Thursday, September 18, 2014


Despite appeals to Braveheart-style radicalism, and the romantic tug of finally steering their ship of state themselves, I think the Scots will vote to stay in the U.K., in today's historic referendum... More tomorrow.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

2 Boots

I saw these wonderful boots on the 2 train, tonight!

What A Surprise

"I hear that there are a thousandfold new suicidal religious maniacs out to get us".

Once upon a time, the United States was attacked by a bunch of suicidal religious maniacs, who hijacked passenger jets and flew them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and abortively, into a field in Pennsylvania.

The U.S. President, infamously obtuse about his lack of foreign policy smarts up until Sept. 11th, 2001, ordered attacks against the attackers' training camps in Afghanistan -- fair enough -- and then railroaded the world into the invasion of Iraq.

Many were the voices, high and low, that cried: "don't do it! You'll regret it! You're going to topple a nasty regime and find it replaced by a worse one! Or worse still, you'll topple a nasty regime -- which had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks anyway -- and unleash a thousandfold new suicidal religious maniacs! And perhaps a couple of generations will be born, will blossom, then wither away, before this big, fat, but entirely preventable problem, recedes."

And yet, for someone as well informed as a U.S. President, life is full of surprisis.

There's (Not Enough) Something In The Water

There's a piece in today's NY Times about Lithium, the chemical element that has been prescribed for certain types of depression for years. It seems that Lithium is in fact present in nature, by no means abundantly, but in trace amounts that might in fact have some small affect via drinking water... 

Most interesting was this, from the comments section:
I can't speak to the benefits of taking lithium, but I can relay a story related to drinking lithium water. There's a hot springs in New Mexico that has a lithium spring. The entire hot springs is devoted to relaxation and increased calm, so I can't speak specifically to the effects of lithium water and its ability to lower one's level of anxiety or depression. However, I can speak to the effects that it had on the vividness of one's dreams ... and this was an effect that all of my family members reported ... we had the most incredibly vivid and realistic dreams when drinking the lithium water. When the lithium water was not available, no vivid dreams. When it was available, vivid dreams occurred.
This too:
7-Up was originally called Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda and contained lithium citrate right up until 1950. In fact, it’s been suggested that the 7 in 7-Up refers to the atomic mass of the lithium.
When I checked, the atomic mass of lithium is in fact 6.94, which might be rounded up to 7, but do chemists routinely work with averaged numbers and inexact figures? Probably not.