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Monthly Archives: July 2012

On the Constancy of Moral Behavior In Matters Human.


Cord Jefferson looks at some great Pompeian graffiti (where can we get the Latin for this, short of having a copy of the CIL in one’s study?) and comes to the (inescapable) conclusion that people are just as dumb, sex-obsessed, filthy-minded, and lowbrow as the worst television or rap music or brainless teenagers you can […]

In Queens.


Walking down the block in the early afternoon on my natal street, and the wind brings to me the smell of the ocean – the summer onshore breeze that sets in on summer afternoons.  So beautiful, and so laced with so many memories – of the small town in the city where I grew up, […]

Finally, Proof of Intelligent Design.


Frequent ingestion of semen, either vaginally or orally, before pregnancy may help reduce nausea and vomiting during pregnancy – but only if the semen comes from the baby’s father.  The medical research looks at this in connection with preeclampsia and more broadly in terms of the health of the pregnant woman.  It always impresses me […]

Against The Self-Made Man.


Philosophically the concept is nonsense, and practically a lie; religiously it is heresy, and politically a mere means of empowering those with the most power.  Mr. Tom Paine on personal wealth: Separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a continent to possess, and he cannot acquire personal property. He cannot be […]



A piece on one of my favorite plants for the Denning Denizen.



A few nights ago I slept little, as a thunderstorm rolled through the area and was sending down bolts all over the mountaintop.  Two bolts whacked trees just on the other side of the field, crackling through the air most impressively.  I was convinced of course that my cabin would be next.  As I’ve said […]

Return of the Monarchs.


Another monarch butterfly caterpillar on my Asclepias this year.  It seems to have pretty thoroughly defoliated the plants, however, and I’m inspired to plant more of these butterfly weeds.  The ones I have I raised from seed, and that year I had so many come up from seed I didn’t know what to do with […]

Fritz Haber.


This is undoubtedly one of the great stories I have come upon recently: Haber, the inventor of fertilizer and hence one of the great benefactors of mankind, also the inventor of chemical weapons.  A thorough tragedy and utterly Faustlike and amazing.  I heard the Radiolab story; other resources are here.

The Garden Grows.


Some of my lettuce has bolted, but other than that things looked very good in my garden on my return.  The gift of much rain.  I’ve been loving the purple basil this year.  Looks great and tastes great too.

Native Plant Gardening in the Catskills.


A piece I wrote for The Denning Denizen.