Negative Space Spaced Out

These are the best sites and discussions that I talk about somewhere in Negative Space. They are the easiest to read and they contain information that you want to read. Some of these links are to software; in this case, the quality of the web site doesn’t matter: it’s the functionality of the software and the ease of use/presentation.

In all cases, content takes precedence. You won’t find any nice-looking web pages that have no use here, while you might find some useful web pages that aren’t particularly designed very well.

Don B. Kates, Henry E. Schaffer, and William C. Waters IV: Public Health Pot Shots
How the CDC succumbed to the Gun ‘Epidemic’ (Reason Magazine, April 1997) Can bad science make good policy? (last checked March 1, 2011)
Alice Cooper: Billion Dollar Babies
It’s difficult to say that an Alice Cooper album is “best” because they’re all so good, but Billion Dollar Babies probably comes closest. This album remasters it and comes with a second disc filled with live versions and outtakes. (last checked November 1, 2009)
Debt Limit—A Guide To American Federal Debt Made Easy.
“A satirical short film taking a look at the national debt and how it applies to just one family.” (last checked January 15, 2012)
Ray Bradbury: Something Wicked This Way Comes
Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town. Two boys explore the circus and their own lives as the town falls under the sway of the show. (last checked March 23, 2012)
Terry Gilliam: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Criterion Edition
This DVD not only presents a great transfer of the movie, but it contains a lot of interesting footage of both Hunter Thompson and Oscar Acosta. (last checked May 25, 2009)
Sarah Palin: Sarah Palin Announces Resignation as Governor, Part 2
"There is where truly the worthy causes are in this world and that’s where our public resources should be, our public priority. We have time and resources spent on that, not on this superficial, wasteful, political bloodsport." (last checked July 3, 2009)
Saeed Valadbaygi: Live Blogging from Tehran!
Saeed Valadbaygi reporting from Tehran on the Iranian protests happening now. (last checked July 17, 2009)
Marko Kloos: why the gun is civilization
“Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that’s it.” (last checked December 18, 2012)
Herk Harvey: Carnival of Souls
This is an awesome DVD package. It goes in-depth not only into Herk Harvey’s influential Carnival of Souls, but also the other kinds of movies he and his colleagues did. There is a great old construction safety short on here, for example. (last checked February 17, 2009)
Clea Saal: An Incomplete Guide to Print-on-Demand Publishers
This is by far the best site on print-on-demand/publishing services companies I’ve seen. I wish I had read this before making my choice! (last checked February 17, 2011)
Kyle Baker: The Cowboy Wally Show
Cowboy Wally hires a director to film a documentary about his life. Drink beer. And watch Sands of Blood interspersed with the Cowboy Wally Show. (last checked May 11, 2009)
Randall Munroe: Tech Support Cheat Sheet
This message to “various parents, grandparents, co-workers, and other ‘not computer people’” is, I suspect destined for immortality. Yes, non-computer-experts, it really is just as simple as this. (last checked April 4, 2017)
Election Day Tea Party 2010
I heard about this web site on the Tammy Bruce show today. It lists “the top 50 races you can help to win”, and includes links to their web sites, twitter feeds, Facebook pages, and YouTube feeds. If you’re looking for tea party-flavored candidates to support with your own time or money, this is a very good list. Find someone near to you, or someone who strikes a chord with your own experiences, and do what you can to make sure they win on November 2. Remember also that this is an issue-oriented election. Coming close isn’t nearly as good as winning, but it can push the winner down more sensible paths than they might otherwise take if they won without opposition. Find an issue that matters to you, and work as hard as you can for the candidates who represent it. (last checked September 21, 2010)
Think Different
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, We see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough To think they can change the world, Are the ones who do. (last checked October 6, 2011)
David Welsh and Theresa Welsh: Priming the Pump: How TRS-80 Enthusiasts Helped Spark the PC Revolution
I’m only twenty-five pages into this book, and I’m already hooked. This is a great book about the early days of the microcomputer industry, the days when the TRS-80 was the only fully off-the-shelf non-kit computer, when Wayne Green was one of the biggest magazine publishers in the United States, and when having a computer meant having friends over to play around at programming. (last checked January 1, 2012)
Derek S. Khanna: RSC policy brief: Three Myths about Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix it
Republicans take on Hollywood in copyright reform: “Current copyright law does not merely distort some markets—rather it destroys entire markets.” (last checked November 18, 2012)
Sarah Hoyt: Malice or Incompetence?
“Recently I came across a news article estimating that 80% of NYC graduates cannot read and write and are functionally illiterate. I’d bet those numbers are not far off across the country, and it wasn’t a surprise. What was a surprise was what my son told me when I discussed the matter with him.” (last checked March 11, 2013)
Jon Peterson: Playing at the World
“Explore the conceptual origins of wargames and role-playing games in this unprecedented history of simulating the real and the impossible. From a vast survey of primary sources ranging from eighteenth-century strategists to modern hobbyists, Playing at the World distills the story of how gamers first decided fictional battles with boards and dice, and how they moved from simulating wars to simulating people. The invention of role-playing games serves as a touchstone for exploring the ways that the literary concept of character, the lure of fantastic adventure and the principles of gaming combined into the signature cultural innovation of the late twentieth century.” (last checked August 12, 2013)
Thomas Sowell: Legacy of the Welfare State
“If we wanted to be serious about evidence, we might compare where blacks stood a hundred years after the end of slavery with where they stood after 30 years of the liberal welfare state.” (last checked September 6, 2016)
Katie Schwarz: Vertigo FAQ
What do you want to know about the Vertigo line from DC Comics? A decent amount of news links here. Worth checking out. Getting a little old, however. November 1999? (last checked May 17, 2007)
Jeff Mason: indy magazine
Interviews with comics creators and reviews from 1994 to 2005. (last checked May 17, 2007)
Patricia Hill: Rec.Food.Recipes
Usenet newsgroup, featuring hundreds, if not thousands, of recipes every week. Go to DejaNews to search the archive of years of recipes! (last checked May 17, 2007)
John Bullough and Michael Rhode: Comics Research Bibliography
Includes bibliography of articles on both scholarship and marketing. (last checked March 1, 2011)
Walter M. Miller, Jr.: A Canticle for Leibowitz
“Canticle” is unquestionably the best story of mankind’s demise since revelation itself. Miller traverses a thousand years beyond the apocalypse, the “Flame Deluge”, as seen through the eyes of a small order of monks in the southwest desert of the United States. (last checked April 19, 2015)
George Orwell: Animal Farm
“Animal Farm” is a critical look at anyone who wants to keep us down “for our own good”. It is brilliantly written and easy to read on many levels. (last checked July 17, 2009)
Norbert Wiener: The human use of human beings: Cybernetics and Society
There are works that come along once in an age and influence generations. Norbert Wiener’s Cybernetics is one of these works. Listen: “The dissemination of any scientific secret whatever is merely a matter of time. In this game a decade is a long time, and in the long run, there is no distinction between arming ourselves and arming our enemies.” Wiener shows a prophetic understanding of the nature of information, communication, and automated control of our environment. If you want a book that tells you about the future of the Internet, buy the one what was written in 1950. (last checked May 16, 2007)
John Landis: The Blues Brothers
The Blues Brothers is a brilliant comedy slash musical with great blues music. Director John Landis set out to include musical numbers covering all the possible musical number types. The DVD includes longer footage from some of the performances, as well as previously deleted scenes. This is a collector’s edition, not a director’s cut, and at least one of the scenes that is restored is also ridiculed by the director in the making of feature. (last checked February 20, 2009)
Richard Linklater: Dazed and Confused Criterion edition
This movie is an incredible tale of sound and fury signifying high school. Linklater has crafted a beautiful story of a bunch of high schools students in Texas on the last day of school in 1976. There is no plot to get in the way of characterization. The soundtrack consists of seventies songs chosen specifically scene by scene for maximum impact. If you were ever in high school, you should see this movie for nostalgia reasons; if not, you should see it as an education. Slow ride, baby. Watch it in English or French, or with English or Spanish subtitles. Dazed and Confused is one hell of a movie; despite being set a thousand or so miles away it nearly perfectly fits my mid-seventies high school experience. (last checked May 25, 2009)
The Ruling Class
When Jack’s aunt asks him how he knows he’s God, Jack replies, “Simple. When I pray I find I’m talking to myself.” (last checked February 20, 2009)
Wendy Seltzer: Eldred v. Ashcroft
The Eldred v. Ashcroft copyright extension case is unfortunately a long-shot, but it is extremely well reasoned. (last checked May 17, 2007)
Herbert Asbury: The Great Illusion: An Informal History of Prohibition
Herbert Asbury’s book has to rank as one of the greatest arguments ever written against the drug war; this book about alcohol prohibition chronicles and forecasts all of the problems with modern prohibition as well. If you can find a copy, this is a must-read. (last checked March 30, 2009)
Edward M. Brecher: Licit & Illicit Drugs
You can also purchase a copy used; as one reviewer wrote, “I learned more in one night from this book than I did in 18 years of being a youth in the Drug War.” I can’t stress enough just how amazing this book is. (last checked May 17, 2007)
Grant Morrison: Animal Man: Origin of the Species
The first volume ends just as it starts getting weird. The second volume really brings a restrained Grant Morrison ethos out into the open. This is where I started picking up the series, on a recommendation from a friend. This was one of those series that kept me coming back into the comic book shop every month; it wasn’t just a love of the story but the stories clear love of superhero comics that sucked me in. (last checked October 19, 2007)
John H. Kim: John H. Kim’s Role-Playing Game Page
A very comprehensive listing of all role-playing games ever available, free, published, out-of-print. Also, intelligent musings on game design and role-playing theory. A very useful site. (last checked January 6, 2008)
Bryan Singer: Superman Returns Special Edition
The two-disc special edition adds some interesting deleted scenes among about three hours of documentaries and other special features. There’s an amazing scene where he reads through all of the disasters that happened while he was gone—train crashes, climate problems, epidemics, massacres, burning buildings, even locusts—but no mention of September 11. Lois’s “Why the World Doesn’t Need Superman” is juxtaposed with “Train crash kills 127”. (last checked October 18, 2009)
John Hayward: What we can do
“There is one other thing conservatives can work on immediately, a mighty task that brave pioneers in the school choice and home-schooling movement have already begun: take back education from the Left. This requires a different strategy from bringing the media around, because the education establishment is a virtual monopoly: enforced by State power, funded by mandatory taxes, and dominated by the most doctrinaire and politically powerful union in the world. The public education system will not change itself in response to ‘competition,’ because it has the government to protect it from its failures. (Both Big Media and the State would very much like to arrange a similar system for the media.)” (last checked October 31, 2009)
Nick Gilder: City Nights/Frequency
Some amazing new wave songs here; Nick Gilder was a unique bit of the end of the seventies and these are his two best albums as far as I’m concerned. If you were around in the seventies, you’ve heard Hot Child in the City from City Nights, but the real highlights are the retro-futuristic songs from the rest of the album, which continued into Frequency. “I’m not clinging to my yesterdays. Tomorrow waits with a hungry gaze. It goes by like a trick of the eye. Still alive to take our chances as we go on into the eighties.” (last checked December 31, 2009)
Bill Whittle: Gawk Like an Egyptian: Wonders of the Modern World
“In times of war and political madness, it helps to count one’s blessings. Bill Whittle offers a vision of how a certain institution Americans take for granted would have amazed the ancients.” (last checked December 26, 2011)
Martin Gardner: The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition
This fantastic book contains the text to both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. But it also contains a side-bar on many pages filled with notes about what phrases meant at the time Dodgson wrote them, and sometimes what Tenniel’s drawings depict. Would you recognize an eel-trap if you saw one today? Gardner also reproduces the originals of poems that Dodgson satired, such as the much more boring originals of “Speak roughly to your little boy” and “You are old, father William”. (last checked March 30, 2010)
Ayn Rand: The Fountainhead
I only read this book a few years ago; what amazed me most after all the bad press Rand gets is how well she writes her characters. In the computer industry, at least, there are people like her architects—and some of our politicians certainly seem to be just like the non-architects. (last checked January 1, 2011)
Samantha’s Thanksgiving to Remember
Samantha goes back in time and sees witch hysteria first hand. (last checked September 19, 2010)
Ray Bradbury: The October Country
A collection of strange and supernatural autumns from Ray Bradbury. (last checked September 26, 2010)
Fred Thompson: Fred Thompson on the Economy
“Trying to fix problems caused by excess consumption with more spending is like telling a fat guy that the way to lose weight is to eat more donuts.” (last checked January 8, 2011)
George W. Bush: Flight 93 Memorial Speech, September 10, 2011
“One of the lessons of 9-11 is that evil is real, and so is courage… Individual choices make a difference. The passengers of Flight 93 set an example that inspires us all.” (last checked September 11, 2011)
Alexandre Dumas: The Three Musketeers
“One of the most famous historical novels ever written, The Three Musketeers (1844) is also revered as one of the world's greatest adventure stories—its heroes Athos, Porthos and Aramis symbols for the spirit of youth, daring, and comradeship. This authoritative new edition of Dumas' classic work is the most fully annotated to date available in English.” (last checked December 31, 2011)
Alexandre Dumas: The Man in the Iron Mask
“The Man in the Iron Mask concludes the epic adventures of the three Muskateers, as Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and their friend D'Artagnan, once invincible, meet their destinies.” (last checked December 31, 2011)
Wikimedia Commons
“A database of freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute.” (last checked March 23, 2012)
Breitbart
Breitbart.com combines the Big Hollywood, Big Government, Big Journalism, and Big Peace news sites. (last checked May 17, 2012)
Walter Tevis: The Queen’s Gambit
Walter Tevis’s novel about a young chess prodigy is an amazing story that makes chess as exciting as any other form of hustling. (last checked August 29, 2012)
Rudyard Kipling: The Gods of the Copybook Headings
We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn: But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind, So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind. (last checked November 7, 2012)
Bob Jeffries: Soul food cook book
Rare, but if you see it and you enjoy southern fried foods, pick it up. You won’t find better. (last checked April 3, 2013)
Chris Hadfield: Space Oddity—in space
“A revised version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station. With thanks to Emm Gryner, Joe Corcoran, Andrew Tidby and Evan Hadfield for all their hard work.” (last checked May 13, 2013)
Ronald Reagan: A Time for Choosing
“Televised Campaign Address for Goldwater Presidential Campaign–10/27/64.” (last checked August 11, 2015)
indyworld: indyworld
Originally a great print magazine, Indy has become the best site out there for getting information Independent and self-published titles. Also includes the “Industry Addresses” compilation for professional use. (last checked September 23, 2006)
Glenn Carnagey: Crazed Ferret
The Crazed Ferret quicktime/avi movies! Must sees! Getting a bit long in the tooth, and what’s with the Star Trek trailer on each one? Nice examples of early multimedia from the Carnageian era of the net. (last checked August 11, 2007)
John Gaushell: WasteLA
Waste L.A.: Descent; the photo-comic to begin photo-comics. And you can order it right here. Or read it right here. Descent is one of the best series I read in 1996, and I strongly recommend you check it out. (last checked January 22, 2007)
Randall W. Scott: Comic Art Collection
Michigan State University library’s Special Collections division, including a list of the comics in the collection. (last checked August 19, 2009)
William J. Walton: The Escapist
Part of (or all of?) The Committee for the Advancement of Role-Playing Games. You can’t join by paying money, only by doing something useful. Also includes one of the best collection of RPG advocacy links on the net. (last checked January 1, 2008)
Steve Jackson: Steve Jackson Games
Includes the GURPS FAQ among a multitude of other SJG gaming info pages. Look for far more than GURPS stuff on these pages. Look too deep and you might never come back. “When you gaze into the warehouse, the warehouse gazes back.” (last checked January 17, 2008)
Peter McWilliams: Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do
Peter McWilliams died in defense of freedom: this book, an incredibly well-written and well-researched book about “the absurdity of consensual crimes in a free society” was probably his death warrant. (last checked November 6, 2006)
Daniel D. Polsby: Treating the Second Amendment as Normal Constitutional Law
“The modern American legal profession has been thoroughly acculturated to Max Weber's conception of the modern state as the monopolist of all legitimate force--a principle in tension with the private keeping of arms for self-defense.” (last checked September 30, 2006)
Grant Morrison: The Invisibles
With Invisibles, Grant Morrison is going off in a similar direction to his work on Doom Patrol and Animal Man. This is a search for reality where everyone wears great clothing! Grant takes on Michael Moorcock, Eastern Philosophy, and Sixties Fashion, and weaves them into a philosophical treatise so deep you’ll need to wear rubber pants. (last checked May 17, 2007)
Andrew Weil and Winifred Rosen: From Chocolate to Morphine
The subtitle is “Everything you need to know about mind-altering drugs.” Philosophically this is true: everything you need to know is that you should understand what you are using. This book is not an in-depth discussion of drugs, however; it is a general guide to recreational drug use, effects, and warnings. The book is designed for teen-agers, and should be in the home of every parent and teacher. “Education based on truthful information is the only solution to the drug problem.” (last checked February 28, 2011)
J.R.R. Tolkien: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
The best fantasy books I have ever read. “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit…” I found the animated movie to be marvelous as well. And the new movies by Peter Jackson are awesome! Great, great stuff. A story about temptation, on many levels. Both the powerful and the small, the wise and the foolish, countries, groups, and individuals, are subjected to temptation. How all of these entities deal with temptation is the real story of “The Lord of the Rings”. (last checked May 25, 2009)
Digital Equipment Corporation: Altavista Babelfish
If you want to read a web page whose language you can’t understand, try passing the URL to the Babelfish. It works amazingly well for a stupid computer. (last checked December 28, 2007)
Elliot S! Maggin
Fan info on Elliot S! Maggin, including descriptions of his contributions to the Superman mythos. Also including samples from “Last Son of Krypton” and “Miracle Monday”, two brilliant novels. This is a must stop site, folks. Find out why he uses the exclamation!!!!!! (last checked December 30, 2008)
Paula Katherine Marmor: Legends
“Exploring Legends in History, Folklore, Literature, Fiction, and the Arts.” Robin Hood, the Three Musketeers, and other heroes of legend explained. Pirates and more! Wonderful site. (last checked December 31, 2011)
Michael Curtiz: Casablanca
Ah, Play it, Sam! If this isn’t the most-quoted movie outside of Macbeth, you’re in the wrong country. This is a beautiful DVD. The movie is presented in the original full-screen format. Languages are French and English, both spoken and subtitled. It also includes a nice documentary hosted by Lauren Bacall. (last checked February 10, 2009)
Stephan Elliott: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Wild outfits, ping-pong balls, ABBA, and not a single kangaroo in sight. Priscilla involves three drag queens from Sydney driving a huge bus across some great Australian desert to a three-week gig at a tourist trap. Beautiful views of the desert. Wonderful costuming. (last checked February 20, 2009)
George Cukor: The Philadelphia Story
Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn. Suave at its best. James Stewart runs away with it. The movie was originally a play, and Katherine Hepburn got the movie rights and got George Cukor to direct. What’s to tell about the story? Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn play an upper-crust ex-couple, and James Stewart and Ruth Hussey play the working class reporters covering their story. (last checked February 20, 2009)
South Park Season 1
I was first introduced to South Park through the movie (which also kicks ass). The television shows are amazing. Variety, of all things, calls it “gloriously subversive art”. Yeah, whatever. It’s great shit that you must eat. (last checked February 10, 2009)
John H. Kim: Free RPGs on the Web
This is by far the best listing of downloadable role-playing games on the web. Judging from the descriptions of my two games, the author has actually read every game to write the description. Well organized. (last checked January 6, 2008)
Robby Reed: Ira Schnapp: The Visionary
“Ira R. Schnapp was an eyewitness to the first-ever appearance of the Man of Steel. He also saw the debuts of the Caped Crusader, the Scarlet Speedster, the Emerald Gladiator, and the Amazing Amazon... in person. He was there the day Barry Allen raced across the bridge between the earths and became the Flash of Two Worlds. He saw the mightiest heroes of comics’ Golden Age unite for the first time to form the Justice Society of America. And he witnessed the unforgettable first meeting of the JSA and Justice League of America with his own eyes.” (last checked October 8, 2006)
Prosper Montagné: The New Larousse Gastronomique
This big old tome is a fascinating browser. It covers the gamut of European foodstuffs; this out-of-print version includes some things you’ll be unlikely to make today, such as Zabaglione à la kola. This dessert includes coca extract. (last checked November 14, 2006)
Eric Partridge: Origins
Eric Partridge’s etymological tome is a tour-de-force. It is the must-have for amateur etymologists. “Simply the best.” (last checked May 17, 2007)
Django
“Django is a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.” Oh, the sweet smell of pragmatism. (last checked September 25, 2006)
Firefox
I personally like Safari a lot, but when I can’t use Safari, Firefox is my browser of choice. It’s a great web browser. (last checked May 19, 2007)
Shamus Young: DM of the Rings
Shamus Young’s epic retelling of The Lord of the Rings movie from the perspective of the player characters is absolutely hilarious, and, fortunately for you, now available in its entirety. If you’re a gamer or a Lord of the Rings fan, this is required reading. (last checked October 8, 2007)
Ron Edwards: The Forge
“This site is dedicated to the promotion, creation, and review of independent role-playing games. What is an independent role-playing game? Our main criterion is that the game is owned by its author, or creator-owned.” Don’t miss the article links arrayed across the top of the forums. (last checked January 27, 2008)
The Gerber Curse
This is a fascinating ongoing history of Steve Gerber (up to three chapters as I write this) by an anonymous author who is not Mark Evanier but is fairly knowledgeable about Gerber’s life. (last checked January 8, 2009)
Microsoft designs the iPod package
This is brilliant. It spoofs how most companies would design the iPod’s packaging, compared to how Apple designed it. (last checked February 18, 2013)
Foreigner: head games
After Double Vision, who would have thought Foreigner could keep getting better? But from the amazingly frightening and evocative album cover to the title track, to Dirty White Boy and of course, Rev on the Red Line, this is probably Foreigner’s best album. (last checked May 31, 2009)
dascottjr: Total Eclipse of the Heart: Literal Video
You probably have to remember this song when it originally came out to truly enjoy this spoof, but I have been watching it over and over again for the last two days. It is just amazingly funny. Most of the “literal videos” I’ve seen afterwards are too literal; but Total Eclipse doesn’t just describe, it penetrates to the evil heart of the eighties. A lot of music videos used dream sequences, apparently out of the belief that things don’t have to be coherent in dream sequences. After a while videos dropped the dream sequence pretense because incoherence was the norm. At least this one didn’t have the band randomly pop up with their instruments without any relation to the storyline. (last checked November 23, 2014)
George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four
George Orwell’s classic novel of a cog in the wheel of the thought police getting caught up in the machine. (last checked July 18, 2009)
ClickToFlash
This is the only add-on I use for Safari: it blocks Flash applications from loading as you browse the web, but lets you choose to view the Flash app with a single click. ClickToFlash has vastly improved browsing speed and the entire browsing experience. (last checked September 5, 2009)
Sarah Palin: Good Intentions Aren’t Enough with Health Care Reform
The bill prohibits insurance companies from refusing coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and from charging sick people higher premiums. It attempts to offset the costs this will impose on insurance companies by requiring everyone to purchase coverage, which in theory would expand the pool of paying policy holders. However, the maximum fine for those who refuse to purchase health insurance is $750. The result: many people, especially the young and healthy, will simply not buy coverage, choosing to pay the fine instead. They’ll wait until they’re sick to buy health insurance, confident that insurance companies can’t deny them coverage. Such a scenario is a perfect storm for increasing the cost of health care and creating an unsustainable mandate program. Those driving this plan no doubt have good intentions, but good intentions aren’t enough. There were good intentions behind the drive to increase home ownership for lower-income Americans, but forcing financial institutions to give loans to people who couldn’t afford them had terrible unintended consequences. We all felt those consequences during the financial collapse last year. Unintended consequences always result from top-down big government plans like the current health care proposals, and we can’t afford to ignore that fact again. (last checked October 18, 2009)
Ridley Scott: Black Hawk Down
This was an amazing, tense, action-filled movie about U.S. Rangers trapped in Mogadishu in 1993. People I know in the military say that this is possibly the most realistic military combat film ever; if so, it doesn’t sacrifice story or a riveting direction. This is possibly Ridley Scott’s best movie—but it’s not one you’re going to want to watch often. (last checked October 25, 2009)
Willis Eschenbach: The Smoking Gun At Darwin Zero
“People say ‘Yes, they destroyed emails, and hid from Freedom of information Acts, and messed with proxies, and fought to keep other scientists’ papers out of the journals… but that doesn’t affect the data, the data is still good.” (last checked December 10, 2009)
Dragon Magazine 57
This was the first issue of Dragon Magazine I’d ever seen. And it’s the best cover Dragon ever had combined with one of the best adventures Dragon ever had: The Wandering Trees. And the articles are among the classics: Modern monsters, History of the Shield. This issue, for me, set the bar for every gaming magazine since. (last checked January 23, 2010)
Shirley Jackson: We Have Always Lived in the Castle
A mysterious tale, with obvious truths hiding poorly behind every page, much as Constance does; beautifully written with lovingly neurotic characters, it’s a great book. (last checked March 15, 2010)
Radley Balko: Ex-Cop Chides Calvo for Questioning the Cops Who Nearly Killed Him
“When you’re using tactics designed to confuse and disorient the people in the house you’re raiding, you can’t then turn around and blame them when, disoriented and confused, they mistake the police for invading criminals.” “The utter tone-deafness of this line from Schweinsburg is appalling. How dare this mayor question the cops who nearly killed him.” (last checked March 4, 2010)
MAME: Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator
“When used in conjunction with images of the original arcade game’s ROM and disk data, MAME attempts to reproduce that game as faithfully as possible on a more modern general-purpose computer. MAME can currently emulate several thousand different classic arcade video games from the late 1970s through the modern era.” (last checked March 18, 2010)
Dave Dries: Virtual Arcade from 1984
One of Dave Dries’ very good 3D renderings of an arcade using MAME graphics and sounds. This one reminds me most of Tin Pan Alley in Ithaca, though it’s got more open space. (last checked March 18, 2010)
Bewitched—The Complete First Season
Watching this was the first time I watched the series in order. It was amazing watching the first season from their marriage through their first year together. Samantha was a god learning to walk on earth; she really treated humans as if they were pets. (last checked May 23, 2010)
Jeffrey Lord: The Ruling Class Hits Christine O’Donnell
“The question for conservatives must always be: victory to what end? Codevilla illustrates in vivid fashion that for the Ruling Class the agenda is always about one thing: power. Power for itself. The prospect of a ‘Senator O’Donnell’ utterly terrifies the Delaware Ruling Class. Not to mention some Ruling Class members who’ve never set foot in the state. That, when you really get down to it, is what this election is really all about.” (last checked September 13, 2010)
Ray Bradbury: Dandelion Wine
The summer of 1928, and the magical events in the life of 12-year-old Douglas Spaulding. (last checked September 26, 2010)
Jim DeMint: Welcome, Senate Conservatives
“Congratulations to all the tea party-backed candidates who overcame a determined, partisan opposition to win their elections. The next campaign begins today. Because you must now overcome determined party insiders if this nation is going to be spared from fiscal disaster.” (last checked November 3, 2010)
David Ogilvy: Ogilvy on Advertising
This is far and away the most informative book about advertising I’ve ever read; which perhaps isn’t saying much, but the ideas on presentation in Ogilvy on Advertising also make sense for cover design and web design. (last checked November 18, 2010)
Indigo Girls: rites of passage
The best Indigo Girls album, because it was the first one I listened to. “Galileo’s head was on the block. His crime was looking up the truth.” (last checked February 17, 2011)
Winston Churchill’s “Finest Hour”
“What General Weygand has called the Battle of France is over. The Battle of Britain is about to begin…” (last checked April 29, 2011)
Apple Computer
Think Different. (last checked June 6, 2011)
Neil Gaiman, Malcolm Jones III, and Mike Dringenberg: Sandman Volume 2: The Doll’s House
In the second volume of Sandman, Neil Gaiman really brings Dream into focus, who he is, what he is, and what he’s up to in our modern world… as well as a little earlier. My favorite part is Hob Gadling, especially the snide remarks about how evil progress is, and its defense by someone who has seen it. (last checked June 15, 2011)
Sarah Palin: Governor Palin's Speech at the "Restoring America" Tea Party of America Rally in Indianola, Iowa
“We sent a new class of leaders to D.C., but immediately the permanent political class tried to co-opt them—because the reality is we are governed by a permanent political class, until we change that. They talk endlessly about cutting government spending, and yet they keep spending more. They talk about massive unsustainable debt, and yet they keep incurring more. They spend, they print, they borrow, they spend more, and then they stick us with the bill. Then they pat their own backs, and they claim that they faced and ‘solved’ the debt crisis that they got us in, but when we were humiliated in front of the world with our country’s first credit downgrade, they promptly went on vacation.” (last checked September 4, 2011)
Paul Ryan: Path to Prosperity (Episode 3): 3 Steps to Pro-Growth Tax Reform, Visualized
“A tax code should be fair, competitive, and simple. The U.S. tax code fails on all three counts… Every dollar that companies spend lobbying for a better tax deal is a dollar they’re not spending making a better product.” (last checked September 15, 2011)
Jeb Hensarling: Why the Super Committee Failed
“President Obama summed up our debt crisis best when he told Republican members of the House in January 2010 that ‘The major driver of our long-term liabilities… is Medicare and Medicaid and our health-care spending.’ A few months later, however, Mr. Obama and his party’s leaders in Congress added trillions of dollars in new health-care spending to the government’s balance sheet. ‘Democrats on the committee made it clear that the new spending called for in the president’s health law was off the table. Still, committee Republicans offered to negotiate a plan on the other two health-care entitlements—Medicare and Medicaid—based upon the reforms included in the budget the House passed earlier this year. ‘The Medicare reforms would make no changes for those in or near retirement. Beginning in 2022, beneficiaries would be guaranteed a choice of Medicare-approved private health coverage options and guaranteed a premium-support payment to help pay for the plan they choose. ‘Democrats rejected this approach but assured us on numerous occasions they would offer a ‘structural’ or ‘architectural’ Medicare reform plan of their own. While I do not question their good faith effort to do so, they never did.” (last checked November 22, 2011)
Peter Schweizer: Throw Them All Out
So far, this has been a fascinating and frightening work. Peter Schweizer details not just the insider deals that congress engages in, but how they can get away with it—by making sure that the laws they create don’t apply to them. (last checked December 15, 2011)
American Crossroads: “Great”
“Obama’s record doesn’t match his rhetoric on his accomplishments.” (last checked December 22, 2011)
Stephen Green: Your Wednesday Morning Dose of Doom and Gloom
“If rates bounce back up to just five percent—which is actually not high at all—then our interest payments get jacked up to $800,000,000,000 a year, every year, forever. And that’s just on the money we already owe. Every additional dollar we borrow gets added to the total, and the interest payments go up even higher. Every year, forever. We could balance the budget right now, and our interest payments would still be on a short slope to nearly a trillion dollars a year. Every year, forever.” (last checked March 21, 2012)
Anthony Watts: New study shows half of the global warming in the USA is artificial
“Not only does the NOAA USCHNv2 adjustment process fail to adjust poorly sited 772 stations downward to match the well sited stations, but actually adjusts the well sited 773 stations upwards to match the poorly sited stations.” (last checked July 31, 2012)
John Fund: Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy
John Fund warns us that if we don’t fix our fraud-prone election process now, we are in for a world of hurt when it’s too late. (last checked October 28, 2012)
Benjamin Domenech: Law and Order in the Fallen World
“It is a natural tendency on the part of most human beings, when confronted with great evil, to want to do something about it. We want to stop the horror of death and violence and disease. It speaks to what is good within us that we desire this—it speaks to a recognition on our part, innate and abiding, that there is something terribly broken in this world—a great mistake which has been made along the way, a gear missed in the works, a gaping hole where something should be. The feeling is all the stronger when we face the destruction of innocent life—the life of a child. The Mishnah tells us that the act of murder destroys a whole world—the world as it would’ve been with that person in it. When the worlds wiped out are so young, the shock of it all echoes and rebounds throughout the lives of others for generations. And the only part that can be played by those left behind is one of charity.” (last checked October 4, 2015)
John Fund: The Facts about Mass Shootings
“With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns.” (last checked October 4, 2015)
Topher: The Forbidden History of Terrible Taxes
“Your own government shouldn’t be the reason you struggle to make ends meet.” “If the history of taxes tells us anything, it’s that we haven’t learned anything from history.” (last checked February 25, 2013)
Ronald Reagan: Address to the Nation on Tax Reform
President Ronald Reagan’s May 28, 1985 address on simplifying the tax code. (last checked March 27, 2013)
Violeta Autumn: A Russian Jew Cooks in Peru
A beautiful book with wonderful recipes, each hand-written. (last checked April 3, 2013)
Ray Charles sings America the Beautiful, 2001 World Series
“In the wake of 9-11, the mood in the country was dark. Ray’s performance at the World Series that year was a spiritual shot in the arm for America at a time when we really needed it. It was indeed a moment worth remembering.” (last checked May 27, 2013)
Thomas Sowell: The Vision of the Anointed
“Few have spent their entire lives outside the vision of the anointed, and virtually no one has been unaffected by it. Understanding that vision, its current impact and its future dangers, is the purpose of this book.” (last checked July 22, 2013)
Jon Peterson: Playing at the World
“An author investigating the history of wargames and role-playing games.” (last checked September 12, 2013)
Jerry Stratton: Gods & Monsters rulebook print copy
Journey deep into abandoned castles, solve intricate puzzles, fight strange creatures, and wield arcane power. Like the adventurers of old in Egypt, you will delve into long forgotten tombs, but in your adventures magic will fuel danger and creatures of myth will stalk the darkness. You will search uncharted wilderness for lost knowledge and hidden treasure. Where the hand-scrawled sign warns “beyond here lie dragons,” your stories begin. (last checked September 16, 2013)
Neil Gaiman: The Sandman: Season of Mists
“Ten thousand years ago, Morpheus condemned a woman who loved him to Hell. Now the other members of his immortal family, The Endless, have convinced the Dream King that this was an injustice. To make it right, Morpheus must return to Hell to rescue his banished love—and Hell’s ruler, the fallen angel Lucifer, has already sworn to destroy him.” (last checked October 22, 2013)
John Hayward: Big Government once again turns on its Little Partners
“What Jarrett is saying is that these disloyal insurance companies are obeying the law, but thwarting the will of our great and benevolent leader. They could have chosen to accept gigantic losses and sold the new, mandate-inflated insurance policies at the old prices. They could have made that sacrifice for the State, and the people it represents, and perhaps appealed for bailouts from the limitless Treasury when their business models became unsustainable. And because they did not do those things, you are supposed to hate the Little Partners, while holding the central planners blameless.” (last checked October 29, 2013)
Mike Royko at the Billy Goat, 1982
“Mike Royko talks about softball, his father’s saloon, the day he played for The Strykers and his dying wish—to fall dead on home plate in this rare 1982 interview at The Billy Goat Tavern.” (last checked June 24, 2015)
Natan Sharansky: The Case for Democracy
Natan Sharansky makes a compelling case that it is in our national interest to link our relations with dictators to the freedom they allow under their rule. That the best way to ensure that a dictatorship becomes a democracy is to require the dictator to allow their subjects to escape their dictatorship, and that democracies are the best chance for peace. (last checked July 11, 2015)
I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day
“From Christmas Spectacular '09 at Essex Alliance Church, Essex Junction, VT. USA. Featuring the Celebration Choir and EAC Signing Team led by Candice Allembert.” (last checked December 20, 2015)
Thomas Sowell: Basic Economics
This book is about being able to analyze the costs and benefits of particular economic decisions, so that results are more likely to approach goals. Too often, goals aren’t stated, or are abandoned in favor of policies that don’t reach now-abandoned goals. (last checked January 9, 2016)
Gabriel Malor: Democrats Tanked Gun Control To Up Their Election Chances
“Apparently Democrats would rather have no gun sales ban than a sales ban that allows Americans due-process rights.” (last checked June 21, 2016)
Prager University
"Short Videos. Big Ideas. A world of new perspectives, five minutes at a time.” (last checked May 22, 2017)