this week i

published on periods without insurance for americans with pre-existing conditions, demanded by the current congressional debate.

shared morning coffee.

ate out a few nights.

walked the wilderness.

hit the reset button.


this week i

learned to cook salsa from marta.  this is marta.  she runs the place.

watched tiny furniture.  the cast of characters are honest in their selfishness.

don't worry.  wrangling teenage boys is a specialty of mine

read some old articles..

(1) the acid test of spiritualism

she continued to hold seances, joking that 150 years before, she would have been executed as a witch, but "now they send committees of professors from harvard to study me.  that represents some progress, doesn't it?

the defining skill of magicians, which is to direct their audience's attention exactly and only where they want it (the most effective marketers have the same skill; so do the best politicians.)

at that point, houdini slapped a half-dollar between his palms, and it promptly disappeared

(2) who are the one percent

in american journalism as a whole, the coverage of the superrich is far too sporadic, fleeting, and unimaginative to make a real difference

(3) wahhabi hindus

in public, modi is a great and perhaps calculating hugger


this week i

encircled the highland jungle.

passed a chicken truck accident, locals flocked to collect what they could.  rained through the first night, never enough to close my window.

turned into the hotel parking lot.  a clown car of jesus-looking assholes drove up beside me.  i exited quickly and walked to reception to beat them in line.  started to check in, the cashier interrupted me to hand them their room keys.  she turned away, the dirtiest jesus-looking asshole swiped a chocolate out of the basket on the counter and left the room, i asked her if the chocolates were free.  she recited some corporate language about their organic deliciousness, fifteen pesos.  "el person alli toque uno, saque uno, algo libre," and i pointed to the jesus-looking asshole outside.  she rolled her eyes at the thought of confronting a guest, then sent security his way.  hope they shave him bald.

had the ruins to myself.  did pre-columbian american culture have dragons?  wikipedia omits.

drove between empires.  living in mexico is worth crossing the bering strait for

name this one: blue descending a staircase.

rented half a riverside cabana.  howler monkeys howl at the midpoint of an oink and a roar.  also, driver's side sunburn.

trekked through the wild one afternoon and steamed up the river the next morning.  jaguar claws.

think they call it cocodrilo based on the flintstone-era etymology whereby fred uses one as a coconut-opening appliance.


this week i

drank a cheap bottle of syrah while the dogs growled over which two would get a hand scratching their bellies.  matthew sent a skype chat at nine asking for help debugging a crash inside a multithreading process.  i walked downtown for a stronger signal.  no internet.  the people were in the streets.  a xylophone and a saxophone traded fours in in the town square, oblivious to the outage.  the people were in the streets.

start a list of what i'd keep in a stable home: venus fly traps for selective breeding.  after a few generations, they could eat a man.

threw them a bone.  love those eyes.

tried every ipa.  never seen so many drink coca cola from the two-liter.  the children look old and the people use mirrors to frame pictures.

never have i ever lost my keys.

slept in.

walked past the pez dispenser for the best meal in the americas.

watched ten minutes of jordan peterson discussing income inequality.

the relationship between the gini coefficient and male-on-male homicide isn't like point two or point three, which is about the correlation that you'd get if you were predicting something like that using personality.  it's like point eight.  or point nine.  it's like, it eats up all of it.  it's the explanation.  so it's a huge effect, you know, it's so, it's so big an effect that you can basically say, "oh well we figured that out" although psychologists never know when they figured anything out and they keep endlessly re-testing it over and over and over because, you know, we don't know how to bring our science to a stop.  but if you don't accept the gini coefficient-aggression data it's like you might as well throw the rest of social sciences out the window


(1) slimeball in chief

'i only have one regret in the women department,' trump boasts, 'that i never had the opportunity to court lady diana spencer.'  according to selina scott, diana said that the huge bouquets trump sent to kensington palace gave her the creeps

(2) kurdish syria

but the dream of having a state of their own has never faded.  with around 32 million people worldwide, they are the largest ethnic group without one

most basic goods, as well as medicines in the kurdish region's pharmacies, are brought from damascus on trucks that pass through isis territory.  this is another of syria's complexities.  isis leaders prefer to tax the drivers rather than block them and put the kurdish region under siege, which could provoke more armed conflict with the kurds

(3) institutional review boards

the tuskegee study..during world war ii, these men were exempted from the draft to prevent their being treated with penicillin while in the military

irbs are flying by the seat of their pants

the true purpose of the study is to prime the pump-get the drug into clinical use-to assist with marketing

it is essential that the protection of human subjects be seen as a public obligation, and that irbs represent the public directly, not researchers or industry

(4) our closest relatives in the universe

and eventually gigantopithecus, an ape the size of a polar bear that dwelt in the forests of southeast asia until a mere 300,000 years ago

the dilemma we face, however, is whether the bits and pieces should actually go together at all.  they might derive from several types of apes from different time periods that have become aggregated into the same geological deposit, leading paleoanthropologists to create no more than an imaginary miocene chimera

the hugely impoverished world we live in today, with no more than four types of apes other than ourselves left on earth