Having missed an episode of 'Around The Blogs' last week, we have a bumper crop of entries this week.
The tragic school shooting in Connecticut yesterday has drawn voluminous comment from all sorts of people. Three that caught my eye are from The Gormogons, Ed Rasimus and The Reluctant Paladin. Recommended reading.
Dustbury links to an interesting article by Nancy Friedman, looking at the perils of marketing to women. She has some wonderful examples of marketing weirdness.
One recent example: the Honda Fit She’s [sic]. How do we know this car is for women? Well, there’s a heart instead of an apostrophe in "She's".
It’s available in pink or "eyeliner brown". And it comes with a PlasmaCluster A/C system "that pumps out specially treated air that improves your skin".
I'm waiting for the male bonding version that serves beer . . .
Here are a few more interesting post-election analyses and postulations.
- Al Fin points out the likelihood of massive electoral fraud. His views are supported by an article at Unqualified Reservations, which applies Bayesian probability theory to the US electoral process and comes up with some very interesting (and disturbing) postulates. Both articles offer other links which are well worth following for more information.
- Rev. Donald Sensing claims that "This president has only one goal in his second term: to eliminate political and economic competition to himself first and the Democrat party second. There is no other Obama agenda." He makes a strong case for his perspective . . . and he expects the President to succeed. Depressing thought.
- In a similar post, Drew at Ace Of Spades outlines what it means to 'Let It Burn'. The kernel of his argument: "The current system is rigged against conservative. We should play no part in its perpetuation." I find it hard to argue against his position.
- The Heritage Foundation's Foundry blog claims that 'liberal stealth groups' paved the way for President Obama's electoral victory. It provides an interesting view of the modern high-tech equivalent of the infamous 'smoky back rooms' of old-style machine politics.
- David McElroy asks, 'What if non-taxpayers had no say in government taxing or spending?' I've long wondered the same thing. He makes a strong case for it.
- Grouchy Old Cripple brings us 'Glory Glory Revolution', a post-election rewrite of the 'Battle Hymn of the Republic'. It's satire, but I fear it may also be all too accurate . . .
- There are several very interesting maps of the election results. Mark Newman at the University of Michigan offers a useful series of graphical representations. Robert J. Vanderbei at Princeton University takes it to the next level with a 'blended' series of graphs, including this one mapping the population density of voters as vertical columns. It's eye-opening, to say the least! Click the image for a much larger version from Mr. Vanderbei's article.
JayG points out that a photograph really is 'a matter of degrees' in terms of the message it conveys . . .
The Feral Irishman has a very interesting series of photographs taken in Amazon.com warehouses. It's how much of our Christmas shopping will reach us. Here's one to whet your appetite.
There are many more pictures at the link. I've been given a tour of an Amazon 'fulfilment center', as the company calls its distribution warehouses. It's quite an experience.
Blackfive links to a Pinterest post by US Rep. Renee Elmers, showing what your child's share of the national debt could buy. It's fascinating, in a weirdly repellent sort of way!
Leeann over at 'Look! A Baby Wolf!' tells us how to produce genuine (?) unicorn farts.
Kevin at The Smallest Minority shows us 'How We Lost The Culture War'. He says it started in our public school system.
In an article that correlates with what Kevin has to say, Brigid speaks of encounters with pupils and students, and how modern society may have corrupted them. Here's a brief excerpt.
Whatever the stories the kids want to hear about, I do stress one thing. That you don't have to be a rocket scientist or an heiress to pursue your dreams. It simply takes a lot of sweat and determination. I'm heartened by examples of hard work and sacrifice. One of my friends is a teacher, and has had a few shining examples of students this last year, on their way to college on scholarships they earned through study and hard work. I see though, with many of these kids I talk to, that too many of the next generation have this sense of entitlement that previous generations never had. Entitlement is a dry rot in the very fabric of our lives now. I don't blame the kids, I blame those that set the example, and too often that's society in general, coming from the highest level.
There's more at the link. Both articles are very worthwhile reading.
I've written before about primitive superstition in Africa. Now Isegoria links to a reminiscence at West Hunter about 'My friend the witch doctor'. It brought back many memories for me. Go read, and understand that many parts of the world are very, very different from civilization . . .
Health care, present and future, comes in for a fair amount of discussion.
- Dr. Whitecoat discusses the 'Pressure To Admit' ER patients to the hospital, and acknowledges that 'it's all about the Benjamins'.
- The Mad Medic does the math behind the so-called 'Death Panels' of Obamacare, and points out that they're economically inevitable. Not a comforting thought for one growing older, like myself . . .
- CoolChange has a very poignant post imagining an old man's thoughts as he looks at the nurses tending to him. I couldn't help thinking of my late father as I read it, and it brought a tear to my eye. Very worthwhile reading.
Farmgirl links to a post from The Last Psychiatrist about funerals, mourning and grief, then goes on to describe her own experience of the loss of a loved one, and how grief and solidarity are expressed in her community. I highly recommend both articles.
Rev. Paul links to an article describing how an Alaskan road will soon (in geological terms) be submerged beneath a slowly advancing 'frozen landslide'. It's fascinating to see how inexorable Nature can be . . . and how this may threaten energy supplies from that state in the future.
Three articles challenge those of us with religious beliefs to re-examine them, and justify our faith.
- Both Labrat and Blunt Object link to an article titled 'Fifteen Questions for Atheists', and provide their reaction and responses.
- Fred Reed discounts religious faith as an attempt to explain what humans don't or can't understand.
Regular readers will know that I'm a believer. I'm never offended or threatened by articles such as these; rather, I see them as encouragement to analyze what I believe, and why I believe it, and (in the words of St. Peter) 'always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you'.
In a similar vein, American Mercenary points out the importance of respecting the rights of others, and not allowing one's personal religious or philosophical or ethical views to override them.
I am a libertarian, which means fiscally conservative and socially permissive. Liberty means that people get to do things that you don't approve of, no matter how much you believe that it is "degrading to the culture" or "weakening our society."
If our society is so fragile that it is threatened by two men kissing in public, then how can we call ourselves any better than the Wahaabists? You know what changed me from a "Conservative" with "Conservative Christian Values"? Seeing what a theocracy really looks like with my own eyes. And it does not look like Liberty. It does not look like freedom. It looked like petty and cruel men gathering power for themselves and forcing their own version of morality on people who did not want or desire to be ruled.
To close this look at religion around the blogs, Nina Paley brings us a cartoon look at the Holy Land, and how each of its innumerable conquerors have regarded it as 'theirs' - until the next conqueror took it away from them. The claims by both Jewish and Muslim leaders that 'God gave it to them' are rather laughable in the context of history. It's well worth watching.
Dr. Jerry Pournelle, the original blogger and 'Blogfather' of us all, points out that global warming alarmists are full of it - again - as usual.
California is about to further bankrupt itself in a vain attempt to halt man made global warming. I say vain attempt, because what California does will have no affect on global warming no matter whether the Believers or the Deniers are right. California just doesn’t produce enough CO2 to have that much effect. If you want to stop CO2, use the Strategic Air Force to bomb China and India into the Stone Age. Be careful to use neutron weapons detonated at optimum burst height. If you’re a real earth saver fanatic, save some of the weapons to use on the United States. Short of returning to the Stone Age (Bronze won’t do, still too much mining and burning of trees), we will need wealth and lots of it to deal with global warming; bankrupting industrial economies is not likely to help.
More at the link.
Engineering Johnson brings us an intriguing and fact-filled look at the Trapdoor Springfield rifle of the 19th century. Fascinating reading for firearms enthusiasts.
Old NFO has a most interesting collection of statistics about World War II aircraft production. For example:
THE NUMBERS GAME
9.7 billion gallons of gasoline consumed, 1942-1945.
107.8 million hours flown, 1943-1945.
459.7 billion rounds of aircraft ammo fired overseas, 1942-1945.
7.9 million bombs dropped overseas, 1943-1945.
2.3 million combat sorties, 1941-1945 (one sortie = one takeoff).
299,230 aircraft accepted, 1940-1945.
808,471 aircraft engines accepted, 1940-1945.
799,972 propellers accepted, 1940-1945.
There's much more at the link.
And, last but not least, Grouchy Old Cripple brings us the story of the misadventures of a Texas game ranger at the hands of a lady hunter.
That's all from the blogosphere for this week.