Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
The Canyon of Fire on the Sun

A magnetic filament of solar material erupted on the sun in late September, breaking the quiet conditions in a spectacular fashion.

The 200,000 mile long filament ripped through the sun's atmosphere, the corona, leaving behind what looks like a canyon of fire. The glowing canyon traces the channel where magnetic fields held the filament aloft before the explosion. Visualizers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. combined two days of satellite data to create a short movie of this gigantic event on the sun.
In reality, the sun is not made of fire, but of something called plasma: particles so hot that their electrons have boiled off, creating a charged gas that is interwoven with magnetic fields.
These images were captured on Sept. 29-30, 2013, by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, which constantly observes the sun in a variety of wavelengths.
Different wavelengths help capture different aspect of events in the corona. The red images shown in the movie help highlight plasma at temperatures of 90,000° F and are good for observing filaments as they form and erupt. The yellow images, showing temperatures at 1,000,000° F, are useful for observing material coursing along the sun's magnetic field lines, seen in the movie as an arcade of loops across the area of the eruption. The browner images at the beginning of the movie show material at temperatures of 1,800,000° F, and it is here where the canyon of fire imagery is most obvious.
By comparing this with the other colors, one sees that the two swirling ribbons moving farther away from each other are, in fact, the footprints of the giant magnetic field loops, which are growing and expanding as the filament pulls them upward.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 31, 2013 6:10 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO by Edgar Allan Poe (1846)


THE thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely, settled --but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.

It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my in to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my to smile now was at the thought of his immolation.

He had a weak point --this Fortunato --although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared. He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine. Few Italians have the true virtuoso spirit. For the most part their enthusiasm is adopted to suit the time and opportunity, to practise imposture upon the British and Austrian millionaires. In painting and gemmary, Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a quack, but in the matter of old wines he was sincere. In this respect I did not differ from him materially; --I was skilful in the Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could.

It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the carnival season, that I encountered my friend. He accosted me with excessive warmth, for he had been drinking much. The man wore motley. He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells. I was so pleased to see him that I thought I should never have done wringing his hand.

I said to him --"My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met. How remarkably well you are looking to-day. But I have received a pipe of what passes for Amontillado, and I have my doubts."

"How?" said he. "Amontillado, A pipe? Impossible! And in the middle of the carnival!"

"I have my doubts," I replied; "and I was silly enough to pay the full Amontillado price without consulting you in the matter. You were not to be found, and I was fearful of losing a bargain."


Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 31, 2013 11:28 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Raven Speaks


Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 31, 2013 10:06 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Greg Packer: The Most Quoted Man in News

According to a 2002 article about Packer,

"He was first in the line to see ground zero when the viewing platform opened at the World Trade Center site December 30, 2001. He was the first in line in 1997 to sign the condolence book at the British consulate when Princess Diana died. He slept outside in the snow in Washington, D.C. in January 2001 to be the first in line to greet President George W. Bush after his inauguration." His quotes have ranged from the expression of common sentiments, such as "It's a day for happiness and to be together", regarding a St. Patrick's Day parade, to colorful statements such as his opinion of a New York Yankees game played on Yom Kippur: "There's no way the Yankees will lose, but if they do, they will certainly have something to atone for." -- Greg Packer / La Wik


Moonbat. It's what's for dinner.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 30, 2013 4:02 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Everyday Miracles

Shall he not find in comforts of the sun,
In pungent fruit and bright green wings, or else
In any balm or beauty of the earth,
Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?

-- Sunday Morning by Wallace Stevens

This Sunday morning, visiting one of my favorite personal pages, Daughter Of The Golden West, I found her latest item, "At The Fruit Stand." It is very simple; very terse. This is it complete:

"The fruit stand has a mountain of grapefruit, grown in the deserts just east of here."

That's all. But what a wealth of wonder is contained in that single sentence; a wealth of ordinary, everyday miracles that are so common we barely remark them and pass on even though they should stop us in our tracks.

It is end of January, the very depth of winter, and yet we have -- everywhere -- not just grapefruit, but "a mountain" of grapefruit. Cheap grapefruit. A dollar -- which is the new dime -- will get you one. Maybe even two or three depending on the merchant.

A few dollars more and these grapefruit can come by the case and the crate to your door in a day though you be a world away. You see we don't mind distance anymore. We toss these grapefruit into aluminum tubes and blast them into the stratosphere from coast to coast, across mountains and rivers and oceans without end. Once upon a time a single piece of citrus, an orange perhaps, was put into the toe of Christmas stockings because a piece of citrus in the dead of winter was an exotic and expensive miracle. Kings had it if they had access to the Royal Greenhouses at Kew. And perhaps their friends. Not you. Not I. Not the Daughter of the Golden West who showed up at her local fruit stand to "a mountain of grapefruit."

Where did the grapefruit come from? Why it was "grown in the deserts." Grown. In. The. Deserts. Just like that. In the deserts, in the midst of the arid climes where, throughout most of the history of the planet Earth, nothing like grapefruit would ever grow. But now it does. By the mountain.

If you look at the picture you'll see these are Seley Reds from the Seley Orchards in the Borrego Valley of Southern California. Seley Orchards are irrigated by water from 300 feet below the surface pumped up with power taken from vast solar panels.


Seley Orchards are in the Anza-Borrego desert...


which is itself but a small part of California's oddly named "Colorado Desert,"


which is itself contained within the even more extensive Sonoroan Desert


"which covers large parts of the Southwestern United States in Arizona and California, and Northwest Mexico in Sonora, Baja California, and Baja California Sur. It is one of the largest and hottest deserts in North America, with an area of 120,000 square miles."

And from this wasteland we get, without thinking it at all miraculous, "a mountain of grapefruit." But it is a miracle of the works and days of human hands. And of the American spirit and drive to make the deserts bloom. And of God who, when it comes to this nation on this morning it can still be said, "America, America, God shed his grace on thee."

How long will such luck and grace; how long will these days of miracles and wonders last? Well, that depends on the grace of God, doesn't it?

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 29, 2013 9:43 AM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Sociopathic: The Subo Kayak

This surfaced at, where else?, The Borderline Sociopathic Navy For Boys which wisely observes,

Of course, a BB gun is no where near as dangerous as a kayak. This fellow no doubt built a submarine out of a kayak to make it safer. If you're going to end up upside-down with your legs in a knot in a sort of socket, you might as well be watertight. If someone buys you a kayak, keep an eye on that person. They mean you no good. Have any food they offer you tested. Check under your car when you leave their house. A person that purchases you a kayak is not to be trusted.
Did I mention that I have some supposedly "good friends" who have taken to urging me to get into some "healthly" kayaking for "your own good. It's really a lot of fun. You'll see."?

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 29, 2013 9:29 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink


Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 29, 2013 8:41 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
[Buffalo Bill 's] BY E. E. CUMMINGS


Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 27, 2013 6:34 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: How Does It Feel?

In 1966, Dylan described the genesis of "Like a Rolling Stone" to journalist Jules Siegel:

It was ten pages long. It wasn't called anything, just a rhythm thing on paper all about my steady hatred directed at some point that was honest. In the end it wasn't hatred, it was telling someone something they didn't know, telling them they were lucky. Revenge, that's a better word. I had never thought of it as a song, until one day I was at the piano, and on the paper it was singing, "How does it feel?" in a slow motion pace, in the utmost of slow motion. Like a Rolling Stone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 27, 2013 1:49 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Gutterballs

I woke up this mornin' with the sundown shinin' in
I found my mind in a brown paper bag, but then...
I tripped on a cloud and fell eight miles high
I tore my mind on a jagged sky
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in

(Yeah, yeah, oh-yeah, what condition my condition was in)

I pushed my soul in a deep dark hole and then I followed it in
I watched myself crawlin' out as I was a-crawlin' in
I got up so tight I couldn't unwind
I saw so much I broke my mind
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in

(Yeah, yeah, oh-yeah, what condition my condition was in)

Someone painted "April Fool" in big black letters on a dead end sign
I had my foot on the gas as I left the road and blew out my mind
Eight miles outta Memphis and I got no spare
Eight miles straight up downtown somewhere
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in

I said I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in
Yeah yeah oh-yeah


Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 26, 2013 9:46 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Thinking Right. Now with New Thinking


"The tagline for my website has been SMART CONSERVATIVE THINKING. I chose it because it was bold, it was defiant, and it was assertive: it was running to the top of a hill and planting a flag for people to rally around.

"Now, with my new vision, I see that it is all those things: a conventional unit on an open plain. That flag, and that hill, will be turned into searing napalm the instant is starts to become enough of a threat to warrant an airstrike.
"That message – that smart, common-sense, responsible conservative message – cannot change. That message is the entire reason we are fighting this battle in the first place. But I have to stop thinking like an American – which is not only hard but extremely distasteful for me – and start thinking like the Viet Cong. I have to start thinking the way the Left itself started thinking forty years ago. They didn’t come out and say GET YOUR COMMUNISM HERE. They turned students into professors who then turned out more students. That’s how we have to think: the Long March. Dammit."
-- More at Bamboo Spears @ Bill Whittle

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 26, 2013 9:10 AM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers." October 25th: St. Crispin's Day


This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 25, 2013 10:10 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Adam Carolla goes off on how hypocritical Hollywood celebrities are and why they are all liberal.

HT: redbloodedamerica: Adam Carolla goes off on how...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 25, 2013 12:27 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On the Writers of News by Samuel Johnson [Emphasis Added]

One of the amusements of idleness is reading without the fatigue of close attention, and the world therefore swarms with writers whose wish is not to be studied, but to be read. -- Samuel Johnson, The Idler, #30, 1758

No. 7. SATURDAY, MAY 27, 1758.

One of the principal amusements of the Idler is to read the works of those minute historians the writers of news, who, though contemptuously overlooked by the composers of bulky volumes, are yet necessary in a nation where much wealth produces much leisure, and one part of the people has nothing to do but to observe the lives and fortunes of the other.

To us, who are regaled every morning and evening with intelligence, and are supplied from day to day with materials for conversation, it is difficult to conceive how man can subsist without a newspaper, or to what entertainment companies can assemble, in those wide regions of the earth that have neither Chronicles nor Magazines, neither Gazettes nor Advertisers, neither Journals nor Evening Posts.

There are never great numbers in any nation, whose reason or invention can find employment for their tongues, who can raise a pleasing discourse from their own stock of sentiments and images; and those few who have qualified themselves by speculation for general disquisitions are soon left without an audience. The common talk of men must relate to facts in which the talkers have, or think they have, an interest; and where such facts cannot be known, the pleasures of society will be merely sensual. Thus the natives of the Mahometan empires, who approach most nearly to European civility, have no higher pleasure at their convivial assemblies than to hear a piper, or gaze upon a tumbler; and no company can keep together longer than they are diverted by sounds or shows.

All foreigners remark, that the knowledge of the common people of England is greater than that of any other vulgar. This superiority we undoubtedly owe to the rivulets of intelligence, which are continually trickling among us, which every one may catch, and of which every one partakes.

This universal diffusion of instruction is, perhaps, not wholly without its inconveniencies; it certainly fills the nation with superficial disputants; enables those to talk who were born to work; and affords information sufficient to elate vanity, and stiffen obstinacy, but too little to enlarge the mind into complete skill for full comprehension.

Whatever is found to gratify the publick, will be multiplied by the emulation of venders beyond necessity or use. This plenty indeed produces cheapness, but cheapness always ends in negligence and depravation.

The compilation of newspapers is often committed to narrow and mercenary minds, not qualified for the task of delighting or instructing; who are content to fill their paper, with whatever matter, without industry to gather, or discernment to select.

Thus journals are daily multiplied without increase of knowledge. The tale of the morning paper is told again in the evening, and the narratives of the evening are bought again in the morning. These repetitions, indeed, waste time, but they do not shorten it. The most eager peruser of news is tired before he has completed his labour; and many a man, who enters the coffee-house in his nightgown and slippers, is called away to his shop, or his dinner, before he has well considered the state of Europe.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 25, 2013 8:21 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Great Moments in Moustache History

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 24, 2013 10:45 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Autumn Haiku


Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 23, 2013 9:11 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Autumn In America

Autumn Watson carries a pumpkins through the patch at Councell Farms in Cordova, Maryland

Birch Trees in Colorado

Fall in full swing

Golden autumn reflections at a Rocky Mountain farmstead

Hart's Location, New Hampshire

San Francisco

Roger Larsen harvests corn in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska

View from a deck in Tennessee

Walden Pond on a fall afternoon in Concord, Massachusetts

Carnation, Washington

Queen Anne, Seattle


Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 23, 2013 10:45 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Oh, the Humanity!


Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 22, 2013 5:00 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Nicholas Brothers in Stormy Weather

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 21, 2013 5:54 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The First Day

6 By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

7 He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.

8 Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.

Psalm 33 KJV - Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: - Bible Gateway

9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 21, 2013 2:02 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Ann Rutledge: "Out of me unworthy and unknown"

Out of me unworthy and unknown
The vibrations of deathless music;
“With malice toward none, with charity for all.”
Out of me the forgiveness of millions toward millions,
And the beneficent face of a nation
Shining with justice and truth.
I am Anne Rutledge who sleep beneath these weeds,
Beloved in life of Abraham Lincoln,
Wedded to him, not through union,
But through separation.
Bloom forever, O Republic,
From the dust of my bosom!
- - - Edgar Lee Masters

HT “I Love Red Hair” | Uncouth Reflections

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 21, 2013 8:43 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink

.... And begin again....

Good morning.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 21, 2013 2:02 AM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Andrew Klavan: Are You A Racist? A Frank Conversation

For many years, there's been one group in the American melting pot that has consistently underperformed in terms of productivity, intelligence and moral behavior....

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 20, 2013 2:33 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Love is not love / Which alters when it alteration finds...


"This is true Love. Sent to WWII only months after getting married,

separated for 40 months, wounded in Iwo Jima, married for 71 years. 15 children. 49 grandchildren. 32 great-grandchilren. Ruth Todd kisses her "lovey" goodbye. RIP William Todd. Apocs

"I am a granddaughter of these two beautiful individuals.

I thought I would share this photo that displays the Marines in the background as my grandma, Ruth, kisses her "lovey" goodbye. My grandpa was the perfect example of what it means to be a man. Our family thanks you for the outpouring of love! I also visited with my grandmother this afternoon and was reading her some of the wonderful comments that were being said. She was overjoyed, though she really doesn't understand "all that internet stuff"! - - Reddit

"Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom."



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 19, 2013 7:47 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Mickey Mouse Breaking Bad


"In the 1950s, non-medical use of stimulant and sedative drugs was widely accepted and promoted in the mainstream media–

so widely in fact that they even made it into a children’s Walt Disney 1951 comic book starring Mickey Mouse as a speed dealer who just loves his own product.

"In ‘Mickey Mouse and the Medicine Man’,

Mickey and Goofy try a new medicine called ‘Peppo’, representing a brand of amphetamine (speed). In a time of fierce commercial competition between pharmaceutical companies that helped drive amphetamine consumption higher, Mickey and Goofy become brand evangelists for Peppo and end up pushing the drug in Africa! While trying to hustle their product, the pair run into some drug rivalry with another local dealer, ‘the medicine man’, who has doped his entire village on “hash”." From That time Mickey Mouse was a Drug Dealer @ Messy Nessy Chic


Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 19, 2013 11:50 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
My Good Friend Says, "I Just Don't Understand Why Americans Can't See Through Him"

Transcript: But there’s a reason. There’s a reason. There’s a reason for this, there’s a reason education SUCKS, and it’s the same reason it will never, ever, EVER be fixed.

It’s never going to get any better, don’t look for it, be happy with what you’ve got.

Because the owners, the owners of this country don't want that. I'm talking about the real owners now, the BIG owners! The Wealthy… the REAL owners! The big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions.

Forget the politicians. They are irrelevant. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice! You have OWNERS! They OWN YOU. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls.

They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying, to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I'll tell you what they don’t want:

They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. Thats against their interests.

Thats right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. They don’t want that!

You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shitty jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you sooner or later cause they own this fucking place! It's a big club, and you ain’t in it! You, and I, are not in the big club.

By the way, it's the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head with their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table has tilted folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care! Good honest hard-working people; white collar, blue collar it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest hard-working people continue, these are people of modest means, continue to elect these rich cock suckers who don’t give a fuck about you….they don’t give a fuck about you… they don’t give a FUCK about you.

They don’t care about you at all… at all… AT ALL. And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Thats what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick thats being jammed up their assholes everyday, because the owners of this country know the truth.

It's called the American Dream,because you have to be asleep to believe it.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 18, 2013 7:18 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink





Quitting Time

They seek a dedication
No passion prints on stone,
Their reveries -- of clouds.
Their benedictions -- moans.
Not one can name their masters,
Nor indenture's date reveal.
Doomed to ride the animal
That runs within the wheel.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 17, 2013 4:24 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
American Landowners: The Million Acre Club

For a basic sense of how the world of ultra-massive real estate has changed, here’s one fact: Between 2012 and 2013, the top 100 added 700,000 acres to their collective portfolios, bringing their total to two percent of the U.S. land mass.

In other words, stitching together all the land listed here gets you something about the size of Connecticut.

#1 John Malone
2,200,000 acres

Loves land and his wife loves horses, which explains #1’s 2013 acquisitions. The cable billionaire from Denver added two properties in Wellington, the epicenter of South Florida’s equestrian community, and an Irish castle with a solid set of stables.

#2 Ted Turner
2,000,000+ acres
Doesn’t just own CNN — he is the largest landowner in New Mexico. His purchase of the Sierra Grande Lodge and Spa brings tourists closer to two of his landmark properties and, ya know, space. Richard Branson’s spaceport is just a quick drive away.

#3 Emmerson Family
1,860,000 acres
The family behind logging company Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) with land holdings twice the size of Rhode Island. Still, that’s not as it much as it once was. The Emmersons have transferred 6% of that chunk to the public since Curly Emerson founded the company in 1949.

#4 Brad Kelley
1,500,000 acres
This businessman has ranch holdings in Texas, Florida, and New Mexico. He also knows his way around the rest of the world. His NC2 Media Company recently bought Lonely Planet guidebooks.

#5 Irving Family
1,250,000 acres
A logging family with a state-of-the-art $30 million softwood sawmill in Ashland, Maine. Because if you’re going to go softwood sawmill, you want to make it state-of-the-art.

#6. Singleton Family
1,100,000 acres
This ranching family owns some of the oldest operating ranch land in the country. Their holdings outside New Mexico include the Peachtree and Top ranches in John Steinbeck’s Salinas Valley.

Via America’s Top 100 Land Owners - Modern Farmer

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 16, 2013 5:46 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Try This On For Size


Just an advertorial from 1942. So relax. It can't happen here. Can it?


Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 16, 2013 5:49 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Africa: Cartography And Reality


Africa: Encompasses all of the countries pictured above, including the entire continent of Europe.  This landmass is the home of a little over 14% of the human population on the planet.

The African continent accounts for less than 3% of the world’s GDP. Those countries that make the greatest contribution to this number are either Muslim, have a significant number of Whites, or in the case of Nigeria have oil or a similarly-valuable resource… That’s exploited by non-Africans. You remove the Muslim nations and South Africa from the equation and you barely have a percent of world GDP. This, despite untold billions in foreign aid.
The population of Africa is likely to double within a generation. The region is witnessing a major increase in its share of young people and with a median age of 19, Africa is the world’s “youngest” region. Until the arrival of Europeans there was no literate civilization in sub-Saharan Africa. There was no written language, no numerals, no calendar, no system of measurement. The wheel or plow was never developed, neither was an animal domesticated. With the rarest exceptions, nothing more elaborate than mud huts and thatched stockades were built.
Liberals are excited about the future of Africa. Oh the places you will go, oh the people you will see. -- Bulbasaur | The Right Stuff

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 15, 2013 4:11 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Olé Mole: The mole was done "when the oil on its surface forms a mirror."


Santa Carrillo stirs a simmering cazuela of mole poblano, the rich, flavorful sauce of chiles, nuts, spices, chocolate, and other ingredients that is the iconic dish of Puebla, Mexico.


Some of the ingredients for mole poblano (clockwise from top left): fried tortilla and bread, lard for frying the sauce, boiled chicken for dousing with sauce, fried plantains, chile seeds, and cinnamon and brown sugar


Luz Maria Leonor Gonzales dips a tortilla in her mole poblano to make a dish she calls envueltos, or wraps: mole–dipped tortillas rolled and topped with shredded chicken, sliced white onions, and more mole poblano.


The Pride of Puebla | SAVEUR - The Mexican Issue

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 15, 2013 9:50 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.


Matt Rubel: "A local farmer, Jake Moore, was arranging a tribute for his best friend, Kyle Hendrix (31), who had recently passed away from cancer. Kyle left behind a pretty young wife, two young children, and an entire community who thought the world of him. .... The next morning I went with two other cousins to help line up what had now become over 60 pieces of farm equipment along the road. The sheer mass of steel began attracting attention throughout the morning as dozens of farmers moved tractors, trucks, spreaders and combines neatly along the roadside.

"In the middle of harvest time, to see such an outpouring of community support was staggering. It was also telling to see every tractor, some of which may cost upwards of $400,000 was left with keys in the ignition. There was over $20 million dollars along that road and not one farmer spent a second worrying about where his tractor would be the next day.

"I didn’t know Kyle Hendrix. However, I do know his fields are being harvested this fall by his friends and his family has hundreds of people who will support them in their time of crisis. It seems to me that farming communities all over the country may still hold the key to what makes this country a shining beacon in a world of trouble. At the very least, the small towns of Bement and Monticello, Illinois made a photographer from Phoenix, Arizona remember why he has loved the farm since he was a little boy." - - Breathtaking Tribute to a Fallen Farmer - Modern Farmer

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 15, 2013 2:41 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: The Last Hunt

You there. Go here: NFB/Interactive - The Last Hunt. Increase speaker, drag or use arrow keys to read.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 11, 2013 4:31 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Saddest Shutdown Photo


Awwwwwww..... - - KA-CHING!

Meanwhile, from the comments: "Sure would be nice to know how they came up with those fancy, professionally made signs on such short notice. It takes the government 8 months to buy a box of ball point pens, so where did all those signs come from on such short notice? Say, you don't think this was planned, do you?" -- Former Lurker"

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 11, 2013 12:04 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
7 Arguments for the Existence of God

I hope you don't think on such a small scale that that you believe stuff like this "just happens."

If so, seek help. It's not hard to find. At the same time, don't expect any personal attention. As you can see, He's got a lot on His Mind.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 10, 2013 12:14 PM | Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
They’re Coming to Make Me Eat Kale, Ha-Ha!

Kale Joy! A bargain at $5.00 an ounce

Of late many self-employed food bullshit artists have concluded that we should eat more kale. Why anyone would want to eat even a little kale is beyond me. Kale, considered dispassionately, is something that you’d want to dry and stuff into a tick mattress if you were out of paint soaked rags and seaweed. Kale is not, strictly speaking, a food.

And yet, and yet, there it is. Oozing in piles of of leafy green intestine cleansing fronds in what can now only be described as the weed section of the produce aisle at your average Whole Foods.

How kale actually got into our national food chain is a mystery almost as deep as how the flavor of pumpkin (backed by “Spice!”) has been infused into foods and beverages starting October 1. Both kale and pumpkin exemplify items from the somewhat vegetable kingdom that would be better going straight from farm to compost without passing through humans.

And yet, and yet, here we are .... one more mile down the road to hell courtesy of those post LorenaBobbittized vegans within whom there is not a teaspoon of testosterone in a trainload.

Not only is kale the original EmoTwink vegetable, it is now been shown to be (Isn’t it always?) deadly to man(!), lambs(!), and the environment(!). As Melissa McEwen points out in "Just Kale Me,"

“Before scientists were blinded by kale’s health food halo, they studied its horrific effect on livestock. Farmers had been mystified by the births of lambs that already had goiter. Researchers experimented with kale on sheep and rabbits with grisly results. Turns out kale does contain a goitrogen, thiocyanate, which is chemically very similar to deadly cyanide. Some young lambs were stillborn, their brain development stunted by their goiters. The consumption of kale had blocked their thyroid’s ability to function properly even in the presence of proper iodine consumption. With many Americans consuming little iodine, especially those obsessed with health foods who eschew iodized salt, the effects could be devastating.”

Ah, cyanide and stillborn little lambs! What can be more “Heart and Earth Friendly”? What? Kale, it turns out. McEwen continues:

“As kale becomes more and more popular, it raises the question: how will we feed the world’s almost 9 billion people on kale? The Food and Agricultural Organization at the UN doesn’t track kale production and consumption yet, but they will have to start. At current rates of growth, by 2350, almost all the world’s cropland will be devoted to kale. The consequences to the environment will be devastating.
“Large-scale industrial commercial kale production requires clearing massive amounts of animal habitat and killing animals that invade the fields of kale. In the world of leafy greens production, any life that’s not a leaf is a potential liability. After the spinach-related e.coli outbreak, farmers can’t take the risk of co-existing with other plants and animals. Will the world look like the Salinas Valley looks like today? A sterile dry wasteland where any signs of life are promptly shot or poisoned?”

Killing for Kale!. That’s the wave of the future and it is not an amber wave under spacious skies. Nope. It is a wave of pale and sodden progressively "good-for-you" greens slopped onto your aluminum plate in the prison chow line on Planet Vegan. You remember that putrescent puddle of gurgling spinach guts in spinach water that was once glunked on your plate in the high school cafeteria? This is the same thing only with extra thiocyanate. But hey, its KALE!, so count yourself lucky. Think of all the children of the elite and super rich that are going to bed tonight without any.

Of course it is not enough that the progvegan aliens will poison your guts and your planet by convincing you that kale’s the thing, first they will rob you.

How will they rob you? By transforming the fresh feisty poison of common kale into the gold dust of kale, Kale Chips!

Kale Chips are the philosopher’s stone of kale. They prove that the depravity of vegans can always, ALWAYS, make a vegetable worse and more expensive at the same time. You may well have seen these “chips” hanging in their foil coffins from J-hooks in the stores. They currently retail at around $5.00 a bag for about an ounce. Yes, five bucks for one ounce. For all those who skipped multiplication, that’s $80.00 a pound for ...... kale! A jaw-dropping price that says, at least to me, that the owner of said store wants to keep all his kale chips in his private collection.

On the other hand, it might be better, in light of the downside to kale that transcends its vile nature and threatens your liver, your planet, and your little lambs, to locate the growers and producers of this green harbinger of tomorrow’s turd today and burn them out. Much like one once burned out witches. Tied to a stake with a bunch of dry kale chips at their feet they’d make a fine beginning to an old fashioned barbecue. Not as food, mind you, but as entertainment. Who knows, with enough kale-fueled auto-da-fés we might even put the amber waves of grain back where they belong. Under our spacious kale-free skies.

Of course you can always take the extreme position that McEwen does,

"In the end the best thing you can do for yourself, your family, and the world is to avoid kale and its cousins. This post contains over fifty peer-reviewed references to science, so think about that next time your so-called friend serves you a massaged kale salad with delicious flecks of parmesan reggiano. Remember there is no documented need for kale in your diet and you can get all the nutrients you need from delicious nutritious cow’s liver."
That is before, of course, she admits that she was just making all those alarming things about kale up:
Yes, Kale does contain chemicals, all foods do. In very large amounts or in certain vulnerable people could cause problems. Many of the studies I chose involved animals with a diet almost completely based on kale, which I think anyone will agree is a bad idea. Most also involved varieties not sold for human consumption and consumed in ways that humans might not consume- uncooked, un-marinated, etc. A lot of the rest involved just scary language about various chemicals and studies involving isolated chemicals.
As you can see, McEwen is clearly a transgendered gurlboi in transition from an American to an Amoronican, and is really, really, really just kidding when I comes to the killing fields of kale. Unfortunately for her and all the other sexually vague vegans, when it comes to burning the $80 per pound kale chip producers at the stake, I'm not kidding. Somebody's got to draw the line in the grocery line.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 10, 2013 8:13 AM | Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Today: John Lennon was born in 1940 73 years ago


“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” ― John Lennon Via Johanna's Visions Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 9, 2013 3:23 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Get Homeless in Seattle for Only $2,000!


Check in to your homeless experience at sub-URBAN Experience :: REAL VIEW TOURS™ :: Homeless in Seattle




Seattle tour offers life as a homeless person, for $2,000 Joke? Prank? Tactless exploitation? Run by a guy named Mike Momany, the site – up for only a few weeks – has gotten considerable heat from critics calling it exploitative “poverty tourism.”

Momany, 62, said it’s not. He said he’s been homeless for the last two months, staying in a cheap International District hostel at night and using the Central Library as his “office” by day. His situation came after years of freelancing as a computer programmer, he said, living in an RV, and going through personal struggles he didn’t want publicly described. He figured he’d be a good guide for others seeking insight. “It’s to bring an experience to people they can’t get very easily,” Momany said Thursday, during a break from his computer time at the Central Library. “It’s really not to make money,” he said, though he liked the idea of income. He considered his tour “educational.”

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 8, 2013 10:58 PM | Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Just Because: The Beatles - 'You got to hide your love away'

Take a break.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 8, 2013 9:34 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Building the Sloop John B

Alright, get a little closer to the mic, here we go...

First, you might want to listen to the Beach Boys song Sloop John B, just to refresh your memory. Then a look and listen to the video Behind The Sounds: Sloop John B will give you some nice insight into the recording and arranging process and open a window onto the keen production expertise of a young Brian Wilson, directing a roomful of seasoned session pros (none other than the Wrecking Crew). It's how they used to make records, kids!


Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 8, 2013 9:26 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Average Female Face Of Different Countries


A global update Via the much maligned and much admired Chateau Heartiste which notes:

- As perhaps has been noted before on this blog and by numerous others, averaging the faces of multiple women appears to improve the looks of the final amalgam. The softening of asymmetrical protuberances and the converging toward the Golden Ratio can explain much of this phenomenon. However…

- The degrees of symmetry, softening and feminization in the female amalgams are not distributed equally among all population groups. While most of
these women meet the minimum bangableness threshold for all but the most discerning (or Pointy Elbow Syndrome suffering) men, some clearly stand out as superior specimens of stiffy inspiration. As it seems is the usual in these international pulchritude comparisons, Ukraine, Russia and the Mediterranean minxes come out looking the best.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 7, 2013 7:32 PM | Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight, / Make me a child again just for tonight!


Economy Class Seating On A Pan Am 747 In The Late 1960′s

UPDATED: "OK, I'll bite... I hear this complaint a lot from family, friends, and passengers.

"Keep in mind, that the airlines were regulated in those days. Regulation meant the CAB assigned certain routes to certain carriers, who could then make money on that route without worrying about start up carriers nipping at their heels. Jet fuel was unbelievably cheap compared to today's price of $3.50 p/gal. The carriers could afford bigger seats and better food.

"And then came the movement to "let the common man fly." Politically driven Deregulation hit in 1978 and it changed the business forever. The common man is now flying and the public doesn't like it.

"Costs to operate our aircraft never, never, never go down. Our ticket prices can't go up enough because there is no customer loyalty... The internet assures "that" with the cheapest ticket only a click away.

"It is a miraculous thing that the airline chiefs can keep our planes flying at $3.50 gallon. They are very smart dudes regardless of the swill the labor unions spew.

"I fly a heavy work schedule with almost zero problems. Maintenance is good and the schedule is kept 90% of the time. If we are late, it's not by much. A roundtrip ticket to the other coast is ridiculously cheap, so we pack 'em in to make money. If we try to raise prices and give more leg room and edible food, the passengers migrate to the cheaper carriers and whine about the service.

"Yes, the common man is flying... I guess Deregulation was/is a success." Posted by: Captain Dave Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight, / Make me a child again just for tonight! @ AMERICAN DIGEST

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 7, 2013 1:38 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: The Basho Road


"There are as many holes
In the wind as there are
Leaves in the tree."

-- 1968

"The road gods beckoned." Thus the poet Matsuo Basho set off in 1689 into Japan’s backcountry. His journal, Narrow Road to a Far Province, described a path, still visible on Natagiri Pass, that devotees have followed ever since. -- Autumn Leaves National Geographic Photo of the Day

Breakfast enjoyed
in the company of
morning glories

All along this road
not a single soul—only
autumn evening comes

This dark autumn
old age settles down on me
like heavy clouds or birds

From THE SOUND OF WATER, Haiku by Basho, Buson, Issa, and Other Poets.

Getting There

Aluminum blades
Peeling the sky
Off of the cloud tops.

Drifting down into Moab
From mid-heaven.
Below, the old ranch road
Scratches the sand.

Swifts dwelling
Under red rock ledges.
The plash of the boatman's oar.
Look! The waterfall
Fills with blue smoke.

Slate chips in the round holes
Ground into the rock.
New blooms amidst corn husks
Eaten by the Anasazi.

Clouds of smoke
Slipping down the valley.
We drink bitter tea at dawn.

-- Utah Outback, 1998

Posted by Vanderleun Oct 3, 2013 9:04 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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