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Monthly Archives: February 2022

Country comfort food

Biscuits are a misdemeanor. Fried biscuits are a felony. The fact that it’s February is justification enough for comfort food. But the parlous condition of the world at the moment, with Putin (hopefully) knocked back onto his heels in Ukraine, is even more justification. Pinto beans, biscuits, and slaw are a Southern staple. Onions are […]

The Urkainian national anthem

The historian Heather Cox Richardson, in her daily post on Facebook, writes this morning: “The Ukrainian people have done far more than hold off Putin’s horrific attack on their country. Their refusal to permit a corrupt oligarch to take over their homeland and replace their democracy with authoritarianism has inspired the people of democracies around […]

The new LGBT numbers

Augustine of Hippo with his hair on fire. Philippe de Champaigne, circa 1645. Source: Wikimedia Commons. A new Gallup poll includes a surprising new statistic. That is that 20.8 percent of Generation Z, defined as those born between 1997 and 2012, identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. What’s surprising is that this change is […]

Beneath the tips of the iceberg

Jill Stein (1) and Michael Flynn (2) with Vladimir Putin (3), December 10, 2015. Source: Wikimedia Commons. The historian Heather Cox Richardson, in her daily post this morning on Facebook, is clear about the right-wing plan: “Today’s invasion of democratic Ukraine by authoritarian Putin is important. It not only has broken a long period of […]

‘Typewriters are haunted’

Tom Hanks in California Typewriter ⬆︎ Twenty years ago, typewriters were headed toward extinction. No new typewriters of any quality were being made. The surviving typewriters were deteriorating, unused and unloved, and many were being junked. Around 2010, typewriters started making a comeback, particularly among young people who were born after the Golden Age of […]

The academic left

Those of us who identify with the left are, to a remarkable degree, intellectually on our own. We read a lot, certainly, including the output of liberal and even leftist pundits. We may be members of the Democratic Party’s coalition, but the Democratic coalition includes a broad range of political interests, and thus the party […]

New York Times v. Palin (updated at end)

Source: Wikimedia Commons It’s easy to see what right-wingers are up to here. They want a lower court decision that they can take to the U.S. Supreme Court so that the Supreme Court can change the legal standard used in libel cases, thereby clamping down on the First Amendment. Then, as the right-wing mind sees […]

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde: A Life. Matthew Sturgis. Alfred A. Knopf, 2021. 838 pages. It’s an important question, and there probably are many answers: A hundred and twenty years after his death, why does the life of Oscar Wilde still matter, and why does Wilde interest us so much today? This is the second vast biography in […]

Math education

A rare desktop scientific calculator (Victor Model 230), circa 1978. It works perfectly, though it resolves to only seven decimal places. If I had children or grandchildren (I don’t), I would take a very keen interest in math education. Things have changed since I was young, and for the better, I think. I was never […]

Bitcoin, schmitcoin

A very small, modest, home-size “mining” rig for bitcoin. Source: Wikimedia Commons. We are surrounded by crazy people and fanatics. Fanaticism, of course, is found in many varieties. Some varieties are much more dangerous than others. Here’s my list of the top three categories of crazy people and fanatics, ordered by the danger they pose […]