OPEN THREAD: It’s your moment.



There is a stunning likeness.

THINGS I LIKE: Hexclad Pans. I bought one of these skillets about a year ago. I’d been using a Greenpan, which worked well when new but lost its nonstick qualities. You could use a special sponge to “rejuvenate” it, and it kind of worked, but not as well as I’d like.

The Hexclad is as good as new after a year, and is entirely dishwasher safe. (The Greenpan says you really shouldn’t put it in the dishwasher regularly.) And don’t tell me I should use a cast iron pan, because in my house, everything winds up in the dishwasher eventually, no matter how many times I repeat that it shouldn’t go there. But very happy with the Hexclad pan. I have their griddle too, and it also works well. My only complaint about the griddle is that the stainless steel band around the top that isn’t nonstick gets burnt-on grease, and that’s hard to clean. Doesn’t interfere with the function, just annoying.

CHRIS QUEEN: Adventures in Bourbonland, Part 1. “For a long time, I’ve wanted to take a trip to Kentucky to visit some distilleries and take in the atmosphere of the area that inspired and created my favorite whiskey. My brother and his wife have been up there a couple of times, and he and I talked about taking a trip for about a year before we finally booked the trip we took last week.”

THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN: Multi-Drug Resistant Bacteria Found on ISS Mutating to Become Functionally Distinct. “Closed human-built environments, such as the ISS, are unique areas that provide an extreme environment subject to microgravity, radiation, and elevated carbon dioxide levels. Any microorganisms introduced to these areas must adapt to thrive. By delving into microbial dynamics in extreme environments, this research opens doors to effective preventative measure for astronaut health.”

OFF THE RAILS:  In 2020, during the “Time of Anxiety” over George Floyd’s death, the California Legislature created a Task Force on Reparations.  In doing so, it appeared to me that the legislators were violating a fundamental rule of governance:  Never create a commission to “study” a controversial problem unless you are relatively certain that you’re going to want to follow its recommendations.

Reparations for African Americans in California are an unusually bad idea.  To begin with, this was never a slave state.  And if the reparations are not for slavery, but rather for racial discrimination over the course of California’s history, then the problem is that other racial and ethnic  groups have suffered from mistreatment at least as much (and in the case of the Chinese more).  Yet, from the start, the Task Force appeared to be stacked in favor of reparations.

When the Task Force’s report came out in June of last year, it did indeed back extensive reparations. There were some awkward moments, but it looked to me that Governor Newsom realized all this had been a mistake and was going to sweep the report under the rug.

I’m starting to think that maybe I was wrong about sweeping this under the rug.  Or rather I was right in the first place:  It’s very hard for a legislature to turn away from the recommendations of a task force it created.

Recently, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to create a “Freedmen’s Agency.”  Shades of Nuremberg:  The Agency will be required to have a “Genealogy Office,” which will be charged with the task of tracing the pedigree of those who apply for reparations to ensure their eligibility.  If the bill passes the Senate and Assembly and it is signed by the governor, the new agency will violate another fundamental rule of governance:  Never create a bureaucracy unless you want it to have the power to carry out its mission.

I have a hard time imagining that this will end well.

In any event, here are some tweets that I could use some “likes” and “retweets” on.  If you have a Twitter/X account and have a minute, please help out.

With luck, we’ll have some other (non-Twitter) ways to send a message to these senators soon.  Right now there’s an immediate need to get their attention any way we can.

VIDEO: Why Saudi Arabia’s Neom Is Doomed. “The only abundant resources that a group of consultants could identify were sunlight and unlimited access to salt water.”

If you don’t have the time or inclination to watch a video, Lawrence Person has done his usual excellent job of breaking out the bullet points.


To be fair, some students are making it quite easy for potential employers during the sorting process: