Saturday, December 03, 2016

Smartwatches: The 10 Best Androids


Futurelawyer issues a sage opinion and points to a list on the best android smartwatches.

The popularity of smartwatches may spark the need for new rules of etiquette: "I'm not bored. I'm just checking messages on my smartwatch."

Jobs and TV Characters

Consider how our views of various lines of work have been shaped by television characters. 

Seinfeld's Newman provides a memorable example.

Highly Recommended Christmas Music

Cultural Offering lists his ten favorite Christmas albums.

Any recommendation by Kurt deserves serious consideration. [The man knows music.]

I've already ordered one CD and will soon be ordering more.

Quote of the Day

Great design is eliminating all unnecessary details

- Minh D. Tran

Friday, December 02, 2016

Hipster White Christmas

This has become a tradition.

Truly great.

Crank it up.

Music Break

Reprise: Loreena McKennitt sings "The Old Ways."

A Touch of Reality

Jonah Goldberg on the desire to think that wild animals are just like us.

The Nominee for Secretary of Defense

At the end of the drill, questions were answered and then Mattis dismissed everyone. No messing around with this guy. Mike Murdoch, one of the British company commanders, leaned over to me, his eyes wide. “Mate, are all your generals that good?”

Read the rest of this very interesting profile of Marine General James Mattis.

To the Moon

FutureLawyer has a cartoon that will immediately resonate with some of you.

[Hint: "The Honeymooners"]

The School of Hard Knocks

No one ever really leaves The School of Hard Knocks. 

Many have to retake classes. 

Others enroll in graduate programs. 

Still more become members of the faculty.

But not a living soul ever sets foot off campus.

Highly Recommended

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Quote of the Day

The most pressing human costs are in terms of physical deprivation and suffering. The most pressing moral imperative in policy making is a calculus of pain.

- Peter L. Berger

Thursday, December 01, 2016

How to Write a Comic Novel

I could listen to Howard Jacobson all day long.

Miscellaneous and Fast

Wally Bock: By and about leaders..
The Cramped: "The Revenge of Analog."
A Simple, Village Undertaker on "The Asterisk."
The Sun: Health food pioneer dies at 98.
Tanmay Vora: "We err. And then, we learn."
The Sensory Dispensary has a lot of great things.
Forbes: A profile of Jared Kushner.
The trailer for "Do As I Say."
Michael J. Totten on Cuba in 2014.

But Aside from That

When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued his wimpish, morally-deficient, statement on the death of a bloody tyrant, he didn't know he was inviting a barrage of mockery.

Althouse has a grand example.

Winner of the "Dumbest Article of the Year" Award

Josephine Skriver

A scold takes on the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

The complaint? Racist lingerie.


Assuming the article isn't some clever joke (and I sincerely hope that's the case), it surfaces the increasingly popular "cultural appropriation" complaint; a game of gotcha that has little appeal outside of a faculty lounge. 

Under the rules of the game, rather than being commended for drawing from other cultures, Victoria's Secret is criticized for exploitation.

Those monsters!

We live in strange times.

First Paragraph

Here is a puzzling fact: the best-performing firms often have more in common with humiliated bankrupts than with companies that have managed merely to survive. In fact, the very traits we have come to identify as determinants of high achievement are also the ingredients of total collapse. And so it turns out that, behaviorally at least, the opposite of success is not failure, but mediocrity. 

- From The Strategy Paradox: Why Committing to Success Leads to Failure [And What to Do About It] by Michael E. Raynor

Recipe for a Lost Generation

Take a society. 

Immerse its children in action films and games which have minimal character development and plot. Let them conduct much of their communication via text messaging and tweets and rarely, if ever, by writing a letter. Foster impatience and instant gratification. Cater to short attention spans. Peddle the notion that learning should always be fun. Tell them they are great and that whatever they want is well deserved. Stay away from the old practice of requiring children to memorize poetry or famous speeches. Let them believe that knowing facts is unnecessary since everything can be looked up. Don't teach logic. Don't train them on how to spot bias in an argument. Reward desire and good intentions and not hard work and results.

Do all of the above for several generations and then see what you'll get.

It won't be pretty.

Highly Recommended

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Quote of the Day

To put off living "until things are normal" will inevitably mean waiting fruitlessly for an entire lifetime. 

- Theodore Isaac Rubin

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Churchill's Birthday

Winston Churchill was born on this day in 1874. 

Whenever you hear people say that no one is indispensable ask them to consider what would have happened to the world if Churchill had not become prime minister in 1940.

"Highway Patrol"

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This brief clip of the beginning and the close of a "Highway Patrol" episode reveals how much our society has changed since the days when Broderick Crawford was a household name.

Fat Desert Island Novels

Ground rules: No thin books. Just chubbies. Tell me some that you would take. [And omit books about boat-building.]

My current contenders:
  1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  2. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  3. The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
  4. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
  5. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
  6. A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe
  7. A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin
  8. Memoir from Antproof Case by Mark Helprin
  9. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  10. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

Highly Recommended

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Quote of the Day

Happiness isn't something you experience; it's something you remember.

- Oscar Levant

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Smart people. Great questions. New twists on old subjects.

Exhausting but an instructor's dream.

Marvelous day.

Where's my chair?


You learn early on that life consists of stuff. 

George Carlin made a lot of money talking about it. 

Stuff seems to be everywhere.

People spend time and energy acquiring stuff. 

And more stuff.

What you learn later is that the most important stuff doesn't take up space.

That truly valuable stuff usually is invisible.

But there are times when it can be seen.

Highly Recommended

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Quote of the Day

The most challenging one to manage is you. 

- Scott Belsky

Monday, November 28, 2016

Please Repeat That

Mike. India. Charlie. Hotel. Alpha. Echo. Lima.

Quickly spell your first name using the military phonetic alphabet.

Handy when dealing with call centers.

Art Break: Okun

Art Contrarian looks at the work of Edward Okun.

Too Much, Not Enough, or Somewhere In-Between?

Governing: Police Chief David Brown's efforts to change the Dallas Police Department. An excerpt:

What Brown’s career -- and his surprise resignation -- shows is that it’s extremely difficult to get it right when it comes to police reform. Homicides in many cities are rising again. At the same time, a string of questionable and, in some cases, horrifying police shootings has made police reform a necessity. Brown’s story is about how one police department facing a rising homicide rate has sought to change the way its officers use force. It’s a story about real accomplishments, difficult tradeoffs and pushback from many sides. And as in so many American cities, it’s a story that begins with a shooting.

First Paragraph

Edward Paul Abbey began keeping a personal journal in 1946, viewing it as an important resource in his hoped-for career as "a writer of creative fictions." He was nineteen at the time, serving as an army motorcycle cop in postwar Italy. Abbey continued the  practice of writing to himself until days before his death on March 14, 1989. The product of those four-plus decades of "scribbling" (his term,) was twenty cursive volumes kept in eight-by-ten and five-by-seven notebooks

- From Confessions of a Barbarian: Selections from the Journals of Edward Abbey, 1951 - 1989, edited by David Petersen

Disguised Distractions

Distractions can be disguised as meetings, research, analysis, entertainment, networking,and a variety of other actions. 

They can be facilitated by computers and smartphones which, in the name of keeping us connected, frequently distract our attention from things that would be far more beneficial.

What might those be? 

Listening, thinking, and achieving..

Look at your workweek and ask, "Are distractions the norm or the exception?"

Highly Recommended

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Quote of the Day

I have little patience with anyone who is not self-satisfied. I am always pleased to see my friends, happy to be with my wife and family, but the high spot of every day is when I first catch a glimpse of myself in the shaving mirror. 

- Robert Morley

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Find Something Beautiful Today