Archive for the ‘Diplomacy Today’ Category

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 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:
Thursday

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

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Matins: Driving while intoxicated, and with a child in the car, will be made a felony, according to a law that has passed the New York State Assembly. Interlock devices, which block ignition when the driver’s breath carries faint amounts of alcohol, will be required for drivers convicted of driving while intoxicated. (NYT)

Lauds: Lucy Lu recently celebrated the first anniversary of Met Everyday, her online report of visits to the Museum. Her list of ten things that you must see (or wings that you must visit) is personable but not surprising — with the exception of the modern-art item.

Prime: Tom Bajarin’s discussion, at PCMag Mobile, of the impact of Vooks on publishing suggests to us that the author of a plain old book could do as well as a Vook developer, delivering a formatted text as an “app,” and collecting 70% of the price. (via The Tomorrow Museum)

Tierce: We’ve heard of the Ithaca Hours, an alternative local currency, but we can’t imagine how anything like it would work in Manhattan. But who cares: it would be gorgeous, if these bills designed by students at the School for Visual Arts were in circulation. (via The Best Part)

Sext: Will Sam Sifton be the next editor of the New York Times? It’s a very interesting rumor, considering that the gent has just been assigned to reviewing restaurants for the newspaper. We’ll say this: he has certainly dusted off the genre.

Nones: For a quick and snappy resume of Palestinian politics at the moment, you probably can’t beat the Beeb’s summary. (BBC News)

Vespers: V L Hartmann bumps into Joan Didion in the street — almost — and observes that in her carriage as in her prose, the author of The Year of Magical Thinking is not like “the old ladies you see up here on the East Side that are all stooped over.” (The Morning News)

Compline: Conserving Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, an earthwork at the edge, and sometimes beneath the surface, of The Great Salt Lake. (NYT)

Daily Office:
Tuesday

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

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Matins: Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals is eaten alive by John Williams, at The Second Pass, in a piece that begins with the surprised observation that Mr Foer does not mention Peter Singer in his book.

Lauds: Michael Williams writes about the amazing Zildjian family, and shares some terrific clips. (A Continuous Lean)

Prime: James Surowiecki addresses the debt bias in this week’s New Yorker, and in a background piece at the magazine’s blog.

Tierce: While Choire Sicha rails against the “Swiss Drug Pushers” who run the United States government (at The Awl), Jonah Lehrer (at The Frontal Cortex) reminds us how L-Dopa really works.

Sext: Unknown to Downing Street or the Palace, Margaret Thatcher dies. Meanwhile, Thatcher scholar Claire Berlinksi writes an article for Penthouse.

Nones: Joshua Kurlantzick discusses President Obama’s trip to Asia, regretting that Indonesia was left off the itinerary and noting the dispiriting realism of Asian diplomacy today. (London Review Blog)

Vespers: Grant Risk Hallberg’s long piece on myth and backlash in Bolaño studies serves as a toolkit to bring you completely up-to-date on a writer who, from beyond the grave, has excited a pungent array of macho responses. (The Millions)

Compline: A story that we never thought we’d see: “Money Trickles North as Mexicans Help Relatives.” (NYT)

Daily Office:
Wednesday

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

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Matins: “Terrifyingly cavalier” — we expect that Elizabeth Kolbert is right to respond to SuperFreakonomics with alarm. Shooting SO2 aerosols into the atmosphere through an eighteen-mile hose does not sound like a promising solution to the problem of global warming. The Two Steves look to be in need of adult supervision! (The New Yorker)

Lauds: In the future, will the great nudes of fine art sport fig leaves and other coverings that, as the spectator desires, may be made to fall away? Does Marcel Duchamp’s rather nasty peepshow, Étant Donnés, cap a Renaissance tradition? Blake Gopnik’s second blush. (Washington Post; via Arts Journal)

Prime: Steve Tobak addresses a home truth: “Don’t Make Your Customers Deal With Your Problems.” He’s talking to business people, of course, but we substitute “readers” for “customers” and go from there. (Corner Office)

Tierce: Eric Patton writes about the trip to Rome that he took with his parents last month. (It was last month, wasn’t it?) (SORE AFRAID)

Sext: Rudolph Delson has been making his way through the library of vice-presidential memoirs. Yesterday, he reached Tricky Dick. (The Awl)

Nones: It isn’t very neighborly of Cambodia’s Hun Sen to welcome Thai renegade (and former prime minister) Thaksin Shinawatra into his cabinet, as an economic adviser — and on the eve of a regional summit, at that! Thailand has recalled its ambassador, and its government “has expressed anger and embarrassment over the deal.” (BBC News)

Vespers: Aleksandar Hemon fumes and steams about the posthumous publication of Nabokovian fragments. We can see why: the great writer intended for unfinished works to be destroyed at his death (in 1977). But the intentions were very naive, and possibly insincere: surely Nabokov was capable of destroying them himself after realizing that he would not live to finish his last project. (Slate; via Arts Journal)

Compline: Simon Baron-Cohen argues that the elimination of a distinct Asperger syndrome diagnosis from the next edition of the standard psychiatric handbook (the DSM) — a move under consideration by the editors — would be premature at best. (NYT)

Daily Office:
Tuesday

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

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¶ Matins: The editors of The Awl analyze today’s NYC ballot, and render a nice distinction between “douchebaggery” and “dickslappery.” By Frank Rich’s account, things were much more exciting upstate — until just before his column went to press. (NYT)

¶ Lauds: Two sensationally (if unintentionally) amusing write-ups for coming art shows downtown: Avant-Guide to NYC: Discovering Absence and Crotalus Atrox (Or Fat Over Lean).  (ArtCat)

¶ Prime: The economics of Swedish meat balls — which we share for the woo-hoo fun of being in completely over our heads! (Marginal Revolution)

¶ Tierce: Eric Patton sighs over the beauty of Italian, while collecting a nice armload of local street signs for you to puzzle out. (SORE AFRAID)

¶ Sext: In case David Drzal’s Book Review rave didn’t convince you that William Grimes’s Appetite City is an absolute must-read, we’re sure that Jonathan Taylor’s more expansive review at Emdashes will do the job.

¶ Nones: Did they settle that thing in Honduras? Maybe yes, maybe no. But one thing is certain: the Micheletti coup did a number on Honduran business. (NYT)

(At first, we believed that ousted president Manuel Zelaya was an idiot. Over time, we came to appreciate the fact that Roberto Micheletti used to be his mentor.)

¶ Vespers: Daniel Menaker considers Tim Page’s Parallel Play, an expansion of the New Yorker piece in which Mr Page shared his relief at finally having been diagnosed as having Asperger’s Syndrome. (Barnes & Noble Review; via  The Second Pass)

¶ Compline: Being a terrible driver may mean that you’re not going to develop Parkinson’s! (Wired Science; via The Morning News)

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.

(more…)

Daily Office:
Tuesday

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

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¶ Matins: Truckers engage with communications devices — cell phones, on-baord computers — up to “90%” of their driving time. Efforts to curb that distraction are likely to meet with frustration.  

Lauds: Textile designer Ilisha Helfman, in Portland, Oregon, fashions outfits for her antique paper dolls from the covers of the Sunday Times Magazine.

Prime: Felix Salmon comments on the economics of the Urban Diet.

Tierce: The cheeky devils at Improv Everywhere had some fun on the subway: the Class of ’09, Lexington Avenue Laughing Academy. (via kottke.org)

Sext: This time, the descent into the Dark Ages will be recorded — at craigslist.

Nones: President Obama will campaign on behalf of his wife’s hometown, seeking the 2016 Olympics for Chicago.

Vespers: Richard Crary gets round to Civilization and Its Discontents, enjoying the read for the most part but pricking his ears at Freud’s anthropology.

Compline: Don’t expect that famous writer sitting across the table to be a gifted conversationalist, critic Arthur Krystal warns.

(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:
Friday

Friday, September 18th, 2009

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Matins: An attempt to “urbanize” Tyson’s Corner, Virginia appears to have spooked the planners: they don’t want anything too urban!

Lauds: With Julie & Julia about to open in France, a number of critics are echoing Mme Brassart.

Prime: A word about arbitrage from Felix Salmon. Actually, two words:

  • Picking up nickels in front of a steamroller
  • Don’t try this at home.

Tierce: As if it had been waiting for rifts within the Anglican Communion to threatens its future, Canterbury Cathedral has begun to fall down in earnest. (via The Morning News)

Sext: Fast Food: The DeStyling.

Nones: Has or has not fighting broken out between China and India? Officially, not. But the media on both sides pipe a different tune. Amit Baruah reports from the BBC.

Vespers: A nice, long, faux-depressing, genuinely funny look at the publishing biz, by former Random House editor Daniel Menaker.

Compline: Paul Graham on The List of N Things: sometimes a simple list fits the case exactly, but, too often, it’s “a degenerate case of essay.” (via  Mnémoglyphes)

Bon weekend à tous!

(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…)

Daily Office:
Wednesday

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

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Matins: Lawrence Krauss is not joking when he suggests, on the Times Op-Ed page, that the best way to get men to Mars is to abandon the idea of bringing astronauts back home.

Lauds: Luc Sante reminisces about Jean-Michel Basquiat. “I was happy for him, but then it became obvious he was flaming out at an alarming pace.”

Prime: William Cohan profiles Chris Flowers, a financial Icarus — of sorts (he’s still worth $1.5 billion). (via Felix Salmon)

Tierce: MetaFilter Discovery Nº 1 (we made two of them, the other day): amassblog, designer James Phillips Williams’s catalogue blogué of the things that he collects.

Sext: MetaFilter Discovery Nº 2: Stuff Christian Culture Likes. Mordant and wry but not patronising.

Nones: Visiting Dansk on the 70th anniversary of the German invasion of Poland, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin denounces the Nazi-Soviet pact as “immoral,” and deplores the Russian atrocity at Katyn in 1940.

Vespers: Michelle Huneven explains the not-so-pedestrian charm of listening to books while taking a daily constitutional.

Compline: We only just finished reading “Critical Shopper,” Justin Wolfe’s magnificent essay on the pleasures of reading about exotic foodstuffs and expensive scents, neither of which he expects to sample in this lifetime. Take your time, but be sure to read it yourself!

(more…)

Daily Office:
Friday

Friday, August 28th, 2009

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Matins: Impressed by Apple’s emailed receipts — no paper! — Chadwick Matlin looks into the costs of “retrofitting” other retailers, and finds that they’re not inconsiderable. “So I begrudgingly and all-too-appropriately wave my white flag. You win, receipts.” (via Good)

Lauds: Micahel Kimmelman writes about Tatort (Crime Scene), the German detective show that has been running since 1970 — with different versions for different cities!

Prime: It’s when you succeed that running a business becomes truly tough. Jeffrey Pfeffer has one little word: Focus!

Tierce: Tweeting, the old-fashioned way: Robert Keith posts commercially-printed “ads” in the window of his Brooklyn bed-and-breakfast: “Credit Default Swaps Should Be Prosecuted — Not Paid.”

Sext: Well, what do you know! New York Governor David Paterson has hired The Awl’s Alex Balk to do a bit of “clarifying” speechwriting!

Nones: Yesterday: Muammar el-Qaddafi at home. Tomorrow: New Jersey.

Vespers: Beyond Orhan Pamuk (although not entirely): Selçuk Altun’s top-ten Turkish books. All are available in English translation (at least at Amazuk).

Compline: Whether concerned about predatory old partiers or determined to wring more moolah from its base, MoMA defines “Junior” as “<40.”

Bon weekend à tous!

(more…)

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.  

(more…)

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.

(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:
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…)