- For some reason, the NRA sat on its review of the notorious Armatrix iP1 “smart” gun and just recently released it. They probably didn’t mean it to be hilarious, but it is.
- Ten ways to lessen your chances of being killed in a terrorist attack.
- #BlackLivesMatter may get all the press, but Tommitrise Collins, college student and new mother, is a lot more impressive.
- Wendy McElroy found this one first, but it should be spread far and wide: thanks to asset forfeiture, U.S. cops now steal more property than all the nation’s burglars combined.
- What The Hunger Games movies say about feminism and war. I read this week that Jennifer Lawrence was initially frustrated with her character Katniss’ reluctance to fight and to lead, but eventually came to understand that it’s one of the character’s great strengths.
- Newly discovered spider named after a Lord of the Rings character. No, not Shelob.
- Well, I’m sure that’s one good reason to fire the head of the DEA. But somehow it hardly seems the biggest reason (to fire the head of the DEA, send all its agents off to work at McDonalds, burn the agency to the ground, and salt the land on which it stood).
- And speaking of the progress on pot, good on you Canadians.
- Hillary: She Who Must Not Be Mocked. (Here’s Nicki’s take on the mysterious phone call. And the video some Hillaryite objected to.)
- Finally dogs painting poetically and dogs wet and dry.
Archive for the ‘Books and Movies’ Category
- The barebones truth about life in the trackless woods. (H/T MJR)
- Well, that’s one reason to join ISIS.
- Larry Pratt: time to make it clear that we will not comply.
- Crybullies, crymobs, and the left’s whiny war on free speech. That last paragraph is a doozy. (Tip o’ hat to D.B.)
- Court rules for husband (and contract) in frozen embryos case. (Having a baby — or not having one — is a lot more complicated than it used to be.)
- The Che Cafe is in the red and fans want California taxpapers and university students to go on subsidizing it.
- Upon request, the FBI has released its files on two of my publishers. :-) (H/T A.G. in comments)
- The released FBI docs give the impression that they really weren’t much interested in Loompanics or Paladin. But as I wrote in this 1998 Wolfe’s Lodge “Sound Off,” I have a bit of evidence to the contrary. (Once again a big thank you to Bill St. Clair for keeping that ancient site alive in his archives. Thanks also to the anonymous designer; I was struck again by what a beautiful site it was for its era (and still). Even now it’s a wonderful place for a rainy-day visit.)
- The latest specials from Backwoods Home: give up to 10 gift subscriptions at half price; buy a copy of Backwoods Home Cooking and get Ask Jackie Homestead Cooking free. NFI on my part. These offers are good through Sunday midnight.
Been deadlining, but all caught up now.
While I had my face buried in my latest BHM house-fixup article, the world outside was getting hammered with the kind of rain that makes even a seasoned Northwesterner wonder if there’s an umbrella (or perhaps a submarine) in the house.
It’s been a decent year in life, but a tough one in the pocketbook (what with The Great Bathroom Project, more medical expenses than I’ve had in the last 25 years, and giving up my biggest client on one of those thorny, stubborn Issues of Principle). Pardon me for being blunt, but I need this Amazon Christmas season to be really, really big.
So once a week between now and Chrismakwanzaahanukkahyule I’m going to feature a few cool Amazonian goodies. You faithful (and blessed) Amazon buyers know the drill. Enter Amazon through any of my Associate links and anything you purchase during that visit earns me a commission. It’s a great thing for me and I hope for you, too, because you’re contributing to this blog just by doing something you’d have done anyhow — shopping for Christmas gifts or treating yourself to something nice. Or something routine, for that matter. (I buy my paper towels and Kleenex in bulk via Amazon and some regular shoppers buy their puppy kibble, their coffee, their vitamins, and their gourmet cooking oils there, too.)
I never know who’s buying what. I only get aggregate reports on items ordered on any given day and items shipped. So your privacy is safe with me.
To start off, here are a few of the items people have bought recently that caught my eye.
Bolt Power X5 Mini 8000mAh Portable Car Jump Starter 400 AMP Peak – Emergency Outdoor Portable Power Pack The product name is self-explanatory. This is simply one of the handiest gadgets I’ve seen come through the orders page all year.
Howard Leight Impact Sport OD Electric Earmuff. These shooter’s earmuffs amplify conversations while suppressing ear-damaging sounds. Reasonable price, super-high ratings. Come in four different colors, too.
A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State by John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute (with an introduction by the great Nat Hentoff). Might wake up a few sleepyheads.
For the more action-oriented book reader there’s 100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative’s Guide to Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation.
And it’s amazing how versatile and inexpensive sports cameras are getting. Here’s one somebody bought this summer: Neewer 1080P H.264 WIFI Sports Camera/Car Recorder with 1.5Inch LCD Display 12MP 170 Degree Wide Angle Underwater 30m for Outdoor Sports Supports All iOS 4.0/Android 7.0 System. Yes, the title Amazon chose is a mouthful, but I left it all in because … well, that’s what the thing does.
On the more low-tech end of the outdoor scale, how about this Tall Cord-Wrapped Wolfhead Hardwood Walking Stick? I have something similar that I used every day while living out in the desert. Really helped on steep slopes and uneven ground.
Knives are always a big item, and this Kershaw 1670S30V Blur Knife with S30V Steel Blade with SpeedSafe is pretty typically popular among Living Freedom readers. (Except of course if you really, really want a Kershaw folder, you might want to check out the special Zelman Partisans model. I get no commission on that, but it’s a terrific knife to support a terrific volunteer organization.)
That’s it for now. Thank you to all who’ve been using my Amazon links. It really helps. Special nod this month to the unknown buyer of those textbooks that seem so unlike a typical Living Freedom purchase, but certainly make my day when they show up among the shipped orders. Many, many thanks to all who surprise me with the big purchases and equal thanks to everyone who keeps the tally building from day to day with purchases of all sizes and kinds.
Must get a few things done this morning, then will return to the “musings” I began the other day. Meantime, here’s some linkage …
- Never thought I’d see it, but here’s one pot-legalization initiative I hope falls on its corrupt, crony-capitalist face.
- What goes around comes around. Amazon is opening its first physical book store.
- The best cities for surviving the zombie apocalypse. Feel free to disagree.
- Is the USDA silencing scientists?
- Love (in a not-so-loving way) Conquest’s third law of politics.
- A happy (though also mysterious) dog tale via Shel in comments.
Back to the “musings” shortly. In the meantime, I must beat back the tide of open tabs …
- “If bacon is so bad, I don’t want to live.” Leisl Schillinger is lying about that. She wants to live — and live boundlessly well.
- Wil Wheaton is right!. The growing trend to expect creative people to work for free, even for large, wealthy organizations, is insane and it’s destroying us.
- Okay, I know it’s a few days late, but these two really are the best Halloween costumes
- “We need more movies like Steve Jobs so long as they’re not like Steve Jobs.” Haven’t yet seen it. Probably will. But this expresses so many valid objections to all “inspired by true” movies and movies about business people.
- The coywolf: greater than the sum of its parts.
- Ah, Wyoming. Freakin’ weird place. Earth. Freakin’ weird place.
I’m reading — rereading, actually — the excellent book Isaac’s Storm, about the Galveston hurricane of 1900.
One hundred and fifteen years later this remains the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history. By a long margin. The San Francisco earthquake? The Chicago fire? The Great Peshtigo fire?* The Johnstown flood? The eruption of Mt. St. Helens? Hurricane Katrina? Forget them. All small potatoes when compared with what befell the people of Galveston.
BTW, for those who care … today is the 60th anniversary of the death of James Dean.
Yes, it’s a tragedy to die young, but it’s quite a feat to achieve lasting glory (and become an eternal symbol of Troubled Youth) on the strength of just three movies. Impossible to imagine James Dean living to 84.
I used to commemorate this day faithfully every year to the point where it became a running joke for my friends. Been lax about it lately. But sixty years dead and still going strong; that deserves some notice.
Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs
By Johann Hari
This is a remarkable book. If it were widely read and heeded, the drug war would end tomorrow. Maybe yesterday.
- If you’re a geeky kid who likes inventing electronic gadgets your name better not be Ahmed Mohamed. Poor kid. That’ll teach him to want to be a maker instead of a destroyer. (UPDATE: Looks as if Ahmed might come out of this in good shape, though.)
- I love it! And A.G. was so right when he asked in comments, “How did this ever make it into the New Yorker?” (Speaking of coming-of-age novels, as we were) “The Politically Correct Lord of the Flies.”
- Ulp. I always thought snakes in toilets was a myth.
- Damn! The world is ending. Again. This month. I wish it would stop doing that.
- Selfie-generation dimwits.
- Google. It’s really, truly everywhere. Perhaps even in your front yard.
- Per Laird in comments: Here’s one small town that’s dealing with police brutality the right way.
(H/T to the Usual Suspects ;-) )
Pat sent me a list of 11 classic coming-of-age novels. I’ve read 7 of the 11 (only saw the movie of another); Pat can account for 7-1/2.
The ones I’m familiar with are great books everybody will probably encounter at some time, and some may (at the right moment) even be life-changing, as the article claims. But I also noticed the whole list is from another age.
For that matter, what constitutes a coming-of-age novel? I never thought of Catch-22 (on the original list) in that context even though I first read it at 14. OTOH, I could make a serious case that The Lord of the Rings trilogy is the greatest coming-of-age fiction of all time, despite the protagonist being a 50-year-old hobbit.
So how about you?
* What makes a great coming-of-age novel?
* How many on the original list of 11 have you read?
* And what’s missing from that list and why should it be on there?