this week i

spotted our work in the new york times.

should have been a dentist.  should have been a dentist.

live perfectly with a balcony facing east overlooking the market.  the ocean for someone else.

escape the little apocalypses in front of each of us in the great fun of singing about the apocalypse behind all of us.

consider the categorization of recent human discoveries a work in progress, to be polite.  academic journals are no way to keep current.

ask for contingency plans for the world economy.  if industrialized nations fail, how do citizens re-write their constitutions?  we might be better off thinking through our modern ideal now rather than junking together a revised rulebook in time of duress.

found a masseuse who sings while she works.  it isn't sexual but it is lovely.  $14 for two hours includes the 40% tip.  nice place to live, not to be born.

read a bunch.  admire their photography, this one in particular.

(1) the worst place in the world

electricity shortages increased, with daily blackouts lasting between 12 and 18 hours a day.  those in need of treatment in egyptian hospitals paid bribes as high as $3000 to cross the border when it was occasionally opened for a day.  shortages of fuel led to queues stretching several blocks at petrol stations, and fights broke out at the pumps.  garbage piled in the streets because the government couldn't afford fuel for refuse lorries.  in december sanitation plants shut down and sewage flowed through the streets.  the water crisis worsened: more than 90 per cent of gaza's aquifer was not contaminated.
slow strangulation
when hamas announced it had captured a soldier on 20 july, crowds rushed to the streets of gaza, jerusalem, and the west bank, setting off fireworks and passing out sweets, with new hope that their friends and relatives in israeli prisons would soon be released

(2) law enforcement on stalking

i had failed to convince as damsel in distress

(3) western mistaken buddhist history

engelbert kaempfer, who spent years in asia with the dutch east india company and whose accounts were influential into the 18th century, declared that the buddha was a priest from memphis, expelled by the persian conquest of egypt in the mid-sixth century bce, who had fled to india taking with him not only the doctrine of the transmigration of souls, but the worship of cows (like the egyptian god apis) and animal-headed gods.  moreover, because of the 'woolly curls' on his head, it was obvious that the buddha was a negro.  various british residents in india, including the great sir william jones, discoverer of the indo-european language roots, echoed this: the buddha had the nose and lips and the 'crisp and woolly' hair of africans.  (others thought that the curls on the buddha's head were snails.)

(4) my own apocalypse

to die pushing seventy years of age is no great tragedy, even if my id would like to know what the fuck age has got to do with being rubbed out

two to three years.  will the battery on the tv remote run out first?

she looked at me as if i'd kicked her favorite bunny

(5) another culture gone

(6) that snowden did everything right

to imagine that privacy is merely a luxury of the guilty

gregory's question implied that every investigative reporter in the united states who works with sources and receives classified information is a criminal

(7) another sacrificial border

mullah omar is based in pakistan and the pakistani taliban's leader, mullah fazlullah, operates from afghanistan.  distrust between the governments in kabul and islamabad is so acute that the intelligence agencies of both sides are happy to host each other's enemies

(8) jack london

epics of downward mobility, in which the only way to survive is to regress

an oyster pirate on the north california coast

(9) lobbying

the koch brothers' political network spent more than $400 million during the 2012 campaign, more than double the total spent by the top ten labor unions combined

(10) ignore the economic forecasts, even when they support your beliefs

not one official or private forecast in 2008 anticipated a recession in 2009.  yet there were recessions in forty-nine countries that year

in early december, the greenbook now forecast a drop in fourth-quarter gdp of an annual rate of 4.7 percent, a stunning shift from its moderate optimism only two months earlier.  but even this sharp revision was far off the mark.  it turned out that the economy fell at an annual pace of slightly more than 8 percent that quarter

obama's unfulfilled promise of a limit of 8 percent was exploited by his political antagonists.  bad forecasting cost obama dearly

(11) she remembers everything

i'd never heard of anyone going to university without having somewhere to live during the vacations

emily's you, of course

(12) protest art on display

a computer game in which you have to manage the production of an iphone: you start by forcing congolese children to mine coltan, then you try to prevent workers at a factor in china from committing suicide; in the final level you dump tons of electronic waste in pakistan

(13) refugee arrivals in greece


this week i

watch from the balcony..

..springtime here.

never hear on modern studio albums: singing when your voice cracks, that gets me every time.

took a cooking class..

first to the disorienting market

..then this and this and this and this and this.

notice the pagoda washer.  is that a thing?  maybe that's a thing.

paid closer attention to the minnesota population center's national historic geographical information system (nhgis) project, might be whatcha want.

found a canadian quarter in the tip jar.

let a two year old cut my hair.

share my apartment complex with her family and some geckos.


this week i

discharged some of my ballast water, no invasive species.  air asia wanted one hundred dollars for 20kg, one thousand dollars for 40kg.  my luggage was forty.  pictured: the half (by weight) of my luggage with a replacement value well below that extra nine hundred.

flew again.

forgot cambodia was a delightful dump..

..despite occasional opulence.

note the secret to great parenting, perpetually question them: how does this work?


ride downtown two dollars by rickshaw, one dollar by motorcycle.

look at this.

find every issue of the new york review of books better than the last..

(1) nuance the press misses in iraq

these disparate groups are fighting together now, yes, but they won't be together for long.  and they have been fighting in places where local populations are friendly to them.  it will be a different matter when they meet the tough and motivated kurdish peshmerga or shiite forces in the shiites' own regions

(2) gay marriage in court

aids..had willy-nilly outed gays of all social classes and colors; whereas in the 1970s only young white men had, for the most part, dared to come out, now poor gays and rich gays and old gays and ghetto gays were all visible

between 2004 and 2013 the number of americans who would be upset if they had a gay child fell from 60 percent to 40 percent

the second witness..lost steam when he had to admit that his degree..was granted not for his study of marriage or families, but of nineteenth-century cabinetmakers

justice scalia demanded to be told at what precise moment denying marriage to homosexuals had become unconstitutional

(3) what hemingway thought

in these three years, living mostly in paris, he fathered his first child, grew disenchanted with his first wife and took up with his second, quit his first job as a reporter, published his first three collections of stories and poems, wrote his first two novels, saw his first bullfight

who vaguely wants a girl but doesn't want the "intrigues and politics"

in many paragraphs, instead of writing about "i" or "you," he refers to both himself and his friend simply as "a male."  "bring a male up to date"

"writing is the only thing worth a damn," he said in a letter in 1925.  "unless you're a painter then it's painting."

(4) the democratic arts

as she slowly worked her way through the 1,337 words of the declaration of independence with her night students, many of whom had no job or were working two jobs or were stuck in dead-end part-time jobs, allen discovered that the document had meaning for them and that it was accessible to any reader or hearer of its words

a tour de force of close textual analysis

what kind of text is the declaration?  is it a sacred text?  or a treatise?  or perhaps a law?  "in fact, the declaration is just an ordinary memo."  in a brief chapter, entitled "on memos," she explains what she means.  memo, she says, is "short for memorandum, which is latin for 'something that needs to be remembered."

the text "sounds something like a wedding."  but actually, she says, the declaration bears an even closer resemblance to a divorce.

(5) chinese corruption

the only country in the world with a winner of the nobel peace prize in prison

spending more on domestic security than on foreign defense

"by 2012 the richest seventy members of china's national legislature had a net worth of almost ninety billion dollars-more than ten times the combined net worth of the entire us congress" and that "in 2010, high rollers in macau wagered about six hundred billion dollars, roughly the amount of cash withdrawan from all the atms in america in a year."  meanwhile, on a per capita basis, china's income is still "somewhere between turkmenistan's and namibia's"

people who are moving on can be more plainspoken

(6) measuring higher education

the federal government will make $184 billion in profits from student loan debt over the next decade

must a college that wants to compete now have a student union with a food court and plasma screens in every room?

how much do we want teaching and learning to resemble a video game

(7) boom roasted


this week i

sleep on problems whenever possible.  a trick of the gods.

conclude the chinese have as many words for fireworks as the eskimos have for snow.  how celebrations commence, zero government participation.  steps: buy munitions from any of the 1.4 billion vendors across the country.

request assistance of whoever had the most recent birthday

ignore others behind you igniting the exact same twinklestick

set up advanced rocketry in stable locations like the sunroofs and tire wells of parked automobiles

 have a smoke

engage blinking headgear

maintain open flames in case anyone forgot their lighter at home

release children to prance in the probably-mineswept graveyard

relax.  sure it's fine.

achieved nirvana.

ruined perfectly good shirts..


ate a quiet meal at the mall.

left.  you knew that.


(1) are you god's barf?

a bar named johnny white's had defied curfew orders and stayed open throughout the storm and its catastrophic aftermath, giving the city "a faint heartbeat that never quite flat-lined"

(2) the repository of our nation's culture

if a book publisher did not capitulate to amazon, it would modify its algorithms to reduce the visibility of the offending publisher's books; within a month, "the publisher's sales usually fell by as much as 40 percent"

a target of anger and lobbying by small-town grocers and producers, who protested that a and p was destroying not only their livelihoods, but also the quintessential place of small enterprise in american life.  a and p perfected a "relentless squeeze on suppliers"

politics and antitrust jurisprudence have shifted to favor consumers and large corporations at the expense of small producers

(3) how to publish under stalin

(4) medieval remedies in early america too

(5) the review obliterating a book now and then

(6) facebook's peer-reviewed journal article

(7) at burning man

the $400 ticket price was as much about the right to leave what happened at the festival behind as it was to enter in the first place