Friday, 10 August 2012

FRIDAY MORNING RAMBLE: It’s the Double Double Edition


Wow!   The Lightning Bolt has struck twice twice!  The 100/2oo double at the Beijing Olympics, then the same again in London—easing up in the last dozen metres in all four events.

The story of the fastest man ever, and the unprecedented Jamaican 1,2,3, should be the story of today. But there are others…

Let us rejoice in the reign of Usain – and bring back Ben Johnson!
Usain Bolt has won the race against history (so far…) – Mick Hume, SPIKED

You can’t joke about Nasty Korea when you compile your medal tables.
Naughty Brisbane Metro – LIBERTY SCOTT

But you can joke about The Olympics.
John Clarke on the Olympics - 'Freakishly gifted' in front of the TV – John Clarke, NZ HERALD

An unfortunate lesson from the Olympics.
Another Example Of Why Central Planning Is A Bad Idea – Simon Black, ZERO HEDGE

Research tells the story. Sex for athletes before an event is good. “We believe that a woman gets better results in sports competition after orgasm.” [NSFW]
Sex is Good…for Athletes! – BOBBI STARR

“An expat Brit in Australia says his countrymen aren’t obsessing over their lack of Olympic gold because they have no ‘culture of complaint’.” And apparently he hasn’t gone outside for the last fortnight.
Why the Lucky Country isn’t blubbing about losing – Nick Cater, SPIKED

I love history. In 1912, Britain coming third in the medals table was considered a disaster.
Britain third in Olympic medal table. What a disaster! – Patrick Crozier, SAMIZDATA

But here’s something to celebrate. The pasty Brits might have rediscovered their sporting mojo.
Say it loud and clear, we're on crest of a wave at the London Games – MAIL ONLINE

You can’t force folk to volunteer. A 2012 Games volunteer says it’s a massive folly for officials to try to ‘capture and recreate’ the volunteering instinct so successfully harnessed for the Games. (A great piece, although what he calls “the altruistic spirit” is just taking responsibility for something about which you selfishly want to make happen.)
You can’t bottle the volunteer spirit – Ollie M. Picks, SPIKED

Serious question: Is design a bigger draw than sports events? Comparing Olympic London to World Design Capital Helsinki says “yes.”
Is design a bigger tourist draw than sports events? – SMART PLANET

We live in amazing times:

“Hey Grandma, I'm sitting at a food court, looking at a
360-degree photographic panorama of Mars on my iPhone.”

            - Robyn Gallagher

He makes a good point:
Why the jury in the Scott Guy murder trial should have been privy to all the facts about Ewen Macdonald – BRIAN EDWARDS MEDIA

While the knives go firmly in his back, where exactly is Cunliffe?
Wales, wine and whiskers – WHALE OIL

the currently fashionable rush to assert positions of either so called “liberal” or “conservative” views on legislation to allow more or less same sex marriage, no one seems to ask  why on earth we need the state passing laws to “let us” or “prevent us” marrying?”’
Why do we need state branded marriage at all? – EYE 2 THE LONG RUN

The NZ Government and the IRD have devised another vicious new scheme. They’re going to charge income tax on income not even earned. Even if you earn a loss!
LTC’s:  A Fraud On The Taxpayer – Mark Hubbard, LIFE BEHIND THE IRON DRAPE

Oh look.
Politicians and lobbyists seek exemption from political lobbying bill – DIM POST

Is there any question about it?
"ACT brand has been irredeemably damaged" – LINDSAY MITCHELL

In the last five years, 44 New Zealanders were killed by criminals out on bail. This is inexcusable.
Killing on bail – KIWIBLOG

Holy shit! “I’ve just heard that Graham Watson died in a car crash near Pokeno…”
Graham Watson RIP – KIWIBLOG

“Dear Mr President, Now that your re-election campaign is in full swing, I wanted to share with you some thoughts on how we can make sure that you are able to continue your work promoting Progressive policies—especially protecting entitlements from right-wing radicals….”
Elizabeth Warren’s Secret Memo To President Obama (Satire)Don Watkins, LAISSEZ FAIRE

“[‘You didn’t build that,’ Mr President? You’re saying] if you do not
create everything, you create nothing.
    Since Thomas Edison didn’t discover electricity, invent glass,
learn how to forge metal, and devise language, he didn’t invent
the light bulb. An artist doesn’t create a painting because the
pigments are already there on his palette. A child putting together
Lego blocks is not building anything because the Lego blocks
were provided for him.
    The only act that would count as creation is making something
out of nothing–creation ex nihilo.”
            - Harry Binswanger, “Revenge Of The Zeros: The Battle Between Ayn Rand And Collectivism
             Reaches A Climax

Curiosity and reason together drive exploration of Mars. “It is the result of reasoned engineering—thought.”
Curiosity Drives Exploration of Mars – Ari Armstrong, OBJECTIVE STANDARD

An "obesity crisis" where people not long ago were starving to death doesn't seem like such a terrible thing.
In Nairobi, business is booming in the gleaming new branches of KFC – Daniel Howden, INDEPENDENT (UK)

“University exams are never anyone's idea of a rollicking time, particularly when your professor rambles on besotted for 23 hours, denies you sustenance and bathroom breaks, and covers topics not on the syllabus, such as her wardrobe and outside business interests.”  Perfect training to be a nuclear physicist.
This is how to examine studentsANTI DISMAL

Shock! Sensitive journo student exposed to real world. Hilarious postmodernism ensues.
Notes from a Tabloid Newsroom -  FARRAGO
Pomo goes to work – Sinclair Davidson

In Australia, hotel and motel owners have no right to decide what sort of businesses are operating from their premises.
Australia: Great moments in discrimination law – Walter Olson, OVERLAWYERED

Bureaucrats. They’re always concerned with the big issues.
NHS chiefs ban metal paper clips after worker cuts finger on one – DAILY MIRROR

No, it wasn’t invented in the San Fernando Valley by someone twelve years old. Winston Churchill was partly to blame.
The abbreviation “OMG” is almost 100 years old – iO9

“The trial of the Russian feminist punk rock band Pussy Riot does not seem to be going well for the Kremlin [or for the band]. As we learned during an interview with Cuban frontman Gorki Águila, punk musicians don't take well to authoritative regimes.”
Cuban Punk Rocker Gorki Aguila on Music, Life and Getting Led Zeppelin Records in Cuba – HIT AND RUN

It was always so.
"No Future" - punk's past – NOT PC, 2009

Okay, on the anniversary of the second use of an atomic bomb during World War II, someone has to make the argument. It takes a historian.
Why Drop an Atomic Bomb? To Save Lives! – Anita Folsom, BURTON FOLSOM

“Today’s debate about global warming is essentially a debate
about freedom. The environmentalists would like to mastermind
each and every possible (and impossible) aspect of our lives.”
            - Vaclav Klaus, Blue Planet in Green Shackles

Warmists are losing. It’s the fault of white conservative males everywhere. Oh, and the evidence.
A reply to Robert Manne by an ageing conservative white male – Steve Kates, CATALLAXY FILES
The Climate of Opinion - Steve Kates, QUADRANT

“So what ingenious ruse have the Warmists alighted upon to disguise the awkward fact that they are losing every important scientific argument going? Simple: they’ve now decided that whenever the weather does anything extreme anywhere in the world, it’s another sign of Climate Change.”
'A sudden increase in extreme weather events': the new Big Lie – James Delingpole, TELEGRAPH

And you can always just make shit up. 
July 2012 Hottest Ever in the U.S.? Hmmm….I Doubt It – ROY SPENCER
Climate Catastrophe or Media Hype? – Madhev Khandekar & Tom Harris. PJ MEDIA
NASA's Hansen Uses 30 Year Cherry Picked Time Period To Prove That Climate Is The Most Extreme In 10,000 Years – REAL SCIENCE
Hansen Is Defiling US History – REAL SCIENCE
Is climate change to blame for recent heat waves? – Wynne Parry, FOX NEWS

Hell, making shit up works in every other branch of government.
Reality Deficit: Left and Obama Misrepresent Debt and Deficit Over Last Four Years – Yaron Brook, LAISSEZ FAIRE

Japan is not the richest and most technologically advanced country in the world. In fact, it’s a disaster.
The Curious Case of Japan in the 21st Century – FORBES

PS: Still not too late to sign up for Scott Powell’s masterful, and highly topical, online history of Japan, so you can judge for yourself what happens next.
The History of Japan (Online) – POWELL HISTORY

Message from Australia…
The mining boom is over – Dan Denning, MONEY MORNING AUSTRALIA

Chinese Treasury officials have a unique attitude to economic data. But their forecasts are always correct. Except…
Forecast accuracy- Sinclair Davidson, CATALLAXY FILES

Warren Buffett reckons  rich folk should pay more tax? Warren Buffett can go to hell, says George Reisman, who utterly, thoroughly and definitively demolishes not just Buffett’s arguments for class warfare, but all arguments for class warfare. (And it costs you just 99 cents and a Kindle Reader.)
Warren Buffett, Class Warfare, and the Exploitation Theory. – GEORGE REISMAN’S BLOG

Now that is a good use of £250,000.
Economist won £250,000 for THIS proposal to exit the Eurozone - SOVEREIGN MAN

Is Paul Krugman a coward as well as a big government shill? We have evidence.
Tom Woods Calls Out Paul Krugman and Challenges Him to Debate Bob Murphy – ECONOMIC POLICY JOURNAL

imageDetlev Schlichter’s Paper Money Collapse provides a sweeping view of monetary history and of today’s place within it… in both his defense of inelastic or commodity-backed money and in the power with which he demolishes every main argument for its non-backed and elastic opposite…
    Schlichter’s book does much more than show that our present system of fiat money is headed for collapse—just like every other such system across history has done. The book also nails so many crucial areas of economics that you can profit from reading it on that basis alone.”
A Central Banker Could Commit Seppuku With the Pages of This Book – Daniel Wahl, PURPOSEFUL READER

Message to the central planners who have failed to lift any economy out of its funk: “Instead of fighting the depression, you have to give it a chance. You have to let bankrupts be bankrupts... you have to let defaulters default... you have to let bad debt go bad and bad managers go unemployed and bad banks go belly up….
    When you are doing something that is bad for you - such as spending more than you can afford... or inflating the currency - you should stop doing it, ASAP. Adding more credit to a debt-soaked economy is a disastrous mistake. It should be stopped forthwith.
    Then, nature can take over... and correct your errors.”
What Central Planners Can Never Know – Bill Bonner, DAILY RECKONING

On "the manifest futility of the International Monetary Fund" & the inanity of various plans to demolish money…
The Return to Sound Money – LUDWIG VON MISES

They get my vote.
10 Reasons Why Austrian Economics Is Better Than Mainstream Economics - JAKUB BOŻYDAR WIŚNIEWSKI

Um, what role did the credit rating agencies play in causing the Financial Crisis?  Good question. Yaron Brook answers.

“One thing everyone can agree on is that there is not enough equality of opportunity.”  Well, not everybody.
Fact is, “equality of opportunity” is incompatible with freedom.
Just Say “No” To Equality of Opportunity – Don Watkins, LAISSEZ FAIRE

The great Hernando se Soto reminds us never to forget the power of the poor.
The Power of the Poor -

As De Soto understood, capitalism is fundamentally a philosophic, not an economic, endeavour. Here are some of the best online resources you could wish for to understand the philosophy of capitalism.
The Philosophy Of Capitalism – Don Watkins, LAISSEZ FAIRE

Here’s an excellent question:
“Why Aren’t Murderous Communists Condemned Like Nazis Are?” – Walter Williams, INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY

A deserving finalist in the NZ Timber Awards was the new, and stunning Auckland Art Gallery extension (above). But there were other stunners too,
Timber Design Awards 2012: Finalists Announced – NZ WOOD

Oh yes, and the new gallery extension also, and deservedly, won the NZIA New Zealand Architecture Medal for 2012.
Auckland Art Gallery Wins New Zealand's Top Architecture Award – NZIA

Actually, this is one of the few occasions I agree with Brian Rudman.
City orchestra deserves much more – NZ HERALD

I agree with Diana Hsieh; this (detail of a larger painting by Alexei Ravskis) is magnificent:
Alexei Ravskis Painting: Sheer Intensity – NOODLE FOOD

A Google Maps Tour of Famous Authors’ Homes – FLAVORWIRE

Spotify, et al. For and against.
I ain’t seen a sign of my heroes / And I’m still diving down for pearls – Simon Grigg, THE OPINIONATED DINER

Good news from history. The Islam world not only nurtured Aristotle’s thought, it also gave us coffee, democracy and the Enlightenment. Mind you, the Islamic world was different then.
How the Islamic world gave us coffee and democracy - 3 QUARKS DAILY

Christians often claim the Ten Commandments are the basis of our legal system. But what would it look like of they were right…
Ten Commandments, in LawNOODLE FOOD

[Hat tips and thank you to Russell W., Geek Press, Thrutch, Climate Depot, Junk Science, Radley Balko, Architizer, Steve Baker MP, Augustus Van Dusen, Paul Litterick, Maria Popova, Ben Packham]

Thanks for reading.
Have a great weekend.


  1. The Mars Robot maneuver intelligently on the surface of Mars in funky moves just like this classic Curiosity.

  2. One fucking comment for all of this incredible blog post? Well, two now.

    Peter, the Gulch beckons.


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