Archive for the ‘Corporations’ Category

Daily Office:
Friday

Friday, November 20th, 2009

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Matins: Is Bob Cringely mad? His vision of the future, “Pictures in Our Heads” — well you can see where he’s going. (“And the way we’ll shortly communicate with our devices, I predict, will be through our thoughts.”) But it’s the beginning of the entry that caught our eye. The power of Mr Cringely’s assumption (with which we’re ever more inclined to agree), that the iPhone/iTouch is today’s seminal device, from which everything in the future will somehow flow, seems to mark a moment.

Lauds: Isaac Butler outlines just how very hard it is to apportion praise and blame in the highly collaborative atmosphere of the theatre. Mr Butler winds up by pointing out how much easier it is to judge the performance of a classic play, because one of the variables — the text, usually unfamiliar to premiere audiences — is taken out of the problem. (Parabasis; via Arts Journal and the Guardian)

Prime: Jeffrey Pfeffer discusses the “Sad State of CEO Replacement.” His remarks prompt a question: Is the typical board of directors a band of masochists in search of a dominator? The minute a self-assertive bully walks in, they tend to submit with rapture. (The Corner Office)

Tierce: Dave Bry is delighted to learn that the Milwaukee M12 2410-20 won a Popular Mechanics rating for Best Small Cordless Drill (or somesuch). Not that he’s ever going to use one. (The Awl)

Sext: Adam Gopnik addresses the evolution of cookbooks, from aides-mémoire intended for professionals to encyclopedias for novices, and beyond. Oakeshott and gender differences are dragged in. The recent fetish for exotic salts is explained. (The New Yorker)

Nones: Another winter of discontent for Europe? Yulia Tymoshenko is cooking with gas. The new tariff will “ensure  stable supplies of gas,” quoth the prime minister. Really? (NYT)

Vespers: Our favorite literary couples, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, sits for an interview with the Wall Street Journal. We knew the basics. But it’s nice to have a bit of detail. (Who knew that Pasternak’s style is “studied”?) (via The Second Pass)

Compline: At NewScientist, a slideshow taken from Christopher Payne’s Asylum: Inside the closed World of State Mental Hospitals. The show, presumably like Mr Payne’s book, ends on a guardedly positive note. (via  The Morning News)

Bon weekend à tous!

Daily Office:
Wednesday

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

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Beginning today, the full text of the Daily Office appears at Portico. To continue reading the entry for a given hour, simply click on it, or click here to see today’s entire Daily Office.

Matins: Manisha Verma’s essay on Jon Stewart’s effectiveness as a de-fogger suggests that Comedy Central may have discovered the cure for television. (3 Quarks Daily; via The Morning News)

Lauds: The sale of the Lehman Brothers art collection, although it brought in twice the projected total, demonstrates the wishful thinking behind much art investing. Quite aside from the fact that Lehman was not in the business of purchasing artworks in order to profit from their resale (as indeed it was supposed to be doing with its other investments), the proceeds of the sale are but a drop in the bucket of Lehman’s bankruptcy — $1.35 million as against $250 billion. (Bloomberg; via Arts Journal)

Prime: Steve Tobak doesn’t buy the theory, advanced by The Daily News, that Galleon-Scandal insiders Hector Ruiz and Bob Moffit were lured to their doom by a comely lass called Danielle Chiesi — but that’s only because he doesn’t think that she’s much of a “cheerleader.” (The Corner Office)

Tierce: Michael Williams looks back to the days when he delivered firewood on autumn weekends. (A Continuous Lean)

Sext: Meanwhile, Choire Sicha takes his lorgnette (or is a loupe?) to a new line from Michael Bastian that Michael Williams probably won’t be covering: Homeless Chic. $525 just for long underwear! (The Awl)

Nones: The man who helped to take “primitive people” off the map, Claude Lévi-Strauss, died on Friday. (NYT)

Vespers: A long appreciation of Cheever’s Journals from Geoff Dyer — a writer of very similar lyrical gifts. Mr Dyer persuasively ties Cheever’s craftsmanship as a published writer to his repressed homosexuality, and sees both as prisons. (Guardian; via Critical Mass)

Compline: Nick Paumgarten advises us to abandon our hopes for multitasking, which “doesn’t work. You just perform each task less efficiently.” (The New Yorker)

Daily Office:
Tuesday

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

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Matins: What can you do to save the Galápagos Islands’ ecosystem? Resolve to stay away, and to urge your friends to do likewise. Don’t count on Ecuador to manage the growing mess.

Lauds: Stuff White People Like takes on Banksy, Thomas Kinkade.

Prime: Scott Shane: “Do Friends Let Friends Open Restaurants?” The answer is obvious, of course, but the brief discussion is interesting.

Tierce: Jenni Diski plays Auntie Family, faux-outraged about those gay penguins

Sext: Doodle away the afternoon with Vodkaster’s “subway map” of the 250 Best Films. (via reddit)

Nones: Irish voters approve the (slightly revised) Lisbon Treaty.

Vespers: Eric Banks writes about an uncomfortable truth in ”Poe’s Fading Star.”

Compline: A tale that seems to come out of Dickens or Trollope or perhaps even Cruikshank or Rowlandson: while Simmons Bedding faces bankruptcy, the private equity investors and the former CEO walk away will amply-filled pockets.

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Daily Office:
Wednesday

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

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Matins: In an important editorial, the Times argues that corporations ought not to have the same set of constitutional rights as human beings.

Lauds: At The Best Part, four terrific photographs that William Eggleston did not take — but clearly inspired John Johnston to take.

Prime: The Netflix Prize — a million dollars to whomever improves the performance of its Cinematch engine by ten percent — is not really about the money.

Tierce: Devin Friedman decides to have more black friends, runs ad in Craiglist… the beginning of quite the project. “Will you be my black friend?“, at GQ.

Sext: Three things that V X Sterne would rather chat about than “So, What Do You Do?

Nones: In what seems like a turn from Il Trovatore, ousted Honduras president Manuel Zelaya steals back into Tegucigalpa, where he takes refuge at the Brazilian Embassy.

Vespers: Alan Gopnik reviews Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol — but not in the back of the book. As the lead Talk piece instead. Ho-ho-ho.

Compline: Nige takes the week off, bumps around Norfolk with an old friend, and visits a famous French cathedral. We are so living on the wrong continent.

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Daily Office:
Thursday

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

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Matins: At Survival of the Book, Brian considers David Ulin’s widely-read LA Times piece, “The Lost Art of Reading.”

Lauds: Prince Charles takes his (architectural) case to the public. (via Arts Journal)

Prime: Robert Cringley poses the Emperor’s-New-Clothes question about American corporations that we’ve been asking for ages — only with greater élan: when did profits become more important than pensions and health benefits?

Tierce: What happens in Oman at iftar, the call to evening prayer? One thing seems to be clear: the orgy is not traditional. (via  Café Muscato)

Sext: Vacationing on Cape Cod, Scout looks at the hostelries along Route 6A between Truro and Provincetown, and finds a romantically abandoned motel.

Nones: In the eyes of the developed world, Muammar el-Qaddafi hovers unstably between dictator and thug. Dictators, while not approved, are accepted; thugs, like terrorists, are not permitted to negotiate. Negotiating the release of the Lockerbie bomber, the colonel may have kicked himself away from the table.

Vespers: While we’re getting all weepy about the end of The Book, maybe we ought to feel a little hopeful about the end of Books Like This, which never ought to be published in the first place.

Compline: Edward Moore Kennedy: a princeling who had a U S Senate seat handed to him (repeatedly)? Or a little prince who had to overcome the allure of accidental advantages in order to find real strengths? We take the latter view, along with the Times, the Journal, and even the Post.  

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Daily Office:
Thursday

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

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Matins: You laugh now: “The Inspector Clouseau of robot cops.” Wait till it comes back as Peter Weller.

Lauds: A new blog to follow: The Footnotes of Mad Men. (via kottke.org)

Prime: Are there really any such thing as “banking stars,” worth being hired away for that competitive edge? Jeffrey Pfeffer thinks not.

Tierce: The irresistible Mr Wrong wonders why no one wants to shoot the breeze at Starbuck’s.

Sext: Almost as good as “Rollo Tommasi”: When people ask where you’re vacationing next summer, just tell them, “Buss Island.” Tell ‘em it’s the undiscovered Nantucket.

Nones: North Korea will send a delegation to the funeral of former South Korean president Kim Dae-jung.

Vespers: Alain de Botton will be writing from Heathhrow Airport.

Compline: That really was a storm on Tuesday night! More than a hundred trees were felled in Central Park alone. (Thanks, Tom!) (more…)

Daily Office:
Wednesday

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

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Matins: (Note: this item is not about classical music.) In her WaPo piece about classical-music CDs, Anne Midgette labors under the impression that serious music recordings require the brokerage of a healthy “industry.” We agree with Henry Fogel: leaving industry behind is what’s healthy. (via Arts Journal)

Lauds: Why is Britain’s National Trust spat taking us back to the 1640s? Surely not just the coincidence of princes called “Charles”?

Prime: Robert Cringely thinks out loud about the ethics of technology. He used to think that Google’s motto was silly, but not anymore.

Tierce: Is it possible? The Marshall Trial’s case for the prosecution was slated to end yesterday— two days into the trial’s 17th week. On Friday, the jury and the court will take a two-week vacation.

Sext: At The Onion: “Film Adaptation Of ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ Ends Where Most People Stop Reading Book.” And where is that? 

The 83-minute film, which is based on the first 142 or so pages of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s acclaimed work, has already garnered attention for its stunning climax, in which the end credits suddenly appear midway through Katerina’s tearful speech about an unpaid debt.

(via The Morning News)

¶ Nones: China is upset with Australia, about Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer’s visit. When will China learn that foreign public opinion can be controlled no better by overt interference than by armed occupation?

Vespers: Amazing news! Six million subscribers take Reader’s Digest. Still! So don’t over-interpret news of the publication’s bankruptcy filing.

Compline: Natalie Angier writes lucidly about a murky subject: stress. Bottom line: it’s up to you to break out of the stress feedback loop.

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Daily Office:
Wednesday

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

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Matins: First the bad news, then the worse: Bob Herbert on the ongoing evaporation of good jobs, and Adam Cohen on a Supreme Court challenge to the ban on direct corporate political contributions.

Lauds: The Chicago Tribune‘s Blair Kamin asks, “Can the public love public art to death?” Perhaps “love” is not the word, but, yes. Ben van Berkel’s temporary Burnham Plan Pavilion in Millennium Park will close for four days of repairs. (via  Arts Journal)

Prime: Two scapegraces — one of whom ended the other’s Wall Street career — don wise-old-men hats, and discuss “Who Killed Wall Street?

Tierce: Muscato muses rather eloquently on differences in ageing, then (1956) and now. “The New Math” considers two 51 year-old women…

Sext: Almost as cool as the High Line, plus they’re in Brooklyn: the alleys of Crown Heights, at Scouting NYC.

Nones: What to do about Burma? Now that Aung San Suu Kyi has been senteced to more house arrest, in a bogus move to keep her off the next year’s ballot, sovereign critics of the ruling junta can choose from three options: pouting ineffectively, imposing sanctions of doubtful impact, or “doing something,” whatever that means. In other words, bupkis.

Vespers: We haven’t read Richard Russo, but John Williams’s review of the latest novel, That Old Cape Magic, at The Second Pass, might change that.

Compline: A young teacher at a charter school quits, claiming, basically, that she was starved for respect. Her principal replies, observing that “teaching is never about the teacher.” True — but would anyone be having this conversation if teaching were properly compensated? (via Brainiac) (more…)

Daily Office:
Tuesday

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

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Matins: What’s so productive about “Gross Domestic Product,” asks historian Eric Zencey? A re-think of GDP for a greener world.

Lauds: A new business plan for classical musicians: don’t seek shelter in a large and venerable organization. Andrew Druckenbrod explains musical entrepreneurship.

Prime: The economics of farmers’ markets could use a design boost. Alissa Walker reports at GOOD.

Tierce: Kate McLaughlin, 19, heads off to Northwestern — for law school. somewhat more remarkably, she graduated from the University of California at San Diego two years ago. What do you think about this kind of precocity?

Sext: Sebastian Münster’s map of Europe, upside-down, at Strange Maps.

Nones: In Sunday’s Times, a long overdue explanation of the Honduran political divide.

Vespers: Jenni Diski reflects on the art of the late Stanley Middleton, a Booker Prize winner whom we hadn’t heard of.

Compline: Andrew Sullivan, in his tenth year of Daily-Beast-ing, resumes the practice of taking August off.

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Daily Office:
Wednesday

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

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Matins: Josh Levin consults “the world’s leading futurologists” to hear how the United States might come to an end within the next century. Not that it will; just, how it might. (via The Morning News)

Lauds: Anne Midgette considers the pros and cons of tweeting at classical-music concerts. An intriguing discussion that left us feeling somewhat frustrated.

Prime: We’re very heartened by the news that one of two bidders for the Boston Globe contemplates running it as a not-for-profit operation.

Tierce: Christopher Shea may be forgiven for wondering: “But how many pieces about Child’s cultural significance can media outlets run before it starts to look as though reporters and editors have a financial stake in the forthcoming Nora Ephron movie about her?

Sext: We may have found the killer ap for the iPhone: Diaroogle. (via This That These & Those)

Nones: The Miskito population of Eastern Nicaragua renews its bid for independence.

Vespers: The protagonist of Ian McEwan’s next novel, likely to be called Solar, sounds familiar, but we’re not naming names.

Compline: Brooks Peters engages in “battle royale” with pretentious but ignorant mispronunciations of French words.

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Daily Office:
Wednesday

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

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Matins: Michelle Haimoff proposes a pay scale for HuffPost contributors. 

Lauds: Nige makes me wish that I were in London, to see the Corot to Monet show.

Prime: Carol Smith, an SVP at Elle, claims that women make better managers. Even better, she hates single-sex workplaces.

Tierce: A Web log devoted to bookmarks found in old books (!) reminds us of telegrams at weddings. How old, we wonder, is the youngest person to remember this feature of wedding receptions? (via MetaFilter)

Sext: Steven Heller explains the test pattern.

Nones: An update from the country that can’t: Kurdistan.

Vespers: “It’s enjoyable if you like reading Nexis printouts” — Nicholson Baker on the Kindle DX.

Compline: Drake Bennett reports on some recent studies of attention deficits in older drivers — and how older drivers compensate. (via The Morning News)

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Daily Office:
Tuesday

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

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Matins: It’s  Bastille Day — but not in France. In France, it’s “La fête nationale.” What do you say to friends on le quatorze juillet?

You say, “Bonjour, madame,” comme d’habitude.

Lauds: You know, before you even start reading, that Anthony Tommassini is not going to give Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna top marks. But if you read between the lines, his review begins to look like a rave.

Prime: Robert X Cringely writes about the MADD strategies of Google and Microsoft, and how, if either of them suffers a mortal blow, it won’t have been aimed by the other.

Tierce: Pardon me, but I’m no longer interested in the Marshall trial’s verdict, whatever it may be. I’m already casting the movie. Who wants to play Brooke Astor, banging her cane as she is “dragged” into the library? Or saying, “I feel like throwing food in someone’s face”?

Sext: It’s very easy to make fun of Town & Country — if you’re not throwing up into an air-sickness bag — but Choire Sicha can be counted upon to do it well.

Nones: We throw up our hands: both sides in the Honduras dispute request American intervention. What a sterling opportunity to make enemies and influence people to hate the United States.

Vespers: At The Millions, novelist Sonya Chung tells us what it was like to meet her new book’s dust jacket.

Compline: Meet the Schweeb. An amusement-park ride for the time being, it may become tomorrow’s urban transport. (Via Infrastructurist)

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Daily Office:
Wednesday

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

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Matins: Is the Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound a template for health care reform?

Lauds: My friend Ellen Moody writes about the strange success of Ronald Colman.

Prime: According to Patrick Devedjian, the French stimulus minister, “The country that is behind is the U.S., not France.”

Tierce: Defendant Anthony Marshall called in sick today, and the jurors were excused. Vanity Fair comes to the rescue, with a slideshow of sketches by Jane Rosenberg.

Sext: It’s time for lunch: think I’ll cloud up my vital fluids.

Nones: Coup or clean-out? The fact that the Obama Administration can’t seem to decide upon a characterization of recent events in Honduras suggests to me that we’re going to support the new regime.

Vespers: Richard Crary writes about youthful reading and outgrowing writers.

Compline: Remember the “Peter Principle”? Italian researchers have confirmed it. (via reddit)

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Daily Office:
Monday

Monday, July 6th, 2009

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Matins: Another way of looking at Earthly inequality: 50% of the world’s population inhabits nations that, in sum, produce only 5% of the world’s GDP.

Lauds: Elliot Goldenthal discusses his beautifully moody score for Public Enemies with Jim Fusilli, at Speakeasy.

Prime: Matt Thompson, at Snarkmarket, writes about the long overdue concept of “too big to succeed.”

Tierce: Just when we thought that the prosecution had exhausted its witnesses hostile to defendant Anthony Marshall, in walks the accountant.

Sext: So, we’ll bet you thought that a 50-pound ball of Silly Putty, if dropped from a 10-storey building, would do some awesomly rampaging bouncing. Not so.

Nones: Ethnic riots in Urumqi probably don’t threaten the stability of the Communist Party’s regime in China, but they do suggest that Uighur “aliens” don’t cotton to Shake-’n'-Bake Han colonization.

Vespers: At The Millions, C Max Magee looks forward to books forthcoming in the second half of 2009. It’s better than Christmas — even if all you want to read is the new Joshua Ferris and a genuine novel by Nicholson Baker.

Compline: A phrase that’s altogether new to us: (to) gay marry. Friendship with (abstract?) benefits.

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Daily Office:
Wednesday

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

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Matins: Whether or not last week’s election was rigged, the behavior of the Iranian government since the results were disputed has completely discredited it. The Amahdinejad regime’s aggressive clampdown on dissent show no concern whatever for the stability that, in China, in contrast, isalways Topic A. How do we know? Because the Internet tells us so.

Lauds: The face of Penelope Tree seems to be everywhere — at An Aesthete’s Lament, at the Costume Institute’s Model as Muse show — and she’s even mentioned in Brooks Peters’ latest post (see Vespers).

Prime:  Bill Vlasic’s story about Ford family solidarity, in today’s Times, makes us hope that investment portfolios have been diversified over the years. The value of the family’s stock in the company has dropped from $2.2 billion a decade ago to $140 million. At first, the drop seems catastrophic. Then we recollect that $140 million is better than $0.

Tierce: “The man who likes hiding in my home“: Brooke Astor’s description of her son, the defendant, to her Portuguese chauffeur. How gaga is that?

Sext: Ira Lee Sorkin (who used to be a partner of Kathleen’s), has written the most astonishingly chutzpah-tatious letter to Judge Denny Chin, appealing for leniency in the sentencing of his client, Bernard Madoff. That’s the sort of amazing stuff that you pay lawyers to do — and you can see why they’re expensive.

Nones: It will be interesting, to say the least, to heed the impact of French President Sarkozy’s burka ban.

Vespers: Brooks Peters writes about the bookstore that he was inspired to open by Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Bookshop — a novel that, I rather thought, has “do not open a bookshop” written between every line. Happily, Mr Peters’s account is unlikely to mislead any bibliophiles looking to make money doing something that they love.

Compline: Joseph Clarke ”Infrastructure for Souls,” at triplecanopy, considers the strong similarities between the megachurch and the office space as they evolved in the later Twentieth Century. (via The Morning News) (more…)

Daily Office:
Tuesday

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

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Matins: According to Vineet Nayar, CEO of HCL Technologies, an Indian IT services vendor, American college grads are “unemployable.” They don’t know anything (global history, languages) and they hate to be bored. (via  reddit)

Lauds: Kodachrome comes to an end. Michael Johnston develops the picture.

Prime: What email at Enron can tell us about predicting  big-company chaos/collapse.

Tierce: In what one hopes will be the resolution of a ghastly situation, Anthony Marshall collapsed again (this time from the after-effects of a fall), and his wife, Charlene, attributed his last collapse, two weeks ago, to “a stroke that has resulted in a headache and blurred vision.”

Sext: Department of Crossed Purposes: Philadelphia’s Parking Authority’s venture into reality television, Parking Wars, has complicated life for the city’s marketers.

Nones: Hats off to Tony Judt for saying what needs to be said about the West Bank “settlements,” and for speaking as someone who can remember genuine Israeli settlements. 

Vespers: Cristina Nehring rumbles the contemporary American essay, pronouncing it “middle-aged.” So that’s why you can’t be bothered to read through those worth Best American Essay anthologies!

Compline: Hands on the table! When someone else is talking to you, it’s rude (at best) to check out smartphones, Blackberries, &c, even if “the etiquette debate seems to be tilting in the favor of smartphone use.”

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Daily Office:
Tuesday

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

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Matins: At Infrastructurist, a top-ten count-down of the nation’s road-building contractors. These organizations can be counted upon to thwart rail initiatives — unless, that is, their crystal balls advise them to make tracks.

Lauds: Yesterday, we noted Holland Cotter’s demand for history lessons. Today, Philip Kennicott complains about the fall-off in shock. What’s a museum to do?

Prime: Now that the TimeWarner/AOL breakup is official, we challenge anyone to find a sound reason for the merger nine years ago.

Tierce: In his fourth day of testimony, Henry Christensen tells us just why Tony was after his mother’s money.

Sext: Tom Scocca is rapidly becoming my favorite curmudgeon. Like curmudgeons everywhere, he has a special gimlet stare for the idea of “progress.”

Nones: Having been a less-than-fastidious reader of The Economist of late, I missed the début of Banyan, the newspaper’s Asian columnist. (There, I’m honest.) This week’s piece about the (improbable?) survival of the Communist Party in China is excellent.

Vespers: Jason Kottke lifts a very appealing idea from the introduction to The Black Swan: the concept of the “antilibrary,” made up of the books that one owns but hasn’t read.

Compline: When will finance (and its ancillaries) be reformed by women who insist — as they’ve done in the field of obstetrics — on livable hours?

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Daily Office:
Thursday

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

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Matins: At a blog, new to me, called Reddit, readers were asked to identify “closely held beliefs that our own children and grandchildren will be appalled by.”  Then Phil Dhingra, at Philosophistry, composed a bulletted list of a dozen possibilities. Be sure to check it out.

Lauds: Sad stories: No JVC Jazz Festival this summer, and no more Henry Moore Reclining Figure — forever. The festival may or may not limp back into life under other auspices, but the Moore has been melted down.

Prime: David Segal’s report on the planning of Daniel Boulud’s latest restaurant, DBGB, on the Bowery near Houston Street (it hasn’t opened yet) has a lot of fascinating numbers. 

Tierce: Attorney Kenneth Warner’s attempt to discredit Philip Marshall strikes me as desperately diversionary, but you never know with juries.

Sext: This just in: “The 1985 Plymouth Duster Commercial Is Officially the Most ’80s Thing Ever.”

Nones: The Berlin Wall, poignantly remembered by Christoph Niemann — in strips of orange and black.

Vespers: The other day, I discovered An Open Book, the very agreeable (if less than frequently updated) blog of sometime book dealer Brooks Peters. (via Maud Newton)

Compline: At Outer Life, V X Sterne resurfaces to post an entry about an unhappy moment in his job history. (We’ve been through this before, young ‘uns.)

Bon weekend à tous!

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Daily Office:
Wednesday

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

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Matins: A word from venture capitalist Peter Rip:

Corporate America, its public boards, and now, the United States government would be well served to take a few pages on governance from America’s venture capital-backed companies.

Lauds: Queen Nefertiti’s bust a fake? What fun! I love fakes! (via Arts Journal)

Prime: Now I know what to get for my grandchildren (when & if): littleBits. “PLUS magnets are FUN.” (via kottke.org)

Tierce: More excluded testimony at the Marshall Trial yesterday — and everybody but the jury heard proposed testimony by the late Mrs Astor’s social secretary. The Post, the Daily News.

Sext: Last night, I asked about the “backlash” to Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker piece about the full-court press. Voilà! Tom Scocca buttonholes Choire Sicha at The Awl. (via Brainiac)

Nones: Mark Landler reads the tea-leaves of Iran’s release of Roxana Saberi (who by the way is gawjus!): Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reverses course to improve his re-election bid.

Vespers: Rebecca Dalzell bids adieu to the Times’s City section, soon to be cut from the Sunday paper.

Compline: Built on a former French military base (hence its having been named after Louis XIV’s fortress engineer), the Freiburg suburb of Vauban could not have accommodated civilian auto traffic anyway. You are allowed to own a car if you live in the upscale development, but you can’t park it at your house.

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Daily Office:
Wednesday

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

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Matins: The only thing that’s missing from this Observer story about a houseguest from hell is the atmosphere that Quatorze would exhale if he were reading it.

Lauds: Here’s a story that ought to be curdling my innards, but the innards in question were curdled so long ago that there’s nothing left. The Times may sell WQXR, according to the kind of rumors that have been panning out lately.

Prime: Even though I have NO ROOM, I must confess to being beguiled by Mike Johnston’s Online Photographer entry about starting a camera collection.

Tierce: Olympia Snowe’s envoi to Arlen Specter manages to make Ronald Reagan, of all people, sound like a moderate Republican. The Pennsylvania senator’s defection to the Democrats may also lubricate his former party’s easing-up on opposition to same-sex marriage.

Sext: And, speaking of marriage, The Morning News assembles a Panel of Experts, comprising a handful of youngsters who are engaged to be married, “The Rules of Engagement.”

Nones: First, the good news: things are looking up (a little) in Myanmar, a nation so devastated by Cyclone Nargis, last year, that its repressive junta loosened up a bit.

Vespers: Finally: a book by Colson Whitehead that I’d like to read. None of that postmodern bricolage, just a straightforward summer novel: Sag Harbor. Marie Mockett inverviews the author at Maud Newton.

Compline: One of the most egotistical, testosterone-driven, and commercially senseless mergers in corporate history is about to be undone, as TimeWarner and America Online approach the dissolution of their relationship.

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