This liberal douchebag is my Yale classmate David Quammen. Quammen can write very well. Quammen can do a terrific job of research. He just can’t think straight. He can’t make sensible judgements because his head is stuffed full of stupidity.
Quammen is currently poised to make a potfull of money. He is a long-time Nature writer, and has recently made a personal specialty of publishing books on zoonotic diseases, diseases like rabies, Ebola, influenza, West Nile, which originate in wild animals and then are transmitted to humans. He’s got a new book, Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus, coming out on October 20th, which could hardly be better timed to sell like hotcakes.
But, when you are deciding whether or not to buy David Quammen’s latest screed, first note the perspective that the author recently shared with NPR:
Human behavior is causing this problem. More and more, we’re going into wild, diverse ecosystems around the world, especially tropical forests.
Some scientists believe that each individual species of animal, plant, bacterium and fungus in these places carries at least one unique virus, maybe even 10 of them.
We, humans, go into those wild ecosystems. We cut down trees. We build mines, roads and villages. We kill the animals and eat them. Or we capture them and transport them around the world.
In doing that, we expose ourselves to all these viruses living around the world. That gives the viruses the opportunity to spill over into humans. Then in some cases, once the virus makes that first spillover, it discovers that it might be highly transmissible in humans. Then you might have an epidemic or a pandemic.
Dave Quammen is a typical 1960s Yale genius. You can’t isolate or quarantine Liberia during an epidemic of an extraordinarily dangerous, usually lethal, disease, no, no, no! It would never work and besides, it would be WRONG. But you can, tra-la! isolate the natural world generally, and especially all tropical wildernesses, from all human economic activity, residence, or new colonization. The latter is perfectly feasible. Right, Dave!
Friedrich Nietzsche, the philosopher thought to have died of syphilis caught from prostitutes, was in fact the victim of a posthumous smear campaign by anti-Nazis, according to new research.
A study of medical records has found that, far from suffering a sexually-transmitted disease which drove him mad, Nietzsche almost certainly died of brain cancer.
The doctor who has carried out the study claims that the universally-accepted story of Nietzsche having caught syphilis from prostitutes was actually concocted after the Second World War by Wilhelm Lange-Eichbaum, an academic who was one of Nietzsche’s most vociferous critics. It was then adopted as fact by intellectuals who were keen to demolish the reputation of Nietzsche, whose idea of a “Superman” was used to underpin Nazism.
The new research was carried out by Dr Leonard Sax, the director of the Montgomery Centre for Research in Child Development in Maryland, America. Dr Sax made his discovery after studying accounts of Nietzsche’s collapse with dementia in 1889.
Despite Andrew’s long-demonstrated canine love for Barack Obama, Obama’s recent decision to bomb ISIS has seriously offended Andrew’s Neville-Chamberlain-esque principles, and the Chosen One is coming in for a stern scolding these days from his disappointed admirer.
One particularly penetrating observation leapt out at me. After airily asserting that defeating the Sunni Insurrection was beyond our powers, Andrew advised allowing the Middle Eastern atrocities to proceed. In his view, the successful erection of the new Caliphate would have no consequences affecting Europe or the United States, and would naturally simply diminish to the status of a “regional conflagration.” If (and when) Iran proceeded to intervene in the conflict, we should hope “both sides lose,” and perhaps “intervene from a distance” (which must mean: bomb). According to Andrew: “Our real interest is in bolstering the one stable power in the region, which is Iran.”
Now, there is foreign policy analysis at its finest. The same United States which defeated the German Army and the Japanese Navy cannot possibly defeat 10,000 sand monkey belligerents armed with AKs and driving new Toyotas. And our real interest (who knew?) lies in supporting the Shiite fanatics and long-time sponsors of terrorism in Iran who have made hatred of America and the West their regime’s very raison d’être since the time of Jimmy Carter.
How Andrew’s most admired regime maintains its stability.
Kevin Williamson wrote a terrific essay debunking the standard communist propaganda about inequality purveyed by Paul Krugman.
I live in the same city as Donald Trump, so the existence of rich people with toxic taste is not exactly a Muppet News Flash for me. But poor people are not poor because rich people are rich, nor vice versa. Very poor people are generally poor because they do not have jobs, and taking away Thurston Howell III’s second yacht is not going to secure work for them. Nobody has ever been able to satisfactorily answer the question for me: How would making Donald Trump less rich make anybody else better off?
There is, obviously, one direct answer to that question, which is that making Trump less rich by seizing his property and giving it to somebody else would make the recipients better off, and that is true. But the Left does not generally make that straightforward argument for seizing property. Rather, they treat “inequality” as though it were an active roaming malice on the economic landscape, and argue that incomes are stagnant at the lower end of the range because too great a “share of national income” — and there’s a whole Burkina Faso’s worth of illiteracy in that phrase — went to earners at the top. It simply is not the case that if Lloyd Blankfein makes a hundred grand less next year, then there’s $100,000 sitting on shelf somewhere waiting to become part of some unemployed guy in Toledo’s “share of the national income.” Income isn’t a bag of jellybeans that gets passed around.
Further, if your assumption here is that this is about redistribution, then you should want the billionaires’ incomes to go up, not down: The more money they make, the more taxes they pay, and the more money you have to give to the people you want to give money to, e.g., overpaid, lazy, porn-addicted bureaucrats.
An amateur metal detectorist has unearthed one of the largest hoards of Roman coins ever found in Britain.
Laurence Egerton, 51, made the discovery as he explored land near Seaton, in East Devon – and he was so concerned someone would steal it, he camped out for three nights while archaeologists excavated the site.
Dubbed Seaton Down Hoard, the collection of 22,000 copper-alloy coins is thought to have been buried by a private individual or soldier for safe keeping, but was never recovered.
At the time the hoard was buried, it would have amounted to four gold coins, or solidi, which would have provided the ration of two soldiers for one year, or a worker’s pay for two years. …
‘The amount of money in this hoard would at some points have been the equivalent to a soldier’s total salary for two years; at other dates it would have bought the services of a skilled craftsmen for perhaps 80 days; it could buy maybe 1,000 or so pints of Gallic beer (or double quantities of Egyptian beer, which wasn’t so good) or enough grain to feed someone for two years or so.
‘If you try to turn any of those into modern figures, then, it’s clearly not the sort of fortune that would allow you to retire comfortably or buy a nice country estate; on the other hand, in a world where most people were living close to subsistence level and would have few if any savings, it’s pretty impressive that someone had amassed enough money to live on for a year or so.’
The Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) in Exeter, which already houses a large collection of local Romano-British objects, has launched a fundraising campaign to purchase the coins.
Mr Egerton originally made the discovery in November 2013, while operating under licence on private land near the previously excavated site of a Roman villa at Honeyditches in East Devon.
The coins were buried in a pit, and may have once been held in a bag, which did not survive.
The hoard was excavated by a team of archaeologists, and were cleaned so they could be identified by experts at the British Museum.
This headdress or crown was found on the head of a warrior buried with his sword and shield. It is made from two sheets of bronze held together with rivets. The bronze band which went around the head is decorated with La Tène-style patterns. The metal was worn directly on the head and not padded or strengthened with leather; when found impressions of human hair were left in the corrosion on the inner surface.
Also found in the grave were: an iron sword with bronze scabbard fittings and suspension rings for holding the sword on a belt; bronze parts from a wooden shield, and a bronze brooch decorated with applied coral studs.
The Guardian reports (along with some major up-sucking to the poofters) a token expression of actual conservatism by Bristish PM David Cameron.
Schools should teach pupils mainly in imperial and not metric measurements, David Cameron has said.
Four decades since metres and litres replaced yards and pints on the curriculum, the prime minister suggested he would prefer to see a return to the old system.
“I think I’d still go for pounds and ounces, yes I do,” Cameron told BBC2’s Newsnight when asked which should be taught predominantly.
The present curriculum, which Tory ministers have said they will skew towards imperial measures, requires only that pupils “understand and use approximate equivalences between metric units and common imperial units such as inches, pounds and pints”.
But, restoring Imperial measure, and particularly restoring the Imperial pint, is nonetheless a highly worthy goal, as Simon Berry once argued in the Spectator.
The imperial pint makes for a perfect-sized bottle. You get four proper-sized glasses from it — as opposed to six from a bottle, or three from a half-bottle. Champagne is designed to be shared, preferably with one other person. Six glasses between two are — if you’re carrying on to another bottle with dinner — too much. However, three glasses are certainly too little to share between two people: one for me, one for you, and a dribble for us both to finish? That’s just mean, and the one thing you should never associate with champagne is meanness.
The imperial pint was Churchill’s favourite way of drinking his beloved Pol Roger — there’s even one proudly displayed in the Cabinet War Rooms (which we supplied from the Berry Bros & Rudd private reserves). I also associate the pint with Duff Cooper. In 1953, in his memoir Old Men Forget, he writes: ‘I ordered an imperial pint of champagne, that admirable measure which like so many good things has disappeared from the world.’ He is remembering a bleak Sunday night in the early stages of the first world war, when he was dining alone at his club, due to return to his army training camp and overcome by ‘a great cloud of depression’. But the pint bottle and a copy of Through the Looking-Glass accompanied him through his dinner, and ‘as by enchantment my melancholy left me and I knew that I should not be unhappy again’.