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Miscellaneous thoughts on politics, people, math, science and other cool (if sometimes frustrating) stuff from somewhere near my favorite coffee shop.
September 1st, 2012
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Dean Kirkland

every profession is a conspiracy against the laity

Located in Monmouth

Last update: June 26th, 2017 at 06:40 am


273 post clicks in the past 90 days

Blogging since 2001 ........... ............ And back again since June 2008

The World According to Saudi Arabia

Five weeks ago, I included the following photograph in this post:

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But then you, like everybody else, would not listen to me!In many posts here, I worried about the rapid annihilation of jobs in the retail industry.  In recent posts, like here and

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I blame my grandmothers!

Coconut trees cover the Kerala landscape, like the Douglas Fir here in Oregon.

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The following is a slightly modified post from three years ago**********************It is one of my favorite movies ever.  It is not only because of the fantastic movie it is, or for how uniquely the movie depicted humans and aliens communicating with each other,

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As I pulled into the parking spot, I noticed her.About thirty years old.  She was in the driver seat, with nobody else in her car.  The left hand held the smartphone to her ear, and the right hand was gesticulating, a lot.And then I saw her face.She was crying.She th

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Wandering with questions, and not caring for the answer

As a graduate student, I was in heaven in the libraries.  I had never seen so many books, magazines, and newspapers in my life in the old country.  And now I had a much bigger problem than ever before: H

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For the most part, I go about the world as if I am an eighty-year old, grumbling about everybody, and complaining that the world has gone to dogs.  Field Marshal Grouch I am!But then, I also behave like a eight-year old when I crack awful puns--and laugh at my jokes even before anybody else has had the time

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One of my big problems is this: I can't figure out how to shut the thinking off.  Even worse, because I think about things a lot, I am always shocked that most people don't think.  So much so that I cannot even imagine what not-thinking means!I recall that when I was in high school, I read somewhere th

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Over the years, I have read plenty of trashy, potboiler, fiction.  I have also read a number of serious works of literature. The past few summers even included syllabi that I carefully constructed (FYI: The 2016, and

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Soon it will be the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.  But then, every day has seemed long like the longest day ever since the disastrous November election. The president campaigned on various hateful themes, including putting an end to Muslim refugees and to undocumented immigrants. Those

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The crisis of scientific authority

When I was a kid, and even into my teenage years, the larger ethos was one of unquestioning acceptance of scientific expertise and authority.  Even back then, jokes were in plenty about accountants fudging numbers or lawyers enabling cheaters. But, scientists and science were nothing to be joked about.What

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Way back in November 2014, well before trump even announced his candidacy, I blogged about a Cornell professor's research on "confident idiots":What’s curious is that, in many cases, incompetence

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We can't rewind, we've gone too far

It has been a few days since the president theatrically announced that he is pulling the United States out of the Paris agreement on climate change.  I cannot even begin to understand his (ill)logic!I am increasingly reminded of my younger days in the old country, when politicians would simply lie through t

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A couple of days ago, I read this short story in the New Yorker.   It felt so real.  I could easily picture in my mind the characters portrayed there, and their circumstances and emotions.I then rea

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Even as I read the tweet that linked to an essay, I knew that I would tweet about that myself.  Which I then did. Question: What's the difference between a #religion and a

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It was nearing bed time, but I decided to check my news-feed anyway.  I am glad I did.I spotted one that referred to Bob Dylan's Nobel lecture.I pulled up the text that kept my attention focused as I listened to

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What can one do?

trump knows which campaign promises to keep in order to make sure his base is happy.  So, of course, he pulled the US out of the Paris agreement on limiting greenhouse gas emissions in order to try to keep the w

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“If I cannot give consent to my own death, whose body is this? Who owns my life?”That is one tough question.If I give consent to my own death, then I won't even be here after a while to find out what happened; after all, I will be dead!On the other hand, when the person i

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Lemme give you the response to the title of this post right away before you read further: NOT!When JFK became a presidential candidate, as a Roman Catholic in a country where Protestants viewed Catholics with a great deal of suspicion, he had to go out of his ways to make sure that voters understood that he woul

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Liberté, Equalité, Fraternité

Only after I came to the US did I understand that there was a deep passive-aggressive attitude towards France.  Well, not from the liberals, but from the reactionary Republicans.  And that attitude became evident soon after 9/11, when a few "brave" Republicans decided that french fries ought to be referred to as f

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June 1, 2017: A date which will live in infamy

So, ... it finally happened.President Trump announced Thursday that he will withdraw the United States from participation in the Paris climate accordThe asshole did it.

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The 'never again' bullshit

We humans are a bizarre bunch.  We are aware of acute food shortages and malnutrition, yet we keep going with our own lives.  We live the "let them eat cakes" lives of affluence.We are even willing to bomb the shit out of people trapped between prick-waving maniacs, which then leads to more than mere f

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Say this over and over: "I am the public"

A student asks in this Scientific American piece:Science is conducted for the greater good of the community—so why aren’t we engaging with the largest beneficiaries

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No, this is not about Memorial Day.  The "moral" is not a reference to war and warriors.It is about the political environment here in this Banana Republic of America (BRA.)A candidate pummels a newspaper reporter and breaks his glasses.  The following day

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It seemed like I might have enough time to make it to the car dealer before closing time and get the much delayed oil change done.It was a gorgeous spring day in the valley.  I drove with the sunroof open and the driver side window down, fully aware that I was inviting trouble by exposing myself to the poll

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Recall my observations on the Indian usage "non-vegetarian" that is often referred to as "non-veg"?  What?  No?  How could you forget?Ok, lemme quickly recap for you.Meat eating is

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Years ago, I was new to Bakersfield when I got a call from a stranger, who was responding to my commentary in the local newspaper.  We briefly spoke, and a few days later it was dinner at his place.He was an Indian-American professor at the local university.  He and his wife of a long marriage had awes

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The pussygrabber ranted on and on about jobs in the coal mines, as if he knew anything about the industry or the people who work.  But, 63 million suckers voted for him

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I walked around observing students talk through and write in response to the task that I had assigned. I stopped at every group's table.  Quick chats with students during these moments are yet another way that I try to connect with them."Are you an EMT?" I asked one because of the logo on the work clothes t

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And yet I laugh at the Pussygrabber Presidency!

It has been only four months.And I am already tired to my bones. Dead tired. Dog tired. You get the drift.Yes, I am referring to the four months of the Pussygrabber Presidency.

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