this week i

published on consumer behavior a moment before the end of medicare open enrollment.

donated 15 shares of vtsax to edf, 14 shares to the aclu foundation, 7 to weta, 7 to wikimedia, $2,000 to friends overseas.

cannot rank jimi hendrix, the usual metrics don't apply.  religion an admission the universe will never give us the answers we seek.

learned they're building roomba cleaner wrasse cross-stitchers.  human leadership over the course of history has been, as a statistician would say, average.  for every lincoln we've endured one fillmore one pierce one buchanan.  every president a roosevelt, we'd have colonized mars.  every president trump, the british would have annexed new england in 1812.  plus jimmy johnson and millard fillmore appear to be the same person.

cooked a turkey burger with avocado and orange peppers.  bad dog for the holiday, we hiked either escaleritas del diablo or escaleras del diablitos then beer ramen bonk.  good azimuthal equidistant projection but nothing greater than living in mercator.


this week i

realized the power of temporary function masking.

caught the show, won't you buy me a night on the town.  chili steak savory slice in the small audience above dangerously delicious pies.

ordered a pitcher like the bowling alley.  david second time seen, pickathon

understand spam through my father's experience on an electronic device.  confusion which boxes accord with what he's opened explicity, how the advertisement in front of him got there.  you and i, who generally understand the construction of the web, identify attention intrusion.  in the internet experience of the elderly, no recognition of scurrilously sourced screens.  and preying on unsophisticated users wastes the time of us all.

never lived with a basement without crickets, suppose some basements lack crickets.  tread carefully, grateful they don't have blood.

remember when username became real name.  some time in the early 2000s, humanity decided we would mostly use our truthful names on the internet.  before that, everyone was a masked stranger who wore the same distinct-from-other-strangers mask, in the form of an alias or username.


(1) modernizing the apothecary

in 1912 the ama revised what it now called its "principles of medical ethics," making it acceptable for physicians to patent their innovations as long as they did not profit from them.  between the wars, universities patented biomedically effective discoveries made in their laboratories, not primarily to make money but, through licensing, to control their use for public good.  royalties from the licenses were generally used to support academic programs..physicians also collaborated with manufacturers "to advance both the cause of science and their own personal careers.  the pursuit of individual interest, the creation of corporate profit, and the battle against disease were increasingly intertwined

(2) the demons of late antiquity

before returning to persia with thousands of pounds of gold and countless enslaved romans in tow, he held chariot races in the hippodrome of syrian apamea

the revered elder statesman of the barbarian west

as well as taking a hand in such traditional forms of female patronage as church-building, she stiffened the emperor's spine at the lowest ebb of his reign: faced with massive rioting in 532, justinian was all for fleeing till theodora's stirring speech..steadied his nerves, and the generals belisarius and mundo set about massacring thousands of rioters..the convent she founded for reformed prostitutes, according to the secret history, was actually a prison whose inmates killed themselves rather than abandon the profession that theodora had given up to marry justinian

in 534, a new edition of the code was issued, updated to take into account the fifty decisions and the many other laws justinian had issued in the previous half-decade.  the revised code was transmitted to the middle ages and, together with the digest and institutes, came to be known as the corpus iuris civilis.  from the 11th century on, it helped usher much of europe from the world of customary and feudal law to that of written statute.  and it is still with us to this day, from the fundamental laws of the european union (rooted in french, german and swiss civil law), to the code napoleon, which can still shape case law in a long since independent (and common law) jurisdiction like louisiana

in italy, a great many romans defied the invaders - greek foreigners, as far as they were concerned - with at least as much gusto as the gothic army did.  more than twenty years of fighting did horrific damage to the agricultural and industrial infrastructure of italy.  seventh-century rome was a ghost town

once the state committed itself to enforcing orthodoxy, it had to take sides in determining what orthodoxy was.  you cannot agree to disagree when eternal life is at 451, the council of chalcedon had settled on the first definition, but only over the objections of alexandria's powerful episcopate and its many sympathisers (known generally as monophysites, from the greek physis, 'nature').  successive emperors called council after council, but extremists on both sides sabotaged every new attempt at bridging the theological gap..only a true connoisseur will trudge through the reign's baroque episcopal politics or its contorted sectarian tractates, but the paradoxical outcome of imperial persecution was to strengthen the monophysite churchmen of syria and egypt.  they developed a parallel church hierarchy of their own and kept so firm a hold on the loyalty of their provinces that chalcedonian bishops could only be installed there by force of arms.  after 636, when the followers of muhammad's new religion burst forth from arabia, they found a roman populace with little or no loyalty to the emperor in constantinople.  syrians and egyptians did not resist the arab armies the way the italians had resisted imperial forces in the ostrogothic wars.  justinian's religious policy had alienated the christians of the east to the point at which a heavily taxed life under rulers of a different faith was preferable to the intolerable orthodoxy of an ostensible co-religionist.  the coptic, ethiopian, eritrean and syriac orthodox churches remain monophysite to this day

(3) darfur to paris

once again beaten and burned by the guards in the hope that their relatives would be persuaded to transfer money

according to the eu's dublin regulation, asylum applicants must be processed in the member state where their fingerprints are taken.  some migrants burn their fingertips or disfigure them with razors and caustic chemicals to avoid this

hala died a few days after they had crossed the mediterranean.  she never told him what went on while they were kept in separate containers in umm-el-araneb and he still doesn't know what happened to her.  but he had seen migrant women brought to his compound and raped by the guards in front of the male detainees.  the guards called these occasions 'tv shows'

(4) immune therapy

your immune system isn't a war machine.  it's a peacekeeping force that more than anything else seeks to create harmony....this is not just because we don't want to hurt our own tissue.  it is also because we need many of the alien organisms that live on and in us, including the billions of bacteria that live in our guts

laudable pus

(5) why harare

life goes on.  tendai's son is planning his wedding, and there are logistical questions of how to freeze a hundred chickens until the big day.  (we eat everything in our freezer to make room.)  i need shoes for the wedding, having come out to harare only with trainers.  the only shoes in the whole shop that fit me are bright red fake leather, with pointed toes and golden studs.  they will make my feet bleed like miniature victoria fallses, but at no point will i regret the purchase

the weather turns to thunderstorms, coaxing out the yellow slugs as long as your forearm that multiply in the rainy season.  e. coli is found in the drinking water, so we boil it and add chlorine tablets.  then it tastes like a swimming pool, so i add a teaspoonful of spiced gin to each litre of drinking water.  it presumably doesn't disinfect the water, but the taste is much improved.  i vow to add gin to all my drinking water on returning home

my grandmother notes in passing, not unkindly but with the interest of a medical practitioner, that i have unusually fat arms for a thinnish person.  as old age has given her a tendency to repeat herself, she notes this in passing a few dozen times.  it has at least the advantage of being true.  a giant african land snail makes its way into the house and halfway to my bedroom before i notice.  my ankles grow so bitten by mosquitoes that i appear to be wearing purple socks.  there is nowhere in the world i would rather be

menus are printed without prices, to avoid the need to print them again in a week's time

my grandmother, one hour and 14 minutes into 2001: a space odyssey: 'has it started yet?'

(6) war pigeons

one of the few animals - along with great apes, dolphins and elephants - able to pass the mirror self-recognition test.  if you mark a pigeon's wing and let it look in a mirror it will try to remove the mark, realising that what it sees is a reflected image of its own body

auxiliaries to the technological networks that were springing up across the world.  reuter's news agency was established in 1850 with a flock of 45 pigeons, which were used to cover a gap in the telegraph network between brussels and aachen, giving paul reuter a monopoly over all telegraphic traffic between belgium and germany.  the five sons of mayer amschel rothschild used pigeons to stay in touch as they travelled around europe consolidating their father's banking dynasty.  during the siege of paris in 1870, pigeons were taken out of the city by balloon and returned carrying thousands of letters stored on microfilm and sewn into their tail feathers

the german army even developed a hawking fly peregrine falcons at pigeons along the coast

(7) the origins of consumer surveillance

it is as if benjamin franklin had anticipated this intensity of scrutiny when he wrote, in his 'advice to a young tradesman' in 1748: the most trifling actions that affect a man's credit are to be regarded.  the sound of your hammer at five in the morning, or nine at night, heard by the creditor, makes him easy six months longer; but if he sees you at the billiard-table, or hears your voice in a tavern, when you should be at work, he sends for his money the next day

the score took qualitative first impressions - 'effeminate gestures', poorly kept back yards, neighbourhood grudges - and made them quantitative

the maths behind the assessment of our worth is becoming harder to untangle and dispute at the very time it is playing an increasing part in shaping our future


this week i

converted raw data from the centers for medicare and medicaid services into an overview of medicare prescription drug plans.

found a broken link on rudy guilani's electronic biography on the morning of the start of the public impeachment hearings.

rented a cabin next to the birds.  revati matthew busy days so i chefed something resembling a philadelphia cheesesteak.

warmed up with pellet stove next to pelican windchime.  chesapeake winds stole a hat for a moment.  fuzzywinks the ideal winks.

wonder how terrible a business proposal: 3d print your face as a soap dispenser like macbeth's yorick's skull.

watched john mulaney (looks like a the matrix agent).  michael flynn looks like crassus.  point lookout looked inadequate for fifty thousand prisoners.


this week i

violated french cuisine.  (bonne) maman died today.

discussed difficulties and debates in poverty measurement during the population episode of economic geography class.

conserved momentum during physics lab.

see virginia across the potomac now that the leaves have fallen, first flurry november eighth.

like her reply, love his reply.

feed everyone well, shelter everyone safely, what then?  fight for marginal extensions of human lifespan?  where does this go

would gladly pay you tuesday for a hamburger today.

have a nice tree out front.

cooked michelle's sitka salmon shares.

added a layer to my father's bedsheets.


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


this week i

drove to chickahominy shores.  i drank one miller lite alone with don miguel.  we walked past the living museum, through fields of rvs, along late-night train tracks.  dale ann bradley smiled at me, sister sadie sat outside while we ate rockahock mussels.  pasta, sardines, hot tub before bed.


still have a person for a father.  one meals on wheels delivery included a solitary lemon.

propose a revision: extinct in the wild.