August 22, 2014

The AGA Cooker – How a Blind Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Created One of the World’s Greatest Stoves

Aga Cooker 1

In 1912, one of Sweden's greatest inventors, physicist Gustaf Dalén, was blinded during an accident involving pressure containment for his gas accumulators.  He had created a device for use in unmanned lighthouses.  This device lit itself at night and extinguished in the morning, improving marine safety, thereby saving countless lives and immeasurable property.  Despite the setback of losing his vision, he continued to work, always thinking of new ideas for improving the world.  Before his death, … [Read more...]

Why Does the Subsidized Hardware Model Bother Me So Much?

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch.jpg

It's no secret I read a lot.  In the past seven days alone, I've finished 4 books totaling 1,067 pages, as well as worked on three other books which, between them, probably account for another 500+ pages finished but not in the tally.  (I only know this because, at least a few times a week, it seems like I get a request for a list of my books or what I'm working through at the time.  Back in June, I began building a spreadsheet to track my content consumption, figuring if I could stick with it lo … [Read more...]

Mail Bag: Why Would an Investor Ever Buy an Asset Intensive Business?

Mail Bag Questions and Comments for Joshua Kennon

If asset intensive businesses are inferior investments, why would any rational investor ever buy one? Hi Joshua,I've been reading about capital-intensive businesses and from what I gather, their cash guzzling nature makes them inherently unattractive for a long-term investor who would expect significant cash flow. Warren Buffett has been snapping these up because he already has fountains of cash, but what of the average investor? Personally I would hate it if my holdings were diluted as the … [Read more...]

Mail Bag: The Logic of Gender Segregated Bathrooms

Mail Bag Question for Joshua Kennon

While I can't offer any opinion on the topic itself, here is how I would approach it were it a logic problem ... Joshua, I know you pay attention to the news and are probably keeping an eye on the civil rights ordinance in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The ordinance as a whole seems good because it stops people from getting fired from their job, thrown out of restaurants, or kicked out of their apartment for things such as family status but I have a hard time with the idea of pre-operative … [Read more...]

Mail Bag: Disappearing Blog Posts at About.com

Mail Bag Joshua Kennon Pen

You aren't imagining it, a lot of the blog posts disappeared over at About.com ... Dear Joshua, I love your blog, which I use multiple times a day, every day. I have been searching for an article from the past for some time, but I still can't find it. The article is about selling stocks during the recession, which you wrote during the recession. To paraphrase, you wrote something like "do not sell. If you sell your stocks, my family will buy them. 10 years from now, I will be wealthier for … [Read more...]

Read the Amazing, Fantastical, Autocratic Bob Jones University Student Handbook

Bob Jones University Public Domain Photograph

I mentioned the infamous Bob Jones University student handbook in an earlier post after explaining it was the school from which one of the extremist authors I was reading as part of a self-imposed cultural studies program graduated back in 1950.  It was the university that famously insisted God didn't want blacks intermingling with whites and refused to admit non-married black students until as late as 1975.  It was ultimately money that changed their mind as the IRS revoked their tax exempt sta … [Read more...]

Should Government Benefits Be Tied to Behavior and Decisions?

EBT Card

I don't talk about it very often, but one of the charitable organizations close to my heart are community food banks and soup kitchens.  These non-profits collect groceries for those who can't afford to feed themselves or their children, allowing them to avoid hunger.  They resonate with something very deep in my core, maybe because I love cooking so much, but it strikes me as morally inexcusable for an American child to starve while living among the greatest aggregation of wealth ever amassed by … [Read more...]

The People You Don’t Know You Know

Tony the Tiger Vintage

There are people who are part of your life but you don't realize it; people who have done work that is ubiquitous in the culture, yet they could walk right past you and you'd never notice.  Perhaps the most famous was Mel Blanc, who was called the "man of a thousand voices". He gave life to everyone from Bugs Bunny to Porky Pig, Tweety Bird to Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam to Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian to Daffy Duck, Speedy Gonzales to the Tasmanian Devil. Or how about Jodi … [Read more...]

You Have To Watch This – The Newest Propoganda Out of North Korea Is So Masterful, It’s On Par with Leni Riefenstahl’s Work for Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany

North Korea Propoganda

One of my reading projects this month has been North Korea.  I mentioned a few days ago that I'm in the middle of Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick, one of the highest rated books ever written on the experiences of typical citizens living in the world's most brutal regime.  Next on that list is the 400-page report by the independent Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea from the United Nations.  You can download the repor … [Read more...]

And I Thought Tim LaHaye Hated Catholics …

Tim LaHaye

A few of you know I'm in the middle of my 1970-1990 counter-evidence study, in which I dive into books on both extremes of the so-called culture wars, reading everything from radical feminists to conservative preachers to understand some of the things that were happening in the United States at the time from the perspective of those in the trenches. Reproductive technology, the draft, the role of women in the home, divorce, prayer in school, gay rights, political alliances, employee … [Read more...]