Edward Dutton: “Why Islam makes you stupid but also means you’ll dominate the world”

Edward Dutton is one of the most fearless, iconoclastic, and “just the facts” social scientists working today.  I’ve started calling him “Charles Murray on acid”.  I’ve reviewed two of his books here: At Our Wits’ End and How to Judge People by What they Look Like.  Today, he posted a video on his “Jolly Heretic” YouTube channel titled “Why Iran, and other Islamic Countries, Will Dominate the World”, but described on his @jollyheretic Twitter feed with the title I have used for this post.

... [Read More]

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TOTD 2020-1-7: The Year of the Rat

How is that for advertising! We got a whole year named after us. 2020 is the Year of the Rat. We even got these other years named after us. 

Start date End date Heavenly branch
11 February 1804 30 January 1805 Wood Rat
23 January 1816 16 January 1817 Fire Rat
14 February 1828 3 January 1829 Earth Rat
2 February 1840 22 January 1841 Metal Rat
20 February 1852 3 February 1853 Water Rat
8 February 1864 26 January 1865 Wood Rat
26 January 1876 12 February 1877 Fire Rat
12 February 1888 30 January 1889 Earth Rat
31 January 1900 18 February 1901 Metal Rat
18 February 1912 5 February 1913 Water Rat
5 February 1924 23 January 1925 Wood Rat
24 January 1936 10 February 1937 Fire Rat
10 February 1948 28 January 1949 Earth Rat
28 January 1960 14 February 1961 Metal Rat
15 February 1972 2 February 1973 Water Rat
2 February 1984 19 February 1985 Wood Rat
19 February 1996 6 February 1997 Fire Rat
7 February 2008 25 January 2009 Earth Rat
25 January 2020 11 February 2021 Metal Rat
11 February 2032 30 January 2033 Water Rat
30 January 2044 16 February 2045 Wood Rat
15 February 2056 3 February 2057 Fire Rat
3 February 2068 22 January 2069 Earth Rat
22 January 2080 8 February 2081 Metal Rat
7 February 2092 26 January 2093 Water Rat

This is from the Chinese zodiac. It is a twelve year cycle. The next Rat Year will be 2032. (Of course the world will have ended by then.)... [Read More]

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The casino ruined my troubleshooting…

Long story somewhat shortened…

I “used to be” a darn good “investigative trouble shooter”, I looked at things from nearly every angle. Then I had to take a job at the casino. I had to fix things fast because a guest was waiting. Well It made me jump to conclusions rather than looking at things from every angle.... [Read More]

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Finally! U.S. Patent 10,513,862: System, method, and apparatus for simulating immersion in a confection

Well, the Roaring Twenties are finally here, so we shouldn’t be astonished by the wonders of technology and human innovation soon to usher forth.  Here’s one that arrived a week early, on 2019-12-24, U.S. patent 10,513,862 [PDF] (text-only version), for a swimming pool or hot tub filled with simulated candy, including “synthetic multicolored sprinkles”.  Of course there’s a diving board!

US patent 10513862 cover... [Read More]

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A Good Word for the Latest Star Wars

I just saw The Rise of Skywalker, and I loved it. The visual and aural effects were astounding, the settings beautiful, the story fun, most of the main characters engaging, and the adaptations of what audiences love about Star Wars present without being too derivative. This was brilliant high-tech, family-friendly fantasy storytelling. I did think parts of the script were too warm-fuzzy, but not enough to ruin the movie. It was one of the best they’ve ever made, in my opinion. A dramatic scene with Adam Driver* demonstrates the contrast in acting skills between him and Hayden Christiansen, who played the young Darth Vader in those nearly unwatchable prequels. It’s odd how these films vary in quality.

Now I can go back and read the Ricochet members’ analyses of this movie. Judging by their post titles, they seemed disappointed.... [Read More]

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Douglas Casey’s Predictions for the 2020s

Douglas Casey is a perceptive and incisive analyst of the economic, political, and investment scene.  It was his 1979 book, The International Man, (now hopelessly out of print and an overpriced collectors’ item) that set me on the trajectory which got me where I am today.  On his International Man Web site, he has posted his “Top 7 Predictions for the 2020s”, which I list and summarise below.

#1 Demographics: “First, it’s good to remember that demographics have a life of their own. That’s not good from the point of view of those of us of European descent. We’re only 10% of world population and falling rapidly. Worse, it seems we’re responsible for all the world’s problems and therefore aren’t very popular.”... [Read More]

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Victor Davis Hanson: Why Trump Will Win Again in 2020

For a university professor emeritus, think tank fellow, writer for National Review, who is fluent in Greek and Latin, Victor Davis Hanson gets outside the bubble (What’s your score?  Mine is 26.) more than most conservative pundits.  In the January 2020 edition of the U.S. edition of The Spectator, he explains “Why Trump will win again in 2020”.

My reasons for thinking Trump was going to be elected in 2016 were entirely unscientific. One of my Hoover Institution colleagues recently reminded me of my data-free, amateurish and bothersome predictions.... [Read More]

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Nubia

There’s an exhibition at Boston’s art museum on Nubia. This is a region that includes parts of Egypt and Sudan along the Nile. The exhibition “…examines power, representation, and cultural bias—in the ancient world, in the early 20th century, and today.” The principal focus of the explanatory materials is race. Visitors are lectured about how Nubians weren’t really Egyptians but were actually black, that one should not fall prey to stereotypes and that race is a social construct. Or as Derb would say, “blackety black blackety blackety black.”

The point of the exhibition seemed to be to connect Egyptian cultural achievements with sub-Saharan Africa. Quote from the exhibition blurb:... [Read More]

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Unexpected Trouble

As a child, did you ever do something you thought was innocuous, or at least only semi-problematic, and then find out your parents were surprisingly steamed about it? I ran up against this unexpected trouble more than once.

One incident was when I was nine years old at boarding school in northern Thailand. My friend C. dared me to eat a worm. Well, she wasn’t really my friend at the time. She was my rival. We were around the same age, and she was a newcomer from the States, with a collection of novel American toys. Plus she had olive skin, dark hair, and large, expressive green eyes. She liked the boy I’d had a crush on for years–despite her unusual looks, I had dibs on him. My jealousy weighed on me unpleasantly. She and I were always vying for first place in stupid scenarios: who would win in arm wrestling? Who could climb a mountain? We both sensed when the other was showing off, and were mutually annoyed. I affected a slight babyish accent that rubbed her the wrong way; she wanted everyone to know her affinity for animals and talked to lizards with a high-pitched lilt I couldn’t stand.... [Read More]

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Industrial Architecture

A century ago, it was common for all kinds of buildings to be designed for beauty as well as for function. The enterprises that built these structures cared about beauty as well as function. The ornamentation on this power plant, built about 120 years ago and decommissioned in 2007, is entirely unrelated to the generation of electric power. It could have done without the lunettes, the molding, and the other elements that make the building less drab. This page has some better pictures, including some of the interior. There’s some nice tile work and wrought iron ornamentation.

... [Read More]

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Book Review: The City of Illusions

“The City of Illusions” by Fenton WoodThis is the fourth short novel/novella (148 pages) in the author’s Yankee Republic series. I described the first, Pirates of the Electromagnetic Waves, as “utterly charming”, and the second, Five Million Watts, “enchanting”. The third, The Tower of the Bear, takes Philo from the depths of the ocean to the Great Tree in the exotic West.

Here, the story continues as Philo reaches the Tree, meets its Guardian, “the largest, ugliest, and smelliest bear” he has ever seen, not to mention the most voluble and endowed with the wit of eternity, and explores the Tree, which holds gateways to other times and places, where Philo must confront a test which has defeated many heroes who have come this way before. Exploring the Tree, he learns of the distant past and future, of the Ancient Marauder and Viridios before the dawn of history, and of the War that changed the course of time.... [Read More]

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Books of the Year: 2019

Gnome carrying pile of booksHere are my picks for the best books of 2019, fiction and nonfiction. These aren’t the best books published this year, but rather the best I’ve read in the last twelve months. The winner in both categories is barely distinguished from the pack, and the runners up are all worthy of reading. Runners up appear in alphabetical order by their author’s surname. Each title is linked to my review of the book.
Continue reading “Books of the Year: 2019”

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