Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Why we are liberal and fat

Walter Williams writes about a study that found that most people aged 18-24 could not find Ohio or New York on a map, and that a full 75% could not find Iran or Israel on a world map.  Another study referenced by Dr. Williams indicates that only 30% of college graduates are capable of interpreting a basic food label. 

Now maybe I'm biased here--having subscribed to National Geographic for thirty years, and being the son of a dietician--but these are things that people used to learn in elementary school.  Certainly as much was presented on The Andy Griffith Show and such.  And if we wonder why people vote for politicians who have no sane grasp of history or geography, and why so many of us are so fat, we've got our answer.  About 2/3 of us literally have no coherent knowledge of where we are and where we came from, and a similar proportion could not describe what would differ in the nutritional information for an apple and a Big Mac.

We could be, really, too stupid for self-government, and the hope for a benevolent despot fades as we realize who the most likely candidates are--people with not only a lack of knowledge, but also a lack of morals. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Interesting correlation

Now there are a bunch of things convolved here--age, culture, obesity, birthrates, rates of breastfeeding, and the like--but here's an interesting graphic that indicates that the incidence of breast cancer, if not its lethality, tends to increase as a state becomes politically more liberal. Of the bottom 25 states for incidence, about 20 are "red", and of the top 25 states for incidence, about 20 are blue.  Go figure.  If politics reflects other risk factors in lifestyle, we would suggest that one's worldview does in fact impact one's health significantly. 

A hat tip

To Art of Manliness for presenting 101 style tips for men.  Within the limitation "make sure you don't get more clothing than your closet will comfortably hold", it's good tips that will make you look good in a timeless way. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Better than lojack

The "third pedal car theft prevention system" once again prevents a carjacker from stealing a young man's vehicle.   Sadly, the attempted theft was not caught on camera, or else I'd post that too. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Environmentalism produces the vanguard of technology

Only millennia after the Egyptians harnessed the sun-driven wind to sail upstream on the Nile, environmentalists now have a vessel that uses the same power source and will go, occasionally, almost as fast as a well designed sailboat.

Just, as you'll see, without any of the grace or lines that characterize a well designed sailboat, but with the need to replace batteries every so often, and costing at least three times as much.   Even better, consider the possibility of needing to get somewhere at night, or on a cloudy day, without the auxiliary diesel. 

You will, however, get all the pollution associated with making a large solar array and a 60kW-H lithium ion battery pack.  Honestly, it seems that environmentalists are not about preserving the environment at all, but are rather about replacing well known, beautiful, useful technologies with ugliness. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The fruit of "evidence based" sex ed apparently pretty rotten, as the CDC admits that STD infections are, once again, up.    Worse yet, some bacterial infections once treated with antibiotics are....becoming untreatable.  Seems like something we're doing isn't working, and by the way, abstinence based sex ed ended close to a decade ago.  At least it was measured--in my opinion wrongly, but nonetheless measured--as merely "ineffective".  What we're doing today is downright harmful. 

Maybe a great place to start would be to start teaching young people that if they choose to sleep around, the odds are close to 100% that they will be sleeping with people who have, or have had, an STD.  Go further and note that while condoms reduce HIV transmission, and Gardasil reduces HPV transmission and infection, there isn't a whole lot science can do to reduce other STDs if a person chooses to sleep around.

A trip back in time

Those who know me well know that I'm a friend of that which has been before; I ride a 39 year old bicycle (and another that is a mere 20 years old), drive a 19 year old pickup, use century old cast iron skillets, and eat two meals each day at a table my father sat at for his first birthday party (yes, I have the pictures). 

More recently, I found a few old safety razors of my grandfather, and decided to give it a try a la The Art of Manliness' Shave like your grandpa article.  Found blades and shaving soap at the store, repurposed a custard bowl and a brush originally intended for applying shoe polish, and gave it a try.

The verdict?  Despite the "dark ages" construction with no DLC (diamond like carbon) to keep the edge sharp, it does give a better shave once you get the "feel" for how to do it--and that only took a couple of cuts.  I would even dare say that my skin is healthier as a result, and I'm getting months of shaves for the same $5 that would have bought me a single modern shaving cartridge that lasts a week or so.

Why so?  I think the major issue is simply that the old safety razors had a natural "curve" which allows them to follow the contours of my face better than the modern ones, which are built on a "flat" model. 

I'm hooked.....but I don't know whether I'll give my great grandfather's straight razor a try anytime soon. :^)

An apt picture of Hilliary Clinton

Her campaign bus was caught dumping raw sewage onto the street, likely contaminating local bodies of water.  The excuse?  They "didn't know" that it was wrong.

My take?  Nonsense.  (and yes, a stronger term from our ranching traditions might be appropriate here) Proper handling of hazardous waste is something that is drilled into the mind of every commercial drivers' license holder, and we are to believe that the "environmentally minded" Clinton campaign was unaware that dumping raw sewage into storm drains is a hazard?   Certainly not.  They were rather "saving time" and thinking no one was watching, just like truck drivers leaving milk jugs full of urine at truck stops and elsewhere.

This is simply a picture for how Mrs. Clinton and her staff minions view the country; as something they can quite literally dump raw sewage on without consequence.  Watch out if this criminal is elected.

Monday, October 17, 2016

More apt than I thought

Back in college, my roommate facetiously put Papa John's phone number on our list of "emergency" numbers.  Turns out he knew more than he thought he did.  How so?  Well, when Omaha resident Eric Olsen needed to get a hold of his grandmother, Claire Olsen, but she'd lost phone service due to Hurricane Matthew.

Thinking quickly, he ordered a pizza from Papa John's for his grandmother, with the request (and I presume a tip) that the delivery person call him when the pizza was delivered, and, if possible, let him talk to his grandmother.

End of story; grandmother was fine, and the pizza was fantastic.  Well done, Eric.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

What then shall we do?

It is a depressing time in this country.  The official national debt is nearly twenty trillion dollars--over sixty thousand dollars per man, woman, and child--and the chief candidates are two sleazy people, at least one of whom belongs in prison.  Our medical insurance system is, thanks in great deal to the Affordable Care Act Obamacare Health Insurance Deform Act, starting to collapse, and nations and movements we thought we'd vanquished are coming back with a vengeance due to a horrifically bad foreign policy, including idiotic moves like telling our enemies when we'd be leaving (sit tight and have fun when the Marines are gone, boys!). 

So what shall we do?  Well, for the believer, we ought to pray--what we ought to have been doing anyways--and for the superstitious, it's clearly time to start listening to country music played backwards.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Who thought this was a good idea?

Apparently there is a "Soylent" food bar company.  For the uninitiated, here's the movie that "inspired" this company.  And yes, as it contains algae, you might just call it "Soylent Green".

And they're wondering why people are feeling sick after eating them.  I know I'm feeling woozy just thinking about it.  Somehow I'm also reminded of Pink Floyd's The Wall--If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding.  How can you have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?

Stretching the text just a bit....

A Texas church has tried to use Acts 2:13 as an argument that "new wine" was non-alcoholic, as if the hearers of the Apostles were accusing them of having a sugar high.  There are great reasons that many Christians choose not to drink, starting with the difficulties that our "optimized for drinkability" culture has caused, but the notion that new wine did not contain alcohol is not among them. 

Really, I've got to wonder at times about a pastor who doesn't get the obvious dig at the apostles, accusing them more or less of being like (to use a picture from my college days) sorority girls after too many wine coolers.  You have to wonder what methods of exegesis and hermeneutics were taught at their seminary, if in fact they attended one at all.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Thankfulness for the Drumpf "debacle"

Now there are a lot of people out there who are apoplectic about the current "disaster" facing Donald J. Drumpf, as apparently there is a video out there that proves even to the brain dead that he is a horny teenager with wrinkles.  Well, that's nice, but for those of us who have read a newspaper in the past 30 years, this isn't exactly a surprise.  He's a guy who owns casinos and strip clubs, has written at length about his sexual conquests in his own autobiography, and his divorces were not exactly "no fault."  One may as well be shocked that water is wet.

But what's good about this?  Well, it's shining a light on "fundagelicalism", showing us some things that we desperately need to see.  For starters, there's a whole list of our "leaders"--predominantly the pastors of megachurches and large ministries--who failed to warn their followers about who Mr. Trump really is, and even gave legitimacy to his campaign by signing on. 

Why is this?  Well, my hunch is that too many leaders, and far too many congregants, are simply way too infatuated with bigness.  They simply want to hang out with the cool people and be recognized by the crowds.  Yes, it's an American tradition, but at a certain point, we also should understand that big is not necessarily good--ask any family that decided to give a Toyota or Datsun a try during the 1970s.  

Those leaders who are now bailing on Drumpf, moreover, are also revealing that they really aren't paying attention until....the controversy is too obvious to ignore.  In other words, these guys are not leaders at all, but followers.  In other words, if you want an actual pastor, a shepherd that will warn you of might want to look elsewhere.  After all, love of bigness, and sticking with flawed ideas and people until the evidence is obvious even to the brain dead, do not appear as qualifications for pastors and elders in 1 Timothy and Titus. 

We have, therefore, a great opportunity to do something of a "purge" of un-Biblical attitudes in our movement.   Let's use it, whether that purge is manifested as repentance by these leaders, or outright replacement. 

Keys to long life?

Those who know me well know that I am, as I strive to live well and keep my health for various reasons, a huge fan of the work of Ken Cooper and the Cooper Institute.   I am convinced that a great portion of the solution to our problems with medical care, and the cost thereof, lies on our plates and in our schedules. 

But that said, those who have read Cooper's Aerobics books, or have interacted otherwise with his guidance, ought not be able to help noticing something very important; those who do the best on his programs are those who make the whole thing a community.  In Cooper's own family, his wife started on his journey to health when....her husband put the kids in the stroller and slowed down to jog with her.

And that is, in a nutshell, what we see in the lives of people who more or less "forget to die" until they get past a century, especially in places like Okinawa or Ikaria (Greece).  When one sorts out the variables, meaningful work and social time is more important than diet and exercise. 

Want great health?  Maybe sit down with a friend over a glass of wine and some snacks for a while, or head out to the garden.  It'll do you good.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Something of a bummer, actually

I am no fan of gambling--if you want to throw away a bunch of money, you can just write me a check, and I'll even send you a thank you note--but somehow it's a bit sad that the "Trump Taj Mahal" is closing.  Now there are all kinds of reasons from the closing, most notably a horrible casino market in Atlantic City and a union that apparently chose unemployment for its members instead of pay and benefit cuts, but the closing is still sad because the name "Taj Mahal" is a perfect picture of casino gambling.

The Taj, of course, is a mausoleum.  And in a casino, the hopes and dreams of customers are buried in the proverb "The house always wins."  What a great picture of gambling!