Never Surrender What Is Most Important

There is a fable in Aesop that involves the behavior of the beaver.  In ancient times, beavers were often hunted for the scented oil, known as castorea, that was found in sacs near its genital area.  The beaver liked to rub its hind parts against trees and logs, thereby possessively marking them with his scent; and this scent apparently had to humans a pleasant aroma, reputed to be evocative of vanilla.  The ancients mistakenly thought that this valued aromatic came from the beaver’s scrotum, rather than from special internal sacs adjacent to the genitalia.

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The Instituto Ricardo Brennand, And The Praia Dos Carneiros

The Instituto Ricardo Brennand is a Recife cultural institution containing a museum, library, and armory.  Founded in 2002, it is an impressive complex and well worth the visit.  I always try to see local museums when I travel, and I was glad that I came here.

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The Most Popular Posts At Fortress Of The Mind For 2019

It’s inventory and round-up time of the year again:  time to do some record-keeping and list the most viewed posts here at Fortress of the Mind.  The list below is a pure ranking.  It includes not only essays, but also podcasts.  The first post listed (“A G Manifesto Tweet Reading”) was number one, and is followed sequentially to number ten (“What Did A Roman Triumph Actually Look Like?”)  Check out the ones you might have missed, or revisit your favorites.

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Porto De Galinhas And Maragogi

We recently visited the beach areas of Porto de Galinhas and Maragogi.  Porto de Galinhas is a major tourist beach destination, and is located about 60 km. south of Recife, in the state of Pernambuco.  Maragogi is a greater distance away; it is located in the state of Alagoas.  Both of these places are known for their “natural pools” (piscinas naturais).

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Some Views Of Olinda, Brazil

Olinda is located in the greater Recife area in Brazil’s state of Pernambuco.  It is considered one of the best-preserved of the old colonial cities.  We visited the city today, and the result is the collection of photos below.  The city is about a 25 minute drive from downtown Recife.

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Recife, Brazil At Night

We took a boat ride in Recife last night.  It was really just a short ride from one part of the city to the historic downtown area, which was surprisingly alive, considering that it was Christmas Day.  I sampled a lot of the street food, as is my usual habit.  One interesting thing I noticed was that whenever the boat passed under a bridge, the passengers clapped in unison.  I supposed this was a local custom, perhaps having its origin as a way of warding off bad luck, or giving thanks for continued safety.  No one I spoke to seemed to know the origin of the custom.

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Andrei Martyanov’s "The Real Revolution In Military Affairs" (Review)

Reading the works of American military pundits and the vast US media commentariat that amplifies their voices often feels like entering an alternate universe.  Weaknesses are touted as “strengths”; self-congratulatory propaganda and delusion are seen as substitutes for hard analysis; belligerent, callous jingoism passes as the norm; and American “exceptionalism” is taken for granted almost as a theological truth.  Clearly a day of reckoning is coming.  It has been coming for some time now.

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