Monthly Archives: January 2012

Battle Royal

Here’s an all-Macbeth smackdown: Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Patrick Stewart, and the late Nicol Williamson go head to head to head in the steel cage. Who claims victory? Related content from Sphere

Blasphemy Mucho

Dennis Mangan brings us news from the prestigious London School of Economics — where the Student Union has declared “Islamophobia” to be “racism”, and has appointed itself to identify, root out, and prosecute blasphemy against Islam. This craven gesture is not only an affront to freedom of speech, and to freedom of thought itself, but […]

Spring Is In The Air!

How wonderful it is to see democracy flowering at last in the Maghreb! It would be too much, though, to expect everything to be put right all at once, after so many years of ruthless oppression. Even though Egypt’s newly elected political leaders have now consolidated their parliamentary power in the wake of last year’s […]

The Great Divide

At the Washington Post’s website there’s an item titled “Obama: The most polarizing president. Ever.” The article looks over the gap between Presidential job-approval and job-disapproval ratings (by respondent’s party affiliation) over the years, and concludes that Mr. Obama has divided the nation more than any third-year President ever has. (In a recent poll, 80% […]

Mitt Schlag

Hey, maybe we’re going to win this thing after all!

John Bushnell

The music biz isn’t always fair. A lot of mediocre talent makes it big, and there have always been world-class players who never get the wider recognition they deserve, and spend their working lives playing for a devoted local following far from the big-city spotlight. One such is my old friend John Bushnell, whom I’ve […]

Benthic Bafflement in the Baltic

Here’s a curious item: a strange, roughly circular object, about the size of a 747, found last July at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. It even comes with what some are calling “drag marks”, hundreds of feet long. It looks like this: What is it? A UFO? Kvenland? I’m dead boring when it comes […]


Here, courtesy of Bill Vallicella, is an appalling story: a young woman who has eaten nothing but chicken nuggets all her life, and was finally taken to the hospital after collapsing. I suppose this is no different from somebody drinking herself to death, but one does wonder what her parents must have been thinking. (Our […]


I’ve been working all day, with no time to write. I won’t send you off empty-handed, though: here’s a singular series of illustrations made by the artist John Vassos for his 1931 collection Phobias. Related content from Sphere

The Bubble Test

Are you tucked away in an elite intellectual and cultural cocoon, isolated from America’s ‘vibrant’ popular mainstream? One can only hope. Find out here.

Gas Guzzler

With a hat-tip to the indefatigable JK, here’s something new about to make its debut: the Tata MiniCat. Not what you want for traversing the Interstate system, but perfect for getting around locally — and cheaply. Related content from Sphere

Fish Story

We were on the road all day, so all I have tonight is this odd item from long ago, in which goldfish bowls were banned in Monza, Italy. Apparently, according to the town council’s Giampietro Mosca, a fish kept in a curved glass bowl “has a distorted view of reality … and suffers because of […]

Here Comes The Sun

It seems old Sol has just launched a gigantic flare our way — the biggest in seven years — and we will notice its effects on Tuesday. While you’re waiting, here’s a fantastic gallery of solar images. My favorites: numbers 15 and 16. Related content from Sphere

Software Professionals: A Field Guide To Indentification

Here’s how you can tell working coders from computer-science Ph.Ds: Make them mad. We all know when you’re angry you should count to 10; this should be sufficient for distinguishing the two species. The Coder: “zero…one…two…three…four…five…six…seven…eight…nine.” The Ph.D: “one…two.” Related content from Sphere


Bored? Then spend a few minutes contemplating this grammatically correct and semantically coherent sentence: “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.” Read all about it here, and here.

This Ain’t No Party

Here’s a funny line: “I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I love.” Funny? Well, not so much, maybe. According to a tart item at the Corner yesterday by Mark Steyn, Mr. Romney actually said this in a […]

Coming Soon!

More on the blessings of socialized medicine, from the Daily Mail.


What say you, readers? Is this child abuse?

Fun With Fluids

When you mix cornstarch with water, you get a gloopy liquid with a strange property: its viscosity increases the faster you try to move through it or deform it. Back when my kids were in grade school, they informed me that the stuff now has an official name: “oobleck”. It turns out that oobleck behaves […]


First real snow of the season here in Wellfleet. Here are two views from chez Waka, taken earlier today (and about half a foot ago). Looking northwest, down the hill: Looking east, out the back door: I liked the way these tree-trunks along the lane looked in the grey light: Related content from Sphere


Off the coast of Brazil is a huge oilfield. Ensuring a stable source of Western-Hemisphere oil would be a good thing for us here in the U.S., especially given recent unrest in the Mideast, and uncertainty about the security of the Persian Gulf. So The Obama administration went to Rio last month to make a […]

Creative Destruction

Here’s a cheery item: Bankrupt Solyndra is now smashing its inventory and throwing it into dumpsters. I thought our American readers would find this of particular interest, having paid for the stuff. Related content from Sphere

Tom Ardolino, 1955-2011

Here’s some really terrible news that I just heard about tonight; Tom Ardolino, NRBQ’s longtime drummer and one of my favorite drummers of all time, has died. I don’t know what the cause was, but he’d been sick for a while. Tom Ardolino just whacked the hell out of the drums, and played the biggest, […]

Microsoft’s New App: A Goodthinkful Review

My friend Danny Fisher’s website Wish I Didn’t Know has picked up a story about a proposed smart-phone app that will warn users about high-crime districts, presumably so that safety-conscious travelers can avoid blundering into them. The app has apparently irked various interest groups, who I suppose think that gathering crime-rate statistics and making them […]

Senate To Toothpaste: Back In Tube!

Lawrence Auster brings to our attention (with pithy comments of his own, here) an article from the Daily Mail on the SOPA bill that has been getting so much attention. (I’ll confess I haven’t read the dense 78-page bill itself yet, but from all the summaries I’ve seen it does indeed appear to be a […]

Heckuva Job!

Sorry to harp on politics today, but President Obama has now petulantly squashed the Keystone Pipeline project, which had broad support, would have created many jobs, and would have decreased our reliance on Mideast oil. Even his own base was divided on this one, with unions supporting it and environmental groups in opposition. Detailed commentary […]

And Away We Go

In a gratifyingly swift response, those non-recess “recess” appointments the President made a fortnight or so ago are now being challenged in court.

Brain Damage

Well, Wikipedia’s down for a day. This should reduce the apparent know-it-all-ness of the blogospheric commentariat by about 98%, I reckon. (Fortunately I downloaded a copy, so I should be OK.) Feeling a little better today. Should be my old self shortly. Related content from Sphere


Still under the weather here, and in my depleted state I seem to be losing the battle with the blank page. If brain not in better shape soon I may have to turn things over to my Super PAC for a few days. Update: OK, here’s something, in case you missed it over at Kevin’s […]

No Post Tonight

I’m not at all well tonight — I seem to have caught a nasty sinus cold, a rarity for me — and it’s all I can manage to keep the conversation going in our “What Is A Nation Anyway?” thread. Back to normal soon, I hope. Related content from Sphere

Pat Buchanan on Ron Paul

Pat Buchanan has now lost his TV gig for crimespeak, but he’s still got his website and newsletter. In his latest offering, he examines Ron Paul’s candidacy, and what Mr. Paul’s investment strategy says about his view of the near future. Here. Related content from Sphere


Well, here it is again: Friday the 13th. I consider them auspicious, but I’ve already written about that several times (such as here and here), so for today I’ll just note the event en passant, and get on with other things. Related content from Sphere

What Is A Nation, Anyway?

With a hat tip to Dennis Mangan, here’s a provocative item: Israel Upholds Citizenship Bar for Palestinian Spouses Israel’s Supreme Court has upheld a law banning Palestinians who marry Israelis from gaining Israeli citizenship. Civil rights groups had petitioned the court to overturn the law, saying it was unconstitutional. “Human rights do not prescribe national […]

Gut Feelings

In Beelzebub’s Tales to his Grandson, the magnum opus of the extraordinary Greek/Armenian mystic G.I. Gurdjieff, the central character, Beelzebub refers to the unfortunate inhabitants of Earth — us — as “three-brained beings”. This is in alignment with Gurdjieff’s division of the human organism into three parts: the intellectual center, emotional center, and ‘moving’ or […]

Tech Talk

This post is something a little out of the ordinary, one that most of our readers will want to skip: it’s a Javascript hack for Microsoft Visual Studio that solves a problem I had at work today. I couldn’t find anything about this online, and once I’d got it sorted out I thought I’d make […]

Rivers Of Blood Must Flow!

Meet Mercedes-Benz’s new spokesman.

Hear Ye!

BE IT KNOWN BY ALL that Hizzonner Michael Bloomberg, Lord Mayor of Manhattan, Imperator of The Five Boroughs, Slayer of Term Limits, and Guardian In Loco Parentis of the Well-Being and Moral Probity of the Gothamite Flock, has of Late turned His Attention to the licentious Consumption of Alcoholic Liquors, and other stimulating Potations, by […]


Here’s a dispatch from our senior White House correspondent, Milton Polchek: WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 – Michelle Obama, the first black woman to serve as First Lady, took to the airwaves recently to express her irritation at being characterized as an “angry black woman”. Mrs. Obama could not be reached for comment, but a close friend […]

The Deprong Mori

Here’s a curious item for you: the only recorded capture, in the Tripiscum Plateau of the Circum-Caribbean region of Northern South America, of the exotic Piercing Devil.

Pot Luck

With thanks to our reader Pete K., here’s a heartening item from the frontiers of science. What’s more, the story introduces a new and important fundamental unit of measurement, which I think should be called the ‘marley’. And here’s a related video. Related content from Sphere

Spring Has Sprung

With a hat tip to VFR, here’s the Jerusalem Post’s latest report on the Islamist renaissance that is coalescing in the wake of the ‘Arab Spring’. Meanwhile, DEBKA reports that in Egypt, General Tantawi and the SCAF grow weary of their burden, and are negotiating an early handover of the reins of power to the […]


Gotta love this: the upstart Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, who has attracted nationwide attention for his ostentatious Christianity, is fond of associating himself with the New Testament verse John 3:16. For you damned heathens out there who may not be familiar with this oft-quoted passage, it says: For God so loved the world that […]

Tough Call

So, conservatives: who’s our guy going to be? Heading into the New Hampshire primary, Mitt Romney has a commanding lead — and the other candidates spent most of Saturday’s debate snarling at one another, while hardly even taking a swing at Mitt. There are two questions. First: who out of this lot would, by our […]


I’ve never been a fan of Rick Santorum, and I hope he doesn’t win the GOP nomination, because then I’d have to vote to elect him President. But any criticism I might make of him begins and ends with his public life: his opinions and intentions regarding government policy. Not so for liberal water-carriers Alan […]

Why I Love The Internet

Just tweeted by “Karma’s janitor”, @Iowahawk: New York New York, it’s a helluva town / 3 foot rats, but the transfats are down

The War of 2012

Peter Kirsanow comments, here, on President Obama’s scorched-earth “recess” appointments. I look forward to an adjudication in the courts. This year’s presidential campaign is going to make Iwo Jima look like a pillow-fight. And if you thought U.S. politics were already polarized to the point of total dysfunction, Pat Buchanan argues here, just wait until […]

What’s The Point?

New tests of the extract of Japanese raisin-tree seeds (hovenia dulcis) appear to have confirmed that their “active ingredient” is highly effective at blocking the effects of alcohol. Big Think reports: Scientists at UCLA gave a group of rats the “human equivalent” of 15 to 20 beers during a two-hour binge. We’ll call this group […]

Life Is Short

So I’ve decided to follow @kanyewest on Twitter. Should be great, I think.

This Just In

From the frontiers of science, here’s some breaking news — Men, Women Really Do Have Big Personality Differences — that any human being, plucked from anywhere on Earth at any time between the invention of language and the 1960s or so, and not in a persistent vegetative state, could have told you. I’m “on the […]

Fish Story