ Annotated
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney: Climate is a “$7 trillion opportunity”
5 Reasons the US Military Is in Trouble
BLM Activists: Dead ‘White People’ in France Stealing Our Limelight
There are now three options for France: surrender, mass deportation, and mass elimination.
MSNBC’s ‘truck crash’ framing of France terror attack ignites Twitter mockery
Is racism really on the rise in Britain?
Why All The Jihadi Attacks? Why Now?
Surging "Intercommunity Confrontations" In France Mean "Civil War Is Inevitable"
Sunday, July 17. 2016
Vit D is essential to health and to healthy growth, especially bone growth. Almost all of human Vit D is produced by skin in response to UV solar radiation. Animals with fur and feathers produce their own.
In its favor, it seems to help prevent some cancers and heart disease, so it is a good guy.
In the US, Vit D is added to commercial milk to make sure kids get some. About 15-20 minutes/day of unprotected sun seems enough to raise Vit D levels but few people get that daily. Sunbathing nude, of course, makes it quicker. Some of it is stored in fat cells for a while, until it gets used up.
Recent evidence suggests that sunblock does not prevent Vit D production in skin very much. In temperate climates, it's not a bad idea to take oral Vit D. I do, and all of my MD friends do. Few people sunbathe in January around here.
When it comes to sun damage and skin cancers, sunburn seems to be the criminal, not some wholesome sun.
I told you that in Sicily last Spring we had Parsley Pesto (with grilled swordfish) and Pistachio Pesto (with grilled pork), but we never saw a Basil Pesto. They do love their Pistachios in Sicily - they use them with everything. We brought a small, overpriced jar of pistachio pesto home, but it's fairly easy to make.
"Pesto" means something that is pestado - pounded or ground up, as in English "pestle and "paste." Walnut-Parsley is a popular combination. Also, fresh mint pesto. The Cuisinart is what made Pesto easy.
More: Move out the way, basil. Cheese + nuts + olive oil + garlic + whatever the hell you want = awesome pesto.
Do you know where these typical American garden plants originated in their wild forms before being genetically-engineered over millennia by clever humans into the international things we know and grow today?
Answers below the fold
Continue reading "Origins of garden vegetables: A quiz"
My most meaningful encounters with "try" are with physical exertion, mainly exercise. When you hit the wall with an exercise the overwhelming inclination is to stop. However, when somebody says "Give me two more" or "Drive it through" you engage your inner "try." Then mind, nerves, and muscle fully engage together to do something you can't do.
I did check out the etymology, for what it's worth.
10:38 Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.
10:39 She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying.
10:40 But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me."
10:41 But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things;
10:42 there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her."
Saturday, July 16. 2016
From Nice, of course. A charming Riviera town. I would go back there anytime.