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  • December 2007
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Liberal Reading Lists

J. Goldberg’s

Liberal thread

Classical liberalism doesn’t really count

More Reading lists

Great books I

Great Books II

And another

Condensed reading list reference

Bulletin of Oita prefectural College of Arts and Culture
Vol.32(19941231) pp. 91-98
Oita Prefectural College of Art and Culture ISSN:13466437

The first edition of the ten year plan

Now Available with Optional Downgrade

Windows Vista, one of the worst tech products of ’07:

Where to begin? Vista arrived in stores months late, forced untold thousands of users to upgrade their hardware, made mincemeat of software and drivers that worked perfectly well in XP, ended up lacking many of the bold-faced features we’d been promised, and came saddled with new and annoying set of video DRM schemes. At least Vista now boasts an option for downgrading back to XP.

Sleepless Weekends

In college I had professor who was teaching a class on brain biology (for psych students) and he taught a method for sleeping less. It was rather simple, you start out sleeping normally with no alarms (an achievable task for some college students who get lucky in the class schedule queue). Once you have a baseline for the amount of sleep you need you simply shave off an half hour every week. You do this until you get down into the 3-4 hour range (about when you’re losing your sanity) and then you simply start sleeping normally again. After doing this the typical person needs 3-4 less hours of sleep per night (about 5-6 hours) and the gains were basically permanent.

This long and onerous process may become obsolete if this new chemcial works out:

A nasal spray containing a naturally occurring brain hormone called orexin A reversed the effects of sleep deprivation in monkeys, allowing them to perform like well-rested monkeys on cognitive tests. The discovery’s first application will probably be in treatment of the severe sleep disorder narcolepsy.

The treatment is “a totally new route for increasing arousal, and the new study shows it to be relatively benign,” said Jerome Siegel, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA and a co-author of the paper. “It reduces sleepiness without causing edginess.”

The monkeys were deprived of sleep for 30 to 36 hours and then given either orexin A or a saline placebo before taking standard cognitive tests. The monkeys given orexin A in a nasal spray scored about the same as alert monkeys, while the saline-control group was severely impaired.

The study, published in the Dec. 26 edition of The Journal of Neuroscience, found orexin A not only restored monkeys’ cognitive abilities but made their brains look “awake” in PET scans.

I wonder how safe something like this could be for long term use. Personally, I would love to gain more hours in the day.

There are some jokes about World of Warcraft here too.


Movie Review

Eastern Promises

There were a comical accumulation of factors which almost prevented me from giving this movie a positive review. The seats at the two-dollar theatre were busted making it impossible to find a comfortable position, the technicians forgot to turn the movie on at the required time and thus the first 20 minutes were cut out, I was on a limited amount of sleep and very nearly fell into a nap and the picture quality was so poor it actually looked like there were streaks of sleet falling throughout the film.

Whenever you miss part of the beginning of a film and can still enjoy and understand the rest of the movie you wonder if the beginning of the film was really that necessary. Though some scenes of the film were a bit boggling everything fit together rather nicely and very little extra explanation was necessary. I suppose this means the first part of the film I missed wasn’t necessary. It simply makes me wonder how many other movies have unimportant beginnings or whether all beginnings are unnecessary.

The movie. It’s a film about the Russian mafia and includes everything you’d expect: dead bodies, hookers, murder, revenge killings, frightening people, funny accents. What sets this film apart from others in the genre is the inexplicable relationship that develops between a Russian thug and a local nurse investigating the death of a hooker for her own countenance.

It’s intense, dramatic and you could add in some more clichéd superlatives for good measure. As a moviegoer I don’t normally pick films involving organized crime as I can observe more entertaining knaves at the local bowling alley. Eastern promises offers so much more than simple idolization of criminal behavior. It cuts away a little at the mystery of the human condition, exposing a small truth about us in an artistic masterpiece. Totally worth the two dollars I paid to see it.

Reading Lists

Most Damaging books

YAF List

Jonah Goldberg’s

Random 1

Law

The Insider

National Review

Conservative Times

Random II

Freeper thread

Federalist society

Awesome

I know guys like this


Who is Alan Keyes

Born of a military family, Alan Keyes lived all over the place when growing up. He went to college during the great unrest caused by anti-war protests from the Vietnam War. Since the Vietnam War had his full support he wasn’t the most popular person on his campus of Cornell. He then went to study abroad before finishing his bachelors at Harvard. Harvard is also where he completed his doctorate program, receiving a PhD in government affairs.

The Reagan Administration is where Keyes earned his bones, he worked in the U.S. Foreign Service and was appointed an ambassador to one of the U.N councils. He also did other work as a diplomat for the administration before entering the non-profit/issue advocacy/think tank world. It was short lived as he was soon drafted to run for the U.S. Senate in Maryland in 1988. He lost. He did it again and lost again in 1992. Then there was the 1996 run for POTUS where he lost, he did it again in 2000. In 2004 he was drafted to run for Senate again but this time it was against Barack Obama in Illinois. He lost.

Thus Alan Keyes runs what is the perfect example of what I call the “activist campaign,” which is the one of the weakest of campaigns. Alan Keyes has never come close to winning a political race, when he does run it is normally about either self-promotion or promotion of his political philosophy. Sometimes it’s both. Activists rarely win in politics and the deficiencies of such campaigns are numerous. One of the biggest problems with these sorts of campaigns is the fact they are not about winning an election or working to prove to voters you wish to represent them, it is instead about cramming political ideology down people’s throats without regard to whether they wish to even listen to you. These campaigns never win the trust of the voters and that is why the fail.

Campaigns aren’t just about candidates and issues, it’s about the voters themselves. I appreciate Keyes’ strong record of issue advocacy; he says what he believes and there’s no misunderstanding. His work as a conservative activist in radio and television is great and that is where a guy like Keyes belongs. Sure I’d support him if he were the nominee, sadly, most of the other voters in this country would turn the other way.

Random Link o’ the Day:

http://www.thehockeypuck.com/

The Year in Stats

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