A few nights ago, I made a variation on this recipe for roasted brussels sprouts.

Basically, I washed and trimmed a large bag of brussels sprouts, then tossed them with about two tablespoons of bacon grease, a head of garlic cloves (peeled), dried thyme, salt, and pepper — all in a glass pan that I’d used earlier that day to make perfect bacon.

I roasted them in the oven at 400F for about 30-ish minutes — basically, until cooked through.

They turned out delicious! I’d like to try making them in coconut oil next time.

Jan 112013

  • Portraits of Unrelated Doppelgangers: Perhaps you’re not as unique as you think!
  • 91 Year Old Took Up Ballet at 79: I’m going to take up the violin in my 70s… because I’m quite certain that I won’t have time for it before then!
  • Woman injured in sex toy mishap: “The man who made the 911 call said he had placed a sex toy over a saber saw blade, and then used the power tool on his partner, but the blade cut through the plastic and injured the woman.” Wow, just wow.
  • Doubtliers: Dangers Learning From The Exceptional: Some good advice for entrepreneurs in this article. Basically, the key is to think conceptually based on your own particular circumstances, not to try imitate others.
  • Vintage Weight Gain Ads II, 1908-1984: It would be nice to live in a culture that saw “skinny” as a problem… but it would be even better to live in a culture that was more accepting of the full range of people’s natural body shapes.


I’m finally getting plans for SnowCon 2013 underway. It’ll be held from Wednesday, March 13th to Sunday, March 17th. We’ll be based in Frisco for fun in the mountains during the week, then moving to south metro Denver for the weekend.

If you think that you might attend, I’d recommend that you subscribe to the SnowCon Email List to receive announcements, including about when registration opens.

Below is the rough plan for the schedule. I’ve not made plans for most venues, so it’s highly subject to change. As always, people can attend whatever portion of SnowCon they please: I’ll make the pricing work for that.

Tuesday, March 12th

  • Evening: Arrive at the condo in Frisco

Wednesday, March 13th

  • Day: Skiing, snowboarding, and other fun
  • Evening: Dinner and then short lectures

Thursday, March 14th

  • Day: Skiing, snowboarding, and other fun
  • Evening: Dinner and then short lectures

Friday, March 15th

  • Day: Skiing, snowboarding, and other fun
  • Afternoon: Drive to Denver
  • Evening: Gathering with food and drinks

Saturday, March 16th

  • Morning: Lectures in Sedalia Meeting Room
  • Catered Lunch
  • Afternoon: Lectures in Sedalia Meeting Room
  • Evening: Dinner in Castle Rock

Sunday, March 17th

  • Morning: Some easy and relaxing fun
  • Afternoon: Meet and chat at a coffee shop in Denver as people depart

As always, SnowCon will be a casual affair. I’ve always been able to plan the activities well, but it’s not a fancy professional conference… and that’s part of the fun! (Also, that’s why it’s so darn cheap!)

Just FYI: SnowCon will be produced under the auspices of Philosophy in Action this year, rather than Front Range Objectivism. (In case you’re wondering, no controversy or any other excitement involved in that…)


In the next episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, Greg Perkins and I will answer questions on free will and natural law, romance between an atheist and a believer, bringing children into a statist world, recommended works of aristotle, and more.

This episode of internet radio airs on Sunday morning, 13 January 2013, at 8 PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can listen to the podcast later.

This week’s questions are:

  • Question 1: Free Will and Natural Law: Is free will merely an illusion? While I dislike the idea that we’re just puppets of physics and natural law, I wonder whether our seemingly “free” decisions are actually determined by the combination of our biology and our environment. After all, if our brain is merely a physical and chemical system, how could any any decisions be made freely? Wouldn’t that violate natural law? In essence, how can our knowledge that the physical universe is deterministic be reconciled with our subjective feeling that we choose our actions?
  • Question 2: Romance Between an Atheist and a Believer: Can a romance between an atheist and a religious believer work? What are the major obstacles? Should the atheist attend church or church socials with his spouse? Should they have a religious wedding ceremony? Should they send their children to religious schools? Do the particular beliefs – or strength of beliefs – of the religious person matter?
  • Question 3: Bringing Children into a Statist World: Is it wrong to have children in an increasingly irrational and statist culture? People should think about the long-range effects of their actions, and act based on principles. So if a person thinks that our culture is in decline – and perhaps even slipping into dictatorship – is it wrong for that person to have children? Is such an assessment accurate? Along similar lines, were people wrong to have children in Soviet Union and other dictatorships?
  • Question 4: Recommended Works of Aristotle: What works of Aristotle do you recommend reading? As a layperson interested in philosophy, I’d like to educate myself on the philosophy of Aristotle. I’m particularly interested in developing a better understanding of epistemology and metaphysics. What works should I read, and where should I start? Do you recommend any secondary sources?

After that, we’ll tackle some impromptu “Rapid Fire Questions.”

To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action’s Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat.

If you miss the live broadcast, you’ll find the audio podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: 13 January 2013.

Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.

I hope that you join us on Sunday morning, but if you can’t attend live, be sure to listen to the podcast later!


I must admit, I’m not particularly enthused about the forecasted weather for the next few days.

Bitter cold and high winds, without the hope of any substantial snow? BOO!


Imagine that you’re writing a message to a philosophy Ph.D such as myself… well, let’s just say that this is not the message that you should write:

Sweet Jesus. Might I recommend worship at the Church of Proper English, first and foremost?


This video — What if guys and girls swapped roles at the bar? — is not just darn funny…

… it effectively reveals the depth of our culture’s assumptions about gender roles too. Yes, the examples are extreme but it’s still very, very strange.

NoodleCast #186: Paul Sherman on Free Speech in Elections

Jan 102013

I broadcast a new episode of Philosophy in Action Radio on Wednesday, 9 January 2013, interviewing Institute for Justice attorney Paul Sherman about “Free Speech in Elections.”

If you missed the live broadcast, you can listen to or download the audio podcast any time. You’ll find the podcast on the episode’s archive page, as well as below.

Podcast: 9 January 2013: Paul Sherman on “Free Speech in Elections”

Many people support restrictions on spending in elections, particularly by corporations, in the name of “transparency” and “accountability.” Institute for Justice attorney Paul Sherman takes a very different view. He argues persuasively that any restrictions on campaign spending are violations of freedom of speech. He has successfully argued that view in courts across the country.

Paul Sherman is an attorney with the Institute for Justice. He litigates cutting-edge constitutional cases protecting the First Amendment, economic liberty, property rights and other individual liberties in both federal and state courts. Paul has litigated extensively in the area of campaign finance. He currently represents a group of Florida political activists in Worley v. Roberts, a challenge to state campaign finance laws that burden the right of citizens to pool money for independent ads about ballot issues. Paul also served as co-counsel in SpeechNow.org v. FEC, which the Congressional Research Service described as representing one of “the most fundamental changes to campaign finance law in decades.”

Listen or Download:


  • Common federal and state campaign finance laws
  • The history of campaign finance laws
  • Breadth in decisions, and my case
  • The results of campaign finance laws
  • Private enforcement of campaign finance laws
  • The value of “transparency” and “accountability” in elections
  • Money as a form of speech
  • Protections for corporate speech
  • Privacy and campaign contributions
  • The irrelevance of funding to campaigns
  • SuperPACS
  • Individuals versus groups in campaign finance
  • The Institute for Justice’s current cases and strategy
  • Truly supporting the First Amendment
  • How to effectively defend free speech

Relevant Links:


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Cat Scared of Mario jump

What kills me is that the cat doesn’t seem to notice that he’s jumping a few feet into the air periodically; he just keeps going about his business.

Miss Manners Interview: Manners and Etiquette

Jan 092013

I really enjoyed this interview with Miss Manners on the importance of good manners:

Q: What is etiquette? And why is it so important?

A: It’s important because we can’t stand the way that other people treat us. Although we want the right to be able to behave in any way we want. Somehow a compromise is in order, if you want to live in communities. If you live on a mountaintop by yourself, it’s not necessary. I make a distinction between manners and etiquette — manners as the principles, which are eternal and universal, etiquette as the particular rules which are arbitrary and different in different times, different situations, different cultures.

Go read the whole thing.

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha