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Lionel Mandrake

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: The Left Coast
Home country: USA
Current location: electrical wires
Member since: Sun Jul 1, 2007, 06:47 PM
Number of posts: 3,503

About Me

I study, play the piano, play chess and go, and enjoy the company of my wife, children, grandchildren, other relatives, and friends. I am a perennial student at a local university, where they let me take classes and use the library for free (because I'm old). My serious reading includes math, science, history, and biography. I enjoy science fiction and mysteries, which my wife and I refer to as "mind rot". And now on to politics. I hated Nixon and Reagan. I think W is a war criminal and was easily the worst president in US history. Thank Darwin he's gone. I will support any candidate who is a "dove". I support "plan B" without prescription for girls of all ages. I support free abortion on demand, without delay, and without the requirement to notify anyone, for all women and girls who want it. I think it's time to repeal the Bush tax cuts for corporations and the very rich. I think other damage done by conservative Supreme Court Justices rivals that done by the monster they put in the White House.

Journal Archives

A recent jazz recording




Mike LeDonne on piano,
John Webber on bass, and
Joe Farnsworth on drums
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Fri Feb 27, 2015, 02:06 PM (5 replies)

Funky tune: "Cold Duck Time"

played by Les McCann & Eddie Harris for the very first time ...

Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Mon Feb 23, 2015, 08:20 PM (15 replies)

Does classical music go well with modern art?

Judge for yourself ...

Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Fri Feb 13, 2015, 08:16 PM (3 replies)

a great jazz/rock song from the 1980s



The song title refers to a speech in which JFK said:

"We stand today on the edge of a New Frontier -— the frontier of the 1960s, the frontier of unknown opportunities and perils, the frontier of unfilled hopes and unfilled threats. ... Beyond that frontier are uncharted areas of science and space, unsolved problems of peace and war, unconquered problems of ignorance and prejudice, unanswered questions of poverty and surplus."
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Sun Feb 1, 2015, 08:31 PM (10 replies)

Dr. John plays boogie-woogie



Dr. John plays here in the style of Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson. Like most boogie-woogie, the first half of this performance is 12 bar blues.

In the second half, Dr. John is improvising on a Stephen Foster tune (which is not a 12 bar blues). Can anyone identify the tune?
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Tue Jan 27, 2015, 04:09 PM (6 replies)

Is religion good or bad for children?

According to an article in the LA Times, the results are in.


How secular family values stack up

For secular people, morality is predicated on one simple principle: empathetic reciprocity, widely known as the Golden Rule.

By PHIL ZUCKERMAN

More children are “growing up godless” than at any other time in our nation's history. They are the offspring of an expanding secular population that includes a relatively new and burgeoning category of Americans called the “Nones,” so nicknamed because they identified themselves as believing in “nothing in particular” in a 2012 study by the Pew Research Center.

So how does the raising of upstanding, moral children work without prayers at mealtimes and morality lessons at Sunday school? Quite well, it seems.

Far from being dysfunctional, nihilistic and rudderless without the security and rectitude of religion, secular households provide a sound and solid foundation for children, according to Vern Bengston, a USC professor of gerontology and sociology.

...

He was surprised by what he found: High levels of family solidarity and emotional closeness between parents and nonreligious youth, and strong ethical standards and moral values that had been clearly articulated as they were imparted to the next generation.


The article goes on to point out other advantages of secular upbringing, including the fact that relatively few people brought up without "god" end up in prison.

IMHO the results show that religion is harmful to children!

Read more:
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0115-zuckerman-secular-parenting-20150115-story.html
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Thu Jan 15, 2015, 04:13 PM (85 replies)

How do children fare without "god"?

According to an op-ed piece in the LA Times:

How secular family values stack up

For secular people, morality is predicated on one simple principle: empathetic reciprocity, widely known as the Golden Rule.

By PHIL ZUCKERMAN

More children are “growing up godless” than at any other time in our nation's history. They are the offspring of an expanding secular population that includes a relatively new and burgeoning category of Americans called the “Nones,” so nicknamed because they identified themselves as believing in “nothing in particular” in a 2012 study by the Pew Research Center.

So how does the raising of upstanding, moral children work without prayers at mealtimes and morality lessons at Sunday school? Quite well, it seems.

Far from being dysfunctional, nihilistic and rudderless without the security and rectitude of religion, secular households provide a sound and solid foundation for children, according to Vern Bengston, a USC professor of gerontology and sociology.

...

He was surprised by what he found: High levels of family solidarity and emotional closeness between parents and nonreligious youth, and strong ethical standards and moral values that had been clearly articulated as they were imparted to the next generation.


The article goes on to point out other advantages of secular upbringing, including the fact that relatively few people brought up without "god" end up in prison.

IMHO the results show that religion is harmful to children!

Read more:
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0115-zuckerman-secular-parenting-20150115-story.html
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Thu Jan 15, 2015, 11:44 AM (8 replies)

Arrgh ... "Enemy of the State"

I just started to watch this movie. The opening credits feature Greek capital letters lambda in place of A, and sigma in place of E. Gee, I always thought sigma was more like S, and lambda more like L.

The movie features Jon Voight as the chief bad guy. I never knew the NSA went around murdering people, with the help of helicopters, satellites, and other high-tech gear. That shows how little I know, unless this entertainment (and it is entertaining) isn't meant to be realistic.

Oh, and I almost forgot: whenever the video shows a satellite in orbit, the audio includes some Morse code, which makes no sense. Nobody uses Morse code any more, least of all a satellite.

Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Sun Jan 4, 2015, 08:09 PM (0 replies)

Creationists shit all over science standards.

What can we expect from assholes? Nothing but shit.

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) call for teaching real science in public schools. The NGSS include evolution and climate change, but exclude "intelligent design" and other forms of creationism disguised as science.

In their effort to dumb down science classes in Kansas, creationist assholes calling themselves "Citizens for Objective Public Education" (COPE) instituted a frivolous lawsuit, claiming that the NGSS promote atheism. A federal judge flushed this particular turd down the toilet, but the COPE assholes have appealed the decision.

Read more:
http://www.emporiagazette.com/news/state/article_eb7fc1e6-45fe-519c-8ed4-546855fe3866.html

In W. Virginia the assholes produced a different turd: they successfully dumbed down the NGSS-based standards adopted by the West Virginia Board of Education.

Read more:
http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141228/GZ01/141229489/1419
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Fri Jan 2, 2015, 02:04 PM (5 replies)

How fast have you double-clutched into low gear?

This post won't make sense unless you have driven an old stick shift. Low gear, unlike second gear and high gear, was not synchromesh. That meant that unless you wanted to strip your gears, you needed to get the RPMs just right before shifting down to low gear while moving.

The procedure is as follows. You press down on the clutch pedal, put the transmission in neutral, let up on the clutch, rev up the motor, press down again, shift into low, then let up on the clutch again. The higher your speed, the higher the RPMs needed for this maneuver. If you miscalculate, there goes your transmission.

As a smartass high schooler, I used to pride myself on my ability to double-clutch without making that horrible grinding sound. I once did this at 36 MPH, which in a 6 cylinder Ford required very high RPMs indeed. Not having a tachometer, I judged the RPMs by the sound of the motor.
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Thu Jan 1, 2015, 05:30 PM (7 replies)
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