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Why You Should Visit Santa Catalina, an Enchanted Isle

Saturday, January 17th, 2015 - by Arlene Becker Zarmi

Santa Catalina Island, or as everyone calls it Catalina, is the only inhabited of California’s Barrier Islands. Viewing it from the ferry as we arrived, I found the powerful, craggy, thrusting-out shoreline magnificent and breathtaking. In fact the only really flat surface is the six block Avalon downtown, Crescent Avenue, which borders on sandy beaches. The rest of the town rolls and rises up and down, winding along with houses, and condos perched up the hilly sides. It has a Mediterranean feel with its pastel colors.

Four thousand people live on the island with 3,800 in Avalon.

Thanks to Wrigley — who bought out his co-investors — and Wrigley’s son Phillip — who established a Conservancy — 88% of the 8-by-76 mile island has been left in the same pristine state as when the Catalina Indians lived here. The Conservancy offers jeep tours of the inland and other coastal areas, where Bison (not native to the island, but brought in by a Hollywood filming group) may be encountered. Several hundred movies have been made here.

Wrigley also built an island focal point that catches every new visitor’s eye, The Casino, which has never been used for gambling, but was a big dance hall in the forties. Now it’s the island’s movie theater. Once a year a silent film festival is held here with an organist providing the music. Many visitors and islanders dress in circa 1920 garb. A big dinner and dance bash takes place on New Year’s Eve which is also a great time for everyone to dress up.

A jazz festival is held in the fall, and several art festivals as well.

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Catalina has been a great retreat and living spot for many celebs. Marilyn Monroe lived there with her sailor husband when she was still Norma Jean; Zane Grey’s house still stands atop a hill above the beach road; Ronald Reagan was there with the Wrigley-owned Chicago Cubs as a broadcaster; and of course, Natalie Wood drowned here off her yacht.

The history of the island and its intriguing Hollywood connections can be seen with blown up photos of Wrigley and others in the island museum.

Catalina has become a great place to escape for people from everywhere, and an adventure land for people who love the water, to scuba, to snorkel, or just to take the kids on the glass-bottom boat to feed the fish through open wells. Either way it’s a real treat for kids of all ages to see the fish swarm in their feeding frenzy.

The more adventurous can also kayak at Descanso Beach and I was told that babies can even go if held by parents. I myself went kayaking with a four-year-old. We saw whales and dolphins! Day trips and overnight trips can also be scheduled.

Catalina is known for its special sea life. Snorkel and scuba equipment can be rented by the hour or day and there are short courses for scuba certification. The center point for many of these water adventures is the green pier which juts out into the Pacific. This is also the place to go para-sailing. The pier is always bustling.

Landlubbers are not left out. Segways, bicycles — including electric bikes — can be rented by the hour or day. Segway tours are also offered. Several marathons and triathlons are held each year along with a grueling 50-mile marathon!

At Descanso Beach — a great, secluded scenic area, just outside of town — there’s a zip line course that most zippers would love. A short introductory lesson is given for newbies, and children as young as five can ride random with an adult. First zip is off of a 350 foot height over an open canyon chasm. Longest zip, 1,000 feet and fastest, forty miles an hour.

Hiking the 46-mile trail is fun and you really get the feeling of being part of the island. Permits are free but a three dollar donation is suggested. It takes about three days.

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One of the most quaint things about Catalina is that golf carts are used as vehicles. Rent one and tour the heights for great views of the city. Some rental properties come with carts.

The food is varied and plentiful both day and evening with outdoor eating. Night life is usually at the restaurants. Maggie’s Blue Rose, which serves upscale Mexican food and gigantic and exotic tequilas, is usually a great place to hang out. You can watch tortillas being made and flipped. Steve’s steak house, run by a three generation islander, has great harbor views.

A wonderful way to get a feel for where you’d like to eat and an eating adventure in itself is to take a “cultural and tasting walking tour” with Taste of Catalina Food Tours covering five different restaurants. It includes an interesting talk about the town’s history by your guide. A drinking tour is also offered.

There are a number of places to stay, even houses to rent. One of the most charming and hospitable is the Aurora Hotel and Spa, a 16-room cozy inn which has a rooftop veranda with great views of the City and harbor. A complimentary breakfast of hard-boiled eggs, juice, fruit, cereals, sweets, and individual Keurig tea and coffees is offered, as well as 24-hour coffee, tea, and fruit. There’s even a Keurig-maker in each room. The Aurora offers packages with ferry tickets and taxi pickups.

We were warmly greeted upon our arrival, treated as family during our stay, and hugged by Richard and Diana, two hotel personnel, when we left. Islanders are friendly, down to earth, and welcoming.

The worst part of a trip to Catalina is leaving.

See the previous installments in Arlene’s travel series:

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image illustrations via Shutterstock /

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Are These 3 Rimsky-Korsakov Compositions His Best Pieces?

Saturday, January 17th, 2015 - by PJ Lifestyle Classical Music In the Morning

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Here are the previous recordings included so far in this feature. Please leave your suggestions in the comments, on twitter to @DaveSwindle, or via email: DaveSwindlePJM AT Gmail.com

Johann Sebastian Bach

Ludwig van Beethoven

Hector Berlioz

John Dowland

George Frideric Handel

Joseph Haydn

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Felix Mendelssohn

Maurice Ravel

Richard Strauss

Franz Schubert

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Antonio Vivaldi

10 Recommended by Charlie Martin

Franz Liszt

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This Had Better Be Some Damn Good Beer…

Friday, January 16th, 2015 - by Stephen Green

BALLSY

Via The Guardian:

Icelandic brewery Stedji, which is producing the beer in time for the country’s mid-winter festival, Thorri, said the Hvalur 2 beer was made with the testicles of fin whales – which are classified as endangered on the conservation Red List – smoked in a “traditional way” with dried sheep dung.

Stedji may very well be redefining “on tap.”

*****

Cross-posted from Vodkapundit

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Not All Religions Are Peaceful: Charlie Hebdo and Cultural Relativism

Friday, January 16th, 2015 - by Spencer Klavan

See Chapter 1 in this new series here: How to Outwit a Radical Feminist

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, let’s talk about cultural relativism. Can we do that, for a second? Because it seems relevant.

If you’re new to the tortured logic of modern progressivism, you might be surprised to see college campuses and media outlets across America trembling with doe-eyed concern for the safety of Muslims in Paris. After yet more innocent civilians were gunned down in cold blood by Islamist extremists, it might seem more natural to you to worry about, oh, I don’t know, the safety of innocent civilians being gunned down in cold blood by Islamist extremists. Perhaps, in your naïve opinion, it seemed odd to watch well-coiffed intellectuals wringing their manicured hands over the West’s virulent islamophobia.These things might appear strange to you. Well then, my tender little sugar muffin, it’s time to talk about cultural relativism.

And how to destroy it.

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The Metaphorical War

Friday, January 16th, 2015 - by Stephen McDonald

Why the disconnect between conservative electoral wins these last thirty-five years, and how leftward American culture and law has slithered? How did it come to this?

Thought being the father of action, ineffective efforts spring from flawed worldviews.  Our ballot box wins having proven at best delaying actions against the Left’s Borg-like assimilation of the United States, it is time for conservatives to take a hard look at how conservatism views itself and the Left.

Ultimately, much of the problem results from certain conceptual metaphors inherent in modern conservatism. Change those metaphors, and different, more effective actions will result.

The Importance of Conceptual Metaphor

A conceptual metaphor means understanding one idea in terms of another—for instance, argument is war or life is a journey. What metaphor we use affects how we act on or towards the idea.

As George Lakoff and Mark Johnson discuss in their groundbreaking work on the subject, Metaphors We Live By, we see markers of conceptual metaphors scattered throughout our language.  Because our culture views argument as war, we seek to win debates, attack our opponent’s position, claim their position is indefensible, and probe for weak points in the other side’s argument. With such a metaphor, it is not surprising that arguments are often very charged in our culture.

To demonstrate how profoundly different conceptual metaphors can affect views and actions towards the same subject, Lakoff and Johnson mused on how a society that likened argument not to war but to a dance might approach debate:

[T]he participants are seen as performers, and the goal is to perform in a balanced and aesthetically pleasing way. In such a culture, people would view arguments differently, experience them differently, carry them out differently, and talk about them differently [than in a culture where argument is war]. But we would probably not view them as arguing at all: they would simply be doing something different. It would seem strange even to call what they were doing “arguing.”

A more individual example of how conceptual metaphors can affect thought and so action is to imagine two men. One thinks of life as a gift. The other thinks of life as struggle. Who’s more likely to have a happier life?

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‘Battle of the Huns’ – The Best by Liszt?

Friday, January 16th, 2015 - by PJ Lifestyle Classical Music In the Morning

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Here are the previous recordings included so far in this feature. Please leave your suggestions in the comments, on twitter to @DaveSwindle, or via email: DaveSwindlePJM AT Gmail.com

Johann Sebastian Bach

Ludwig van Beethoven

Hector Berlioz

John Dowland

George Frideric Handel

Joseph Haydn

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Felix Mendelssohn

Maurice Ravel

Richard Strauss

Franz Schubert

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Antonio Vivaldi

10 Classical Music Composers Recommended by Charlie Martin

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Feminism: Adding an ‘F’ to LGBTQ Activism

Thursday, January 15th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

When you’re constantly relying on a third party to define your sexuality, you’re inevitably going to write yourself onto the sidelines of social activism, which is precisely what contemporary feminism is currently doing. With its insane Marxist belief that biological “sex” and “gender” are two separate entities that do not overlap or influence each other, contemporary feminism has bought into postmodern subjectivity. Issues are left to be parsed in terms of value judgments rendered by individuals on the basis of sheer whim. This includes defining what it means to be a woman.

It’s bad enough when contemporary feminists attack shopping malls for categorizing “boys” versus “girls” clothing. The complaint is always the same: “My daughter wanted a superhero shirt that was unavailable in the girls’ department!” Pants were unavailable in the girls’ department 100 years ago. Women wore them anyway. Instead of raising independent thinkers, contemporary feminists raise dependent complainers who derive their entire sense of gender identity from a store’s marketing department. This is the dark side of allowing society to define your gender. Suddenly a generation of women is convinced they have male tendencies because they have a penchant for Superman. It couldn’t be that they want to wear his logo because they find him strong, appealing, or — God-forbid — attractive. Because his logo is sported in the boys’ department only, it must mean any little girl who wants to wear his shirt is obviously a trannie.

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*Yawn* Oscar Nominees Announced Today and Nobody Cares? *Yawn*

Thursday, January 15th, 2015 - by Dave Swindle

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The full list is here, in case anyone’s curious. I haven’t seen any of the films nominated. Any worth streaming once they make it to Netflix streaming or Amazon Prime, the two services that have now replaced our family’s film-going and cable TV-watching?

Wes Anderson should stick to making stop motion animated adaptations of Roald Dahl books. I haven’t seen his new one — which apparently is the favorite to win, this  year — but none of his previous live action films really inspire me to make the effort with this one. The only more overrated Generation X director is, of course, Quentin Tarantino…

But Fantastic Mr. Fox is still cute and fun!

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image illustration via shutterstock /

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The Surprising Place Where Apple Is Succeeding

Thursday, January 15th, 2015 - by Stephen Green

AIR

There’s one place where Apple is kinda-sorta-nearly competing somewhere adjacent to the low end, and that’s in the market for sub-$1000 laptops. The company’s 11″ MacBook Air got a price cut last year to “just” $899 retail, and that seems to be paying off:

Apple sold a record 5.75 million Macs in the quarter that ended Dec. 31, an increase of 19% that beat the overall industry by a wide margin, IDC said Monday.

In a preliminary estimate, IDC pegged Apple’s sales for 2014′s fourth quarter at 5.75 million, a record for a three-month period. According to IDC, Apple sold 4% more Macs than the previous quarter, currently the record.

If U.S. retail sales are any guide, the Mac’s jump came primarily from its lower-priced laptop, the MacBook Air. “Apple had about a third of all notebook sales below $1,000 in the 14 weeks of the fourth quarter,” said Stephen Baker, analyst with the NPD Group, another research firm. “That number was only 8% in 2013.”

When a company can swoop into the highest-price segment of the low-price market and immediately grab a third of it, then they must be doing something right.

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cross-posted from Vodkapundit

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Why All French Jews Should Leave for Israel

Thursday, January 15th, 2015 - by P. David Hornik

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In 2014, the year before the murder rampages at the Charlie Hebdo offices and the kosher supermarket in Paris, about seven thousand French Jews (out of a community of about half a million) emigrated to Israel.

With Muslim and other antisemitic harassment and violence constantly intensifying in France, that was twice the number of the previous year, and a record high.

Even before this month’s terror attacks, a higher number of French Jewish immigrants to Israel was expected for 2015. Now, after the attacks, a higher number yet is expected, possibly fifteen thousand. There is even talk of the Jews leaving France—mainly for Israel—altogether.

Meanwhile it’s reported that:

An unprecedented 15,000 soldiers and police officers have been mobilized in France to protect potential sites from terrorist attacks, of whom one third have been stationed at Jewish schools and synagogues for 24-hour-a-day supervision.

Five thousand police officers will guard 717 Jewish institutions, in the wake of last week’s terrorist attacks that killed 17 people, including four Jews at a Paris kosher supermarket.

And in a speech after the attacks, French prime minister Manuel Valls said:

How is it possible to accept that France…how can it be accepted that we hear on our streets “Death to the Jews”?… How can one accept that French people be murdered simply because they are Jewish?

…We must say to the world: without the Jews of France, France would no longer be France. And that message is one that we all have to deliver strongly and loudly. We did not say it in the past. We did not show our indignation in the past.

On the one hand, one can ask whether sending one’s children to a school that has to be guarded round-the-clock by seven or eight soldiers and police officers is much of a way to live. On the other hand, one could ask, in light of the protective measures and Valls’s words: should France be given another chance, before Jews give up on it?

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The Next Microsoft Is…

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 - by Stephen Green

GOOGLE

…Google? Let’s read what Katie Benner has to say about that:

For all of its innovation, best captured by Eric Schmidt’s “How Google Works,” Google is a 55,000-person behemoth, and it’s nearly impossible for any company to move quickly and creatively at that size. Among tech giants, only Apple has managed to innovate after becoming so big. Hewlett Packard? Nope. IBM? No way.

Despite all the talk about Google’s much vaunted moonshots – self-driving cars and Google Glass, internet-connected balloons and drone deliveries – the company is still basically a purveyor of cheap online ads that it sells at massive volume against the things that we search for online. Advertising accounted for $51 billion of the company’s $56 billion in revenue last year.

The most valuable thing that the official moonshot incubator, Google X, has produced isn’t innovative products that will maintain Google’s search dominance. It’s good PR. It codified the idea that Google is always trying new stuff and failing because that’s what true, crazy, bountiful innovation looks like.

There’s much more to Benner’s argument, so you might just want to read the whole thing.

I’d argue that’s what Benner describes at Google is exactly what innovation doesn’t look like. Successful innovators imagine and iterate new products with exactly one thing in mind: Pleasing their customers with something new which they might not have even known they wanted. It’s a focused approach to creativity.

Wireless communications are one example. It turns out, hardly anybody really wanted a large and expensive satellite phone which could only be used outdoors, and which required a constellation of multimillion dollar satellites in orbit in order to function. It also turns out that almost everybody wants a touchscreen computer which they can fit in their pocket and access most any kind of data from most anywhere. Iridium is still around, focused on a very few, very special customers — but its parent company Motorola has since been twice orphaned. Meanwhile, perhaps more than 1.5 billion-with-a-b people own an iPhone or an Android lookalike.

Google’s approach might very well produce a gem — someday. But the way they go about “innovating” makes the next Iridium much more likely than the next iPhone, and worst of all, doesn’t allow Google to tell the difference in advance.

See: Google Glass.

******

Cross-posted from Vodkapundit

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Which Medical Treatments Today Will We Someday Regard as Barbaric?

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 - by Theodore Dalrymple

shutterstock_113504578Medical history is instructive, if for no other reason than that it might help to moderate somewhat the medical profession’s natural inclination to arrogance, hubris and self-importance. But the medical curriculum is now too crowded to teach it to medical students and practicing doctors are too busy with their work and keeping up-to-date to devote any time to it. It is only when they retire that doctors take an interest in it, as a kind of golf of the mind, and by then it is too late: any harm caused by their former hubris has already been done.

Until I read an article in a recent edition of the Lancet, I knew of only one eminent doctor who had been shot by his patient or a patient’s relative: the Nobel Prize-winning Portuguese neurologist Egas Moniz, who was paralyzed by a bullet in the back. It was he who first developed the frontal lobotomy, though he was also a pioneer of cerebral arteriography. As he was active politically during Salazar’s dictatorship, I am not sure whether his patient shot him for medical or political reasons, or for some combination of the two.

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Why Frozen Is Actually About Gun Control

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 - by Karina Fabian

One thing about modern Disney princess movies is that they’re so easy to label with a message — any message. Look at Frozen. It’s about accepting yourself. It’s about letting your artistic talents flow. It’s about gay rights. It’s about overcoming oppression. It’s about gun control.

Wait. Gun control? Well, gun suppression, more accurately. Nonetheless, insert guns into the narrative, and you’ll see what I mean. Journey with me on a Magical Message Adventure. Lock and load, people!

Picture a fairytale world where there is a great power — magic. From a very young age, Princess Elsa is adept at using magic. So the parents, apparently too busy being royals, haven’t set any particular rules or set boundaries. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.

In this day and age, children aren’t always taught to respect guns, and guns aren’t always carefully secured against curious little hands, as witnessed in the tragic shooting of a mother by her toddler who pulled a loaded gun from her purse.

It’s not the magic – or the gun – that is inherently evil, but the misuse, lack of supervision and irresponsibility that lead to the tragedy. No one watching Frozen is thinking how magic should be banished, even though Elsa nearly killed her own sister. But when a tragic shooting occurs, the knee-jerk reaction is get rid of all guns.

Ah, but back to our story…

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Cute Border Collie and Cocker Spaniel In a Snowy Field at Sunrise

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 - by PJ Lifestyle Sunshine

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Since December of 2013 PJ Lifestyle has been collecting sunrise and sunset photos from contributors, readers, and Instagram. Now we’re going to begin an effort to organize the ongoing collection. Revised goals:

1. Collect a sunrise from every state in the union. Completed July 25, 2014 but you can still send in your great photos to be featured.

2. Collect a sunset from as many countries around the world as possible.

3. After getting all 50 states’ sunrises then switch to collecting their sunsets and begin the global sunrises collection.

Updated April 2014: 4. The extraordinary submissions of Mark Baird have inspired a new collection of photographs devoted specifically to our nation’s capital. We’re going to try and organize fantastic sunrise and sunset photos from all the different monuments and scenic views.

Updated August 2014: 5. We’re going to now try and start combining sunrise and pet photos, leading with images and video taken by PJ Lifestyle editor Dave Swindle featuring Maura the Siberian Husky on her morning runs. Any pet/sunrise/sunset photos will be especially appreciated.

Updated August 30, 2014: 6. With the introduction of Hyperlapse, hat tip to Vodkapundit, we begin a new chapter of sped-up video sunrises from around the world. Please send in links to yours or leave the URLs of your favorites in the comments.

The Completed United States Sunrise Collection

Alabama

Great Colors In the Alabama Sky At Sunrise in Cullman

Alaska

The Sun Rises Over a Town in the Alaskan Mountains

Arizona

A Very Cool Sunrise in Arizona This Morning…

An Encouraging Sunrise While Driving in Arizona

Arkansas

3 Invigorating Sunrise Shots From the Shores of the Arkansas River

‘My 10 year old took this in Arkansas just northeast of Memphis, TN overlooking a field.’

California

94 California Sunrises and Sunsets from 2014 (And the First 3 of 2015…)

2 Videos & 2 Photos: Today’s Sunrise In Inglewood Was the Best in Months

3 Inglewood Sunrise Photos From the Last Few Weeks

Sunrise Today Reflecting on Big Bear Lake

A Bright Sunrise Over San Francisco Bay

Another Superb Sunrise Over Silicon Valley

The Sun Rises Over the Fog In Silicon Valley

A Huge, Colorful Sunrise over San Francisco

A Good Morning Sunrise From the San Fernando Valley

The Sunrise Illuminates The Path By the Beach In Cambria, California

The Last Socal Sunrise of 2013

3 California Sunrises – San Diego – Santa Cruz – San Francisco

These 3 Photos Fail to Do Justice For This Morning’s Southern California Sunrise

Beverly Hills: A California Sunrise in Memory of Shirley Temple

A Subtle Sunrise From The San Fernando Valley This Morning

A Colorful Sunrise From the San Fernando Valley

A Golden Sunrise From the San Fernando Valley

Today’s San Fernando Valley Sunrise

3 Shots of the San Fernando Valley Sunrise This Morning

The Sun Rises Over San Diego’s Working Waterfront

Colorado

Stunning Shots of Sunlight Escape the Clouds In Roxborough Park

A Purple, Pink, and Gold Colorado Sunrise

Which of These 3 Colorado Sunrises Is the Best?

Garden of the Gods at Dawn

Colorado Sunrise Vodkapundit Style

An Orange Sunrise from Boulder, CO

Connecticut

Sunrise Over the Snow in New England

A Connecticut Church’s Stained Glass Sunrise

Delaware

A Delaware Sunrise That Looks Like Heaven

Florida

Great Colors in this Sunrise Over NYC Shot From Jersey City

An Instagram Video of Today’s Sunrise Over Miami

What Could Be Better Than Kayaking At Sunrise?

A Bold, Blood Red Sunrise Reflecting On Lake Maitland in Florida

3 Fantastic Photos of Yesterday Morning’s Florida Sunrise Courtesy of Myra Adams

The Sun Rises Over the Sea In Florida

A Heavenly Sunset in Cedar Key, Florida

Sunrise at a Damaged Honeymoon Cottage in Cedar Key, Florida

3 Florida Beach Sunrises

Florida Sunset With 3 Dogs (All Sunsets Are Better With Dogs)

Don’t Miss This Breathtaking Sunrise Shot From a Kayak On Lake Minnehaha

Georgia

The Sun Rising Over Atlanta From 10,000 Feet

Many Colors Over The Sky In Yesterday’s Sunrise Over Atlanta, Georgia

How the Sun Starts the Day in Covington, GA

Another Beautiful North Georgia Sunrise

Hawaii

Sunrise Dances Across The Clouds in Maui

Clouds at Sunset in Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii

Idaho

Great Colors In the Sky Over Idaho at Sunrise

Beautiful Clouds As the Sun Rises In the Idaho Hills

Sunrise On the Farm in Buhl, Idaho

Illinois

Sunrise From the 57th Floor in Chicago

Chicago: 7 Sunrises to Start Your Sunday

Indiana

An Indiana Cornfield Sunrise In the Rearview Mirror

The Sunrise Today In Downtown Indianapolis

Iowa

A Bright Red and Orange Iowa Sunrise

Kansas

An Artsy Kansas Sunrise

Kentucky

An Inspiring Sunrise Over the Ohio River Shot From the Kentucky Side

Kentucky: A Great-Looking Truck on the Farm at Sunrise

Louisiana

A Peaceful Purple Louisiana Sunrise over the Superdome

Maine

2 New England Sunsets

Maryland

A Superb Sunrise Canoeing on the Monocacy River in Maryland

Massachusetts

4 Sunrise Shots at the Light Houses in Gloucester, MA

Colors Reflected on Rocky Winthrop Beach in Boston at Sunrise

A Powerful Pink Sunrise From Framingham, MA

Michigan

Detroit Ice Fishing Sunrise

An Ice Fishing Sunrise From North of Detroit to Start Your Weekend

Sunrise on Lake St. Clair, Just Outside Detroit

Minnesota

Michigan Vs. Minnesota: Which Sunrise Is Better?

A Calming Sunrise Over Wolf Lake in Minnesota

Mississippi

An Overwhelming Sunrise on the Mississippi River

Missouri

This Missouri Sunrise On the Plains Is a Gorgeous Photograph

Montana

Sunrise from the Rooftop in Billings, Montana

Nebraska

A Truly Triumphant Sunrise From Nebraska

Nevada

A Hopeful Sunrise In the Nevada Desert

New Hampshire

This New Hampshire Sunrise Is One of the Most Beautiful In The Collection

2 Sunrise Shots From the Thanksgiving Day Snow Storm of 2014 (New Hampshire)

3 Superb Sunrise Shots From Don Sucher

A New Hampshire Sunrise Shot Through The ‘Glass Wall’

New Jersey

A Great Smile of a Sunrise On the Jersey Shore

New Mexico

Which State Has the Superior Sunrises? 2 From New Mexico Vs 2 From Colorado

A Hopeful Sunrise in New Mexico

New York

A Bright, Colorful New York Sunrise

North Carolina

A Sunrise to Start The Day at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

A Peaceful Sunrise Video at Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina

North Dakota

These 2 North Dakota Sunrise Photos Are Some of the Most Breathtaking We’ve Ever Received…

A Wide Open North Dakota Sunrise on the Farm

Ohio

It’s 3 Below In Newark, Ohio And The Sun Shoots Up Like a Shining Column of Light

‘Flying at 6500′ Msl Over Zanesville, OH in My Cessna 182 Heading South’

What a 17 Degree Ohio Sunset Looks Like

4 Great Sunrises Today: Ohio Vs New Jersey Vs North Carolina Vs Florida

Oklahoma

An Oklahoma Driving Sunrise

Canada Vs Oklahoma Vs Tunisia: Which Sunrise Is Your Favorite Today?

A Wonderful Blue & Orange Sunrise Creeps Over the Oklahoma Grasses

Oregon

Which of These 2 Oregon Sunrises Is More Beautiful?

A Beautifully Composed Portland Oregon Sunrise Photograph

Oregon Vs. Oklahoma: Which Sunrise Do You Like More?

Pennsylvania

2 Gettysburg Battlefield Sunrises

Rhode Island

A Colorful Rhode Island Sunrise

South Carolina

5 Instagram Sunrises From Around the World

Sunrise: Myrtle Beach or Miami Beach?

South Dakota

Golden Skies Over South Dakota at Sunrise

Tennessee

Cows At a Colorful Sunrise in Tennessee

Texas

Which of These 4 Texas Sunrise Photos From This Morning Is Your Favorite?

An Optimistic Sunrise Over Dallas

Sunrise From Galveston Island, Texas

West Texas Instagram Video: The Birds Flying at Sunrise

Utah

These 2 Bright Utah Sunrises Are Inspirational

A Utah Camping Sunrise

Vermont

Golden Dancing Clouds in this Tranquil Vermont Sunrise

Virginia

Sunrise Over the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia

Charlottesville, VA: When the Morning Sun Gets Under the Clouds and Lights Them Up

Washington and West Virginia

West Virginia Vs Washington: Which Sunrise Do You Like More?

Wisconsin

3 Artsy Sunrise Photos From Milwaukee

Wyoming

Wake Up in Wyoming And Start Today With this Bright, Beautiful Sunrise

The Beginning of the Sunrise in Wyoming

Mars (which we might as well go ahead and start counting as an American state now)

What Does a Sunrise Look Like on Mars?

The International Sunset Collection

1. Australia:

The Sun Sets in Sydney, Australia

2. Brazil:

The Sun Sets at a South American Achipelago

2 Very Different Brazilian Sunsets

3. Canada:

6 Sunrises to Start the Last Week of January

4. Cayman Islands:

An Insta-Sunset From the Cayman Islands

5. Chile:

Fire Dances In the Skies As the Sun Sets in the Chilean Mountains

6. Costa Rica:

3 Bright Sunsets From Costa Rica

7. England, 8. France, and 9. Denmark:

3 European Sunrises

10. Finland

Brazil Vs Finland Vs Chile: Which of These Sunsets is Your Favorite?

11. Italy:

An Italian Sunset in Miramare, Trieste

12. Germany:

A Red Sunset in the Woods of Hagen, Germany

This Bright Orange German Sunset Is Like the Conclusion of an Epic Quest

13. Greece:

A Soothing Sunset On the Greek Island of Oia

14. Malaysia:

Sunsets On 3 Continents

15. Maldives:

Tropical Paradise: A Sunset in Maldives

16. Mexico:

Gray Crashes into Gold in This Striking Mexico City Sunset

17. Mozambique:

5 Golden Sunsets From Africa

Orange and Blue in the Mozambique Skies: The Sun Sets Over Nacala

An Absolutely Amazing, Haunting, Spiritual Sunset From Mozambique

2 More Magical Mozambique Sunsets And a Bonus Sunrise

18. Philippines:

A Panglao Island Sunset

19. Russia:

6 Sunrises from Australia to Paris to Russia to America…

20. Sweden:

6 Sunsets to End the Week

21. Thailand:

2 Thailand Sunsets

Sunset on the Quiet Side of Phuket, Thailand, April 2014

22. Trinidad:

A Trinidad Sunset Bursts Through Gray Clouds

23. South Africa:

A Waterfront Sunset in South Africa

24. Scotland:

An Astounding Scottish Sunset on the Isle of Mull

25. Serbia:

Purple and Gold in the Skies Over Serbia

26. Spain:

A ‘Naughty Sun’ Tries to Sneak Down the Chimney In Catalonia

27. Wales:

A Beautiful Burst of Sunset at Broughton Bay Yesterday in South Wales

28. Israel:

A Superb Sunset From Susan In Israel

29. Iraq:

2 ‘Not The Most Spectacular’ Sunset Shots From Iraq

An Iraqi Sunset From Camp Danger…

Starting the International Sunrise Collection:

1. Formentera

A Great Sunrise Video From the Island of Formentera

2. Australia

Blue & Orange Colorado Sunrise Vs. Pink Australia Skies

Sunrise on a Rocky Australian Coastline

3. Canada

Running Through a Canadian Carrot Field at Sunrise

4. Italy

An Italian Sunrise Over the Sea In Calabria

A Sicilian Sunrise at the Beach

5. Argentina

A Superb Sunrise From Patagonia, Argentina

6. Thailand

Mist At Dawn in Thailand

7. Indonesia

Yellow Skies at Sunrise on Bromo Mountain in Indonesia

A Peaceful Glowing Sunrise in the Mountains of Indonesia

A Cool Sunrise Shot in Indonesia

Starting The United States Sunset Collection:

1. Arizona

The Sun Sets Over the Grand Canyon

A Sharpshooter Sends in 2 Great Sunset Shots From Arizona

2. Florida

Florida: A Pink Sunset At Passagrille Beach

‘Probably My Favorite Two Sunset Shots I’ve Ever Taken…’

3. Montana

A Majestic Purple Montana Sunset

4. Massachusetts

A Bright Sunset over Laurel Lake in Berkshire County, Massachusetts

5. Washington

The First in a Fantastic Series of Seattle Sunrise and Sunset Shots

‘I Felt as Though I Was Inside a Jewel Box.’

‘Sunset, the Olympics and Low-Lying Fog over Elliott Bay’

6. California

5 Beautiful Playa Del Rey Beach Sunset Shots From Tuesday Night

The Washington D.C. Collection So Far:

27 Sunrises:

5 Sunsets:

The Dogs at Sunrise Collection So Far:

The Hyperlapse Sunrise/Sunset Collection

Sunrises:

International:

United States:

Sunsets

International

United States

 

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Why Samsung’s Profits Fell Last Year

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 - by Stephen Green

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Via Ibtimes.com:

The Samsung Group announced Thursday that its yearly profit fell for the first time since 2011. The electronics giant still beat analysts’ expectations as its slowing smartphone sales were buoyed by demand for its computer chips.

Sales of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones made up two-thirds of its profit for the last two years, but they will be eclipsed by its semiconductor business in 2015, according to analyst Lee Sei-cheol from Woori Investment & Securities. The company announced that its 2014 operating profits were expected to reach 24.9 trillion won, or $22.6 billion, down 32 percent from a year earlier.

Samsung is feeling the squeeze from Apple on the high end, especially now that the iPhone comes in two new sizes — “Extra Large” and “Waffle Iron.” (I know, I know — everybody loves the big smartphones but me.) Worse for Samsung is that they’re having the floor eaten out of their massive low-end sales by even lower-cost copycats like China’s Xiaomi. (Somewhere, Jony Ive and the ghost of Steve Jobs are doing the Happy Dance together as they watch their copycat get consumed by copycats.)

The point to remember here is that Samsung was literally — and I’m not abusing that word — literally the only Android phonemaker generating any profits worth mentioning. What Samsung’s troubles mean for Android going forward is anyone’s guess, although it took the Android market a comparatively short time, maybe even a shockingly short time, to become just as commoditized as the Windows PC market. Over the course of decades, Windows generated billions and billions for Microsoft and for PC makers before commoditization (and OS X) sucked all the profits out of the Wintel business model. Android went down that same road in just three or four years.

The key difference is that Android doesn’t have to generate profits for Google — but what happens to the OEMs who at some point are going to have to generate a profit or two?

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Cardell and Dr. Coleman: My Biggest Regret as a Strength Coach

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 - by Mark Rippetoe

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I have worked in the fitness industry since 1978, and have owned a gym since 1984. Since I went into business for myself, I have approached the teaching of strength training from a completely different perspective than the industry’s standard model — I have taught all my members to lift barbells, as opposed to the machine-based exercise paradigm used by the commercial fitness industry at large.

During my time as a gym owner I have made several mistakes, none of which had anything to do with my decision to teach everybody how to use barbells safely, efficiently, and productively. Rather, my biggest regret was not doing so, once, when I should have.

Dr. Coleman came to the gym on the advice of his doctor. He was in his late 60s at the time, still a working cardiologist, but he was not terribly robust even for a guy his age. He was a very nice man, excruciatingly polite to everyone and generous to a fault. I remember the first question I asked him, being one of the first doctors we’d had in the gym and me being curious about lots of things: “How is it, Dr. Coleman, that a dog can drink nasty water out of a puddle in the road and be perfectly fine, but if I did that I’d get sick — as a dog? Haha.” He regarded me momentarily, as if deciding how to respond to a curious but dull child (not an altogether inappropriate assessment), and calmly explained that there were profound differences in the digestive environment between that of myself and my little bulldog girlfriend Dumplin. He was a patient man as well.

My friend Cardell ended up with Dr. Coleman as his personal training client. Cardell and I had trained together for years, starting at the YMCA in downtown Wichita Falls, Texas, in the early ‘80s. This was the same weight room in which Bill Starr, former editor of York Barbell’s Strength and Health and one of the first strength coaches in the world, had started out in the late ‘50s – the room had history. It was important to us too, as a place where we honed our skills and grew as lifters and men. When I bought Anderson’s Gym in 1984, we moved our training headquarters to the renamed Wichita Falls Athletic Club, and I began the task of applying barbell training to a commercial gym’s clientele.

Following the prescribed industry methodology we had both been taught by the then-becoming-mainstream National Strength and Conditioning Association, Cardell used a machine-based approach in his work with Dr. Coleman. It was perfectly congruent with the thinking at the time, and it still is: the client was old, free weights are dangerous, we mustn’t hurt old people — we mustn’t even entertain the possibility of hurting old people — and Dr. Coleman skated through his workouts with Cardell unscathed.

He also failed to make any significant progress toward a more robust physical capacity. Dr. Coleman joined the gym as a frail older man, never walking with the aggressive, confident stride of a fit person, and never assuming the positions of sitting, standing back up, or getting in and out of the car without carefully and deliberately measuring his position. He left the gym many years later a still-frail, even-older man.

And I let it happen. My fault for standing there, watching but paying no attention, as the potential for reversing the effects of age and a sedentary lifestyle slipped through our fingers.

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70 Years Later, a New Solution to the Same Old Problems

Monday, January 12th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

#shabbatshalom #Paris #JeSuisJuif

A photo posted by Shosh (@slmgpix) on

I lit Shabbat candles this past Friday night for the first in a very long time. I made the decision somewhere between learning that the Grand Synagogue of Paris had closed its doors on Shabbat for the first time since the end of World War 2 and the starling fact that 15 Jewish patrons of the kosher supermarket in Paris huddled in a storage freezer to avoid being executed by terrorists.

Roger L. Simon wrote a compelling piece in the wake of last week’s barbaric attacks perpetrated by radical Islamists in Paris. Reading his article I observed with irony that he writes about America’s need for a Churchill. Perhaps, pray to God in His mercy we have one, as we are now surely England with a Neville Chamberlain at the helm. Europe, on the other hand, does not have a Churchill in sight. Europe’s Churchills and their children have fled and are fleeing, some at a breakneck pace. The only Churchill I see on the world horizon is Bibi Netanyahu, which is why he will no doubt be elected to another term as prime minister in Israel, regardless of the deals he may or may not cut with the ultra-religious. Internal politics have to be placed on the back burner when international enemies are this bloodthirsty.

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How to Outwit a Radical Feminist

Monday, January 12th, 2015 - by Spencer Klavan
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Oxford — a mental battleground.

There’s an intellectual war going on, and conservatives are surrendering. In elite universities all over America and Europe, incoherent and destructive ideologies are taking hold. Radical feminism, socialism, cultural relativism: these are philosophies founded on logical fallacies and barefaced dishonesty.

But they’re gaining ground.

Take a look at Brendan O’Neill’s article in The Spectator: universities are getting colonized. Oxford, Harvard, Princeton: the “best and brightest” are buying into the maundering nonsense of the radical Left. And the good guys aren’t fighting back. Libertarian and conservative students — the counterculture — are letting the Left dominate social media and campus activism. Maybe we’re scared of being unhip, the bad guys. Maybe progressivism is so obviously absurd we think we can ignore it.

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What a VodkaPundit-Style Free Community College Plan Looks Like

Monday, January 12th, 2015 - by Stephen Green

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Cross-posted from Vodkapundit

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How to Understand the Anti-Semitism Embedded in Wagner’s Music

Monday, January 12th, 2015 - by David P. Goldman
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Mosaic Magazine opened an important dimension in the old debate about Wagner’s anti-Semitism with Nathan Shields’ January essay, “Wagner and the Jews.” Shields argues that Wagner’s music itself has anti-Jewish implications, an important riposte to the usual excuse that Wagner harbored Jew-hatred despite his great artistry. Shields argues rather that Wagner’s anti-Semitism and his music are of the same ilk. That is a breakthrough, but only that: Shields, whose own music offers the sort of atonality that most modern listeners abhor, knows that something is amiss in Wagner’s music but does not know what it is.

Now Edward Rothstein, a New York Times critic, has responded to Shields’ essay with a claim that Wagner’s anti-Semitism is “metaphysical.” That gets rather far afield. Wagner’s anti-Semitism is not “metaphysical” at all. It is musical, and must be understood in musical terms.

It can be put quite simply: Wagner is a neo-pagan, and paganism is self-worship. Neo-paganism is narcissism, the glorification of the impulse in place of obligation. In place of Beethoven’s celebrated epigraph to the Quartet Op. 135, “Es Muss Sein!” (It must be), Wagner insists that it can be whatever he wants. Music proceeds in time, and classical composition preceding Wagner uniquely achieved an ordering of time that bespeaks necessity: goal-oriented motion towards a desired conclusion. The journey to the goal may take detours, encounter surprises, and evoke suspense as well as humor, but it must reach its conclusion. Classical music was conceived to portray in sensuous terms the Christian journey to salvation. The great Ashkenazic Jewish cantors used the mechanism of Western music to evoke the reversal of time’s arrow, for redemption in Judaism looks backward as well as forward.

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10 Classical Music Composers Recommended by Charlie Martin

Monday, January 12th, 2015 - by PJ Lifestyle Classical Music In the Morning

In response to “What classical music essentials are we still missing in the collection?” from December 26, 2014:


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Franz Liszt

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Indiana Jones in Reverse

Monday, January 12th, 2015 - by Kathy Shaidle

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Remember after 9/11, when all kinds of bloggers posted that clip from Raiders of the Lost Ark?

You know: The one in which, bored with an Arab swordsman’s show-offy moves, Jones pulls out his pistol and shoots him dead?

Seeing all those posts really cheered me up back then.

“Wow,” I thought. “America is gonna go kick some ass!”

And then those same bloggers and pundits — many of whom I respect mightily — kept repeating the words of some Iraqi guy during the invasion, who was gleefully shouting, “Democracy! Whiskey! Sexy!”

Those bloggers and pundits were certain that this meant millions of Muslims had been dying (literally) for the good guys to rescue them.

They wanted the same things we wanted. George Bush said so in his Second Inaugural.

I wanted to believe. But I wasn’t so sure.

Any more than I was as certain as these bloggers that the future lay in the latest cool gadgets, and how cameras and computers were getting cheaper all the time, and Bush just got reelected and hey, Who’s going to the Rose Bowl this year?

Maybe because I’m Canadian.

Maybe because I’m a girl.

Maybe because I was raised Catholic.

Maybe because I’m naturally contrarian.

For whatever reason, all this boyish bluster, I thought, didn’t bode well.

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What Do You Believe About Angels?

Sunday, January 11th, 2015 - by Dave Swindle

Last week in this ongoing series of weekly discussions about Bible mysteries I asked, “Who — Or What — Were the Nephilim?” and considered the potential identities of the “giants” and their parents, the “sons of God” from Genesis chapter 6. The question considered: is this actually saying that there were some kind of supernatural, angelic beings who “fell” to earth in ancient times, or are we to regard these as references to normal human men who just became deified as false pagan gods later?

Perhaps we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. Before we ask if there could be humans who interbred with angels, perhaps first we have to make sense of just what an “angel” should be interpreted to mean.

Maybe a good place to start is with what could be interpreted as one early reference to angels. In Genesis 1:26 who is the “us” in “let us make mankind in our image”?:

Who is the "us" in Genesis 1:26 who helped God make man? #religion #Bible #spirituality #angels

A photo posted by Thoth, Ma'at & Husky Familiar (@thothandmaatmarried) on

Is it useful to perhaps understand angels as the natural forces and energies God set into motion to help Him create the universe?

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This Graphic Novel Has Tremendous Potential In the Culture War

Sunday, January 11th, 2015 - by Andrew Klavan

I don’t know Anthony Gonzales-Clark, but he brought this Kickstarter crowd-funding project to my attention, and it genuinely looks cool and worth supporting. Gonzales-Clark wants to create a graphic novel called “City On A Hill,” about the history and ideas behind the American founding.

To have such a graphic novel produced by a guy who reads Thomas Sowell (featured prominently in the appeal) would be no small strike in the culture war, so if you have a couple of bucks, try to help Gonzales-Clark reach his 11K plus goal.

*****

Cross-posted from Klavan on the Culture

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