Huntington: An Appreciation from a student

Huntington’s legacy may simply be that so many people have been forced to deal with his observations and ideas, who would rather not do so.

A giant truly has passed.

UPDATE:  another, by Fouad Ajami

Attention Jim Fesler

Jim Fesler, Aisle Two, please, your commercial has arrived.

(Instapundit has this linked as the greatest commercial EVAR.  Don’t think it’s quite that, but it IS funny.  And, um, HELLA NSFW.)

Our SciFi Future.. Better Paper

Or, as the Speculist gents would say… “Better all the Time.”

Imagine if your cheap-ass timberframe house and mine had the drywall pulled off, and sheets of this 214MPa-strong paper conveniently screwed to each of the frames.

Well, for bare starters, you could kiss half your foundation problems goodbye, because paper that strong could withstand the strains that normally put those godawful cracks in the wall.  Put a waterproof layer on it, and you’d get a roof you could walk on without fear of damaging, too.  Wouldn’t that be nice, for those long, slow, gentle spring sunsets.

Ugly-ass Fuzzy Animals Enjoy Christmas Too

And, I must say, the Meerkats were probably weapons-grade cute, too.

Follow the link if you have a person of either chronologically challenged or the chromosomally-symmetrical nature with you, and enjoy!

Maybe it IS in R’lyeh…

In lieu of actual blogging…

because I’m going to sit down in a little bit and crank out at least forty pages of stuff, having figured out how to set it all up so it works… here, have some Invader Zim, celebrating the season.

(Sifu’s sons, the Badger and the Otter, are all over this sucker, and even the Raccoon has apparently gotten on board… and I thought Cthulhu Carols were mildly twisted…)

A Brave New Future

If anyone were brave enough to let anybody else run it…

Keeping with a theme…

Columbian Exchange Ganked the Climate?

One of the pleasures of teaching freshman history is that you cover a large number of topics — this drives a lot of the specialists nuts, as they’d much rather focus purely on THEIR topic of interest.  But I’m not being paid to teach medieval military technology, so it’s all a wash for me, and fun.

One of the new things we may be finding out, per a new article out, is that Apparently, after one-fifth of all humanity died in the virgin-soil pandemics of the Columbian Exchange, the resulting reforestation soaked up enough CO2 to gank the climate and make it colder.

Now, I’m not entirely sold on this, for a number of reasons.  First, while mechanically, CO2 as a greenhouse gas is a no-brainer, the degree to which it might overwhelm other factors….well, that’s complicated.  Second, massive reforestation along the lines we know happened (all that supposedly virgin wilderness, untouched by filthy human hands that the more ignorant of the environmentalists like to look at is in fact a sign of an ecosystem that had gone quite a bit out of whack) would also lower the earth’s albedo.  Point blank, lots of forest is darker than lots of fields, and thus should absorb more IR from the Sun.

On the plus side, once you’re into a few million square acres, simply providing enough carbon to create all those tree trunks, in forests that literally got so dense that according to early colonists, dead trees frequently couldn’t hit the ground… that’s a LOT of carbon.

Humbling.  You simply cannot do only one thing at a time.

WOW. And I thought that *I* had a bad habit of stepping on my own crank…

Sir, I think the real Borat here is me.  It takes special “skill” to insult an entire country with only four words.  I should have realized that certain types of journalists might take those comments and run with the opportunity to spin, yet I simply had no idea that apparently huge amounts of Lithuanians are reading my work.

Apparently Michael Yon has come face to face with the term “cultural disconnect.”  I got caught in this myself once, sending correspondence to a minor cultural minister in Moscow… the equivalent to a minor college dean in the US.  What I missed at the time is that, in Moscow’s hierarchy-conscious society, such a position made her a “Grande Dame” in full-on 19th-century style.  (And yes, “Herr Doktor Professor” is still taken seriously and gets friday night reservations easier in some parts of Austria, too.)

Fortunately, the guy I was working for had, oh, a LOT of experience with Russians, and was able to smooth it over without TOO many feathers being ruffled.

Putin: Russia now officially his bitch.

What do you get when you put a scum-sucking KGB agent in charge of your country?

Answer?  You get a country which has now officially legitimized the torture and repression we all knew came out of the Kremlin, with legislation ending even the sham pretense of a jury trial for treason, which has now been defined down to include protesting your local bus schedule, if the local completely unaccountable siloviki decides that you’re inconvenient and he’d like to give your house away to his nephew.

Grandma may have gotten run over by a reindeer

But it’s Harley I’m really worried about:

(Yeah, I know, I wasn’t actually going to blog like mad lately — I’ve got writer’s block, and am percolating)

Eggnog? Ambrosia, or Ewww?

Because, seriously, I’m curious.

Ahh… the inevitable post-semester whining has hit.

“I just can’t seem to figure out why I failed… blah blah blah if we need a conference to discuss, etc etc.”

No… you failed b/c you didn’t do your homework.  Rocket science, this ain’t.

Am surprised that I’ve only gotten a handful of those, however, and only a single plagiarized paper, from a dude living the thug life whose response to me checking on whether he was trying to play me like a cheap violin was ~”No offense, but I’m twenty, I don’t have time to play you.”  Which says a lot!  🙂

Michael Totten deserves cash.

and if I had plenty to spare, he’d get a couple hundred, pretty much instantly.

Examplum gratia.

We need serious journalism like this, b/c we sure as hell aren’t getting it from the bobble-heads on CNN.  And this guy’s entire operation is run on a tip jar.

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