January 23, 2021

Saturday Brunch, October 26 2019

Hello, friends, and welcome to the weekend. Ready for some brunch?

For American sport fans, this is the best week on the calendar. The NBA has started.  The NHL season began a few weeks ago. Football is going strong. AND the world series! This little window in late October (and early November) is the only time all four major sports are playing. Do you have a favorite? Are you watching the World Series?

By the way, since the World Series began in 1903 the United States and Canada have won ALL of them. ALL!! It’s like the other countries aren’t even trying.

Several sports will debut at next summer’s Tokyo Olympics, with the uniting theme of making the Games gnarlier. Skateboarding and surfing are the obvious headliners, but you should be aware of another extra-cool sport that’ll make its first appearance: speed climbing.

In speed climbing, unlike the two other disciplines of competitive climbing, the course is standardized and has been for years. Competitors memorize the exact sequence of moves they need to execute, and getting perfect runs is more about flowing than creativity or endurance the way it is for bouldering or lead climbing. This allows for the sort of standardized world records that are impossible in, say, bouldering, which depends on route setters. The men’s record is owned by Reza Alipour at 5.48 seconds; here’s a video of a different climb by him in under six.

Yeah, that’s crazy. It would take me at least 8 seconds to get up that wall.

The Great wall of Colorado. Donald Trump on Wednesday: “And we’re building a wall on the border of New Mexico and we’re building a wall in Colorado, we’re building a beautiful wall, a big one that really works that you can’t get over, you can’t get under and we’re building a wall in Texas. We’re not building a wall in Kansas but they get the benefit of the walls we just mentioned.”

Building a wall in Colorado….Building a wall in Colorado? Wait…I have questions. Sooo many questions. Are disgruntled Broncos fans trying to leave the state? Is Utah threatening to invade? Is New Mexico going to pay for it? Is Trump just basically saying he doesn’t want new Mexicans while he’s still trying to get rid of the old ones? Is he going to whip out a sharpie like he did for the hurricane path and just start changing our borders?

Oops, looks like that last question is already answered:Image result for trump colorado

Google claims a computing breakthrough. The company said today that it had achieved “quantum supremacy,” a milestone that would make current supercomputers look like toys.
At a research lab in California, a mathematical calculation that the largest supercomputers could not complete in under 10,000 years was done in 3 minutes 20 seconds, Google said in a paper in the science journal Nature. NYT reporter Dennis Overbye explains: “Ordinary computers store data and perform computations as a series of bits that are either 1 or 0. By contrast, a quantum computer uses qubits, which can be 1 and 0 at the same time, at least until they are measured.” So, basically a Schroeder’s cat computer. And somehow this means Google will be able to invade my privacy more thoroughly than before.

Rift in Canada: Election results showed that, as in other Western nations, an urban versus rural split and increasing regionalism have taken hold in a country known for social cohesion.

Uranus Opens And Closes Every Day To Let Out Hot Wind, According To Scientists. That’s the actual headline, and I just couldn’t resist sharing it with you. The post, from thescienceandspace.com, also includes this helpful image: 

What was Thomas Edison’s genius? “Thomas Edison was already well known by the time he perfected the long-burning incandescent light bulb, but he was photographed next to one of them so often that the public came to associate the bulbs with invention itself. That made sense, by a kind of transitive property of ingenuity: during his lifetime, Edison patented a record-setting one thousand and ninety-three different inventions. On a single day in 1888, he wrote down a hundred and twelve ideas; averaged across his adult life, he patented something roughly every eleven days. There was the light bulb and the phonograph, of course, but also the kinetoscope, the dictating machine, the alkaline battery, and the electric meter. Plus: a sap extractor, a talking doll, the world’s largest rock crusher, an electric pen, a fruit preserver, and a tornado-proof house. Not all these inventions worked or made money. Edison never got anywhere with his ink for the blind, whatever that was meant to be; his concrete furniture, though durable, was doomed; and his failed innovations in mining lost him several fortunes. But he founded more than a hundred companies and employed thousands of assistants, engineers, machinists, and researchers. At the time of his death, according to one estimate, about fifteen billion dollars of the national economy derived from his inventions alone. His was a household name, not least because his name was in every household—plastered on the appliances, devices, and products that defined modernity for so many families. Edison’s detractors insist that his greatest invention was his own fame, cultivated at the expense of collaborators and competitors alike. His defenders counter that his celebrity was commensurate with his brilliance.”

Brexit was in the news this week. Again….. Actually there may be a way around the impasse. All EU countries except UK should just leave the EU and start a new federation.  It would be way easier than Brexit. 

Pizza Hut–the largest pizza chain in the U.S.–announced that it is going to offer a plant-based Italian sausage at some stores to test reaction. The name of the meatless sausage: Incogmeato. I can’t decide if that name is stupid or genius.

What was the most intellectually influential book you read in college or graduate school? Mine was The Making of Modern German Christology by Alistar McGrath. I was scandalized by the price ($35!!!) but I still read it now and then. Amazing survey of how theology changed and grew after the enlightenment.

I say this because I want to recommend a book that McGrath just put out this month: A Theory of Everything (That Matters): A Brief Guide to Einstein, Relativity, and His Surprising Thoughts on God. McGrath is one of the few people I know (maybe the only one) that has earned doctorates in both a hard science and theology (both from Oxford), and is a superb thinker. He holds the Andreas Idreos Professorship in Science and Religion at the University of Oxford.

I may have to buy myself an early birthday present.

Related question: Which was the longest (but valuable) book or series of books you read in college or graduate school? The winner for me was God, Revelation and Authority, by Carl F.H. Henry. It was for a class taught by Henry, and we had to read all 3,000 pages (in six volumes) of small type and dense argumentation. I don’t think I could do it today.

Ran across this photo yesterday. It’s the wax figure of Mark Zuckerberg at Madame Tousades. Below that is a recent real picture of Zuckerberg. Umm…which one seems more lifelike to you?

Image result for mark zuckerberg madame

Pictures of Felicity Huffman in prison garb were posted on the internet last week. Martha Stewart gave Felicity some words of wisdom during this difficult time: “She should style her outfit a little bit more. She looked pretty schlumpy.” Stay classy, Martha.

Woke math? That’s what some are calling it. 

The Seattle school district is planning to infuse all K-12 math classes with ethnic-studies questions that encourage students to explore how math has been “appropriated” by Western culture and used in systems of power and oppression.

The district’s proposed framework outlines strands of discussion that teachers should incorporate into their classes. One leads students into exploring math’s roots “in the ancient histories of people and empires of color.” Another asks how math and science have been used to oppress and marginalize people of color, and who holds power in a math classroom.

Another theme focuses on resistance and liberation, encouraging students to recognize the mathematical practices and contributions of their own communities, and looking at how math has been used to free people from oppression.

Here are the questions addressed. You can see the guideline here.

Saw this; made me laugh: Final Exam

Backlash against the homeless in California. San Francisco residents installed boulders on a sidewalk to deter people from sleeping there. Homeowners in Los Angeles used prickly plants. Such measures represent a growing frustration with the homeless in a state with skyrocketing housing prices and a widening gap between rich and poor.

The details: San Jose counted 6,200 homeless people this year, up 42 percent from the last count two years ago. In Oakland, the figure climbed 47 percent.  “Some people who I’d put in the fed-up category, they’re not bad people,” said the chief executive of a social services agency in Los Angeles. “They would describe themselves as left of center, and sometimes very left of center, but at some point they reach the breaking point.”

 Cesar Schmitz had a problem. The 48-year-old truck driver, who lives in Enéas Marques, Brazil, was tired of roaches invading his garden. His wife was scared of them, and asked Cesar to “get rid of them once and for all”.

At first, Schmitz used a poisonous spray for killing beetles, but the product drove the cockroaches out of their burrow. Then he looked for another solution to get rid of the insects and he decided to light a match to set fire to the hole. He also threw in a cap full of gasoline for good measure. The home security video camera captured the results. which shows the explosion destroying his lawn, sending huge chunks of turf rocketing skywards, a garden

After the incident, Cesar revealed that he is still clearing up the mess and will need to replant his lawn, but added the roach infestation has now been solved.

The religious landscape of the United States continues to change at a rapid clip. In Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade. Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, consisting of people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” now stands at 26%, up from 17% in 2009.

In U.S., smaller share of adults identify as Christians, while religious 'nones' have grown

In General Social Survey, declining share of Christians and growth of religious 'nones'


Modern society

Well, that’s it for this week. Have a good Saturday.


  1. The Colorado wall contains the weed so us Texans and New Mexicans don’t get corrupted. Don is always looking out for us.

    • We all need to remember Trump’s own words-“He is a very stable genius.”

      • Steve Newell says

        I guess the “Red States” will have to update their text books to show the “new” map of the United States and all old maps must be destroyed.

        Why read “1984” when we are living in it.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          While Evangelical Christians cheer it on — “Trump Is LOOOOORD!”

          How could Trump be anything but The Second Coming of Christ? He gave them a CHRISTIAN Supreme Court who WILL overturn Roe v Wade, Put Prayer Back In Our Schools, and outlaw “Happy Holidays”!

  2. That Uranus thing is too funny. Everyone is talking about Uranus but we can’t get a clear picture of Uranus. They’ve considered the possibility of mining gold on Uranus but alas, Uranus though very large is well out of reach. Uranus is probably just best left untouched.

  3. Up late here in California to let y’all know that I’m 40 miles away from the Kincade fire, and upwind, so no danger to me, but evacuation areas are expanding into rural parts of Lake County that already burned twice in the past 3-4 years. The fire is only 5% contained. In addition, Pacific Greed & Electric is planning to cut power in my town late Saturday afternoon, possibly for up to 5 days, so I won’t be around the iMonastery for a bit. We have a gas stove, so I can cook, which I will have to do if food in the freezer thaws…

    Pray for calm winds and increased humidity.

    In other news, my daughter is healing very well – no vision or neurologic problems of any kind. More later. So grateful – glory to God.

    I’ll check in when I can.


    • I’m just waiting for the day my in-laws get hit with those rolling blackouts. Stay safe.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Evening drive-time radio said to Get Yourself a Generator. AND guns, because when you’re the only house with its lights on, they’ll come after your generator.

        Politics of the Armed Lifeboat has become Politics of the Armed One-Man Liferaft.

    • Glad to hear the good news about your daughter, Dana. As for the rolling blackouts, I guess all one can do is roll with the “punches.” I’m sure it will be terribly difficult at times, and it must be especially galling that, despite the blackouts, California fire officials are saying that PG&E’s power lines are at fault for the Camp Fire!

    • Dana, good news!
      Happy for you and your daughter.

    • thatotherjean says

      I’m glad to hear good news about your daughter. Best of luck to you during the power outage–at least you won’t be hungry. I’d be pretty upset at PG&E, if I were in your shoes about now. I hope somebody (who isn’t a low-level scapegoat) winds up in jail for neglecting all the maintenance that should have been performed over the years.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Our More-Woke-Than-Thou Governor has been before the cameras blaming Global Warming and The EVIL of Capitalism, so don’t expect anything other than Virtue Signalling. Pay no attention to the Public Utilities Commission letting those EVIL Capitalists get away with all that delayed maintenance (I suspect a couple decades of Campaign Donations(TM) were involved).

  4. Rampaging Chipmunk says

    So Norwegian progressive metal band Leprous released a new album yesterday called Pitfalls. Except it isn’t really metal or even rock this time. They pretty much made an excellent vocally driven semi-pop album carried by a fantastic performance by their singer Einar Solberg. I highly recommend this album and also their entire back catalog. Solberg’s voice probably won’t work for everyone given that he sticks to his higher register and their older stuff might be too abrasive for some, but I think it is worth giving them a try.


  5. senecagriggs says

    So the “Nuns” are growing. Who knew!

    • You wish.

    • Clay Crouch says

      Sorry, that punk rock band broke up years ago.

    • 81 % support Trump
      19 % support Christ

      got it

      • we are who we stand up for

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        And 81% is just over the 80/20 Threshold where Groupthink locks in and all Heretics Apostates and Dissidents are Purged. “And all who do NOT Take the Mark along with the 80%…”

        • wow

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            I have long suspected that the Book of Revelation includes several illustrations of recurring patterns in human behavior, and “Who is Like Unto The Beast? All Must Take HIs Mark!” is one of them. In this case, an interpretation of Groupthink Bandwagon centering around a Man Of Power.

            Another is a political cartoon of power politics; for instance, being Marked after passing a Loyalty Test was a shtick of Caesar Domitian, Emperor at the time Revelation was written. (Who was obsessed with Loyalty, Loyalty, Loyalty.)

            Caesar Flavius Domitian, son of Caesar Vespasianus Divinus, brother of Caesar Titus Divinus, the Second Nero and Third Caligula, whose favorite pastime as a child was to impale insects on his writing stylus just to watch them die slowly. And whose ascension as Caesar (proclaiming himself a God as his first decree) included mass human sacrifice in the Flavian Ampitheatre (now The Colosseum) to celebrate his ascension to Godhood.

  6. When was the first World Series? 1903 is the official answer, but there are three candidates: 1884, 1903, and 1905. Of these, 1903 is the least defensible.

    1884: The National League was founded in 1876. The American Association was a second major league, running from 1882 through 1891, after which it merged (as the decidedly junior partner) with the National League. Four of the modern NL clubs were originally in the AA (Cardinals, Reds, Dodgers, and, um…. oh yes, the Pirates). The two leagues’ respective pennant winners played a post-season series starting in 1884. These games were hyped as being the World’s Series because they were for a championship higher than merely the National (NL) or American (AA).

    1903: The American League declared itself major in 1901. The AL and NL fought for two years, before reluctantly making peace in 1903. The two pennant winners (AL Boston and NL Pittsburgh) revived the old World Series idea. The 1904 pennant winners (AL Boston and NL New York) did not. John McGraw, manager of the Giants, had a grudge against the AL, so it didn’t happen.

    1905: The Powers That Be decided that the World Series was good business, so they took matters out of the hands. of the individual clubs, so as to prevent a repeat of 1904. McGraw sucked it up, which turned out not so bad when his Giants beat the Philadelphia A’s four games to one.

    The usual argument for not counting the AA-NL series is that they weren’t official, organized by the leagues. The problem with this argument is that neither was the 1903 series. The fallback arguments are about series format. The AA-NL series experimented with formats: yes, including best of seven. The AL-NL series also experimented with formats, several being best of nine.

    The real reason to exclude the AA-NL series is that the American Association, and 19th century baseball in general, dropped out of the collective consciousness by the 1930s. By that time, the big sportswriters were guys who all came up in the AL era. Look at the early classes of the Hall of Fame. They are all guys from the early 20th century. Only later did they go back and add some 19th century guys, and they were embarrassingly erratic about this, to this day. But look at the guys who were writing in the first decade of the century. They knew perfectly well that the World Series was a revival of an old practice. You can find listings of championships that include both, treating this as unremarkable.

    The moral is that “firsts” in baseball are virtually never straightforward. The good news is that this usually translates into something more interesting than a bare factoid.

  7. In the world of REAL sport, England are on the verge of reaching the Rugby World Cup final…

  8. With regard to the problem of homelessness, it seems like parts of California are starting to resemble New Delhi, India. I’ve read that many of the homeless have full time jobs, but the cost of housing is out of reach for them. This is such a terrible situation, and so very saddening.

    • In one of the subreddits I follow, a subscriber posted a “housing” ad from one of the tech suburbs of San Francisco. It showed a picture of a sleeping bag and a power cord inside a covered 6′ by 8′ enclosed trailer, parked in a yard. The ad promised access to a porta-potty in the yard for the renter. $450/a month, single occupancy only (NO couples, the ad was adamant about that).

      A joke? A real offer? Either way, it shows how insane the housing situation in urban California is.

      • Some would say that, as a liberal, I should be chastened by the homeless problem in CA; they would insist that extreme liberalism has created this problem. But I don’t believe that CA is a model for liberalism, even less for social democracy. It lacks things that are absolutely necessary for social democracy to work, affordable housing being one, and efficient and extensive mass transportation another….

        • But it has been run by big government liberals for a while now. So maybe you should at least be wary of their promises, or the notion that they have workable solutions.

          • Just as far right Republicans have coined a term for Republicans they don’t consider true Republicans or conservatives — RINO, Republican In Name Only — I’m tempted to coin one for analogous liberals, many of which may be found in high places in California.

          • That’s hardly a statewide pattern. Orange County is just one of many counterexamples.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          > But I don’t believe that CA is a model for liberalism

          Yep. Follow Housing conversations in CA – the serious ones – and the notion of California as Liberal/Progressive washes away very quickly.

          It has the same melded soup of rhetorically-liberal conservatism, exemplified best in NIMBYism [Not In My BackYard], as everywhere else. And small-c conservatism as this is not not pro-tradition (unless you could 40 years as history) and property rights Conservatism – but a Hey-I’ve-Got-Mine-The-Role-Of-Government-Is-To-Protect-My-Station conservatism.

      • I recently read an article stating that the median price for a single-family home in San Francisco has risen to $1.7 million. And I thought housing was expensive in suburban Washington, DC where I live.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          A fairly recent deep dive into the data found that housing was “affordable” – 30% or less of median gross income for an area – in …drumroll… SIXTEEN COUNTIES is America. There are ~3,140 counties in America. So 0.5%, half of 1%, of counties in America have “affordable” housing by the standard metric.

          The problem is everywhere, varying in degree.

          • This is one of the real reasons why the U.S. is sinking toward Third World status. Also check out our life expectancy against other comparably wealthy and developed countries, which was similar in the 1970s, but fallen behind behind by a significant margin in the ensuing decades. And then maternal mortality is increasing in the US, while declining worldwide; Texas — that state where so many are so concerned for family values — is particularly bad in this regard.

            • I should say, this is one of the evidences, not reasons, of the U.S. sinking etc…

            • cutting and running as a reason for abandoning war allies and all to MAGA

              we are learning what ‘Great’ means in Trumpland

              but WAIT . . . . the OIL, we can’t leave the OIL, that’s VALUABLE !!!!!

              Kurds is one thing, the oil is another thing

              we are going to save the OIL

              Greatness is on the move . . . Trump has awakened and smelled the money

              so the troops will be going back in to save Trump’s oil . . . . I am in awe before such greatness

              • In defense of our military, they must secure the oil against the possibility of Isis taking it and re-acquiring an immediate infusion of capital to fund their nefarious and savage agenda. They are also countering Putin’s presence there so it is a layered scenario. Frankly I think the Idiot in Chief wanted to bring everyone home to boost his isolationist campaign and the Joint Chiefs probably read him the riot act. I wouldn’t be surprised if they threatened to resign en masse to make him behave.

                • Let’s hope that about the Joint Chiefs.

                  • Christiane says

                    I wish they had done that for the Kurds, like Matis did.

                    that took courage and integrity

                    so now there are more ‘advisors’ who matter any more?
                    there was some hope for Pompeo but that’s gone now, and Barr is a joke

                    MAYBE in the heart of the Pentagon, there are a group of patriots who guard our national security from the hands of Putin-Trump and will keep the ‘idiot’ from using those ‘nukes’ as he called them in some ‘scheme’ cooked up with his dictator mentors

                    I’m counting on the patriotism of real Americans as we are seeing the truth about Trump in his abandonment of allies that fought with our troops side by side faithfully;
                    and we Americans DON’T abandon our allies, no. We’ve always honored them.

                    Until Trump.

                    you had better believe vets who support Trump are squirming over the dishonor of what he did to the Kurds

                    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                      MAYBE in the heart of the Pentagon, there are a group of patriots who guard our national security from the hands of Putin-Trump and will keep the ‘idiot’ from using those ‘nukes’ as he called them…

                      Sitting down and writing himself a Presidental Pardon after the temper tantrum Arm-and-Launch, while Giuliani intones (on the way to the NUCEVAC chopper) that The President Can Pardon Anyone (including himself) for Anything?

                      All that’s needed is to have all these Christian Leaders/Court Evangelicals on hand who were there to anoint with oil, lay on hands, and prophesy over God’s Anointed and only ONE empty seat on the NUCEVAC chopper. Move over, Death of Stalin!

                    • Christiane, An estimated 12000 Kurdish fighters died at our behest in the fight against ISIS over the last few years. If it hadn’t been them, then Americans soldiers would’ve died instead, and the American authorities knew the American public wouldn’t tolerate that, so they got the Kurds in with promises. Now we’ve broken the promises, and the world has forgotten about the Kurds. There will be an “ethnic cleansing” of Kurds from Syria; Trump won’t stop it, Putin won’t stop it, the world won’t stop it. Another chapter of shame in American and world history. In a way, even worse the abandonment and betrayal of the Vietnamese who fought on our side during that war.

                • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                  Idiot in Chief wanted to bring everyone home to boost his isolationist campaign…

                  And have another Military Victory Parade.

                  I wouldn’t be surprised if they threatened to resign en masse to make him behave.

                  They won’t need to.
                  Remember the tag line from that Reality Show, The Apprentice?
                  “YOU’RE FIRED!”
                  “YOU’RE FIRED!”
                  “YOU’RE FIRED!”
                  “YOU’RE FIRED!”
                  “YOU’RE FIRED!”…

              • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                we are learning what ‘Great’ means in Trumpland

                As well as “Magnificent Wisdom”.

                But Loyalty to The Anointed One is becoming the REAL Litmus Test of “”Are you REALLY a Christian? Were You SAVED?”

                • As well as “Magnificent Wisdom”.

                  “White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham added, ‘I worked with John Kelly, and he was not totally equipped to handle the genius of our great President.'”

                  But Stephanie Grisham apparently is! LOL!

          • thatotherjean says

            I wish some nation-wide builder (Are there still such creatures? There were, during the housing boom) would figure out that if he/she/it/they could build smaller, actually affordable housing–townhouses,duplexes, quads, something–they could sell a million of ’em, instead of building McMansions. I thought the McMansion craze was over, but we still have builders in Maryland putting them up in droves.

            • Adam Tauno Williams says

              > smaller, actually affordable housing–townhouses,duplexes, quads,

              These are fantastically more complex to actually build; not physically, but legally. Almost everywhere even a duplex will require groveling to some board and paying $$$$ to maybe get permission to do so.

              On the other hand you can throw up a 5,000sq/ft McMansion by-right anywhere.

              From a developer’s perspective the choice is simple. Building alone has enough risk, by add bureaucratic nonsense.

              • thatotherjean says

                I don’t doubt that that is true, but at $1.7 million in San Francisco, and higher than ever in many, many other places, developers are pricing themselves out of the market. They’re going to have to do something. Building houses that more people can afford would be a good start.

                • Adam Tauno Williams says

                  > They’re going to have to do something.

                  That’s the thing – no, they don’t.

                  It can ALWAYS [just] get worse.

                  Man: Well, at least it can’t get any worse.
                  Universe: Hold my beer.

            • As land close to jobs gets more and more scarce the value of the “dirt” goes up. This makes the housing more expensive overall. And to build a new house (tear down or not) or remodel one for sale in general the value of the dirt has to be no more than 20% – 30% of the total sale price to make the numbers work in terms of risk / reward / cost of funds / etc…

              So a McMansion becomes almost the only thing that can work in 1/4 acre suburban US.

              And it not the “government” per se. In my 400+ home “neighborhood” we recently went through a zoning request to try and keep things from “changing”. Those on the other side in some ways were characterized as evil.

              Multi family homes. NO!
              5 story apartments buildings with light retain on the bottom blocks away? No!
              And so on.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        All I know is I have occasion to go to San Jose around once a year, and every time I see more and newer Anti-Homeless Technology being deployed in the Downtown(EXPENSIVE) area.

        All from Our Woke Betters who scold us with wagging fingers about Helping the Homeless, Helping the Homeless, Helping the Homeless while developing and deploying that Anti-Homeless technology to protect their million-dollar cribs.

        While (according to the radio) wildfire after wildfilre origin gets traced to homeless encampments instead of PG&E, news items about assaults and even murders done by homeless who just “snapped”, and $60 million Homeless Shelter Taxes that generated a lot of skim without adding one shelter bed (at a cost of over half a million per).

        It’s reaching Critical Mass. I’m waiting for the first talk about “The Brazilian Solution”.

        Remember in 2016, CA’s cities were isolated blue islands in an ocean of Trump Red, and things have gotten worse since then.

        • nothing ‘wakes’ you up faster than having saved over a hundred-thousand $$$ but STILL not having enough for a down-payment on a small three bedroom house in Cali

  9. “Pizza Hut announced that it is going to offer a plant-based Italian sausage at some stores to test reaction.”

    Frankly, Greasa Hut’s pizzas are so greasy that they could put ground up cardboard on them and it would be hard to taste the difference.

  10. “What was the most intellectually influential book you read in college or graduate school?”

    It’s a tie – “The Coming of the Kingdom” by Herman Ridderbos, and “The Man Born to be King” by Dorothy Sayers, both assigned in my Christology class in seminary.

    The former, for Ridderbos’ comprehensive argument that Jesus’ message was, ultimately, HIMSELF – His proclamation, living example, and resurrection promise of His kingdom. All else, including traditions and traditionalist morality, comes in far second.

    The latter, for Sayers’ brilliant portrayal of the humanity of both Jesus and Judas. Her portrayal of Judas in particular – as a brilliant, sincere, and theologically erudite man who ultimately betrayed Jesus because Jesus did not do things the way Judas thought they should be done. For a self-perceived brilliant, sincere, and theologically erudite seminary student – that portrait was chilling.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      For a self-perceived brilliant, sincere, and theologically erudite seminary student – that portrait was chilling.

      I think that was the point.
      To shake you up.
      That Rabbi from Nazareth was good at that.

  11. It seems, with regard to religiosity, the demographics of the US is emphatically headed in the same direction as much of Europe — increasingly secular and post-religious. Christians better get used to being a minority, and to having far less power — that is unless their current gambit of throwing in with the manipulators of the nondemocratic dynamics in our system of government prevails; but then, theirs will be a Pyrrhic victory.

    • More and more people are leaving religion. The statistics bear this out.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        Religion is trying harder and harder to demonstrate that people should leave it.

        • I was part of the Southern Baptist Convention for 44 years, I left it last October 2018. God even allowed me to pastor several SBC churches. I do not have an issue with anyone voting Republican. But IMO the SBC leaders support this immoral man and never say anything about his lying, putting children in cages, etc. Trump has become God’s chosen one by many of them and others. I am done with church, I can not take it any more.

          • I am done with church, I can not take it any more.

            The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America welcomes you.

            (Sorry/not sorry, Clay — I stole your denomination’s tagline!)

          • mot, who are the SBC leaders that are in the leadership positions on the national and state level who support Trump? Russell Moore of the ERLC almost wrecked the SBC with his anti Trump stance in 2016 and backed down. You should know the SBC lay members support Trump but the official leadership, removed from the grass roots do not.

            • Adam Tauno Williams says

              Leaders who nobody is following, that’s kinda the answer in itself.

            • Russell Moore almost wrecked the SBC? It’s doing a pretty good job of that by itself. It could be that Moore is part of what’s holding it together as an occasional voice of reason.

              • Ted, he backed down from his anti Trump stance to maintain his position and now is silent on the issue, No leadership there from the SBC leaders. The SBC is doomed as you surmise but the problem is the leadership who represent themselves.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        More and more people are leaving religion. The statistics bear this out.

        All the more reason to take over, establish a Truly Christian Nation, and FORCE everyone back into the pews.

    • “unless their current gambit of throwing in with the manipulators of the nondemocratic dynamics in our system of government prevails; but then, theirs will be a Pyrrhic victory.”

      As it was for the conservative Protestants and Catholics in Europe when they threw in with the Fascists, Vichy-ites, and Nazis.

      • They way some of these hard right conservative evangelicals talk it will be interesting to see how far they are prepared to go rather than lose their privileges.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        “unless their current gambit of throwing in with the manipulators of the nondemocratic dynamics in our system of government prevails; but then, theirs will be a Pyrrhic victory.”

        At which point, you fall back to End Times and It’s All Gonna Burn.

        Some time ago, Heathen Critique snarked a piece of near future persecution-dystopia hackwork called Soon by THE Jerry Jenkins, Greatest Christian Author of All Time (GCAAT). The backstory is that through a contrived chain of coincidences all the governments in the world were taken over in the near future by Militant Atheists obsessed with exterminating their greatest enemy — Born Again, Bible Believing Evangelical Christians (is there any other kind worthy of the name?) It then goes on for 300 pages of bad fanfic (for a Sanity Loss greater than that of the Necronomicon).

        Hey, GCAAT! You didn’t need that Perfect Storm of coincidence after coincedence! Just a backlash against the paragraph quoted up above!

  12. Steve Newell says

    So the Brits the Klingons or is the EU the Klingons?

    All I know is that Trump is a Ferengi.


  13. On the bathroom door, I want the same sign on the large touch screens used for ordering in fast food restaurants. I refuse to use them.

    • They are disgusting, those touch screens, and increasingly pervasive and hard to avoid using. For instance, at the deli counter of the supermarket where I shop, you get the ticket for your place in line by using a touch screen ticket dispenser. Someone should do a scientific study to determine how much contagious disease these screens are responsible for spreading — I think the results would be shocking.

      • Soon, gloves will come back in fashion.

      • I don’t have the reference, someone did a study, disgusting. Food workers must abide by health guidelines for gloves and food handling, but not customers.

        • I worked in the university animal science creamery in ’74-’76 (got my B.S. in ’76) processing milk into cheese and other products. Had to have a health card which meant a TB test and blood test for STD’s ane other various issues. For several decades now food handlers are NOT required to have health cards. Does that mean that TB and STD’s are no longer an issue?

      • We have all been sharing shopping cart handles for decades.

        • I use antibacterial wipes provided at the entrance of the store for those.

          • That is a very recent addition to life.

            In my teens I earned my spending money mowing fields. This was around 1970. So no soft sided jell pack coolers. So as a practical matter no coolers on the tractor. I discovered that Dr Pepper was fine hot. But to drink it when pulled out of the tool box I got to wipe off the top of the can (30 years of dirt and who knows what in that space.) with my T-Shirt.

            My wife would run screaming if she ever saw me do it today.

            As long as there wasn’t any grit I could deal with it.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        And according to Granola Shotgun, a lot of restaurants and stores where he is are refusing to accept cash (“Why can’t you just insert your card into the touch-screen terminal?”) Their servers are completely unable to take an order (“Just enter on the touch-screen”) or do anything except deliver the order to your table. He writes of places that shut down for the day because of a glitch in their touch-screen ordering terminals (or broadband going down) and nobody knew how to take orders or handle cash. NO MANUAL BACKUP.

        After the internet goes down, I can become a God because I know how to add 2 + 2 without a smartphone app!

  14. On the article about the homeless in California I actually had to laugh when the person said they are not bad people, and then said that many of them would describe themselves as left of center, as if being left of center automatically meant you are not a bad person or truly cared about the homeless.

    • For many on the left, as on the right, they are compassionate people – right up to the point where that compassion might actually demand something of them.

    • Yeah, I noted that too. Aren’t they sometimes called limousine liberals? Full of largesse and love of humankind …. as long as the lumpenproletariat doesn’t get into their vast and protected personal space.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        These are mostly just called NIMBYs.

        Their political self-identification has no correlation to their views on land-use or housing policies. The divide between political identification and this issue deep and sharp; basically it manifests as either (a) of course they should have housing, the government should build it elsewhere or (b) of course they should have housing, by getting their lives together, taking responsibility, and going elsewhere.

  15. Incogmeato? That sounds like another reason to completely avoid Pizza Hut, as I’ve done for decades.

    • “Incogmeato: It’s better than using Soylent Green!”

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Yeah. Bad choice of name. Probably came from an expensive Social Media Consultant and Focus Group. What could possibly go wrong?

      That said, developing and popularizing a GOOD meat substitute (and from the name, “Incogmeato” does NOT sound ilke that is it) beats what those in power in my state would do: Outlaw meat (like they just did fur and are doing with vaping) in the Name of The Plaaaaanet, shame and scold all us Lowborn with wagging fingers, and Punish Punish Punish with Punishment Tax after Punishment Tax after Punishment Tax (we’re getting new Punishment Taxes every month or two).

      No wonder everyone in this state who wasn’t Sufficiently Woke voted for Trump. (Which means they must be Punished.)

      Much better idea (like an article I read about some scientist’s project) to develop a meat substitute people would really prefer to meat, get the cost down to where it’s competitive (or better yet cheaper), and have people actually adopt it and eat it. VOLUNTARILY — no shaming, no scolding, no wagging fingers, no punishment taxes.

      A couple weeks ago I found (and can no longer find) an online article about a lot of legal “GMO Frankenfood!” pushback against the introduction of just such a meat substitute by fast-food chains. All coming from the same Woke Activist Highborn who were gung-ho in favor of it in their own Fine Dining Establishments. HOW DARE OUR PLAAANET-FRIENDLY CARBON-FRIENDLY MEAT SUBSTITUTE TRICKLE DOWN TO THOSE LOWBORN!

      As soon as I can retire, I’m getting out of here and taking all my assets to MAGA Country.

  16. Where does Power and oppression show up in our math experiences? When the local government uses it to push woke propaganda is a pretty good example.

    • Or uses it to cloud the environmental impact of some sweetheart development deal.

      • To bring math into a social/political/cultural context is left coast bat poop crazy. Another attack on western civilization as the nation devolves into third world status.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          On the other hand, bringing ANY field of study into the social/political/cultural context sounds like Education.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Hey, my state’s already Third World.
          Gap between Woke Rich and Lowborn Poor greater than in most Third World countries, Congress/Senate/Assembly seats only changing hands through father-to-son inheritance (“All Incumbents Re-Elected, NO Exceptions”), and deliberate Power Blackouts just like in all those Third World cities.

        • When I lived just north of Seattle in the early 1980’s one of the reasons Shoreline incorporated into a city was to avoid annexation into the city of Seattle. A big driver of this was to avoid having the Shoreline school district subsumed into the Seattle school district and all of its attendant craziness.

        • Trump is quickly making us a 3rd world country.

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      The whole thing is rather silly. That being said, one of the greatest travesties in math education (not math itself) is how often it is still assumed that girls will not like it / boys are better at it etc. Same with most of the natural sciences as well as engineering. Simply not true.

  17. What was the most intellectually influential book you read in college or graduate school?

    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. No kidding. I read it as part of a class called Philosophy of Counterculture at Michigan State University in 1979. It changed my life, though I no longer hold to, nor probably did I ever hold to, the philosophy outlined by the protagonist’s spiritual and life journey in the novel, which was written by Robert Pirsig. But that novel got me thinking about a lot of things, and really grappling with personal spiritual and philosophical matters. I still, however, don’t know anything about motorcycles or their maintenance, thoug I’m something of an amateur expert (oxymoronic, but still accurate) in Zen Buddhism.

    • Burro (Mule) says

      Pirsig was one of the highpoints of my College reading experience as well, but there were about thirty pages where I just did not follow him. Sometimes I have the suspicion that a lot of the questions I have were answered in those thirty pages, but then I remember the rest of the book and I think, nahh.

      I read a lot of Solzhenitsyn in college. Gulag Archipelago, Cancer Ward, The First Circle, August 1914 It lead to my reading Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Gorky, and Gogol. To this day I wonder why the 19th and early 20th century in Russia produced such works of singular brilliance.

      Oh, to have the liberty to read like I did in college.

      • Daniel Jepsen says

        Burro, I agree: Russia in the 19th century was the apex of the novel.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Novels so long that authors could commit suicide by jumping off the top of the manuscript stack.

          I made it through War & Peace ONCE. Not even Lord of the Rings felt that long.

          • Back in summer school in college, long ago when rocks were soft, I was stupid enough to take a Russian lit course. We did War and Peace in less than a week, with a weekend assignment to read the book. Sleep? What’s that? I still enjoy Russian literature, but it took me a lot longer to read War and Peace the second time.

          • Burro (Mule) says

            I’ve read War And Peace three times now. In a good translation it’s an extremely fast read and Tolstoy’s characters feel more human in all their frailties and contradictions than do many actual humans.

            My favorite Dostoevsky remains The Possessed.

            • Over one of those college summers I read The Brothers Karamazov. That novel has stood the test of time with me, one of the few I return to again and again. Next in line of lifelong influence on me would be Moby Dick.

      • Mule, The pages you couldn’t follow were probably the core of Pirsig’s philosophy of Quality, which really was far too close to philosophical word salad. It doesn’t hang together.

    • I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for the first time last year. My wife is in a couple of book clubs one of which chose to read it, so, a copy was on the coffee table and I didn’t have much to do at the time. The travel narrative was interesting, but much of the protagonists struggle and philosophy eluded me. Probably would have made more sense if I had read it waaayyyy back in college–or after a couple of brews.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        > much of the protagonists struggle and philosophy eluded me


        I started it a long time ago, after many recommendations.

        I also didn’t find the protagonist’s angst compelling. At this point I don’t really remember the details, not much beyond that impression.

        On the other hand this is an experience I have a lot, so it may be me. So many texts where I want to say: “Stop a second, what are your actual problems?” So often they seem like some pretty sweet problems, as problems go.

  18. senecagriggs says

    Liberalism in CA: – [ a state I lived in for 25 years ]

    African Americans in San Francisco comprise around 5.3% of the city’s total population.[1]

    In 1970 blacks made up 13.4% of the population.

    In the biggest 14 cities in the nation, San Francisco is near the bottom in the percentage of black residents.[1]

    • …and your point is?

      • senecagriggs says

        Liberalism actually segregates.

        • Yes it discriminates against all those underprivileged rich people.

        • As has been pointed out above, California progressivism is very narrow. Beyond not caring what you smoke or who you sleep with, it’s very “conservative” especially with regard to business practices.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            And maintaining the gap between Woke Rich and Stupid Poor (i.e. everyone NOT Woke Rich).

            Just like adjectives about “Democratic” in the name of a Third World country, the more they talk about their Concern and Compassion, the more corrupt they are. The Corruption of MY RIGHTEOUSNESS.

            You don’t need a religion per se to be Holier Than Thou.

        • Steve Newell says

          So you prefer Mississippi where both blacks and whites are dirt poor?

          • Really? I wonder since SF is a wealthy tech hub maybe it is rampant capitalism that segregates. Folks should remember that for every self-serving simplistic answer that falls out of their worldview there is an equal and opposite simplistic answer. Cheers 🙂

    • I suspect it has a lot more to do with the fact that it’s ridiculously expensive to live in SF. Not saying racism doesn’t exist. It certainly does. But putting demographic shifts down to a single cause that’s convenient for your ideological story is almost always fallacious. Life is more complicated than that.

      • senecagriggs says

        Trump DID beat Hilary – much to everybody’s surprise. I remember waking up at 2 a.m. to use the “loo” and being utterly stunned when I checked the I-net and found out Trump had won.

        • Trump did say repeatedly, right before the election, that it was a “rigged system.”

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Until he won.
            I wonder if he was practicing for a loss.
            Like the two election day headlines ready to roll from Citizen Kane:
            “KANE WINS!”
            “PROOF OF VOTE FRAUD!”

      • senecagriggs says

        “I suspect it has a lot more to do with the fact that it’s ridiculously expensive to live in SF. ” That of course is it; poor people do not have residences in San Fran. It’s not about racism.

  19. Re: Trump’s Colorado/Wall mistake: It’s fine to laugh at him, for his almost daily exhibitions of ignorance. But don’t let those daily exhibitions mislead you into thinking he is stupid, because he’s not. Arrogant, uninformed and hostile to being informed, foolish sounding, he’s all that — but he is also extremely fast on his feet, extremely adept at fitting every otherwise self-damaging words and actions into a narrative of victimization that his base resonates with at the deepest level, and extremely skilled at the crassest forms of deflection. Do not underestimate him — he counts on his political adversaries, and friends, doing that.

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      He plays a fast game, for sure. But while everyone assumes he is playing 3d chess, and treats it like that, he is playing Hungry Hippos….

      (Also, don’t ascribe to him what is the work of say Mitxh McConnell, for instance).

      • Yes, he’s flying by the seat of his pants, not a skilled player. But he knows a secret: many, or most, of the rest of our politicos have been flying by the seat of their pants for a long time, too; they just know how to put a veneer of intelligence and sophistication on their game, mostly with fancy rhetoric.

        Of course, we shouldn’t overlook the influence of Sith McConnell, who has harnessed an agenda to this horse, one that he wouldn’t otherwise have been able to implement; but don’t think Trump isn’t capable of throwing old Mitch under the bus, if it proves necessary. He’s expert in backstabbing anybody of the Left or Right, and yet making himself appear a victim before the eyes of his base. The victim narrative works very well with a huge portion of his base, including the evangelicals who have convinced themselves that they are the victims of progressive oppression.

      • Most importantly, he has an instinct for manipulating the way the media is perceived by his base, for making the media appear to be victimizing him whenever they criticize him or publicize something unflattering to him in their reporting. This is a powerful tool that he’s nearly perfected.

        • thatotherjean says

          Trump isn’t book-smart (I doubt that he can read an 8th grade text fluently) but he knows how to manipulate the media, how to get around the bureaucracy, and how to portray himself as a victim, extremely well. He has practiced those arts from the time his father took him into the family business. Otherwise, he is howlingly incompetent. What keeps him from being successful is his ego–he always has to be right, and rarely is. Considering what he wants, and the fact that he is President of the United States, I’m grateful for that.

          • Christiane says

            you are right,
            but his ego also makes him a truly ‘useful idiot’ for his favorite dictators to try to manipulate successfully

            • Burro (Mule) says

              Every time you mention the ‘Russian’ threat, Christiane, I scratch my head. What existential threat do they pose to us?

              Putin is a thug and a thief, on something of a cosmic scale, but as far as I can tell, he is very canny at protecting Russia’s interests. Sure, he supervises the sale of Russia’s prodigious natural resources so that he and his cronies benefit from it, but is he under any obligation to open Russia up to be strip-mined by our financial institutions?

              OK, so he’s not a feminist and not particularly disposed to promote the expression of alternate sexualities, but this isn’t a negative in my book.

              • Is having journalists killed a negative in your book?

                • Burro (Mule) says

                  If you think I’m going to defend that, you’re wrong. But it’s not a reason to effect regime change on our part.

                  Is he killing our journalists?

                  Like Assad, like Hussein, like Qaddafi, even like Maduro, he should be left alone to bedevil his own people.

                  • And he should be left alone to meddle in the Middle East as well, I suppose. Well, he’s certainly managing that, isn’t he? But if he’s meddling, and we’re meddling, then it’s only a matter of time before metal rubs against metal.

            • thatotherjean says

              That it does. Loan him money and flatter him (I’ll bet he’s underwater on everything he “owns”), and he’s yours. Putin knows this; MBS is figuring it out fast.

    • BoJo is infinitely more intelligent and calculating than Trump is. When BoJo acts the part of a populist yobbo, he’s doing just that – acting a part.

      • Did not Trump beat Hillary Clinton in 2016 who spent twice the money and had the complete support of the media. Trump will win again in 2020? Is he acting like a winner or is he really one? Actually Trump will win in a landslide.
        Who is going to beat Trump? Give us a name.

        • Klasie Kraalogies says


        • senecagriggs says

          Trump DID beat Hilary – much to everybody’s surprise. I remember waking up at 2 a.m. to use the “loo” and being utterly stunned when I checked the I-net and found out Trump had won.

        • I do not see how Hillary “had complete support of the media” when in fact the NYT continually harped on the email story over and above all else and continued to lob softballs only in Trump’s direction 🙂

        • Burro (Mule) says

          I think Warren could beat him. I think Amy Klobuchar could if the Dems had sufficient sense to nominate her.

          If the Dems nominate Booker, Harris, or Beto, I’ll vote for Trump
          If the Dems nominate Warren, Biden, or Sanders, I’ll either abstain or throw my vote away like I did in 2016
          If the Dems nominate Yang or Klobuchar, I’ll vote for either of them.

          I’ve just recently decided against voting for Biden. He’s too close to the neo-con wing for me.

          All the Dems are sexual Jacobins and lockstep woo-woo abortionairies, even the two I mentioned, so I have to overcome a lot of repugnance to vote Democrat.

          • Biden’s been running for president since the mid-1980s. Dude, seriously, step aside and let some young blood in.

            • +1.

              Heck, +1000.

              There’s a time to recognize you need to let someone else go for the gold.

              Sanders is close to that point, too.

        • Dan, at least you are openly a Trump supporter. Dear God, please do not let this immoral man continue to destroy the United States by “allowing” him to win in 2020.

      • BoJo is like Trump and McConnell rolled into one person.

    • I heard a NC resident say she supported him because he was rich and couldn’t be bought.

      Someone should tell her that his sons bragged ‘we can get all the money we need from Russia !’

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Not stupid, CUNNING.

  20. senecagriggs says

    I have much enjoyed following Utah Senator Pierre Delecto this week. It doesn’t get any richer than that.

    • Seneca, Willard is such a hidden snob and pretender he did not want it known he speaks French. Peter Delicious learned French as France was where he spent his mandatory mission trip. Willard will now become the favorite of the press as he is their can of Republican, a true RINO and one with no real influence but he is the useful idiot. Ashamed to say I voted for him and glad Obama beat him . Romney deserved defeat then and now. Out of touch rich guy who has no real convictions politically. He will not even get the nice public funeral McCain got as he will have no following and the press will disavow him when he is no longer useful.

      • senecagriggs says

        Yeah, he’s toast now.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Out of touch rich guy who has no real convictions politically.

        And Trump isn’t?

        The real kicker about Romney is before he became The Great White Hope of 2012 (after a primary of God’s Anointed after God’s Anointed crashing and burning at a rate of one every week to a chorus of “Not the Mormon! Not the Mormon! Not the Mormon!”), he was in the best position for the Christian Base in 2008. Romney 2008 was the best match to their Family Values platform, but the Christian vote was dead set against him. (“Godless CULT! CULT! CULT!”) It would take four more years until (after Romney in 2012 became a shoo-in) Christian Leaders would proclaim Mormons to be Not A CULT After All, but Real True Christians who Christians can vote for.

        • Unicorn Guy, Which shows that evangelicals will vote for the most candidate that aligns with their issues not on their religion or behavior., Trump only got about 3 percent of the evangelical vote than Mormon Romney but the or 3% were probably new voters. Evangelicals voted for Romney on the issues and that overrode their concern about voting for a Mormon same as they can overlook Trump antics and vote on the issues Clinton lost the Christian vote not just the evangelicals.

        • Burro (Mule) says

          Romney is like the rich guy who lays you off
          Trump is like the rich guy who pulls up in his BMW convertible, invites you to the tiddy bar, then hits you up for a $50 “loan” when you’ve had too much to drink.

  21. Klasie Kraalogies says

    Urban rural split is not new. The “urban more progressive, rural more conservative, suburban oscillating” observation has held for a long time. Basically, Trudeau had a bad 18 months (at least 3 scandals/events), which are away at his base. Then there was an extraordinary push from the fossil fuel lobby in the west. I was actually surprised at how many seats the Liberals got altogether. We have a resurgent Bloc in Quebec, with a strong leader, which further are away as well.

    So it wasn’t a major surprise. Note though that none of the territories went Conservative (Yukon, NWT, Nunavut). Same with Northern Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, BC, and Labrador. Northern SK went conservative, but there the progressive vote was near evenly split between the NDP and Liberals, allowing the Conservatives a win. My point? Indigenous people don’t vote conservative. And they are a rapidly growing constituency. Since 2006 the Indigenous population gas grown at 4 times the rate than the non-indigenous population. And there are large rural populations.

    • I’m very glad to hear that the indigenous population in Canada is rapidly growing. I don’t know what the stats are here in the U.S., but I suspect they are not as hopeful.

    • these days, ‘strong leader’ has become an oxymoron 🙂

  22. senecagriggs says

    Latest California pick up line:

    “Ya wanna come on up and see my electricity?”

  23. I just opened Internet Monk and a second tab opened up purporting to be an Internet Monk online survey from myownwayys.com. I do not think it is legit, anyone else know about this?

    • Nope. Maybe that means my adblocker is working.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        If you don’t have an adbolocker on your browser, GET ONE!

        My home system has an AdBlocker, my work system does not, and the difference is between moonless night and scorching day. The only problem is more and more websites have a gatekeeper which blocks entry wo anyone blocking ads.

        • I have an ad blocker, but as you say, more and more sites are denying access to those with ad blockers. I’ve noticed a dramatic increase of such sites in the last couple weeks. Mine has an option to temporarily disable for a particular site, but for some reason, it doesn’t always work.

    • I’ve never had a pop up ad appear on IMonk. You might want to run a virus scan.

  24. Daniel J., I just “got” the pic about “Jehovah’s Witness Final Exam”.

    “If you can knock on that door then you’ve earned your mansion with the 144,000.”

  25. I saw the Caesar Schmidtz video with no sound or text. Good to see that he walked away unscathed.

    We have restroom faucets, soap dispensers and paper towel machines that work automatically without being touched. What we really need is restroom doors that open and close on their own. Grocery stores have had them since the 1960’s. What’s the point of washing and drying one’s hands to then turn and grab a door handle with urine smeared all over it? (I realize you could open the door with the towel before throwing it away but again, there’s automated doors on the front of every store and library.)

  26. What happens when we detonate our back yard to get rid of cockroaches? Now we know.

    And what happens when we break out the dynamite to get rid of a whale washed ashore? We know that too.

    “What could POSSIBLY go wrong?”

    Shame about the Caddy, though.


    • Turns out the Caddy was an Oldsmobile.

      Here’s a follow-up on the exploding whale, 25 years later. Lots of fun. And better quality video.

    • Way back in my youth there was a guy who got fed up fighting moles. So he went the gasoline down the hole then a match method. Took out much of his and his neighbors back yards.[1] Plus started a minor fire under neighbors porch that he quickly put out.

      THEN he got to prepare for the talk with the neighbor.

      [1] Who could have know the moles would ignore property lines?

  27. the dark streets
    are even darker
    in the lonely rain

  28. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Regarding which is more lifelike, Waxworks Zuck or Meatspace Zuck:

    Zuckerwax, obviously.
    Much more lifelike.
    Because Zuckerberg strikes me as a High-Functioning Autistic.

    Autistic to the point that (as Zuckerbot in front of Congress) he dips seriously into The Uncanny Valley. And reading between the lines of a former colleague interviewed in TIME some months ago, he also shows another symptom of the Autism Spectrum: Hyperfocus ability, where all his being focuses on one goal — Getting Everyone Connected. Hyperfocus would also result in the Zuckerbot Uncanny Valley effect; he is so Hyperfocused that he’s on Planet Zuck outside our galaxy.

    And unlike Elon Musk (whose focus is broad, from cheap access to space to colonizing Mars to solarization to AI to electric vehicles and all the infrastructure needed to achieve these), Zuck has only one Big Idea to Hyperfocus on: Getting Everyone Connected via Social Media/Facebook. Which immediately led me to this thought experiment:

    ME: You have Everyone in the World Connected. Now what?
    ME. Okay. Now what?
    ME: And?

  29. Norma Cenva says

    Count me in as one of Edison’s detractors.
    New and spiffy widgets along with their patents bespeaks business acumen more that it does brilliance.
    Besides, only a cruel and amoral man would do what he did to several dogs and even an elephant in an attempt to discredit a competitor (Tesla).
    I’m guessing that he (Edison) would have done just as well as a ‘researcher’ at Auschwitz.

  30. Norma Cenva says

    I was also gobsmacked to read about ‘Woke Math’, the latest twaddle to come out of the never-land of leftist academics (the ones on the right who champion unregulated free-market capitalism are no better).

    Mathematics is The Queen of the Sciences.
    She’s beholden to none, and toes no line but her own.

  31. The “woke” math is, unfortunately, about more than just math.

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