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March 09, 2015

"Plush Life: Why did people lose their minds over Beanie Babies?"

Belonging to a household one of whose members participated, albeit less so than the extremes mentioned here, I found this interesting.

March 08, 2015

"The Few, The Loud, The Marines"

"Some Marines tell tales. Others become characters in them."

March 04, 2015

"Two Cheers for Corruption"

By Deirdre McCloskey and it's a tour de force in a small space.

I don't agree--small corruption might be "O,K." but large-scale corruption is not. And cutting the federal government would go a long way to solving the problem. 

But it's an impressive piece: Jay Cost is wrong, Samuel Bryan is wrong, Madison is wrong, and Adam Smith is only half right. You don't read that sort of thing every day.

February 24, 2015

"Alzheimer's breakthrough as scientists discover how to stop disease in its tracks, paving the way for 'statin-like' drug"

Let's hope it proves out.

See also another possibility: "A Bold New Experimental Treatment for Alzheimer's Dementia". (This link courtesy of Michael Greenspan.)

February 22, 2015

Even better than the "New" Nixon . . .

Remember that? Prepare yourselves--maybe--for "Hillary 5.0".

"Vindicating Standard Oil, 100 years later"

Fine, short piece explaining why the 1911 Standard Oil decision is not the huge triumph for antitrust it's made out to be.

February 18, 2015

"Election Envy: The Europeans and the Jews"

I'm not sure that anti-Semitism has a lot to do with St. Isadore of Seville and Gregory of Tours, but Mr. Goldman knows a lot more about it than I do, so I'll take his word for it.

February 16, 2015

"Jihadis 14, Crusaders 2: The president perverts history (again)"

Ralph Peters presents a bit of the history of the Crusades.

The president knows as little about history as he does about warfare, and even less about religion. But he’s not alone. With the Left’s successful destruction of history instruction in our schools and universities, even “well-educated” creatures of Washington accept the Arab fantasy that the cultural incompetence, practical indolence, and spiritual decay of the entire Middle East stems from Richard Coeur de Lion’s twelfth-century swordplay.

Stop it! All of you! And try reading a book or two on the subject. Meanwhile, here’s a starter course in the vast tragedy jihad has posed for every civilization it’s touched for the past 14 centuries — while the Crusades mythologized by Islam’s apologists were a two-century blip whose only practical legacies are a few ruined castles.

January 29, 2015

"Fickle Sun Changed Europe's Climate for 1,000 Years"

"Variations in the sun’s output may explain some of the natural changes in Europe’s climate during the past 1,000 years, including the deadly, cold winters of the 16th and 18th centuries. Earth scientists recently discovered that as solar output dipped, so did temperatures in the North Atlantic, which then may have cooled the climate in Europe."

January 27, 2015

"Changing Climates of History"

Interesting look at recent work by prominent historians on the role of climate in history.

For the most part, these five senior historians use climate change to discuss economic and political history. Unexpected climate shifts, or brief climate shocks, brought crop failure, hunger, unrest—these arguments appear time and again in these five books. In particular, climate shifts help explain economic distress and political violence.

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