Cleveland: Keeping Christmas at Home
Ramona: The War on Happy Holidays
Richard Day: Cold in Minnesota, and in the Hearts of Men
We live in interesting times, but everyone seems to be watching TV. Actors Andy Griffith and Ernest Borgnine recently died. Each man proved himself in serious roles, Griffith in A Face in the Crowd and Borgnine in Marty, but they were far better known for long-running comedic roles on television. Don Grady died, too. He was only 68, and was known for playing Robbie on My Three Sons, but apparently he was a serious and devoted musician.
I wonder how many of us will be better-known for our long-running comedic lives?
With bike share programs blooming, and so many people biking to work and even enjoying it, articles about automobiles vs cyclists vs pedestrians abound right now. The basic problem is that people are just about as law-abiding on bikes as they are in cars or on foot, and the foolhardy ones get all the attention. In the comment sections are the usual crude threats against cyclists by territorial drivers. I just defriended someone after reading that sort of comment on Facebook. [Read more]
Above is the official trailer for The Art of the Steal, which we watched last night. Below is a brief look at the artwork by some of the docents. The premise of the documentary is that Dr Barnes amassed a large collection of modern art before it was widely appreciated, and left specific instructions to leave his collection as the centerpiece of an educational institution. After he died, and after one devoted follower passed away many years later, though, forces in the art and charity industries like Annenberg, Pew and the Philadelphia Museum of Art moved in to subvert his wishes. [Read more]
After Beijing, Michael Phelps swore that he was done, finished with the grueling 400 meter Individual Medley. A day or so ago, Phelps dodged speculation about whether he would swim the 400IM again, even refusing to answer when he would shave his fu manchu mustache so as not to give away the time of his first event in the US Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha.
The 400IM was the first event today. You start with 100m Butterfly, and it is nice to get that over with because swimming Fly when you're tired is no fun at all. Then you swim 100m Backstroke. Back lets you breathe a lot more, but isn't quite as restful as it seems in Esther Williams flicks because you have to kick like blazes. Then comes 100m Breaststroke, which to my mind is even more grueling than Fly, and your legs are already burning. And finally you can open up with 100m crawl, the fastest stroke, if your arms aren't already full of
lead lactic acid. I have swum a 200IM, but I've never even attempted the 400.
Phelps, Chase Kalisz and Kevin Webster represented the North Baltimore Aquatics Club, where I swim, so it was fun to track them on the Omega Timing site. Webster looks to be about 23, and Kalisz is 18. I wondered if Kalisz was one of those kids zooming by in the afternoon practices, but apparently he swims in the mornings. [Read more]
Competitive Swimming is one of the obscure sports I follow. Swimmer's Daily posted this video dedicated to the Korean swimmer Park Tae-Hwan. I instantly recognized the tune from the Marine Boy anime I watched as a child, and indeed the song is titled Marine Boy, though with quite different lyrics than I recall:
Hi, flip over that London town
The marine boy yo is coming out
Everyone move out of the way, new record
Set a record, a glorious venture
Higher, faster, further, let’s go
Marine Boy is a brave hero
Conquest a victory, the best in the world is going
Let’s go Marine Boy [Read more]
In response to a The Truth About Cars article on the Volt, one commenter, then two, claimed that Leaf sales have fallen flat while the Volt is selling comparatively well. To my eyes, the Leaf is as sound a car as the Volt, so I wondered if range anxiety was keeping buyers away from the EV.
On Father's Day, a Bloomberg headline read, Nissan Sees Leaf Sales Doubling as Factory Begins Production, which would seem to contradict the TTAC commenters, but once past the headline, I read: [Read more]
Leaf sales have dropped the past two months, trailing General Motors Co. (GM)’s rechargeable Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Motor Corp. (7203)’s plug-in Prius in May. Volt deliveries more than tripled to 1,680 units in May, while Leaf sales fell 55 percent to 510. The Leaf is made in a single plant in Japan.
“We’ve had to fulfill demand from one plant globally,” Krueger said. “Once we localize it in December, the second half of the fiscal year is when we’ll see most of the supply, demand be available.”
The Obama administration has also been a major champion for plug-in electric vehicles and hybrids. It has pushed for even higher plug-in vehicle subsidies and incentives on the supply side and consumer demand side of the equation to get the fledgling industry flying on its own. Those plus CAFE requirements – not to mention European legislation beyond the purview of the American president – are expected to be key motivation in developing more electrified automotive solutions in coming years, but Romney said he sees failure written on the EV wall already.
The Obama-led government is, Romney said, trying to "to force a market to adopt a technology that people aren't interested in."
With my plantar muscles feeling better, I've been running a two mile route past a few apartment complexes and through a new development of 3,000 SF single family houses—perhaps 300 of them. A sign indicates that they sell in the $500,000s, but asking prices actually range from $544,990 to $619,990. There are no full-grown trees yet, but down in the hollows are hundreds of saplings tied to stakes and protected from deer with plastic netting. Once grown they should buffer the community from the main thoroughfare. There are a few more houses complete every time I run through, a few more families settled in, a few more kids riding bikes and scooters on the sidewalks. One owner has added, or opted for, a full complement of photovoltaic panels on his South-facing roof.
Back at home I read articles like Real Homes: Small, frugal, and green, in which, "Recent college graduate Ella Jenkins lives with her parents while she builds her 103-square-foot home in their yard." [Read more]
You may be familiar with the theories of military historian and conservative political adviser William S Lind, that warfare has undergone several major transformations, or generations, since the formation of nation-states.
Very briefly, First Generation, or Formation Warfare (1GW) is where armies line up in formation and fire at each other. Second Generation, or Trench Warfare (2GW) is where armies use trenches as cover from massed firepower. Third Generation, or Maneuver Warfare (3GW) is where armies exploit machinery to maneuver much more quickly than the opponent. And Fourth Generation or, Insurgent Warfare (4GW) applies asymmetrical strategy and tactics against a superior conventional military force, intending to sap the opponent nation's political will to fight. [Read more]
My wife packed a chef salad for lunch—two cups—and I've eaten most of it. With the leftover chicken and lettuce, she included little cherry tomatoes that giggle as they dodge my fork. I eat them just before chasing the garbanzo beans around the bottom of the bowl. Also called chickpeas, they look like tiny brains and taste about like I'd expect brains to taste after soaking in two tablespoons of oil and vinegar. Then I get a peach Stonyfield Farm yogurt, a half cup of red grapes and a 3 1/4" apple. I eat much better when she's in town.
I'm measuring what I eat so I can enter it on LoseIt, a website designed as a sort of group hug for dieters. In, The Perfected Self, David Freedman discusses his brother Dan's diet, BF Skinner, behavior modification, people that don't like Skinner and prefer cognitive therapy, fat farms, Weight Watchers and eventually sites like LoseIt. I never took Intro to Psychology, but my roommates did, so I at least heard about Skinner and his boxes while they were studying. [Read more]