A call to artists and graphic designers

I’m working hard on the third book in the Maxwell Saga, and have many more books planned or under consideration.  Until now I’ve used stock images for my covers, with editing and graphic design input by Oleg Volk (who’s done an amazing job – check out the covers in my sidebar for examples – and who will probably continue to design my covers, using author-supplied images).  However, I’m finding it difficult to locate cover art that meets my needs for future books.  Stock images are OK at a basic level, but not much further than that.  I know that other

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So much for the minimum wage

I note that the minimum wage is again in the news, both in Washington DC, where an attempt was recently made (but vetoed) to force big retailers to pay a higher minimum wage, and in California, where a bill to increase that State’s minimum wage awaits the Governor’s signature. As ammunition when you discuss the issue with your family and friends, here are two classic videos exposing the fallacy of the minimum wage issue.  The first is from famed economist Milton Friedman. The second is from well-known reporter John Stossel. There you have it.  Those who support a minimum wage

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Looking to things rather than people for solutions – again

Yesterday I pointed out that banning guns, or alcohol, or whatever, because they are misused by people, is missing the point.  If people’s choices, characters and behaviors are the problem, banning an object, a thing, won’t solve it.  Only changing the true underlying cause(s) will cure it. Today we see yet another example of that. It’s the most devastating mistake imaginable: Parents killing their own children when they accidentally back their vehicles over them. Dozens of children have died in such accidents this year alone. Technology exists that could eliminate drivers’ blind spots and prevent the accidents from occurring —

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Karl Denninger is ‘going Galt’

To my sorrow, but hardly to my surprise, the inimitable Karl Denninger (whom we’ve met in these pages on many previous occasions) has decided to ‘go Galt‘ as far as future income-producing activities are concerned.  This appears to include a drastic reduction in the amount of material he makes available to his readers.  Here’s an excerpt from his announcement. We all have our point at which we simply refuse to consent.  A few, like Joe Stack, take that refusal and turn it into acts of violence.  Singularly such acts are futile and amount to nothing more than martyrdom at best

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A whole passel of Doofi!

I don’t think I can confer ‘Doofus Of The Day’ awards on so many entries simultaneously, but I think many of these folks would qualify!  The Vine, an Australian Web site, has published a pictorial list of 28 Hilarious Police Reports, culled from newspaper columns all over the world.  Here are a few to whet your appetite. Police receive a report of a newborn infant found in a trash can.  Upon investigation, officers discover it was only a burrito. A woman called police when she found an upside down turtle on her front lawn at 11 a.m. June 1.  The

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Is this the end for the Martin Mars?

Readers may be familiar with the Martin Mars, the largest flying-boats ever built in the USA.  The prototype first flew in 1942.  Only seven were produced, the last of which is still flying as a water-bomber in Canada. Now comes news that its days may be numbered. Nearly a dozen jobs are on the line at The Coulson Group of Companies aviation division after news that the provincial government has cancelled a direct award contract for the Martin Mars waterbomber. Coulson’s flying tankers unit employs up to 20 people during the height of fire season. Wayne Coulson bought both Martin

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Stupid and sage advice on security

I’ve been struck by two articles that landed in my e-mail inbox today.  Both have implications for our personal security.  One is very silly in parts;  the other, very wise. The silly article concerns a study by Northwestern University’s Medical School. A person near a liquor store or tavern on the West Side or South Side of Chicago is up to 500 times more likely to be shot than others in these neighborhoods. . . . “It makes sense,” said lead investigator Marie Crandall, M.D., associate professor of surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a physician at

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Shooting frozen flowers

I have to admit, I’d never have thought of it – and still less described it as ‘art’ – but this is strangely fascinating. German photographer Martin Klimas has a thing for explosions. Previously, he’s made art by photographing shattered fragile ceramic figures as they hit the ground and firing projectiles at onions, pumpkins and ears of corn. Now, he’s brought this explosive approach to a new medium: flower blossoms in full bloom, frozen by liquid nitrogen. “I was inspired by the blossoms themselves,” he says of his new project, “Exploding Flowers,” which he worked on for nearly a year

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