Lest We Forget

Further eco-folly from long ago, a few Paul Ehrlich quotes for your enjoyment. The first is from 1970… I’m scared. I have a 14 year old daughter whom I love very much. I know a lot of young people, and their world is being destroyed. My world is being destroyed. I’m 37 and I’d kind […]

The Songs Of Distant Earth Days

Earth Day is fast upon us, and rather than crank out yet another primal scream of dismay, I have chosen (lazy me) to dredge the archives for crunchy nuggets of eco-wisdom past. They do say it’s virtuous to recycle. Earth Day: The Remix… “We have about five more years at the outside to do something,” […]

A Novel Critique Of Life Prolongation

You may remember that four way debate on life extension over at Cato Unbound between Dan Callahan, Diana Schaub, Aubrey de Grey, and Ron Bailey. Nothing much came of it, except for the revelation that Diana Schaub gets a tad sanctimonious when her back is up. If deathlessness ever arrives for human beings, I would […]

You might think it’s a hoax, but read on….

Further information on the Toshiba mini-reactor can be found here and here… A small-scale design developed by Toshiba Corporation in cooperation with Japan’s Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) and funded by the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI) is the 5 MWt, 200 kWe Rapid-L, using lithium-6 (a liquid neutron poison) as […]

Dust-up At The Cato Corral

There’s a bit of a back and forth going on over at Cato Unbound regarding the wisdom of pursuing radically longer lifespans. So far, not too many people have been paying attention. On the pro side we have Aubrey De Grey and Ron Bailey. Long time readers will no doubt already know that my sympathies […]

A Dr. Schaub Christmas Sampler

First, here’s a little bit about her… Dr. Schaub earned her bachelor’s degree with highest honors from Kenyon College in 1981. Her master’s degree and doctorate are from the University of Chicago. Prior to entering academe she was assistant editor of The National Interest magazine in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the American […]

Barsoom: The Reboot

I see that Glenn Reynolds has been touting S.M. Stirling’s latest novel, In The Courts Of The Crimson Kings. If you don’t feel like waiting until March eighteenth, the first six chapters are available online, for free, right here. From what I’ve read so far, I think I’ll enjoy it much more than The Sky […]

Better Late Than Never

Too often, I’m the last guy to become aware of a breaking meme. Here’s a perfect case in point. Some unknown and unsung employee at a UBS AG received this video, unsolicited. Watching its unique pomposity unfold, he realized that while the applicant in question might perhaps not be an ideal prospect, his video was […]

A Wartime Holiday

From Slide Rule, the autobiography of Nevil Shute In the autumn of 1915 my father took advantage of a break clause in the lease to give up South Hill, the house at Blackrock. I think he was concerned at the rising cost of everything due to the war and the mounting income tax, which was […]

The Great War At Home

From Slide Rule, the autobiography of Nevil Shute We had a motor bicycle between us by that time, a new Rudge Multi. My parents must have been very wise to launch out on this extravagance at a time when my father must have foreseen rising taxation, for the Rudge cost almost sixty pounds, a lot […]


From A London Child Of The 1870s, by M.V. Hughes Nearest in age to me came Barnholt, and nearest in ideas and pleasant childishness…Lessons of all kinds were a never-ending burden to him. While Tom was good at Latin, Dym at mathematics, and Charles at music and drawing, poor old Barnholt shone in no direction… […]


From A London Child Of The 1870s, by M.V. Hughes My second brother had mother’s family name of Vivian. This I could not pronounce in my early days, and turned it into Dymond, which soon became Dym. He was the only one who took kindly to school-work, and devoted himself to mathematics. Reserved almost to […]

Tom And Charles

From A London Child Of The 1870s, by M.V. Hughes I have never been able to decide which brother I liked best, for each had some special attraction for me. All four were absurdly unlike in character and appearance, and yet so close in age and size that no stranger could pick out the eldest. […]

Virtual Reality: 1948

From The Lion of Comarre by Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Thrilling Wonder Stories, August 1949 First, some background… One thousand years in the future, Richard Peyton has located the fabled city of Comarre, constructed by a social movement called the Decadents, and lost to humanity for five hundred years. It’s located in a huge continental […]

A Perfect Day

From A London Child Of The 1870s, by M.V. Hughes Dym and Barnholt had gone one day for a long tramp–train to Barnet, thence to St. Albans, and back by Potters Bar. From the outset everything went wrong. They missed the train and had a long wait to begin with. They left their parcel of […]

Mildly Dangerous Victorian Boys Sail Near The Wind

From A London Child Of The 1870s, by M.V. Hughes Adventures of a kind that were not forbidden mainly because mother didn’t know about them were plentiful enough, and usually carried out in the back garden. One boy would dare another to some perilous act, while I was a delighted looker-on, half dreading and half […]

“Transitional Problems of Morale, Attitudes And The Quality of Life”

From The Next 200 Years, by Herman Kahn In the transition to the postindustrial society, a vast group of intellectuals will be created as the need for expertise increases (and for self-serving reasons as well). These intellectuals may suffer from the most intense anomie of all social groups. In becoming a mass profession, they open […]

Benignly Neglectful Victorian Parents

From A London Child Of The 1870s, by M.V. Hughes Whether by design or not, we were allowed almost unlimited freedom, to imperil our lives without any sense of fear, and to invent our own amusements. We never had a nurse, or a nursery, or anyone to supervise us. Instead of this we were given […]

Real Americans Love Fireworks

From 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, By Charles C. Mann This book came highly recommended. I second the motion. Adriaen van der Donck was a lawyer who in 1641 transplanted himself to the Hudson River Valley, then part of the Dutch colony of Nieuw Nederland. He became a kind of prosecutor and […]

Taking Liberties With The Indians

From 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, By Charles C. Mann Striking to the contemporary eye, the 117 codicils of the Great Law were concerned as much with establishing the limits on the great council’s power as on granting them.Its jurisdiction was strictly limited to relations among the nations and outside groups; internal […]