Adam Carolla will be along in the third hour today, talking about his new book on parenting, Daddy Stop Talking –which is funny in many ways (some of which I can’t discuss on air) and wise in many others– and his new movie as well: Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman.
Comic book fans know that Marvel comics (Spider-man, Captain America, X-Men…) take place in the “real world.” They are set in New York, or Los Angeles, or London. DC Comics (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman…) are pure fantasy being set in Metropolis or Gotham or Keystone City. I am beginning to think America is a DC Comic. It is bad enough to have errant policy, but when the administration and their allies in the media seem to have a whole new world set up how does one even begin to have a reasonable discussion with them?
Most recent case in point, an NYTimes piece, dated yesterday, but that had top of the newsletter placement in the freebie headlines I received from them this morning, entitled “White Supremacists Extend Their Reach Through Websites.” Now in part, this is just lazy reporting. The people that run these sites love the attention so when a NYTimes reporter comes calling, they answer questions, and eureka, you have an article. It’s the same reason Jerry Springer can so easily book the four remaining Klan members in the country.
But it is also scary. Google up “terrorism internet” and you get links to white papers prepared by the U.N and if you switch to the “news” tab you get all sorts of coverage in the European press, but almost nothing in the US press or from the US government. One would think the administration is trying to “ghost” Islamic and overseas terrorism. It certainly gives one the impression that we live in Metropolis, not New York. Continue Reading
The last 30 days or so have seen a great uptick in the discussion about science, religion, politics and epistemology. For the Cleveland Browns fans out there, epistemology is the study of how we know things – What is the basis of actual knowledge. The uptick is the result of the revelation that a study on attitudes about homosexuality was essentially faked. I searched for an article of any sort that explained what happened without a lot of opinion attached and the only ones I could find are behind expensive academic pay walls. This is as close as I could come to something of that sort.
Not being in academia myself, I first picked up on the fraudulent study from a June 5 WSJ opinion piece. I did not think much of it at the time because it is about polling, and while polling uses a lot of scientific tools, it has never risen to the level of “science.” I am by academic training a chemist (M.S., Chemistry, Butler University, 1984) which is about as rigorous as science gets. Continue Reading
Historical Fiction And Thrillers As The Gateway Drug To History And Reading In General: My 100 Novel (And Two Short Stories) Reading List for the Young Adult
The past two summers I have spent a week teaching young people aged 16 to 20 at the Young Conservatives Leadership Summit at Colorado Christian University. The most popular hour lecture both years was the one in which I list for them 100 novels they ought to read, and the order in which they ought to read them, in order to addict them to the stronger stuff of real history. This isn’t a list of the 100 greatest novels –not by a log shot, and am I ever the wrong guy to ask that. (Try “Joseph Epstein’s Lifetime Reading Plan” from his 1987 collection of essays Once More Around The Block. ) The suggested order in which my recommended novels should be read is as important as the books themselves as my method of addicting young people to reading runs from most easily accessible to most difficult, usually in backwards chronological sequence, with a twist at the end into the Napoleonic Wars, ending with the 21 Patrick O’Brien novels featuring Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin. My list ends with the O’Brian series because, as David Mamet noted 15 years ago, “[f]or the past 30 years the greatest novelists writing in English have been genre writers: John le Carre, George Higgins and Patrick O’Brian.” Continue Reading