The Crazy Years

Led Zeppelin’s first album (1969) was released closer to the start of World War I (1914) than to today (2023).

The same goes for the first human landing on the Moon.

Good Times Bad Times


Just an idle thought prompted by the above. Progress seemed to grind to a halt round about 1970 – whether talking about rock music, moon landings, or much else. What happened to interrupt human advance? Well, round about the same time, the pogrom against smoking began.

Correlation is not causation, but it does make one wonder … Maybe smoking stimulates human creativity and competence? Was there a link between the spread of smoking and the Industrial Revolution? Coud we make the world a better place by encouraging (een subsidizing) smoking?


Ayn Rand’s heroes, paragons of creativity and competence, smoked.

I like to think of fire held in a man’s hand. Fire, a dangerous force, tamed at his fingertips. I often wonder about the hours when a man sits alone, watching the smoke of a cigarette, thinking. I wonder what great things have come from such hours. When a man thinks, there is a spot of fire alive in his mind–and it is proper that he should have the burning point of a cigarette as his one expression.
— Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Rand admired smoking because of its aesthetic or symbolic value rather than its physiological effects. Might the appearance of smoking be a source of inspiration?


I originally posted the following in a comment on the post “Le Chatelier’s Principle ” on 2022-09-15.

Related: “What Happened in 1971? ”, a chart anthology.

Whatever could it have been?


This is an 𝕏 post from the youth section of the Swiss People’s Party (German: Schweizerische Volkspartei, French: Union démocratique du centre, Italian: Unione Democratica di Centro), the largest party in Switzerland, with two seats on the 7 member Federal Council (executive), 53/200 members of the Federal Council (lower house of parliament), and 6/46 members of the Council of States (upper house of parliament). Here is a chart of popular vote by party in Switzerland from 1919 to 2019. The Swiss People’s Party is the dark green SVP).



President Alberto Fernández had called for the investigation in a complaint filed Wednesday, saying that the right-wing populist candidate was trying to scare the public and that his actions were “a severe affront to the democratic system.”

Prosecutor Franco Picardi on Friday referred a criminal case to a federal judge, going off Fernández’s accusation that claimed Milei and other candidates on his party’s ticket were inciting public fear — a charge that carries possible prison terms of up to six years. Federal Judge María Servini will later decide whether there is enough evidence to indict.

Milei is considered the frontrunner in the Oct. 22 election, after rocking Argentina’s political landscape when he unexpectedly received the most votes in August primaries that are widely seen as a massive poll of voter preferences.

In his initial complaint, Fernández cited a radio interview Monday in which Milei recommended that Argentines not renew fixed rate deposits in the local currency, saying the “peso is the currency issued by the Argentine politician, and therefore it is not worth crap.”

The so-called blue rate, as the informal exchange rate is known, reached as high as 1,050 pesos to the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, a sharp increase from 880 pesos the previous week. It later moderated that increase and ended the week at around 980 pesos to the dollar.

Stringent capital controls mean that access to the official foreign exchange market, which currently prices a dollar at 367 pesos, is extremely limited.

Polls show Milei is leading the race for presidency although he does not appear to have enough votes to win outright without a runoff next month.

Here is a Tucker Carlson interview with Javier Milei on 2023-09-15.



Labour’s party vote has crashed from a record 50 per cent at the 2020 election, down to 25.9 per cent.

The loss could see Labour lose seats it has held for generations.

Jacinda Horse-Face is known for having said, during the COVID-19 episode,

You can trust us as a source of that information. You can also trust the director-general of health and the Ministry of Health for their information. Do feel free to visit it anytime to clarify any rumor you may hear. Otherwise, dismiss anything else. We will continue to be your single source of truth.

Voters apparently decided they’d prefer a different source.


That hair is a sign of narcissism.


The two biggest stories of the second half of 2023 converge:
Israeli Taylor Swift guard heads home to fight Hamas


I just remembered (instead of forgetting more stuff all the time at age 79+) there were some crazy times before - in the 1970’s, for instance . As evidence, I submit the following actual poem I gave my mother in about 1972:
“I arrived at the store on the fly;
Found, there’s nothing left here I can buy.
So I made it a point to roll you a joint,
The least I can get you is high”.

Yes, she smoked it. I was 28, she was 50. Like I said, crazy years too.



Professor at Caltech, Principal Investigator for NASA Lunar Trailblazer. Can’t spell “engineering”.



This Canadian “Federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan 2022” also has some Monty Pythonesque illustrations.



Hmmm I wonder how he got into that circle of people. We Already know he’s a liar.



Some public opinion research from Gaza:

In your view, what is the best means of achieving Palestinian goals in ending the occupation and building an independent state? (PSR, September 2015; September 2017; September 11-14, 2019; September 15-18, 2021; September 9-12, 2020; December 2022)

2015 2017 2019 2020 2021 2022
Negotiations 29% 33% 24% 24% 33% 21%
Peaceful popular resistance 24% 26% 22% 26% 19% 23%
Armed action 42% 35% 44% 41% 48% 51%
Other 3% 2%
DK/NA 5% 6% 7% 9%

After the cessation of negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, would you support or oppose adopting the following options? (Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, September 11-14, 2019)
Return to the armed intifada and confrontation

Total West Bank Gaza
Certainly support (armed confrontation) 11.7% 6.6% 20.1%
Support (armed confrontation) 38.2% 34.8% 43.7%
Oppose 38.2% 42.6% 31.0%
Certainly oppose 8.6% 11.8% 3.4%
Don’t know/No answer 3.2% 4.1% 1.7%

What does one do with a whole culture that embraces terrorism? Or cultures within the US that have embraced crime?