Making Doc Martens

Nerdiest post yet? Maybe. I didn’t realize how close this company came to going under in the aughts. You’ll pay more for “Made in England” – about 50% more, in fact – but you’ll know where the money went when you slip ’em on. I’m wearing a pair RIGHT NOW.

We visited Dr. Martens’ only UK factory on Cobbs Lane in Wollaston, Northamptonshire. This is where Dr. Martens makes its iconic “Made in England” collection. The factory employs 50 workers that make about 100,000 pairs of boots per year, which is only one percent of what the brand makes as a whole!

Finally

Submitted for your approval, a few suggestions for celebrating Mabon this year.

  1. Setting Up Your Mabon Altar: Celebrate the Mabon Sabbat by decorating your altar with the colors and symbols of the late harvest season.
  2. Create a Mabon Food Altar: Mabon is a celebration of the second harvest season. It’s a time when we’re gathering the bounty of the fields, the orchards, and the gardens, and bringing it in for storage.
  3. Honor the Dark Mother at Mabon: This ritual welcomes the archetype of the Dark Mother and celebrates that aspect of the Goddess which we may not always find comforting or appealing, but which we must always be willing to acknowledge. (Hint: virgin sacrifice.)
  4. Mabon Apple Harvest Rite: This apple ritual will allow you time to thank the gods for their bounty and blessings, and to enjoy the magic of the earth before the winds of winter blow through.
  5. Hearth & Home Protection Ritual: This ritual is a simple one designed to place a barrier of harmony and security around your property.
  6. Hold a Gratitude Ritual: You might want to consider doing a short gratitude ritual as a way of expressing thankfulness at Mabon.
  7. Autumn Full Moon — Group Ceremony: This rite is written for a group of four people or more to celebrate the full moon phases of the fall. (Hint: virgin sacrifice.)
  8. Mabon Balance Meditation: If you’re feeling a bit spiritually lopsided, with this simple meditation you can restore a little balance into your life.

Also, this miniseries scared the ever-living shit out of me when I was a wee bastard.

 

Bastard Tested, Bastard Approved?

I’m not sure that a discussion about this band is allowed on this forum, but I need to weigh in on Tool.

I hadn’t hear one of their songs(except Sober)  until a couple of weeks ago, after they released a new song, and finally got their stuff on streaming platforms. I was too busy studying the pie hole back in to 90’s to pay attention to them, and I certainly wasn’t going to spend money on a CD from a band who’s logo is a wrench that looks like a dick. Plus their songs are really long, and that’s saying something coming from a jam band fan boy.

Fast forward to Labor Day weekend… I’m hooked. I basically spent last weekend working my way through their albums, and I’m digging me some Tool. I don’t even know what you’d call it… metal? It’s prog rock for sure, and it’s pretty heavy.

Any of you bastards listen to these guys? They’re a bit different from the normal stuff here on the blargh. If you haven’t heard them, here’s a few to get you started. If you like really long songs with a shit ton of fuzzy distorted guitar, and a drummer that sounds just like Neil Peart, you might like Tool. Here’s a couple to get you started…

So I guess I’m in the Tool army, and I’ll be seeing them November 8…

Our Precious Bodily Fluids

 

Is fluoride making us idiots? Was General Jack D. Ripper right after all?

Probably not. Lots of limitations on the most recent study, including long-term vs episodic fluoride exposure, controlling for lead exposure, noisy data, and a couple of individuals with extremely low IQ’s that may have thrown the entire data set. Also, previous studies indicated problems only at extremely high fluoride exposures – much higher than typical water fluoridation.

But don’t let that prevent us from getting a good panic on!

The Immune System, The Gut Biome, And Obesity

Turns out it may not just be calories in, calories out.

We’ve been fattening cows with antibiotics since the 1950s, but we’re just now starting to understand the relationship between the types of bacteria in the bovine gut and how they impact weight. Turns out, that relationship might exist for us, too – and the fix may not be as simple as probiotics.

According to an article in The Atlantic

“A lot of the recent research on probiotics suggests it’s really not easy to keep and sustain new communities,” Stephens says. The immune system could explain that. “It may well be that your immune response gets ‘stuck’ at an early age based on what you’ve exposed it to. Probiotics might not be enough to change a person’s microbiome, because your immune system determined early on that certain microbes are either appropriate or inappropriate in your gut.”

Read the rest or don’t here.

A Brief Design History Of A Watch You’ll Never Own

Fun if for no other reason than you get to see a shitload of mind-numbingly expensive watches all in one place.

A silly question that we get asked quite a bit here at HODINKEE is, “What is the best watch?” Sure, I get why people ask it and what they’re getting at, but it’s impossible to say anything is “the best” when you’re dealing with something as subjective and personal as wristwatches. What you like aesthetically, the history that’s meaningful to you personally, and the idiosyncrasies of how you live your life all impact that answer of that question. However, there’s a similar question that we also get asked a lot, for which I do think there are a few good answers: “What is the most important watch of all time?” The Rolex Submariner is a pretty darn good answer. It’s not the only answer, but it’s one that I find tough to argue with.