Category Archive 'Uncategorized'
31 Mar 2015

General Patton Agreed

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70YearsLate

These days, the Russian aggression against Ukraine is causing NATO maneuvers all over Central Europe in an effort to send a message to Vladimir Putin. Upon arriving in the Czech Republic, US soldiers were welcomed with this sign.

31 Mar 2015

Coyote Spotted on Roof of Bar in Queens

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NYCCoyote

New York Daily News: Coyote seen on roof of bar in Long Island City, Queens.

Hat tip to Lisa Schiffren.

31 Mar 2015

Andrew Sullivan: “Blogging Nearly Killed Me!”

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andrew-sullivan-sad

Poor Andrew quit, he tells us, because grossing seven figures a year while being his own boss was so terrible a burden that it was not worth it.

CNN Money:

“The truth is, I had to stop primarily because it was killing me,” Sullivan said Sunday night at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan. “I used to joke that if blogging does kill someone, I would be the first to find out.”

He described the grueling pace that he maintained along with a small editorial staff.

“This is 40 posts a day — every 20 minutes, seven days a week,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan has been lying low since he penned his farewell post for “The Dish,” the politics and culture blog he founded in 2000. When CNNMoney requested an interview earlier this month, Sullivan declined, saying he was “in detox from media for a while.”

In announcing his retirement from blogging in January, Sullivan cited “increasing health challenges.” He said those health struggles weren’t related to the HIV he’s lived with for more than 20 years, but rather the stress of a profession that he helped make mainstream.

On Sunday, while speaking to veteran journalist Jeff Greenfield, Sullivan said that the “crushing” workload was only part of what made his job so overwhelming. The experience, Sullivan said, was often dehumanizing.
“Here’s what I would say: I spent a decade of my life, spending around seven hours a day in intimate conversation with around 70,000 to 100,000 people every day, ” Sullivan said. “And inevitably, for those seven hours or more, I was not spending time with any actual human being, with a face and a body and a mind and a soul.”

Sullivan said the job resulted in lost friendships and minimal contact with his family. He said his husband, whom Sullivan married in 2007, called himself a “blog widow.”

No longer tethered to his computer, Sullivan said he’s resolved to exercise and meditate each day, and to get eight hours of sleep. He expressed relief that he wasn’t forced to cover the recent controversy over Hillary Clinton’s emails.

“I couldn’t imagine blogging the next election,” he said. “I will not spend another minute of my time writing about the Clintons. Period. Or the Bushes.”

Andrew, of course, was an extremely prolific and (allowing for his left-wing derangement and common intellectual dishonesty) high quality blogger. Andrew’s own editorials were usually claptrap, but he was an excellent editor and anthologist.

40 blog posts a day is a lot, probably more than anyone really needs, but Andrew had the professional assistance of a paid staff of at least four, plus several part-timers and usually one or more interns. I’ve often thought that I could do a pretty competitive big-time job of blogging if I had half a dozen assistants combing through the web for me all day, and all I had to do was dash off the occasional think piece along with titles and opening lines.

I’m afraid I don’t buy the “it was all too exhausting” story. Andrew obviously loves blogging. He is an attention junkie and a news, politics, and cutural obsessive.

What I think must have happened is, that as Andrew arrived at the beginning of his third year of trying to make a go of it as an independent blogger supported by reader subscriptions, and it was time for Andrew’s readers to pony up again, the subscription and renewal rate (which Andrew usually like to boast about), this year started falling off. Andrew looked at his wall, and saw “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.”

Experiments like Andrew’s thrive on being a hot new thing. Even a talented blogger like Andrew Sullivan will, after three years, have done as much new as he can do. My guess is that subscriptions began going down, and Andrew thought long and hard, and realized (not unintelligently) that there was nothing he could do, the future was only going to go one way. So Andrew decided to pull the plug while he still looked successful, before everyone caught wise and recognized that the game was up. Better to go out voluntarily a winner, than to be seen to lose.

My own guess is that Andrew will be back blogging again before very long, just as soon as he can put together a paying gig. The real question I have is: Will the logical Republican Revolution starting in 2016 make Andrew turn his coat around again? Will the next new Andrew be Republican and conservative?

31 Mar 2015

Old English Medical Recipe Kills Bacteria as Well as Modern Antibiotic

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AngloSaxonRecipe
Bald’s Leechbook, British Library (Royal 12 D xvii)).

Scientists recently experimented with a recipe from Bald’s Leechbook aka Medicinale Anglicum an Old English medical text probably compiled in the ninth-century and found that a compound recommended for a common eye infection worked just as well as the modern antibiotic used to treat Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

New Scientist:

The project was born when a microbiologist at the University of Nottingham, UK, got talking to an Anglo Saxon scholar. They decided to test a recipe from an Old English medical compendium called Bald’s Leechbook, housed in the British Library. …

Sourcing authentic ingredients was a major challenge, says Freya Harrison, the microbiologist. They had to hope for the best with the leeks and garlic because modern crop varieties are likely to be quite different to ancient ones – even those branded as heritage. For the wine they used an organic vintage from a historic English vineyard.

As “brass vessels” would be hard to sterilise – and expensive – they used glass bottles with squares of brass sheet immersed in the mixture. Bullocks gall was easy, though, as cow’s bile salts are sold as a supplement for people who have had their gall bladders removed.

After nine days of stewing, the potion had killed all the soil bacteria introduced by the leek and garlic. “It was self-sterilising,” says Harrison. “That was the first inkling that this crazy idea just might have some use.”

A side effect was that it made the lab smell of garlic. “It was not unpleasant,” says Harrison. “It’s all edible stuff. Everyone thought we were making lunch.”

The potion was tested on scraps of skin taken from mice infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This is an antibiotic-resistant version of the bacteria that causes styes, more commonly known as the hospital superbug MRSA. The potion killed 90 per cent of the bacteria. Vancomycin, the antibiotic generally used for MRSA, killed about the same proportion when it was added to the skin scraps. …

It wouldn’t be the first modern drug to be derived from ancient manuscripts – the widely used antimalarial drug artemisinin was discovered by scouring historical Chinese medical texts.

31 Mar 2015

The American Situation

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ObamaDoor

30 Mar 2015

British Store

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DiscountTents

Hat tip to Rafael Heydel-Mankoo.

30 Mar 2015

How the Universe Will End

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29 Mar 2015

The Ballad of Holland Island House

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HollandIslandHouse

Wikipedia:

Holland Island was originally settled in the 1600s, taking its name from early colonist Daniel Holland, the original purchaser of the property from the Dorchester County Sheriff. By 1850, the first community of fishing and farming families developed on the island. By 1910, the island had about 360 residents, making it one of the largest inhabited islands in the Chesapeake Bay. The island community had 70 homes, stores and other buildings. It had its own post office, two-room school with two teachers, a church, baseball team, community center, and a doctor. The islanders supported themselves mainly by dredging for oysters, fishing for shad and crabbing. Their fleet of workboats included 41 skipjacks, 10 schooners and 36 bugeyes, some of which were built on the island.

The wind and tide began to seriously erode the west side of the island, where most of the houses were located, in 1914. This forced the inhabitants to move to the mainland. Many disassembled their houses and other structures and took them to the mainland, predominantly Crisfield. Attempts to protect the island by building stone walls were unsuccessful. The last family left the island in 1918, when a tropical storm damaged the island’s church. A few of the former residents continued living on the island during the fishing season until 1922, when the church was moved to Fairmount, Maryland. …

In October 2010, the last remaining house on Holland Island, built in 1888, collapsed.

The land of the island has been subsiding as a result of post-glacial rebound, the return to normal of bulges created by the weight of glaciers elsewhere during the last ice age. This process has caused a major loss of land on the island. Like other Chesapeake Bay islands, Holland Island is primarily made up of clay and silt, not rock. The western ridge of the island is very exposed to waves in the bay, making it prone to erosion as well. The island’s size has been reduced by half, from 160 acres (0.65 km2) in 1915 to 80 acres (0.32 km2) in 2005.

Most of the remaining land on the island is now marsh,[3] and at high tide the island is underwater.

29 Mar 2015

My Wife’s Jewish Great-Grandmother Stands Atop the Maine State House

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ClaraMaine
The statue of Minerva had suffered a lot of weather damage, and required re-gilding last year.

Clara Mayerovich arrived in Boston in the Summer of 1905 to join her immigrant husband Samuel who was already resident in the United States, operating his own business as a metal fabricator and coach builder. Clara’s departure from Odessa was precipitated by the outbreak of Revolution and associated Jewish pogroms in that city.

Within four years, Sam Mayerovich was working with sculptor William Clark Noble on a 15′(4.572 m.) statue of the Goddess Minerva for the dome of the newly remodeled Maine State House. Clara was the model.

It’s difficult to contend that America does not have a tradition of offering unusual opportunities to immigrants.

My wife Karen was looking at the old newspaper articles the other day, and wrote up the whole story.

ClaraMaine2

29 Mar 2015

How Many Statists?

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StatistsLightbulb

Hat tip to Jim Harberson.

28 Mar 2015

More on the Clarkson Firing

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JeremyClarkson

James May and Richard Hammond are going wherever Clarkson goes. Daily Mail

James Delingpole argues that “the wankerati” at the BBC shot themselves in the foot by firing Clarkson.

[T]ill Clarkson’s nemesis BBC Controller of TV Danny Cohen came along, the BBC appears instinctively to have understood his value. Not his commercial value (the BBC likes to think it’s above such vulgarities) but rather his propaganda value. Top Gear was the BBC’s equivalent of a Potemkin Village or – a bit of Clarksonesque bad taste here, why not? – those films the Nazis used to make of jolly, well-fed Jews playing in orchestras and sitting in cafes near their delightful new living quarters in the Warsaw Ghetto. Any time unhelpful people started banging on about the BBC’s entrenched left-wing bias and maddening political correctness, all the Beeb had to do was point at the self-evidently notleft-wing and not PC Top Gear as proof of the contrary.

Till the BBC sacked Clarkson, my view was that they were going to get away this game for many years hence. But now I am not so sure.

Over a million people signed that petition urging the BBC to reinstate Clarkson. A fair proportion of them, I suspect, will belong to precisely that demographic the BBC finds most embarrassing: white, obviously; probably Thatcherite in outlook, but quite fond of Nigel Farage; highly sceptical of “global warming”; petrolheads, again obviously; not averse to telling the odd racist joke when they’re with their mates, not so much because they have anything against “coloured” people (as they probably call them, not knowing the correct term) but more as a reaction against political correctness; might not have gone to “uni” because they could tell it was a complete waste of time. People who – at least in the BBC’s Weltanschauung – are pretty much beyond the pale.

Unfortunately for the BBC, however, these disgusting, frightful people, very few of whom live anywhere civilised like North London or have ever knowingly eaten cavolo nero, represent a much larger percentage of the population than any of the worthy groups it would prefer to cater to (the “Asian” community; gay people; disabled people; Roma; environmentalists; activists; etc). While Top Gear was on – the modern equivalent of “bread and circuses” – this mob were kept at bay. But with Top Gear gone, they may incline to feel that they have been cheated – like a serially abused child whose one and only toy has finally snatched away from him by his prissy, unloving, perma-stubbled, tofu-eating stepfather.

In short, for many years the BBC has been living a lie. It has pretended – as its Charter requires of it – that it’s for everyone when really it has continually and ruthlessly shut out any presenters, programmes or opinions which don’t fit into its narrow, metropolitan, left-liberal narrative. And what the Clarkson sacking has done is brought this issue to a head. Also – a bit like Gamergate did for gamers – it has woken large numbers of people who hadn’t hitherto thought of themselves as particularly political into an appreciation of how badly they’ve been conned and abused by a narrow, self-selecting and very political elite who despise them.

—————————

Ron Liddle, at the Spectator, agrees:

[W]hatever the rights or wrongs of this latest ‘fracas’, the BBC was uncomfortable with him. It wanted him out. It was torn a little by the fact that – again almost uniquely for a BBC star – he was genuinely popular, and popular with a section of the audience the BBC normally fails to reach – ie British people who are not PC neurotics. Yes, millions and millions and millions of people. But collectively it loathed his politics. And that is really why he has gone. And so who is left at the BBC who isn’t left?

28 Mar 2015

Shooting the Krause Werke .45 Luger

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45Luger

If you have deep pockets, Rock Island Auctions will be auctioning one of these on April 25th.

27 Mar 2015

24 Inappropriate, But Real, Children’s Books

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27 Mar 2015

Webley & Scott May Reproduce the Old Mark VI

WebleyVI
The Webley Mark VI .455 revolver, used by British officers from 1915 to 1963.

Back when I was in high school, you used to be able to buy great, big, enormous hand-filling Webley pistols by mail order from Stoeger and other vendors for peanuts. Today, they have become collectible and are getting to be expensive.

I just learned today that Webley & Scott, Gunmakers are offering to build a replica if 1000 enthusiasts will put down a deposit of $100. The rub is that Webley & Scott are not presently telling us what the final price is going to be. Rumors are that it will be roughly $800.

If you absolutely have to have one of these, Captain Carruthers, you can sign up here.

Personally, I think they should reproduce the extremely cool Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver, the same arm that the wicked Mary Astor used to shoot Miles Archer in The Maltese Falcon.

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