Interesting Linkage for the People

Lots of interesting things I ran across today:

The Tyranny of Social Justice Warriors
by Rod Dreher

Cool Product: Drag and Drop Video to Animated Gif Maker

UC Santa Barbara has digitized 10s of thousands of Wax Cylinders. I think it is all old enough to be royalty free and out of copyright. I’m sure Moby is working hard on his next derivative hit already.

Interesting book on software refactoring: Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code

AEI article about an article about poverty and test scores: New article argues poverty not to blame for poor relative test scores

Cool Link Fest for R Programmers: 100 R Packages

Interesting new movie about poverty and helping without hurting: Poverty, Inc. Wish I could organize a local screening here in Starkville.

Interesting Article: An Economic Development Primer for Small Town Mayors

Mrs. Tate of Starkville, MS

Sweet citizen of Starkville heading for the biscuit shop. When she was younger, Mrs. Tate would raise money every year to make up the amount needed after fundraising for the local school to take kids on a trip to D.C. In two days, she would be able to pick up enough aluminum by herself to raise about 600 bucks. She still walks everywhere and still collects cans. Now, she buys a load of Christmas presents to bring to a children's cancer hospital in Jackson every year. Mrs. Tate introduced herself as "The Black Santa Claus" when she first met Ann. She is very important for Starkville, Mississippi, and once told me "I really love all the crazy people who walk up and down this road." That road is North Montgomery, the central North/South road that runs through Starkville.

A photo posted by barlowjon (@barlowjon) on

Centipede Pseudopods

I Think I Like a Speckled Axe Best

I put the Twitter app back on my phone. I realized that I’m not getting news anywhere else. I even missed the Biola U conference and had no idea about the Delta State shooting until days later. But I learned the habit of reading my kindle app instead of Twitter, so I think the trick was useful.

I’ve tried on countless pairs of dress shoes to find a replacement for my black wingtips that have holes in the sole. Nothing really has worked out. One of the nice men’s stores in Starkville has only split-toe oxfords! I wanted to try on cap-toe oxfords and maybe some more wingtips that were less ornamented than my Florsheims. I finally ordered some today from Amazon that I hope will work out okay. The last ones I ordered arrived and looked very cheap, so I had to return them. I wear my dress shoes six days a week, for about 9 hours a day, almost every week of the year. So it makes sense to buy some decent shoes. I wish I could do the “shoe rotation” thing, but that’s an advanced technique of manhood. Imagine owning two pairs of black shoes at the same time! That’s like exercising regularly or scheduling haircuts regularly. Really, who can be expected to keep those kinds of standards up?

Alright, gotta run. Eli has invented a board game he wants me to play.

Southern Expressions

Here are some expressions / terms I’ve heard (in the wild) lately. I was (very) familiar with some of these, but a few are new to me:

“He was such a good lawyer he could get a charge of sodomy reduced to following-too-closely.”

“Boy, I’m gonna slap you naked and hide your clothes.”

“Boy, I’m gonna jerk a knot in your tail.” (variation: “in your head.”)

Dragonflies described as “snake doctors” and a myth that when they fly near you it is important to close your mouth because “if he sees your teeth, he’ll sew your lips shut.”

Wasp Sipping Observed / Odd Frog Amidst the Yucca

I was in the backyard all yesterday doing yardwork; it was a pretty interesting day. At one point, a wasp flew into view. He hovered over the surface of the pool, then landed on the surface of the water with his wings raised in a V like Jeremy. Then the wasp quaffed deeply for about 10 seconds. I actually could see him drinking. Then he took off very skillfully, beating the wings but never touching them to the water. I had no clue that wasps could land on water and stand on surface tension.

I also removed a few yucca plants and found this guy:

Frog nap interrupted

A photo posted by barlowjon (@barlowjon) on

I think he must be some kind of tree frog, but I’m not sure. I carefully cut this blade of the yucca out and put it under the shrubbery. He stayed on it almost the whole morning. I had almost gotten so frustrated with the weeds in this yard that I was getting close to using some round-up, but seeing this little guy solidified my commitment to not use anything that could harm amphibians in the yard. I like the frogs, the tiger geckos, the anole lizards, etc. It’s amazing to have so many fascinating critters in the yard.