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.

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 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.

What I learned this week, September 2, 2022

Monumental Head of Jean d’Aire (from The Burghers of Calais), Auguste Rodin, Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

How to read philosophy

The first thing to remember is that the great philosophers were only human. Then you can start disagreeing with them

City Hall, Dallas, Texas

Truth, Nihilism, and the American Founding

The founding of the United States is surely one of the greatest events in world history. It was what we might call a trans-historical moment. America is the first nation in history to be founded openly and explicitly on the basis of certain philosophic ideas. If the Old World invented and launched the Enlightenment, it was the Anglo-American New World that made it a living reality.

The Economic Doom Loop Has Begun

No communist was ever as dedicated to economic suicide as the current class of idiots who rule us.

Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Elites’ divide & conquer failure: How middle class now view their rulers with rightly earned disdain

Elites have always been ambiguous about the muscular classes who replace their tires, paint their homes, and cook their food. And the masses who tend to them likewise have been ambivalent about those who hire them: appreciative of the work and pay, but also either a bit envious of those with seemingly unlimited resources or turned off by perceived superciliousness arising from their status and affluence.

Bicycle Drag Races, Continental Bridge Park, Dallas, Texas

How Mindfulness Can Make You a Better Cyclist (and 4 Tips for How to Do It)

Practice being present to find your flow on and off the bike.

Signs at one end (downtown) of the Dallas Streetcar

The end of the Constitution at the hands of the left

Many people have linked to this recent op-ed in The NY Times by Harvard Law professor Ryan Doerfler and Yale Law professor Samuel Moyn. John Hinderaker of Powerline discusses the piece here, as well, and he calls it “literally one of the stupidest things I have ever read.”

Recycled Books Records CDs Denton, Texas (click to enlarge)

Area man named Bob Jablonski returns library book called Hitler 77 years overdue.

What I learned this week, August 26, 2022

The best thing about a bicycle second line is that when the parade pauses to let the slower riders catch up – you can dance in the streets. New Orleans, Louisiana

12 Simple Strategies to Lose Weight After 50

Painless ways to drop extra pounds you’ve acquired.

Above the bar, Three Links, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans AMOS, Xerxes

Unraveling the Enigma of Reason

The basic puzzle is this:

  1. If reason is so useful, why do human beings seem to be the only animals to possess it? Surely, a lion who had excellent reasoning abilities would catch more gazelles? Yet human beings seem to be alone in the ability to reason about things.
  2. If reason is so powerful, why are we so bad at it? Why do we have tons of cognitive biases? Reasoned thinking is supposed to be good, but we seem to use it fairly little as a species.

The end of the Constitution

Many people have linked to this recent op-ed in The NY Times by Harvard Law professor Ryan Doerfler and Yale Law professor Samuel Moyn. John Hinderaker of Powerline discusses the piece here, as well, and he calls it “literally one of the stupidest things I have ever read.”

Restrained, by Deborah Butterfield, Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

Dark horses in the cosmos

Could primordial black holes from the beginning of time explain ‘dark matter’, the mysterious missing mass in the Universe?

Illustration by Jean L. Huens for the Saturday Evening Post. Don for the short story “The Snails,” by Patricia Highsmith.

What to Read Before and After Seeing Loving Highsmith

I have written about Patricia Highsmith before:

The Quest for the “Blank Claveringi”

I wonder if the book/movie will talk about her love of snails.

Jupiter is a dreamlike jewel in new James Webb Space Telescope images

‘It’s really remarkable that we can see details on Jupiter together with its rings, tiny satellites, and even galaxies in one image.’

Big Lake Park, Plano, Texas

Podcast – the Pigeon Towers of Iran

Join us for a daily celebration of the world’s most wondrous, unexpected, even strange places.

What I learned this week, August 12, 2022

The Cedars, Dallas, Texas

Could learning algebra in my 60s make me smarter?

New Yorker writer Alec Wilkinson struggled with maths at school, finding inspiration in literature instead. But aged 65, in the hope of unlocking a new part of his brain, he decided to put the limits of his intelligence to the test

Clarence Street Art Collective, The Cedars, Dallas, Texas

Stretching: 5 back and chest stretches that treat and prevent neck pain

For a while – I had a lot of neck pain riding my bike. These stretches help.

At each end of the main drag were large stages. This guy was drawing a band – though they had already finished.

How to start drawing

I have always dreamed of learning to draw. Is it too late?

Lyndon Baines Johnson Freeway and Texas Instruments Boulevard, Dallas, Texas

Why Doing Good Makes It Easier to Be Bad

Oscar Wilde, the famed Irish essayist and playwright, had a gift, among other things, for counterintuitive aphorisms. In “The Soul of Man Under Socialism,” an 1891 article, he wrote, “Charity creates a multitude of sins.”

Paths (detail), by Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir, Arts District, Dallas, Texas

The Simple Idea Behind Einstein’s Greatest Discoveries

Lurking behind Einstein’s theory of gravity and our modern understanding of particle physics is the deceptively simple idea of symmetry. But physicists are beginning to question whether focusing on symmetry is still as productive as it once was.

The best Tex-Mex feast ever photographed. From the gatefold of the ZZ Top, Tres Hombres album

Woke food lovers have lost their minds over ‘cultural appropriation’

Once upon a time, it was permissible to make light-hearted fun of cuisines that were unfamiliar or exotic to film audiences.

But in today’s unforgiving and witless world of Indigenous-Cuisine Purity, good-natured jokes are strictly verboten. Worse, just about any dish not from Western Europe that isn’t cooked by a native-born chef is either a fake version of the  cuisine or a wicked ripoff of it — or both.

Autumn grasses, Courthouse Square, McKinney, Texas

The Grasshopper Elite and Its Enemy

Unfortunately, those loud and troublesome pests, though few, control almost all the levers of political and state police power.