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
Tuesday, April 22. 2014
Another Maggie's Farm Springtime Scientific Survey: Difficult, exertional things with intrinsic rewards
A few weeks ago, we did this: A Maggie's Farm Scientific Survey: Things we often want to avoid doing, but feel better after we do them.
This week, we'll do the sorts of things which are tough to do, require exertion of some sort, self-discipline, and can be frustrating or exasperating, but in which the process itself contains gratification as well as a (hopefully) somewhat gratifying result. In other words, a mix of intrinsic and delayed gratification.
Here are a few (or maybe most) of mine:
- Practicing piano
What are some of the things you find difficult, frustrating, or exertional, but take pleasure in the process too, not just in the completion or the result?
We drove through Millington (CT) Green en route to fishing last weekend. Appealing Yankeeland architecture. The village was settled in 1704.
Here's a Saltbox:
A few more below the fold -
Continue reading "Around Millington Green"
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:05 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, April 21. 2014
Friday, April 18. 2014
But what is the cost of the shot clock? Is it worth having a clock at all?
Not in certain regions of the country, because the school conferences recognized even something as seemingly inconsequential as a clock may have costs which outweigh their value. It's basic math. Too bad it
Posted by Bulldog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 18:05 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, April 17. 2014
The applause for a requiem seems strange.
Zenpundit's Requiem post also has the Defiant Requiem - Remembering the Holocaust
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:10 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, April 16. 2014
During a recent lunch, my wife and I were discussing the growth of small distilleries in New York. They are making a comeback because of a change in the law which lowers the fees necessary to be a small output distiller. This has been a job growth engine for the state, while also producing some much needed state revenue. It is a classic example of how less law can increase economic growth and opportunity.
The conversation with my wife, however, revolved around any laws which may exist (and they do, in some states) that limit production to using only agricultural products which are produced in-state. My wife had no problem with this, saying it would grow more jobs. I pointed out any state putting such limitations on distilling or brewing would hurt the economy, because if a distiller wished to use product from another state to start up, he couldn't, and since the law would force him to purchase only in-state product, prices for those products would increase dramatically as more brewers or distillers opened, becoming a prohibitive factor in new business.
I'm all for local-grown product, if that's what you like. But everybody, from consumer to brewmaster to distiller needs to have choices. If I might like a product which is made in one state, but utilizes grain from another, I may never have the opportunity to try it. Laws which limit inputs are, by definition, limiting economic growth. Which is why protectionism is always a bad idea. Limiting opportunity can only limit growth. This concept can be applied across a broad swathe of legislation which seeks to 'create' equality by creating new inequalities.
That said, it is nice to see small pockets of legislators learning "less is more" when it comes to laws and jobs. As for my bourbon, I'm still a fan of Buffalo Trace and Maker's Mark. However, I've tried Widow Jane, out of Brooklyn, and it's quite good. I also received some Hillrock as a gift and it, too, is very good, though the cinnamon aftertaste is a bit different than I've had. Still another recommended Hudson Baby Bourbon, though I haven't tried it yet.
Still looking to try my first Pappy Van Winkle, though.
Posted by Bulldog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:51 | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, April 15. 2014
A room, anyway, which an ambitious youth might be able to afford. The NYC pupette thought you might be amused:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:46 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
The otherwise-useful article concludes with the notion that "government could do more."
I have no idea what government has to do with it. After the basics, most lines of work are learned by apprenticeships and "practice" of various sorts. Just consider auto mechanics, cooking, gunsmithing, machine-tooling, law, medicine, bond sales, garden design, preaching, playing music, carpentry, jewelry design, flower arranging, cattle-raising, horse-grooming, dog training, leather-working, road-paving, politics and sales in general, fashion, etc., etc., etc. The list is endless.
I am very much in favor of the term and concept "apprentice," but I don't know what the heck government has to do with it. Why do so many people have this reflex that "government ought to do something"? As if it could.
People can figure these things out on their own.
From a Jewish friend:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:27 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, April 13. 2014
It's in the planning stages, no date set.
I think urban hiking in cities with a little history can be just as interesting as rural hiking. More interesting, really - and I am an informed amateur naturalist.
There is no such thing as suburban hiking, though. That is just walking.
Due to my route's meandering nature with crosstown zigs and zags, street crossings, and opportunities for refreshments, photo stops, and pit stops, I think it could take 6-7 hours from South Ferry (Battery Park) to Central Park then back down 5th ave to Grand Central Stn. Good walking shoes required, and rain-or-shine. This will not be a stroll. The main point is not the landmarks, but the random stuff and people and colorful life and historical architecture in between.The landmarks are just for waypoints.
Preliminary route plan:
- South Ferry, Battery Park, with view of Statue of Liberty (easy to get to via IRT or whatever)
Does this sound like fun, and a good work-out? Is it overly-ambitious?
If it's too much, there's always the subway or a taxi - but we are subway people.
A lively city full of wonders, packed with attractive, high-energy young people and all sorts of other interesting humanity. Not a great work-out, because it's all pretty much flat but it's hours of walking through a variety of neighborhoods. I am open to suggestions. I'm sure my son, wife, daughters, sisters and brothers-in-law will be game for this event. Sipp & Co. might be, too, and Bulldog. And our Men's Bible study group.
Photo: I like that house on top of that building on 3rd Ave and 13th St. Rus in urba.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:08 | Comments (20) | Trackbacks (0)
50 acres on its own peninsula. Looks like a lot of lovely manicured gardens, but I'd prefer it with plain meadows with horses. Otherwise, of course I would have made an offer.
Sorry, I can't download the pics, and sorry again - it just sold. It's almost enough to make you hate and envy the wealthy. Almost, but we all need those folks.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:19 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, April 11. 2014
Prison for being a huckster? Is that right?
Do you have any idea how many medical procedures and medicines which are commonly used today are backed up by dubious science or unproven evidence, or with which placebo effect is dominant? And look at this: your at-home TMS machine!
And what about nutritional supplements, vitamins, and minerals? The benefits there are minimal to none, most of the time, yet the airwaves are full of sales pitches.
And on internet ads, "Take this miracle pill and..."
What about the organic food and Whole Foods scam on naive and ignorant people? And what about politicians and stockbrokers?
Ineffective things are sold every day, demonstrating the power of wishful-thinking, or magical-thinking, in humans. Hucksterism is an old American, if not worldwide, tradition. Caveat Emptor.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:58 | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (0)
Four families of equations expose the hidden aesthetic of bicycle wheels, falling bodies, rhythmic planets, and mathematics itself.
The spira mirabilis is a lovely thing, and the equation describing it is simple. He discusses the geometry of four interesting shapes.
I would never claim, however, that math can "expose" an aesthetic. "Expose" is the wrong word, because the aesthetic is immediately apparent, but it's the math that is not.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:50 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, April 10. 2014
Impressive speech about women's rights around the world. Why do American feminists hate her? And how is her English so good, given her background?
Wednesday, April 9. 2014
From Eye candy - The pleasure we take in beauty must have been shaped by evolution - but what adaptive advantage did it give us?
I'll give the essay an A- for Effort, but trying to discuss such topics as Truth and Beauty in reductionistic terms is certain to be disappointing in the end. I would argue that the human soul has no adaptive value at all. It's a gift and a curse.
What is the best-adapted and largest class of animals on earth in terms of population, biomass, range, and overall success? Class Insecta. Bugs. Or maybe it's bacteria, but I think I recall that it's bugs. Might have that wrong. It's definitely not the higher apes despite our love of music and our pleasant clothing.
Many bugs make music too.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:24 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, April 8. 2014
Perhaps she should quit working and let her hubby support the family the old-fashioned way. If you read between the lines, I think that's what she wants. There's nothing wrong with wanting that.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:18 | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, April 4. 2014
We did inheritances yesterday, so it seems fitting to review gift taxes today.
My impression is that gift taxes are largely dodged in the US today, unless they involve bank transfers of assets, or deeds. It is certainly not unusual for older folks to hand over jewelry, gold coins, artwork, etc. to their kids.
I do not understand why gift taxes exist in the US, but I am confident that readers can provide me with the rationale.
Here are the IRS' FAQs.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:43 | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, April 3. 2014
(I am also opposed to gift taxes which limit how much one can give to a family member, or anyone else, without a tax penalty, but that's another topic.)
I do understand that the greedy government wants any money it can get, from any source, and I also understand that estate planning for the wealthy employs thousands of attorneys and accountants who might otherwise have little to do.
What's wrong with the idea that, over time and over generations, there would be the freedom for families to accumulate assets for the benefit of their present and future kin? The more, the better. Financial independence to some degree can be either a blessing or a curse, but, contra Teddy Roosevelt, that's not government's proper concern. I have seen family businesses, farms, and family vacation places destroyed by estate taxes, and it seems wrong to me.
Here are my poll questions - assuming you and spouse have died:
1. Do you want to leave any assets to your kids, grandkids, relatives, friends, or do you want to die broke?
2. What % of your estate would you wish to give to charities?
3. If you have one prosperous kid and two middle class or poor kids, would you write your will differently for them?
Wednesday, April 2. 2014
I think Frank Gehry's stuff is terrible, narcissistic, and annoying, but he is an interesting showman - and his stuff sells. He shoulda been a sculptor or something.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 19:57 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Most likely. However, it's a hot area of genetics nowadays: End the Hype over Epigenetics & Lamarckian Evolution
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:29 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, March 31. 2014
Sunday, March 30. 2014
It's all mind-boggling to me. What is outside the universe, or is my sense of space-time too parochial?
Video on the big discovery.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:02 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
AVI was right - most guys would not know her name, but most females would. When we visited Nova Scotia a number of years ago, the gals had to see everything about her - including the house.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:28 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, March 29. 2014
I posted this once before, but it still cracks me up. Besides being a slice of life of a piece of NYC, it does a great job of depicting/satirizing one subculture of NYC. You have to know a bit about the Jewish subculture of the NYC environs to fully get it. More real than satire, though, according to a BD daughter who is not Jewish but knows the scene.
The real message of this is that, no matter how dorky you are, a strong self-confidence can go a long way. Lubel does a great job with that. He's a very cool dork, with a posse, too. I knew guys like him, and always wondered why they got so many chicks. As Sipp emailed me, rhyming Giapetto with Warsaw Ghetto gets a gold star.
Acting confident is a chick magnet, no matter what you look like or what your resume looks like.
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