Monthly Archives: October 2013

Service Notice

Things may be quieter than usual here for the next few days. My elderly father, who has been in declining health for some time, has taken a very serious turn for the worse, and is gravely ill. I am flying to California to join my brother at his bedside. Related content from Sphere

Well, Whaddya Know?

As we all know by now, the good-for-nothing Obamacare website was built, at a cost to U.S. taxpayers of hundreds of millions, on a no-bid contract awarded to a Canadian company called CGI (which stands for Conseillers en Gestion et Informatique). But why CGI? Wouldn’t it have made patriotic sense, at the very least, to […]

Soon I’ll Hear Old Winter’s Song

As noted in these pages seven years ago, I’m a “fall guy“. It’s always been my favorite season. Here are some lovely photos of autumn in America. (I mean that literally, not figuratively, of course.) Related content from Sphere

Ice, Ice, Baby

In the Antarctic. The most in thirty years.

Happiness Is Just Around The Bend

In case you missed it: here’s a lesson in political philosophy from one Russell Brand, who is apparently a British entertainer of some sort. His plan appears to be:     Phase 1: Revolution!     Phase 2: ?     Phase 3: Justice! Should work. He’s obviously given it a lot of thought. Related content from Sphere

Gold Leaf

In this article from Science Daily, we learn that eucalyptus trees are pumping gold out of the ground.

Relativize This

Here’s a a 3D zoomable panorama of the Sistine Chapel.

How The Other Half Lives

The indefatigable JK sends along this item, with the comment “Good thing they raised the debt ceiling in time.” This is OUR MONEY, people.

A Nation Of Has-Beans

At Mangan’s.

Eppur Si Muove!

It is generally the case that bien-pensant women (and not just the women!) in advanced Western societies are eager to crush all vestiges of “gender” differences. They imagine a world in which half of all soldiers, network admins, metallurgists, auto mechanics, and oil-rig workers are female, and half of all librarians, nurses, pre-school teachers, cosmetologists, […]

Mad Frustrating, Yo

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a brief post about an idea, discussed by blogger and IT consultant Bruce Webster, that he calls the “Thermocline of Truth”. Mr. Webster describes it: In many large or even medium-sized IT projects, there exists a thermocline of truth, a line drawn across the organizational chart that represents […]

Blasts From The Past

For you bitter clingers, here’s a WWII-era training film: combat firing with the 1911 .45 ACP. One thing modern shooters will notice (and did, if you read the comments at the linked clip): the lack of emphasis on trigger and muzzle safety, which nowadays is the first thing you learn in any training course. Related […]

Let P Be A Constant

Another item from the frontiers of science: the Law of Mammalian Urination.

Wake Up And Smell The Lowered Mortality Rate

With a hat tip to our man Mangan, here’s some good news: coffee helps prevent liver disease. The more you drink, the more it helps.

Back On Top!

It’s Oysterfest weekend in Wellfleet once again, and your humble correspondent has reclaimed his crown at the annual Spelling Bee. I realize that by now most of you have likely already heard — I’m sure it’s all over the national media — but I thought the rest of you would like to know. Related content […]

It’s A Bug, That Will Eat Your Features

It’s the flesh-eating beetle, genus Dermestes. See these hungry little guys in action, here.

Keepin’ It Real

OK, everybody, I think we all need a little cooling-off period. Time to set aside our partisan differences and watch a bear play tetherball.

Careful What You Wish For

OK, the battle’s over, if not the war, and as we carry the dead from the blood-soaked field, Obamacare is still the “law of the land”. (“Flaw of the land”, according to some, but never mind.) So: how’s it going? Megan McArdle’s been wondering. If you are too, here’s a nifty website to help you […]

It’s Not A Bug, It’s a Feature

I’ve been preoccupied, so just a pair of related links for tonight. The topic is ‘biobots’ — i.e., remote-controlled cockroaches — and new ways to use them. Related content from Sphere


I have a question for all of you who say insist that the Democrats have played no causal role in this government shutdown and impending default (there’s no reason why the US must cease paying its debt service if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, by the way). (Just to be clear: although I agree with […]

Quote Of The Day

From an item at SFGate: People whose 2014 income will be a little too high to get subsidized health insurance from Covered California next year should start thinking now about ways to lower it to increase their odds of getting the valuable tax subsidy. Slip-slidin’ away… Related content from Sphere


— Steve Sailer comments on the tendency of women who are interested in science to go into the “life sciences” (medicine, biology) rather than fields like physics and chemistry. — Mark Steyn on King John and Barack Obama. — A “must-know” endgame from Susan Polgar. — Iron Man. — Walter Williams on guns, and the […]

Just One Word

Forward-looking, tech-savvy investors knew a while back that 3-D printing was going to be a Big Deal. (Those farsighted speculators have already made handsome returns with companies like 3-D Systems and Stratasys.) The technology is still in its infancy, though — about where personal computing was in 1980 or so — and its truly transformative […]

Dying By The Seat Of Your Pants

With a hat tip to our friend Mangan: sitting will kill you.

Things Are Tough All Over

Here’s the academic Left descending ever deeper into self-parody. Racism collides with sexism in a self-pitying pissing-contest of the microscopically oppressed. One would have to have a heart of stone to read this without laughing. Related content from Sphere

Boogie Oogie Oogie

On the dance floor itself, a great seething mass of people move like maggots in a tin. — Theodore Dalrymple, visiting a club. From Life at the Bottom, Kindle location 1408. Related content from Sphere

Parks And Rec

I don’t know what’s worse here: the brownshirt tactics of NPS rangers assigned to strong-arm old folks so as to make House Republicans look mean, or the awful fact that someone educated in America could accuse a person of “recreating”. God help us. Related content from Sphere

Red Herring

Over at The New Republic, in an article called Quit Blaming Gerrymandering for the Shutdown, Nate Cohn addresses some fashionable ideas about the effects of Congressional districting.


In a new worldwide evaluation of various cognitive skills, Americans have made a poor showing. Americans performed below the international average on math, reading and problem-solving on the exam, known as the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies. U.S. math skills lagged far behind top performers, including Japan and Finland. The Organisation for […]

The Droids We’re Looking For

Here’s another, from DARPA: WildCat. See also: RoboSimian.

Two Evils

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own […]

Who Shut Down The Government?

Limpid clarity on the 17th shutdown, from Thomas Sowell. Here.

By The Numbers

From Heartiste: the Beauty Ratio.

Selective Condescension

A tart item from Bill Vallicella. Here.

If Something Cannot Go On Forever, It Will Stop

While the nation keens and writhes over the theatrical Obamacare showdown/shutdown, Kevin D. Williamson, in an essay published earlier today, offers a sobering look at the larger problem: reaching a point where debt service plus “mandatory” entitlement spending exceeds total revenue — which rising interest rates could bring about sooner than you might think. When […]

Battle Of The Bilge

Speaking of Washington Monument Syndrome, some memorable political theater is underway at the WWII Veterans Memorial: the completely open-air plaza has now been blocked off by our Executive Branch, in a gesture of sheer petulance, just as a planeload of elderly veterans are arriving for a ceremonial visit. (“Non-essential” workers were actually exempted from their […]

“Washington Monument Syndrome”



A clever idea, this.