What I learned this week, November 18, 2022

The Time Traveler of Paranormal Percussion, with Clyde Casey New Orleans, Louisiana

Physics explains why time passes faster as you age

The chronological passage of the hours, days, and years on clocks and calendars is a steady, measurable phenomenon. Yet our perception of time shifts constantly, depending on the activities we’re engaged in, our age, and even how much rest we get.

Why It Was Easier to Be Skinny in the 1980s

A new study finds that people today who eat and exercise the same amount as people 20 years ago are still fatter.

Time Exposure, Night, Downtown Dallas, Ross and Olive

How To Teach Your Brain Something It Won’t Forget A Week Later

Cramming got you through college, but it’s probably paying diminishing returns in your career. Here’s the scientific reason why.

The Universal Flow has led you to this exact moment in time and space.

Mind-altering South American brew causes adverse side effects, study says.

Ayahuasca is a psychoactive, or hallucinogenic, plant-based tea native to the Amazon, where it has a centuries-long history of healing use in traditional medicine, according to the article.

But contemporary ritual use of ayahuasca has been expanding worldwide for mental health purposes and spiritual and personal growth.

Loving Oil and Gas, Dallas, Texas

Tap Oil Fields, Not Our Emergency Reserves, to Lower Energy Prices.

Our nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is running dangerously low. New statistics released indicate our national emergency oil stockpile, which is intended to protect the United States from unexpected and severe supply disruptions, has hit another historic low. It’s a dangerous point for the United States, and even worse, it’s self-inflicted.

‘No more drilling,’ Biden makes apparent pledge to end fossil fuel extraction in the U.S.

Massive flock of sheep has been walking in a circle for 12 days straight in China.

Dozens of sheep have been eerily walking around in a circle for 12 days straight in northern China’s Inner Mongolia region.

The bizarre behavior, captured on surveillance video, shows the large flock continuously marching clockwise in a nearly perfect circle on a farm.

detail from the LIghtning’s Bride – Elliott Hundley

The Lightning Rod

After having done her stalwart best for the Covid Crusade for more than two years – demonizing those who refused to get the vaccination or wear masks everywhere, or see our children locked out of school, or who suggested that ivermectin or chloroquine might alleviate the symptoms – Professor Oster now is suggesting that … really, it was all just a silly misunderstanding, she and her pals just got carried away but they meant well and didn’t know anything for certain, and why can’t we all just all forgive and forget?

More I learned this week, October 29, 2022

Creepy scene through a shop window, Denton, Texas

Lockdowns: The Great Gaslighting

More than two years since the lockdowns of 2020, the political mainstream, particularly on the left, is just beginning to realize that the response to Covid was an unprecedented catastrophe.

Fountainhead, Charles Long, Northpark Center Dallas, Texas

How the surging U.S. dollar is making it almost impossible to afford anything in countries around the world

I’m old – I remember all this from before. It does not end well.

St. George and the Dragon John Mills, Bronze, orig. Plaster Windsor Court Hotel, New Orleans

How to Recover from a Toxic Job

A recent study conducted by MIT’s Sloan School of Management found that a toxic workplace culture is the number one reason people leave their jobs and is 10.4 times more likely to contribute to attrition than compensation.

I think it is important to point out that it isn’t that jobs are toxic – it’s that management is toxic.

Bacon Burger at Smoke.

We Tried 8 Methods of Cooking Bacon and Found an Absolute Winner


The Wave that Washes us all
The Wave that Washes us all

More Than a Feeling: 12 Stories About the Science of Anxiety

A deep dive into how and why we experience anxiety—as well as science-backed ways to ease the burden.

Musicians Have Split Reactions to UNT’s Jazz Radio Changing Formats

I am not happy that a local university radio station has given up its all-Jazz format. Luckily:

The Jazz version, for now, is still available online.

A friend of mine from high school is an avid cyclist in Santa Fe. His two cameras caught him involved in a “right hook” accident – a very common hazard for cyclists (probably second only to getting “doored”). Be careful out there folks.

This is three years old – but I came across it again – it’s one of my favorite on-air rants – for several reasons. “Living in Bananaland.” Hah.

What I learned this week, October 28, 2022

Belo Garden Park Dallas, Texas

How to change your self-limiting beliefs

Let Descartes, Kant and other philosophers help you view the world through a more positive filter and you’ll bloom

Ant Lion Pits

The Deadliest Animal in Each State in America

Texas – Fire Ants

Map of the Dallas Skyline Trail

California Entrepreneur Who Was Fined $1000 for Drawing Informal Maps without a License Takes Regulatory Board to Court

Ryan Crownholm’s story perfectly illustrates how occupational licensing laws stifle competition.

How truffles took root around the world

Has the American-Grown Truffle Finally Broken Through?

Lucadores, Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas

The three strength exercises everyone should do

Even if you’re not trying to get swole, these movements will help you with everyday movements.

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Conjoined, Roxy Paine

Phantom Forests: Why Ambitious Tree Planting Projects Are Failing

High-profile initiatives to plant millions of trees are being touted by governments around the world as major contributions to fighting climate change. But scientists say many of these projects are ill-conceived and poorly managed and often fail to grow any forests at all.

PC and Mac guy meet Linux Godzilla
PC and Mac guy meet Linux Godzilla

The Twisted Life of Clippy

In the ’90s, Microsoft created an annoying paperclip that it quickly retired. Its developers never imagined the virtual assistant would become a cultural icon.

On of my favorite local bands seems to be getting back together. Here’s an old video, I really like it.

Two Lost Cars

“That which is dreamed can never be lost, can never be undreamed.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Wake

I can rarely remember my dreams. There is little doubt that this is often due to my dreams being mostly dull, boring, repetitions of paltry daily frustrations. However, I do seem to have these recurring dreams, often bordering on nightmares, that can span years – or even decades – of time. Even these repetitive visions are hard for me to remember, but I sometimes have memories – memories of dreams or recalled dreams of thoughts about events.

One set of actions that happened in the dream world is the memory that I bought a couple of relatively inexpensive, used cars and then forgot about them, leaving them… somewhere. I mean I bought one car, needing it and being in financial distress – but finding something affordable… then driving it around for a few days but not being able to remember where it was parked. Then, a period of time later I did the same thing again with a different car. I remember what the second one looked like – a dark blue boxy asian sedan – not a thing of beauty but it ran surprisingly well.

Today I was out running errands and I thought of my two cars that I had paid for years ago and had abandoned, somewhere. I actually thought to myself, “I need to concentrate and figure out where at least one of those cars are, ride my bike over to it, and drive it home.” That was nuts… and, of course, it only took me a split second to realize it was nuts – that I never had bought and lost one, let alone two cars. So I went on with my errands relieved that I didn’t have to mess with these automobiles.

On the other hand, I was a little disappointed, I really liked that second car – it looked bad but ran really well – even if it didn’t exist.

What I learned this week, October 21, 2022

Turn your backyard into an awesome hangout for bats

Help a bat out, get some spooky cred in return.

Wind Turbines Blackwell, Oklahoma (click to enlarge)

3 strategies to disrupt yourself for greater success in changing times

Industrial designer Ayse Birsel explains the tactics to use based on lessons learned from older people who designed their lives.

The full mural (previous photo center bottom) – Ace Parking, Dallas, “The Storm” Art Mural on Ace Parking Garage at 717 Leonard Street

To understand the woke, you have to understand The Culture of Narcissism

The nature of the Left in 2022 is rooted more in psychology than political science. Specifically, liberalism is suffering from narcissism.

Reclining Mother and Child, Henry Moore, Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

Leave them alone

Parenting advice from D H Lawrence: don’t smother your children with love. They are more sagacious than you think

Karma, Do-Ho Suh, 2011. Korea, Brushed Steel with Stone Base, The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

Dear Vladimir Putin: If You’ve Read Dostoevsky, You’ve Tragically Misunderstood Him

Austin Ratner on Russian Imperialism and Misreading The Brothers Karamazov

Downtown Square, McKinney, Texas

How to get white noise, brown noise, or even pink noise playing on your phone

Let your devices help you relax or focus.

One of the cool things is that you could go down into a pit area and look at what was left of the vehicles after they ran their race. If their was enough left in one piece you could even sit in the driver’s seat and get your picture taken. Or you could talk to the drivers. For some reason this driver, from a cheese-wedge shaped car that made it down quickly in one piece, seemed very popular in the pits.

Unlock the secrets to speaking to anyone with ease

It’s not just a moment. If you have speaking anxiety, it can take up to 20 minutes for the parasympathetic system to intervene and return you to a state of calm. Here are some practical ways to tackle it before it gets the best of you.

What I learned this week, October 14, 2022

Frenchman Street, New Orleans, Louisiana

Who Put the Bomp?

What does a car made in Wolfsburg, Germany, have to do with a novelty hit from 1961? It’s a strange tale, with musical connections to Dolly Parton, the Mamas and Papas, a children’s cartoon and an iconic scene from a famous 1980s movie. It’s about a boy from Brooklyn.

It really is all about the sauce. How can you not love anything that has both Sriracha and Wasabi in squirt bottles?

This is the best condiment you can buy in Dallas-Fort Worth

If you enjoy spicy food, Tacodeli’s Salsa Doña will light you up.

(click to enlarge) Adam, by Emile-Antoine Bourdelle, plus admirer Cullen Sculpture Garden Houston, Texas

American culture is brilliant. It’s our gatekeepers who have failed

American culture is as brilliant, stimulating and creative as it has ever been.

That statement goes against the talk of decline that is heard regularly among journalists and philosophers, especially on the Right. Yet it’s not American culture that has failed. It’s our cultural gatekeepers.

Amazon “suicide kits” have led to teen deaths, according to new lawsuit

Did 60 Minutes bury a story on teen-suicide kits over financial ties to Amazon?

The Saudis Are F***ing With Joe Biden Again and It Is Going to Cost You More Money

Recently on a hot mic during his visit to Florida, President Joe Biden told Fort Myers Mayor Ray Murphy, “Nobody F***s with a Biden.” As PJ Media’s Kevin Downey Jr. pointed out, even inanimate objects f*** with Joe Biden. Now, Saudi Arabia is taking their shot.

Mouth Mask Probably Depicting the Head of a Rooster Indonesia: Southeast Moluccas, Leti, Luhuleli 19th Century Wood, Boar Tusks, Clam Shell, Mother-of-Pearl, buffalo horn, resinous material, and pigment Dallas Museum of Art

The rich and powerful thrived as the rest of us suffered in the year of lockdowns

It’s been over a year since “two weeks to slow the spread,” and the pandemic is finally dragging to a finish. Cases are down, herd immunity has more or less arrived, and even in deep-blue Boston, Stop & Shop has announced it will end mask requirements before the month’s out.


Satellite Temperature Data Show Almost All Climate Model Forecasts Over the Last 40 Years Were Wrong

A major survey into the accuracy of climate models has found that almost all the past temperature forecasts between 1980-2021 were excessive compared with accurate satellite measurements.

What I learned this week, October 7, 2022

Bachman Lake at dawn, Dallas, Texas

The Thinnest Veneer of Civilization

To be able to eat, to move about, to have shelter, to be free from state or tribal coercion, to be secure abroad, and safe at home – only that allows cultures to be freed from the daily drudgery of mere survival.

My android tablet and portable keyboard, I stopped my bike ride on the Bridge Park over the Trinity River to get some writing done.

Lessons from a Professional Password Cracker

I never realized that password crackers used stolen databases of passwords to learn the best way to crack passwords.

Companions Oscar Alvarado Plano Animal Shelter Plano, Texas

Seeing and somethingness

An evolutionary approach to consciousness can resolve the ‘hard problem’ – with radical implications for animal sentience

Three Lions food truck at the Ciclovia de Dallas

EVs keep getting bigger—and that could steer the U.S. down a dangerous road

Bigger vehicles pose more risk for pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers.

Standing Vase With Flowers, James Surls, 2010 Colorado, Bronze and Stainless Steel

Altitude sickness can ruin your hike. Here’s how to prevent it.

Getting high is not always as fun as it sounds.

Manor House Balcony, downtown Dallas, Texas

How Homes in Bali Are Designed for Harmony—and to Keep Demons at Bay

All the subtle ways traditional dwellings offer spiritual security.

Filming a Mexican Music Video in Klyde Warren Park.

The Pope of Filth is bringing his filthy novel to the big (filthy) screen.

In what marks a glorious return to filmmaking after a nearly 20-year absence, John Waters (Baltimore’s favorite son and American cinema’s favorite degenerate) will write and direct an adaptation of his 2022 debut novel, Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance.

What I learned this week, September 30, 2022

French Quarter New Orleans, Louisiana Halloween

Languishing, What To Do If You’re Feeling Restless, Apathetic

Many people may even have experienced – or may still be experiencing – languishing without really even knowing what it is or why they’re feeling that way

Renner School House desks.

Why Adults Still Dream About School

I have been out of school for almost half a century – and I still have nightmares about final exams. I wake up shaking, in a cold sweat, and it takes me minutes to realize I don’t have to do that any more – haven’t for many decades.

Kyde Warren Park, Dallas, Texas

Taking aim at the family

Radicals have always known that the family is the biggest obstacle to achieving their goals. Regardless of their political leanings, cult leaders, utopians, and radical political movements have all done their best to undermine the family and replace it with some other fundamental social unit.

As the sun set the sculptures began to glow. This one is one of the largest (about 20 feet tall) and most dramatic works… called “The Sun.” When I first saw it, I thought it was all yellow and red glass, but some kids were looking closer and you can see that there are actually many colors in there.

The Four Desires Driving All Human Behavior: Bertrand Russell’s Magnificent Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

“Nothing in the world is more exciting than a moment of sudden discovery or invention, and many more people are capable of experiencing such moments than is sometimes thought.”

‘Ridiculously Detailed’ New Image of The Moon Is a Masterpiece of Space Photography

Time to upgrade your wallpapers, people.

Two astrophotographers have just dropped what they call “the most ridiculously detailed picture” of the Moon – the result of a painstaking, neck-craning effort roughly two years and over 200,000 frames in the making.

Rachel Harrison Moore to the point City Hall Plaza (click to enlarge)

Peter Zeihan’s Global Stability Map 2015-2030

This map created something of a stir when I posted it on social media, in part because its claims are so counter to conventional wisdom in many instances. An enlarged version is available here.

Amanda Popken on the Dallas Cycle Style Seersucker Ride

17 Ways To Be More Positive In 2021, According to Psychologists

After the last year, it’s time to invest in optimism.

What I learned this week, September 23, 2022

(click to enlarge) Book With Wings Anselm Kiefer Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

43 of the Most Iconic Short Stories in the English Language

I guess it’s not surprising – but I’ve read all but one of these. I’m off to read it now.

A Child's Introduction to Outer Space
A Child’s Introduction to Outer Space

Super-Earths are bigger, more common and more habitable than Earth itself – and astronomers are discovering more of the billions they think are out there

Astronomers now routinely discover planets orbiting stars outside of the solar system – they’re called exoplanets. But in summer 2022, teams working on NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite found a few particularly interesting planets orbiting in the habitable zones of their parent stars.

One planet is 30% larger than Earth and orbits its star in less than three days. The other is 70% larger than the Earth and might host a deep ocean. These two exoplanets are super-Earths – more massive than the Earth but smaller than ice giants like Uranus and Neptune.

Ant Lion Pits

How Many Ants Live on Earth? Scientists Came Up With an Answer

Quick answer – a lot.

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Trinity River Flood Stage, Dallas, Texas

Autofocus: The Productivity System That Treats Your To-Do List Like a River

In one of the emails Oliver Burkeman, author of Time Management for Mortals, sent out to his subscribers, he talked about how we typically treat our to-do lists like buckets that we need to empty every day. 

The problem, Burkeman observes, is that the to-do list is a bucket that never entirely empties. As we clear some tasks out, others are added in. It’s like the Magic Beer Floating Faucet Fountain that they used to sell at Spencer’s back in 1990, along with black lights and bags of reindeer poop. 

Why we crave

The neuroscientific picture of addiction overlooks the psychological and social factors that make cravings so hard to resist

(click to enlarge) Mural, Deep Ellum Dallas, Texas

Neptune’s faint rings glimmer in new James Webb Space Telescope image

The powerful space telescope shows off Neptune’s unsung rings, showing off the ice giant in a whole new way.

Time Exposure, Night, Downtown Dallas, Ross and Pearl

Why We Lost Trust in the Expert Class

What I learned this week, September 16, 2022

Heart of Texas Red, Craft Beer Logo, Four Corners Brewing Company, The Cedars, Dallas, Texas

50+ Old Fashioned Insults We Should Bring Back.

I live in Texas, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised – but I hear a few of these used on a fairly-regular basis. “All Hat and No Cattle” – almost every day.

Underwood Typewriter
Underwood Typewriter

The Single Reason Why People Can’t Write, According to a Harvard Psychologist

This common affliction is behind so much unclear and confusing writing in the world today.

Never Forget the COVID Facists:

I submit to you that the COVID policies—shutdowns and lockdowns; “stay home, stay safe;” mandatory masking, social distancing, testing, and vaccines; and so on—perpetuated by the American left and those like-minded were the greatest demonstration of fascism the United States has ever known. In the nearly 250-year history of the U.S., never before has the American government exercised such power over its citizenry as it did in the name of “slowing the spread,” “following the science,” and the like. And never before in the history of the U.S. has the exercise of government power been so misinformed and misguided, with such disastrous results.

Braindead Brewing, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Want to be happy? Don’t follow your gut.

A data scientist on what truly makes us happy.

Tony Collins Art, Dallas, Texas

Read This Piece by James Lileks.

I’m just a bit older – but I remember being afraid of the end of the world when I was a kid. It was atomic war, of course that scared me. The “duck and cover” drills at school didn’t help. For ten years I had repetitive, awful nightmares about sentient atomic bombs (they looked like dirigibles) in the sky, searching for me… especially for me.

Regret can be all-consuming – a neurobehavioral scientist explains how people can overcome it

Regret can increase stress and negatively affect one’s physical health.

Decline in Americans’ quality of life just keeps accelerating

Scrolling Twitter–a practice I detest but is required for the job–does have its upside. I occasionally have an “aha” moment spurred on by an insight thrown out into the world by somebody else. It almost makes the drudgery of sorting the wheat from the chaff bearable. Almost.