Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- New evidence for the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis. Not exactly news for anyone who's listened to Randall Carlson and Graham Hancock on Joe Rogan's podcast.

- Seeking the Productive Life by Stephen Wolfram. Long read but interesting look at the life and technology hacks of one of technology's best known names.

- David Simon with a little inside baseball on how things work in Hollywood

- Interesting look at how Montana tamed the beast of high medical insurance costs.

- A conservative's wet dream

- Can Alzheimer's be detected decades before onset?

Happy Birthday to Bobby Orr

Happy 71st birthday to #4 Bobby Orr. Not only one of the 3 greatest hockey players in history but arguable the greatest MAN to play hockey.

Here's a reminder of the type of person Robert Gordon Orr is.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I'm tired of people calling the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament "the Big Dance". Let's call it what it really is - the NBA pre-draft combine... This is fascinating to watch... Also that time of year again to once again remind people that "physicality" according the the American Heritage dictionary is not a freaking word! I wish sports announcers would stop using that non-word... Dean Martin was the epitome of cool... Is Villanova the only team that is abbreviated by using the end of the name instead of the beginning? Nova. Which in Spanish means "no go". Do you really want to bet on a team that's a no go?... Heh Heh... I haven't filled out a bracket in over a decade. Biggest waste of time of the sports year. You always regret doing it... 

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Q: How come mankind was never able to leave the bonds of Earth? A: Space Herpes

- The NBA was tougher back in the day

- This article does a good job explaining the popularity of Trump among the Republican base.

- Are we still doing phrasing?

- This doctor should go to prison for life. But first all his assets should be sold and split among the kids he created.

- Roger Daltrey is the man

- Wait - Charlie Hunnam is the man

The Return of the Husband

From the archives of American Digest.

Monday, March 18, 2019

George Roy Hill

George Roy Hill is remembered most for being one of the great directors of the past 60-years but what sparked interest in me was a little known fact about the man. Hill flew planes for the US Marines in both World War II and in Korea - just like the great Ted Williams.

Unlike Williams who flew fighter planes in both conflicts - Hill first flew transport planes in WWII and then fighters in Korea. Still that's an accomplishment that's worthy of a little bragging. However, self promotion was never something George Roy Hill was interested in which in itself is another reason to admire the man.

And I still say that Slap Shot is the best sports movie ever made. Here's what I consider the Top 5 Movies by George Roy Hill.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

John Wayne once said that every young man needs to let the badger loose every once in a while. On Saturday I let the badger loose in a big way. And I'm not a young man... Conor McGregor had a blast Saturday at the Bruins game... I know that stereotyping is bad but if I see the back of your car has 10 or more bumper stickers and two of them are for Coexist and Bernie Sanders - I'm going to go ahead and assume your home smells like cat piss... Heh Heh... According to Snapple Facts #117 - "The starfish is the only animal that can turn its stomach inside out." Obviously Snapple has never been out drinking on St. Patrick's Day weekend with some of my Irish friends... People don't seem to use the word "famished" anymore. Is that because people's vocabularies are getting smaller or because it's not OK to use a word that comes from "famine"? And speaking of famine - when's the last time you've heard about a famine in the news? Was Sally Strothers that successful at ending hunger or have things been improving in the world to the point where famines are so rare?... When Isaiah Thomas returns to the TD Garden tonight I expect him to get one of the biggest ovations from Boston fans that I've seen in my lifetime... 

Teddy Roosevelt and the Man in the Arena

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." - Teddy Roosevelt (Paris Sorbonne,1910)

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Saint Patrick

With today being St. Patrick's Day -  here's just a couple of things about Saint Patrick.

...was not Irish. He was a British Celt, first enslaved in Ireland as a teen, later a missionary to Ireland. 

...was not necessarily the first missionary to Ireland. 

No one knows his birth or death date. 17 March is traditionally considered to be one of the two, but there is no documentation for this. 

The only documents about Patrick are his Confession and a letter he wrote to Coroticus. 

There were never snakes---or other reptiles---in Ireland for Patrick to chase out. 

Patrick predates the Roman Catholic Church, and was considered a ``saint'' before the Roman church created its canon (list) of saints (and added him to it).

John Stuart Mill

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling, which thinks that nothing is worth war, is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." - John Stuart Mill

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Heh Heh (am I showing my age laughing at that?)

- A suspense novelist's trail of deception. A fascinating long-read about a pathological liar turned bestselling author.

- Sadly it does sound familiar

- Wow -Pluto like you've never seen it before

- First Netflix came for Blockbuster. Now it's coming for the cable companies.

- Phil Michelson misses cut at Players Championship and denies he was distracted by off the course issues. I would so love to read a tell-all biography of Michelson. The golf, the gambling and the other rumors.

Top 5 - Saint Patrick's Day Irish Music

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Here are my Top 5 Songs for celebrating Saint Patrick's Day (because Oh Danny Boy is shite).

1. Rocky Road to Dublin

2. If I Should Fall From Grace with God - The Pogues

3. Four Green Fields - Makem & Clancy

4. The Foggy Dew - Sinead O'Connor and the Chieftains

5. I'm Shipping Up to Boston - Dropkick Murphy's

The Band Played Waltzing Matilda doesn't make the list because I consider that an Australian anthem.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Somebody pretty please ask Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez if she'd eat the moon if it were made of ribs. Or better yet ask her if the Sun is her favorite planet. Please, please, please... My current life goal is to live longer than Charles Bukowski did. That means if I make it to 75 I win!... Alex Trebek is the best!... Now that Beto is in the race - when does the Rent if Too Damn High guy announce he's running for President too?... "The tools for learning are abundant. It's the desire to learn that's scarce." - Naval Ravikant... "Stinktum" should be a word. It's so much nicer sounding than either "anus" or "sphincter"... How funny would it be if Odell Beckham Jr. didn't pass the Browns physical and had to return to the Giants? I have my fingers crossed because I enjoy a certain amount of chaos...

The Ides of March

Today is the Ides of March - famous because it is forever connected with the murder of Julius Caesar back in 44 BC. Less historically well known is the fact the Caesar was only murdered because Lucius Vorenus wasn't there to protect him.

Rome was a very underrated series.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Where do we find such men!

- Interesting interview with Gad Saad - the Gadfather.

- The person behind Titania McGrath. I always think of her as "Tits" McGrath

- Rope lighters - wicked cool. (Hat tip Execupundit.)

- Interesting take on the situation with North Korea

- Long read on how business is the key to healthcare in the US. Employer spending on healthcare in the US is now roughly equivalent to the yearly costs to run the military.

- And just like that he goes from being Beto O'Rourke to "Jazz Hands" O'Rourke

Let's Talk Some Politics

Today's political post is brought to you by the words "Long Memory" and "Values".

1. When it comes to "Long Memory" the Media may have covered for Democrats in both the past and present but other Democrats have a long memory. Bill Clinton is basically radioactive at this point because of his philandering (#MeToo).

Even Barack Obama is not safe with Rep Ilhan Omar going after the 44th President saying he was responsible for the "caging of kids" at the border and who was guilty of drone murder but who got away with it because he was more "polished" than Trump. How long before Obama is heckled on the campaign trail by this new Left? My guess is just once will be enough for him to withdraw into his own world. His supporters will be offended by the way he will be treated and many probably will stay at home on election day 2020.

There's going to be a lot of digging through people's past words and actions. And the "guilty" will be held accountable - because the other candidates (and Russian bots) are going to make sure of that! Elizabeth Warren is toast because this. She just hasn't realized it. When Joe Biden announces look for a long trip down memory lane for Creepy Uncle Joe sponsored by Democrats who remember. This will serve to both tatter the reputations of the current candidates but also the MSM. "Wait that allegation is true - how come this was never reported?"

2. The Democrats don't know what they stand for anymore and some are now going after what used to be core constituents of the Democratic Party. Namely the Jewish and Catholic vote.

The Democrats have had an ant-Israel and anti-Jewish bias for a while but now it's official. President Obama was the most anti-Israel President of my lifetime (even worse than Jimmy Carter). Rep Omar openly makes vile anti-Semetic and anti-Israel comments and the Democratic leaders are powerless to do anything. Their response was literally a joke. And more fodder for President Trump.

The Democrats also showed their true colors towards Catholics during the Kavanaugh conformation hearings. The Knights of Columbus are already under attack. There are 1.7 million Catholics in Wisconsin - almost one-third the total population of the State. Wisconsin was a key to Trump winning the 2016 election. And the Democrats have recognized the importance of the State by announcing it will the the site of their convention. But how will that go over when most of the candidates go on record as both anti-Jew and anti-Catholic? Doesn't sound like a winning strategy to me.

I just can't wait to see what happens when people like Rep Omar go after late-term abortion because the Koran is against it.

Happy Pi Day

Happy Pi Day!

Back in the 17th century the value of Pi was known to 35 decimals. Today it is known to more than 1.2411 trillion except in Alabama where the value of Pi has been set at 3.14.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Since the indictments were out of Boston part of me wondered if the college admissions scandal was part of either a long-game revenge on the part of Harvard University or a master prank pulled off by MIT. Both are certainly possibilities... "We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." - Carlos Castaneda... Socialism in a nutshell... How funny would it be if it turns out William H. Macy dimed out his wife, Felicity Huffman, in the college admissions scandal because he thought it would be cheaper than a divorce and he thought this way he could get custody of the kids. That would be just the thing one of the characters he's played would do... Heh heh - awesome!... Wish there was a place that I could bet that the combined win totals of the Giants and Jets will not equal the Patriots wins next season. That would be almost guaranteed money... And speaking of the Patriots, an under appreciated aspect of them extending a contract offer to Josh Gordon is that it allows the team to continue to financially support his treatment costs. Getting Gordon's life back in order is the priority and the Patriots stepped up to help make that happen...

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Big Julie: The life and legacy of Julius Caesar. Long read but worth it. (Via Execupundit)

- Going to have to add this word to my vocabulary.

- RIP Hal Blaine. You may not recognize the name but I guaranty you recognize his music. (The documentary The Wrecking Crew is worth your time if you haven't watched it already)

- Heh Heh - awesome!

- Dan Jenkins rules for writing

- Supreme Court unanimously strikes a blow against excessive police forfeitures. And also forces Indiana to finally recognize the Bill of Rights.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

This Week in Musk World

Perhaps the most historic event in Musk World this week was the successful splashdown of the Crew dragon capsule. American astronauts launching on American rockets from American soil once again just became one step closer.

Tesla Model 3 quickly becomes #1 in the NetherlandsThe Model 3 is also a hit in France. And "crushing it" in Norway. And in the US the Model S has been proclaimed "America's greatest muscle car" by no less an authority than Top Gear's James May.

What I've long said was the unappreciated "muscle" behind Tesla's long-term are the network of charging stations which this week got a big boost as Supercharger V3 was unleashed. Short-term the financial "muscle" of Tesla coming out with a $35,000 Model 3 has caused competitors to react with price drops of their own.

Meanwhile the Model Y is teased on Tesla's website. The question is how the Model Y will stack up against the announced Audi e-tron Q4. The Model Y is scheduled to be unveiled on Thursday. With the Model Y - Tesla's product line will officially be S3XY (pun obviously intended) And speaking of sexy teases - what the heck is this bad boy?

Let's not forget The Boring Company - Las Vegas might be the site of the next tunnel for the company.Makes sense. You don't want conventioneers too tired from walking all day to gamble at night.

The Elements Song by Tom Lehrer

A blast from the past in honor of the Periodic Table's 150th anniversary.

Hat tip to Tom for the suggestion.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Japan's moon rover will be built by Toyota. And it looks pretty damn cool!

- Not news to me that a man would choose to have nothing but beer during Lent. News to me that Lent is now 46 days long?

- Massive Sun storm hit Earth in ancient times and it could happen again.

- Interesting - you can now use your FSA or HSA cards to purchase eligible items on Amazon

- How to stop being miserable

- The impending cellular data crisis

Monday, March 11, 2019

Captain Marvel

Went to see Captain Marvel last night and it was a fun flick. It was what I was hoping for - a brain candy superhero movie that had a couple laughs and didn't suck.

Check, check and check.

I'd definitely watch this flick again once it gets to streaming.

As far as the "controversy" about the film being a feminist vehicle or something - it's way overblown. It was a fun movie that happens to have a female lead. How is that controversial?

If you did want to go down that rabbit hole - the question I'd ask is where was Carol Danvers' mom? You had some flashback shots of her dad but where was the mom? That's nitpicking however. As I said it was just a fun movie and any controversy is purely manufactured.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Dan Jenkins

Sports writer and novelist Dan Jenkins has passed away at age 90. How much is was revered in the sports writing community can be viewed with just a small sample of the many who have paid their respects.

SI pays their respects

ESPN pays their respects.

The Ringer pays their respects.

And of course his daughter, columnist Sally has the best of all.

Time to buy another copy of Semi-Tough or maybe Dead Solid Perfect. RIP Mr. Jenkins.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- This blows my mind. I think most people who watch this will then want to buy a pineapple to try it out.

- So this is funny but it also makes me think of the great recent podcast series by Dan Carlin on the build-up to the War in the Pacific

- The Atherstone Ball Game. WTF?

- A visit to Charles Bukowski's grave on the 25th anniversary of his death.

- They drew first blood, not me!

- Cool

- The girl who executed Nazi after seducing them in bars

- Nuclear fusion getting some love from investors.

Daylight Savings

If I were elected President, one of the first things I'd do is put a bill in front of Congress to repeal Daylight Savings. It is a stupid idea and nobody likes it. My approval rating would go through the roof on both sides of the aisle.

Here's five reasons to go on Daylight Savings and then never go back. Never change the clocks again!

Daylight Savings delenda est.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

OK I'll say it! I don't think that is is a coincidence that International Women's Day fell on a day where there was no football. That's proper scheduling... This is awesome!... Is goalie Roberto Luongo a Hall of Famer? Sure he's 2nd in all time in games played and 3rd all-time in wins (485) but he's never won the Vezina Trophy as the top goalie in the NHL. Maybe he is a Hall of Famer - I just never looked at him that way... Adult Swim should have a show called Rick Santorum: Vatican Spy. It would be a cross between The West Wing and Archer. Tell me you wouldn't watch that show!... Would you eat the Moon if it was made of ribs? Harry Caray would... Maybe the worst part of St. Patrick's Day is the fat guy in a kilt. You know that guy - you run into one every year. The fat guy in the kilt who is always joking about "the breeze" or "dangling shillelaghs" trying to get you to ask if he's wearing underwear. You know the guy... Now this is a diet I could get behind...

Historical Footnote

General Douglas MacAuthur’s first marriage had a big wedding. Over two hundred guests were invited but because of political and family considerations – MacAuthur was only able to invite one close friend. The friend’s name? Buck Wheat (seriously).

No word on how the rest of Our Gang took the snub.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Report says US users are leaving Facebook by the millions. Yeah but if they are just porting over to Instagram then Facebook is still reaping that revenue.

- I miss Christopher Hitchens

- Heh heh - Hipster whines to tech magazine that they used his picture without permission in an article saying all hipsters look alike. Complaining hipster learns the picture was of a completely different hipster! Couldn't even recognize himself!

- Interesting - the Dutch are firing up a Thorium-Salt nuclear reactor. This is a technology the US should be utilizing on a wide scale.

- In 1944 this was a busy week for Chuck Yeager. He got his first air victory then he got shot down. Once he got to the ground and the woods he knew he was safe, "Ain't a German in the world that can catch a West Virginian in the woods." Where do we find such men?

- Simon Sinek on Millennials in the workplace. Excellent insight!

- 14 types of push-ups and how they help you. Some of these will definitely get added to my routine but some look really tough.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Was saddened by the sudden passing of Luke Perry. While many of his fans primarily think of him in roles on Beverley Hills 90210 or Riverdale - I may be alone in thinking of him as Linc Stark from John from Cincinnati (I never watched those other two shows)... Does Florida have an extradition treaty with any of the New England states? Asking for a friend... Actually like this idea a lot! Assuming the players have no eligibility left what's to stop the SEC Network from paying the players to participate? They aren't getting paid to attend the NFL combine... So President Trump accidentally called Tim Cook of Apple "Tim Apple" and Tim Cook reacts by changing his Twitter profile to this. Genius!... I was disappointed that the Patriots did not place the franchise tag on Trey Flowers but then I was reminded that Flowers and Bill Belichick have the same agent. So hope remains that some type of deal can be reached (though I'm not optimistic)... Technically this is true. Also technically true that combined the Sacramento Kings and Boston Celtics each have a first round draft pick in this year's NBA Draft (oh wait a minute)... "Knowledge if not digested does not give nutrition, only adds weight." - Osho... 

I've Got No More F***s to Give!

Awesome! Written and performed by Thomas Benjamin Wild Esq. Obviously NSFW!

Perhaps my new theme song.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- 20 notoriously underrated writers you should be reading. I admit that the majority of the writers on this list were unknown to me. Have to widen my reading circle. (Via Execupundit)

- Agree 100%! Never understood why people voluntarily bought this gum

- Octopus and squid evolution is officially weirder than previously thought

- Heh Heh - Darth Vader on DMT

- Interesting long read profile of John Bolton in of all places The Atlantic. Filled with backhanded compliments the article will result in the "two screen effect" Scott Adams speaks about so often. The Left will read it and see Bolton as a monster while the Right will read it and say "Hey this guy Bolton is just what the US needs."

- 3 simple exercises Men's Health says you should do every day.

- The Stray Cats announce their first album in 25-years and first US tour in 10-years. These guy are from Long Island? Who knew?

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Currently Reading

Here's what I'm currently reading:

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. (Just started)

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein. (About half way through)

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss (About half way through)

Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman (Almost done)

The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding by Robert Hughes (Just started)

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- I love Alex Trebek. I'm praying for him to beat the long odds. He's the best!

- In other medical news - Billionaire diamond trader dies during penis enlargement surgery.

- The physics still hiding in the Higgs Boson. Going to have to read this a second time (for comprehension reasons)

- Clint Eastwood's Code (Via Execupundit)

- Cool - the moment of impact for a bullet

- Well that's one way to look at Brexit I guess

- Israeli company can produce 5,000 liters of clean drinking water from just the air and a good electrical supply. The cost per liter is estimated at just $.02-04 per liter!

I'm Amazed - My Morning Jacket

Just felt like hearing this today.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019


Yesterday I saw a pickup truck with Mass plates with a Trump/Pence bumper sticker AND a Coexist bumper sticker. This is the first time I can recall ever seeing that combination. It got my mind engaged on the long ride.

"Maybe the Trump/Pence bumper sticker was put there by the husband and the Coexist by the wife?" I reasoned. Then I thought "Maybe the guy put on the Trump/Pence bumper sticker then put the Coexist one next to it as a middle finger to anyone judging him for supporting Trump."

I like the latter idea so much more. I can picture the guy smiling thinking, "Why are you mad? Can't we all just Coexist?" Genius.

Happy 150th Birthday to the Periodic Table

Today marks the 150th "birthday" of Dmitri Mendeleev's periodic table. I would put this "discovery" on par with Newton's "discovery" of gravity or Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Let's Talk Some Politics

"North Korea will freeze and dismantle its nuclear program." - Bill Clinton 1994

"I won't rule out direct talks with Kim Jung Un. I just won't. As far as the risk of dealing with a madman is concerned, that's his problem, not mine." - Donald Trump 2018

ABC News has a brief on the US-North Korean summit in Vietnam. Michael Cohen is mentioned five times in an article about potential historic denuclearization talks. But there was one word glaringly missing in the article - the word China.

The editors at National Review are glad President Trump walked away from what would have been yet another bad deal for the US. But again there was one word glaringly missing in their article - the word China.

To Trump the North Korean Agreement is just part of a larger trade Agreement with China. It is no coincidence that the summit in Vietnam came at the same time the US and China were holding trade negotiations.

I have to hand it to Niall Ferguson - he called it last March. He pointed out China tariffs are directly linked to the negotiations with North Korea. And why not? North Korea to the US is a problem. To China it's a market potentially as large as South Korea. President Trump is directly pressuring China to help "solve" the North Korean problem as part of the larger US-China trade deal. Smart.

Oh and speaking of trade - Boeing secured $15.7 billion in Vietnam orders during Trump's visit to Hanoi. Did you happen to catch mention of that in the MSM?

Let me finish with one last quote. A quote that you should remind yourself of when talking politics these days: "All empty souls tend toward extreme opinions." - William Butler Yeats

Life advice

From the desk of George Raveling 

Monday, March 04, 2019

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Wait - what? World's Number 1 Bridge Player suspended for PED's

- Hockey players are the best (even if they play for the Canadiens)

- Hmmmm

- Looking back at the AIG bailout 10-years later. I wish we learned from this disaster but my guts says just same ole shit just different decade.

- Heard the Mueller report was going to be disappointing but this is ridiculous.

- Heh Heh

- HIV is reportedly cured in second patient.

This Week in Musk World

Very busy week in Musk World as lots of things were happening in both the Tesla and Space X operating spaces. Let's start with Space X.

The big news was the successful launch of the Crew Dragon mission early morning March 2nd. The unmanned Crew Dragon then successfully docked with the International Space Station. All of this, of course, brings Space X one step closer to manned space flight. This article expounds on the historic nature of this mission. Meanwhile, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine also put the his stamp on the historic mission. The return of the US having the capability to launch astronauts into space from American soil cannot be overstated.

In Tesla World it was announced that the long-promised $35,000 Tesla is finally here. This standard Model 3 will have a range of 220-miles. The drop to $35,000 has been compared to Henry Ford making the Model-T more affordable to the masses. That might be putting the cart before the horse here though.

To help accommodate all these cars - Tesla will be greatly expanding their Supercharging and Destination locations - including doubling the charging stations in California.  Almost buried in the news of the $35,000 Tesla is the fact that Tesla is now "shifting sales worldwide to online only."  Tesla certainly isn't afraid of being on the cutting edge.

Coming up on March 14th is the unveiling of the Model Y. Always something going on in Musk World.

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Why were scientists silent over gene-edited babies? And a related question - why are medical doctors silent over infanticide posing as late term abortion?

- Water on Mars. Much less scary than Water of Mars.

- F. Scott Firzgerald: A list of things to worry about and things not to worry about

- Gotta love Bill Walton

- 12 facts about Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels on its 20th anniversary

- Very cool!

Sir Bors

In Arthurian Legend Sir Bors (aka Bohort), Sir Galahad, and Percival go on to achieve the Holy Grail and accompany it to a mystical island in the Middle East called Sarras. Both Galahad and Percival die on the island while Bors is the only one to return. Thus Sir Bors is the lone survivor of the Grail Quest.

In the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail - Sir Bors is played by Terry Gilliam and is the first knight to fall victim to the killer rabbit.

Friday, March 01, 2019

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Part of me wants Zion Williamson to land with the New York Knicks because then many New Yorkers would be confused by some of these Democrats claiming to not be anti-Semites but anti-Zionists instead... I truly do want a copy of this painting... With March here I would still like to know why if the day after Christmas can be known as Boxing Day - why can't the day after St. Patrick's Day be known as Hangover Day?... Kill Bill - The Ballet?... Just a reminder - each March we knew exactly who President Obama picked in his NCAA pool but we still don't know where he was the night our embassy in Benghazi was attacked... If Zion Williamson does get signed by the Knicks - I hope he gets invited to AIPAC... Quietly the Boston Bruins have become perhaps the hottest team in the NHL. Go Bruins!...

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- What "impossible"meant to Richard Feynman

- Heh heh - this is true!

- Cool science

- The kid in the Patriots gear in the upper right looks afraid of the other kids. My how times have changed!

- Giving up Facebook has positive benefits for your life especially your mental health.

- Interesting - scientists pull CO2 from the air and convert it to coal

- Hockey players are the best!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Rational Anarchism

"True. But I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do." - Professor Bernardo de la Paz in Robert Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

If that's the basic tenets of being a Rational Anarchist - count me in! 

Also not a bad guide to a moral life. Right up there with John Wayne's from The Shootist.

The Honey Badger

The Nasty-Ass Honey Badger still funny 8-years later.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- David Goggins: 6 lessons from the toughest man alive

- A hard NO from me

- Cool - SLUSH the Europa deep drill

- Wow- what a difference

- 11 things you might not know about the Grand Canyon

- Rethinking President Grant

- Behind the curtain of "Hollywood accounting"

Life Advice

Nicolas Bate has a list of 22 things that should make your life better or as he puts it - 22 Brilliant at the Basics. As with any of these types of lists you need to customize it to make it your own. Here's the changes I'd make to the list:

4. Make your own bread (no thanks I'm trying to eliminate bread from my diet)

6. Manage your moods (I've taken to telling myself  "I choose to be happy" recently and it is helpful)

7. Write every day in your journal (I'd simplify that to just "Write every day")

How would you customize your list?

(Via Cultural Offering)

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Let's Talk Some Politics

Let's be honest - the Democratic candidates who have announced they are running for President so far leave a lot to be desired. I mean a whole lot. And the ones who are waiting in the wings like Joe Biden, Beto O'Rourke and Tim Kaine (not sure about you but I completely forgot Kaine was Hillary's running mate) all have their own unique drawbacks. The leaders of the pack seem to be Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris.

The DNC may be trying to force out Bernie Sanders by hook or by crook. If the party leaders knew how much "trouble" Bernie would cause there's no way they've let in in the 2016 race. The question now is "Is it too late?" It's probably too late to force any rules on Bernie because if he runs as an Independent he'll take at least one-third of the Democrat's general election votes with him. And it's probably too late to prevent a farthest Left swing of the candidates who seem to want to out "Left" a guy who identifies as a Socialist.

Will 2020 Democrats help Trump by destroying each other is the other question being asked? Does the question really need to be asked? Of course they will! There is no "gentleman's agreement" on the Left. They will take some anonymous and some not so anonymous shots at each other (where do you think those old videos of Bernie or the form where Elizabeth Warren claimed she was American Indian came from). They simply don't have the decorum or the discipline to do otherwise. There is no Reagan's 11th Commandment for the Democrats.

And the more they go after each other the more hardcore supporters of certain candidates will stay home in the general election rather than support the candidate who said such awful things about their candidate. And when it is time for the winner of this bloodbath to triangulate to the middle for the general election - it will probably be too late for that too. How can a candidate spend the next year and a half trying to "out Left" all the other candidates only then to abandon most of that rhetoric? There will be no attempt to try to "hide the crazy"

I think the only chance the Democrats have is for a Centrist candidate to emerge. Someone who can say they support abortion but believes that late-term abortion is not something they think they can support (an opinion held by like 80% of the county). Someone who says "Everyone agrees that pollution and waste are bad so let's try to eliminate those without ruining the economy." Someone who's campaign motto would be - "Let's not go crazy - we have a country to run." Maybe someone like Al Gore?

Sure 13-years ago Al Gore said we had just 10-years to save the planet. Sure he's been widely mocked as the Goracle - the Manbearpig - the sexy poodle. All true but compared to the jokes that are the rest of the pack Gore looks like a Statesman.

Gore was the OG when it come to warning about climate change.Nobody's going to get him with a New Green Deal. And on the economy the guy can claim to be the VP during the Clinton Economy which will help dull any accomplishments Trump has. And age? He's six years younger than Joe Biden. And seven years younger than Bernie Sanders. Heck - he's two years younger than Donald Trump.

Predicting Al Gore joining the race for President. Bet you didn't see that Left turn coming.

This Week in Musk World

Consumer Reports pulled its recommendation for the Model 3 over reliability issues. Tesla says most of those issues had already been addressed. And most of the owner reviews I've seen are beyond positive regarding their Tesla vehicle - like this one

Last week there was a big shipment of Tesla cars to Europe - this week over 1,600 Model 3's were delivered to China. Ahead of schedule! Last week Sentry Mode was also released.

Next week in Musk World we get to see NASA's launch of the Space X Crew Dragon mission. Looking forward to that. And after all the testing the Space X team has been going through - my guess is they are more than up to the task.

And speaking of Space X - Elon says that the costs of the BFR could even be less than the Falcon 9.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Saint Cornelius of Ireland

Though not widely remembered today - at one point Saint Cornelius of Ireland (not to be confused with Saint Cornelius of Antioch) was second in popularity in the Emerald Isle only to Saint Patrick. 

Saint Patrick is remembered for driving the snakes out of Ireland. Saint Cornelius was said to have driven the squirrels out of Ireland. This "miracle" of Saint Cornelius later proved to be his undoing. During the Great Potato Famine starving Irishmen and women wished they had tasty squirrel meat to eat and they cursed Saint Cornelius for driving out the furry rodents. In response to this outrage - Pope Pius IX removed Cornelius from the roll of official Catholic Saints. 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Robert Kraft

My first reaction to the news about Robert Kraft was shock. My second was embarrassment. For both him and his family. You knew it would be seconds before this man who had done so much for his community became a punch line.

And I was not immune to those temptations.

I thought, "Maybe Kraft was just trying to up his street cred in the rapper community." And "Thank god the articles all pointed out that Kraft was arrested as a 'John' because I don't need the images of the alternative floating in my brain (but if you think about it I'm sure there's some of both sexes who would pay good money to have sex with an NFL owner)." Mea culpa.

Kidding aside the more I thought on it the more my feelings mirrored this:

I didn't care about Malia Obama having an underage drink. Why would I care about Bob Kraft committing a misdemeanor crime?

From a Michael McCann SI article "a first time conviction of solicitation is a misdemeanor offense that does not lead necessarily to any jail time."  What probably grabbed many's attention from the article was that suspects "allegedly paid $59 for a half-hour and $79 for the full hour." I can picture many men reading that and thinking "Only $59? Hmmm...." Meanwhile I wondered "who needs the full hour?"

The answer to that last question is lonely men willing to pay for release and for human company. I feel bad for those poor souls.

And I also agree that this shouldn't be a crime.  And according to former President Bill Clinton oral sex isn't even sex - so what's the big deal? Legalize it and many of the seedier aspects of the situation are removed.

Which brings us to the darkest aspect of this story. The girls working in these "spas" were allegedly being forced to do so. Call it sex trafficking if you like. To me it is slavery and slavery is evil. Legalize the massage parlors and have the places that cater to these needs be inspected and pay taxes on services rendered. Let's stop being puritans about basic human needs and turning a blind eye to the problem of loneliness that plagues our society.

I've seen some getting on their high horse about the aspect of sex trafficking involved here but I guarantee that these sorts of establishments exist in almost any community over a certain size in the US. I've never been to one of these places but I can tell you of three in Worcester that have been operating for years and I'm sure there are others that I've never noticed (of the ones I've noticed one is next to where I buy cigars, one is across from a popular restaurant and one is next to a bar a friend owns). I can't ever recall seeing anyone going into or leaving one of those places but the fact that they've been open for years must mean they have their share of customers.

If you feel strongly about the sex-trafficking aspect of this story feel free to identify the "spas" working in your community and then volunteer to do something about it.

As for me - now that I've written down these thoughts I will try to move on from this story to concentrate on things I can improve in my own life. Not sure about you but I know I'm imperfect however I'm self aware enough to know that spending time judging the venal sins of others won't improve my condition.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Grand Canyon visitors may have been exposed to radioactive materials for more than two decades

- David McMillan of Joe Beef discusses how stopping drinking has changed and bettered his life and relationships. He also recently discussed this at length on a podcast with Joe Rogan.

- Heh Heh

- CBO estimates on Obamacare were way off. The CBO projected that 14 million would go without healthcare due to Republican changes but that number turns out to be just 2.5 million - who it should be noted voluntarily decided against making the purchase. Of all the topics the Democrat candidates have been pushing in order to get attention the individual mandate is no longer one of them. That in itself is very telling.

- Cool - the birth of a planetary system.

- Meanwhile in Canada a corruption scandal could cost Justin Trudeau his job. Polls show Liberal support dropping. Maybe Trudeau can get a job as a yoga instructor? Amusing to think Trump might outlast Trudeau when you look back on all the fawning that was done over the young Prime Minister.

- This is all you need to see to understand the Jussie Smollett hoax.

Iwo Jima

Today is the anniversary of the iconic photo by Joe Rosenthal of raising of the American flag on Mount Suribashi on Iwo Jima. The fighting on the island actually started four days earlier on February 19th. The story of this battle is something every high school student should have to learn before they are allowed to graduate.

Semper Fidelis.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

This B-2 Spirit Bomber is beautiful to me.

You can find the much better resolution original here.

Nick Cafardo

The first thing to understand about Nick Cafardo is that he was a good guy. I mean the type of guy who you've never heard a bad thing about. Everybody liked Nick Cafardo.

The second thing to understand is that he was very good at his job. Especially covering baseball. He was with the Boston Globe since 1989. Imagine covering sports in a town as critical as Boston and nobody having a bad thing to say about a sportswriter - IN BOSTON! Everybody liked Nick Cafardo.

The last thing to note on the passing of Nick Cafardo is he was just 62-years old.  He was working at the park despite it being his day off. He loved his job and he loved baseball. But he was just 62 and he leaves a wife and two kids. He was just 62-years old.

Don't take any day for granted. And find something you love to do. Like Nick Cafardo loved covering Boston sports.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

If I had three wishes from a genie my first would to have the exact same hoax but instead of Jussie Smollett as the "victim" it would be Roger Goodell. (I have a strange sense of humor)... The German remake of Kids in the Hall looks woke as fuck!... Evidence of society getting lazier; in the 1950's it was called "pornographic movies", in the 70's shortened to "porno's", today just "porn". In 20-years it will be just "p"... Not all heroes wear capes... I get the sneaking suspicion that now that the Steelers have let Le'Veon Bell walk as a free agent, they will first trade Antonio Brown, and then just before training camp Ben Roethlisberger will decide he wants to retire. Somehow that's the way I think things will work out...  Finally some information from the Internet you can actually use - How much boobs weigh in animal terms... Raiders of the Lost Ark is now considered a classic? Man that makes me feel old... 

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- How can you not root for Tim Tebow? Coaches everywhere at every level should play this message to their kids.

- The TWA Hotel looks wicked cool

- I'm also rooting for Tim Dillard (but obviously for different reasons)

- Is it time to purchase a WiFi 6 router? For most people the answer is definitely no. If you do need to upgrade you may want to just do an 802.11ac router (aka WiFi 5) on which pricing should be coming down.

- Heh Heh

- Interesting - Volvo is now exporting cars to Europe from the US (from their plant in South Carolina)

- What a catch!

103rd Anniversary of the Battle of Verdun

Today marks the the 103rd anniversary of one of the events that changed the world forever. On February 21st in 1916 - the Battle of Verdun began. The battle was to change the course of Western Civilization. 

The idea for the battle was from German Chief of Staff, Erich von Falkenhayn. He believed that if he could take-out France with a major set battle and discourage England to a point that Germany could be in a position to negotiate very favorable terms. To accomplish his goals - Falkenhayn proposed unrestricted submarine warfare to starve Britain and a knockout blow against France at Verdun. With this major battle at Verdun, Falkenhayn hoped to "bleed France white".

It was an ambitious plan - an aggressive plan. Falkenhayn knew that to attack at Verdun he'd have to take resources away from the Eastern Front and that unrestricted submarine warfare ran the risk of bringing the U.S. into the war. Falkenhayn reasoned that Russia was on the brink of revolution and internal civil war in Russia would allow them to take those resources from the Eastern Front and that the decisive blow to France would come before the US was dragged into the war. He was right on the former but wrong on the latter.

Verdun seemed the perfect place to attack. It actually jutted out into the German lines - so it could be attacked from three sides. It was also of historical and psychological significance to Frenchmen (somewhat akin to what the Alamo is to Americans).

The job of attacking Verdun fell to German Crown Prince Wilhelm. He planned to assault the town from both sides of the surrounding Meuse River but that plan vetoed by Falkenhayn. After coming up with a daring, aggressive plan - Falkenhayn was suddenly cautious. Falkenhayn ordered the attack to be confined to one side of the river. Similar to a poker game, Falkenhayn was beaten on the river. Falkenhayn had pocket Aces of a plan but he failed to put enough chips at risk to drive the other player out. By not being aggressive when he should have - he gave France free cards and allowed himself and Germany to literally be beaten on the river.

With so many people who eventually died in the battle, a poker analogy may seem flip but the fact is the Germans had one million troops against 200,000 defenders. They did hold Aces before the battle.

When the attack finally began, the Germans bombarded Verdun with 1,400 guns that rained Verdun with 100,000 shells every hour. The Germans failed to immediately follow up the bombardment with an full-scale infantry attack and what resulted was a stalemate which was to last for months and months.

The dead and wounded from both sides piled up so that both countries were being "bled white". The French begged Britain to open up a diversionary attack elsewhere on the Western Front to drain resources and men away from Verdun on the German side. Thus the Battle of the Somme was born. 

By the time the battle of Verdun ended almost one million casualties had been inflicted in roughly equal numbers for both sides. The Battle of the Somme resulted in about 1.1 million casualties (about 400,000 British, 200,000 French and 500,000 German). The unrestricted submarine warfare resulted in the Americans being dragged into the War (remember that President Woodrow Wilson was elected on a peace platform). The American joined the fight just as both sides were literally exhausted from being "bled white" from Verdun and the Somme and the rest is history (including the harsh terms imposed on Germany that led to the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party).