Unlearn What You Have Learned

When you studied history in high school or college, you may have come across this quote, attributed to President Calvin Coolidge: “The business of America is business.”

Problem is, Silent Cal never said that. It is fake history, a misquotation from a speech that Coolidge gave to the American Society of Newspaper Editors on January 17, 1925. Here is the full quote, in context, from that speech:... [Read More]

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I LOVE Mayonnaise!

Just a bit of nothing, to season some of the heavy commenting on things political or important.

I love mayonnaise. I put it on sandwiches, and even on strange things like rice. I learned in high school to eat what was called a “peanut between with”. It was the cheapest thing you could buy at the grill, and consisted of peanut butter “between” two pieces of toast – WITH – mayonnaise! It’s delicious, especially at 10:15 in the morning when you’re a starving teenager.Lunch wasn’t until 1:00 PM.... [Read More]

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Crosswind Landings in this Winter’s Storms

Really impressive windstorms continue to come in one after another in Europe this year.  When one hitting the UK makes the news, in Switzerland we know it’s around 24 to 36 hours before it gets here.  I’m still waiting for the tree felled in my yard by Ciara to be cut up and removed, and Dennis is on the way.  With high winds come severe crosswind landing conditions at airports not lucky enough to have runways that align with the wind direction.  Crosswind landing is one of the most demanding operations in flying, especially for large transport aircraft.  Here is an Etihad Airways A380 landing in a strong crosswind during Storm Dennis at Heathrow Airport in London on 2020-02-15.

... [Read More]

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Baking an Onion

This is one each big yellow onion, two chops (top and bottom), and a little hollow dig into the top, filled with grass-fed butter and covered with oregano.
Oven preheated  320F, cold pan with a plop of avocado oil.  Letting it go forty minutes.  Goal is to slow bake it.
It should be creamy, herb-y, sweet and more than a little messy.

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A Field Guide to Handgun Calibers

I’ve been working on a couple of things recently — shooting guns, playing piano, and cooking.  Semiautomatic handguns are available with a profusion of ammo choices, so I thought I’d take a moment to clear this all up.

In a way, a gun is just one more communication channel opened between two people.  Let’s take a look at what your choice of caliber says to the person who lost the coin toss and will now receive:... [Read More]

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Space Force Revisited

IIRC we have had at least one previous post about SF (not San Fran). Here’s an interview with retired Air Force Gen Kwast by Candace Owens.

Interesting concepts raised are the competitive aspects of space, the exploitation of new sources of energy and raw material. Not necessarily how I’ve looked at this, but perhaps I just haven’t been paying attention to the changes in technology.... [Read More]

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This Week’s Book Review – Churchill’s Phoney War

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) After my review appears on Sunday, I post the previous week’s review here on Sunday.... [Read More]

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Advice from Popular Culture

From Hollywood, to kids’ cartoons, to sappy inspirational Facebook posts, entertainment culture is full of advice on how to live our lives. Imagine the consequences of taking this wisdom seriously. Actually, you don’t need to imagine: our culture is littered with living examples of men and women who embraced the subtle and not-so-subtle popular messages. Still, it would be interesting to flip through a book called A Year of Living Hollywood. Here is some of the most common propaganda of social media, celebrities, and movies:

1. Follow your heart. This pretty saying comes first, because it’s our culture’s favorite. I remember years ago asking a wise older friend for advice about getting married, and this is what she said to me, very tenderly though: Follow your heart. I was confused. My very problem was that I had followed my heart, and it wasn’t getting me anywhere. What I needed was some sensible input, help weighing up the pros and cons and identifying flags of all hues in this relationship.... [Read More]

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Robin Hanson: Manage a Pandemic by Controlled Infection?

Coronavirus particleRobin Hanson is a an economics professor at George Mason University who is known for thinking way outside the box.  His 2016 book, The Age of Em, which was my nonfiction book of the year for 2016, envisioned a future where the overwhelming majority of sentient beings were emulations (“ems”) of human brains running on digital hardware up to a million times faster than our current biochemical substrate.  He coined the term “Great Filter” to explain why we do not observe the universe to be teeming with advanced civilisations, and explored the implications of whether the filter is an event in the past or future of our own species’ history.

Yesterday, on his Overcoming Bias blog, he posted a provocative article titled “Consider Controlled Infection”.  Noting that if the present coronavirus outbreak (or some other in the future) spreads and becomes a global pandemic, so many people may be infected at once that social support and medical infrastructure (for example, intensive care facilities and support equipment such as ventilators) could be overwhelmed.... [Read More]

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Return of the Jeb!-i

I think Barr has been working for the Bushes all along.  He positioned himself to return to the AG position , which he held under GHWB, so he could take slow, exquisite revenge on Trump for destroying  the pathetic, boring (and essentially Democrat)scion of the Bush dynasty , “please-clap-Jeb.”

What a Valentine for us yesterday, on the one-year anniversary of Barr’s confirmation which we hailed with such hope:   Cheers, Andy! Take a bow,Strzok  and Page!... [Read More]

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