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
Wednesday, February 25. 2015
What drives the disease craze? Big Pharma, and insurance. Normal variants are labeled as diseases and disorders. Think ADD, ED, infertility, fear of dying, and on and on. I term them, smirkingly, "life-style disorders."
Here's an emerging new disorder: A Pill That Boosts a Woman’s Sex Drive Is Almost Here. But Do We Need It?
What shall we term the medical disorder which this pill fixes?
Thanks to ski lifts, snow cannons, and plenty of dynamite, what used to
It's not too cheap, the hassle factor is huge, but it is great cold weather fun and excellent exercise.
Like many, I grew up skiing at a small local place with rope tows and poma lifts, and one two-seater chair lift, and slowly advanced to more challenging places as funds permitted.
I love it. For me, winter means skiing, spring means fishing, summer means boating, fall means hunting. It's that simple.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:32 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, February 21. 2015
All of us in positions to employ people know that a college degree, in many or most cases, is meaningless credentialism much of the time, these days.
For life-enrichment or for the hard sciences, college can great, especially if money is no object and if the kid is a natural scholar. The latter is, at most, 5-6%.
In choosing friends, we might prefer people who know a lot about a lot of things, but for employees one applies different metrics. We train all of our own people, including our paralegals. We use a marine corps boot camp system. Many wash out, but are better for it. Some even thank us for letting them discover what level of effort and learning is expected from work in the for-profit world.
Many times, college is a negative from a business standpoint. We exist to make money honestly and nothing more. When we hire, all we ask ourselves is "Can this person make, or save, us money?" And in case they do not, can we let them go without a lawsuit? I would never say that we avoid women, older folks, or minorities, for that reason because there are laws, but we have had enough expensive troubles with that in the past. We just want the highest performance and we want you available 24 hrs/day if needed, no excuses.
Do an extraordinary job, exceed expectations, go the extra mile, make yourself attractive, and spread good cheer? We will reward you handsomely with money, benefits, love and appreciation.
When we hire new lawyers (rarely in recent years, unless they come with deep portfolios of corporate clients), of course they have degrees. We ignore their degrees, bearing in mind that legal work required degrees only recently (historically). We see people with recent law degrees working in Starbucks and living with their parents.
All real law is learned in apprenticeship, preferably under a genius mentor. All real learning is, ultimately, self-education.
Wednesday, February 18. 2015
I think it still does, despite the challenges of cosmology. Does Science Need Falsifiability?
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:31 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
From my perspective, a college degree is good for a few things. These are not limited to: expanding one's view of the world, improving one's own process of inquiry and learning (my father's old line is you go to college to get an education, not to get a job), and to become technically proficient in a variety of specialized fields where proficiency is otherwise difficult to achieve. I'd toss in that it's also a means of networking and learning social skills to improve future prospects in both life and work.
College is not the only place to learn these things, though it's probably one of the better places to learn them. You could say the same for the military, in some respects. Be that as it may, limiting one's view of a person's potential and capabilities to very specialized qualifications, such as college or military backgrounds, is a bit odd.
Mike Rowe explains why:
Continue reading "Mike Rowe on Qualifications Versus Competency"
Sunday, February 15. 2015
We jumped into a chilly and breezy NYC right after early church to catch the Lauder Cubism Show at the Met. Thanks, Leonard Lauder, for this amazing gift to the public. Tomorrow (Monday) is the last day.
In my opinion, pictures like these are best seen in a house, best lived-with, and not in a museum, but such is the world today. Regular people cannot afford them, but really nothing wrong with good prints. Fun.
81 paintings and drawings from 1904-1925 - spectacular but overwhelming. I am a Cubism fan. I consider it highly decorative - eye candy - interesting to the eye, and I imagine that my hero Cezanne would have been fascinated had he lived long enough to see it.
Below is Picasso's 1909 The Oil Mill. Cubism is as abstract as the genius Picasso ever got. His authority of line, color, and design never ceases to amaze me regardless of whatever style he was exploring or inventing. He kept moving but, for a while, he and Braque had a cool thing going with Cubist experimentation.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 18:42 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:08 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
An FBI investigator explains how he reads you: What Every BODY is Saying by Joe Navarro. Do you really want to know this?
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 07:15 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (2)
If you need a rock for vanity purposes, try Zirconia. Love is real, the rock is illusion, whether diamond or otherwise.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 06:53 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, February 11. 2015
Most writers have written disparagingly about shopping malls. It is easy to do. People like to say that they would prefer the old (now, half-abandoned) Main St. with its old, familiar, family-owned shops - but would they really?
I have seen plenty of towns with thriving downtowns with no malls nearby. Lucky towns. The shopping streets of cities, too, are basically shopping malls without a roof.
Photo is Milan's Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. I've been there. It's a covered street in the center of downtown, with no cars. It is always crowded.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:01 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
The human species should be thanking God for GMOs.
Monday, February 9. 2015
We're ten years old today. Happy Birthday to us.
For the first two years, we were just quietly practicing below the radar until we sort-of defined what we are and how this website thing works. I'm still not sure, though, what we are. In the beginning, we used to post a Tractor of the Week.
We still do some birds and animals, quotes, Sunday Lectionary, Yankee food, gardening, fishing, hunting, conservation, Bob news, and all sorts of random things. We have done so many things over these years - including a friend's Aliyah Diary.
I suppose what we do is whatever we find interesting and whatever we think at least one other person on the planet might find interesting or provocative. Clearly, and to our chagrin, we are not for everybody.
I can say is that we are not "boutique" by choice but purely because of our own limitations of time and talent, and because of free market forces. 1.7 million "hits" per month? What does that really mean? Nothing.
I am grateful to all of our contributors and commenters who have come and gone, or stuck around, over these years. Not to mention friends who send me Morning Links. I think Maggie's has been a wholesome hobby and outlet for all.
Thanks also to all of the other websites we beg, steal, or borrow from. Tons of interesting stuff out there to mine, and we do not always acknowledge it properly. Forgive us. It's a time consideration. We all have day jobs.
We have readers from all over the world - mostly the Anglosphere - Australia, Britain, Canada but lots from northern Europe too - France, Germany, Scandinavia, Poland. Minimal Russia - maybe blocked there. Mostly American and Canuck readership. We are blocked in China (why would they bother?), but we have readers in free China, Hong Kong, and Japan. Israel too. Africa and South America? Zero. I think part of the original concept was to share a version of crusty, rebellious Yankee New England life and attitudes, slice of life, warts and all, with people far away. It's evolved.
We like commenters. Please comment at will on our site. No need to agree with us, but compliments are of course always welcome.
We have plenty of bandwidth for new readers, so, if you get something out of Maggie's - likes or dislikes - please share our existence with others. A growing readership is our emotional reward for this hobby.
A "retired" contributor suggested linking some samples of our stuff from past years. I tried to do that, but it's just too hard, most of the links and images have become obsolete, and, just like Maggie (below), our formatting has been corrupted by age.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:25 | Comments (29) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, February 8. 2015
These programs are designed by Child Psychologists. Since when are they experts in this? I'd prefer a panel of grandmas, myself. Some kids, of course, are especially challenging if not impossible. Easy kids make parents look good; tough kids make parents look bad.
Mike knows what he's doing. Expertise is a delight. Basically built a new car. But why?
Because he's a car doctor.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:19 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, February 6. 2015
A brief history of marriage, by a gal who may have missed the boat: All the Single Ladies
Thursday, February 5. 2015
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:18 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
A wonderful character: Yitang Zhang
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:22 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, February 4. 2015
Heard a good talk from a senior MD/Philosopher Prof yesterday.
His main point was that disease is historically normal and natural, and absence of disease is abnormal. He said we in America live in an abnormal golden age of artificial, unnatural well-being thanks to modern medicine, and have thus tended to be seduced into thinking of health as the normal and natural state. He said we are in a frenzy of labeling things as diseases these days which would have been viewed as expectable misfortunes, the risks of life, the price of aging, the tragedy of existence.
He claimed that roughly half of us in the audience would have been dead already, in 1800. Childhood infectious disease, childbirth complications, cholera, birth defects, tetanus, influenza, pneumonia, TB, polio, diabetes, war, mental illness, mental retardation, accidents, cancers, urinary tract infections, animal bites, bug bites, fractures, heart attacks, - you name it. All normal and natural thanks to a harsh and indifferent Mother Nature who seems to want to disable and kill you - and she will. God may love you, but Nature - no.
He asked us to try to remember how many old folks, and even middle-aged hobbled around on canes, or sat in wheelchairs and rocking chairs, maybe gasping for breath, were half-blind, or had chronic pain or disabling depressions, in our youth when they now would be playing tennis and skiing.
He made the statistical point that life expectancy has changed very little in the past 200 years - if you exclude the childhood and youth infectious deaths, and the trauma injuries which would have resulted in death - which distort the stats and give the mistaken impression that old people are living significantly longer. He said few humans in states of nature lived past age 40.
He also made the point that wild animals always seem healthy. Why? Because the instant they have the slightest problem, something catches and eats them and they are gone. Sooner or later, they all get killed and eaten because something always goes wrong. Animal life is fleeting.
A useful and humbling perspective, I thought, for those of us in the healing professions. Yes, including those in the mental illness and behavioral problem field. Excellent mental health cannot even be defined.
Tuesday, February 3. 2015
We were all raised as free range, weren't we?
World News Videos | ABC World News
Sunday, February 1. 2015
I'll call my photo A View of People Studying A View of Toledo
A few more pics and comments below the fold -
Continue reading "El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) (1541–1614)"
Lots of photos from The Vintage Aviator Ltd's Remembrance Day airshow
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:09 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Luxury motor homes. Pretty slick, but where do your park it? How is it on snow? And what do you do about poo and pee?
The used one on the right is for sale for $379,000. Specs below:
2009 Country Coach Affinity. This is the top of the line for Country Coach. It has 1 1/2 bath, 4 slide outs, a stacked washer and dryer, 3 tvs, in-motion satellite, king size bed, 650 HP Cummins engine, 3 yrs left on warranty, and more.
Features • Washer & Dryer • Alloy Wheels, Diesel Generator • Awning Patio & Electric Windows • Backup Camera • Basement Storage • Full Body Paint • GPS System • In Motion Satellite dish • Microwave • Side-By-Side Refrigerator • Sound System • Television • A/C Roof
Darn, it doesn't have 4- WD. Do you know what a "slide-out is? More of these here.
Friday, January 30. 2015
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