Category Archives: Social Commentary

Avoiding Tickets

Drive one of these cars. This would be more interesting if there were some theoretical basis as to why they’re less ticket bait than others, as opposed to (I assume) empirical data. It’s not clear what else they have in common.

My theory of ticket avoidance is a) don’t drive a red car — they stand out and look fast even sitting still and b) don’t cruise the left lane on the freeway — that’s where cops are looking for speeders. I’ll never rent a red car if I can avoid it. I rarely drive below the speed limit, and I get a speeding ticket about twice per decade or so (a rare enough event that it has no effect on my insurance rates, let alone my driving privileges).

I recall back in the early nineties, when a well-known space activist (who will remain nameless to prevent embarrassment) and I were driving from DC up to Princeton for Gerry O’Neill’s funeral in his rental. We were going through Maryland, which is renowned for speed traps, and I warned him to use the left lane for passing only, but he didn’t heed me, and blithely cruised in it, until he heard the sirens behind him. And while we were pulled over, yet another well-known space activist passed us, saw who was sitting in the driver’s seat, and laughed.

And this all confirmed my theory, sort of, at least to me. I’ve only gotten two speeding tickets on a freeway in my entire life — all the others have been on open two-lanes, or passing through towns and not slowing down enough.

A Trip Down Mammary Lane

Now this is a life-extension treatment that I can really get into:

According to Dr. Karen Weatherby, a gerontologist and author of the study, gawking at women’s breasts is a healthy practice, almost at par with an intense exercise regime, that prolongs the lifespan of a man by five years.

She added, “Just 10 minutes of staring at the charms of a well-endowed female, is roughly equivalent to a 30-minute aerobics work-out.”

I’m pretty sure that it would be hard to OD on it. Though if you do it with the wrong female, it could shorten your life dramatically, I suppose.

Buy Local, Act Evil?

For some reason, this doesn’t totally surprise me:

In an experiment, participants were randomly assigned to select items they wanted to buy in one of two online stores. One store sold predominantly green products, the other mostly conventional items. Then, in a supposedly unrelated game, all of the participants were allocated $6, to share as they saw fit with an anonymous (and unbeknownst to them, imaginary) recipient. Subjects who had chosen items from the green store coughed up less money, on average, than their counterparts. In a second experiment, participants were again assigned to shop in either a green or conventional store. Then they performed a computer task that involved earning small sums of cash. The setup offered the opportunity to cheat and steal with impunity. The eco-shoppers were more likely to do both.

I never fail to be simultaneously amused and disturbed by the hypocritical self righteousness of the same leftists who criticize Christians for the same thing. I also like the way they accuse businessmen, who actually create the wealth in this country, of “greed” while being themselves very generous only with other peoples’ money. Michael Moore is the canonical example of someone who claims to love humanity, but treats actual people like manure.

Take This Paradigm

…and shove it.

Narrow intellectual gatekeeping is omnipresent in academia. Want to know why the government wastes hundreds of millions of dollars on math and science programs that never seem to improve the test scores of American students?[3] Part of the reason for this is that today’s K-12 educators—unlike educators in other high-scoring countries of the world—refuse to acknowledge evidence that memorization plays an important role in mastering mathematics. Any proposed program that supports memorization is deemed to be against “creativity” by today’s intellectual gatekeepers in K-12 education, including those behind the Math and Science Partnerships. As one NSF program director told me: “We hear about success stories with practice and repetition-based programs like Kumon Mathematics. But I’ll be frank with you—you’ll never get anything like that funded. We don’t believe in it.” Instead the intellectual leadership in education encourages enormously expensive pimping programs that put America even further behind the international learning curve.

I hope that Climaquiddick turns out to cause people to question a lot of previously unquestioned institutions and authorities.

The Science Is Unsettled

My thoughts on the climate-change fraud, over at PJM.

[Update a few minutes later]

All the news that’s fit to bury. I liked this: “If Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe are done tormenting ACORN maybe they can figure out how to pose as underaged climate researchers…”

[Update about 8:30 PST]

The ugly side of climate science.

[Late morning update]

Lord Monckton speaks: They are criminals.

[Early afternoon update]

Another “blue dress” moment for the media — the BBC has had some of this info for weeks.

[Update mid afternoon]

I like the comment that offered this code snippet over at McIntyre’s place:

void function fubar(void); {

if dataset == hockeystick then plot(dataset); else fudge(dataset);

return; }

I assume that it’s recursive, in that fudge calls fubar…