February 22, 2006

Good News For Aging Men

According to this report, men in their 50s are more satisfied with their sex lives than at any other time in their lives except their 20s. On a scale of zero to four, men reported satisfaction as follows:

20s - 2.79
30s - 2.55
40s - 2.72
50s - 2.77
60s - 2.46
70s - 2.14

After giving this just a moment's thought, I realized that one little word explains this: kids.

Seriously. Most people start their families in their late 20s or 30s. Before a guy in his 20s settles down, there's likely some fun on the dating scene. But once you find "the one," nothing tops the excitement of the courtship, honeymoon, and early years together without kids.

After the children appear, you find that both of you are a bit more tired, a bit less attentive to looks or clothing, a bit more prone to headaches and irritability, and less likely to enjoy the less-frequent sex. As the kids get older and more independent, they continue to invade your space and their schedules become more demanding.

Once the kids leave the nest, it seems that one of two things happens: (1) husband and wife fall in love all over again and experience some really great time together, going at it like newlyweds, or (2) husband, now financially successful and confident, dumps the old bag for a trophy wife 20 years his junior. (Two of the four commenters over at Science Blog tend to confirm this latter point). In either case, the man is likely to be more satisfied with sex than at any time since before he had kids.


Ouch! That was my wife taking a swipe at me for the "old bag" comment. For the record: she in no way resembles any sort of bag (unless it's one that's sleek and fashionable and will never go out of style...)

(Hat tip: Instapundit).

Posted by JohnL at 09:39 PM | Comments (4) | | TrackBack

February 21, 2006

Top Ten Music Game

All the cool kids are doing it again.

Here are the top-10 songs (by play count) in my folder in iTunes:

1. "Halo" by O'Donnell/Salvatori - (Yes, the original theme from the best video game I have ever played).
2. "Blurry" by Puddle of Mudd - this is a good song, but it ranks so highly because I bought it from iTunes and only play it on the computer or my iPod. (A lot of songs that I play over and over are still stranded on their original CDs and haven't been imported into the computer just yet).
3. "The Current" by Blue Man Group and Gavin Rossdale - I know many see them as a gimmick group, a bit too contrived and self-aware, but I don't care. I love the BMG.
4. "Don't Change" by INXS - one of the few songs in my library imported from a CD. It was all downhill from here for INXS (Shabooh Shoobah is one of my top-10 favorite albums).
5. "African Trilogy" by Neil Diamond - I dare you to diss Neil. Go ahead... do ya feel lucky, punk?
6. "Above" by Blue Man Group - BMG also ranks highly because theirs was one of the first "albums" I downloaded from iTunes.
7. "I Feel Love" by Blue Man Group, Tracy Bonham, and Rob Swift.
8. "Lazarus Raised" by Peter Gabriel - from Passion (the original soundtrack to The Last Temptation of Christ).
9. "I Ran" by A Flock of Seagulls - Love the 1980s.
10. "Imagine" by A Perfect Circle - (I don't know why this ranks higher than Judith, a far superior original A Perfect Circle song. Still, this cover tops the original flaccid Lennon crap).

And now, to revisit the classic meme (as Hucbald did), here are the first ten songs to pop up in iTunes in shuffle mode:

1. "Wake Up" by Doctors' Mob (My favorite live band in Austin during my college years).
2. "Honky Tonk Women" by the Rolling Stones
3. "Where I Live" by Doctors' Mob
4. "Without You" by Asia
5. Prelude in G-Sharp Minor, Op. 16, No. 2 by Scriabin
6. "God Rest You Merry Gentlemen" (from Readers Digest's Joyous Music of Christmastime)
7. "I Stand Alone" by Wetton and Downes (Eww. This one reeks).
8. "Vertigo" by U2
9. "Hymn" by Ultravox (one of the most underrated and criminally forgotten bands of the 1980s)
10. "The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)" by The Tokens

Hey, this is fun! Ten more under the fold:

11. "Summit" by Vangelis
12. "African Trilogy" by Neil Diamond
13. "The James Bond Theme" performed by The Ventures
14. "Journey of the Sorcerer" by The Eagles (Quick - what series was this the theme music for? No googling allowed ;-)
15. "Dream On" by Aerosmith
16. "Night Fever" by The Bee Gees
17. "God Bless America" performed by Ray Charles
18. "Children of the Sun" by Billy Thorpe
19. "The Current" by the Blue Man Group
20. "Sole Survivor" by Asia

Posted by JohnL at 08:50 PM | Comments (5) | | TrackBack

I Can't Get Behind That Kinda, Like, English

The Crack Young Staff, proprietors of the humble "weblog" entitled Hatemongers Quarterly, are not impressed with the linguistic skills of today's youth.

Frankly, neither am I. My wife and I refer to clueless teens generically as "like-you-knows."

But who cares what we think when even Captain Kirk agrees? *

(*)Musical excerpt from the "song" I Can't Get Behind That from Has Been, by William Shatner and the awesome Ben Folds, about which I previously blogged here.

(Hat tip: LLamas).

Posted by JohnL at 07:21 PM | Comments (1) | | TrackBack

Radiohead Video

Check out this really cool Radiohead video.

(Hat tip: INDCent Bill).

Posted by JohnL at 01:02 AM | Comments (1) | | TrackBack

February 16, 2006

Random Thoughts on Aging

The best thing I read on the Internet today, by RP:

I am feeling more curmudgeonly with every passing day. At this rate, I am going to just calcify in place.

Good thing we're having another baby. That keeps you young.

Or leaves you so tired you can't remember how old you are.

Amen, brother.

Update: Clarification! We are not expecting another baby. Just read "Good thing we have young kids" where RP says "Good thing we're having another baby."

Posted by JohnL at 10:42 PM | Comments (6) | | TrackBack

Willie Nelson, Dan Rather, and Bach

Hucbald the West-Texas musical monk with a thing for redheads posted a nice review of Willie Nelson's concert to benefit the public radio station in Alpine, Texas. Turns out that Dan Rather was there to introduce Willie. Bizarre.

Also, to Hucbald, you're not the first one to find it doubtful that J.S. Bach authored the T&F in d minor for organ.

Posted by JohnL at 10:37 PM | Comments (3) | | TrackBack

Hat Tip to Crooked Timber

The other day, Ted at Crooked Timber identified some low-hanging fruit ripe for elimination from the US federal budget. After citing an egregious example of useless waste, he wrote: "My first response was 'This is why good people turn libertarian.' Upon reflection, that’s my second response, too."

Crooked Timber is a consistently good read on the center-left side of the political spectrum. Check it out.

Posted by JohnL at 10:27 PM | Comments (1) | | TrackBack

February 15, 2006

Do I Seem Like an Anarchist to You?

You scored as Anarchism.

















What Political Party Do Your Beliefs Put You In?
created with QuizFarm.com

The strange thing here is the orders of the runners-up. Democrat? Republican or Socialist? Yikes.

(via Donkey Rex Ferric)

Posted by JohnL at 11:23 PM | Comments (3) | | TrackBack

Ghost in the Moon

This post earns Matoko Kusanagi a move from the The Green Hills of Earth to the The Moon is a Harsh Mistress portion of my blogroll.

(The TMiaHM section is reserved for libertarians/classical liberals).

Posted by JohnL at 11:15 PM | Comments (1) | | TrackBack

Dirty Older English

Check out this 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue: A Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Eloquence.


SUCH A REASON PIST MY GOOSE, or MY GOOSE PIST. Said when any one offers an absurd reason.

TWIDDLE POOP. An effeminate looking fellow.

TO WIN. To steal. The cull has won a couple of rum glimsticks; the fellow has stolen a pair of fine candlesticks.

WOMAN'S CONSCIENCE. Never satisfied.

ZAD. Crooked like the letter Z. He is a mere zad, or perhaps zed; a description of a very crooked or deformed person.

(Via Gravity Lens).

Posted by JohnL at 11:12 PM | Comments (1) | | TrackBack

February 14, 2006

Random Surfing

Here's a public service announcement: use caution when tripping around cyberspace using the "Next Blog" feature in Blog*Spot, as you are likely to encounter some dummy blogs featuring porn and spam. Having made that disclaimer, here are some links for your edification and enjoyment that I discovered tonight:

Native Eye, a New York photoblog. (This Reinventing Monet is quite cool, as is this lovely Red Hyacinth. Wow - stunning composition).

A lefty Australian's blog: Lindsay's Lobes. Disregard the occasional politics and new agey vibe here. Instead, focus on the clean prose, tasteful site design, several beautiful pictures of a New Zealand holiday, and entertaining musings on family, the environment, and culture.

Finally, here's a Texan cyclist's site: Wallace Alaniz. Lots of really cool pictures from in and around Austin, Texas, one of the greatest places on Earth to live or visit. (Check out the pic accompanying this post).

Hope you enjoy these new sites.

Posted by JohnL at 10:03 PM | Comments (1) | | TrackBack

February 13, 2006

Harold Edgerton Photos

You're probably familiar with the work of Harold "Doc" Edgerton.

I know I was. Familiar with the work, that is. Not the man who produced it.

Edgerton invented the technique of synchronizing a high-speed stroboscope to a high-shutter-speed camera to create super-realistic stop-motion photographs. As an example, here's an image of a drop of milk splashing as it hits a table top, captured using Edgerton's technique:

edgerton milk drop.jpg

In 1947, Edgerton developed a special camera (the Rapatronic) capable of capturing images of nuclear explosions from seven miles away, with some images as short as 10 nanoseconds.

I've always thought that nuclear explosions were eerily beautiful (not that I would ever want to witness one, unless from the safely-shielded command deck of an Orion starship). Here's a representative sample of an atomic fireball captured using a Rapatronic camera:


Check out more Rapatronic photos here.

(And for even more ultra-cool nuclear images and movies click here).

(Hat tip: Gravity Lens, who pointed out this article).

Update: Remember to Duck and Cover!

Posted by JohnL at 10:38 PM | Comments (1) | | TrackBack

February 12, 2006

Strunk and White on Spam

Here's a fun little parody: The Elements of Spam.

Via Geekpress.

(If you don't have Strunk and White, get it!)

Posted by JohnL at 10:52 PM | Comments (1) | | TrackBack

February 07, 2006

Slow Blogging Ahead

The pace has been slow around here, and will continue to be so, as I am spending most of my blogging time transferring home videos to the computer, editing them, rendering them, and burning them to DVD.

So far, I have covered the months December 2003 through July 2004. I have about 30 hours of old VHS tapes to digitally encode (1995 through 2003) and about 9 hours of MiniDV video dating from mid-2004 to the present.

The transfer process is one-to-one. I.e., for every hour of raw video, it takes an hour to dump to the hard drive.

Then, it takes about 3 hours of editing per hour of raw video.

The rendering process is about 2:1, but is something the computer can do when I go to bed. Same for the burning process (1:1).

After I've burned the DVD from the top-quality DV master, I save the project as an mpg file (which can be backed up on a couple of different hard drives and used to recreate the DVD in the future).

You can understand why I fell so far behind, and why I am now spending as much time as possible to catch up.

Oh, and to counter any "helpful" suggestions, I have looked into paying someone to do this. But having seen the overpriced and kitschy output of most video-transfer companies, that is not an option. (And, like blogging, it's a creative and relaxing outlet for me, much like scrapbooking is for my wife).

Posted by JohnL at 09:04 PM | Comments (1) | | TrackBack

Liberalism versus "Liberals"

Here's some required reading: an interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born ex-Muslim woman.

It was her film, "Submission," that the late Theo Van Gogh directed. A Muslim took offense and, rather than debating the issue, pinned a note to Van Gogh with a knife.

Read what she has to say. She knows first-hand what it is like to live in an illiberal society. Can we (i.e., Western liberal democratic culture) survive? Will we assimilate and transform Islam into something modern and tolerant? Will we destroy Islam? Will we instead [shudder] submit?

Update: I titled the post before I was done editing. Quite simply, where are the "liberals" from the West? Arguing that the cartoon flap was a setup by Bush? Justifying the violent Muslim reaction as an understandable response to the existence of Israel and Western colonialism? Where are the grown-ups?

Fortunately, Ali demonstrates a true liberal analysis of the situation.

Posted by JohnL at 08:40 PM | Comments (1) | | TrackBack

Required Reading

I don't have much of anything to add to the Cartoon Wars that hasn't already been covered by Jeff Goldstein.

Go there, and just keep scrolling up. He's a liberal, like I am, in the non-political, classical sense of the word. I just wish more "liberals" were.

Update: Did anyone else see tonight's Colbert Report? Hilarious critique of the cartoon violence. One of my favorite lines (paraphrased): "I have decided to take the brave and ethical stand of not showing the offending cartoons to avoid being killed..."

Posted by JohnL at 08:36 PM | Comments (1) | | TrackBack

February 01, 2006

Gamers Gone Wild

This video would have cut a little too close to home for me about 20 years ago.

What cruel videos will they be making about bloggers 20 years from now???

(Via The Llamabutchers).

Posted by JohnL at 11:51 PM | Comments (2) | | TrackBack

Heinlein Quote of the Month (February 2006)

All I will add to the discussion of the State Of The Union:

Oh, 'tanstaafl.' Means 'There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.'

- Mannie in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

Posted by JohnL at 07:55 AM | Comments (3) | | TrackBack