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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Your future: 54.5 miles per gallon

Yesterday, the Obama administration made it official. The new target for gasoline mileage for 2025 is 54.5 miles per gallon. Though the usual stark-raving-mad lunatics in Congress are deeply offended by something so sensible and call the new rules “burdensome” (among other things), the auto industry stopped fighting and cooperated. They’re on board. Why? Partly, […]

Rowdy chickens

Can you espy the chicken in this photo? The new generation of chickens seem to be rowdier and more inquisitive than the previous generation. Sister Josephine, who I thought was rather mousy when she was young, has taken to escaping, daily, from inside the fence. I still have not caught her in the act to […]

La bonne cuisine

If you buy something at the mall, it’s only half a thrill — the thrill of acquisition. If you buy something at a second-hand shop, it’s the full thrill — the thrill of acquisition plus the thrill of the hunt. Because you never know what you’re going to find at a second-hand shop. This week, […]

An Amish well bucket

It looks like a rocket, but it’s a well bucket. If a big storm or other crisis kept the power off for a long time, how would you get water? Everyone should have some containers of water tucked away for relatively short outages, but storage is not a good solution if for some reason the […]

An Irishman speaks up for America

Michael D. Higgins, president of Ireland Last year, when Michael D. Higgins was elected president of Ireland, I wrote a post about how delightful it is that there are countries in the world capable of electing poets for president. Higgins promised to govern Ireland from principles other than wealth. Higgins used to live in the […]

Cultural continuity

When I was a young’un in the 1950s, growing up in the farmland of the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina, one of my uncles operated a country store. Every day, local menfolk, especially farmers, would congregate there. If it was winter, they’d sit around the stove. If it was summer, they’d sit around the fan. […]

Julian Assange

“Facebook is the most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented.” — Julian Assange Regular readers of this blog know that one of my constant refrains is that Americans are now the most propagandized people in the world. Whenever I say this, I also say that I’m not just throwing a rhetorical grenade. I […]

Brother Evangeline

From early on, we had our suspicions about Sister Evangeline. She had large feet, and she grew unusually fast. Still, she was gentle enough, though she didn’t like to be petted like the other hens. And she did not have the flashy comb that roosters (or so I thought) are supposed to have. The first […]

Persimmons, volunteering

I have carefully protected the four native persimmon trees that volunteered around the edges of the yard. They’re about eight feet tall now. This year, two of them are bearing. There are lots of wild persimmons along the edges of local woods, but they’re usually so surrounded by undergrowth and tangle that it’s hard to […]

Automobile safety

NASA Multimedia Gallery, released for public use When I was a child in the 1950s, cars were incredibly unsafe. No one had ever seen a safe car, and people were only just beginning to imagine safe cars. It was very common in those days to hear of fatal wrecks, and all too often those wrecks […]