this week i

learned the kids abbreviate thank you (merci) with mr6 (mer sees).  understanding people's secondhand clothing is my african superpower.

brought some toys, not that one, then petite amusement park, indian dinner, french dessert.

searched "a change is gonna do me good" and page one google said etta james, etta james, etta james.  sorry, looking for elton john's honky cat.


this week i

witnessed failure in quality control.  at the logical extreme of teaching to the test, the kids forgo primary school to master the marshmallow test.

mustn't be coincidence but madagascar off mozambique not namibia.
remember my earliest adult conversation, subject: joe cocker's rendition of you can leave your hat on.  me: why is he saying you can leave your hat on?  my mother: because he's a pervert.

genuinely couldn't remember which romance language arrivederci comes from.  oh.  mine.

walked between bakerie, bought the only two macarons in the nation.


(1) the history of the uk census

(2) the governing banquet

(3) the justice system

prosecutors are "the most powerful actors in the criminal justice system," pfaff writes, yet they are largely unregulated.  police, by contrast, operate mostly in public, and they are constrained by the fourth and fifth amendments and regular judicial oversight.  judges must explain their decisions in writing, which are then subject to appellate review.  legislators are accountable to the people for their actions, which are duly recorded and easily tracked.  but prosecutors act behind a veil of secrecy.  we know almost nothing about how they decide whether to charge a defendant.  there is no requirement that they offer any explanation for their decisions

the most important reforms are likely to be cultural


this week i

published on women's coverage, access, affordability, sexual, reproductive health in 2017.

text-mined all day sunday, code here.  the language hasn't changed much since the start of record-keeping, from a bird's eye view at least.

watched a short authoritative summary of map projection flaws.

walked in breezy mid-march while the city still hovers near perfect weather.  dude had a grill and some chicken [poulet] so i gave him $1.80 and he asked me some questions i could not understand.  "je nau parle pa la francessa.  je suis americain"  more [unintelligible, french] then flame on.  i've known ulisse since the twilight of the bush administration.  his brother ayo saw me on the street, came up to say hello, mostly with laughter.  laughricans.  knowing a local earned street cred with grillmaster, he was happy to cook me some chicken [poulet] because i belonged on that dusty sideroad at that sunset.  dakarois, nous etions.  charcoals finished their work, chicken [poulet] vendor started iterating through the condiments.  "pimant?" [pepper]  "oui, boku"  "mayonnaise?" [mayonnaise] "no, merci."  took my pouch of onion-marinated chicken [poulet] half a block to watch the kids playing soccer, sat down to pick out of the aluminum foil with my hands.  poulet vous couchez avec moi ce soir and then gelato for dessert.


this week i

updated our work on medical expenditure burden and poverty measurement, both for seniors.

live down the street from a donkey charity.

 noticed new graffiti at the end of my block.  senegalese feel tall like they're not even trying.

want a big goofy car like this somedays sometimes.

read about starvation as a weapon of war.  the author spoke with the newshour.

don't be fooled by pictures showing hungry people in arid landscapes: the weather had nothing to do with the famine


this week i

learned that samuel morse, inventor of morse code, painted this portrait of eli whitney, inventor of the cotton gin.


(1) findings from sipp

the overall unemployment rate, which is a fairly good proxy for how hard it is to find work, was almost twice as high in 2009 as in 1996.  yet the number of families getting tanf in 2009 was less than half the number getting afdc in 1996

(2) music access

 spotify estimates that fully four million of the songs it carries have never been streamed, not even once

(3) churchill defies the biographer

 at the height of the war the american ambassador to the court of st. james's was sleeping with the prime minister's daughter, and the president's special envoy was sleeping with the prime minister's daughter-in-law.  special relationships indeed

a sharp dissonance emerges between churchill as the jovial bulldog of popular american imagination and the somber reality of a life scarred by bitterness and tragedy: in all, suicides close to churchill included a brother-in-law, a former stepfather, a daughter's estranged lover, a former daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, and a daughter

(4) el-sisi

twenty prisons have been built since sisi took power

(5) a/b testing in modern campaigns

 we have three major voter suppression operations under way