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"In science the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not to the man to whom the idea first occurs." -- Sir William Osler

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Say Goodbye to Your Mind

In order to be an effective persuader, you must embrace the idea that common sense is an illusion. And you must understand that humans rarely (if ever) do anything because of logic and reason. The part of us we consider rational is in reality a rationalizer. Your mind is creating little movies in which you are the star.

Should Flogging Be Reinstated As A Criminal Punishment?

Individuals answer to incentives. Rewards and punishments are an important guide in daily life. Today, prison is a deterrent for normal, civilized persons, but it has long ceased to be for those who dwell in a thug culture. Thugs boast about their condemnations as if they were something to be proud of.

If Mark Twain had been a blogger....

As 1906 began, he hit upon a system that finally produced a vast manuscript of more than half a million words: he hired a brilliant stenographer, Josephine Hobby, and he abandoned all thought of chronology, preferring simply to tell a tale, which reminded him of a story, which reminded him of a person, which reminded him of an adventure, which reminded him of a funny anecdote, all of which the talented Hobby would capture in full flow, complete with the pace and rhythm of Mark Twain the glorious and legendary raconteur. Brian Doyle delves into Twain’s autobiographic treasure trove

This is the story of a man who tried to capture the world, and really wanted us to listen.

Thrown into this avant-garde who's-who, Teibel could have been starstruck. Instead, out angling his microphone at the Brighton Beach surf, he got seastruck. Teibel’s roving mind craved a magnet—he loved his sleepless city, but it was no good for calming down, or corralling his thoughts. Even his hobbies had lost some luster. After years of manipulating noise for fun, he told a friend, he suddenly "found it hard to do anything pleasant" with it.
The sea sounds, though, were easy to love. Taken back to his Manhattan apartment and looped on repeat, they were even better. They quieted his mind. They helped him concentrate. They did something plain old human music couldn't.  The Man Who Recorded, Tamed and Then Sold Nature Sounds to America

Facebook feeds on personal sharing the way a vampire feeds on blood

Facebook has a problem. Its members aren't sharing as much as they used to. At least they're not sharing firsthand the way they used to. Instead of posting notices about what they're doing or thinking, or where they are, or whom they're hanging out with, they're just recycling secondhand stuff -- news stories, songs, other people's photos or tweets, YouTube videos, etc. The nature of what they share on the network is changing from the personal to the impersonal, from the informal to the formal, from the subjective to the objective. To put it into media terms, which would seem to be the appropriate terms, they are shifting their role from that of actor to that of producer or publisher or aggregator.

davidthompson: Charm School

Ms Sarah O’Donnell, a student of creative writing and environmental studies at Denison University, berates a couple of gentlemen ostensibly for their advocacy of free markets, but especially and most passionately for their whiteness and maleness. A combination that is, it turns out, self-evidently sinful. Even though we’ve seen this kind of airy posturing many times, it’s still quite odd to watch someone who’s basically a walking caricature of haughty, ignorant self-satisfaction.

Ray Bradbury on Writing, Emotion vs. Intelligence, and the Core of Creativity

The worst thing you do when you think is lie — you can make up reasons that are not true for the things that you did, and what you’re trying to do as a creative person is surprise yourself — find out who you really are, and try not to lie, try to tell the truth all the time.

Explorers just got their first glimpse inside the Amazon's mysterious tepui mountains

Inside the quartz sandstone caves - which are likely to have taken tens of millions of years to form - the team expects to uncover minerals and unique species of animals that have never been seen before. The caves are filled with peculiarly shaped speleothems (stalactites and stalagmites) carved out by colonies of microorganisms, and Sauro and his colleagues are hoping to finally figure out how they form.

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PLUS

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"A perfect summer day, sunny and warm in the Owens River Valley.

We stumbled across this trailer court in either Lone Pine or Independence & have not been able to find it since....we've certainly looked. Wouldn't it be cool to have a place that is 'just big enough'....?....to get rid of that big house that's such a drag to clean & maintain. Maybe we passed through a time warp or something, wish we could've stayed there. Emma Paperclip at Flickr

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Plus, extra credit for Bernie and his band!

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Revolutionary Glamor is my Favorite Form of Self-Parody

There are a lot of hits in this one, but let’s be conservative, or, if you’re a follower of Christ, merciful.

“Our ancestors would be proud of us, that’s fo sho,” she says in a fake hood accent, which her white counterparts use just as convincingly. She brings up some greatest hits, like “ISIS has nothing to do with Islam” (I suppose her headscarf has nothing to do with the enslavement of Africans, which was pioneered by muslims, and she probably doesn’t know what a kaffir is either). I also suppose blacks who fought under that flag against the confederacy were “Uncle Tom motherfuckers,” as she calls a black man with a camera.

“We are brought together…by fighting,” an overzealous white lady with a fake accent says, and then slowly doubles down. Her black counterpart would have none of that moderate, liberal shit, motherfucker. In fact, with the amount of liberally strewn profanity in this video you would be led to believe that profanity also be sincerity. It reminded me of Nick Mullen’s classic tweet, “seriously, FUCK the gender binary.”

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"THEY ACT AS IF THEY ARE LISTLESS, OVERWEIGHT EMPLOYEES WHO DON'T GIVE A FUCK. WHEN IN REALITY, THEY ARE AN ELITE FORCE OF ANTI-TERRORIST COMMANDOS! OH, CURSE THE BRILLIANT TSA."

Oh yes, the dreaded and vicious and cunning and ever vile TSA! Fighting terrorism with their fat asses.

Catching a Flight? Budget Hours, Not Minutes, for Security

Last month, Denver Airport advised travelers to get to the airport as much as three hours before their flights. Still, people waited for more than an hour and a half to clear security.

Airport workers walked up and down the line with therapy dogs and handed out bottled water and candy to travelers, according to one report. The airport accused the T.S.A. of providing an inadequate number of screeners on what was an average Saturday. American Airlines said that the slower security lines had forced it to delay flights and rebook passengers who had missed connections. For instance, in a one-week period in mid-March, the airline said, about 6,800 of its passengers missed their flights after being stuck in T.S.A. lines too long.

“T.S.A. lines at checkpoints nationwide have become unacceptable,” said Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for American Airlines. “Lines grew in January, February and March, and now in April, too. We are really concerned about what happens in the summer.”

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American Studies

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And when we were children, staying at the archduke's,
My cousin's, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

        -- Eliot

Last Sunday in Seattle I was still sitting with my morning coffee when the phone rang. It was my old friend, the constant urban explorer, who lives a few blocks away. "I want to give you a gift," he said, "but I can't bring it to you. Instead, you've got to go to it." This man's gifts are not lightly chosen (Except for the inflatable Sarah Palin love doll -- but he's getting that one back when he least expects it.), so I listened.

"Write this down. Walk to the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in your neighborhood."

"Oh..kay....."

"No. No. You'll be glad you did. Then go in the main entrance and stroll along the road on the west side."

"Right."

"Look to your left for a large white stone with two benches on either side of it. The name carved into the stone is 'PUDDY.' "

"Got it."

"Sit down on a bench and look around. That's your gift. Talk to you later. Oh, you'll want to take your camera."

I wondered for a moment if this could be some sort of geocaching joke. At the same time I knew it wasn't. He's a man with little use for the latest techno-ephemera. He values time, his and others. Sleeveless errands are not his style. It was a bright, somewhat cool, Indian Summer Sunday in Seattle and the cemetery was only a few blocks away. I suited up and out the door I went. In a few minutes I was walking into the cemetery and looking around.

Mt. Pleasant is fine cemetery as cemeteries go. Quiet and expansive without being overlarge. You can be buried with your own kind if you are Asian or Jewish, or you can just be planted helter-skelter in the great Seattle diversity plots that make up most of it's area. I've written about this place before in Small Flags, a meditation about loss and war, but the cemetery tells, as all cemeteries do, more than one kind of story if you settle your soul down and listen.

At first I was a bit disoriented inside the gates since the one-lane road winds hither and yon around the grounds and the office with the map to the grave sites is closed on Sundays. By and by, however, I spied off to my left and over near the wall of trees and bushes and chain link fencing that is the western border of the cemetery a large white stone with two white stone benches on either side. I went over and read:

PUDDY

Come sit with us awhile and share our sorrow. Though you weep share the joyful memories too. Look in your heart: In truth you mourn for that which has been your delight.

For Joy and sorrow are inseparable.

I sat and looked north to the outer edge of the large plot that, so far, had only one grave. And there they were.

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I've taken this ride in winters past. I've taken it as a child with my mother and father and brothers. I've taken it one New Year's Eve in New England by myself. Right into a tree and the emergency room for thirty stitches. I've taken it as a young adult under the moonlight on the banks of the frozen Red River in Fargo racing my cousins to the bottom and out onto the ice. I've taken it as a father in other winters past. It's a great ride while it lasts; one that -- barring impact with a tree -- makes you want to get up, pull the sled back up to the top and go again. One that makes you want to race your sled against the others. One that makes you want to see how many can pile on and go down, embracing the others and whooping all the way to the bottom where you all tumble off into a laughing heap.

You can take lots of rides in this life, but a full sled careening down a hill of fresh snow is the closest to a ride of pure joy as you can get. You'll find it near the top of my list of "Best Moments in This Life." It's probably on yours too. If you've never done it, move it to the top of the Bucket List now.

The man buried here died in his 45th year: R. Scott Puddy

On the morning of June 18, 2002, Scott perished doing what he loved: practicing aerobatics in a Yak-52, in the mountains of Brentwood, Calif.
He was survived by his parents, his sisters, and his daughter.

The dark secret fear lurking inside you when you are a parent is that your children will die before you do. That fear came true for this family. All parents can imagine their grief, but all choose not to do so. But they did not choose, as so many do, to be utterly undone by grief. Instead they chose to balance grief with joy, "For Joy and sorrow are inseparable," and place upon this grave a bronze symbol of all that is best in this life and in this world.

It's a gift to their son, R. Scott Puddy, and a gift to any in the world who chance upon his grave. It's a gift outright.

If you ever happen to be near Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Queen Anne, Seattle, go see it. Take your camera. Send your friends. Sit a spell and leave a token, stone or blossom or leaf. When it comes to gifts like this, the gift must move. Pass it on.


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Young boy in pilot's helmet and goggles

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"And down we went. / In the mountains, there you feel free."

[This is back from last October because Puddy's daughter came by and left a comment on the anniversary of his passing.]

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What #TrigglyPuff Means : The Other McCain

The phenomenon of #TrigglyPuff — Cora Segal, the angry feminist who disrupted an event at the University of Massachusetts this week — deserves extended analysis, and I’ve got a 4,000-word draft in queue, awaiting the final touches. Spending two days analyzing the social significance of this comedic phenomenon was perhaps too much, but that’s my job. You need someone to totally overthink it? I’m available.

Anyway, while working on that brain-straining endeavor, it dawned on me what a small world radical feminism actually is. Cora Segal became notorious in March 2014 for a “Fat Justice” event at Swarthmore College that I blogged about, and here she is two years later, notorious again.

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A drone takes you over the edge of El Salto Angel in Venezuela, the highest waterfall in the world....

Click Here to Continue
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"If you’re not in that bunker because you’re not satisfied with a certain candidate, more than shame on you! You’re on the other side!"

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Scientists just captured the flash of light that sparks when a sperm meets an egg For the first time ever, scientists have captured images of the flash of light that sparks at the very moment a human sperm cell makes contact with an egg. The phenomenon has been observed in animals before, but no one’s ever seen the spark of human conception. And what’s even more incredible is the fact that some eggs burn brighter than others, which is a direct indication of their ability to develop into a healthy embryo.KA-CHING

23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. -- Mark 9:23-25

We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every single government --
signs for all to see.

I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

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5-Minute Arguments

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"A self-ordained professor’s tongue
Too serious to fool
Spouted out that liberty
Is just equality in school
“Equality,” I spoke the word
As if a wedding vow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now"

In late 1965, Dylan commented on the writing of "My Back Pages" specifically during an interview with Margaret Steen for The Toronto Star: "I was in my New York phase then, or at least, I was just coming out of it. I was still keeping the things that are really really real out of my songs, for fear they'd be misunderstood. Now I don't care if they are."

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"It’s not like we didn’t know this was coming. Megyn Kelly is already talking about leaving Fox News.

In recent interviews, Kelly is triangulating against her employer, snarking about the “brain damage that comes from the job” of working at Fox. She’s openly speculating about bailing on the company when her contract runs out because she doesn’t feel the company has backed her sufficiently against the evil sexist Donald J. Trump.
Trump’s attacks on her are the best thing that could have happened to Kelly. Before, she was America’s Sweetheart, a center-right pundit with flowing blonde locks ready to calmly tell you how it is. Not a bad position to be in, but no one important would take her seriously. Now, Megyn Kelly scowls at us from the camera with her angry woman haircut, covering the really critical issues like the “assault” on Michelle Fields.
....
Few people involved in what is absurdly called the “conservative media” want to shift the Overton Window to the Right or view themselves as activists. Instead, their goal is to carve out a niche, secure the loyalty of a certain market, and then push products to that market. If you are Jim Bakker (back and bigger than ever) or Glenn Beck, it’s buckets of food or packets of “survival seeds” so you can survive the End Times. If you’re some girl on Fox News, you want some subtly suggestive picture of yourself on the cover; what you are actually writing about is beyond the point. If you are Bill O’Reilly, you’re pushing a particular fantasy about “greatness” to aging white men who know the country’s best years are behind it. If you are Mark Levin, you’re offering Talmudic and convoluted knowledge about the Constitution, with Levin acting as a kind of rabbi bestowing ancient secrets on the uneducated goyim.
The point is to secure ownership of The Microphone to guarantee access to that market. The business model only works if the Narrative is predictable, the talking points are the same, and the supposed solutions are things people are used to. The recent report Erick Erickson, Mark Levin, and Glenn Beck are being paid to attack Trump isn’t some amazing revelation. It’s just business as usual....""
- - Gregory Hood: RTWT

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American Studies

Secret Service Plans to Raise White House Fence by 5 Feet

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Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down. I could say "Elves" to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself.
-- Frost

Here endeth the lesson.

I want to ride to the ridge where the West commences
And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
And I can't look at hobbles and I can't stand fences
Don't fence me in

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Make no mistake. It's not revenge they're after.....

And now, the word according to Milo:

"Dear #NeverTrump: It's Time To Get Behind Daddy - "So, #NeverTrump haters and losers — it’s time we had a little talk.

Now, I know Trump and the alt-right hurt your feelings by relentlessly undermining the anointed heir to the Royal House of Bush, as well as that flamboyant, permanently dehydrated ADHD junkie from Florida, but it’s time to let bygones be bygones. So, by all means spend a few days in a safe space blowing bubbles and eating oatmeal raisin cookies like your feminist compatriots to recover, but after that it’ll be time to face reality: Trump is going to be your party’s nominee. It’s not so bad, honestly. If you get behind Trump fast enough, your betrayed base might forget comments like “we decide the nominee, not the voters.”

"Those weren’t just any old voters you were alienating, by the way. They include the next generation of conservative firebrands, who are currently gravitating to Trump, the alt-right, and me. Unlike most right-wing writers, my biggest demographic is 18-34 year olds. Your supporters will be dead or retired in ten years. Ours won’t. It’s pretty simple, really. Either you want your party and movement to die, or you don’t."
"The GOP establishment are keen on flooding the country with cheap workers. Backing Trump just means your party will be flooded with cheap voters — you don’t have to bribe them this time; Trump will make them come for free! And they aren’t even Mexican gang members — just disgruntled blue-collar Democrats and independents. You own the beltway, and you’ll always own the beltway. So why not come together with the unwashed masses, behind Trump? Don’t forget, you need the base to keep funding your lavish lifestyles. Look, the Inner Party of Oceania in 1984, which you’ve modeled yourself on so well, was adept at the idea of doublethink. It’s perfectly acceptable to both hate Trump and tell the proles to vote for him. Stop letting the hate cloud your vision and act in your own best interest, like you normally do."
"Some of you are convinced that Trump will lose to Hillary, hence your support for the eminently electable Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)97% and charismatic people’s champion Jeb Bush. And it’s true that Hillary currently beats Trump in the polls. But Trump hasn’t even started exposing all the skeletons in her closet yet — assuming the FBI don’t get there first. Remember, this time last year, Jeb Bush was ahead in the polls. Look how that turned out! Oh, sorry, I shouldn’t have reminded you. Here, have a box of tissues."

Meanwhile, as Cruz throws his Hail Carly Pass well out of bounds, Kasich heads off into the Elephants' Burying Ground mumbling coulda-been-a-contender the Trump breaks out the dreaded teleprompter, and the heads of the Whole Thing ask themselves the burning question of the moment,

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Grace Notes

I.
With woven steel hands

Cupped around clear cadenced tones,
Our sentinels of the infinite
Herald the skein of the sky,
Repeating one announcement,
Sans ornament and instantaneous,
To be etched on eternity's orbit
In a tattoo of silences.

Like torches tossed down
Into unexplored caverns
Our call dwindles and fades
Till the darkness dissolves it:

"We have arrived at the limits of Earth.
We are here. We are here.
We stand on the edge of Forever.
We are here. We are here.
Are we alone here? Are we here alone?
All alone here on the shore of the sky?"

In numbers and bits
The signal soars up,
Clambering the jade ladder
Out of the pit of gravity
To float like some ancient insect
Trapped within the amber spine of light:

"We have arrived at the limits of Earth.
We are here. We are here.
We stand on the edge of Forever.
We are here. We are here.
Are we alone here? Are we here alone?
All alone here on the shore of the sky?"


II.
The disconcerting occurrence

Encountered at the terminus
Of all the mind's parabolas
Is the thought that Nothing
Is all that occurs, that endures;

That Pinwheels of luminous plasma,
Glowing reefs of nebula's matter,
Spatter the crests of the darkness
And descend like lamenting specters
Caught in the eddies of shoreless seas.

Their lights, creeping up along
The curve of the continuum, gleam
No more than the two-franc candles
Cupped in crippled, translucent palms
In the grotto of Our Lady at Lourdes.

And thus they too only serve
To dapple, quite briefly, the dark edge
Of that shoreless ocean that consumes
What little light they lend,
Until, like some pitch-drenched Pharaoh,

Are damned down into oblivion
By their own command to wait
Sealed in stonelight for a distant dawn.
All these thoughts and messages
Noted for a nanosecond, memorized

In some splinter of a second,
In tombs of luminous instruments,
Relayed, incorporated, and sent out:
A telegram with no fixed address
Woven out of frozen starlight,

And then to the darkness delivered.

III.
Fantasy fears spun in the circles of flickering campfires.

Mythologies winnowed out of unusual stones, or bone, or bits of bark.
Cosmologies concocted from rats' skulls, corn, and Titanium atoms.
Theologies tortured from the blind, wrung from hints in high cumulus.
All the perceived and imagined stockades raised against Zero:
The face of hoarfrost that blooms in our mirror, the Last God,
He who is the Pure Noun for which there is no adjective,
An orb of vacuum which sees itself as Cosmos, a tendril of unseen smoke,
A word which can never be spoken, the footprints of extinguished stars,
The visage mathematics cannot freeze.

IV.
Shored against such a Shibboleth all

Our philosophies and ornaments evaporate.
All our most comforting music and meters dissolve.
The clapping of frostbitten hands in Antarctic tents continues.
Above us the rictus of universal harmonies lingers.
The new landscape appears: desolate, arid, airless, uninhabitable.
The tendrils of the desert of the senses invade its frontiers,
Guided by hands of ice that caress the belly of the stratosphere,
As far above the chill ionic winds erase the footprints pressed
Into the dust of the moon's untenanted tranquillity.

V.
The waterless waves on that sea without ships

Go outward, roll onward in search of horizons.
The faces in stone keep their futile appointments
With wind and with water, which also have schedules,
That return them to silence in a melding of stars
Here where the tree's roots drink from the stream,
Here on the banks of tomorrow as the mind's searching message,
Laden with numbers, with dates, and with data,
Rises up and flies out past the sun to the birth of the stars.



**The Very Large Array
The observatory consists of 27 independent antennas, each of which has a dish diameter of 25 meters (82 feet) and weighs 209 metric tons (230 Short tons).[2] The antennas are arrayed along the three arms of a Y-shape (each of which measures 21km/13 miles long). Using the rail tracks that follow each of these arms -- and that, at one point, intersect with U.S. Route 60 at a level crossing -- and a specially designed lifting locomotive, the antennas can be physically relocated to a number of prepared positions, allowing aperture synthesis interferometry with a maximum baseline of 36 km (22 miles): in essence, the array acts as a single antenna with that diameter. The smallest angular resolution that can be reached is about 0.05 arcseconds at a wavelength of 7 mm.... In 2011, a decade long upgrade project had resulted in the VLA expanding its technical capacities by factors of as much as 8,000.

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MONDO BIZARRO


Donations Gratefully Accepted

By Mail: Gerard Van der Leun | c/o Lake Union Mail | 117 East Louisa, #380 | Seattle, WA 98102

The one thing both sides agree upon is that Trump is being carried to the nomination by a wave of heroin addicts from the hill country.

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These snaggletoothed losers are angry at having been out-competed by the dusky fellows in foreign lands. Left out of the global nirvana, where well-scrubbed boys and girls take up positions in the media and think tanks, these hapless losers are lashing out by supporting Trump. It’s the revolt of the hillbillies.
There’s another thing both sides agree upon. Modern Progressives and Buckley Conservatives both hate the people to their Right. As Progressives have relentlessly dragged the Overton Window to the Left, The Buckleyites have sprinted after them, fearful of being lumped in with the rabble to their Right. The window has been dragged so far to the Left that the number of people “on the right” is looking like a swelling majority. To the people peering out from their think tanks and limousines, however, we’re on the verge of mob rule. -- The Great Culture War | The Z Blog


“The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.”

Some people are concerned at the popularity of reality TV, but I save much more of my angst for the popularity of lies, particularly defamatory lies. It was inevitable: Trump suggests we need to look into whether Ted Cruz’s father had something to do with Lee Harvey Oswald neo-neocon

'Burning Man for the 1%': the desert party for the tech elite, featuring GoogleMogul Eric Schmidt in his "Yes I am an asshole" hat

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Party planners at Burning Man are careful to hide their luxury dwellings behind large walls dressed as art projects, but Further Future had no such pretension. Behind a chain-link fence was the VIP neighborhood with airstreams ($5,000) and Lunar Palaces ($7,500) – 200 sq ft, 9ft high, custom-made luxury domes with wooden flooring and furnished to sleep four. These included something called an entourage concierge – “a personal, dedicated lifestyle manager and assistant ready to help you with any requirements or desires you may have. No request is ever unattainable.” The lifestyle assistant, who makes sure you have the soap you like, will work with you on everything “from the green juice you enjoy every morning to the old-fashioned cocktail you sip on in the evenings”. -- The Guardian



For every piece of bacon you eat God adds one minute to Keith Richards' life.

Bacon May Prolong Your Life: New Study



The reality is our opinion makers are all kept men.

They are the monks and clergy of our age, shaping intellectual life and setting the limits of what is and what is not permitted in the public sphere. This is done mostly to promote their own position, but financed by the donor class, on whose behalf the monks and priests of the commentariatwork. When you are living the 1% lifestyle, your not about to rock the boat by speaking truth to power. The reason they are fainting over Trump and the rise of the Alt-Right isthe same reason the Church panicked over Martin Luther. The Monasteries of America | The Z Blog


"I'll sell at a loss but make it up in volume!"

New York Times Co. Reports Loss as Its Digital Subscriber Base Grows The net loss for the quarter was roughly the same as in the first quarter of 2015. Total revenue fell about 1 percent, to $380 million, from $384 million in the first quarter of 2015.



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Donald Trump’s campaign reveals the establishment for what it is, a swamp of corruption as fetid as those of Latin America.

It is better entertainment than Vaudeville. It is better entertainment than Vaudeville. The frantic scramble to rig the primaries, change the rules, and thwart the voters–anything to defend their cozy entanglement of political tapeworms–makes absurd any pretense of democracy.

This morning in the Drudge Report: “Trump Highest Number of Republican Voters in History.” Who do the Republicans want to get rid of? Trump.

On the same page a poll reports Trump tied with Hillary nationally. Who do the Republicans want to get rid of? Guess.

It’s wonderful. The GOP is looking for someone that Hillary can beat. She would squash Kasich or Cruz like stepping on bugs. Trump might actually win. This the Republicans strive to avoid. What could make more sense?The Mask Comes Off: Putrefaction Most Foul | Fred On Everything



One thing to enjoy from the Obama administration is all the racial solidarity.



Meanwhile, In Maine

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Last week, a guy that I don't know, but know people who know him, tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head. Three times. With a flare gun. While parked by the side of the road. In his truck. Which runs on propane, for some reason. He didn't die, because two passing motorists saw him and pulled him out of his burning truck. Because Maine. Sippican Cottage:

The pneumatic tube's strange 150-year journey

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North Philadelphia showed off its system by sending a cat and an aquarium through it, as well as eggs, china, and hot tea. A rabbit hopped in a tube as well. Once, even a sick cat was sent through the tubes to a veterinarian. (When he emerged, he jumped out of the canister and ran away as fast as possible.) - Vox

Comprised of six different ethnicities, most of which did not want to live with each other, the only way Yugoslavia could be kept together was through a strong totalitarian regime.

Interestingly, the people most able to "get along" were the educated "cognitive" types whilst the masses maintained their grudges.

The failure of the policing state meant that natural demographic forces could assert themselves, the rest is history. Yugoslavia failed because it need a strong state to force Croats, Serbs and Slovenes to be Yugoslavs and it was an example of trying to fit men to the model instead of fitting the model to men.The Social Pathologist: Human Nature and Political Society.



All of the wailing and gnashing of teeth over Trump disguises the fact that the American Left is collapsing.

One place you see it is with their candidates. Hillary Clinton is a world class screw up planning to run as an old hen clucking about the men, with a mild whiff of lesbianism to spice it up. No wonder the 2000 year old man is giving her a run for her stolen money. The Left has nothing to offer so it coughed up these geriatric hairballs from the 1970’s. -- Great Culture War

Can you imagine a liberal being a potato farmer? It would never work.

The conservatives who clean the crap out of the sewer lines and lay the foundations upon which buildings will be erected, that will house all sorts of publicly funded liberal-egghead think tanks, have come to the unpleasant realization that previous generations never quite learned: They have to make the time for politics.
They’ve got to attend to it, as if it’s yet another chicken with eggs not yet gathered, otherwise everything else they’ve done is for nothing. They’ve got to write the code that works, they’ve got to build the diesel engines that successfully contain the explosions, they’ve got to manufacture the action boxes for 9mm pistols that don’t rupture under the stress, and do all the other things that liberals can never do. Then, they have to participate in politics like the liberals do. And the conservatives have to grow all our food. House of Eratosthenes


Another element we have today that works well for pandemics is the mass movement of people.

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The Spanish Flu was most likely the result of the Great War. Troops carried the disease all over Europe and then back to their home countries. The exact source of this strain of flu is still unknown, but the mass movement of people is certainly the way it spread. Millions of Muslims pouring into Europe, as well as millions of South Americans pouring into the US is already increasing disease rates. The End Is Near | The Z Blog

It wasn't "eco," another word for wasteful useless disposable plastic crap.

I knew it was shellac. Of all the dumb luck. No one had "fixed" this piece of furniture in 75 years. It didn't have any new, improved finish that wouldn't last but couldn't be fixed. It wasn't "eco," another word for wasteful useless disposable plastic crap. The finish was made from the nasty ooze that comes out of a lac bug and dries on a tree branch. Your favorite Hindoo used to gather the stuff by putting tarps on the ground under trees where the lac bugs congregate, and then beating the limbs with sticks to make the amber flakes rain down. When you mix lac leavings with alcohol, you get shellac. It's wonderful stuff. Sippican Cottage: Happy Birthday, Mrs. King
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Some People Just Need to Be PreKilled: Died as he lived but not soon enough by a long shot.

Serial rapist killed by runaway trailer while distracted by porn on his cell phone in Memphis... just blocks from where he terrorized numerous women

No matter how hard the Americans and Europeans have tried to show Russia as a busted flush, the joke’s on them.

Putin is authentic and authoritarian, the type who wins wars, a spontaneous and courageous leader who has shown up the West as a paper tiger.
Let’s face it. When was the last time a world leader did something really bold? And he didn’t declare mission accomplished, either, a declaration that has proved fatal in the case of Iraq and Libya. This is the man the clowns in Brussels tried to bluff with Circe-like songs to Ukraine, so he took back Crimea as a bonus. His standing by Assad has shown up Uncle Sam yet again as an unreliable ally when the going gets tough. Over Two Centuries Ago…


Enemies of the State

Billionaires Battle for America's Soul The more I cover this campaign, the more mysterious it seems to me, the more mysterious the whole electoral process appears to me.

Who would actually be the best president may not be revealed by it all. For all the sound and fury, we never really know until the man or woman is in place. And even then, it may remain a mystery. But what I do know is that, until groups like MoveOn.Org, #BlackLivesMatter and the billionaires that support them learn to respect that founding fundamental pillar of our nation the First Amendment, I reject every word that comes out of their mouths and every act they perform. They are, to put it bluntly, enemies of the state.



A slow-talker and a homeless guy walk into a bar.

Apparently, John Kasich and Ted Cruz are at their most appealing when no one is paying attention to them, which, conveniently, is most of the time. Ann Coulter

The little sign said EDAMAME CRACKERS AND UNEXPECTED CHEDDAR.

The sample bestower saw me and said "Would you like some" -
"WOAH I DID NOT EXPECT CHEDDAR!" I said, except I was about ten feet away and I said it really, really loudly. Surprised myself, actually. "DON'T DO THAT." LILEKS (James)


"The Cascada comes off the line like an arthritic bloodhound comes off the couch when called—painfully, noisily, yet eager to please. "

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Buick Cascada: Getting Lost in a Time Warp This car is destined for seniors in the Sunbelt, particularly Florida. One thing we know about senior car-buyers is they do fewer comparison test-drives, often one or none. They might thus be unaware what a trembling relic the Cascada actually is. Dynamically, the Cascada never had a chance. Sitting sideways under the hood is a 1.6-liter turbocharged, direct-injection in-line four, pedaling the front wheels through a pretty dated six-speed automatic. Four-thousand pounds divided by 200 hp comes to a well-marbled 20 pounds per horsepower. The Cascada comes off the line like an arthritic bloodhound comes off the couch when called—painfully, noisily, yet eager to please. Figure 0-60 mph in 8.6 seconds, but somebody will report you to the SPCA.


Co-Opting The Culture Of Victimhood

Evangelicals have for the last 30 years acted as the useful idiots and earnest footsoldiers of the GOP establishment.
While clinging to empty promises of ending abortion and vows to halt the moral decay of the public square, Evangelicals willingly sat by as the very material conditions that permitted the flourishing of their cherished Middlebrow Christianity were destroyed by free trade and the obscenity of a hyper-capitalist popular culture.
Likewise, for the Democrats, the black underclass has filled the same niche of the useful idiot. In exchange for continuous handouts (in the form of lifetime social service benefits) and a series of never-ending affirmative action initiatives, blacks have become the most consistently loyal members of a party’s base in the history of American politics. This is, of course, in spite of the fact that it is the ideologies of their benevolent overlords, i.e., the perverse stupidities of free love and atomized individualism, which have so thoroughly devastated their communities. Walk through any black ghetto in the United States, and immediately you will be immersed in conditions so degenerate that the social mores of feral dogs seem genuinely aristocratic in comparison. - Social Matter


Barbour gives the collection of all possible moments an evocative name: The Heap

Following a single thread, one would experience an apparent flow of time. Most threads would follow isolated paths that are without sense or meaning, but a very few threads and their neighbours follow paths that are mutually coherent. We might say that such paths tell a story, or that they include a sensible memory of the past at each step. The family of threads that are mutually coherent is robust, whereas the isolated and incoherent threads are fragile, with brittle associations providing no neighbouring reinforcement. | Aeon


Zap the Machine

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A weasel has just shut down the Large Hadron Collider"I can confirm that we had some issues overnight with electrical trouble," CERN spokesperson Arnaud Marsollier told New Scientist. "We suspect it might be due to a small animal." The culprit, a fatally curious weasel, was zapped to a crisp after chewing on a power cable. The weasel’s tragic snacktime caused a power outage throughout CERN.


The process of turning one thousand gallons of maple sap into fifty gallons of syrup

takes about two thirds of a cord of dry firewood, preferably flat slabs of well aired pine cut from the outside of the timber when we make lumber and eight hours of standing in front of a raging fire that must be fed every six or seven minutes.
The hot air is drawn from the front of the arch to the double walled stainless steel chimney at the read. Between these two point the super heated air passes beneath two finish pans and the main pan, or evaporator. Within minutes of lighting the seventy five gallons of sap is brought to a roiling boil, foam rising eight inches above the surface as hundreds of gallons of water are turned into steam, concentrating the sugar solution as it moves from the intake end of the rig and moves as it's density increases. The sugar content of the sap can vary widely from tree to tree and as the season progresses. DROP BY DROP ォ The Burning Platform


Vanished! The Surprising Things Missing From Ancient Art

Take a look, a long rambling look, at the cave paintings that Paleolithic artists drew as far back as 40,000 years ago. There are hundreds of them, in Spain, in France, all over the world. What do you see?
There are, says Richard Mabey in his new book, The Cabaret of Plants, “galloping horses and rippling bison,” reindeer, cattle, the occasional rhino—animals you might eat, animals you might chase, or simply admire, maybe even worship … But here’s what there’s not: While all these animals lived on plains or in forests and ate plants, Mabey found no convincing image of grass, no landscape imagery showing a deer nuzzling a leafy thing, pecking at a bush. Leafy things don’t appear in Paleolithic art. – Phenomena: Curiously Krulwich


"Prolechic:"

The clothes offered in the catalog were tawdry, the sartorial equivalent of much modern architecture, that is to say without elegance or unified design, elements cobbled together in the hope that something worthwhile will emerge. No absurd price tag could disguise the aesthetic cheapness of the designs, or their resemblance to the products sold in the cheapest stores and worn by the denizens of modern slums. No doubt this was part of the catalog’s cunning: It managed by its prices to appeal to snobbery and by its designs to democratic, or demotic, sentiment. Its designs might be called proletarian chic, usefully shortened to prolechic. Catalog Slog - Taki's Magazine


Scapegoat

In great emergencies the sins of the Rajah of Manipur used to be transferred to somebody else, usually to a criminal, who earned his pardon by his vicarious sufferings. To effect the transference the Rajah and his wife, clad in fine robes, bathed on a scaffold erected in the bazaar, while the criminal crouched beneath it. With the water which dripped from them on him their sins also were washed away and fell on the human scapegoat. --The Golden Bough

Why do we board planes?

The sublimity of the act is heightened by the earthly mess around it. On arriving at the airport, you push your way through snarled security lines—the shoes, the belt, the laptop, the canopic bag of fluids—and purchase a day-old ciabatta sandwich. You sit and read, glancing at a suspended screen that seems to play only disaster news and weather reports from the Midwest. You hear your boarding announcement: more queues and lost elderly people with enormous bags. The airplane seems to hail from the same era as your old dishwasher, which conked out last year. The guy beside you has a wide stance and an overmedicated gaze that suggests he will drool during his sleep. It has been three hours since you left home, and you are still waiting. Has the Internet Made Air Travel Irrelevant? - The New Yorker


The Shuttlecock Paradox.

The enigma of the robot-batted shuttlecock | Robots are capable of doing amazing things — playing badminton with the premier, for instance — but the amazingness is often thin and brittle. Robots may soon be able to beat the best badminton players in the world, but that’s not going to put professional badminton players out of work. Because it’s still a lot more fun to watch people play badminton than to watch robots play badminton. Remember how automatic teller machines were going to put bank tellers out of work? And yet, even though ATMs are everywhere, there are more bank tellers at work today than when ATMs were invented.


“Native Advertising”—i.e., the disingenuous pimping of ad content as though it were actual news—

will be the calling card of the Viceland cable network, by the looks of things.
As Wall Street Journal media reporter Keach Hagey previews the look and feel of Viceland, it doesn’t conjour the fearless energy of a millennially minded “60 Minutes” so much as the terminally hungover ambience of the final day of an over-branded trade show: Within a year, Viceland is aiming for roughly half its advertising inventory to be made up of “native” ads—ads packaged to look like editorial content and keep audiences from tuning out. Often made by Vice itself, these spots will frequently be longer than a typical 30-second ad and will be tailored specifically for the network, whose other owner, A+E, is jointly owned by Walt Disney Co. and Hearst Corp. “We are trying to displace the clutter by injecting some humanity and authenticity,” said Eddy Moretti, co-president of Viceland and Vice’s chief creative officer. Your Media Future: Cheesy and Skeezy | The Baffler


They only saw the public lie. The private truth remained hidden until some galvanizing event forced it to the surface.

It's becoming evident that the European elites failed to understand how explosive the migrant issue was until it detonated full in their face. Now it is in the midst of a crisis which could literally bring down the European Union. Why didn't they see it coming? Because they believed their own Narrative, even when they should have suspected it was a lie of their own making. If the PC Western elites are overtaken by a cascade similar to that which collapsed the Soviet Union, the ultimate irony will be that the very migrants which they had counted on to create the Curley Effect will turn out to be the engine of their own destruction.How Tyrannies Implode | PJ Media


Before I am carried away by time’s flow,

I want to share one last memory, again as a small child. I am sitting in a warm sunbeam on the living room floor of our farmhouse, watching the gentle chaos of drifting dust motes, small worlds entire, next to my sleeping dog, King. We were – are – will be – best friends forever. Always at peace. Why doesn’t physics help us to understand the flow of time? | Aeon Essays


Who says there's no good news?

tom carbone on Twitter: "https://t.co/T0YpaE26sn"


Melissa Cook is a forty-seven-year-old surrogate in California with four children of her own.

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In Cook’s case three embryos were implanted in her uterus and all three took.
When C.M. learned of the triplets, he asked her to abort one because he was not capable of caring for three children; Cook refused. C.M. continued to ask for an abortion by arguing that giving birth to multiples was dangerous for the babies. Despite threats from C.M.’s lawyer that they’d cut off funding to Cook throughout the rest of pregnancy if she did not comply with the abortion, Cook refused and C.M. relented. The Schizophrenic and the California Brood Mare


"Get your mind off 1,237; get your mind on the wind at Donald Trump’s back."

The wind is at Donald Trump’s back, and it’s the kind that doesn’t lessen but builds.
Last week he won the New York primary with an astounding 60% of the vote to John Kasich’s 25% and Ted Cruz’s 15%. This week he swept the five-state Northeast regional primaries with numbers that neared or surpassed the New York results—54% in Maryland, 57% in Pennsylvania, 58% in Connecticut, 61% in Delaware and 64% in Rhode Island. He beat Mr. Kasich in Greenwich, Conn., the affluent enclave of the old moderate Republicanism. Amazingly, he carried every county in all five states, and every county in New York except Manhattan. With 10 million votes, Mr. Trump is on track to become the biggest primary vote-getter in GOP history. He did well with varied demographic groups, old and young, college graduates, rich and not. This is the kind of political momentum that tends to grow. A political saying attributed to Haley Barbour is that in politics this is the dynamic: Good gets better and bad gets worse. Simple Patriotism Trumps Ideology - Peggy Noonan


Ten Things You Should Know About The Reptilian Elite Conspiracy

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Believers don't agree on where the Reptilian Elite came from (some say a distant planet, others say they've been on Earth since before mankind), but they all agree the Reptilian Elite are the scaly bastards behind the New World Order. - Neatorama

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