247. The People’s President

(I hope the original author doesn’t mind my re-publication of his thoughts. I have a soft spot for other geezers who see echoes of the past in our current behaviors.)

A Writing Life

220px-battle_of_new_orleansSince my dad’s younger brother was named Andrew Jackson Logsdon, you might guess that Andrew Jackson was well thought of in my family. He is well thought of by most Americans as the first people’s president, a man who went to Washington, overthrew the elites, and returned the country to its democratic roots. A champion of the common man.

I disagree.

As a person trained in both anthropology and history, I have to declare my biases. Jackson was an important president, with much to his credit. I grant that. But he was also the leader of a successful movement to drive out the legal residents who were owners of vast tracts of land throughout the South, to make way for his white followers.

By the way, I plan to use the word Indian. It’s a description, not an insult, and it is the word that was used in the 1800’s. When…

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Clickbait 1001

I’m interested in the psychology of fascination, and I’m susceptible to this phenomenon if I’m tired or stay on the computer too long. Here’s a clever visual artist playing around skillfully with the concept.

Matthew C. Mariner

Clickbait, 2016 Clickbait, 2016

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… from the first presidential debate


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The Health of the Presidents:  Myth, Mystery, Medicine

Dr. Daliah

By Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP

Myth:  George Washington’s teeth were never made of wood

 Mystery:  Would JFK have lived if he wasn’t wearing a back brace during his assassination?  Who took over when Woodrow Wilson suffered a massive stroke?

 Medicine:  Why did it take Lincoln to die 11 hours after his mortal gun shot wound?


 George Washington – I cannot tell a lie….

It is believed that George Washington suffered from diphtheria, tuberculosis, malaria, smallpox, dysentery, possible sterility, tonsillitis, and epiglottitis.  He appeared to have  many issues with the back of his throat.  Syphilis has been debated but then again many people at the time had syphilis (Abraham Lincoln supposedly had syphilis when he was younger).

George Washington had one original tooth left by the time he became president.

His teeth were not made of wood…..instead made of hippopotamus/walrus/elephant ivory or transplanted teeth.


The tooth loss could have been from…

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19 Minimalist Hacks To Maximize Your Life


Space comes at a premium for most of us and sometimes organizing just isn’t enough.

With these minimalist hacks, you’ll be able to maximize your space and get everything in order! Sometimes less is more and that is definitely the case with these simple ideas.

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Obsequious dogs; impervious cats

Meditatio Ephemera

If you’ve been paying any attention to the news lately, you’ve probably heard about an Hungarian study that indicates dogs understand human language in a much more sophisticated manner than previously thought.

Eniko Kubinyi/Eotvos Lorand University Eniko Kubinyi/Eotvos Lorand University

The study exposed 13 dogs to recordings of their owners’ voices in both appreciative and neutral tones while observing their brains with a functional MRI. Some of the phrases were meaningful — szép munka! (well done!), for example — while others were meaningless. (These were taken from Donald Trump’s varying speeches on immigration policy.) It turns out dogs register not only intonation, but meaning: they recognized praise only when praise words were matched with an appreciative tone.

To which my cats say, in a neutral tone: Nagy ügy. A kutyák alázatos és méltatlan. (Big deal. Dogs are obsequious and undignified.)

Which the researchers kind of conceded. In an e-mail to the Associated Press, study lead…

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Stand Up For What You Believe In

So Here's The Thing


So here’s the thing…

Today we had our fantasy football draft (that’s right, I’m a huge dork), and for the second time in as many days I found myself in a conversation about Colin Kaepernick…and in neither case did the conversation have anything to do with the merits of Kaep’s football playing (which is not good).

The overwhelming sentiment of those with whom I was speaking, and those I hear discussing this in the news or on Facebook, seems to be that Kaepernick is a big ass for not standing for the national anthem before the 49ers preseason game the other day. “He’s just doing it for attention”, said one friend. “You’re getting paid millions of dollars to play a game. Just do your job”, said another.

Kaepernick himself has said that he chose not to stand because he feels like America oppresses minorities and people of color and he…

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