Thanksgiving

Why is today called “Thanksgiving”?  George Washington, first President of the United States, informs us. Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish

Continue reading

Yes, you can cook a frozen turkey

I’ve been caught short more than once by a turkey that didn’t defrost fast enough to be fully thawed by the time I was ready to cook it.  I wasn’t aware of it until now, but apparently there’s a method to cook even a deep-frozen turkey without first defrosting it.  San Francisco DJ Rick Stuart tells us how. I just put the frozen turkey in a 325 oven on a lower rack in a rimmed baking sheet like you would use for cookies. That way hot air can get around it to cook. Don’t use a roasting pan with high sides.

Continue reading

F-4 Phantoms at play in the dusk

Some months ago I put up a video clip of Japanese Air Force F-4 Phantom aircraft, filmed in slow motion at and around the Hyakuri airfield.  Now a companion video has emerged of the last two squadrons of Japanese Phantoms, filmed at dusk and during the twilight hours, also in slow motion. The Aviationist notes: All the remaining F-4 Phantoms of the Japanese Air Self Defense Force are stationed at Hyakuri Base … a fighter squadron, the 301 Hikotai, and a reconnaissance squadron, the 501 Hikotai. The 501 Reconnaissance squadron is scheduled to cease operations and become a fighter unit in March 2020

Continue reading

Fake science, sexual reality, and gender identity

Last week I noted that the ACLU’s claim, that one can be a man and still have periods, get pregnant, etc., was scientifically false;  that sex was determined by the chromosomes, and they are definitive.  Since then, I’ve received a certain amount of pushback from transgender individuals and/or lobbyists, trying to persuade me (or browbeat me into accepting) that the science is rather more involved than that, and that gender fluidity and/or identification is not a matter of the chromosomes alone. I accept that psychological or psychiatric problems can lead some people to adopt a different mental outlook on their gender and

Continue reading

Fish plastic and canal clearing

Two unrelated sources this morning turn into a single blog article.  Ah, the wonders of imagination . . . First, Old Salt Blog brings us the news that an engineering graduate in England has won the James Dyson Award for inventing a biodegradable plastic made from fish waste.  You can read more about it at the link. This is some very useful research.  I don’t know how many of my readers have walked past a fish processing plant, and been assailed by the stench of rotting fish waste products.  It’s . . . impressive . . . not to mention probably reportable as a

Continue reading

Three very important little books that everyone should own

One can argue until the cows come home about politics and partisanship.  Today the latter appears worse than ever, although I’m sure that’s because we can’t go back in time and see how bad it was in earlier generations.  Nevertheless, the “pressure groups” trying to influence society and politics are particularly active, and particularly vocal, at present. Vilified by many people because of his perceived right-wing politics (which are often exaggerated and distorted by his critics), Vox Day has nevertheless been proved by events to be a very accurate observer of the extremist left wing of politics and culture.  He’s

Continue reading

Never poke a bear with a stick . . . it might turn around and bite you

One thing that’s struck me about the impeachment hearings in Congress over the past couple of weeks is the sheer mendacity of the proceedings.  So many people – witnesses, legal counsel and politicians – are lying, or “spinning” what’s been said to suit their partisan purposes, that it’s become very hard to sift through the dross to find the occasional nugget of truth.  That applies to both sides, of course.  There are honorable exceptions – for example, Rep. Elise Stefanik has been a breath of fresh air with her strictly fact-based analyses, and a joy to watch as she refuses to allow

Continue reading

Sunday morning music

Guitar and rock aficionados will instantly recognize the name of Yngwie Malmsteen.  He’s been active for over 40 years, and, a decade ago, was rated 7th out of 10 of the greatest electric guitar players of all time.  He has an almost cult-like fan following. Although he’s generally considered to fall into the heavy metal genre, his playing style has been described as neoclassical.  He’s always been open about the influence of classical music and musicians on his playing style.  I thought rock and classical music buffs alike might like to hear him talk about that, and offer examples.  I close

Continue reading

Saturday Snippet: the perils of small game collecting in West Africa

In the 1950’s, naturalist Gerald Durrell went to what was then known as British Cameroon in West/Central Africa to collect animals for zoos in Britain.  He chose the region of Bafut for his collecting activities, and recruited local tribesmen to help him in his hunt for specimens.  In a moment of whimsy, he christened his hunters, collectively, The Bafut Beagles, which became the title of the book he wrote about his adventures.  It was an instant best-seller when it was released, and remains popular today. Here’s how Durrell and the Beagles hunted the rock hyrax, an animal well known to me in South Africa as the dassie.  The picture

Continue reading

A priceless journalistic boo-boo!

This correction notice had me rolling in the aisles – and yes, it’s genuine.  I’ll let the tweet speak for itself. A Purple Heart for an IUD injury?  I imagine emergency room staff all over the country would pay for the privilege of treating that injury . . . that is, if they could stop laughing long enough to do so!  As for the officer writing the citation for the medal, it could only be a miscreant Second Lieutenant fresh out of OCS! Verily, the mind doth boggle . . . Peter

Continue reading