Hockey: Dartmouth 6, Harvard 2

November 30, 2009

Harvard University fell to Dartmouth College in a hockey game for the first time in ten years this past Sunday, by a score of 6 – 2. That same week, Dartmouth built on its momentum to defeat Providence 4 – 2. Other collegiate hockey games happened also, apparently.

Dartmouth hockey.

Some Good Advice

November 27, 2009

“Essentials” lists abound, especially online; the shoes a man “must own,” books he “must read,” places he “simply must visit.” Most of the enumerated essentials are anything but. Some change daily.

Still, some things are much closer to mandatory than others. For instance, always vote your conscience and inform your choice; don’t be swayed by irate volume. Exercise. Also, cultivate a preference for the tasteful and refined over the loud and garish. Appreciate family, friends, and food. Read good books.

Be polite. Ask other people about themselves, and listen to their answers.  

A step further from necessary, but still likely good ideas: watch The Godfather. Go to museums. Develop at least a passing knowledge of the mechanics of guns. Spend time outdoors.

And if there’s still time: know the difference between a sport coat and a blazer. Pick up squash. Reconsider how often wearing socks is really necessary. Wear clothes that fit. Don’t wear square-toed shoes; you’re not a ninja. Don’t wear athletic shoes with pants, and invest in some good stationary.   

Though not essential, some of these things are close, and all are worthwhile.

Environmentalists Repress Dissent

November 23, 2009

According to e-mails hacked and re-posted on public file sharing sites in Russia, there has been a concerted, concentrated, and organized effort by scientists subscribing to theories of global warming to silence any scholarly opposition.

There are two main schools of thought with regard to climate change: the first is that the planet is heating quickly and that human activity is the biggest, and perhaps only, cause of it. The second is that there is some climate change happening, but the causes, effects, and extent of it are not fully understood. There isn’t enough historical data available to know if any change is the result of recent activity, or historical trends… and if the result of recent activity, then what activity, precisely?

The Wall Street Journal reports that scientists who subscribe to the first, “imminent doom” theory have threatened to “shut out dissenters and their points of view,” going so far as to disallow peer review of scholarly research by dissenters. Phil Jones, an environmental scientist who believes humans are the only cause of global warming, explained to colleague Michael Mann at Penn State that he would “keep them out somehow.”

University of Alabama scientist John Christy, who has asked scientific organizations to allow dissenting opinions to be published in scholarly journals, is alarmed at the contents of the e-mails: “It’s disconcerting to realize that legislative actions this nation is preparing to take, and which will cost trillions of dollars, are based upon a view of climate that has not been completely scientifically tested.”

If the environmental lobbies and politically correct “scientific” orthodoxies continue to hold sway, it appears that such a view will never have the chance to be completely tested. The overly vocal left won’t allow it.

As much as Rush Limbaugh may shout down cogent left-leaning criticism for the sake of the party line, so too do leftist scientists treat colleagues who criticize what climate researcher Mojib Latif calls “a kind of mafia that is trying to inhibit critical papers from being published.”

Environmentalist methodology.

Presidential Priorities

November 19, 2009

During his recent visit to China, President Obama spent 30 minutes after his official business was concluded touring China’s most well-known attraction, the Great Wall. 30 minutes isn’t that much time to spend on the Great Wall: it was built almost five hundred years before Christ and stretches on for roughly 6,000 miles. It is visible from the moon and from a low Earth orbit, reputedly the only man-made object to claim such distinction.

China welcomes President Obama.

President Obama’s Great Wall tour is understandable, and since it isn’t something anybody can see without travelling to China, it’s perfectly reasonable that most visits to China, Presidential or otherwise, include a stop along it. The opportunity is just too much to pass up.

Media-hounds may recall that, weeks ago, President Obama also toured an historic American destination: Arlington National Cemetary. In remembrance of Veterans’ Day, President Obama silently toured the graves of America’s fallen service-men and -women, thinking and paying his respects. For 15 minutes.

President Obama spent half as much time touring the graves of fallen American soldiers, on a day set aside in their honor while we are again engaged in violent military conflict, than he did touring the Great Wall of China. Most likely, extenuating circumstances dictated the time alotted to each tour: scheduling constraints, travel arrangements, etc. Surely, there were reasons for the disparity in times.

And yet, the fact remains.

Author Cahill, at Woodsy Rest

November 18, 2009

The Wall Street Journal recently reported enduring travel chronicler Tim Cahill, known for his horseback rides across the Mongolian steppes and fruitless searching for the elusive Caspian tiger, does his best composing at rest in a rustic, 500-square-foot cabin in southwest Montanna. The cabin is an hour’s drive from Mr. Cahill’s house in Livingston, Montanna and is hidded year-round by thick trees and an anonymous driveway.

Mr. Cahill, co-founder of Outside magazine and author of the descriptively-titled travel logs “A Wolverine is Eating My Leg” and “Jaguars Ripped My Flesh, spends several months every year holed up in the folksy retreat, writing and relaxing. There are two guest cabins nearby, which are part of his property, and an outhouse; the National Forest Service leases Mr. Cahill the half-acre the buildings sit on for about $2,000 a year. Fewer than 200 other cabins share similar arrangements in the area, and these comprise Mr. Cahill’s neighbors. Winters, an old Monarch stove heats the cabin. Summers, a screen door opens onto a small porch where Mr. Cahill enjoys making barbequed chicken “Simon and Garfunkel style”: with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.

A little further off the back porch, the Gallatin national forest begins: almost two million square acres of untouched, pristine wilderness which flow eventually into the Greater Yellowstone Wilderness Area. Mr. Cahill’s rambles in this vast woods became the subject of his 2004 book, “Lost In My Own Backyard.” Easily enough accomplished, apparently, when your “backyard”  is roughly the size of Switzerland.

Tim Cahill, retreatist.

Watering Holes: The Union Oyster House

November 14, 2009

The oldest continuously operating restaurant in America is The Union Oyster House, in Boston, whose doors have been open, without fail, to customers since 1826. The building it has occupied for those years has stood on Union Street for at least 250 years, originally housing, in 1742, merchant Hopestill Capen’s haberdashery. Union Street was then the farthest-back reach of the Boston waterfront and so English mercantile ships easily docked and unloaded goods directly into Capen’s store for sale.

Union Oyster House Front WMD

The Union Oyster House.

 In 1775, Capen’s old store also became the makeshift headquarters to Ebenezer Hancock, first paymaster to the Continental Army, and later to King Louis Phillipe of France, who made a living teaching French to Bostonians in his second-floor apartment while exiled from his country. He reclaimed his crown in 1830, four years after the building became home to Atwood & Bacon’s Oyster House. Proprietors Atwood and Bacon are credited with installing the restaurant’s famous semi-circular oyster bar, at which Daniel Webster sat daily, drinking a tumbler of brandy for every plate of oysters he finished. Webster rarely ate fewer than six plates in a sitting.

Union Oyster House Bar

The bar.

Since its inception, the Oyster House has had only three owners, and is the better for it. Though not so much as in New York’s McSorley’s (the oldest American tavern), “progress” is an unwelcome intruder at the Oyster House. The place is New England at its best: spare and functional yet comfortable and elegant, without being gaudy, and excessively nautical in theme. Black Dan’s Pub is an alcove off the back end, named for Daniel Webster and his heavy beard, and the Oyster Bar still stands burnished, pitted, and defiant in the entryway. Upstairs is the Kennedy Booth, named for devoted customer John F. Kennedy. It’s a masculine, timeless place, purposefully so, and much appreciated for it.

Rugby: Dartmouth 50, BC 8

November 10, 2009

Keeping to its unbeaten streak this past weekend, the Dartmouth Rugby Football Club tallied a handy 50 – 8 victory over the Boston College Eagles in the first match of post-season play. From the match report:

“Boston College opened the match firing with intensity, giving the Big Green everything they could handle at the contact point. Carried by early tries by Charlie Grant ’10, the Dartmouth side was able to establish a 10-5 lead it would never relinquish. “We kept a lot of pressure on them throughout and a lot of our opportunities came from that pressure… We did a great job supporting each other and we are hoping to keep up that sustained effort to finish out the last week of the season,” said Grant.”

The win means the DRFC will advance from Northeastern Quarterfinals to the Northeastern Semi-Finals, where it will face Syracuse University. A win there will mean both a shot at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, perennial Northeastern champions, and also a guaranteed bid to the national sweet 16 tournament.

drfc 6

The unbeaten DRFC, left.