Viscount of Hyrkania and private cartographer to the house of Beifong.
FAQ about the War in Ukraine
Ukraine seemed to be doing so well in regaining territory for awhile, but not anymore, what happened? In September 2022 the Ukrainian army wowed by taking back a large swarth of territory pretty much overnight. If they could keep doing that, they'd retake the rest of their homeland soon. Expectations for a spring offensive were high.
The First Dirt Salesmen
Americans regularly buy dirt, or as marketing would have us call it, potting soil. We're so used to it now, but it's an odd concept. Pay money for the most freely available think around? A question took a hold of me, and I needed to know the answer: Who first sold dirt?
An Ode to Skybars
On a recent trip to New York City, I was faced with a conundrum. My wife wanted to take photos of the city from a high vantage point, but also did not want to pay for an observation deck. Going to the top of a skyscraper didn't seem worth the expense to me either. Rockefeller Center's Top of the Rock Observation Deck costs at least $34. Tickets to One World Observatory start at $44. To get to the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building is an eye watering $79 -- in comparison, a ticket to Disneyland earlier this year only cost me $74. Also assuming you don't want VIP tickets, which can run in the triple digits. This is particularly galling to someone from St. Louis like myself, we're used to completely different price points. Our art museum, history museum, zoo, and science center are all free. Tickets to one-of-a-kind Gateway Arch are just $15.
- Top Story - May 2023
Where are the Drag Kings?Top Story - May 2023
There's a lot of talk about drag queens, both celebration on shows like RuPaul's Drag Race and hysteria over drag queen story hours. It made me wonder, why you don't hear about drag kings? Women are out there dressing as men, but they don't seem to have anywhere close to the same cultural standing. (One thing I learned in doing research for this article is that who can be a drag king is a lot broader than just people assigned female at birth, but that is getting a bit beyond my scope here.) So here are some theories.
Staffing problems? Have you tried evil?
Ah the labor crisis, caused by lazy people not needing to work because of America's famously generous social benefits. At least that's the narrative pushed by owners of capital who were feeling squeezed by the working class having more options. I wrote an article in 2021 explaining how laziness wasn't a factor in regards to worker shortages. I concluded that business were going to have to offer more (i.e. higher wages) if they didn't want to lose workers to competition.
To deny Ukraine aid is to deny the humanity of Ukrainians
Professor of political science at Northeastern University and author of Rules for Rebels: The Science of Victory in Militant History, Max Abrahm wrote a piece for The Atlantic entitled I Teach International Relations. I Think We’re Making a Mistake in Ukraine. He argues for not arming Ukraine. His points are more coherent than the cranks who would rather support Russia, but are ultimately just as flawed.
What do ya'll think defense budgets are for?
There's been increasing indignation about how much money is being sent to Ukraine. Part of the issue is that all the aid ends up getting announced twice: once when a funding bill passes congress and then again when each portion of that funding is actually sent, which can be spread out over many installments. This exacerbates American's long standing misconceptions about how much foreign aid we actually give. "Opinion polls consistently report that Americans believe foreign aid is about 25% of the federal budget, when it is actually less than 1%."