this week i

published on out of pocket spending among americans on medicare.

consider friendship, at its core, an unspoken agreement that you enjoy watching one another live your lives.

drove the robert c. byrd appalachian highway system.

rented a blackwater falls cabin.

passed the ranger, parked with low beams, to the 24h gas station.  "could i buy beer or is it too late?"  "sorry, it's 2:05, sales stop at two" i rustled around in front of the more bespoke snacks, these organic gummy bears look healthy.  "actually the time just changed, it's 1:05"  miller light, please

hope i'm aiming for peace rather than victory.

ate a cheesesteak burrito and other mountain statements.


(1) adaptation

walk in, take off mask, order coffee.  put mask back on, walk out

from here on it's triage

we have built our megacities - 13 of the largest twenty are ports - in sinking river deltas

'even if germany's future temperature range becomes like that of italy today, italian crops are not guaranteed to grow in german fields.  soil and pests will remain different, and so too will the length of the days

(2) drug movement

the organization owned more planes than aeromexico

during prohibition, border patrol agents would rock cars back and forth to listen for sloshing liquor

narco-juniors tend to flaunt their wealth on social media with photos of pet panthers and stacks of cash

(3) slithering audibly in the north korean garden

the argument of western governments is that, far from protecting him, nuclear weapons put kim in greater danger of being attacked, and that if he obediently gives over his deterrent he will enjoy a rich bounty.  recent examples of those who were persuaded to reverse nuclear course provide strong reasons to doubt this.  the most prominent among them, gaddafi, was lynched in 2011, shortly after being sodomised with a bayonet, in a libyan uprising backed up by american bombardment.  the more recent nuclear deal with iran is in jeopardy after the present us government abandoned the agreement painstakingly reached by its predecessor.  you don't have to approve morally of anything about the kim regime to conclude that, for a dictator in such circumstances, to give away nuclear weapons, rather than hold on to them, would be the behavior of a madman

the days when dictators could scarper safely off into exile, like ferdinand marcos, the shah of iran or syngman rhee, have long gone.  kim knows that in attempting to do a gorbachev, or even a deng xiaoping, he would be more likely to end up as a gaddafi or a ceausescu


this week i

published our fall update of the privatized medicare market.

sat up front for madeleine peyroux.

disabled the chrome app, disabled the youtube app, installed adblock plus on firefox android.  suddenly video searches play without the garbage ads.

found i know it when i see it a legislative pile-upno opinion, including the two dissenting ones, had the support of more than two justices


(1) sixty six million years ago

the shockwaves generated global earthquakes of immense magnitude.  what had been solid ground rippled and bounced like liquid for thousands of miles.  vast volcanic eruptions were triggered, and giant tsunamis surged across the oceans and far inland.  winds of six hundred miles an hour howled across the planet, and the molten rock thrown up into the atmosphere by the impact rained down in a hail of hot glassy blobs and spears, heating the air as it fell until the forests ignited and living things cooked.  all this within the first two hours or so.  soot, dust and smoke filled the atmosphere, eclipsing the sun, and for years afterwards the earth was cold, dark, bathed in acid rain.  this 'nuclear winter' was sufficiently severe and long-lasting to halt photosynthesis on land and in the oceans, causing the collapse of those ecosystems that had survived the initial cataclysm.  some 70 percent of living species were eliminated.  foremost among those that perished were the charismatic, mysterious creatures whose lineage had dominated the planet for well over a hundred million years - the dinosaurs

below the line was a profusion of diverse fossil shells from the planktonic foraminifera that crowded cretaceous oceans; above it, almost nothing.  and not only did tiny sea creatures disappear at the boundary line, but fossils of larger creatures are absent immediately above it too, both on land and at sea.  there are no dinosaurs above it at all: 'nothing..not a single bone or a single footprint anywhere'

they were specialised, and their food webs were underpinned by photosynthesising plants.  they were energetic and needed huge amounts of food, and they laid eggs which took months to hatch.  they could not adapt their diets like an omnivore, hide in a hole like a mouse or lizard, sink to the bottom of a lake like a crocodile, or go into hibernation and not eat for months like a tortoise (creatures like these survived)

the problem of dinosaurs gigantism seems to be that they had unusually efficient lungs, which worked on the same design found in birds..its unique efficiency seems to have helped sauropods to grow into giants, giving a t. rex the bursts of energy needed to strike its prey from ambush and bite down with a force of three thousand pounds per tooth; today, the design makes it possible for modern birds to fly enormous distances in freezing and rarefied air

(2) san joaquin

fruit and vegetable picking is a one-generation job-farmworkers i spoke to neither wanted nor would allow their children to follow them into the fields