Archive for the ‘America the Frayed’ Category

Before Agreeing to Pay,
Find Out the Price
12 February 2013

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Obvious, don’t you think? And yet the idea is wholly foreign to American health care.

When the Clintons came into Washington in 1992, determined to enact universal health care, I said to myself, and shouted to those nearby, that they’d have been wiser to begin with an examination of health care costs, which were obviously not market-priced at the time. Just how out of whack costs were and are, however, even I couldn’t have imagined. Today’s Times features a senior thesis by one Jaime Rosenthal, at Washington University in St Louis. Rosenthal called up more than 100 hospitals to ask how much a hip replacement would cost his (fictitious) grandmother. It should be no surprise that many hospitals had a hard time answering the question. What is a surprise is the range of prices: from $11,000 to $126,000.

Dr. Cram said the study did contain some good news: some of the country’s top-ranked hospitals came up with “bargain basement prices” in response to repeated calls. “If you’re a good consumer and shop around, you can get a good price — you don’t have to pay $120,000 for a Honda,” he said.

But that shopping can be arduous in a market not set up to respond to consumers. To get a total price, Ms. Rosenthal often had to call the hospital to get its estimate for on-site care, and a separate quote from doctors. And many were simply perplexed when she asked for a price upfront, Ms. Rosenthal said, adding, “The people who answered didn’t know what to do with the question.”

Hip replacement is a common procedure that many older people require. Somebody has got some work cut out.

Daily Office:
Tuesday

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

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Matins: Tyler Cowen’s thoughts about Swiss minarets are appropriately complex. Referendums are deplorable, because they open the door as nothing else does to prejudice. “…knowing how and when to defuse an issue is one very large part of political wisdom.  The Swiss usually pass this test but this time they failed it.” (Marginal Revolution)

Lauds: The painter Francis Bacon could write well enough, but, John Richardson informs us, he could not draw. (NYRB; via 3 Quarks Daily)

Prime: Felix Salmon, with the help of a commenter called Dan, advances a new theory of investing — one that is market- (and liquidity- !) shy.

Tierce: 350 years of important publications by the Royal Society, celebrated at a new site, Trailblazing. (MetaFilter)

Sext: In the rarefied world of dissertation-land, is one woman’s prudence another man’s paranoia? (Chron Higher Ed; via The Morning News)

Nones: The Vatican continues to regard its affairs as lying beyond the writ and ken of civil authorities. “The Vatican should apologise for failing to co-operate with an inquiry into sex abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland, a Dublin bishop has said.” (BBC News)

Vespers: The Clutter murder, 50 years on. (Ed Pilkington at the Guardian)

Compline: Shock and Awl: Choire and Balk both driven batty by current events. Choire returns from Thanksgiving weekend viscerally alert to the Idiocracy afoot in the land. “Craziness: it’s not just for wingnuts anymore.” Meanwhile, Alex has Lady Gaga issues.

Although both pieces are nicely funny, the two pieces are salt and pepper as to coherence. Choire, slightly hysterical perhaps, nevertheless sticks to his topic. Balk, in contrast, is almost grotesquely inconsequent. But that’s why we love him!

Daily Office:
Friday

Friday, November 27th, 2009

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Matins: On the banks of a faraway sea, Muscato connects.

Lauds: Terry Teachout really likes The Starry Messenger, Kenneth Lonergan’s new play. As the author of a hit book at the moment, Mr Teachout is probably going to garnish somewhat more attention than he might otherwise do. Bravo!

Prime: Felix Salmon finds a great chart illustrating the debt of Dubai.

Tierce: Why the United States is even more medieval than the Holy Roman Empire, and has been, since FDR at least. (Letters of Note).

Sext:  If there was ever proof that this is not one country indivisible under God, it’s in the food. (NYT)

Nones: We thought that the Irish priest problem was dealt with ages ago. Apparently not. My good Catholic wife is mad as hell at Benedict XVI, and contrapuntally so. First, of course, this ought to have never happened. Second, what a distraction it all is from caring for the poor and hungry.

Vespers Christopher Tayler says that Stefanie Marsh’s interview with James Ellroy “is a minor classic of the genre” — doubtless because Ellroy himself will never be major. (TimesOnline; via LRB).

Compline: New cases of AIDS are down this year by 17%. With all the other stuff going on in the world, let’s not forget the pain and strife. It’s still a terrible shock. (Short Sharp Science)

Bon weekend à tous!

Daily Office:
Thursday

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

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Matins: Kenneth Davis writes about the first Thanksgiving to be given on land that would one day be part of the United States — by Huguenots in Florida. Their base, Fort Caroline (named after Charles IX), did not last very long; nor did they: the Spanish eradicated everything in 1565.

Mr Davis’s litany of religious persecutions in America exhorts us to regard Thanksgiving not as the commemoration of a hallowed past but as a celebration of how far we have come from our dark origins — and a reminder of how far we have yet to go. (NYT)

Lauds: Charis Wilson, Edward Weston’s most notable muse (and his only “art wife”), died last Friday in Santa Cruz, aged 95. (Los Angeles Times; via Arts Journal)

As it happens, we’ve been reading about Charis Wilson in Francine Prose’s The Lives of the Muses. Great reading!

Prime: We’re not terribly interested in the recent privatization of Chicago’s parking meters — or, rather, we weren’t until Felix Salmon decided to look into the matter. His conclusion: the city didn’t do too badly, and the contractors are idiots. The detail worth noting is that what Chicago’s alderman wanted, of course, was to raise parking meter prices without being accountable.

Tierce: The Aesthete unearths the strange figure of George Sebastian, an adventurer who married American money and used it to builid Dar Sebastian, still a breathtaking edifice in Hammamet, Tunisia. (An Aesthete’s Lament)

Sext: We love a good prank as much as anybody — probably more, as long as we’re not the victim — and so we’re rejoicing at the news that The Awl now has a whole department devoted to reviewing “pranks and their aftermaths.” Okay, they have Juli Weiner, who we hope is still enrolled in a good college.

Nones: William Finnegan’s New Yorker excellent report on the situation in Honduras is not, sadly, online, although an abstract is available. For regular readers who have been following the matter here, there is little substantially new in the piece, and in fact we were gratified to read that coup leader Roberto Michelletti, in television appearances, “tends to glower, and speak from the side of his mouth, like Dick Cheney.” However, we hadn’t encountered anything like Mr Finnegan’s thumbnail of the constitution that ousted president “Mel” Zelaya wants to replace.

Vespers: We’ve read Lauren Elkin’s review of Jeremy Davies’s Rose Alley several times now, and while we’re not certain that we want to read the novel, we’re intrigued by Ms Elkin’s account of it. (The Second Pass)

Compline: Maria Popova (of Brain Pickings) takes “a look at what the Intenet is doing for learning, curiosity, and creativity outside the classroom.” There’s a lot about TED, which appears to be better understood in Europe than it is here. (Good)

To see how traditional education appears on the Internet, have a look at the Syllabus of Dr E L Skip Knox’s fully online course, sponsored by Boise State University, in HIST101 — The History of Western Civilization. (via MetaFilter)

Daily Office:
Tuesday

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

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Matins: Paul Krugman addresses our most dangerous problem: the growing power of a right-wing rump without any interest in governing and with every intention of preventing others from governing: “the GOP has been taken over by the people it used to exploit. (NYT)

Lauds: Duran Duran bassist John Taylor, who “became a teenager in 1972,” fears that the Internet has not been a positive force for popular culture. He seems troubled by the fact that it makes too much old stuff too easy to get, thus reducing the need for new stuff. (BBC News; via Arts Journal)

Prime: Felix Salmon disagrees with Wall Street Journal writers on the subject of Ken Lewis’s “mettle.”

Tierce: Meryl Gordon’s discussions with some of the Marshall Trial jurors makes for fascinating reading at Vanity Fair.

Sext: Choire Sicha remembers “vividly” where he was when The Wall Fell — although he didn’t know a thing about it at the time. (The Awl)

Nones: George Packer reminds us why the Wall fell when it did, in a piece about the uniqueness of 1989 in Europe. (The New Yorker)

Vespers: Tim Adams talks about Alan Bennett‘s new play, The Habit of Art — a little. Mostly he appreciates a writer who, against all the odds, has become a beloved fixture in Britain. (Guardian)

Compline: Jonah Lehrer registers a new study about the “privileged” sense of smell. (Frontal Cortex)

Daily Office:
Thursday

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

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Matins: Christopher Shea surveys the world of Letterman Apology Evaluations.

Lauds: Soon to be arriving on your iPhone: an original picture by David Hockney.

Prime: Versace will close its three outlets in Japan.

Tierce: Linguist John McWhorter frolics and detours at  Good: The “For Themselves” Love Drug. (Did we say “linguist”?)

Sext: “It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter, as long as both are covered with a sharp, original, Awly take.” The Awl turns five months, sixteen days old. Two days ago.

Nones: And you thought Honduras was this boring provincial story. Ha! Bet you didn’t even know the word Chavista! (We didn’t.) As in “Chavista authoritarianism” and Cold War think tanks — in Washington.

Vespers: Levi Stahl reviews the Man Booker winner, Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, at The Second Pass.

Compline: Amazing study about city people with guns — and how much more likely they are to be shot dead.

(more…)

Daily Office:
Wednesday

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

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Matins: Confidence in the once-almighty dollar is eroding. This could be a very good thing, in many ways, if it weren’t for those pesky Treasury Bills.

Lauds: On the strength of Ken Tanaka’s write-up, we’ve just ordered a copy of On City Streets: Chicago, 1964-2004, by “unknown” photographer Gary Stochl.

Prime: The subprime movie crisis: surprise, surprise, easy money left Hollywood unprepared for a very dry season. (via Arts Journal)

Tierce: Jason Dean’s very snazzy ABCs of Branding.

Sext: Box wines: nothing to sniff at.  (via Felix Salmon)

Nones: The Honduran attempt at a bloodless coup is getting bloody — thanks to the return of the coupé.

Vespers: Patrick Kurp waits, along with Phyllis McGinley, for “The 5:32.”

Compline: Coming soon to the Internet: FTC disclosure rules.

(more…)

Daily Office:
Thursday

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

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Matins: Michael Specter takes a good look at the potentially scary field of synthetic biology — and does not panic.

Lauds: Booing at the Met: Luc Bondy’s Tosca. (Not to be confused with Puccini’s, no matter what they sang. Maybe Sardou’s, though.)

Prime: Engineering in the Age of Fractals, or “Why Bankers Are Like Bacteria.” (via Felix Salmon)

Tierce: Abe Sauer’s quite informative Essay Touching Upon the Economics of Britney Spears’s Circus Tour Show in Grand Forks, North Dakota; or, Don’t Blame Ticketmaster.

Sext: It’s a bit early for us, but our cousin Kurt Holm will be on the Early Show tomorrow morning, and CBS Studios at 59th and Fifth will be the place to hang out.  (Between 7:15 and 9, I’m told.) This week at notakeout: Mark Bittman guests!

Nones: Yesterday, we were reminded of Il Trovatore. Today, it’s Rodelinda. How did Manuel Zelaya get back into Honduras? The sort of question that never comes up in genuine opera seria. Maybe this is opera buffa.

Vespers: The book to read before it’s sold over here: The Queen Mother: The Official Biography, by William Shawcross. Why? Because she was “Past Caring.”

Compline: Mash-ups considered as the model for creative intelligence, at The Frontal Cortex.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Daily Office:
Wednesday

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

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Matins: Given the lunatic tone of national discourse these days, it’s refreshing to hear the “P” word spoken with such vigor and clarity:

Obama is sometimes faulted for conducting government by speech. But this speech was part of a patient strategy that, despite August’s rough weather, is looking increasingly sound.

Hendrick Hertzberg in The New Yorker.

Lauds: Museum Director Thomas Campbell outlines his plans in an interview with The Art Newspaper’s Joshua Edward Kaufman.

Prime: President Obama’s Federal Hall speech yesterday elicits interesting responses from Felix Salmon and James Surowiecki.

Tierce: As deeply as our eidtor sympathises with Malcolm Gladwell, Sean Macauley’s totally high-school prank makes us laugh, even if it is a bit nasty. (What high school prank isn’t at least a bit nasty?)

Sext: All of a sudden, everyone’s a racist. Well, simmer down. As Abe Sawyer suggests at The Awl, it’s probably anarchism. Racism is just one of the ”tools currently available with which to ‘win’.”

Nones: Mark Garlasco’s hobby — collecting Nazi military memorabilia — will probably cost him his job, now that it has “armed right-wing fanatics” critical of Human Rights Watch, the humanitarian organization which Mr Garlasco served as a military analyst.

Vespers: On the anniversary of David Foster Wallace’s death, Jean Ruaud writes about the rewards of struggling with Infinite Jest all the way through to the end. [fr]

Compline: An interesting, if not quite lucid, essay on the problem of giving unconditional love to a badly-behaving child, by Alfie Kohn. (more…)

Daily Office:
Tuesday

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

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Matins: Caleb Crain examines the culture of economic adversity — in the Depression.

Lauds: Holland Cotter hopes that we have seen the last of the blockbuster exhibition.

Prime: Over the weekend, Times columnist Joe Nocera raised the “what if” question about Lehman, speculating that “it had to die to save Wall Street.” James Surowiecki isn’t so sure — and neither are we.

Tierce: More about the clothing style known as “trad”: this time from Joe Pompeo, at the Observer. (via Ivy Style)

Sext: We had never seen a picture of today’s Hilo Hero, Margaret Sanger, before.

Nones: Is Internet opinion in China driving a trade confrontation with the United Statess?

Vespers: At The Second Pass, John Williams passes on The Lost Symbol — in advance.

Compline: At  Good, 10 great urban parks, seen from above at roughly the same scale.

(more…)

Constabulary:
Planned in Advance

Friday, September 11th, 2009

A routine training exercise in the Potomac River this morning — “planned in advance” by the Coast Guard — “took on a life of its own.” Just another Friday as usual, right?

The president’s motorcade had just crossed the Potomac, on its way back to the White House after a ceremony at the Pentagon honoring those who died there, when chatter on a marine radio channel used by the Coast Guard and monitored by the media told of shots being fired on the river.

No shots were actually fired in Friday’s training exercise that appears to have been routine in everything except for the date on which it was conducted. But while the confusion lasted only a few minutes, it was enough to scramble F.B.I. agents and halt departures from Reagan National Airport near the river from 10:08 a.m. until 10:30, Diane Spitaliere, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, told The Associated Press.

Much of the confusion seemed to have been stirred by reports on CNN, based on the radio chatter. Anyone listening to the marine frequency heard simulated instructions to fire 10 rounds at suspicious boats in the river. By the time it became clear that there actually were no shots and no suspicious boats, the confusion had taken on a life of its own, however brief.

Time to watch Idiocracy again.

Daily Office:
Friday

Friday, September 11th, 2009

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Matins: James Surowiecki assesses President Obama’s Health Care speech, finding it a success.

Lauds: A Portrait of a Man, bequeathed to the Museum as a Velásquez, demoted to “studio of Velésquez” by skeptical curators, is revealed to be a Velásquez again — after cleaning and conservation.

Prime: Megan McArdle explains why investment bankers make so much money. Think: drop in the bucket. Also: movie trailer. (via Felix Salmon)

Tierce: Who needs the movie? While planning your weekend getaway, you can have your fill of prison scenes at Scouting New York.

Sext: It has been a while since we were treated to a gallery of weird old LP jackets. This one, it seems, comes from Russia. (Don’t be put off by the first, rather distubring one.)

Nones: Hugo Chávez tears another page out of the Castro playbook, and sucks up to Mother Russia. And we thought that we’d won the Cold War once and for all!

Vespers: Richard Nash writes about Ted Striphas’s The Late Age of Print. The book, which assesses the history of publishing and bookselling in clearly commercial terms, sounds compelling, but the review is an absolute must. (Grocery stores?)

Compline: How two 75 year-old former bombshells couldn’t be more different, after all these years. Which would be your choice, stray cats or tomcats? (via Arts Journal)

Bon Weekend à tous!

(more…)

Daily Office:
Thursday

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

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Matins: Citizens United v Federal Election Commission: that’s the case to watch. A special hearing before the Supreme Court took place yesterday. Do corporations have the right to free speech?

Lauds: The other day, we discovered a Web site that we expect to visit regularly: ARTCAT. Not only will we stay up-to-date on gallery openings, but we’ll get to read some priceless press releases.

Prime: The Timothy Mayopoulos story will probably not be told by Mr Mayopoulos himself — not, at least, without permission from his former client, Bank of America — which summarily dismissed him just when you’d have thought that it needed him most. Why?

Tierce: A wake-up call that few Americans will heed. “United Nations Conference calls for new global currency.” (via Joe.My.God)

Sext: Alex Balk diagrams yesterday’s Maureen Dowd.

Nones: Good to know: “Brazil in ‘fugitive haven’ fight.”

Vespers: Ellen Moody considers Paul Scott and his fiction — with pix from the mini-serial adaptation of The Jewel in the Crown.

Compline: How do we forget? It seems that we don’t. Rather, we mislay. Jonah Lehrer on “persistent memories.” (more…)

Daily Office:
Wednesday

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

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Matins: Sorry! We missed this amazing news on Friday: “Mexico Legalizes Drug Possession.”

Lauds: Christopher Hampton will adapt, Sam Mendes will direct, and Oprah Winfrey will produce a film version of Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland.

Prime: Tyler Cowen asks if the bailouts were a good idea, and decides that they were.

Tierce: Thirteen year-old Laura Dekker wants to sail around the world, alone. Her parents don’t object, but the Nederlander government does. A tough call?

Sext: President Obama has lost all “creditability,” according to an anti-health-care-plan auto-faxer that somehow came to the attention of Choire Sicha. Sure, the wingnuts are scary. But, boy, can’t they write!

Nones: Why special Sharia courts in secular nations pose a threat to sovereignty: “Malaysia Postpones Whipping of Woman Who Drank Beer.”

Vespers: John Self behaves himself, and reads Bohumil Hrabal’s Closely Watched Trains. (He had owned a copy for a while.)

Compline: The awful truth about asexuality: it’s not awful! (via  Joe.My.God)

(more…)

Daily Office:
Friday

Friday, August 21st, 2009

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Matins: Edmund Andrews’s story about Ben Bernanke in this morning’s Times is strangely silent about the contribution of that self-made moron, Alan Greenspan, to the mess that Mr Bernanke has had to clean up.

Lauds: These kids today: 91 year-old Arthur Laurents reads “the riot act” to the cast of West Side Story, which has been plagued with calling-in-sick-itis. (via Arts Journal)

Prime: Why not call it the Goldstein Curve? Robin Goldstein culled data from Craigslist (and Felix Salmon turned it into a lovely scatterchart), revealing the inverse relationship between used car/bike prices in seven American cities.

Tierce: Crazy or visionary? The developers of a building to be called 200 Eleventh Avenue (West 24th Street) plan to attach a garage to every apartment — just off the living room. (via Infrastructurist)

Sext: Choire Siche discovers Hallenrad! And shares some of the best.

Nones: Will the new face of Duchy Originals be HRH?

Vespers: Garth Risk Hallberg reminds us of something that has been gently overlooked in the recent craze for All Things Julia: Mrs Child was not so much a great cookbook writer as she was a great writer period.

Compline: Precisely because Reihan Salam’s Foreign Policy essay, “The Death of Macho,” made us uneasy, we think that everybody ought to read it.

Bon weekend à tous!

(more…)

Daily Office:
Tuesday

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

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Matins: Jonah Lehrer proposes a molecular theory of curiosity: don’t worry, it’s easily grasped.

Lauds: David Denby’s unfavorable review of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds makes sense to us — which confirms our suspicion that it is an old-man view of things.

Prime: Felix Salmon reads that crazy story about the guy with the $25,000 certified check in his briefcase, and contemplates a depressing conclusion.

Tierce: Why rock stars ought to die young: “eccentric-looking old man” spooks renters, turns out to be Bob Dylan. (via The Morning News)

Sext: A “Good Food Manifesto for America”, from former basketball pro Will Allen. (via How to Cook Like Your Grandmother)

Nones: Turkey struck an interesting agreement with Iraq last week: more water (for Iraq) in exchange for tougher crackdowns on PKK rebels active near the Turkish border. (via Good)

Vespers: Not so hypothetical: what if you could teach only one novel in a literature class that would probably constitute your students’ only contact with great fiction? A reader asks the editors of The Millions.

Compline: Two former policemen argue for legalizing narcotics. (via reddit)

(more…)

Daily Office:
Friday

Friday, August 14th, 2009

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Matins: Why the arrangement that Niall Ferguson and others calls “Chimerica” can’t go on indefinitely: “Forget about a Shanghai stock bubble. The whole Chinese economy’s getting ready to burst.”

Lauds: Ben Davis sheds light on the “Museum Bubble,” which as any follower of ArtsJournal knows, has popped. (via The Morning News)

Prime: The news about the Sony Reader makes us glad that we didn’t get the Kindle after all.

Tierce: Roman Hans explains the real-ity of health care reform.

Sext: Name a fruit, any fruit. You’ll probably be wrong. And you probably won’t think of peas. (via kottke.org)

Nones: The burkini — banned in bikiniland.

Vespers: Julia Keller defends her growing admiration for graphic fiction; elsewhere in the Chicago Tribune, David Ulin reviews Asterios Polyp — as does C Max Magee at The Millions : “Mope Free.”

Compline: For safer streets, look at Dutch roads. “Going naked” means that drivers have to think when driving through Dutch towns.

Bon weekend à tous!

(more…)

Daily Office:
Thursday

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

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Matins: Great news! Our trade deficit widened, as we imported yet more junk in June! That must mean that our economy is doing better, right?

Lauds: A new artists’ colony — this one just for composers — will start up in Westchester next month. (via Arts Journal)

Prime: The shipping news: Los Angeles/Long Beach would rank as the world’s fifth busiest container port, if they were tabulated together.

Tierce: The case that has everything keeps on giving. Subway stabbings! (Almost.)

Sext: Can powdered wigs be far behind? The spoofsters at Being Tyler Brûlé staff the eponymous (amd still fictional) airline.

Nones: Hugo Chávez declares that golf is not a sport; officials move to close courses.

Vespers: Now that everybody seems to be reading The Age of Wonder, Richard Holmes’s book about a handful of scientists working between the heydays of Enlightenment and Romanticism, we are ever more mindful that science, however bound to numbers (rightly so!), is practiced by messy human minds.

Compline: Jonah Lehrer on the self: a ghost that runs the machine. “The self feels like a singular thing – I am me – and yet it comes from no single brain area…”

(more…)

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…)