Category Archives: History

Pinker: “A History of Violence”

Some of the evidence has been under our nose all along. Conventional history has long shown that, in many ways, we have been getting kinder and gentler. Cruelty as entertainment, human sacrifice to indulge superstition, slavery as a labor-saving device, conquest as the mission statement of government, genocide as a means of acquiring real estate, torture and mutilation as routine punishment, the death penalty for misdemeanors and differences of opinion, assassination as the mechanism of political succession, rape as the spoils of war, pogroms as outlets for frustration, homicide as the major form of conflict resolution—all were unexceptionable features of life for most of human history. But, today, they are rare to nonexistent in the West, far less common elsewhere than they used to be, concealed when they do occur, and widely condemned when they are brought to light.


Borgia (Tom Fontana) Character Reference

Rodrigo Borgia

Giulia Farnese (mistress of Rodrigo and wife of Orsino)

Vannozza Catanei (mother of Juan, Cesare, Lucrezia, and Goffredo)

Juan Borgia (son of Vannozza and Rodrigo)

Cesare Borgia (son of Vannozza and Rodrigo)

Lucrezia Borgia (daughter of Vannozza and Rodrigo)

Adriana De Mila [Caretaker of the Borgia children and manager of their household in Rome, mother of Orsino Orsini (husband of Giulia Farnese)]

Continue reading Borgia (Tom Fontana) Character Reference

El Cápac Ñan


El Cápac Ñan es el nombre que se les da al extenso sistema de caminos, eje principal de la red viaria del Imperio inca. Todos los caminos del imperio se vinculaban con el Cusco, la capital imperial, de donde se desprenden una serie de caminos que unen los distintos pueblos del Imperio Inca. Durante el Tahuantinsuyo constituyó un medio de integración para el desarrollo de la cultura andina en los aspectos político–administrativo, socioeconómicos, sociales, culturales y ambientales. Fue usado por los conquistadores españoles para dirigirse a Bolivia, Chile y las pampas cordilleranas argentinas.


Gen. Banks

Gen. Banks’s antecedents were unfavorable to him when he landed in New Orleans. True, he was from Massachusetts, and was a Republican: but he belonged to the conservative portion of the party. The word “white” in the militia law, which had so long offended the good taste and better judgment of the majority of the people, was stricken out during the last term of Gov. Banks’s administration, but failed to receive his sanction. In his message vetoing the bill, he resorted to a laborious effort of special pleading to prove that the negro was not a citizen. The fact is, he was a Democrat dressed up in Republican garments. Gen. Butler had brought the whites and blacks nearly to a level with each other as citizens of New Orleans, when he was succeeded by Gen. Banks. The latter at once began a system of treatment to the colored people, which showed that his feelings were with the whites, and against the blacks. The old slave-law, requiring colored persons to be provided with passes to enable them to be out from their homes after half-past eight o’clock at night was revived by Gen. Banks’s understrappers…


“Abortion and crime: who should you believe?”

First, let’s start by reviewing the basic facts that support the Donohue-Levitt hypothesis that legalized abortion in the 1970s explains a substantial part of the crime decline in the 1990s:

1) Five states legalized abortion three years before Roe v. Wade. Crime started falling three years earlier in these states, with property crime (done by younger people) falling before violent crime.


Albert Fish

About the age of fifty-five, Fish started to experience hallucinations and delusions. “He had visions of Christ and His angels….he began to be engrossed in religious speculations about purging himself of iniquities and sins, atonement by physical suffering and self-torture, human sacrifices….He would go on endlessly with quotations from the Bible all mixed up with his own sentences, such as ‘Happy is he that taketh Thy little ones and dasheth their heads against the stones.”

Fish believed that God had ordered him to torment and castrate little boys. He had actually done so a number of times.


Nick Sagan on Carl Sagan

He had a knack for pinball, knowing just how hard to bump a machine without tilting it. We’d go to arcades together and he’d win bonus games like mad. Videogames were never his thing, though he could appreciate the better ones. I remember the day I showed him Computer Baseball, a strategy game for the Apple IIe. You could pit some of the greatest teams in MLB history against each other. We played Babe Ruth’s 1927 Yankees against Jackie Robinson’s 1955 Dodgers for about an hour, and then he turned to me and said, “Never show this to me again. I like it too much, and I don’t want to lose time.”



1. If the World Trade Center (WTC) towers were designed to withstand multiple impacts by Boeing 707 aircraft, why did the impact of individual 767s cause so much damage?

As stated in Section 5.3.2 of NIST NCSTAR 1, a document from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) indicated that the impact of a [single, not multiple] Boeing 707 aircraft was analyzed during the design stage of the WTC towers. However, NIST investigators were unable to locate any documentation of the criteria and method used in the impact analysis and, therefore, were unable to verify the assertion that “… such collision would result in only local damage which could not cause collapse or substantial damage to the building.…”


Maxed Out

Seven Hills, NV

“I think you’ve just got to be in a master plan, where there are CC&Rs and they can’t build a mobile home right next door or a nail shop. You know, it’s just strictly a planned community. You’re gonna get your dollars out.”

“I could not have paid for the construction of that house if I hadn’t got the loan-to-value, which means they appraised the house when it was done and loaned me money as what it would sell for.

[Title card: This is the same accounting technique used by Enron.]
Continue reading Maxed Out