Daily Office:


Matins: At the Guardian, Ian Buruma considers the Swiss ban on minarets. Like Tyler Cowen, he disapproves of referenda. (So do we.) Beyond that, he finds an interesting, if unexpected, resentment. 

Do we really live in a world where those who do not feel that they belong to the elite have a compensating need for something to die for? (via 3 Quarks Daily)

Lauds: Film historian David Thomson hears the penny drop: Method Acting is over. Forget “truth”; let’s pretend! Haven’t the English been pooh-poohing Method all along? (Wall Street Journal; via Arts Journal)

Prime: Not for the first time, Felix Salmon asks, “Why are bankers so — ” Ahem. How Banks Fail at Foreclosure Auctions.

Tierce: Natalie Angier muses on Kandinsky’s circles and the physics of spheres. One thing we don’t know: why are eyeballs spherical? (NYT)

Sext: Amy McDaniel presents David Foster Wallace’s quick grammar-and-usage test. (htmlgiant; via The Morning News)

Nones: The European Union’s foreign ministers have called for a sort of partition of Jerusalem, allowing to serve as a dual capital of Israel and Palestine. (Most foreign embassies have remained in Tel Aviv.) Jerusalem Post columnist Gershon Baskin is all for it. (via BBC News)

Vespers: Now that we no longer have Susan Sontag to tell us which novels (a) in foreign languages that (b) we’ve never heard of we ought to read, Quarterly Conversation is there to inspire translations.

Compline: We like to suggest that everyone ought to be upper class — we don’t really mean it as a joke. Now Adam Waytz explains why this is so. It isn’t poverty that makes people touchy. It’s disrespect. But then, didn’t we know that? (Mind Matters; via The Frontal Cortex)

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