A Better World (2)
The OccupodPeople Will Save Us

Friday Ephemera

The starlings of Rome. // Surfing, Matrix-style. // This is exactly why I’ve never had a moustache. // How to relocate a sedated rhino. (h/t, Ka-Ching!) // The perpetual dilemma of Michael Moore. // Mythical injustice. // Unfolding apartment. // The interactive periodic table of swearing. // Why “social science” is disreputable. // Nature wants to eat you. (h/t, R. Sherman) // “If there’s one speech about the climate debate worth reading in your lifetime, this is it.” // GroundBot. // Outgrowing Marxism. // The explosions of Michael Bay. // The 10 best villains in literature? // Truckstopping. // TasteSpotting. // Following the reindeer.



"Michael Bay and explosions are the Bogart and Bacall of our times."



'There is more than one explosion for each minute of Michael Bay's nine films.'

But is that enough? There's at least twenty minutes of 'Armageddon' where nothing at all blows up.


David, thanks for the Thomas Sowell interview.

"One of Barack Obama's great gifts is the ability to say things that are absolutely absurd and make them sound not only plausible but inspiring… it's ludicrous but it's very clever ludicrousness."

Good stuff as usual.



Sowell is almost always worth the time. I like the bit about the “priestly caste” – the usual middle-class ‘radicals’ pretending to be “the people” (while they advocate a worldview that disdains both the choices of “the people” and the idea of their autonomy). Also his comments on Marx’s “apocalyptic” personality. And Obama’s “clever ludicrousness” seems less clever and more desperate with each passing month.


Here's one. Paragliding with hawks.

Ted S., Catskills, NY


I'd agree with that comment, but in a different way. I never got what was so romantic about the relationship between Betty Persky and Mr. Mayo Methot.

Ted S., Catskills, NY

I think the starlings of Rome video would go better with this piece of music.



I always enjoy reading Thomas Sowell but there are two sections in the interview that disappoint me. First the interviewer mentions gay marriage in the context of undermining the family and Thomas nods along, why can't conservatives view gay marriage as enhancing the family? Surely the goal of these gay men and women is to create a family. Then he uses the term enhanced interrogation, let's call a spade a spade, it's torture.

From my perspective this doesn't undermine all the other good points he makes but there would be no point in my sending a link to my leftist friends in the hope Thomas is more persuasive than me.

carbon based lifeform

The interactive periodic table of swearing

The world's most awesome Christmas present for 12 year old boys.

(Yes, I want one too.)


“The world’s most awesome Christmas present for 12 year old boys.”

I suspect it might get a little wearing by lunchtime. And I was a bit puzzled by “arseholes for goalposts.” That was new to me.

I am, though, tempted by this idea for the next fancy dress party.

Which somehow reminded me of this.

John Holland

Re: periodic table of swearing

"Face like a shitflap"

I'll have to find a way to work that phrase into my next sales presentation.

Better yet, perhaps I could borrow the device for the next tradeshow ...

Rich Rostrom

Many great links, as always.

But - David, ISTM that the Ephemera postings should be apolitical. Personally, I think that Sowell is a genius, Ridley's speech is extremely cogent, and contemporary "social science" is often corrupt.

But it seems incongruous to mix links illustrating these points fit in with links to a filmmakers's explosions, a gallery of truckstop photos, videos of strange animals and machines, and mustache mash-ups.

It's combining the serious (and to many, controversial) with the frivolous and amusing.

Just a thought.



“ISTM that the Ephemera postings should be apolitical.”

I have sometimes wondered whether to make the ephemera apolitical. But it’s been a mixture of whimsy, tat and politics from the start. It’s basically a round-up of things noticed during the week. Hence the incongruity. And if I cut the political (and vaguely political) items, I’d have to find even more news stories about Austrian toilet avalanches.

Not that there’s anything wrong with stories like that.

Dunno. What do people think?


“…but there would be no point in my sending a link to my leftist friends in the hope Thomas is more persuasive than me.”

Well, I don’t feel I have to agree with every single point a person makes in passing, or could be construed as making in passing, in order to engage with the key points of their position. If your leftist friends do feel that way, maybe it tells you something about them.


What do people think?

I enjoy the mix of politics and 'tat' in your ephemera. Each week I don't know what I'm going to find in the list, it could be anything. It's all incongruous - and I like that.


Please don't change the mix. I love it.

Somewhere out there, a Marxist lecturer is adapting his thesis: 'Bacon toilet seat covers as a metaphor for social immobility in a Hegemonic world' into a graphic novel, written by Madeline Bunting and illustrated by Laurie Penny (and funded by the Arts council).

If Michael Bay adapts the film you've got all the bases covered.


“If Michael Bay adapts the film you’ve got all the bases covered.”

At which point, the planets would align and a rift would appear in the fabric of space-time.

And I’m not being blamed for that.


What do people think?

What rj said.


What sk60 said.

Horace Dunn

I like a bit of politics in the mix. In fact, I'm disappointed when there isn't any. So I'm all for your maintaining your current editorial approach.



There’s a more humdrum reason for the inclusion of political items. During the week I may find political stories, interviews or pieces of social commentary that I don’t have the time or mojo to turn into a dedicated post and which don’t coincide with the occasional “elsewhere” compilations. If they didn’t wind up in the ephemera at the end of the week, they most likely wouldn’t be noted at all. And having glanced through the archives, some interesting stuff would have been missed.


"Dunno. What do people think?"

The posts are fine as they are. Isn't politics ephemeral, after all? I sure hope so...


“I sure hope so...”

Amen, sister.


In the link about social sciences, a link to a speech on "Post-Partisan Social Psychology" by Jonathan Haidt. Really good stuff

I think you've linked to this before but always worth a visit. I guess I'm not being apolitical there either - ho hum


my 2 cents...kinda like the break from the political, but when it's over-the-top e.g. most OWS, L. Penney, etc., it feels less political and more like any other form of eclectic human stupidity, which at a certain point I consider a valuable art form.


My view?

Post whatever takes your fancy. It's worked so far.



Yes, I think I will. If only to maintain the illusion that I know what I’m doing.

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