DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Happy Turkey Day

27th November 2014

One of the newest fads for celebrating Thanksgiving is a Turducken — a chicken stuffed inside of a duck, which is in turn stuffed inside of a turkey.

Not sure what a combination of a turkey, duck, and chicken looks like? Well, lucky you — we have a picture:

 

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The Anatomy of Shows

27th November 2014

anatomy-of-shows

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How to Keep Your Giraffe Warm

27th November 2014

Read it.

If, of course, that’s what you want to do.

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Giving Thanks for Property Rights

27th November 2014

Read it.

One of the traditions the Pilgrims had brought with from England was a practice known as “farming in common” (the “common course and condition” to Bradford). Everything produced became community property, to be allocated according to need as specified in the Mayflower Compact.

They had thought “the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing,” Bradford writes. Instead, “for this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort.” Young, able-bodied men resented working for others without compensation, which they saw as an “injustice.”

After three winters of near-starvation, Bradford and his advisors decided to experiment when it came time for the spring planting. They set aside a plot of land for each family “that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard to trust to themselves.”

“This had very good success,” Bradford writes, “for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content.”

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The Architecture of Urban Unrest

27th November 2014

Steve Sailer connects the dots.

The Medici Palace in Florence was built in the 1440s with heavy stone on the street level and delicate windows on the top floor, both to express the upward-yearning spirit of the Renaissance and to keep the urban mob from dismantling the place when they got uppity, as they were known to do.

One of the best of the retro stadiums was Jacobs Field in Cleveland, which opened a couple of years later and sold out 455 games in a row. A friend told me an interesting rumor. He’d been talking to Mr. Jacobs, owner of the Cleveland Indians, and they got on the topic of why the White Sox new ballpark was so uninviting and closed-off. Mr. Jacobs told him that the owners of the White Sox had some kind of arrangement with the city of Chicago to use the ballpark as a giant holding pen for rioters, much in the traditional manner of a South American soccer stadium.

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Thanksgiving Notice

27th November 2014

The Bluebird of Bitterness sends us this friendly reminder:

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The Megaphone Doubles-down on the Ferguson Narrative

27th November 2014

Steve Sailer turns over a rock.

While I was writing my new Taki’s Magazine column on Ferguson across Monday night and Tuesday morning, the sense was palpable that the dominant media had taken a humiliating double blow in a battle of their own choosing:

– The grand jury’s finding after months of careful research contradicted the Narrative promulgated in August and tenaciously held to ever since despite the piling up of evidence.

– The looting and arson by “protesters” in Ferguson was disgusting.

The first mainstream media pieces trying to snark about the events of Monday were deluged that night by critical commenters clearly better informed than the paid journalists.

Granted, a low bar.

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Ah, Those Congressional Pensions

27th November 2014

Read it.

After 40 years in the House of Representatives, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., will be eligible for an annual pension of $125,500. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., will retire after 20 years, qualifying for a yearly pension of $53,000.

And Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., defeated this month in her bid to win a second term, will be eligible for an annual pension of $16,000 after serving just six years.

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Transylvania’s Castle Owners Sink Their Teeth Into Business

27th November 2014

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In the end it wasn’t vampires that the castle owners of Transylvania had to worry about, it was Communists.

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68 Ways Homeland Security Has Wasted Your Tax Dollars

27th November 2014

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From $1.5 billion in cost overruns on its new D.C. headquarters, to $8.7 million a year in unearned employee overtime, the agency has not lacked for examples of fiscal mismanagement and lax oversight.

My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

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Rock Singer Dies After Getting Electrocuted Onstage in Argentina

27th November 2014

Read it.

Let that be a lesson to us all.

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Defense Secretary Pick Will Be a Challenge for Obama

27th November 2014

Read it.

Yeah, who would want to work for this putz?

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Men Allegedly Plotted to Bomb Gateway Arch, Kill Ferguson Officials, Report Says

27th November 2014

Read it.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday that Brandon Orlando Baldwin and Olajuwon Ali Davis were indicted last week on federal weapons charges but authorities expect more charges to be filed against the duo relating to the alleged plot.

‘Olajuwon Ali’? No Muslim connection there, no sirree. (Global jihadists tweet in bid to recruit Ferguson protesters)

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Reporters Attacked, Robbed at Gunpoint in Ferguson

26th November 2014

Read it. And watch the video.

What goes around, comes around.

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‘Burn This B*tch Down!’ – Brown Family Church Torched in Riots

26th November 2014

Read it. And watch the video.

Although the media is desperate to keep the false narrative alive that the family of Michael Brown is only calling for peace, the fact is that on Monday night, just before all hell broke loose in Ferguson, while Michael Brown’s mother stood silently by, Brown’s stepfather repeatedly ordered the mob surrounding him to “Burn this bitch down!”

The next morning, the Brown family church was one of about a dozen or so buildings burnt to the ground. Worse still, a 20 year-old man was found dead.

Michael Brown was trash and he came from trash, as is becoming increasingly obvious.

 

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10 Liberal Clichés and What They Really Mean

26th November 2014

Read it.

It ain’t pretty.

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GPS Study Tracks Grizzlies as They Follow Hunters

26th November 2014

Read it.

The study is aimed at bolstering the theory that grizzlies, which can be as stealthy as they are ferocious, stalk hunters from as close as the length of a football field in order to steal their prey. Already, data has shown at least one grizzly following oblivious elk hunters almost from the moment they left the parking lot, according to the Billings Gazette. Scientists believe the bear may have been following the humans in hopes of getting to a fallen elk before they did.

Heh.

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Aerial Laser Discovers Ancient Roman Gold Mines

26th November 2014

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ScienceDaily reports that the gold mining complex in the Eria river valley includes sophisticated hydraulic works diverting river water to the mines. The Las Médulas region in León is considered to be the largest opencast mine in the Roman Empire but the University team discovered that mining extended many miles to the south east to the Eria valley.

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Thought for the Day

26th November 2014

Non Sequitur

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Low Information Looters

26th November 2014

Steve Sailer critiques the Ferguson ‘protesters’.

Months of egging on the mob in Ferguson, Missouri by the Obama Administration, the Democratic Party, and the national media in order to goose turnout in this month’s midterm elections have culminated in the Night of Undocumented Shopping.

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FSU Shooting Victim Had CCP But Couldn’t Carry on Campus

26th November 2014

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One the victims wounded in the November 20 attack on the Florida State University (FSU) campus had a concealed carry permit (CCP) but was not allowed to carry his gun on campus for self-defense because of Florida law.
A bill to change that law and allow campus carry was thwarted by current FSU President John Thrasher in 2011, when he was a state senator.

According to Students for Concealed Carry at Florida State (SCCFS), shooting victim Nathan Scott has a CCP, but the campus carry ban rendered him defenseless when 31-year-old Myron May opened fire. In other words, although he had “the training and skills necessary to end the shooting… [Scott was] powerless due to Florida’s laws.”

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Ferguson, Palestine — Same Thing

26th November 2014

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CAIR and other Muslim Brotherhood front groups have been trying to worm their way into the current no-justice-no-peace uproar ever since the trouble began last summer in Ferguson, Missouri. The latest wrinkle involves an NFL star named Reggie Bush, who entered the debate to promote an equivalence between the “youths” of Ferguson and the “youths” of Palestine.

Of course! It’s obvious — why didn’t I notice the resemblance before?

A “youth” in Ferguson shoplifts from a store, roughs up the owner, attacks a cop, tries to take his gun, and gets shot for his efforts.

“Youths” in Palestine set up launchers, fire rockets at schools with them, and get shot (well, some of them do) for their efforts.

Yes, come to think of it, the two places have a lot in common.

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America’s Laser Gun Goes To War

25th November 2014

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Right now, the U.S. Navy has a warship with a laser gun patrolling the Persian Gulf. The USS Ponce is an old ship that first saw service as an amphibious transport in the 1970s, designed to carry troops, vehicles, and helicopters close to beaches. Saved from a scrapyard, the U.S. Navy strapped a laser to its back and sent it forward, turning it into a cold warrior testing the waters of the future.

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Liberals Can’t Believe their Eyes: More Women in Congress After GOP Wave

25th November 2014

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When five liberal Democratic senators were elected in 1992, pundits gleefully proclaimed it the year of the woman. Yet their arrival in the Senate, along with that of 24 female freshmen representatives, brought the total number of women in Congress to about 60, or little more than half of what it is today. “A defining moment of change was the general election of 1992 dubbed the ‘Year of the Woman,’ “the official House of Representatives web site proclaims. “The arrival of 28 new women in Congress resulted from the confluence of historic circumstances that have not recurred since.”

How about that War on Women, eh?

 

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Media Ignore 224 Teenagers Killed in Chicago Since Michael Brown’s Death

25th November 2014

Read it.

Black people killing black people. Not news.

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‘I Was Mugged, and I Understand Why’

25th November 2014

Read it.

Not once did I consider our attackers to be “bad people.” I trust that they weren’t trying to hurt me. In fact, if they knew me, I bet they’d think I was okay. They wanted my stuff, not me. While I don’t know what exactly they needed the money for, I do know that I’ve never once had to think about going out on a Saturday night to mug people. I had never before seen a gun, let alone known where to get one. The fact that these two kids, who appeared younger than I, have even had to entertain these questions suggests their universes are light years away from mine.

I understand why, too. You’re a simple-minded dick.

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Thought for the Day

25th November 2014

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Most Businesses Destroyed in Ferguson Minority Owned

25th November 2014

Read it.

And most of the rioters weren’t ‘protesters’, they were just thieves — and thieves always prey on the weakest targets they can find, because they are basically lazy.

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Talking Past Each Other: Truth and Untruth

25th November 2014

John C. Wright looks behind the curtain.

We have a whole generation of people who seek the kind of thing people naturally seek from God (love, meaning, a moral compass, communion and companionship, self-worth) they are now seeking from politics.

That is why these modern Postchristian people — so overwhelmingly Leftist that in this column I use the terms interchangeably — are immune to facts during normal political discussions and debates: to them it is not a political discussion.

Rather, it is a religious discussion.

Let us distinguish: A political discussion is how best to arrange the laws to achieve peace and freedom. A religious discussion is always about what one must do to be saved.

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Urban Planning Ideas for 2030, When Billions Will Live in Megacities

25th November 2014

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The statistics are staggering: Researchers predict that by 2025, the world will have 37 megacities, defined as urban areas with more than 10 million people. New York City and Newark are expected to have more than 23 million inhabitants; Tokyo, more than 38 million people. All told, well over half of the world’s population will be living in these super settlements.

Uh-huh. Name one instance where predictions by ‘urban planners’ have come to pass.

Indeed, one might extend that challenge to ‘researchers’ generally. Well, let’s see, there’s ‘peak oil’, and ‘climate change’, and the exponentially explosive growth of population that the Zero Population Growth people warned us about…. (Oh, wait….)

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Fun and Games on the Old South Side

25th November 2014

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Haven’t seen this sort of action in the neighborhood since they tore down the Delaware Terrace projects. The cops raided a house about a block away from TOF, looking for a fellow who had been dealing heroin on a nearby playground. There is an alley running behind the duplexes shown in the picture, and the playground is across that alley. In TOF’s youth, that playground was actually a cornfield, improbably surrounded by houses and (on one side) by a carpet factory. Every spring the farmer would drive his tractor down from the hill and plow it up and plant corn. Eventually, a new generation of kids arose who regarded the corn as free for the taking, so he gave up and sold out and the city built a park where people could pedal heroin. The carpet factory is also gone. There is a drug store on the site.

Funny how all the behavioral sinks tend to be in areas governed (if you can call it that) by Democrats.

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The Secret Life of String Cheese

25th November 2014

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It makes sense that string cheese was most likely invented in Wisconsin, cheese capital of the United States. Brian (referred to by his first name here to avoid confusion between various members of the Baker family involved in this story), is the president of a family-owned and operated cheese brand named Baker Cheese, a company that has made cheese for nearly 100 years. Over the course of four generations string cheese has become close to the entirety of their business.

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Your PHONE Is Slowly KILLING YOU

25th November 2014

Read it.

But only if you’re stupid.

“As the head tilts forward the forces seen by the neck surges to 27 pounds at 15 degrees, 40 pounds at 30 degrees, 49 pounds at 45 degrees and 60 pounds at 60 degrees,” Hansraj writes.

Those loads are rather larger than one experiences in conventional postures, and that’s not good because “people spend an average of two to four hours a day with their heads tilted over reading and texting on their smart phones and devices.”

Much like AIDS, this strikes me as a self-correcting problem. Think of it as evolution in action.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

The Tech Worker Shortage Doesn’t Really Exist

25th November 2014

Read it.

“There’s no evidence of any way, shape, or form that there’s a shortage in the conventional sense,” says Hal Salzman, a professor of planning and public policy at Rutgers University. “They may not be able to find them at the price they want. But I’m not sure that qualifies as a shortage, any more than my not being able to find a half-priced TV.”

I guess tech companies lie to us as much as old Rust Belt companies do. Who knew?

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Urbanists Need to Face the Full Implications of ‘Peak Car’

25th November 2014

Read it. Ponder the graphs.

Indeed, the “peak car” is antithetical to the reigning urbanist paradigm of highways known as “induced demand.”  Induced demand is Say’s Law for roads: supply of lanes creates its own demand by drivers to fill them. Hence building more roads to reduce congestion is pointless. But if we’ve really reached peak car, maybe we really can build our way out of congestion after all.

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Ferguson Protestor Has Phone Stolen–While Live-Streaming Riot

25th November 2014

Read it. And watch the video.

Bassem Masri, a pro-Palestinian activist who is live-streaming the violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, had his smartphone stolen as he was live-streaming the action (at 2:34 in the video below). The thief’s escape was broadcast to some 90,000 viewers around the world as he retreated, breathless, to a park. The video was captured and reposted to YouTube.

Now that’s comedy.

Masri himself has blamed police for the theft, suggesting they are trying to suppress his coverage.

I believe it was a police agitator that stole my phone #ferguson

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

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Poll: US Post Office Top Rated Federal Agency

25th November 2014

Read it.

The poll finding probably says more about other federal agencies than it does about the nation’s mail delivery. Fortunately for the Post Office, it is mostly immune from the machinations of the Obama administration.

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New Word Day

24th November 2014

Freeberg nails it again.

Had this one germinating in my cranium for awhile. SNews (n.): News that is produced for the benefit of the producer of the news, or some third-party who has entered into some transaction with the producer of the news, rather than for the benefit of the consumer of the news.

If you like, you can think of it as a portmanteau for “sponsored news.” It is meant to be a homonym of snooze. The litmus test is: Thinking of the “news” as an answer to a question, does the question it answers bear any resemblance to a question the audience would have been asking? If it doesn’t — and lately, I notice, it very rarely does — then it isn’t really “news,” is it?

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School Kids Are Blaming Michelle Obama for Their “Gross” School Lunches

24th November 2014

Read it.

Looks like the kids are smarter than their parents.

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Chinese Buying Detroit

24th November 2014

Read it.

To paraphrase John Derbyshire, Patron Saint of Dyspepsia, there is very little wrong with any large American city that a million ethnic Chinese wouldn’t fix.

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Bringing Sous Vide to the Home Cook

24th November 2014

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Then there is the computer you use for sous vide, a cooking technique beloved by restaurant chefs — and a truly groundbreaking way of making better meals. In this method, you begin by packing food, usually meat, into a plastic bag. Then you place the bag in a water bath whose temperature is precisely controlled by a computerized thermostat. Then you wait.

After an hour, two hours, or in some cases 72 hours, you will have an exquisitely textured cut of meat — a steak with a uniform pinkness from edge to edge, or chicken so tender it tastes like no chicken you have ever experienced. If you have ever wondered how high-end restaurants get every steak right, every time, it is most likely because they cook sous vide.

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Today’s Renewable Energy Technologies Won’t Save Us.

24th November 2014

Read it.

As we reflected on the project, we came to the conclusion that even if Google and others had led the way toward a wholesale adoption of renewable energy, that switch would not have resulted in significant reductions of carbon dioxide emissions. Trying to combat climate change exclusively with today’s renewable energy technologies simply won’t work; we need a fundamentally different approach.

Lewis Page, in British tech pub The Register, expands on that:

Whenever somebody with a decent grasp of maths and physics looks into the idea of a fully renewables-powered civilised future for the human race with a reasonably open mind, they normally come to the conclusion that it simply isn’t feasible. Merely generating the relatively small proportion of our energy that we consume today in the form of electricity is already an insuperably difficult task for renewables: generating huge amounts more on top to carry out the tasks we do today using fossil-fuelled heat isn’t even vaguely plausible.

Posted in Think about it. | 1 Comment »

Why Is American Teaching So Bad?

23rd November 2014

Read it.

Well, mostly it’s controlled by the government, for starters.

Who becomes a teacher in America? The answer keeps changing, and not in ways that should make any of us proud. In the first half of the twentieth century, as Goldstein notes, bookish urban immigrants used the profession to catapult themselves into the middle class. During the Great Depression, especially, teaching attracted people of outstanding academic achievement—including some with Ph.D.s—who couldn’t get work elsewhere. Since the 1960s, however, the proportion of top college students who have entered the field has steadily declined. Part of the reason lay in the feminist movement, which created new occupational opportunities for women outside of teaching. Rather than enhancing the profession’s status, as Susan B. Anthony had predicted a century earlier, this harmed it considerably, as many high-achieving women went into other professions.

The profession was also harmed by the campaign for racial integration, which closed all-black schools and threw thousands of experienced African-American teachers out of work. Those teachers had often achieved much within black school systems and then found themselves without jobs. By 1980, Texas Monthly published an award-winning article showing that public school teachers in Houston and Dallas scored lower on reading and math tests than the average sixteen-year-old in nearby suburbs did. It also reported that students of teacher education at Southwest Texas State University—where future president Lyndon Johnson received his teaching degree—were functionally illiterate. Teacher preparation, the article concluded, was “a hoax and an educational disgrace.”

Posted in Your tax dollars at work - and play. | 1 Comment »

This Is What the Gauche Caviar Looks Like

23rd November 2014

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The phrase ‘limousine liberal’ arose in America to designate people who espouse all the appropriate Marxist platitudes about solidarity with the oppressed and yet enjoy lives of excess and conspicuous consumption. (The phrase ‘latte liberal’ is also American, but of a more recent vintage and seemingly targeted at a younger set of doublespeakers.) In the United Kingdom, the analogous slur is ‘champagne socialist.’ And in France it’s Gauche caviar, the caviar Left.

Our media, especially celebrity gossip sites and magazines, provides us many examples of such individuals, who take advantage of all the luxuries their status affords while prescribing far more austere lifestyles for the little people. Matt Damon, for example, made headlines when he enrolled his children in private school despite his vocal and ongoing public school boosterism. Other celebrities frequently jet set around the world in fuel-guzzling aircraft to attend ‘consciousness raising’ events about the dangers of pollution and global warming. And, on the political side, there are exemplars like Senator Feinstein, whose commitment to getting guns out of the hands of ordinary citizens is matched only by her commitment to her own safety in the form of armed patrols at her lavish estate in San Francisco.

Posted in Dystopia Watch | 1 Comment »

Studying for the Test by Taking It

23rd November 2014

Read it.

One leading researcher in this field, Henry L. Roediger III of Washington University in St. Louis, argues that tests of varying scale and intensity can deepen learning. “We now know that testing, including self-testing, is an especially powerful form of study,” said Dr. Roediger, co-author of the book “Make It Stick.”

Tests find out what you know. That’s all they do. Yet to read a lot of what passes for discussion these days, especially among ‘educators’, you’d think that making a student take a test is somehow a violation of his or her civil rights.

“Oh, I don’t test well.” Better learn, then; that’s like saying that you can’t walk well. Real Life is constantly putting one in situations where one either has to come up with a fact or successfully exercise a skill — in other words, IT’S A TEST — and the technical term for those who ‘don’t test well’ is FAILURE. Now, I realize that to be a FAILURE in this degenerate modern age isn’t the Bad Thing that it used to be, but it’s not a Good Thing, either.

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Let’s Put the Future Behind Us

23rd November 2014

Charlie Stross takes a break from being a communist in a Clever Plastic Disguise to talk about something interesting.

Big-ass L5 space colonies as envisaged by Professor Gerard K. O’Neill in his book The High Frontier turn out to be both economically and biologically questionable. To be fair, it’s not entirely his fault: he took NASA’s early-1970s estimates of Space Shuttle flight rates as gospel—one flight per week, costs around $1M/ton delivered into orbit—back when they were selling it as a “space truck”. At which point, hauling 50,000 tons of hardware and 10,000 workers into orbit to build a gigantic factory town churning out gigawatt range solar power stations using materials mined from the lunar regolith and positioned where they could transmit microwave power beams down to Earth 24×7 sounded like it should cost about as much as the 350-odd tons and 6 astronaut crew of the ISS. And as a solution to the 1974 oil shock, it seemed like a good idea. If we ever do get space trucks like that, it might be time to dust off those concept drawings and go for it. But in the meantime …

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Tracking Ancient Hawaiian Farming Methods With Instagram

23rd November 2014

Read it.

Like many agrarian cultures, pre-contact Hawaiians used a lunar calendar to manage farming and fishing. Beginning with Hilo, the crescent moon, and peaking with M?healani, the full moon, the Hawaiian calendar was made up of 30 distinct moon phases. Based on observations passed down through generations, certain phases were thought to correspond to better fishing or planting, depending on the season and where one lived.

Today, that shared knowledge has largely faded, but one group of contemporary Hawaiian conservationists is looking to rebuild the oral tradition of how lunar cycles affect the environment by using a decidedly modern form of the diary: an Instagram account. The Moon Phase Project, as conceived by founders Kanani Frazier and Brenda Asuncion, encourages a team of island-based photographers to post observations of the natural world tagged with the corresponding Hawaiian moon phase to a shared account.

Sometimes the old ways are best.

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Speaking Truth to Power

23rd November 2014

Sarah Hoyt points out the intellectual inversions characteristic of Crustian propaganda.

One of the most fascinating conceits of our ruling powerful elites — be they in entertainment, politics, governance, jurisprudence or news reporting — is the often repeated assertion of being some kind of underdog “speaking truth to power.” This comes with the concomitant illusion that anyone opposing them is paid by powerful interests.

Never mind that the ones making the accusation are usually in positions of power and receive recognition all out of proportion to their achievements, (no, really, Mr. Obama failed to deliver his first book, so they contracted for a second with an exponentially bigger advance. When he delivered an auto-biography instead of a book on race relations, it was taken and lionized. I challenge any writer/personage not of the establishment to replicate this feat.) Never mind that the dissenting voices often have to come out in less respected and far less rewarding channels, it is against those of us who speak the actual truth against those who yield actual power that the finger of mercenary interest is pointed.

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Tallahassee Democrat Calls for Handgun Ban, Repeal of 2nd Amendment

23rd November 2014

Read it.

On November 22 the Tallahassee Democrat called for the repeal of the Second Amendment and a total ban on handguns and “assault rifles.”
For those who respond by saying that taking guns from law-abiding citizens will only leave them in the hands of criminals the Democrat says, “That’s a chance worth taking.”

What Ensley does not take into account is that the carry of handguns was banned on the FSU campus–thanks in large part of FSU president John Thrasher’s opposition to students being able to use them for self-defense–and what did that handgun ban accomplish? It simply guaranteed that the bad guy, 31-year-old Myron May, was the only person who had a gun when he decided to attack.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | 1 Comment »

Got Milk? Might Not Be Doing You Much Good

23rd November 2014

Read it.

More and more evidence is surfacing, however, that milk consumption may not only be unhelpful, it might also be detrimental. This is in spite of the fact that the United States Department of Agriculture and other organizations advocate that even adults should drink at least three cups a day.

Posted in Think about it. | 2 Comments »