this week i

updated our report on the burden of health expenses on older and disabled households.

squoze half a lime into cold water, tasted better than gatorade.

learned that the harvard school of public health named their indian version of the health and retirement study the "longitudinal aging study in india" - abbreviated: lasi.  another reason to go to hopkins.

lectured at the brazilian census bureau's graduate school of statistical sciences.

walked around my neighborhood a bit.. cup-, olympic-, or just bustling economy-construction.

toured the hand-planted tijuca national forest with - get this - the president-elect of the international statistical institute, dr. pedro silva..

not pictured: me waterfall-swimming with census bureau employees.  only in brazil.

the country's namesake

faded pink chapels, deep in the woods

excitable little macaques..

..breaking stereotypes, dining on the jackfruit instead

diurnal raccoon cousins

dwellings lakeside, seaside, mountainside


gradually withdrew from air conditioning, only on the cooler evenings.

feel tired, sad, alone, wonderful, perhaps just like this.

travel with a bookshelf.

(1) university policy

english higher education is, to change the metaphor, seen less as a useful pilot experiment and more as the canary in the mine

july 2012 the senate committee on health, education, labor and pensions..found that at such institutions a mere 17.4 per cent of annual revenue was spent on teaching, while nearly 20 per cent was distributed as profit (the proportion spent on marketing and recruitment was even higher).

drop-out rates of 63 percent for bachelor's degrees and 84 per cent for associate degrees

the biggest player in this market is the university of phoenix..89 per cent of [their] revenue comes from federal student spends twice as much on marketing as on teaching

one market consultancy group has described the higher education sector as 'treasure island'

(2) the five eyes

we are still in the dark about most of the nsa's actual methods and day to day activities

every time one of the spies' methods comes under the spotlight, questions of legality arise.  the law is changed, purpotedly to stop such abuses happening again.  but inevitably the new law includes a new route by which some version of the old system is made valid again, and a programme that once had to be kept highly secret can be discussed in public as much as you like

(3) more china in central asia

'we came to moscow as political correspondents we leave as crime reporters'

group resentment that turns to violence is more easily sparked by ethnic jealousies than by anger with the regime

the flag usually follows when the dominant power decides its merchants and settlers need 'protection'

the 'sixth people of central asia'

cold politically and scorching economically

(4) to michelle rhee: if we cannot rank our doctors, how can we rank our teachers?

she now heads a lobbying organization called studentsfirst, which opposes tenure for teachers and has raised over $1 billion for political candidates whom it finds congenial

untroubled by doubt

"testing mania"

strange to hear such faith in the salutary power of competition from someone who calls herself "radical"

for every 'miracle' school..there are scores of 'dumpster schools'

to read rhee and ravitch in sequence is like hearing a too-good-to-be-true sales pitch followed by the report of an auditor who discloses mistakes and outright falsehoods in the accounts of the firm that's trying to make the sale

(5) postwar collective guilt

277,000 legitimate dutch births in 1946 constituted the highest figure in the recorded history of the nation

need to prove to themselves that they were still alive

another nurse promised to rip the jews apart as soon as surgery was over

once you have no papers, you do not exist

(6) the women of india

"missing women," which refers to the shortfall of the actual number of women from the number we would expect to see, given the size of the male population

indians buy more newspapers every day than any other nation

india's problem may well lie not so much in a particularly high incidence of rapes, but in its inefficient policing, bad security arrangements, slow-moving judicial system, and, ultimately, the callousness of the society

bangladesh's steel fall in total fertility rate from nearly seven children not long ago to 2.2 now (quite close to the replacement rate of 2.1) is strongly connected with the power of women to gain more control of their lives, and both girls' education and women's outside employment have done much to yield that result

females do better than males in survival, if they have equal care, which they tend to get in the uterus

(7) the constitutionality of intervention in syria

past presidential violations of the constitution hardly justify unconstitutional action today

if the only time presidents should seek congressional authorization is when they are sure they will get it, the constitution's war powers clause would be a toothless check

(8) prison data

in 2011 and 2012, 3.2 percent of all people in jail, 4.0 percent of state and federal prisoners, and 9.5 percent of those held in juvenile detention reported having been sexually abused in their current facility during the preceding year

in juvenile facilities, victims of sexual misconduct by staff members were more likely to report eleven or more instances of abuse than a single, isolated occurrence

the number of jails denying access to the bjs has doubled with each new version of the national inmate survey

(9) the new oil

amazon..didn't make a profit for six years

the odd thing about writing even a cursory reprise of the events attendant to the birth of the internet is that those events are so recent that most of us have lived through them..who can forget the fuzzy hiss and chime of the dial-up modem

for these internet companies, the convenience of sending e-mail, or posting high school reunion pictures, or finding an out-of-the-way tamale stand near reno is merely bait to lure users into offering up the intimacies of their lives, often without realizing how or where or that those intimacies travel

50 of the most popular websites (representing 40 percent of all web pages viewed by americans) placed a total of 3,180 tracking devices on the journal's test computer..most of these devices were unknown to the user

a group of clever programmers launched a website called eeightmaps that showed the names and addresses of anyone who had donated over $100 to the campaign to prohibit same-sex marriage in those who support same-sex marriage this may seem just desserts, but the precedent has been set, and next time the targets may be those who support marriage equality or gun control or abortion

half of all states use some kind of predictive data analysis when making parole decisions

(10) human labor in the robotics age

in the 1810s, handweavers..rampaged through factories in the english midlands, smashing the new automated looms that were allowing less skilled (and therefore lower-paid) workers to replace them

keynes..speculated that..society would deemphasize the link between people's personal role in the production process and their claim on what gets produced

from 1973 to 2012, per capita economic production in the united states expanded by 93 percent but the median american family's real income rose by only 12 percent

10 percent of americans received fully one half of the country's total income in 2012..the top 1 percent received nearly half of that

how much of our total income will accrue to those who own the capital rather than those who do the work

(11) us policy toward syria

the world may be "better off without saddam hussein," as former officials of the bush administration never tire of insisting, but it is a stark fact that the war to unseat him, which cost more than $1 trillion and nearly five thousand american lives, has left the united states dramatically worse off in its strategic position in the middle east

"in my meetings with american policymakers..i often detect a conversation between ghosts.  the ghosts of afghanistan and iraq are vying with the ghosts of rwanda and kosovo"

(12) the architect of the modern un

his first years were blessed with geostrategic luck.  stalin died weeks before his selection, senator mccarthy and his threat to the un went into eclipse, and between 1953 and 1956 there was a lull in the cold war that enabled hammarskjold to revive and rebuild the institution

leave it to dag