I read this a number of years ago, and I came upon it again in the course of another discussion. It is still great.
I count the Speckled Amphibian as a Facts Man like myself: fascinated by the world around him, and able to see the patterns in it. The Coin Flip is all about Pre-K programs, but since the first place Toad and I came across each other was in the comments section of Greg Cochran and Henry Harpending’s West Hunter blog, you shouldn’t be surprised that there is a reference to a famous study from the Netherlands immediately after WWII that even literal starvation doesn’t have much of an impact on the mental function of children once they start getting enough food and grow up.
The Coin Flip is a detailed look at how study enrollment works in reality, and what that means for the analysis of social interventions and the ultimate weakness of the thing that so much of the modern world is built on: the randomized controlled trial.
In a previous life, I had professors of physics who studied things like ice formation across the solar system and even further. This article on ice on the moon brings me back.
Being a fan of the Forgotten Ruin series, I felt like I recognized every innovation described in this military insider baseball article on modernizing light infantry forces.
Bob Clampett wanted to make an animated John Carter of Mars in 1936. You can see Bob’s Looney Tunes style, but just imagine how the world would have been different with a good John Carter adaption to visual media in the 1930s instead of the 2010s.
I enjoy seeing the achievements of our distant past.
This compilation of anime openings across nearly 50 years takes a bit to sit through, but it is a very interesting cross-section of popular entertainment. I can’t help but interpret it in light of JD Cowan’s lists of top anime across the decades.
A only slightly sarcastic review of Tom Wolfe's novel about Atlanta real estate, football, and racial politics.
Finding Gordon R. Dickson’s Way of the Pilgrim through Jerry Pournelle’s There Will Be War series of short stories is in retrospect one of the things that led me to my current understanding of how science fiction is a mostly a subset of adventure fiction.
I also realized thanks to Dickson that “hard” science fiction was not nearly so well as-defined as I thought, because there was no meaningful technology in Way of the Pilgrim. It scratched the same itch because you could imitate the method of instructing the reader in the principles of science while imitating the form of a Western [an adventure]. In this case, the science was linguistics, which at the time I thought was irredeemably soft. Now that I now more about how Proto-Indo-European has been reconstructed, I’m not so sure about that.