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Samuel Johnson, The Idler, 4/5/1760




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    Meyers
    October 1, 2014
    The Bravo network is under fire after it let go 16 editors from the show "Shahs of Sunset" after they tried to unionize. Said the editors, who’ve had to watch every episode of "Shahs of Sunset," “No, no, we said we wanted to be euthanized.”

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    Misc.
    My most-recent published piece, at Philosophy Now. Ataraxia in the Age of Too Much Information. Unfortunately, you need a subscription to read it. To long-time TDE readers, it might look familiar.

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    Welcome to October
    The Month of the Saints: Lisieux, Francis, Avila, Bruno, Ignatius of Antioch, Luke, Anthony Claret, Simon and Jude. And now JPII and J23. Reminder: Don't neglect your best friend tomorrow.

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    Good Late Night
    September 30, 2014
    Yesterday, Kenyan runner Dennis Kimetto ran the world's fastest marathon by finishing the Berlin Marathon in 2 hours, 2 minutes, and 57 seconds. He also set another record by being the first guy from Kenya to be named Dennis. Fallon North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has not appeared in public for weeks. There are rumors he's sick due to too much cheese, fried chicken, and beer. Sounds like someone is applying for American citizenship. Conan One of the most expensive coffees in the world is made by feeding beans to a creature-like cat. It eats the beans and they travel through its system, and when they come out the beans have a rich, mellow flavor. The guy that figured that out must have really loved coffee. Kimmel

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    Tuesday
    A Random Passage Here's Joseph Epstein, writing in his book Snobbery, about higher education in Mencken's time. I think it's safe to say that ivy things have only deteriorated since the 1920s:
    H.L. Mencken, who also didn't bother to go to college, thought it a comically, pathetically wasteful interlude, four years spent listening to hopeless pedagogues and engaged in inane social activities, and surely one that anybody who had any choice in the matter would prefer to bypass.
    And students in the 1920s didn't come out with indebtedness higher than most first mortgages. Epstein earlier elaborated on his Mencken-ish views, with these words:
    Most people come away from college, happy souls, quite unscarred by what has gone on in the classroom. The education and culture they are presumably exposed to at college never lay a glove on them. That is the big dirty secret of higher education in America.
    Of course, higher education, as an institution, doesn't care. It's untouchable, in league as it is Hudge and Gudge (big government and big business). How else do you explain why kindergarten teachers are required to obtain a master's degree in education and a host of other absurdities?

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    Only Down Under
    September 29, 2014

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    Monday
    Miscellaneous Rambling I'm slowly wrapping up the garden. This wonderful weather is giving me the opportunity to put things away gradually, just spending an hour a two a week readying beds for next year and cleaning out my 50+ pots. It's also giving me an opportunity to rake in some serious squash. A squash bug infestation wiped out my first crop, so I planted a new batch in early June, knowing that a short growing season would leave me short, but that hasn't happened. Barring theft (someone actually stole two pumpkins from my side yard, just feet from my daughters' bedroom windows) or some other aberration, I could grab as many as 50 winter squash (but many of them mini varieties), though I expect the number to be more in the 30-40 range. * * * * * * * Further good garden news: the worm factory is producing a lot of vermicompost. It's probably cranking about 10-15 pounds a month of, reputedly, the world's greatest soil amendment. * * * * * * * Write your own joke: Man tried to smuggle 51 turtles in pants across border. And no, it wasn't a Mexican penetrating Texas with his penis at risk. It was an Oriental (at least a dude with an Oriental-sounding name) penetrating Detroit through the Canadian border. * * * * * * * I've traveled that Canada-Detroit tunnel and bridge many times. It used to be one of my favorite things to do. There was something about "just crossing over into Canada" for kicks that appealed to me. And the fact that the drinking age was/is 18. Canada doesn't send its kids to die in war, wielding million-dollar weapons, and then tell them they're not responsibile enough to drink a beer or put $1 in a slot machine. * * * * * * * Text message from my Spanish major son, Alex: "We're reading Muhammad's Ladder in my medieval Spanish class. Got to say, Muslim heaven sounds PRETTY cool. 'You must know that Alla has many virgin women prepared, the most beautiful in the world, and many serving wenches and many houses, so beautiful that no man could describe them.'" My son hastens to add that the translation is his, so an expert might contest points in his rendering.

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    Pride and Prejudice circa 2014
    September 28, 2014
    H.I.F. One of the more interesting observations I've read this month: "Why is marriage such an unpalatable prospect to today’s adults? Though “a host of complex factors” are involved, according to the Washington Post, Pew was able to pinpoint some of the biggest considerations for single adults. Many men said they’re delaying (or forgoing) marriage until they’re financially stable—while almost four-fifths of the single women said their biggest consideration is whether or not their potential spouse has a steady job. "This is fascinating—in our age of romance-soaked literature and films, we rarely hear such pragmatic considerations discussed in the public sphere. Why would a woman choose to marry (or not marry) a man based on his career prospects? It sounds positively Elizabethan. Indeed, this marriage trend does seem to harken back to older conceptions of marriage. Anyone who has read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice knows how important money was to brides (and grooms) of the past." Link.

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    Saturday
    September 27, 2014
    A Random Passage My skepticism has made me a nicer person: not inclined to judge anything, I'm not inclined to get bothered by anything. It's been a remarkable shift in mental landscape for me, and I hope to foster it, but I have my lapses. Too many lapses. My biggest source of falling: noise. The loud talker, the person who constantly makes noise so others know he's around, the cackling middle-aged woman who doesn't realize demureness is made for her physical state, the flawed muffler, leaf blowers. It's been annoyance of mine for many, many years (link), but apparently my distaste has a revered tradition. I ran across this recently:
    Nothing is more becoming a man than silence. It is not the preaching but the practice which ought to be considered as the more important. A profusion of words is sure to lead to error. Talmud

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    H.I.F. BYCU
    September 26, 2014
    H.I.F. "Upon their arrival back to Earth, the 750 space tourists . . . will be treated to Grey Goose cocktails designed specifically for the event. One example: the Grey Goose Galactic Martini, which blends vodka with raspberry eau-de-vie and black pepper. Why raspberry? Because according to astronomers, that’s probably what space tastes like (due to the presence of ethyl formate, a compound with a distinct raspberry note)." Link.

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    Friday
    BYCU A TDE reader found himself in Frankenmuth, Michigan, last weekend for its annual Oktoberfest. He sent me this article about a new up=-scale joint: Prost Wine Bar and Charcuterie. The place sounds neat, but the article is unremarkable, except it mentions that the Bar has "wine on tap." That was a new one for me. I guess I need to get out more. * * * * * * * Saw this on my Twitter timeline. No idea if it's true. If it is, I recommend Five O'Clock vodka for its implementation: "Vodka can be used to soothe jellyfish stings, as a bug repellent and used as hair conditioner." And even if it's not true, if you drink enough of vodka, you won't feel the sting, notice the bugs, or care about your hair. * * * * * * * Another piece of advice from Twitter: "When life gives you lemon, add vodka." * * * * * * * Musta been a Foster's: A "20-year-old escaped a crocodile attack by poking it in the eyes and later treating the pain with beer." Link. * * * * * * * I used to drink a lot of Foster's. But then my Dad switched brands and, like an obedient son without his own ample source of drinking income, switched too. * * * * * * * The beers I drank with Dad: Michelob, Foster's, Honey Brown, in that order: Michelob in high school, Foster's in college, Honey Brown in law school. When I wasn't with my Dad, my corresponding beers: Little Kings (h.s.), Old Milwaukee (undergrad), Pabst Blue Ribbon (law school). Of course, during my school days, a wide assortment of other cheap beers rotated into the mix. To name just a few: Blatz (one of my favorite cheap beers); Beer (generic . . . nasty stuff); Red, White and Blue; Schlitz (another favored brand); Stroh's (lots of Stroh's; hadda, since it was Detroit fire brewed, whatever that means).

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    Ferguson
    Several lingerie companies have started setting up bra-fitting events in offices, called "bra parties." Meanwhile, in offices in China and India, people are working.

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    the bloghorn
    Abbey-Roads
    Acts of the Apostasy
    After Abortion
    Aggie Catholics
    All Manner of Things
    Belinda’s Brain
    Bethune Catholic
    Betty Duffy
    Book Reviews and More
    Catholic Blogs
    Catholic Exchange
    Catholic Fire
    Charlotte Was Both
    Chesterton and Friends
    Crossroads
    Decent Films
    Digital Hairshirt
    Dyspeptic Mutterings
    Eric Scheske Writer’s Site
    EWTN
    Fathers of the Church
    First Principles
    Get Blogs
    Gilbert Magazine
    Godspy
    Happy Catholic
    Mark Shea
    Mere Comments
    Michelle Reitemeyer
    More Last Than Star
    National Catholic Register
    New Advent
    Phat Catholic
    Pillar and Fire
    Post Modern Papist
    PowerBlog
    Pro Ecclesia
    Quaffs and Quibbles
    Reasoned Audacity
    Reconnaissance of the Western Tradition
    Roman Catholic Info
    Ruri et Orbi
    Scheske at Catholic Exchange
    Scholium
    Shadow of Diogenes
    Signs of the Times: Salvo Blog
    Some Have Hats
    St. Blog’s Parish Blog Digger
    St. Blog’s Parish Directory
    St. James Journal
    St. Peter Canisius Apostolate
    Standing on My Head
    Stella Maris
    Stony Creek Digest
    Streams of Mercy
    Stupid Scholar
    Suicide of the West
    Summa Minutiae
    Taki
    The American Conservative
    The Blue Boar
    The Cafeteria is Closed
    The Crescat
    The Curt Jester
    The Dawn Patrol
    The Drunken Dollar
    The Impractical Christian
    The Inn at the End of the World
    The Michiana Blawg
    The Muniment Room
    The Radical Academy
    The Reticulator
    The Saint Wannabe
    The Scratching Post
    The Snoring Scholar
    The Summa Mamas
    The Waffling Anglican
    The Western Confucian
    Things and Stuff
    Thursday Night Gumbo
    Uncovering Orthodoxy
    Victor Lams
    Video Meliora
    Vita Mea
    Vox Nova
    What's Wrong with the World
    With Both Hands
    Within the Garden
    Without Having Seen
    World Wide Words

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