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?


What I learned this week, April 22, 2022

Spring Snow, Richardson, Texas

There’s a Massive Antarctic Exploration Vehicle Lost Somewhere at the Bottom of the World

In 1939 a joint government-private sector project ran into the question of how best to traverse Antarctica’s frozen wastelands. The obvious answer? A car. A really, really, really big car. Or so thought Thomas Poulter, designer of the doomed Antarctic Snow Cruiser.


A Yumbo meal spewing existential malaise into the atmosphere

Should we be eating three meals a day?

The idea that we should eat three meals a day is surprisingly modern. How many meals a day is best for our health?


My son’s dog, Champ

Inside the World of Guide Dog Dropouts

In this highly competitive training, pup perfection is demanded — and not every student can make it to graduation. Here’s what happens to the still very good boys who need a sudden ‘career change.’


Dice Life Links

Decatur, Texas

The People Who Base Their Life Decisions On a Dice Roll (vice.com)

Roll the Dice – Ultimate Decision-Making Strategy: May Seem Irrational But Can Be The Most Rational… – BizShifts-Trends

Should You Let the Dice Decide? | Psychology Today

Can’t make a decision? Have you ever tried rolling for it? | by Franko French | Medium


Bicycle Drag Racer on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge

Physical fatigue is in the brain as much as in the body

Over the past couple of decades, scientists too have become increasingly interested in the potential of ‘mind over muscle’. Their findings suggest that there is far more to it than a motivational mantra.


Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas (click to enlarge)

Ways to Train Your Brain to Get What You Want

Contrary to theory, which cannot get you very far in the end, people who have actually been “there” provide practical steps on what you need to do to get there too. Here are the five things you should focus on. Forget everything else.


While I was eating, a rugged group on Bicycles, braving the rain, came up for some food.

Got food cravings? What’s living in your gut may be responsible

Eggs or yogurt, veggies or potato chips? We make decisions about what to eat every day, but those choices may not be fully our own. New University of Pittsburgh research on mice shows for the first time that the microbes in animals’ guts influence what they choose to eat, making substances that prompt cravings for different kinds of foods.


What I learned this week, April 15, 2022

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EXCLUSIVE: Voyeurism, naked women in bathtubs, orgies, ramped up violence! Nothing was off limits during Hollywood’s 1930s pre-censorship era when sex and sin ruled the big screen

Between 1930-1934, a progressive era in Hollywood had a relaxed code of censorship which allowed sin to rule the movies. Violence, nudity and profanity were rarely off limits in that four-year span, now known as the ‘pre-code era’.


Basilica de la Sagrada Familia: Folly or Masterpiece?

Masterpiece. Next Question.


King Lear, Dallas Theater Center, Wyly Theater

American Occupation

Brave dissenters willing to defy an oppressive orthodoxy are our country’s best hope


Metal Ostrich Sculpture, downtown McKinney, Texas

Lithium ion batteries going cobalt-free; nickel next on the chopping block

In an effort to bring down costs, General Motors, Tesla, Nissan and other automakers have pledged to start building cars with cobalt-free lithium ion batteries.

I remember in 1979 working on reducing the amount of cobalt added as a nutrient in cattle feed because of instability in Africa and the skyrocketing cobalt prices that resulted. The more things change the more they stay the same.


Mayan Flint Knife from the Dallas Museum of Art

How to Sharpen a Knife

A dull knife is a dangerous knife; keep yourself and those around you safe by learning how to properly sharpen your blade.


A group of friends in front of the Dallas Museum of Art, night, long exposure

How do you mourn the end of a friendship?

What happens when you lose a friend you loved — and maybe still love? The person is not gone; They’re still alive and presumably well. But the relationship? Dead. What are the mechanics of grief there?


The End of Progressive Intellectual Life

How the foundation-NGO complex quashed innovative thinking and open debate, first on the American right and now on the center left


What I learned this week, April 8, 2022

(click to enlarge)

A Creative Solution to ‘the Friendship Desert of Modern Adulthood’

“I knew many old couples who had happy and loving arranged marriages. I thought, If it worked for them, why couldn’t it work for friendships?


Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas

U.S. life expectancy falls for 2nd year in a row

Despite the availability of life-saving COVID-19 vaccines, so many people died in the second year of the pandemic in the U.S. that the nation’s life expectancy dropped for a second year in a row last year, according to a new analysis.


My bicycle locked up to the TRex in Exposition Park, Dallas, Texas

A doctoral student may have discovered fossils from the day the dinosaurs died

This story isn’t exactly breaking news since it’s about something that happened 66 million years ago, but there is a reason it’s getting fresh attention now. Next week the BBC is releasing a special narrated by David Attenborough titled “The Day the Dinosaurs Died.” The special focuses on a unique dig site in North Dakota called Tanis where evidence suggests a jumble of fossils were formed on the day a large asteroid struck the earth about 66 million years ago.xxx


Running up that hill at the end.

How to Start Running: A Beginner’s Guide

Want to start a running habit but have no idea where to start? Here is everything you need to know to start running and actually enjoy it.


Running of the Bulls, New Orleans

Klain Says Biden Doesn’t Believe Hunter Broke Any Laws

On Sunday, Joe Biden’s White House Chief of Staff told George Stephanopoulos that Biden doesn’t believe his son Hunter broke any laws, despite his past dealings that are currently under investigation by the Department of Justice, which a CNN analyst said earlier this week could result in his being indicted.


Know Who’s Bummed About Russia’s Military Failure In Ukraine? China

A goodly part of the world is pleased about the manifest failure of Vlad’s Big Ukraine Adventure, some are indifferent to it, but only Russia, client-state Syria, and puppet-state Belarus really seem upset about it.

Know who else is bummed? China.


The drone coming in for a landing. She would catch it as it landed.

Ex-Zelensky Aide Says Ukrainian Army Uses ‘Terminator’ Drones That Make Russians Think Skynet is Chasing Them

The Ukrainian army has come up with a clever way to save ammunition, a former advisor to President Volodymyr Zelensky said, by modifying commercial drones to resemble something out of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator films, scaring Russian soldiers into thinking “something that belongs to Skynet” is chasing them so they lead the drone back to their base and the Ukrainians can then blast them into the afterlife.


What I learned this week, April 1, 2022

Braindead Brewing, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

10 Simple Things to Make You Happier At Home

Our homes are an extension of who we are: what we do within the walls of our abodes shapes our mood, affects our productivity, and influences our outlook on life. Scientific studies have shown that we can have an impact on our happiness by adjusting the tiny little habits and routines that constitute our daily lives—we are, in fact, in control of our outlook on life.


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

The Day Dostoyevsky Discovered the Meaning of Life in a Dream

“And it is so simple… You will instantly find how to live.”


Mental time travel is a great decision-making tool — this is how to use it

When the future seems largely unpredictable, is there anything you can do to prepare for it?

“Yes!” says futurist and game designer Jane McGonigal. All you need to do is to tap into your imagination and envision all your potential futures — using what she calls “futures thinking.” 


Artwork in window, Waxahachie, Texas

Losing My Ambition

I have abandoned the notion of ambition to chase the absolute middle of the road: mediocrity.


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

25 Tips to Follow for When You’re Walking for Weight Loss

Our experts share ways that you can burn fat and improve your overall health by walking.


Rest Area
The trail runs through some thick woods between the train line and the creek south of Forest Lane. There is a nice rest area built there. This homeless guy was sitting in the rest area, reading and writing in his notebook. We talked about the weather and I helped him find a lost sock.

Susceptibility to Mental Illness May Have Helped Humans Adapt over the Millennia

Psychiatrist Randolph Nesse, one of the founders of evolutionary medicine, explains why natural selection did not rid our species of onerous psychiatric disorders


A ruined and despairing Gervaise at the end of the film.

The Oscars always get it wrong. Here are the real best pictures of the past 46 years.

With the perspective of time, we can now discern what movie was actually the best


What I learned this week, March 18, 2022

The camera is focused with the ground glass

What you should know about film photography today

Going back to film photography? Here’s what’s changed in the last few years.


How to stop catastrophising – an expert’s guide

A clinical psychologist suggests a three-pronged plan for tackling anxiety and approaching each day logically and positively


Design District Dallas, Texas

A Love Letter to Driving Alone

Embarking on a road trip by yourself is solo travel taken to another level.


Snails on a Beer Stein.

Ancestral dreams

We’re not the only beings that dream. What visions might sleep bring to a cell, an insect, a mollusk, an ape?


Magazine Street, New Orleans

Annie Londonderry Barely Knew How to Ride a Bike When She Set Off Around the World

The record-setting 19th-century adventure was the result of a bet.


Woman writing in a Moleskine Notebook, Wichita, Kansas

Garth Greenwell on Writing Fiction like a Poet

“I did, in a weird way, write a novel like a poem.”


What Have Two Years of ‘Two Weeks to Slow the Spread’ Taught Us?

Two years ago this week, everything changed. We had heard the threats of COVID-19 for a couple of months by then, but by the middle of March, we were in full-blown pandemic mode.


What I learned this week, March 11, 2022

M41 Walker Bulldog Liberty Park Plano, Texas

The Putin Doctrine

A Move on Ukraine Has Always Been Part of the Plan


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

NASA is launching a new quantum entanglement experiment in space

The researchers will test if their tech can produce and detect quantum entanglement on the International Space Station.


Trinity River Bottoms, Dallas, Texas

What is a law of nature?

Laws of nature are impossible to break, and nearly as difficult to define. Just what kind of necessity do they possess?


There was live music at the start.

A Decade of Music Is Lost on Your iPod. These Are The Deleted Years. Now Let Us Praise Them.

From 2003 to 2012, music was disposable and nothing survived.


“Fast fashion” furniture has given us a world of crappy couches

Sure, that couch you bought on Wayfair is too uncomfortable to sit on, but at least it looks nice.


Rotterdam Express Container Ship New Orleans, Louisiana

The bizarre deep-sea creatures living on the Endurance shipwreck

Check out these animals that have colonized the 1915 wreck.


M41 Walker Bulldog Liberty Park Plano, Texas

What If Russia Loses?

A Defeat for Moscow Won’t Be a Clear Victory for the West


What I learned this week, March 04, 2022

Poydras Street New Orleans

The Eagles are Back!

I have been avidly following the saga of the young pair of Bald Eagles at White Rock Lake here at Dallas. A local school has a streaming webcam of their new nest.


Golden Boy, AT&T Plaza, Dallas, Texas

The Changing Geography of U.S. Talent

Coastal metro areas continue to dominate the market for knowledge and creative workers. But other cities in the middle of the country are starting to gain ground.


First page of notebook found in Main Street Garden Park, Dallas, Texas

The chronic stress survival guide: how to live with the anxiety and grief you can’t escape

Stress can feel like a baseline condition for many of us – especially during a pandemic. But there are ways to help alleviate the very worst of it, whether through support, sleep or radical self-care


This woman was waving a turkey leg out of her food trailer. When someone came up to buy one, she said, “Let me get you a fresh one hon, this is my demo model, I’ve been waving it out this window for hours.”

Can We Move Beyond Food?

Some powders and drinks boast all of the necessary nutrients a body needs — no grocery trips required. But it isn’t clear how drinking our meals might affect our health.


Lucadores, Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas

The Dark Side of Resilience

There is no doubt that resilience is a useful and highly-adaptive trait, especially in the face of traumatic events. However, it can be taken too far. For example, too much resilience could make people overly tolerant of adversity. At work, this can translate into putting up with boring or demoralizing jobs — and particularly bad bosses — for longer than needed. In addition, too much resilience can get in the way of leadership effectiveness and, by extension, team and organizational effectiveness. Multiple studies suggest that bold leaders are unaware of their limitations and overestimate their leadership capabilities and current performance, making them rigidly and delusionally resilient and closed off to information that could be imperative in fixing — or at least improving — behavioral weaknesses. While it may be reassuring for teams, organizations, and countries to select leaders on the basis of their resilience — who doesn’t want to be protected by a tough and strong leader? — such leaders are not necessarily always good for the group as a whole.


Woman writing in a Moleskine Notebook, Wichita, Kansas

There is Such a Thing as Talent: Elizabeth Hardwick on Writing

Today, on Elizabeth Hardwick’s birthday, the best thing to do is to pick up a copy of Sleepless Nights, or perhaps her Collected Essays, and find a quiet corner in which to read them. This may, however, leave you wondering how such literary magic is possible, and maybe even wishing you had a small compilation of Hardwick’s comments about the art and the making of it.


Ruth and Naomi, Leonard Basking, 1979, Bronze, Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

Micromanipulation: the covert tactic that narcissists use in arguments to reassert control

Micromanipulation is a subtle form of emotional abuse that narcissists use in their closest relationships to regain a sense of control: here’s how to recognise its damaging effects.