How To Make Beef Jerky

I was watching a documentary on Netflix the other day about how our species (homo sapiens) spread out over the globe.  One point made by the narrators was that the human brain was able to grow larger by the availability of high-energy (i.e., high-calorie) foods.  Meat, fats, and bone marrow was an essential part of man’s intellectual development.  I believe it still is.  If you want your body and mind to be operating at peak performance, I believe you should be consuming meat at least occasionally.

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The Hedonistic Philosophy Of Yang Zhu

It is an unhappy fate for a philosopher to be known to posterity only through his enemies.  Quotes may be taken out of context, writings may be warped or obfuscated, and conclusions may be cherry-picked to present a picture far out of accord from the writer’s original intention.  We do not know if this is precisely the fate of the Chinese philosopher Yang Zhu (440-360 B.C.), but one suspects that if more of his writings had come down to us, we might have a more favorable view of his doctrines.  But we have what we have, and this does not exactly inspire man’s noblest sentiments.  Or does it?  Each reader will have to judge for himself.  It would be wrong to ignore him, even if we disagree with his doctrines.

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The Life Of Father António Vieira

One of the most compelling figures of Portuguese history–and surely one of the greatest practitioners of its prose–was Father António Vieira, a Jesuit missionary, orator, statesman, writer, and mystic.  His career illustrates that stimulating mixture of conservative and progressive thinking that would come to characterize the Jesuit order throughout much of its history.  He was born in Lisbon in 1608 and moved to Brazil (what is now the state of Bahia) in 1614 when his father received an appointment for a government post there.

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A Conversation With Maverick Traveler

I was lucky enough to have the chance to speak to my friend James Maverick about topics that have interested us both for a long time:  travel, languages, politics, and society.  He’s always on the move, and you have to catch him between countries!  I’m confident that listeners will find this podcast to be wide-ranging and very entertaining.

To listen to the podcast, click here.

The Underreported Epidemic Of Firefighter Suicide

Every now and then you come across a story that cries out for more recognition.  I recently had that feeling when I began to read more about the epidemic of firefighter suicides, which is part of the larger problem of untreated firefighter PTSD and depression nationwide.  Like many traditionally masculine professions, firefighters and their health problems do not get the same level of attention from the media that is devoted to female, child, and reproductive health issues.

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The Wisdom Of Mercy From Ibn Hazm Al-Zahiri

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We turn now to those founts of wisdom who have lessons to teach us.  Abu Muhammad Ali Ibn Ahmad Ibn Sa’id Ibn Hazm (أبو محمد علي بن احمد بن سعيد بن حزم) is known to history as Ibn Hazm Al-Zahiri.  Born in Cordoba, Andalusia (Spain) in 994, he achieved enduring fame for his incredible intellectual achievements in a number of disciplines, including jurisprudence, theology, philosophy, and poetry.  He even composed a manual on love known as The Ring of the Dove (طوق الحمامة).  Here was a man of substance, a man who could appreciate the virtues of the passions as well as those of the mind.

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