Lifes Worth Knowing

Archive for November, 2011|Monthly archive page

Grading Gregory: Grover Norquist

In Current events, Economics, Government, Justin, Meet the Press, Politics, Taxes on November 30, 2011 at 9:20 am

Grading Gregory is a weekly column highlighting one of Meet the Press’s headline interviews with the best journalist in the business, David Gregory.

This week, Gregory places the spotlight on someone who former Senator Alan Simpson called “the most powerful man in America.” It’s not Obama, Reid, or Boehner. It’s not even Tim Tebow. It’s Grover Norquist.

Who?

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The Weekender

In Fascinating, General, Interesting, Justin on November 25, 2011 at 11:46 am

The Weekender is a weekly column devoted to the ideas/articles/videos that I find fascinating and wish I had more time to explore.

Are you sure this isn’t from Lord of the Rings? I honestly had a hard time containing this one until today, but I wanted to try to learn more about it before posting. It’s called the “brinicle” and it is awesome. When winter comes to Antarctica, the cold air begins to freeze the surface water of the ocean. The salinity of the sea lowers the freezing point to about 28 degrees. When water freezes, it purges its impurities, meaning the ice becomes pure, fresh water and and the salt is left behind.

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The Second Time Around

In Jon, Local on November 25, 2011 at 1:32 am

Anyone familiar with the economics of Lancaster or the summertime traffic patterns of Lincoln Highway East knows that, around here, tourism is a kind of a big deal. Millions of visitors filter through the Lancaster area each year, generating revenues approaching $2 billion annually. The primary draw has long been the Plain folk. The unassuming Amish communities sprinkled through the rolling hills are the heart of this economic wellspring simply because of, well, their simplicity.  Whether it is the iconic horse and buggy, the abundance of unintentional Abe Lincoln impersonators, or the barefoot 6 year-old girl wearing a dusty, homemade dress selling vegetables along the side of the road, people come by the millions to observe and absorb some of this obviously unique culture.

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The Rules of the Game

In Banks, Current events, Economics, Justin, Politics on November 23, 2011 at 4:03 pm

In Voltaire’s classic satire, Candide, there is a character named Pangloss who insists that everything is only is it could have been. Everything that happens in the world occurs because that is the only way that it could happen – everything was determined, so we could only take our lumps and move on.

Now, when it comes to the economy, most people, like Pangloss, just assume that things are just the way they are. National economies are such complex structures that there is no way to know exactly what is going on so it is best to assume that it is the way it is for a reason and move on.

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Grading Gregory

In Current events, Justin, Politics on November 21, 2011 at 10:53 pm

If you are a teenager or young adult – there are actually more things to bore you on a Sunday morning than church. I spent my entire life spending Sunday mornings inside a sanctuary and I had no idea that there was such a vaunted slate of Sunday morning news shows on television until I was in college. Most people tend to click past the “Sunday talking heads” programs so they can get to the weekly NFL countdown to be visually assaulted by Deion Sander’s suits.

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The Weekender

In General, Interesting, Justin, Politics on November 18, 2011 at 9:32 am

Recently my work schedule has led me to work over the weekend, but take Fridays off, which means that I usually start my weekends a little bit early. Now, my job usually leaves me little time to peruse the news and try to discover new things. (Hence, the nature of this blog).

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Why “The River Why”?

In Jon, Review on November 16, 2011 at 1:37 am

Tonight I witnessed a terribly familiar tragedy.

Occasionally you will find a book or, if you are really lucky, an author that manages to capture an essential part of your soul. For me, David James Duncan is that author. It seems that every piece he has written somehow feels core to my being, like I intuitively connect with its purpose. Perhaps it is the wandering idealism or simple conservation ethic that lies at the heart of each piece. Maybe I enjoy the simultaneously subtle and intense social criticisms. It could be as simple as I love to fish and be outdoors. Whatever it is, the fact remains that I hold books like The River Why and The Brothers K in the utmost esteem. Enter the tragedy.

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An American Spring

In Current events, Justin, Thoughtful on November 15, 2011 at 10:23 pm

As reported on Al-jazeera this week, the United States is in the middle of an “American Spring” that could be the natural successor to the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and Syria. But is that really a fair comparison?

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Planet Earth: The Big Picture

In Fascinating, Justin on November 13, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Earth | Time Lapse View from Space | Fly Over | Nasa, ISS on Vimeo on Vimeo

This is absolutely beautiful.  Watch it here, or hit the link to see the full screen – either way, it’s worth your time.

thanks to kottke.org

Everyone remembers their first time

In General, Jon on November 11, 2011 at 1:39 pm

In a way, this blog has been a long time in the making. Once upon a time, Justin and I would would sit outside in his hot tub, watch the snow fall, and wax philosophical about everything. History? Check. Religion? Check. Girls? Obviously. Science fiction movies? Sure. The internal structure of a molecule? Occasionally. Those ritualistic conversations came to underscore a basic truth about each of us – that we both had an intense desire to uncover and understand that which we did not know; a trait that came to define  both of us in different ways.

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