WHEN in the course of human Events, it becomes necessary….
SITES TO SEE: These are a few of my favorite things
byVanderleunonSeptember 5, 2019
“We thought the facts didn’t matter.”U.S. Versus China | Belmont Club Ultimately the leadership of the 21st century will go to whichever society fixes the problem of information corruption first. If the West can rebuild its system of monetary and civilizational accounting then it can regain its vitality. Alternatively, China, with the memory of poverty and humiliation still vivid in living memory, may pay greater homage to the facts. If Western civilization fails this epitaph will be chiseled on its tombstone: “we thought the facts didn’t matter.”
Sold: A Country Ham for $1 Million – Gastro Obscura “Don’t stop to think now,” exhorted the auctioneer when the bids reached $900,000. “We left common sense long behind.” Just past five minutes into the auction, the ham sold for $1 million to Central Bank and the bank’s President and CEO, Luther Deaton.
Art Contrarian A blog about about painting, design and other aspects of aesthetics along with a dash of non-art topics. The point-of-view is that modernism in art is an idea that has, after a century or more, been thoroughly tested and found wanting. Not to say that it should be abolished — just put in its proper, diminished place.
Orion Magazine | Cosmic FruitAncient Chileans cultivated a walnut-sized beach strawberry, colored red or white or yellow. A spy smuggled these engorged berries to France in 1714; crossbreeding with tiny European species created most of the kinds we eat today. The prettiest-sounding are Brightmore, Klondike, Red Star, and Starbright. Pathfinder, Sparkle, and Temple are equally melodious. The Marshall, or Fragaria ananassa, was once touted as “the finest eating strawberry” in America.
California History: The Ridge Route | RicochetDespite its popularity, the narrow, curvy road was very dangerous, and accidents and fatalities were a common occurrence. It did not help that fill slopes either had no protective guard railings or had wooden fences which worked about as well as youâd expect. A speed limit of 15 miles per hour was strictly enforced along the route, while the most numerous vehicle of the time, the Ford Model T, had a hard time making 15 mph going up the numerous grades along the way, but also had trouble keeping below 15 mph going down those same grades. The most dangerous curve was called âDeadmanâs Curveâ and is still visible from the freeway today (it is just to the east of the southbound lanes and 1/2 mile north of Fort Tejon).
The Accidental Invention of the Slinky | Innovation | Smithsonian In 1943, mechanical engineer Richard James was designing a device that the Navy could use to secure equipment and shipments on ships while they rocked at sea. As the story goes, he dropped the coiled wires he was tinkering with on the ground and watched them tumble end-over-end across the floor. After dropping the coil, he could have gotten up, frustrated, and chased after it without a second thought. But he—as inventors often do—had a second thought: perhaps this would make a good toy.
In Celebration of Errors – Quillette Out of the Hobbesian nightmare of the African savannah, humanity has been making progress in virtually every conceivable arena. The Human Progress website is a wonderful source of information about long-term trends that defy the bloody anecdotes of mainstream news outlets. Between 2001 and 2015, for example, the worldwide infant mortality rate declined by 38 percent, and undernourishment fell by 27.5 percent. These trends are nothing short of remarkable.
Down by the river : Essays in Idleness By the latest hype, the Amazon is burning. Not the river, for by tradition only rivers in Cleveland catch fire, but the forest, containing X percent of the world’s trees, undiscovered endangered species and so forth. It is not, of course. The small proportion of the Amazon that has been cleared for farming (did you know that farms produce food?) is where the fires are. And only a small proportion of those are in flames. This happens every year and has happened since time out of the modern mind. It is an agricultural practice, that we may disapprove, but there you go: environmentalists disapprove of everything. We could have had this year’s hype in any year of the last many.
Over There, the Rain Beats Down Old Ladies with Ugly Sticks | Ricochet In 1901, a rainstorm in Minneapolis, MN produced frogs to a depth of several inches, so that travel was said to be impossible. Fish famously fell from the sky in Singapore in 1861, and again over a century later in Ipswich, Australia in 1989. Residents in southern Greece awoke one morning in 1981 to find that a shower of frogs had blanketed their village. Golfers in Bournemouth, England found herring all over their course after a light shower in 1948.
Kintsugi: the art of precious scars | LifeGate The kintsugi technique may have been invented around the fifteenth century, when Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the eighth shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate after breaking his favourite cup of tea sent it to China to get it repaired. Unfortunately, at that time the objects were repaired with unsightly and impractical metal ligatures. It seemed that the cup was unrepairable but its owner decided to try to have some Japanese craftsmen repair it. They were surprised at the shogun’s steadfastness, so they decided to transform the cup into a jewel by filling its cracks with lacquered resin and powdered gold.
The Remarkable Story of a Woman Who Preserved Over 30 Years of TV History – Atlas Obscura ABOUT 71,000 VHS AND BETAMAX cassettes are sitting in boxes, stacked 50-to-a-pallet in the Internet Archive’s physical storage facility in Richmond, California, waiting to be digitized. The tapes are not in chronological order, or really any order at all. They got a little jumbled as they were transferred. First recorded in Marion Stokes’s home in the Barclay Condominiums in Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, the tapes had been distributed among nine additional apartments she purchased solely for storage purposes during her life. Later, they passed on to her children, into storage, and finally to the California-based archive. Although no one knew it at the time, the recordings Stokes made from 1975 until her death in 2012 are the only comprehensive collection preserving this period in television media history.
What it’s like to eject out of a military jet | Popular SciencePulling the handle fires the ejection gun for .2 seconds, starting the ejection at 50-55 feet per second. Simultaneously the aircraft’s glass canopy either shatters, is blown off, or the seat breaks through it, depending on the aircraft model. The rocket motor then fires for .2 seconds with a 5,000 pound thrust, and then a top-mounted side rocket fires for .05 seconds at a thrust of 584 pounds. This side rocket (located to the left of the front seat, and the right of the back one for aircraft with two crew members) ensures the two ejectees hurtle different directions with the person in the back seat always ejecting first, to avoid being burned by the front seat rocket.
Did Charles Schulz Really Write ‘Peanuts’ for Kids? – The AtlanticA Peanuts narrative, however, is the opposite of a fairy tale’s. In the latter, good generally wins out, however messily: Dragons get slain, witches are shoved into ovens, simpletons land fortunes, and so on. In Schulz, no one wins and everyone is thwarted, not only in love, but also on the baseball field or in the classroom or, where Snoopy is concerned, in the skies over World War I battlefields. Notwithstanding Happiness Is a Warm Puppy (charming, but a cash-in and, I’d argue, maybe wishfully, not canon), the quintessential Peanuts catchphrases are “Rats!,” “Good grief!,” “I can’t believe it!,” and “Augh!” Charlie Brown is, was, and always will be a blockhead. Lucy remains forever crabby, her pleasure in humiliating Charlie Brown eternally fleeting. Linus will never see the Great Pumpkin rise on Halloween. Pigpen cleans up nicely, but it will be only a panel or two before he is once again filthy.
RACE FOR YOUR LIFE, CHARLIE BROWN, Schroeder, Franklin, Linus, Charlie Brown, 1977
“From a student radical/hippie/leftist of the Free Speech Movement/Vietnam Day Commitee era and a full-on Democratic Liberal in the decades after, I think I’ve evolved a politics that is neither right nor left but is, in its elemental nature, draconian. In the last 20 years, I’ve taken apart my beliefs with a sledgehammer. Now I’ve got to put the surviving parts back together with tweezers and other ‘shabby equipment, always deteriorating’.”
sun breaks over the eucalyptus
grove below the wet pasture,
water’s about hot,
I sit in the open window
& roll a smoke.
distant dogs bark, a pair of
cawing crows; the twang
of a pygmy nuthatch high in a pine –
from behind the cypress windrow
the mare moves up, grazing.
a soft continuous roar
comes out of the far valley
of the six-lane highway – thousands
and thousands of cars
driving men to work.