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Monthly Archives: June 2023


Augustus: First Emperor of Rome. Adrian Goldsworthy, Yale University Press, 2014. 598 pages. I’m almost ashamed of my interest in Rome. The more I read about Rome, the more distasteful the Roman story becomes. But Augustus, at least, was in pre-Christian Rome (born 63 BC, died 14 AD), and therefore wasn’t responsible for any of […]

Smoke alarms with better manners?

The typical smoke alarm is a low-tech device designed to be as unbearably irritating as possible. Humidity can trigger them. Few things are more annoying than their low-battery chirp. If a smoke alarm malfunctions, it always will be in the middle of the night. One night last week, around 3 a.m., the smoke alarm on […]

The mendacity of the punditry

Not long ago, I made the claim here that all conservative discourse is derp and always has been derp. You’ll always find a fallacy in conservative discourse. Sometimes the fallacies are the unintentional errors of defective conservative minds, and sometimes they’re sly attempts to deceive us. This is one of the reasons why conservative propaganda […]

The things we’re about to learn

For those of us who have been saying for years that Trump is going to prison, this is no surprise. The wait has been miserable. But surely it’s safe to assume that the U.S. Department of Justice knows what it’s doing. And no doubt the DOJ has been particularly cautious and meticulous in a case […]

The Oxford Murders

Elijah Wood and John Hurt, set in Oxford in 1993 While beating through the bush for something to watch, I came across “The Oxford Murders,” on Hulu. The film was made in 2008. It’s set in Oxford in 1993. A mystery with Elijah Wood, John Hurt, and an Oxford setting? Of course I was going […]

The new and the good as new

Western Electric Model 302 telephone (1937-1955). The receiver, by the way, is a Collins 75A-4 (1955). It uses vacuum tubes — lots of them. Both the telephone and the receiver still work! It blows my mind how much technological change I’ve seen in my lifetime. I love the old stuff as much as the new. […]

Sardines, well disguised

Pea and sardine burgers with fresh herbs; potato salad with fresh dill A week or so ago, I mentioned having acquired a dozen tins of nice, clean, Norwegian sardines, skinless and boneless and packed in olive oil. I had the idea of using them in burgers that are partly sardines and partly legumes. They’re good! […]

Stunning Republican ineptitude

Source: Wikimedia Commons I suspect, in retrospect, that the extension of the debt ceiling was always going to end the way it ended. I also suspect that the media and the political class were in cahoots and doing their best to make high drama out of nothing, to get the clicks and the attention. But […]