What’s Cool About Summer

Heading off to see a summer blockbuster? Thank the early 20th century movie hero who kicked off the phenomenon. Not Superman. Not Captain America. Not even Rin Tin Tin.

William Carrier.

In 1902, the young engineer was working for a heating outfit called Buffalo Forge. That company was approached by Sackett & Wilhelms, a print shop in Brooklyn that was facing a dilemma. Four-color printing meant paper had to be inked four separate times, with each run laying down a different hue. Thanks to humidity, sheets would often shrink or expand in the interim between inkings, making the finished image a mess. What could be done?

Carrier came up with a way of “conditioning” the air in order to keep the temperature and moisture level steady. You can probably guess what he called his invention.

Not only did printing companies suddenly have a solution to the problem of summer, so did all sorts of other industries, from candy makers (chocolate no longer turned gray) to razor manufacturers (blades no longer rusted) to theaters.

In the earliest days of cinema, theaters would often close during the summer as their cramped, crowded spaces became suffocating sweatboxes. Thanks to air conditioning, not only could they stay open, they became bastions of comfort. In 1925, the Rivoli Theater in Times Square became the first movie theater to install the new technology. A decade later, summer had become the biggest time of year for movies, and the summer blockbuster was born.

Air conditioning changed more than just our film viewership. Cooler air had basically been the holy grail of sizzling civilizations since the dawn of history. In ancient Egypt, porous urns were filled with water that slowly seeped out and evaporated, providing a modicum of relief. (Though not as much relief as those slaves with the palm fronds, I’d guess.) In ancient Rome, an emperor named Elagabalus had ice harvested from the mountains and spread around his garden, so the breeze would waft cool air inside.

The rest of us spent eons fanning ourselves and drinking lots of liquids. Meanwhile, homes were built to deflect oppressive heat as best they could. Shaded front porches were wide enough for socializing and even sleeping on. Windows were positioned to facilitate cross drafts. High ceilings drew the heat up and away from the humans panting below.

After World War II, A/C finally came to the average home, and when it did, life changed. For starters, builders could use thinner and thus cheaper materials. They could ditch the porches, scrap the shutters, and lower the ceilings. All this made the American Dream less expensive, luring the masses to the ‘burbs—and to the South. The share of Americans living in the Sun Belt rose from 28 percent before the war to 40 percent afterward.

Central air has gotten a bad rap as a community killer: By keeping neighbors sealed inside their arctic homes, it creates existential anomie (and artificially high viewership for CNN). As a gal who’s always cold, I have done a ton of A/C bashing myself, and I didn’t install so much as a window unit for many a sweltering summer for fear that my kids would never leave their climate-controlled rooms. Yet as annoying as that constant stream of cold indoor air is to those of us forced to keep space heaters under our desks in July, A/C has made life better for a lot of people—including the downtrodden.

Climbing temperatures can be a killer. For one thing, people are more likely to commit suicide when it’s very hot outside. For another, when a heat wave hits, the poor are more likely to die. Nowadays, high temperatures cause about 600 deaths a year in America, according to the Foundation for Economic Education. In 1936, that number was 5,000.

You may be fretting: But what about the Earth? Well, as Slate‘s Daniel Engber reports, it actually takes less energy to cool a home in the broiling heat than to heat it in the bitter cold. And few environmentalists begrudge people their furnaces in wintertime.

Jimmy Moyen, owner of First Choice Mechanical, an HVAC company in Queens, New York, tells me his customers are increasingly purchasing “smart” air conditioners, where “the thermostat is connected to your smart phone, and the closer you get to home, the closer it gets to the temperature you want.” That means your A/C doesn’t waste juice while you’re out during the day, yet it welcomes you home to cold comfort at night.

Maybe that’s too much comfort, but it’s better than the alternative.

Read more from Reason.com…

It’s Walker Percy Weekend 2018

Greetings from St. Francisville, Louisiana. When I checked into my hotel for Walker Percy Weekend (I live in Baton Rouge, now, 40 miles away), the desk clerk looked at my driver’s license, then said: “You Miss Ruthie’s brother? Lord, everybody loved Miss Ruthie.”

That made me feel so good. Back home. If you want to know why everybody loved Miss Ruthie, here it is.

If you are not a Mars Hill Audio Journal subscriber, well, what’s wrong with you? It’s so, so great. People still stop me to thank me for putting them onto it. Users of iOS can download the Mars Hill app, and listen to some content for free. Ken Myers has produced a special Walker Percy discussion that everyone, not just Journal subscribers, can access on the app. Here’s the script for the introduction:

This is the Friday Feature for June 1st from MARS HILL AUDIO; I’m Ken Myers.

Today is the first day of the fifth annual Walker Percy Weekend in St. Francisville, Louisiana. The website for this unique festival celebrating Walker Percy’s life and work assures potential participants that it will be “intellectually serious but broadly accessible.” We also learn that bourbon will be consumed, although (one hopes) not in quantities comparable to some of Percy’s characters. As I recall, in Love in the Ruins, Dr. Thomas More holed up in a Howard Johnson’s with 15 cases of Early Times.

Love in the Ruins, published in 1971 and a finalist for a National Book Award, bears the subtitle The Adventures of a Bad Catholic at a Time Near the End of the World. Percy once commented on the book: “A serious novel about the destruction of the United States and the end of the world should perform the function of prophecy in reverse. The novelist writes about the coming end in order to warn against present ills and so avert the end.” As Ralph Wood has recently written, Percy “doubted the efficacy of a serene Christian humanism. Better to serve as the canary in the coal mine, so as to detect the asphyxiating gas that sickens unto death.”

Ralph Wood has given talks at previous Walker Percy weekends. I’m told he won’t be there this year, but two weeks back, The American Conservative published an article he wrote about Love in the Ruins called “Walker Percy’s Funny and Frightening Prophecy.” Earlier this week, I called Dr. Wood in his office to chat about the article and about Percy more generally. We agreed that Percy’s work is not as well known as it may have been 20 years ago, or at the time of his death in 1990. I asked Wood why he thought Percy has not enjoyed as much attention as another 20th century Southern Catholic writer, Flannery O’Connor.


Since this weekend is an occasion for concentrated attention to Walker Percy, at least in St. Francisville, we’ve just released a new Audio Reprint: a reading of an article by John F. Desmond called “Walker Percy and Suicide.” The article compares themes in Percy’s fiction and non-fiction with reflections about selfhood in Camus and Kierkegaard. You can purchase that reading for $2 from our website and listen to it through our app or via any web browser.

Way back in 1993, on volume 3 of the Journal, I talked with Jay Tolson, who had just written Pilgrim in the Ruins: a Life of Walker Percy. In his book, Tolson reported that — before he started writing fiction, he read a number of works by Kafka and Dostoevsky, stories about figures who were outcasts in search of spiritual meaning. I asked Jay Tolson if Percy felt himself to be such a figure.


Jay Tolson, from volume 3 of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal. Tolson’s Pilgrim in the Ruins: a Life of Walker Percy was the first Percy biography to appear after Percy’s death in 1990. In 1997, Patrick Samway’s book, Walker Percy: A Life, was published. Samway was a guest on volume 27 of the Journal, in a conversation in which we talked about Percy’s relationship with the characters of his books.


Patrick Samway, the author of Walker Percy: A Life, from volume 27 of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal.

By the way, we’ve just released volume 139, and if you’re not currently a subscriber, I invite you to take the plunge, sign up today, and enjoy over two hours of listening to something intellectually serious but broadly accessible. Guests include Simon Oliver, Matthew Levering, and Esther Lightcap Meek, and the overarching theme that emerged in the six conversations was how modern culture obscures the nature of Creation.

On next week’s Friday Feature, I’ll be talking with Jeremy Beer about the late Christopher Lasch. For MARS HILL AUDIO, I’m Ken Myers.

I’m off to the Magnolia Cafe now, where Charlie Clark and I will be hosting a back porch conversation about his Fare Forward article, “The Walker Percy Option.” The event is sponsored by The American Conservative, which is picking up the bar tab. Don’t you wish you were here?

Read more from The American Conservative…

All voters have to realize that the right wing politicians of our time are gone to playing an acting…

All voters have to realize that the right wing politicians of our time are gone to playing an acting role for big corporations.

Some might actually intelligently know facts which contradict their party's or government's policies, but because politics has been reduced to nothing more than a "news media show", none of them are able to speak out about their evil policy-sets.

This is standard practice for most western nations' "big two" party's politicians, and from the start of their being elected by (allegedly) democratic elections, they are told exactly what they can and cannot say or do.

So, as most of them on the right-to-extreme right of the major parties are there mostly for being "selected" by as-often, their church college masters, then shunted up the ladders of success, fame, wealth and influence into federal (in Australia's case) arenas, they are also pumped most of their waking hours with programming by their party advisors, and other informants and assistants.

This has a deleterious effect on their mind.

They are, for all intents and purposes, being hypnotized.

This is back of why when interviewed, they fall into the pre-programmed trances and talk utter gibberish to reporters etc.

None of it goes to the facts of an issue.

All of it is spoken as a distraction from the crucial facts and background issues their corporate and secret society paymasters are up to.

All of it is designed as "fill", merely to appease reporters and media to think they (who are also programmed into similar trances in big media) have covered an issue or broadcast worthy "news" for us to consume.

So, come elections, voters really must face this tragic fact, that the big corp politicians are "not home" anymore, in their own conscious minds.

Accepted, that modern society is kinda "drunk" on "subtle influences" targeting them day and night, via all forms of media, and from even just people passers-by in the street, in a venue, at a meeting, etc.

So today many of the general public, are "not home" in their own minds either.

The sinister mind control programs which religions have grown upon for thousands of years, and which the 19th and 20th century secret agent spy agencies have used to do their evil things, are now so out of control, that the "mental conditioning" thing is our most threatening global pandemic.

Especially in the less-cultured, more materialistic western nations like the USA and Australia.

This is something no-one dares to make an issue of, for it's dangerous to broach the topic of magic – which is what "spies" and religions make their way upon.

And even if we are aware, it is actually quite another step to be in possession of one's own mental and intellectual faculties, and to be free of some influence in our past who has done something to condition how we think.

This is why so many cannot actively consider, deduce and correct their beliefs, away from bad ecological political parties such as the far-right Australian parties, the Liberals and the Nationals.

Combining the two facts, that

those parties' politicians are left no choice but to play what turns out to be the "devils' advocates", by

legislating really bad policies, such as

for #ADANI's maximum-pollution Queensland coal mine,

and export sea port #AbbottsPoint in the middle of the #GreatBarrierReef,

and of cancelling Australia's previously-agreed #greenhouse gas reduction policies and targets, of

speaking such rubbish about how bad #renewable energy projects are, then

their similarly mindless supporters eager and fanatical to #vote them into the most important positions of #power in our nations,

we see the importance of going in the other direction, politically and policy-wise, and

VOTE GREEN, early and often!!!

So, if you're an avid supporter of political parties which promote policies deadly to the planet's natural systems, you too, are in an hypnotic trance.

It may be absolutely thrilling, but it also disables your mind's abilities to THINK properly, and deduce sane, ethical and worthwhile policies from just really silly, fab-sounding, but deadly ones.

At-the-end-of-the-election, GREEN Policies stand the tests for their need, facts and credibility.

Also, Green Policies are logical enough for us all to understand and to figure out the reasoning of.

We do not need a degree in law, corporate accounting or in stock markets, etc., to know for a fact, in our minds and hearts that

Political Green is Plenty Good!

…. of the Forests ….

+RT en Español +RT America +The Australian Greens Victoria +Adam Bandt MP +Richard Di Natale +Green Left TV +Green Left Weekly +Occupy Wall Street +ABC Australia +The Age +The Sydney Morning Herald +brisbane times +H George Tavakoli +Huffington Post +The Independent +The New Yorker +Sinn Fein

#Environment #Greens #Politics #Sustainability #Australia #Hypnotism #Spies #SecretSocieties #cults #corporations #Mindcontrol #MK-Ultra #Religions

Read more from Right Wing Politicians…