Monthly Archives: September 2010

So Much To Do, So Little Time

Here’s an item that I am trying to get my head around: According to Raphael Bousso at the University of California, there are physical constraints that make an eternally expanding universe impermissible. Cosmologists have been bickering over the fate of the universe since its expansion was confirmed by Edwin Hubble back in 1929. On the […]

It Hinders

In a recent column, David Brooks had this to say about the scope of government nowadays: The heart of any moral system is the connection between action and consequences. Today’s public anger rises from the belief that this connection has been severed in one realm after another. Financiers send the world into recession and don’t […]

Cold War, For Now

Yesterday’s paper had an item about a computer virus, Stuxnet by name, that has found its way into industrial networks around the world, most particularly in Iran. So sophisticated was the virus that it seemed to all that it was probably the work of a government agency — and the likely suspect, given the apparent […]

UFOs: Threat, Or Menace?

Poking around in the news this evening, I saw that UFOlogist Robert Hastings had held a news conference today with a number of retired Air Force servicemen. The panel claimed, in no uncertain terms, that they had had first-hand close encounters with strange flying machines at various nuclear-weapons sites, that they had been ordered to […]

King Of The Hill

Readers will know that we genuflect to a pantheon of drum gods here at waka waka waka. I’ve mentioned my current fave, Gavin Harrison, on several occasions, and readers have also sent along, from time to time, video clips of some formidable subordinate deities. But judging by what I’ve just seen, Olympus may soon be […]

Time Flies

We’ve been off the air for a couple of days, due to workplace emergencies and, last night, a concert by the British prog-rock band Porcupine Tree at Radio City Music Hall. The concert was fabulous: the band were in mid-season form, and Gavin Harrison’s mind-boggling performance was worth the price of admission all by itself. […]

Death Nail

Following on yesterday’s item about the death of the great Richie Hayward, the Washington Post’s Gene Weingarten gives us another decedent to mourn: the English language. Cause of death: email, texting, bloggers, and the decline of large-scale, professionally edited journalism. We read: The language’s demise took few by surprise. Signs of its failing health had […]

Richard Hayward, 1946-2010

Here’s a sad item that I missed while I was disconnected last month: drummer Richie Hayward, who since 1969 was the rhythmic anchor of the incomparable rock/blues/funk band Little Feat, died on August 14th of liver cancer and pneumonia. I was a huge fan of both Hayward and the band, and I am very sorry […]

This’ll Cheer You Up

Tired of watching things go to hell here in America? Well, a change is as good as a rest, they say, and instead of brooding about our declining fortunes here at home, it might be refreshing to focus for a minute on how very badly things are going overseas. Our indefatigable sources have sent along […]

…And Then You Die

Writing a novel? I’m certainly not, but if you are, you might be interested to read a brief outline, by the Canadian author Margaret Atwood, of the scope of available plot-lines. (Thanks to my daughter Chloë for providing me with the link.) You can read Ms. Atwood’s exposition here, if you like, but I’ve also […]

More Bang For The Buck

As readers may be aware, the nation’s economy has languished in dark depression for some time now. What can be done? Trillion-dollar Keynsian stimulus packages? A moratorium on government expansion, along with tax relief for the productive? Opinions vary. Branding consultant Richard Smith thinks he may have the answer: redesign the dollar. Here.

Slippin’ Those Surly Bonds

Making the rounds yesterday was a video clip of some of the most astonishing flying I’ve ever seen. I didn’t even know things like this were possible. The accompanying email offered the following information: This is all real and there is no trick photography. Not only is the airplane unbelievable but the pilot is also […]

Elemental Fury

We’ve just had some very violent weather here in Brooklyn and other parts of Gotham. It all happened in the space of a few minutes, late this afternoon. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen. Many, many trees are down, cars smashed, etc., and I believe at least one person was killed. There are photographs […]

Déjà Vu

Tea Party candidates made a strong showing in primary elections yesterday, and as a conservative sort myself I can’t say I was sorry to see it happen. The American people are roused to righteous anger, and by all indications, there are going to be an awful lot of wigs on the green come November. Of […]

The Worm Turns

Back in July we looked at the details of an onerous provision hidden deep inside the recent health-care bill. It was a little booby-trap requiring that businesses file 1099-MISC forms for all purchases over $600 — mandating an enormous compliance burden on small businesses, in an effort to bleed enough private-sector money into the public […]

Filler Time!

Some longer posts still being under construction, all I can offer tonight is a link or two from the Shameless Filler grab-bag. First, I’ll bet all of you who frittered away the Cold War years in our nation’s amusement arcades did so secure in the knowledge that Our Side must ultimately triumph, due to our […]

Schlechten Tag

Thanks to Kevin Kim for pointing out an HTML problem with last night’s post: the WordPress engine didn’t like some empty ‘div’ tags I had sprinkled in to add space at the bottom, and had completely mangled the website. I had published the post, taken only the most cursory glance, switched off the computer, and […]

The Mountain Labored…

An enduring, and endearing, marvel of our species is how hard we are willing to work to produce something truly ghastly. Example here.

Rapid Reaction

You may have heard about the recent rescue of the Magellan Star from pirates in the waters off Yemen. Here, if you’re interested, are the details, by way of Information Dissemination and our indefatigable sources.

Send In The Clowns

Tonight a cold front has moved through the Northeast, and suddenly it feels like fall outside, which is always just fine with me. If there’s one thing I detest (and longtime readers will know that’s something of a lowball estimate), it’s a hot September. But right now there’s a cool, crisp breeze coming through the […]

Fire In The Belly

With a hat-tip to reader JK, here’s my favorite campaign video of the season.

No Place Like Home

It’s always rather a jolt getting back to Gotham after a long absence. Autumn is, as the old song reminds us, a fine time to be in New York, but I must say the adjustment was especially jarring this time around, and today the place seemed noisier, dirtier, and more chaotic than ever. Sirens wailed. […]

Start The World

We’re back from our August break, and after some catching-up, should be getting back to normal operations around here. (Gotham, I must say, seems a very crowded and messy place. I just can’t wait to ride the subway tomorrow morning; I’ve hardly even worn shoes for almost a month.) Speaking of shoes: some time ago […]

At Ease

Well, we made it. Having dropped four-and-a-half inches of rain into the lobster pot I left out on the deck, Earl, hurtling northeast into oblivion, is now watering the meadows and forests of the Canadian Maritimes. In its wake, the weather today in the Outer Cape is splendid: clear, dry, breezy and cool, and everyone […]

Earl And Troubled Waters

The Outer Cape is battening the hatches in anticipation of Hurricane Earl, which will be passing by here later today. We’re already getting bands of heavy rain, and the wind is picking up. The tide will be high as Earl approaches, and the heavy seas are expected to do a lot of damage to the […]