Contact me HERE

"Historian: An unsuccessful novelist." - H.L.Mencken

ontheridge.jpg
On the Ridge


Down valley a smoke haze
Three days heat, after five days rain
Pitch glows on the fir-cones
Across rocks and meadows
Swarms of new flies.

I cannot remember things I once read
A few friends, but they are in cities.
Drinking cold snow-water from a tin cup
Looking down for miles
Through high still air.

-- from Riprap / Gary Snyder

gerardvanderleun : October 21, 14  |  Your Say (0)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Grace Notes

a_a_josep-sumalla-03.jpg

Both by Josep Sumalla / 500px


a_a_josep-sumalla-091.jpg

gerardvanderleun : October 21, 14  |  Your Say (0)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Drive-By

"Your great-great grandfather was the one who cleared the soil

Your great-grandfather was the one who worked the soil

And your grandfather turned a profit on the land

And your father was the one who sold the land

To become a government functionary

And as for you my young lad,

You don’t know what you will do

In your little 1 bedroom,

Too expensive and cold in the winter

Sometimes a vague desire comes to you

To own something of your own

Dreaming at night

Of having your own little acre of land…”

gerardvanderleun : October 21, 14  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

asociualkitten.jpg

a_kittencalendar_1.jpg

a_kittencalendar_2.jpg

Unlike bland, privileged garbage kittens chosen for nothing more than shallow good looks, Social Justice Kittens radiate fierce strength in the face of untold adversity, and all are gifted with a dazzling array of genders and orientations to go with their tiny, oh-so-kissable faces! THE STATUS QUO WILL NEVER FULLY ACCEPT THESE KITTENS! Calendar from LiarTownUSA | Square Market

HT: the ever valuable davidthompson

gerardvanderleun : October 21, 14  |  Your Say (5)  | PermaLink: Permalink

This is the most honest and most lucid 28 minutes on the status of Ebola on the Planet Earth at this moment that exists today.

It is summed up at Raconteur Report: Ebola: This Is What Science Sounds Like

Highlight thoughts:

1) "The more I study about Ebola, the less I know about it."

2) "Reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled."
(Tom Frieden, Anthony Fauci, call your office.")

3) Everything we know about Ebola so far is based on a total of 2400 patients from the past24 outbreaks over 40 years. the longest set of generations has been 5. (For reference, we are at 9000-20000 patients, and we're on generation 20-25, this time around).

4) People are never frightened by statements like "I don't know, but this is what I'm doing to learn." But they do get scared if you tell them A or B with certainty, and it doesn't happen; or if dueling experts tell you A and Z simultaneously.

5) We don't know what will really work. We should try everything we can. @ 9:46 "I believe the only thing we can do today is continue to try the treatment bed approach, to try to do as much as we can to isolate infected individuals,and quarantine and so forth...we've gotta do what we can."

6) It's time to reconsider our response, and if we hadn't been so dogmatic about things we didn't know, that wouldn't be so hard.

7) There's no Plan "B". If West Africa is a gas can that was waiting for a match, the rest of Central Africa is a gasoline tanker waiting for a match, and nobody anywhere has a Plan B for what happens if this gets out further, and they're not even thinking about it. We need to start thinking about those answers now. Can we fight it on two fronts if it gets out? We can't even fight it on one front now.

8) I believe we can have an effective vaccine; but there's a big difference between getting a vaccine, and actually how and where we're going to make it, how we're going to get it there, andwho's going to get it into Africans now. We need to imagine that Kinshasa is on fire tomorrow, and do all of these things at the same time, not doing one after the other.

9) We have a problem with couching things in certainty for which certainty does not exist.

10) Some Ebola patients don't present with fever, ever. Now is the time to tell people that, instead of waiting until that explodes, and the media asks you "Why didn't you tell us the complete truth?"

11) Aerosols are created, and research has indicated that with Ebola, airborne transmission has been observed between laboratory animal species. We shouldn't not tell people about this, because top Ebola virologists have studied this, seen it, and are very concerned about the possibility. What are we going to do ("Plan B") if we do have an airborne transmission, and we suddenly have a reason to be very concerned about airplane cabin transmission? We need to start making that plan before it's a problem.

gerardvanderleun : October 20, 14  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

a_lighttakesthetree.jpg

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

gerardvanderleun : October 20, 14  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

"Object we seek, rectangular storage container, dimensions 2 meters by 0.5 meter by 66 centimeters. Contents of box, mummified remains. This is no doubt familiar to you."

What makes you think I've got any idea what box you're talking about?

"Because two months ago you were part of the team that packed it."

gerardvanderleun : October 20, 14  |  Your Say (4)  | PermaLink: Permalink

a_witchoverthemoon.jpg
A radio-controlled flying witch makes a test flight past a moon setting into clouds along the pacific ocean in Carlsbad, California, on October 8, 2014.

SCENE I. A cavern. In the middle, a boiling cauldron.

Thunder. Enter the three Witches

First Witch
Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.

Second Witch
Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined.

Third Witch
Harpier cries 'Tis time, 'tis time.

First Witch
Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison'd entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot.

ALL
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Second Witch
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and owlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

ALL
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Third Witch
Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches' mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg'd i' the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Silver'd in the moon's eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar's lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.

ALL
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Second Witch
Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

Second Witch
By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
Open, locks,
Whoever knocks!

Enter Barack Hussain Obola....

a_obola.jpg

Obama Plans to Let Ebola-infected Foreigners Into U.S. for Treatment - The Obama administration is actively formulating plans to admit Ebola-infected non-U.S. citizens into the United States for treatment.

Specifically, the goal of the administration is to bring Ebola patients into the United States for treatment within the first days of diagnosis. It is unclear who would bear the high costs of transporting and treating non-citizen Ebola patients. The plans include special waivers of laws and regulations that ban the admission of non-citizens with a communicable disease as dangerous as Ebola. One source tells us that the Obama administration is keeping this plan secret from Congress. The source is concerned that the proposal is illegal; endangers the public health and welfare; and should require the approval of Congress. -- Judicial Watch

gerardvanderleun : October 20, 14  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Site Notes

a_adas_israel_synagogue_-_moving_day.jpg

After more than 60 days in the wilderness of California, the next few days will be taken up with the final steps of my move from Seattle.

As a consequence internet access and overall energy may cause a momentary interruption in this page which has, I note, already survived one wife, one death, two long distance moves, and ten years.

I'm sure I'll be fit as a fiddle by next week and not at all undone by this particular ordeal.....

a_6-tips-to-overcome-moving-day-stress.jpg

gerardvanderleun : October 18, 14  |  Your Say (22)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Uploaded on Apr 4, 2008

2008.01.09. "The sea ice is decreasing faster than all the models predicted," says Jay Zwally, the ice satellite project scientist at NASA Goddard, "We not only have the warming of the atmosphere, we have a warming of the ocean that is affecting this. It has been surprising to everybody, this decrease in area. This is a marked departure, and this is suggesting to us that maybe we are getting at this tipping point."
Amazingly enough this drooling blowbot is still working for NASA and still trying to sell his dried horse turds. You just can't get rid of these scientific brainholes.

gerardvanderleun : October 17, 14  |  Your Say (4)  | PermaLink: Permalink

a_24typesauthoritarian.jpg

gerardvanderleun : October 15, 14  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

American Studies

a_the_thing_under_the_boat.jpg

“Strait times come in history. Our time is such a time, millennial, full of fast currents, tossing, eddied, dangerous to pass through.” -- John Fowles, “The Aristos"

The thing is under the boat. The crew suspects as much but can't know for sure exactly where it is. They won't know where Leviathan is until it rises, inevitable and unstoppable, from the deep directly beneath them.

Can you feel it lurking just under the surface? I can and I think you can as well. The Greeks knew it as "Nemesis." Melville's Ahab knew it as "thou damned whale" and he struck at it from Hell's heart. Unperturbed it gathered him up and took him down. Then it took the boat and after that the ship. All save one followed. The whale beneath the surface of America's life is still there and all signs point to its breaching soon. Exactly where and exactly how are still unknown, but soon.

I feel the thing beneath the boat and I think others of my fellow citizens in ever growing millions feel it as well. We do not feel good about it and what it augers for the near and far future.

The jobs are not coming back. To know that you need to get off the inter-states; off the scenic blue highways that lead to your summer beach retreats. You need to get into the towns that have been passed by; the towns whose main industry has become food stamps and "assistance." These towns are growing in number daily and will continue to grow.

There is no work in these towns. The factories that supported them are long dead or dying. They, like the people they supported, are carbon based life forms and the strange insects that govern us seem to be united in making sure they never return. The checks and the food stamps come, but that's not enough to paint the houses or put in the gardens or do much more than eat too many pizzas and drink too much watery beer. The young would leave but more and more there's no place to go. They spend their time instead deciding on what sort of new tattoo will go well with the previous twenty.

The building of new houses and malls and condos and other large construction projects are not coming back. And even if they did where would we find the workers trained to build them? Old carpenters have moved on to making a living at something other than construction. There's not enough work to bring young ones onto the job and help them to master the skills needed. When a nation stops building it stops having the jobs that can train the next generation of builders. Mexicans, working cheap and off the books, are still in some demand, but there's a limit to repainting and the kind of minor brickwork that makes for a pleasant garden.

The money isn't coming back except at something worth less with every passing day. It begins to seem like mere slips of paper or a meaningless string of numbers that always seems to decrease. The stock market moves in fits and starts but doesn't seem to inspire the confidence needed to boost what once was the middle class. The debt looms ahead and consumes everything even as the argument is over whether or not to increase the debt rather than pay it down.

It's large and it's under the boat and it is beginning to rise. The crew is confused and flailing about. And the captain is insane but convinced he's on the right course. During the boom years it was commonly said, "A rising tide lifts all boats." True enough, but the rising of Leviathan can break the spine of our boat and send it down into the Maelstrom.

And the thing is under the boat.

[Republished from November 2011]

Click Here to Continue
Vanderleun : October 15, 14  |  Your Say (25)  | PermaLink: Permalink

maxresdefault.jpg

THE "Red Death" had long devastated the country.

No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal --the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow-men. And the whole seizure, progress and termination of the disease, were the incidents of half an hour.
But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court, and with these retired to the deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys....
And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all. -- The Masque of the Red Death

gerardvanderleun : October 14, 14  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

The gift of the clip that just keeps on giving.

gerardvanderleun : October 14, 14  |  Your Say (11)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Drive-By

A Couple’s Incredible 550,000-Mile Odyssey Through 177 Countries Over 26 Years. In a Single Car. In moments of peak stress, boredom, or desperation for change, we’ve probably all shared the same dream: why not just drop everything and travel. Many are lucky do it for a few months, or even a couple of years, but perhaps no modern travelers have been more ambitious than Gunther and Christine Holtorf, who set out in 1990 on a tour of Africa in a Mercedes Benz G Wagon named ‘Otto,’ and never looked back. Over the next 20 years the trio would rack up almost 550,000 miles (885,139km) across some 177 countries. They never once slept in a hotel, preferring to string up hammocks or sleep inside Otto, a car that required a stockpile of 400 spare parts lashed to the roof for emergency repairs.

gerardvanderleun : October 14, 14  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Truth @ Slant

There are hundreds of nineteenth-century photographs of severed heads.

Severed heads posed alone on tables, severed heads positioned at the foot of a headless bodies, decapitated heads of accomplices posed together—the possible arrangements seems endless. Between the severed heads, photographs of executions, portraits of criminals, and portraits of guillotine victims, what is the nineteenth century if not, as Daniel Arasse has suggested, a “extended series of heads cut off and cut up”?

antoine_wiertz__thoughts_and_visions_of_a_severed_head__1853_.jpg
Antoine Wiertz, Thoughts and Visions of a Severed Head (1853).

“I asked Monsieur D to put me in rapport with the cut-off head,” Wiertz recounted, “by means of whatever new procedures seemed appropriate to him. Monsieur D acquiesced. He made some preparations and then we waited not without excitement for the fall of a human head.” Wiertz’s magnetopathic experience paid off in the most macabre manner: “The head of the executed man, saw, thought, and suffered,” the painter wrote, “And I saw what he saw, understood what he thought, and felt what he suffered.”

edwards8.jpg
“Four hours in advance,” reported the International Herald Tribune, “six hundred persons pressed toward the Place Louis-Barthou.

There were catcalls and jests with the Mobile Guard and occasionally a wave of cheering and whistling. In two brightly lighted cafes waiters joked and perspired and piles of sausage sandwiches, prepared in advance, went steadily down.” A little after 4 a.m. Weidmann emerged from his cell “eyes…tightly shut, his face flushed and his cheeks sunken.” His blue, prison-issued shirt had already been cut away from his neck and shoulders. Weidmann was placed in the awaiting guillotine, “his shoulders…startlingly white against the dark polished wood of the machine.” — Photographing the Guillotine —The Appendix

The Old Regime

The tumbrils creak and rumble back
Along the roads of slate,
Retracing rutted years of sand
Whose distance storms debate.

The passengers stand fixed as stone
While faces cheer from snow.
The blade awaits it's midday meal,
When those above become below.

Innovations carved from clouds
Give despair and dance new measures.
The blade reflects its evening meal
When kings slake lower pleasures.

Arrived at Now they gaze at mist
Where granite horses roam.
Their schedules as fixed as dark.
Their future -- structured foam.

The head within the basket sees
Vast parliaments of sky.
The ears hear but the fading surf
As the past gone years drift by.

-- GVDL

gerardvanderleun : October 14, 14  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Yes, you do have to be "special" to still support Obama. Yes, these are your fellow citizens. Yes, they do have the right to vote. Yes, you can now set yourself on fire.

gerardvanderleun : October 14, 14  |  Your Say (11)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Grace Notes

roadhome.jpg
roadhome2.jpg
Photograph by by Carles -Vilarrasa

Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death? -- Job 38 17

When people find out I dropped dead on October 13 of 2011, they often ask me if I saw "the white light." They are disappointed when I tell them I did not. They’ve come to believe in the light, believe in it in a very literal way. They’ve heard it is seen and they’d like continuing confirmation of this sighting. My report always, as I said, disappoints. For some it would seem that even though I was dead, I was not dead enough. Still, I was dead and I am sorry to disappoint in not being able to report anything other than a timeless blank between two moments; a dark with no dimension or duration between a light and a light.

The light of life left me in one swift instant much as the light goes out when you flip the switch to "off." The light of life returned to me in the very next instant as if someone slowly turned up a dimmer switch in a small room.

In one moment I was standing on my front porch looking at children running about in the playground across the street. The very next moment I was looking up from my bed at the sound-muffled ceiling of the ICU in Harbor View Hospital in Seattle. A voice like footsteps coming closer down a long hallway was repeating and repeating, “You are in Harbor View. You’ve had a heart attack. It’s daytime....

Thus, after being held in a coma for 13 days, I was returned to life.

Thus, tick became tock.

Between those two moments I have no information to report since, to my mind and memory, there are no moments between those two. They are found side by side in my mind; an enjambment bracketing a caesura. The thirteen days between them have no duration at all. In a sense the only clue they provide in their utter nonexistence would be one to the true dimensions of eternity.

Some people seem to think that, with no light to report, my cut-rate resurrection is something rather modest, a common outcome of our enlightened, medically advanced age available to all. They express thanks that the 911 medical crew got to me as fast as it did and knew how to, in effect, jump start my heart. To those who don't get a comic book resurrection mine seems only a mundane report on a modern ability. They don’t find it miraculous. But that is only because they are deaf, dumb, and blind to the miraculous. I am not. It was my miracle. And a miracle it was.

The roots of my miracle go back many years and begin, as so many things do these days, online in a long correspondence that became, in time, a deep and abiding friendship and love. Part of that friendship entailed that, although we lived in separate towns, we spent some parts of each year visiting. In this particular autumn she was visiting me. And on this particular day she had -- for obscure reasons -- postponed her regular daily walk and, upon return, postponed her regular post-walk shower. This meant that during the time she would normally be either out of the house or under running water she just happened standing nearby when my heart stopped. The result was that she started the 911 response within seconds after I stopped breathing. Because of this the three units dispatched to help me came within minutes and returned me to life and transported me to the hospital where I spent the next 13 days suspended between a light and a light.

Some seem to feel that miracles only happen in the center of a bright light with a large boom and a loud voice out of a whirlwind; Imax miracles in Surroundsound. Perhaps they do. I’ve no experience with them. My experience has only been with the miracle of a long chain of small events, happenings, and abiding love that have given to me this extra year of being alive in the midst of the miracle of creation; creation as it is, both miraculous or mundane.

My formal birthday is the day after Christmas. I’ve never liked the 26th of December. It’s hard to try to have your birthday party on the day after the biggest birthday party of the year.

Today though, it strikes me that I have a new birthday -- a 'rebirthday' if you will. And that’s what I am going to celebrate for as many years as are left to me, my Rebirthday.

After a long, long string of dry sunny days this day, Saturday the 13th of October in the year of our Lord 2012, is overcast and raining. In previous years I would have shrugged and grumbled at the inclement weather. Today I am going out in my back yard and shower in it. Because today I know I am both blessed and, as we all are on every day in this mysterious life within the light, reborn within the miracle.

[First published October 2012]

gerardvanderleun : October 13, 14  |  Your Say (61)  | PermaLink: Permalink

"Science says it's all just circumstance
Like this whole world's just an accident.
But if you want to shoot that theory down,
Look around.

Just look around.

There is a God.
There is a God.
There is a God.
How much proof do you need? "

The Seattle Church of Christ — Located in the Queen Anne district of Seattle (Westside) and downtown Bellevue (Eastside), The Seattle Church of Christ is a congregation committed to celebrating the work of God in our lives, and becoming a light to those around us.

gerardvanderleun : October 12, 14  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Search American Digest

The Top 40


When You've Lost Bloomberg Politics....

a_chicken_and_wings.jpg

Nobody Does Fried Chicken And President Obama Like Bloomberg Politics [We don't see what the big deal is. A chicken and chicken wings just naturally go together.]

The (Still) Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe

a_poe-portraitcrop.jpg

"There is a gentleman, rather the worse for wear, at Ryan's 4th ward polls, who goes under the cognomen of Edgar A. Poe,
and who appears in great distress, & he says he is acquainted with you, he is in need of immediate assistance." Was the famous author killed from a beating? From carbon monoxide poisoning? From alcohol withdrawal? Here are the top nine theories.
- - Smithsonian

There is a rule in place that says something like:

“‘Freedom’ is for democrats” or “‘Freedom’ is for people who don’t work.”
People who pay, aren’t supposed to choose, and people who don’t pay, get to choose. Yet more strange, surreal “rights” being imagined and cobbled-together, but never ever defined, by our political party of graft, dependency, obfuscation and “Fuck you I want my num nums.”
House of Eratosthenes

After every public health disaster, CDC bureaucrats play the money card

while expanding their regulatory and research reach into anti-gun screeds, anti-smoking propaganda, anti-bullying lessons,
gender inequity studies and unlimited behavior modification programs that treat individual vices–personal lifestyle choices–as germs to be eradicated.... At $7 billion, the Centers for Disease Control 2014 budget is nearly 200 percent bigger now than it was in 2000. Those evil, stingy Republicans actually approved CDC funding increases in January larger than what President Obama requested.
Michelle Malkin | サ The Centers for Everything But Disease Control

American Masters

American Masters is a yearly exhibit organized by the Salmagundi Club in NYC.
a_masers_burton.jpg

a_thomas_torak_festiva_maxima_30x24_oil_on_linen__5800.jpg


These people are our enemies.

They don't use guns, yet, but they are just as dangerous, determined, and duplicitous as the communists we faced in the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, and bush wars across the globe, and the Nazis we faced in World War II.
It is time we fully internalized and digested this fact, with all its ugly ramifications. These people have violated countless laws and could be prosecuted, had we the political power. Not only are their policies unconstitutional, but deliberately so -- the goal being to make the Constitution irrelevant. Their spending is off the charts and will drive us into hyperinflation, but it could be rescinded, had we the political power. These policies are toxic, but they could be stopped and reversed, had we the political power. Their ideologies are poisonous, but they could be exposed for what they are, with long jail sentences as an object lesson, had we the political power.
- - : Cloward-Piven Government

When I see some of these young people run­ning their game I want to say:

“Kid, I ran with bik­ers, shot junk, robbed banks; my hands have taken lives and saved lives when I was active military; I worked with the Billy Gra­ham Cru­sade; I got a mil­lion miles of high­way under my ass, slept with dogs, danced with angels, I got screw­drivers older than you … what ya gonna show me, uh? Spillers of Soup: MEMORY LANE
It's better to burn out than it is to rust.... There's more to the picture Than meets the eye.


Lest we forget...

“One can’t be angry with one’s own time without damage to oneself.” Robert Musil in The Man without Qualities



The Bumped "As I was saying.... Pablo Picasso painted this when he was 15 years old"

a_ef4mnni.jpg

I rest my case. -- 13 Things I Found on the Internet Today



Why Are We Letting In Immigrants Who Don’t Know What A Germ Is?

The real problem is that they’re in America at all
– because America’s lawmakers have no more concept of “keeping out people from primitive societies” then the primitive societies do of germs. They believe that diversity in immigration is an unmixed good. And that’s almost as superstitious as the belief that Ebola is caused by a curse.
The Fulford File | Invincible Ignorance And Ebola / VDARE.COM

So, why don’t people remember the facts?

I can think of plenty of reasons. They reject facts that don’t conform with their political viewpoints.
And/or they probably didn’t follow the details closely in the first place: BOR-ING. Or, if they did follow them closely at the time, they don’t remember much, like the content of a course they took years ago. Maybe they even crammed for the final, but they forgot almost all of it when the final was over and they didn’t need to know it anymore. And then, ever since that final, imagine that they’ve also been crammed full of information that contradicted what they originally had learned for the test. Then they would be even less likely to remember correctly. In fact, the later information would probably crowd out the earlier.
neo-neocon Correcting the record on the Iraq War: why it's preaching to the choir

The lie can hold 90% of the ideological ground, and this will never be sufficient,

in-the-beginning.jpg

hence the inevitable "totalitarian temptation" of the left.
Truth must be burned from our midst and its ground salted in order to kill it, but even then, you can't, because truth isn't ours to create or destroy (see the Resurrection for details). Or, at the other end, see the Soviet Union for details.
One Cʘsmos: Sudden, Like a Word

Building the Largest Ship In the World, South Korea

a_alastair-philip-wiper-110.jpg

Maersk has commissioned 20 Triple E’s to be built, and I arrived on the day of the delivery and naming ceremony of the 9th of those ships, the Matz Maersk
(there were 8 other Triple E’s at different stages of production at the shipyard at the same time). After the champagne smashing ceremony I was expecting a tour of the ship from someone who knew it inside and out – instead I was just told “here it is – off you go!”. “Er OK … do you have a map?”. “No. The engine is that way, the bridge is that way. Have fun, and make sure you aren’t on board in 5 hours because the ship will be leaving for Russia.” So off I went …
-- Photographer Alastair Philip Wiper

Rules to Live By

aruletoliveby.jpg


The 31 Most Important Mullets That Ever Existed

Featuring: 1. This classy, elegant mullet.

enhanced-16811-1413481808-1.jpg

and14. This superb jean short/hip phone/mullet combo.
enhanced-26979-1413483955-21.jpg

-- 29 more @ BuzzFed



Life continues in the bubble,

where the apparatchiks master useless #HashtagGovernance in the vacuous deadspace of social media,
where ADD-addled, id-driven, narcissism rules, and the number of “likes” and retweets of the progressive outrage / rah-rah phrase-of-the-day are substitutes for effective action. Swarms of administrative law commissars crawl the country sniffing out any violation of the most ridiculous regulations by the smallest entity so they can be extorted into ideological compliance with the thinkers in the bubble. Statistics are created and corrupted to fit a narrative that stands reality on its head, and the gullible populace is expected to swallow it.
Psychosis | Ivy Mike Cafe

To suppose that science can liberate humankind from ignorance requires considerable credulity.

We know how science has been used in the past—not only to alleviate the human lot, but equally to serve tyranny and oppression.
The notion that things might be fundamentally different in the future is an act of faith—one as gratuitous as any of the claims of religion, if not more so. Consider Pascal. One of the founders of modern probability theory and the designer of the world’s first mass-transit system, he was far too intelligent to imagine that human reason could resolve perennial questions.
An Appetite for Wonder Review: The Closed Mind of Richard Dawkins | New Republic

A smart politician on the Right would be wise to champion a la carte cable.

rache2.jpg

A better example is MSNBC. This sob story in the Lunatic Times reports that their best shows draw fewer eyes than late night informercials.....
I love how the Times tries to equate Fox News with MSNBC, like they are mirrors. That’s insane, of course. Fox is pretty much straight news with a prime time of infotainment shows. O’Reilly, Hannity and the others are entertainers. They generate the big ratings and that’s how you pay the bills, usually. MSNBC is just a parade of screaming lunatics. Rachel Madow looks and sounds like a woman struggling with her sanity. A generation ago, these people would never been allowed to be on television.
Subsidizing The Crazy at The Z Blog

The Columbian Man. Don't Be That Guy.

a_columbianman.jpg
Via HappyAcres

What a despicable group of tyrants the freewheeling leftists of the early 1960s have become.

Those who rose up against the “machine” back then are still working from the old operator’s manual.

Miraculously, they still manage to convince themselves that they have not become the machine against which they once railed. And somewhere along the line they concocted the screwball idea of “hate speech”—I doubt such a concept so much as existed in 1964—and began fallaciously arguing that it was a fundamentally different thing from free speech. They spun a magical illusory world where “civil rights” and “civil liberties” are somehow at odds with one another.
How the Free Speech Movement Stopped Moving - Taki's Magazine



We have arrived at a moment with our elite institutions where it is impossible to distinguish incompetence from willful misdirection.

Frieden was asked during a press conference if you could contract Ebola by sitting next to someone on a bus
— a question prompted by a statement from President Obama the week before, when he declared that you can’t get Ebola “through casual contact, like sitting next to someone on a bus.” Frieden answered: “I think there are two different parts of that equation. The first is, if you’re a member of the traveling public and are healthy, should you be worried that you might have gotten it by sitting next to someone? And the answer is no. Second, if you are sick and you may have Ebola, should you get on a bus? And the answer to that is also no. You might become ill, you might have a problem that exposes someone around you.”
Six Reasons to Panic | The Weekly Standard [Time for someone to give Frieden an ISIS haircut, pour encourger les autres. ]

I had the idea that narrative in crisis goes through 3 phases:

denial, overconfident half measures to restore normalcy and when that fails, panic.
What follows the panic is probably a paradigm shift. It’s time for one. The current PC paradigm has been failing for some time. The rise in terrorism and Ebola have highlighted its shortcomings, although the old players are still trying to force the new situation into the same old tired talking points with ever more absurd results.
Belmont Club

Pope Paul was dead right in Humanae Vitae; that if we did not draw the line at contraception, we would be on the “slippery slope” to real, murderous barbarism.

Everything that has happened in Western society in the forty-six years since, has borne this out.

Moreover, every Christian denomination that has abandoned that front line — on sexual morality — is now in advanced stages of collapse, from one thing that led to another. This is demonstrable fact, not rhetorical posture; just as the emptying of Catholic churches by the innovations of the 1960s is demonstrable fact.
David Warren, Saving grace? : Essays in Idleness



“In North America, in the year 2013, there are three classes of people,”

a_1_marvelreviewfullpage.jpg

the team’s most sympathetic chronicler once explained:
“H,” for baseline Human—clean of mutant genes, allowed to breed. “A,” for Anamolous [sic.] Human—a normal person possessing mutant genetic potential … … Forbidden to breed. “M,” for Mutant. The bottom of the heap, made pariahs and outcasts by the Mutant Control Act of 1988. Hunted down and—with a few rare exceptions—killed without mercy. In the quarter-century since the act’s passage, millions have died. They were the lucky ones.
Marvel Comics and “the Most Intricate Fictional Narrative in the History of the World”

After his encounter with the gelding knife....

ageldedman.jpg


I expected a more pussified version of Clinton

obama-ebola.jpg
President POS

with a bigger dose of self-regard. He would fiddle around the edges here and there,
maybe raise taxes a bit, get out of the Bush wars and that’s about it. I never imagined he would be so clownishly incompetent. I fully assumed the adults would keep him from breaking anything important for fear he would be a one term president. Boy was I wrong.... He will be remembered as President Ebola, the man who willingly imported a plague into the United States.
President Ebola at The Z Blog

Historic Man and Person of the Year

a_hitlerfact.jpg

a_970_cover_1231.jpg

measuringobama.jpg

Measure twice. Cut once.


Tough as Old Moss

Although they may seem soft and tufty, moss plants are so tough that they can survive freezing for as many as 1,530 years..... This year, British Antarctic Survey researchers reported that they had regrown mosstrapped in Antarctic ice for a millennium and a half. The American Scholar: - Josie Glausiusz

Ladies and Gentlemen, Presenting that which is currently pretending to be the first lady....

Michelle O Does Something Weird With a Turnip | Truth Revolt Warning: Watching this vine may cause a sudden urge to vomit or throw your computer out a window.

Threat Assessment In Our Schools…I’m So Confused

school-rules.jpg
-- WELCOME TO THE RIGHTLY GUIDED:

Sippican's Two Sons

Sippican Cottage: From Hornets To Ladybugs The roof over this room was open to the air when we moved here,

and while we got rid of the squirrels when I climbed up there and fixed it, the hornets stayed. The windows in the dormer were in such bad shape that the hornets passed in and out through the defunct weight pockets and the window frames. My Heir and I got some old, salvaged windows from a neighbor's remodel, and some boards from another neighbor who was cleaning out his garage, and we installed the windows in place of the old ones, and trimmed it out with the free boards. Now the room is filled with ladybugs. I hope my boys' lives will go from hornets to ladybugs in the same way -- with patient, unyielding effort. I am filled with doubts. How much better do they need to be before anyone notices that they're extraordinary?



A Light Unto the Ages

a_long_light.jpg

Livermore's mysterious lightbulb: Some mysteries never dim with time.
One of them is hanging from an electrical wire in Livermore. At Livermore Fire Station No. 6 is a lightbulb that has not burned out in 110 [113] years. Nobody, even in this golden age of technology, knows why. And no one wants to unscrew the bulb to find out."It still gives that warm, comfy glow," said retired Livermore fire Division Chief Lynn Owens. "In this transient modern world, this lightbulb is really something you can trust. And nobody knows the mystery of it." The bulb's page is
Livermore's Centennial Light Bulb

Little Hitlers

Dictatorship, or the urge toward it, is not confined to heads of government, indeed it probably lies lurking in all or most of us; nor is the worst stupidity the most obvious stupidity. If anything, the stupidity of the bright and well-educated is the worst, because the most self-confident. - - Dalrymple, The Despot Within

And a gay old time was had by all....

File under "Two roosters don't make a chicken:"Japan Zoo Discovers How Not to Breed Hyenas
Staff at Maruyama Zoo in the northern city of Sapporo spent years trying to get two spotted hyenas to reproduce with zero success only to find that both animals were male. Hyenas Kami and Kamutori arrived as “a couple” at the zoo from South Korea in October 2010 and were put in the same cage for breeding in 2012. The zoo said in a statement that the two animals never showed any breeding behavior and were very often fighting. “They remained confrontational, leaving bite marks on each other,” one of the zookeepers told Japan Real Time.


The Scablands: A scarred landscape as strange as fiction

dryfalls.jpg

Traveling from the verdant, mossy coastal belt of the Pacific Northwest, one could be forgiven for feeling that the defining characteristic of Eastern Washington is its dryness.
It's a land seemingly starved of rain in the shadow of the Cascade Mountains. But the dry landscape known as the “Scablands” actually tells a story about excess—excess of water, water that was torrential and sudden. The Scablands are essentially wounds, still unhealed by time and erosion. They cut through the land and down into the rock after a series of unfathomably large floods unleashed by the catastrophic draining of great glacial lakes—half the volume of Lake Michigan splashed onto the land in less than a week. If you can imagine that, you’ve got us beat. The story recorded in this landscape is so incredible, it took one geologist decades to convince his colleagues that he was reading it correctly.
-- | Ars Technica

This week in Nonstop Pumpkinization of Things, Traders Joe edition, we have:

pump5.jpg
LILEKS (James) :: The Bleat 2014

Time Waits For No One

acenterdisease.jpg

By this time in the election cycle, the public should have been awash with stories about how a poor, minimum wage worker at Walmart has lost her health insurance due to corporate greed and why that greed has is leading America closer to single payer. Everyone should now be focusing on how the resurgent economy would be trending on Twitter were it not for the sabotage of conservative news outlets — paid for by the Koch brothers. Instead what is trending are stories like ‘War against Isis: US strategy in tatters as militants march on‘ or ‘Despite airstrikes, ISIS forces draw nearer to Baghdad‘. Or ‘Texas health worker becomes first person to contract Ebola in U.S.‘ The horror, the horror. Belmont Club »

What It’s Like to Carry Your Nobel Prize through Airport Security

nobel-peace-prize-medal.jpg

You would think that carrying around a Nobel Prize would be uneventful, and it was uneventful, until I tried to leave Fargo with it, and went through the X-ray machine. I could see they were puzzled. It was in my laptop bag. It’s made of gold, so it absorbs all the X-rays—it’s completely black. And they had never seen anything completely black.
“They’re like, ‘Sir, there’s something in your bag.’ I said, ‘Yes, I think it’s this box.’ They said, ‘What’s in the box?’ I said, ‘a large gold medal,’ as one does. So they opened it up and they said, ‘What’s it made out of?’ I said, ‘gold.’ And they’re like, ‘Uhhhh. Who gave this to you?’ ‘The King of Sweden.’ ‘Why did he give this to you?’ ‘Because I helped discover the expansion rate of the universe was accelerating.’

At which point, they were beginning to lose their sense of humor. I explained to them it was a Nobel Prize, and their main question was, ‘Why were you in Fargo?’” | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network

The Man Who Was Buried Twice

draper1.jpg

"Here lies the body of Lewis Galdy who departed this life at Port Royal on December 22, 1739 aged 80. He was born at Montpelier in France but left that country for his religion and came to settle in this island where he was swallowed up in the Great Earthquake in the year 1692 and by the providence of God was by another shock thrown into the sea and miraculously saved by swimming until a boat took him up. He lived many years after in great reputation. Beloved by all and much lamented at his Death. ——The Appendix

47 Years Ago Today: The Fastest Manned Aircraft Flight Ever.

x1510.jpg

A by-product of speed in the atmosphere is friction, and a by-product of friction is heat.
Pete Knight’s X-15A-2 begins to melt. The leading edge of the wings glow at over a thousand degrees. Even at high altitude the air molecules can’t get out of the way fast enough to dissipate heat. So chunks of Knight’s X-15 begin to burn and fall off. Big chunks. During flight, shock waves burn through the leading edge of the lower ventral fin igniting a series of small fires in the engine housing. Near the explosive nitrogen tanks.

Mach 6.

Knight already has the throttle advanced to the forward stop. One of two things will happen; he will complete his fuel burn and set a new speed record by a massive margin…

He passes through Mach 6.5.

Or, he will disintegrate as the accumulation of heat causes a massive structural failure of his airframe that will result in an instantaneous explosion of any unburned fuel. It’s unlikely much wreckage will be found.

Mach 6.6.

A big part of the X-15A-2’s ventral fin ignites and burns completely through. It flies off the aircraft, tracing a bright, burning arc to the desert floor.

Mach 6.7..... | ALERT 5

☛ Thinking Right Archives