What I learned this week, June 24, 2022

Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

The Strange Case of Buddy Holly’s Final Pair of Glasses

Sheriff Jerry Allen of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, was combing through a storage vault in a courthouse basement on February 29, 1980 when he came across an envelope. It was from the coroner’s office and read, “Charles Hardin Holley, rec’d April 7, 1959.” Allen opened it and found a pair of black-framed angular eyeglasses, the lenses scratched.

Campsite, Lake Ray Roberts, Texas

Ultralight backpacking hacks no one tells you about

You pack it, you carry it.

Nick reading Harry Potter.
Nick reading Harry Potter. Is this the first one?

Growing Up Surrounded by Books Could Have Powerful, Lasting Effect on the Mind

A new study suggests that exposure to large home libraries may have a long-term impact on proficiency in three key areas

On the other hand Is Reading a Waste of Time

History of the Conquest, Hank Willis Thomas, Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

You Need to Practice Being Your Future Self

Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination. They’re both running, but being busy is running in place.

Venus Victrix (The Judgement of Paris), Pierre Auguste Renoir & Hercules the Archer, Antoine Bourdelle, Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

Dead on Arrival

At the opening of the 1950 classic film noir, D.O.A., Edmund O’Brien strides purposefully into a big-city police station, proceeds down long, endless corridors, and finally arrives at a door marked Homicide Division. “I want to report a murder,” he says to the head detective. “Who was murdered?” asks the cop. “I was,” replies O’Brien.

L’Absinthe (detail) by Edgar Degas

WHO Chief Now Says He Believes COVID Did Leak From Wuhan Lab After an Accident in 2019

Was there ever any doubt?

Wind Turbines Blackwell, Oklahoma (click to enlarge)

Is the Green Energy Climate Cabal Crumbling?

As President Joe Biden waxes poetic about the amazing “transition” his energy policies will affect, the green fervor in Europe is flailing.

What I learned this week, June 17, 2022

Downtown Square, McKinney, Texas

5 Questions the Most Interesting People Will Always Ask in Conversations

The point is to get beyond the dreaded small talk.

I wonder what this guy was thinking… “Wow, there are too many people here! I give up!” or, more likely, “Hey! Quit staring at my penis!”

Bad thinkers

Why do some people believe conspiracy theories? It’s not just who or what they know. It’s a matter of intellectual character

When you pick a mudbug up – he’ll spread his claws out and try to look as big and as mean as he can. He still looks delicious – no matter how hard he tries.

Cloned crayfish accidentally created in an aquarium are conquering the world

Today, the freshwater marbled crayfish populates various ecosystems across Asia, Europe, and Africa, and they all trace back to a single genetically identical individual born less than three decades ago.

The river and the Hwy 90 double bridge from the Crescent Park Bridge, New Orleans

The Power of the Bittersweet: Susan Cain on Longing as the Fulcrum of Creativity

In search of the most transcendent solution to “the problem of being alive in a deeply flawed yet stubbornly beautiful world.”

How to Stop Sugar Cravings Once and For All

Plus, the best foods to try when you’re in the mood for something sweet.

Commanding Heights : Keynes on Inflation | on PBS

Progressives should fear inflation more than recession (substack.com)

Biden Can’t Fix Inflation If He Can’t Stop Lying About It – PJ Media

KURT SCHLICHTER: Them: ‘You Must Care!’ Us: ‘No.’

What I learned this week, June 10, 2022

Book With Wings Anselm Kiefer Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

20 Short Novels To Stay Up All Night Reading

Unputdownable books you can finish in bed tonight

Car fire just north of downtown, Dallas.

Rand Paul warns of ‘double digit’ interest rates, recession, and joblessness.

I am old enough to remember the early 1980’s – with 20% interest rates, hyperinflation, and terrible joblessness. It wasn’t fun. It feels like that right now.

The historic Renner School House, in Dallas Heritage Village, with the skyscrapers of downtown rearing up in the background.

$1,500 inflation relief payments for staff, 4% tuition increase for students at this university.

For the last couple of decades – higher education has been the biggest scam in history and it’s not getting any better.

LBJ Freeway and TI Boulevard, Dallas, Texas

Famed economist Robert Shiller sees ‘good chance’ of recession.

I am old enough to remember the early 1980’s – with 20% interest rates, hyperinflation, and terrible joblessness. It wasn’t fun. It feels like that right now.

Green and Red Sriracha

Sriracha maker warns of ‘unprecedented shortage’ due to supply issues. “

“Therefore, all orders submitted on or after April 19, 2022, will be scheduled AFTER Labor Day (September 6, 2022) in the order it was received.”

Even Sriracha… really?

Carol Roth on Twitter: “We are 100% in the position we are now because too many people believed you could suck the rainbow farts out of unicorns’ asses instead of reality.”

Epic twitter thread.

Biden is “Scared” Ukraine May Win, Analyst Asserts

Simon Tisdall claims that this fear is already condemning Ukraine to one of the ‘forever wars’ that, on the campaign trail in 2020, the American president pledged to end.

What I learned this week, June 3, 2022

FAILE uses the year 1986 in their work – the year of the Challenger Disaster.

The New Normal Is Failure

The clusterfark in Uvalde is just a symptom of a much bigger pathology. It is a symbol of the failure of every institution in our society. And the solution is never to revamp the institutions and eject the parasites heading them. It’s always – always – to take power from us and give it to the people who screwed up in the first place.

Mojo Coffee, Magazine Street, New Orleans, Louisiana (click to enlarge)

People who drink coffee daily live longer, study says.


This is ART!

Mona Lisa is attacked with custard pie by man disguised as elderly woman in a wheelchair screaming ‘think of the planet!’… before he’s dragged away by security.

“The man, who wore a dark black wig and lipstick, turned out to be an artist and climate change activist who said he pied the prized painting in protest. ‘Think about the Earth. People are in the process of destroying the Earth!’ he declared as he was led away by security guards. ‘Artists think about the Earth, that’s why I did this. Think of the planet!’”

As Karol Markowicz tweets, “An environmental activist trying to destroy the Mona Lisa is in line with what leftism is right now. They think their righteous cause means all of their behavior is OK and this is reinforced by a friendly media who covers riots as if they are peaceful protests. It’s wrong.”

Get Ready for $1 Per Egg: USDA Forecast Predicts Highest Food Inflation Since 1980. 

“All of the predictions in the May report from the USDA are subject to upward revision.”

Renner School House desks.

Harvard professor finds remote school led to massive learning loss

Remote and hybrid learning during the COVID pandemic led to large declines in academic achievements, especially in high poverty districts, according to a study from Harvard University economist Thomas Kane.

“High poverty schools were more likely to go remote and the consequences for student achievement were more negative when they did so,” the research team with Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research reported.

I have friends with school-age children. Every one of them says that the schools are a disaster post-pandemic and the kids have been irreversibly harmed. “We have destroyed an entire generation,” one parent of told meand keep in mind they were talking about their own children.

We Have Entered the Self-Pity Stage of the Biden Presidency.

There’s no doubt that Democrats are seeing a perplexing disconnect with the public: In one particularly daunting example, the onetime recipients of the now-expired expanded child tax credit have, according to polls, moved from supporting the Democrats to supporting Republicans—all despite the fact that no member of the GOP supported the expansion of the credit. But the carping over how the people are failing to truly see the distinction between the parties only underscores the self-pitying tone of the administration and its leader at the moment.

Real Americans prefer an economy with low inflation and increasing wages — like we had before the lockdowns — to an economy that practically requires child tax credits just to get by.

 One Man’s Case Shows Why the Looting Isn’t Going To Stop Any Time Soon: Serial looter committed serious crimes, never spent a day in prison.

What I learned this week, May 27, 2022

5 Incredibly Effective Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder

Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, New Orleans

A psychologist explains why negativity dominates your daily thoughts, and what to do about it

The Most Beautiful Place in Each U.S. State

Tourists reflected in a metal bird. Travelling Man Sculpture, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

The Most Overrated US Tourist Destinations (and where to go instead)

Cozumel, Mexico

The Most Overrated Tourist Destinations in the world (and Where to Go Instead)

Lee walking in the surf at Crystal Beach. I checked my old blog entries – this was December 29, 2002. Fifteen years ago, almost to the day.

This Beautiful Island in North Carolina Has the Best Beach in the U.S., According to Dr. Beach Himself (yahoo.com)

Boy looking at his shadow on Richard Serra’s My Curves are Not Mad – Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas

American Madness – by Bari Weiss – Common Sense (substack.com)

More What I learned this week, We’re All Fucked Edition May 24, 2022

Collapsed Hard Rock Cafe, New Orleans

The Economic Doom Loop Has Begun › American Greatness (amgreatness.com)

From “House”

Housing Bubble: The Spike in Home Prices Is Steeper Than It Was before 2008 | National Review

Posing for photos at the Leaning Tower of Dallas

My Biden-Voting Friend Had ‘No Idea’ Things Could Get This Bad. Buckle Up, Buddy, We’re Just Getting Started – PJ Media

“ALL HELL IS ABOUT TO BREAK LOOSE:” Ricky Gervais released a Netflix special today slamming the trans cultists and hoo boy grab your popcorn.

“Remember how Netflix sent a memo to all its woke staff telling them to cowboy up and stop being so offended at everything? Yeah, I think this Netflix special from Gervais was the reason!”

Sacrifice III, Lipchitz, Jacques, Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

Why is Xi Jinping doubling down on a ‘zero-Covid’ policy that is causing massive economic distress and public anger in China? (firstpost.com)

Not just Russia: America has a problem speaking truth to power, too (nypost.com)

Biden on record gas prices: It’s an “incredible transition” to my vision for a green future – HotAir

What I learned this week, May 20, 2022

Texas toddler orders 31 McDonald’s cheeseburgers with mom’s phone.

Parents be warned: If your toddler gets ahold of your phone, he or she could be entertaining themselves with pictures or music, but they could also be arranging a fast food banquet.

— this is a kid with a bright future.

Sunset High School Cheerleaders

NYT: Say, where have all the public-school students gone?

Over one million students have evaporated from public school rolls over the last two years, the New York Times reported. “No overriding explanation has emerged yet for the widespread drop-off,” writes reporter Shawn Hubler.

I wonder what this guy was thinking… “Wow, there are too many people here! I give up!” or, more likely, “Hey! Quit staring at my penis!”

Ruminating on our ruminations causes more depression (medicalxpress.com)

Once you have depressive symptoms, it’s easy to fall into a pattern where you aggravate the disorder by ruminative thinking.

One of the key issues is what is called negative metacognitions, a phrase that needs an explanation.

“Meta-thoughts—or metacognitions—are the thoughts we think about the thoughts we think,” says Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, a professor at NTNU’s Department of Psychology, and main supervisor of the current study.

Writing in my Moleskine Journal outside the Mojo Lounge, Decatur Street, French Quarter, New Orleans

The Myth of Creative Inspiration

Franz Kafka is considered one of the most creative and influential writers of the 20th century, but he actually spent most of his time working as a lawyer for the Workers Accident Insurance Institute. How did Kafka produce such fantastic creative works while holding down his day job?

By sticking to a strict schedule.

Slice of pizza and a Peticolas Velvet Hammer.

Why Does Pepperoni Curl? | The Food Lab

Today’s installment of The Pizza Lab presents what is probably the most important work of my career. Nay, my life. It’s a story of such unparalleled importance that it makes pressing international issues like comparative baking surfaces and cold fermentation seem trivial in comparison. I’m talking about pepperoni curl. What it is, what makes it happen, and how to maximize it.

It’s far more fascinating than you may think.

Virtual money flowing across the surface of the sculpture.
Charles Long Northpark Center Dallas, Texas

Other People’s Money.

 In his excellent essay on James Buchanan’s lessons on government profligacy, Donald Boudreaux shreds the standard rationale from Keynesian economists for running up the budget deficit — that it’s nothing to worry about because we’re just borrowing the money from ourselves.

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

Wait, What? HALF of Infants in the U.S. Are on WIC?!

What I learned this week, May 13, 2022

B-24 Nose Art, Commemorative Air Force

Doom! Doom! Doom! – According To Hoyt

Sometimes we all fall into doom.

Xi Jinping moves to silence Covid Zero critics in sign of brewing tumult – Times of India (indiatimes.com)

Woodall Rogers Freeway, Dallas, Texas, thirty second exposure, taken from the west end of Klyde Warren Park

5G is a joke and the iPhone is the well-timed punchline

You remember 5G, right? It’s the thing on your phone you hardly notice, except when it’s draining your battery for no good reason.

Pumping inflation, not oil: Biden yanks multiple oil-lease sales – HotAir

Let’s not forget, too, that high gas prices are a feature for Biden in the long run. Progressives want gas prices to remain high so as to discourage the use of fossil fuels. They believe that imposing such pain on consumers will convince them to press for a conversion to renewable energy sources. 

America’s Crisis of Self-Doubt: We Must Defend Her | National Review

There is no doubt that the country faces severe challenges, many the result of shortsightedness and wishful thinking, but we still have an enormous capacity for renewal. It is because our ancestor patriots rejected despair and kept faith with America that we are here to fight another day.

Pelosi Gets Religion, Uses It in Naked Attempt to Manipulate Conservatives

But Pelosi doesn’t hesitate to invoke her religion when it seems useful to her to do so, that is, when she thinks it can help her advance her far-Left agenda. On Tuesday, she pulled out the Gospel of Matthew to justify sending $40 billion to Ukraine during a time of steeply rising inflation, astronomical gas prices, and a baby-formula shortage.

Don’t miss this weekend’s total lunar eclipse

From Sunday evening to early Monday, our pearly satellite will lapse into a total lunar eclipse, as well as its “super flower blood moon” phase. The first hints of darkness will appear on its surface around 10 p.m. Eastern on May 15. The totality part, when the moon is completely overshadowed, will last from about 11:30 p.m. Eastern on May 15 to 1 a.m. Eastern on May 16.

Moon rising over the skyline of Downtown Dallas.

What I learned this week, May 06, 2022

French Quarter New Orleans, Louisiana Halloween

What happens to your body and brain when you stop eating sugar

Cutting sugar out of your diet will likely decrease inflammation, boost your energy levels, and improve your ability to focus.

George Tobolowsky Square Deal #2 Irving, Texas (click to enlarge)

The Great Resignation is becoming a “great midlife crisis”

Older, more tenured people are increasingly quitting their jobs.

12 Simple Strategies to Lose Weight After 50

You hear all these stories about how it’s harder to lose weight after age 50 than it was earlier in life. While there are some biological factors that can make it harder to take off extra weight in your 50s and beyond, some of what’s keeping the weight on is that your lifestyle has changed.

Why Feeling Lost Is Necessary to Build the Life You Want

Myself. I want to be myself.

Tree in the frozen fog, Kansas Turnpike

Economy contracts as ‘Bidenflation’ glides toward ‘Bidencession’

To be sure, people generally overestimate presidents’ ability to control the economy. But Biden has done some very specific things to cause damage despite multiple warnings.

Perforations in the roof of the Pavilion in Pacific Plaza Park, downtown Dallas, Texas

An aerospace engineer explains how hypersonic missiles work

Hypersonic weapons fly much higher than slower subsonic missiles—but much lower than intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

4 smart reasons to keep an old USB drive around

Old dongle, new tricks.

What I learned this week, April 29, 2022

A duck at dawn, Bachman Lake, Dallas, Texas

Massive Study Finds We Need Better Therapies Than Antidepressants. Here’s Why

Antidepressants are the mainstay for treating depression, but their use is clouded by questions about lasting efficacy. A new study now suggests antidepressants may not improve people’s quality of life in the long run, compared to depressed people who don’t take this type of medication.

Fabrication Yard, Dallas, Texas

Global Stagflation

Technology-led disinflation will not shelter us from a storm of fast rising prices amid economic slowdowns

Stagflation is staring Biden in the face — but he refuses to change course

There are two ways to address inflation: Remove some of the money from the system, which the Federal Reserve did in the past via higher interest rates, and increase the supply of goods. At this point in 1980, when inflation soared, the federal funds rate was nearly 20%. Presently, it’s 0.33%.

Arts District, Dallas, Texas

Princeton investigating head of gerrymandering lab for possible data manipulation

Princeton University is investigating Professor Sam Wang, the head of the Princeton Gerrymandering Project over allegations of data manipulation and complaints that he created a hostile working environment. Wang is a neuroscientist who in recent years has turned his statistical talents to polling analysis and redistricting. Now there are allegations that he was essentially cooking the books.

How to Organize Your Life

10 principles for organizing your work, home, health, fitness, hobbies, finances, and more…

David, by Boaz Vaadia, 2009, New York, Material: Bronze and Bluestone

For microorganisms to fighter jets – what does it take to thrive?

I was thinking about ‘Agile outside the agile box’ (what I’m calling for now “organizational fitness”) and the weird librarian part of my brain brought this up.

80% of All US Dollars in Existence Have Been Printed in Just the Last Two Years

Since March of 2020, Americans and the world alike have watched from the sidelines as power hungry politicians have ushered in draconian lockdowns, shutdowns, police state measures, and brought the economy to its knees. While governments around the planet used their central banks to devalue their currencies by printing money to fund their tyranny, the US led the way down this road to fiscal horror.

Sundance Square, Fort Worth, Texas

How William F. Buckley Learned That Evil Is Real

The moral of this tragic story is that people are often too trusting of criminals professing their innocence, and ignore the reality of human nature: Evil exists. Heinous crimes don’t commit themselves. Some people are capable of unspeakable acts. As hard as it may be to contemplate, murderers and other predators can be normal-looking, intelligent, and engaging! Nearly all criminals convicted of a crime are actually guilty. Juries do not generally convict arbitrarily. Instances of innocent people getting convicted (beyond a reasonable doubt) for a crime they didn’t commit are exceedingly rare. Offenders deserve to be punished. Exculpatory claims by prisoners—regardless of race—must be treated with skepticism. Yet, smart people sometimes get deceived by schemers like Smith. Why?