Saturday, June 06, 2009

Name That Song

It took me over a minute to figure it out. I'll bet y'all can do it much faster. The singer is Patti Smith. That won't help at all, trust me.

Supreme Wisdom

Judge Sotomayor has received much commentary on her oft repeated remark that “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion.” There are many obvious problems with that comment, but I havn't read anything dealing with what is, for me, the most obvious.

Wisdom is a precious gift. It's possible that some people are born wise, but most of us earn what little wisdom we have by experience. I have met many people who are wise. They are always well worth listening to. They are also the most reluctant to speak. Another trait shared by the wise is that they never consider themselves to be wise.

My mother, who is very wise, told us children that the "instant you realize you are humble, you are not." Likewise, when someone says that they are wise, however indirectly, then they are not. Judge Sotomayor in her speeches was hoping that her audience would see why her presence on the bench is necessary. That is, as a wise Latina woman. She is a woman. She is also of Puerto Rican origin. But her speech was most unwise.

I think we need someone much wiser than Judge Sotomayor on the Supreme Court.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Alabama: An Iliad of Woes

Ale addled legislators and a suds challenged governor have combined to raise the legal limit of alcohol for beer in that formerly idyllic state. Chaos has therefore ensued.

I now have a new favourite website. If you scroll up for more recent posts you will discover that, legally, there is no actual fruit known as a 'crunchberry'.

Most Vital News, Indeed

Sir Ian McKellan's King Lear is available online.

{H/T Instapundit}

+1 literary geekery points for anyone who can identify where the headline came from.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

History Lesson

Maximum PC has put up a neat photo essay about the history of the personal computer.

Lose Weight at Wal-Mart

Instapundit links to a Forbes article that discusses a study linking access to Wally World with weight loss. Areas that have access to Wal-Mart have populations that weigh less than areas without such access, in brief. They discuss many reasons for such a correlation.

I can think of two more. First, with the poor, who are the focus of the study, most poverty stricken areas do not have what the rest of us would consider to be 'real grocery stores'. Because of the increased risk of loss due to theft, vandalism or other factors, merchants in such areas charge more per item. They also have much smaller inventories. They therefore tend to stock junk foods, which have longer shelf lives than fresh meats, fresh fruits or fresh vegetables.

The second, less serious, reason is that Wal-Marts are frickin' huge. If you go there to buy a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, some socks and some touch up paint, you're going to walk all over the planet to get those items. Whereas if there is no Wal-Mart, you're going to drive to A&P for the milk and bread (typically A & P's are fairly small), then to Belks (also small), then to Ace Hardware (ditto). That's a lot of driving, but very little walking.

Does the second reason mean that in addition to helping us lose weight, Wal-Mart is reducing greenhouse gases?

The World, Explained

Peter Schiff explains what's going on with the world, at least the economics of it all.

{Hat tip to Samizdata}

The Older I Get, The Less I Understand

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Brave New (Safe) World

A very nice essay on why Digital Rights Management are a bad idea.

I would have thought the Baen Books model would have been enough, but obviously I am wrong.