Monthly Archives: June 2012

What A Life!


Nice Work If You Can Get It (And You Can Get It If You Try)

There’s an ad on my local news-radio station that’s been playing for years. It’s for one of those personal-injury law-firms. Now I have nothing against such firms, and they surely serve a just and necessary purpose in bringing succor to those wrongfully harmed. But there’s one line in this commercial that jumps out at me […]

Missed It By That Much

Here’s more on the ACA ruling, from Daniel Foster at NRO. From Kennedy’s dissent, joined by Scalia, Alito, and Thomas (but not Roberts!): “In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.” Related content from Sphere

If At First…

The blogger Poor Richard makes an interesting point about the Obamacare ruling, here.

Oh Well

Well, SCOTUS made its big ruling today, and the key point of contention — the individual mandate — was upheld. I haven’t read the opinions yet, but it seems the IM was ruled not to be permissible under the Commerce Clause, which was what pretty much everyone thought the decision would hinge on, but was […]

Death Of A Nation

We can’t seem to do anything at all any more. Here are two posts about that: one from Walter Russell Mead, the other from Dennis Mangan. Democracy works well enough for a while, I suppose, while a nation is young and virile enough to value opportunity over security, and while its people can muster up […]

Then And Now At NEJM

Here’s an interesting item from the New England Journal of Medicine on the “changing task of medicine”. It looks back at NEJM’s pages from a century ago and more to see how both the technical and social aspects of medicine have changed. (The article cites hopeful remarks, for example, about how eugenics would someday supersede […]

You Don’t Say!

That the mainstream media list hard to port is so obvious to anyone who doesn’t share their reference frame that it’s hardly worth mentioning — or at least it would be so if everyone on the left didn’t deny it so fatiguingly and disingenuously at every opportunity. With that in mind, here’s a refreshing post […]

After You

The other day I was reading up on Phlebopus marginatus, the Salmon gum mushroom of Western Australia, and noticed that it is “generally recorded as of unknown edibility”. I was surprised to see that — I mean, is the thing edible, or not? — until I thought about it and realized just what’s involved in […]

Gotta Look Sharp

Call me crazy, but I think this is one rakish alligator.

Rear View

Living is walking backwards. All we can see is where we’ve already been.

Summer In The City

Here’s Arthur Miller, remembering the sweltering New York of his youth. (I doubt I would have survived it.)

More From James Lovelock

Scientist James Lovelock, best known for his development (with Lynn Margulis) of the “Gaia hypothesis” and for his ardent advocacy of radical measures to prevent global warming, surprised us all a little while back when he told MSNBC that in retrospect he thought he had been too “alarmist” about climate change. (It is no small […]

Spring And Fall

Working late tonight, with much to catch up on — so for now, just an odd little item about the physics of Slinkies.

That Was Fun

We’re back, after a splendid trip. Visiting Venice and Florence reminds one just how tall the West’s candle once stood, and on returning home it’s hard not to dwell on how very low it has burned. But that’s just the way of the world, I suppose. Did I miss anything? I have a lot of […]

Service Notice

We’ll likely be off the air until sometime around June 21st: the lovely Nina and I are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary with a little trip to Italy (Venice and Florence). We’ll have scant access to email and the Internet — and it will be nice to take a little break from all that is […]

The Public Enemy

I’ve lived in the Northeast all my life. I like it here. I like the landscape, the culture, and the dramatic cycle of the four seasons (my favorite being autumn). I have no inclination to live anywhere else, and will doubtless make my home here for the rest of my life (unless some combination of […]

Happy Grass

From the website “prosthetic knowledge” comes this cross-section of a marram-grass leaf:

A Better Mousetrap

Here’s a nifty invention, at least four years in the making. Wonder how long the deregulating will take?

Bokanovsky’s Process

Today’s Times reported that it is now possible to read almost all of a fetus’s genome simply by taking blood from the mother and saliva from the father. Lurking behind the headlines is an idea, once heartily embraced by Progressive intellectuals: eugenics. Thanks to certain mid-20th-century events, eugenics nowadays is generally thought of as entirely […]


This looks promising: touchscreens that can create 3-D buttons as needed.

Long Ago And Far Away

From NASA: a little historical item about a previous transit of Venus.

So Much For The War On Drugs

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s Victory Deals Blow to Unions


OK, last item about Wisconsin: for those of you who hadn’t followed the recall campaign, here’s a video clip that should help to explain what happened there yesterday. The Dow shot up 286 points today. Related content from Sphere

Sic Transit Venus

Have a look at some impressive photos of yesterday’s astronomical event, here.

Tragedy Of The Commons

Sorry to harp on politics, but the Walker victory in Wisconsin yesterday was an important inflection point, and this recent piece by economist Walter Williams underscores its significance so clearly and straightforwardly that I’m going to reproduce it here in full. Why was Wisconsin so important? Because the tragedy-of-the-commons effect described here by Williams is […]

Because Fat People Are Disgusting

James Lileks weighs in, so to speak, on the soda-ban ruction.

Get Your Yahyas Out!

In which it is demonstrated once again that “Second-In-Command of al-Qaeda” is the world’s most dangerous job.

Taubes On Salt

Here’s Gary Taubes in Sunday’s New York Times, writing about the flimsy case for restricting dietary salt. (Mayor Bloomberg, take note.)

The X-37B


Fighting For Their Right To Party

With the Walker recall election on the morrow — widely regarded as a key American battle in the bitter ideological conflict now convulsing all of the West — here’s a piquant item from Mark Steyn. Excerpt: [I]n 2012 the advanced Western social-democratic citizen looks pretty similar, whether viewed from Greece or Germany, California or Quebec. […]

The Call Of Cthulhu

Warning: you won’t be able to unsee this.

Scale Model

My friend G. Orcalimbo Jones (be sure to listen to the live stream of his radio show on WOMR, Fridays at 9 P.M.) has sent us a nifty item: a continuously zoom-able display of our Universe at all scales. Seen this way, scale itself seems to become a linear dimension of its own. Have a […]

Abandon All Hope

Shouldn’t be difficult, after you have a look at this.