Monthly Archives: August 2012

As Good As It Gets

If I were to ask you, readers of a certain age, to think of rock music’s all-time greatest guitarists, I have a feeling that the thirty-three-year-old Derek Trucks might not be among the pantheon that swims into view. He should be, though. To get an idea why, have a look here.

Squid Chromatophores

See ’em dance! Here.

Beyond Parody

In this endless, eye-gouging, brass-knuckled, dung-flecked presidential campaign, we’ve been hearing an awful lot of noise from the Obama machine about an imaginary conservative “war on women”. (It’s calumnious rubbish, of course.) On the the other hand, there is indeed one resolutely committed ideological faction in this world that really is waging a relentless war […]



With Easy Grace

As we’ve all heard by now, the astronaut Neil Armstrong died last week. For the 43 years following his moonwalk, an achievement that he could surely have parlayed into wealth and glittering fame, the self-effacing Armstrong chose instead to lived a quiet life of teaching and farming. (In contrast, the pathologically narcissistic Barack Obama — […]

Talking Turkey

Here’s a nifty animation illustrating the spread of Indo-Euopean langauges.

All Aboard!

As the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, once explained, “Democracy is like a train. We shall get out when we arrive at the station we want.” That train seems to be moving along briskly in Egypt, where last week the democratically elected President, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi, ousted the Mubarak-era leadership of the […]

Beck’s Big Idea

And a pretty brilliant one too, I think: his new album will not be recorded at all, but will be published only as sheet music. It’s up to the fans to render it as they see fit.


From June:


Rather a nice sunset just now over at Duck Harbor:

Mitt Schlag

Here’s a delightfully un-PC item about Mitt Romney, by NRO’s Kevin D. Williamson, that’s sure to push all the right buttons. (As I write, it’s already clear from a quick survey of Twitter that those buttons have been pushed en masse.) It begins: What do women want? The conventional biological wisdom is that men select […]


As planned, I’ve hardly written anything here for a couple of weeks now. The lovely Nina and I are sequestered at our modest hilltop dacha here in the Outer Cape, and after spending two or three long days each week writing code (thank goodness for telecommuting!) the last thing I’ve felt like doing is to […]


One trillion frames per second, folks.

Bad To Worse

Andrew McCarthy comments on recent developments in Egypt.

N 165

Boy, everybody‘s on Twitter these days.

Déjà Vu

Remember Mike Dukakis in that tank?

Pretty Pictures

Another quick link: I stumbled across a collection of photos by someone named “Faryndale”, and I think they’re mighty good. Have a look.

When We Were Very Young

Okay, readers of a certain age: have a look at this.


Closed-door meetings between Obama, Biden, and Hillary Clinton today… I find it hard to believe that Ms. Clinton would accept Mr. Biden’s place on the ticket, but we’ll just have to see. Of course, they might just be talking about, oh, foreign policy, or something, I guess. [snicker]

Uncle Choo-Choo

What do you think, folks — will Joe Biden, who just seems to get battier and battier, be on the ticket in November?

A Hard Rain Gonna Fall?

Interesting item here: as calls to disarm the citizenry grow louder, why is the National Weather Service stocking up on .40-caliber jacketed hollow-point amunition?

Better Get Maaco

Here’s the damage to the U.S.S. Porter, in case you were wondering.

You’ve Been Warned

This little physics game is highly addictive.

Small Town

Just stood in the checkout line at the Wellfleet general store with Noam Chomsky. We didn’t chat.

High Noon

The inevitable showdown between the Brotherhood and the military in Egypt has arrived: Mohamed Morsi has sacked generals Tantawi and Anan. The military were the last bastion against the complete Islamization of Egypt, and were the real managers of the national convulsion that naifs in the West called the “Facebook revolution”. Now the newly elected […]

In This Corner…

So! Paul Ryan it is. Good choice, I think. It tilts the centrist Romney’s ticket toward fiscal conservatism, and makes the choice in November crystal-clear. Also: can’t wait for the Ryan – Biden debates! Last night on Twitter, just after the choice was “leaked”, Jonah Goldberg tweeted: “Joe Biden just soiled himself.” Will Antonin tweeted […]

Sail On, O Ship Of State

Following on our earlier item about unintended consequences, here’s another. They’re everywhere, it seems. Who knew?

D.I.Y. For The L.G.B.T.

Are you a transgendered Wiccan in a stable polyamorous relationship? Got a craving for a juicy, crispy, perfectly seasoned chicken sandwich, but would sooner camp out for Donny Osmond tickets than darken the door of a Chick-fil-a? Well, sir or madam, today’s your lucky day. Have a look here.

The Houyhnhnms Of Turtle Bay

Behold the geniuses who want to run the world.

Middle Of Nowhere

Here’s a stunning 360-degree panorama from Mars, courtesy of the rover Opportunity.

Why Explore Space?

With a hat tip to reader JK: In 1970, a Zambia-based nun named Sister Mary Jucunda wrote to Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger, then-associate director of science at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, in response to his ongoing research into a piloted mission to Mars. Specifically, she asked how he could suggest spending billions of dollars on […]

Tough Crowd

“Such is the nature of man, that for your first gift — he prostrates himself; for your second — kisses your hand; for the third — fawns; for the fourth — just nods his head once; for the fifth — becomes too familiar; for the sixth — insults you; and for the seventh — sues […]

Pretty Swift

Here’s a clever graphic presentation by the Times putting all the Olympic 100-meter winners since 1896 in the same race.

The Hollow Republic

NRO posted a good piece by Yuval Levin today, on competing views of the mediating layer that stands between the individual and the State. Here.


I like this: our Reconnaissance orbiter snapped a picture of Curiosity descending to Mars last night. Here.

Wheels Down On Mars

Fabulous. Go humans!


“Give me the razor, Jim,” said Turkle, his eyes glittering coldly. “Not until you drop that fish,” I told him, letting the strop slip from my hand. I heard it slap dully against the titanium frame. The… thing on the bench began to stir. One chance, I thought to myself. I’ll get one chance. “Jesus […]

Red Rover, Red Rover

All eyes on Mars tonight! I’ll bet the thing lands on a cat. More here.

Eye Candy

Have a look at this remarkable sculpture by Neil Dawson, mounted on a hilltop in New Zealand. More views of it here.

Dog Days

It’s August, and it’s hot and sticky, even here in the Outer Cape. Under these conditions, my little grey cells are roused to action with the greatest reluctance, and even then give only second-rate service. So for the next few weeks substantial posts may be sporadic at best; all I’m likely to have on offer […]

Here We Go Again

Things having gone so well elsewhere in the region, it appears we have decided to throw our weight behind the Syrian rebels.


Will this thing replace the mouse, do you think? I’m skeptical. It’s a great accessory, but one important feature of using a mouse is that one can rest one’s hand on the desk. Holding your arms up all day to use your computer would be tiring, I think.

Big Brave Man


The New Valkyrie

Autonomous swarming quadracopters. Here.