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
Friday, October 20. 2017
Should Inclusive Restrooms Really Include Bears?
5 Things to Stop Doing in Your 20s
I'd put video games at the top
THE HUNT FOR THE BRAIN-EATING AMOEBAS OF YELLOWSTONE
Cops arrested a very nice fellow: Florida Man Awarded $37,500 After Cops Mistake Glazed Doughnut Crumbs For Meth
Marijuana devastated Colorado, don’t legalize it nationally
I’LL BELIEVE GLOBAL WARMING IS A CRISIS WHEN THE PEOPLE WHO TELL ME IT’S A CRISIS START TO ACT LIKE IT’S A CRISIS
Trump’s Struggle With The Ethanol Lobby Is Just Beginning
Ethanol is a terrible scam, should be a scandal
College Professor Under Siege for Challenging Transgender Orthodoxy - A petition is circulating at Boise State University to to have tenured professor Scott Yenor fired.
A Failure to Discern: Burns & Novick’s “The Vietnam War” is Bad History - A Review (Part II)*
In a market economy, every job is at risk of being destroyed.
“How can we Democrats appeal to those Jesus-loving, racist idiots who hate science and don’t live on the coast like everyone we know?”
More Honesty from the Left: The Goal Is Big Tax Increases for the Middle Class
Bernie To Americans: "Sure, You'll All Pay More Taxes... But You'll Get More Free Stuff"
The United States Again Fails to Make the Top 10 Freest Countries
Shameful. Incomprehensible, really
The Census Is Worth More Than a Big Mac
Now we know about the Russia deals
Silverglate: How Robert Mueller Tried To Entrap Me
Nearly 800 mental health professionals have joined a coalition asserting that they are so alarmed by Trump’s mental health that they feel a duty to warn the public.
Thursday, October 19. 2017
Fitness Review: Bodybuilding, Athletic Conditioning, Cardio/ Endurance Training, Powerlifting, etc.,
You can be fat and very strong, but unable to hike a mountain vigorously for 6 hours. You can be a fast runner or swimmer but unfit in most ways other than cardio endurance.
To participate to the maximum in all that life offers or demands, we preach a doctrine of "Fitness for Life." This is not training for a specific purpose (ie a specific sport, pure strength, or aesthetics), but just to maintain or, preferably, improve fitness after age 30 or 40 or 50 or whatever for people with relatively sedentary (less than 5 hrs/wk of physically-challenging or strenuous effort - not walking). Balanced, general functional fitness for strength, endurance, and athleticism builds energy, attractiveness and sexuality, effectiveness - and the mental toughness that comes from the discipline of physical training.
First, some terms:
Conditioning, or Athletic Conditioning, usually refers to your overall athletic preparedness. "Conditioning" can focus on retrieving or building your speed, agility, endurance, muscle fitness, body composition, and the like. General conditioning-specific activities, like calisthenics, often just use body weight and some light weights with very high reps (20+), and no rest. Burpees, lunges, box jumps, ball slams, roll-ups, and step-ups are classic conditioning exercises but there are tons of them.
Cardio/endurance training is one compnent of the above. An hour of intense, no-rest calisthenics is powerful and exhausting cardio/endurance training, as is HIIT cardio. If you aren't short of breath, it's not "cardio." (It's not "exercise" either. "Exercise" refers to exertion.) For naturalistic HIIT, a tough tennis lesson where coach runs you ragged, or a basketball game.
Bodybuilding is an approach to balanced muscle improvement. It entails about 5 sets of semi-high reps (8-12) of 50-70% of your max weights, with only a minute rest between sets. Contrary to the sound of it, it's not primarily meant to look good at the beach (but nobody wants to look nasty with lots or all of their clothes off).
Powerlifting is an approach designed to improve brute strength and power. This entails lower reps with higher weights, and more rest between sets. Often, out of shape newbies need a good period of powerlifting before shifting to bodybuilding. Experienced people often alternate between the body-building approach and the powerlift approach every few months to maintain muscle function.
All of the above play a role in general fitness.
I'll review our recommendations for people in half-decent health below the fold. Feel free to offer comments or critiques.
Continue reading "Fitness Review: Bodybuilding, Athletic Conditioning, Cardio/ Endurance Training, Powerlifting, etc.,"
Why More Men Are Becoming Nurses - There's more demand, yes, but as more men have finished high school, more have moved into nursing, a new paper finds
Great Moments In Single-Payer: NHS Proposes Refusal Of Surgeries To Smokers, Overweight
Boom in American natural gas changes world markets
Mission Failure: The Burns & Novick “The Vietnam War” Misses its Target
MADNESS AT REED COLLEGE
"Bias response teams" are literally Thought Police
Leonard Pitts Jr.: Democrats need to move left
Out-of-touch kneeling NFL players are starting to ruin emotional attachment to football
FBI Informant Working on Russian Nuclear Bribery Scheme Was THREATENED by the Obama Administration
Wednesday, October 18. 2017
We have one week to go with this thing. At this point, it's no problem to do 4 sets of 25, but there is no hope of my getting to sets of 50.
Sets of 30 seem like a more realistic goal for me. How is it going for you?
Does exercise worsen heart disease?
What's Actually in a Jar of Nutella?
Deliciousness. In Italy, they have Nutella Pizza
JUST HOW “AFRAID” ARE MUSLIMS AT AMHERST COLLEGE?
Conservatives Strike Back Against ‘Ideological Tidal Wave’ in School District
Your Moral And Intellectual Superiors at the New York Times
CELEBRITIES MAKE IT OFFICIAL: Pick Trump or Us.
TO APPEASE KNEELERS, NFL BACKS LENIENCY FOR FELONS
The real Russia scandal: Collusion: FBI Uncovered Russian Bribery Plot Involving Clinton Fdn But Obama Admin Approved Controversial Nuclear Deal With Moscow Anyway
BOMBSHELL REVELATIONS ABOUT RUSSIA AND OBAMA’S DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
FBI Uncovered Russian Bribery Plot Before Obama Approved Uranium One Deal, Netting Clintons Millions
Clinton Corruption Update for October 17, 2017. There’s a bushel of news on Hillary Clinton scandals, both old (uranium!) and new (Harvey Weinstein!)
Hollywood Screenwriter: Everybody Knew About Harvey Weinstein’s ‘Appetite’
Economist Says Eliminating State and Local Tax Deduction Helps Lower Taxes by $1 Trillion. 100 state legislators sign letter to Congress to urge them to eliminate the deduction and pass tax reform
Tuesday, October 17. 2017
'A New Rosetta Stone for Astronomy' - For the first time, astronomers have detected visible light and gravitational waves from the same source, ushering in a new era in our attempt to understand the cosmos.
Kayak Fisherman Battles Hammerhead Shark
Having A Great White Shark Attack Your Boat Is Not A Fun Time
UNC Avoids Athletic Sanctions By Arguing their African-American Studies Dept. Had Staggeringly Low Academic Standards
What a surprise
Yale men are bad at sex
Collective historical guilt trips
Comrade Rubashov was unavailable for comment.
Humor not permitted in the revolution
EPA harnessed: Pruitt Issues Directive to End EPA “Sue & Settle” Practice
Good. That was a conspiracy. The EPA was colluding with the plaintiffs.
Deporting Illegal Aliens Is Persecution Or Something
Harvey Weinstein can't wash away Hollywood's sins: Glenn Reynolds
Juanita Broaddrick Trolls Hillary Clinton Over Her Broken Toe Story
FBI Admits Comey Drafted Statement Ending Clinton Email Investigation Months in Advance
Reader sent this pic from travels.
Not too much is left of the original castle or of the later palace. People were always renovating and modernizing these things, or else knocking them down. Dunnottar has been rebuilt to some extent for tourists. Lots of crazy Scottish history in it.
An old image of the castle below the fold, with some Dylan Scotland trivia too -
Continue reading "Dunnottar Castle, plus Dylan"
Monday, October 16. 2017
A note from a reader:
Dear Bird Dog,
Well, as you know I love Maggie's Farm. I want to give back somehow. Consequently, I bring to your attention Collinsville, Connecticut. Formerly the home of the Collins Company, axe makers non pareil, it is a company town frozen in time right beside the Farmington river. Very picturesque, particularly at this time of year, and full of decent restaurants. And there is a museum there, full of Collins products. Heavenly.
I just bought three very old Collins axes on Ebay (not expensive) and will be restoring them into working instruments, Very satisfying!
For a history of the company, see here:
For a rundown on Collinsville itself, see here:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:27 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
A new novel by one of our favorites, Mark Helprin: Paris in the Present Tense
If you haven't read his Soldier of the Great War, read it. A Tolstoyan masterpiece.
Well, exercise has done a lot for my body but my brain is hopeless
No surprises there. My advice: Tell spouse what you are going to do first. You lose the thrill of secrecy but gain in lack of guilt, shame, and self-hatred.
"Anyone who controls a precious resource is likely to become a son-of-a-bitch."
CA Gov. Brown Bans Pet Shop Sales Of Non-Rescue Cats, Dogs And Rabbits
Powerline: THE KEN BURNS VERSION, CONT’D
Print Prophets of the Free Market - The Wall Street Journal’s editorial pages have maintained fundamental principles—and remarkable influence.
COLUMBIA U TO PAY HILLARY LOTS OF MONEY FOR NOTHING
Next Up to Tear Down: Stephen Foster
The Red Guard is on the move
AP Lingo Police: Use ´Gender Confirmation´ Surgery for Sex Change, Avoid ´Born a Boy or Girl´
School District Bans ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Over ‘Uncomfortable Language’
Hollywood's Masculinity Deficit
EXCLUSIVE: We won’t give back a cent of Harvey Weinstein’s tainted $250,000 says the Clinton Foundation - we’ve spent accused rapist’s every cent claims group run by Bill and Chelsea
Via Am Thinker:
Puerto Rico Delegate: Everything That We've Asked For, Trump Has Provided
George Lopez booed off stage after Trump jokes flop at gala
Trump-hating is getting old
Byron York: What's behind Trump's new executive actions
NO WONDER DEMOCRATS ARE SO UPSET: Behind Trump’s latest moves: A return to constitutional government.
Trump Has Charted A Perilous Course On Iran Or Something
Sunday, October 15. 2017
It's a classic northern Italian primi, tasty as heck. You can make it with or without the walnuts. I find the nuts annoying.
Serve with sliced pear on top as in photo, or, even better, with some red wine reduction drizzled on top. Remember, a primi is a small plate.
In her first presentation at our 2015 Eucharistic Convention Leah Libresco spoke to her subject matter "Falling in Love with Math, Morality and Mercy - My Conversion Story. It's a witness, not a sermon.
I went through a deontology phase too. She's an obsessionally morally-interested joyful and charming mathematician whose intellectual adventures lead to Christ. Cool, but I wonder what she would say about cultural transmission of moralities and values.
Saturday, October 14. 2017
I don't know what to make of this guy. Why does he give exams from a test bank? Is this for real? What's your view?
For pottage and puddings and custards and pies
Pilgrim verse, circa 1633
Pumpkins are just one variety of winter squash. Winter Squash have the virtues of being harvested in the fall, and easily storable for keeping through the winter in a root cellar as long as they do not freeze. All winter squash (Butternut, Acorn, etc) taste pretty similar and are more or less interchangeable in recipes.
Winter Squash, along with string beans, maize (which we call "corn" in the US, and many other foods like peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes) were first genetically modified for agriculture by American Indians.
Eastern Indians had large fields in which they grew winter squash, maize, and beans (which climbed up the corn stalks) together. In fact, one of the reasons the Pilgrims decided to stay in Plymouth was for the 50-acre and 100-acre planting fields that the Indians (recently dead probably from European diseases brought in by explorers and fishermen) had prepared there.
The Pumpkin of the Americas quickly became a popular crop in many parts of the world. Our Philippino nanny rarely made a Phillipino stew without pumpkin chunks in it. (Loved that Oxtail stew with peanut sauce, potato, and pumpkin, or her winter squash and string bean stew with coconut milk plus some shrimp or chicken chunks.) And people who have read Alexander McCall Smith's series, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, know how popular pumpkin became in the African diet. As for Pumpkin pasta recipes, there are tons of them.
Here's 41 Yummy Pumpkin Recipes.
Mashed pumpkin with salt, pepper and butter is great. Same with steamed pumpkin chunks. A little chopped fresh Sage is good with them. Never boil winter squash. Steam or roast, or it will get too soggy.
As for the olde standbys, Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Soup, those are OK too but the spices tend to obscure the subtle flavors of the winter squashes used. (Re Pumpkin Pie, the Maggie's Farm advice is to go very light on the sugar, and serve with a spoonful of whipped cream, then drizzled with 100% Maple Syrup.)
Megan McArdle wrote this: Yes, Some of US Really Like Pumpkin
Kenyan Pumpkin Curry Recipe
EAST AFRICAN PUMPKIN STEW
They survived six hours in a pool as a wildfire burned their neighborhood to the ground
Hollywood loses its right to lecture anyone
The Vietnam War Documentary: Doom And Despair
Bad News: Americans Are Still Getting Fatter
His doctor is a robot, or will be
FBI Forced to Admit It Has 30 Pages of Clinton-Lynch Tarmac Meeting Documents
Why "forced to admit"?
‘You Weren’t Shocked Or Appalled’ — Juanita Broaddrick Slams Hillary’s Weinstein Response
How The NFL Lost To Trump
ON HEALTH CARE, TRUMP TAKES AN IMPORTANT FIRST STEP
Trump Strikes A Blow For Health-Care Freedom
Russia's Hand Is Visible Everywhere in the Middle East
France: Facebook Islamists Hunt in Packs
U.S. Will Pull Out of UNESCO at End of 2018 Due to 'Anti-Israel Bias'
Friday, October 13. 2017
A rehearsal set. Lyrics here. A masterpiece.
The Reason So Many Americans Are Ungrateful
Ingratitude is an unfortunate personality trait
FOR MILLIONS OF YEARS, IT WAS A CONSTANT STRUGGLE TO GET ENOUGH TO EAT. NOW...
Why Tom Petty’s Music Will Endure
Social Justice Warriors Go After Elvis Presley, Forty Years After His Death
University of Wisconsin System leaders approved a policy Friday that calls for suspending and expelling students who disrupt campus speeches and presentations
Weinstein Speaks: "We All Make Mistakes"
Not like yours, pal. And not for 30 years.
What Harvey Weinstein Reveals About Hollywood Values
Did Trump Really Shoot 73 On A Par-72 Course? Lindsey Graham Says Yes
Debt Alone Won't Crush Puerto Rico. Depopulation Is the Curse. Erasing the island's bond obligations would not be sufficient, if migration continues.
The Catalonians never really meant it
Israel says Hezbollah runs Lebanese army, signaling both are foes
Thursday, October 12. 2017
"Conditioning" is about speed, agility, HIIT cardio, endurance, explosiveness, and muscle use. Energy, stamina, and get-up-and-go. It is not about strength or strength-training, which is why lots of calisthenics are involved. In a tough conditioning hour, you can never catch your breath so it is intense cardio. Good stuff for life.
I am in the sorry 25% who routinely flunk our Sat. AM calisthenics ("Athletic Conditioning") class. By flunking, I mean being unable to complete the trainer's expectations on at least half of the exercises in the time allowed. I hate failure, so I give it my all and come up short. We 25% are calling ourselves the "Masters Class" and we are all age 45 or more. However, several 50+ and 60+ do make the passing grade. Bravo for them because this sort of thing is great to prevent physical deterioration.
If it were high school or college, we would ask for extra time due to disability but, instead, we do our best and accept the fail. Reality is a bitch. Do better next week, or just give up and rightly despise yourself forever for being a loser.
Details below the fold -
Continue reading "Flunked again: Success is good for ego but failure is good for the soul."
A surprise from the supervolcano
The Boy Scouts, converged - This result was baked in the cake ever since the Boy Scouts started allowing gays. This is what social justice convergence looks like; once social justice enters, it replaces the core purpose of the organization
Survey: 58% of Students Want a Campus Where They Are Not Exposed to 'Intolerant or Offensive Ideas'. Most either think hate speech isn't protected by the First Amendment or aren't sure.
The reason the Left pushes this “speech is violence” nonsense: If speech is truly violence then it must be restrained
LAKE SUPERIOR DRYING UP DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE! NO, WAIT…
SCIENCE! Jerry Brown’s ‘zero emission vehicle’ celebration interrupted by reality buzzkills
Weather Channel Founder: Life on Earth getting better – Al Gore is “guilty of scientific fraud”
Two Big Cracks In The Climate Hysteria Edifice In One Day
Surviving the social justice inquisition
Justifying Betrayal of Vietnam Emerges as the Raison d’être Of Ken Burns’ Film on the War
Who are the women who accepted the deal as offered by Harvey Weinstein? Will their names be kept out of the press? Should they?
NBC News Tried to Kill Harvey Weinstein Story
Now Abraham Lincoln Was a Racist
Finally found a racist Republican
Iran's secret sites linked to nuclear weapons development revealed
AP Calls Christians Praying A “Problematic Expression Of Islamophobia”…
Swedish Dentist Reveals 80% of Migrant ‘Children’ Are Actually Adults – Is Fired and Now May Lose Home
Israel hacked Kaspersky, then tipped the NSA that its tools had been breached
Wednesday, October 11. 2017
You got lucky, babe, when I found you.
Swedish death cleaning is the morbid new way to de-clutter your life
Congress Should Investigate the Organic Scam. Consumers have been duped with fraudulently labeled foods.
Who cares? I avoid "organic"
Dalrymple: The Devil’s in the Diction - The vague terms that populate our political discourse encourage lazy and often deeply biased thinking.
Conservative student paper called ‘propaganda’ by professor who leads publications committee
Georgetown University’s school newspaper is teaming up with a national non-profit to tell the personal stories of students who have experienced bias-related incidents.
Georgetown is a hotbed of racism, genderism, and general oppression. Terrible place.
A peer-reviewed academic journal article defending colonialism was removed due to threats of violence against the editor just days before Columbus Day
Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette, and Asia Argento Share Their Accounts of Harvey Weinstein's Sexual Assault and Harassment
Hinderaker already bored with the Weinstein story
Obama's $1.5 billion ego project
I hate these presidential libraries. Why doesn't some pres just hand over the papers to a history dept and call it a day? Why a monument? This is not Rome. These jackasses are not kings or gods.
French Public Workers in the Street Over Macron Reforms
When do they find time to work in France?
Tuesday, October 10. 2017
Since we're on a month of our push-up challenge, a few ideas:
- go as low as you can
My traveling pal emailed me his bowl of goulash in Budapest.
I've never had goulash that looked as good, or as red, as that. This is the real recipe
As Overdose Deaths Pile Up, a Medical Examiner Quits the Morgue
Florida Threatens Woman with Fines, Jail for Giving Diet Tips - Occupational licensing runs amok in a familiar story.
Detroit Firefighter Fired for Bringing Watermelon to Station House
Ken Burns, JFK and the unopened door - The crisis of 1963 and the Galbraith initiative offered the rationale and means of exiting Vietnam
The Human Stain: Why the Harvey Weinstein Story Is Worse Than You Think - It goes much deeper than one big creep.
Why ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day’ Is Far Worse Than Columbus Day
Kevin Hassett Smacks Down the Partisan Tax Policy Center
Germany's "Open Doors" Are Closing: Merkel Seeks New Limits On Refugees
Monday, October 9. 2017
My genius trainer thinks these are ridiculous, but they are a routine part of the calisthenic classes I take. All I can say is that they keep your heart rate up and your body in explosive and fatiguing motion. Basically, explosive jumping jacks.
How many can you do? I can do about 10, not 25.
No, you probably ought not to, and they are bitter anyway. Birds love them which is the main reason I have planted them.
They are known to like damp habitats or stream edges, but they grow well, and spread, almost anywhere. They like sun. I have found them very easy to grow, and highly productive of fruit in Sept/Oct.
What are they good for? Jam and pies. I have never had Elderberry Wine, and most likely neither have you. Why bother?
People use their flowers for flavoring things.
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