Sunday, April 26, 2015

Lectures of the week

Wheaton College has downloads of lectures about CSLewis (and on the sidebar, Tolkien and others).

they also have a course on the literature of CSLewis that used to be a DVD but now you can download it for free.


not a lecture, but on another topic: CWN discusses a new book about Hitchcock.

Was WolfHall  deliberately written to debunk the story of Thomas Moore?

Nedalicious notes on the characters HERE.

and archives of letters from those days are found HERE.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015

remembering Lolo

one month anniversary

Musical interlude of the day

turn up speakers and dance!

Culture wars

Culture wars. Don't read because it is not PC.

The latest kerfuffle is supposed to be only about gay marriage, but what no one wants to talk about is that this is only part of a large campaign that aims to remove all taboos about any sexual behavior.Which enables sociopaths to do what they want, and makes regular folks hesitate to point fingers at them. Think "Sandusky"... think of the "non judgemental" film,

Hell, think "Bill Clinton".

It's not that I object to Heather who has too mommies and lives a quiet suburban life. I encourage it.

But one does wish that Heather's mommy might notice the problem that will stem from sexualizing children in grade school. (presumably no one teaches Freud's theories or developmental psychology any more).

which is why these gentle nuns walked out of school as a protest.

And this is why even has the gentle Pope is worried. When he visited the Philippines, he blasted the trend to pressure poor countries to accept the west's latest ideas on sexuality as cultural imperialism. His more recent speech that rejected modern gender theory has the PC upset...

full rant HERE.

I should add  the Pope was also big on condemning the corrupt politicians. 

He said, corruption vexes God and scandalizes people because it exploits, enslaves, even kills the vulnerable while those who commit this crime are focused solely on money and power.
The Pope said “The corrupt are traitors who steal and kill, who exploit the innocent, but they do it at a distance with gloves on so that they do not have to get their hands dirty.”

Yet this is part of the culture war too: Because corruption here makes things keeps out factory jobs, lets people destroy the environment and lets politicians put "casinos" in areas where a lot of poor people live, such as in our area, which will bring along prostitution and drugs and encourage cops to be crooked.

and just ignore those politicians' private armies: next year is election year, so wear your bullet proof vest

Factoid of the day

Via Father Z: A discussion on #TalkLikeShakespeare

includes a discussion of this game, best played after a few drinks and with a fire extinguisher around:

 “flap-dragon” was a game played in Shakespeare’s day. If you want to play at home, you’ll also need a fire extinguisher, ice, and ointments. Put heated brandy in a bowl with raisins and set the liquid on fire. Turn off the lights. Take turns plucking the raisins from the flaming booze! Fun for all.

and don't tell Father that in modern slang it has another modern meaning...

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Family news

I met with the builder who will wall and cover Lolo's grave.

He didn't want a "small house" like the rich, and wanted to be buried in the ground, not above it. However, the plot is between two fancy concrete "chapels" and the dirt is high so will wash away in the typhoon, which seems to be arriving early.

So the builder will place bricks but not concrete on the ground and build a wall to keep the dirt from washing away, and then use rods to keep a simple roof to protect the grave and those visiting it. I objected to having a door, since Lolo wanted it open, but was ruled out by everyone else. It is not a "chapel" as much as a gazebo.

Oh well....Chano wanted to delay it so he could design a nicer "chapel" but Lolo didn't even want the roof or walls. There is an American type cemetery with only small graves in the other section, but when the family chose the gravesite, it was in the area with "chapels" or with all the graves covered with a simple tin roof, and so this is the minimum to protect it.

Podcast of the week

from Strategypage

Dr. StrangeMullah Or How Iran Learned To Love The Bomb - 4/22/2015
Jim and Austin give us the straight dope on the current nuclear negotiations with Iran.
MP3 Download

they also have a report on China destroying reefs to make fake islands to take over the west Philippine sea.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

well, there go the helicopters again

Yup, time for the joint US/Philippine military training exercizes.

Yesterday, they were flying helicopters in the dark, at low level...(we are on the flight path to Ft Magsaysay).

Philippine soldiers and a US army soldier from 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat of the 5th Infantry Division take their positions after disembarking from a C-47 Chinook helicopter during an air assault exercise inside the military training camp of Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija province north of Manila, April 20, 2015.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Stuff below the fold

Dustbury remember the OKC bombing.


Immigrants go to hell:


EU proposes saving drowning immigrants (because the TV cameras are on them) but locals are up in arms because the immigrants will steal their jobs.

in 2014 they cut back patrols but now the Italians, who are doing much of the rescue work, are pressuring them to increase patrols.


Xenophobia in South Africa


Lake Baikal worries.


Gizmodo: worst of modern architecture...the good news is that they are now endangered...

heh. the blocky concrete buildings are called "Brutalism"...not because they are brutal but because that is French for concrete.

this reminds me of Tom Wolfe's Bauhaus to our house: where a city proposed to refurbish crumbling public housing apartment blocks, and the audience started chanting: tear them down...


ugly buildings don't have to be made that way:

Atlas Obscura has a link about a Swiss defense fortress that looks like a cute suburban villa:

Monday, April 20, 2015

Immigration: A world wide problem

the terrible sinking of a boat off the coast of Libya has a lot of people upset.

Probably most of those trying to get to Europe are not Arab or from Tribal Libya, but Africans trying to find work. In the past, many worked in North Africa as farm laborers but now they are not welcome.

Years ago, a similar high death toll in economic refugees from Haiti was in the news, and the US responded by sending them all back to discourage more from trying to immigrate. It is no longer in the news, so either it worked or it is being ignored.

This story explains the backstory:

trying to have a better life. The article is about those from Nepal who emigrate to the Gulf (or India or the Philippines!) to get work. And the author notes the problems but doesn't see the irony of this photo's caption:
Fresh food, a close-knit community and an unpolluted environment are the staples in rural Nepal from where a majority of the migrant workers in the Gulf hail.

yes, but as my  husband told me: You can't eat scenery.

this story is about Nepal, where a lot of people in America think it is Shangri La. No, it's not. It's poor, with nice scenery.

A similar reason is found here, where ten percent of people go overseas to make a living.

the problem: Even if you start a business, it won't make a profit. So you leave.

Another problem: Many times drug smugglers and extremist terror groups make money from smuggling people.

StratPage has this note in the Mexican influx into the USA.

and I suspect a lot of those fleeing the middle east or North Africa also are the same ones who smuggle arms etc. and have friends in terrorist or drug smuggling groups.

So welcome the poor with open arms? Yes, but that only encourages more. Maybe Clinton was right: Send them back.
Or at least try to separate those with terrorist ties from those who merely want a better life.

The problem is that it is one thing to send people back to a poor country, it is another to send them back to a country that will kill them.

This has been done in the past (if you aren't aware of the repatriations to communist countries after WWII, you should be). But it may not work in today's world where everyone has cellphones.

and if I am sympathetic to those seeking a better life, maybe it's because I have some ancestors who fled the Famine on "coffin ships"...

pseudoscience and other headlines below the fold

see previous post on pseudoscience

exposing pseudoastronomy site has a podcast on what to do when you are confronted with pseudoscience at a conference.


western guts have less biodiversity in their bowel bacteria.

yes and they probably have fewer worms there too.

on the other hand, when you confront a CDif diarrhea case after antibiotics, it's nice to know that a poop tranplant will help.

and here, yakult and yogurt are avertised for their live lactobacillus.

I tend toward yeast on antibiotics so take some daily when on antibiotics (like I am now, for my tooth).

using sheep as a model for insulin resistance in diabetes.


speaking of pseudoastronomy: I can now stream C2C on my tablet via a "talk radio" station.

ah the powers of technology.

There are also streaming for TV shows and movies, but like those I find on YouTube, the problem is that during the day, our internet is slow and so streaming goes on and off...

usually I stream music from various stations but will probably remove the apps since I rarely use them.

via Presurfer:

Movie Robots, ranked from good to evil.


if you pay docs more for seeing dementia patients, guess what? The number of folks diagnosed goes up.

yes...because who wants to diagnose early dementia when the meds to slow it down are lousy, and who wants to diagnose something we can't do anything about?

contraception pill shrinks the brain?

Why do I think this might be a biased subset of women?
well, the numbers were low:

Neuroscientists at UCLA examined the brains of 90 women, 44 of whom took the Pill, and 46 who experienced natural cycles.
and being a secondary report, a lot of questions are there that might have been discussed in the original article:
and what do you mean by "natural" cycles"? what, no one in either group had babies? did some take the pill to regulate cycles (suggesting a hypothalmus problem to begin with)? Since the pill is used more by poor women, did you check for IQ/poverty/ethnicity?

On the other hand, most women would prefer a slightly smaller brain to the alternative: 8 kids.

I am old enough to remember the "good old days"....