this week i

published our first looks at the privatized medicare and prescription drug plan markets

arrived in cologne for november eleventh with last minute hawaiian beach towel neck scarf costume, police maintained a glass bottle perimeter

read jomo kenyatta's entry, fixed too. kenya etymology: black rock, white snow reminiscent of male ostrich feathers. kenyatta: masaai beaded belt

jomo was close to a kikuyu word describing the removal of a sword from its scabbard
green for the land, black for the skin of the people, and red for the blood of liberty
permitted israeli jets to refuel in kenya on their way back from the entebbe raid
the funeral was orchestrated to deliberately imitate that of deceased british prime minister winston churchill


(1) cigarettes and dixie peach

brian jones played the album for keith richards, who thought he was listening to two guitarists

the mississippi delta is not the delta of the mississippi river, but part of a gigantic alluvial plain created by the mississippi's annual flooding

eric clapton's belief that johnson's 'cross roads' was about drug addition (it was about lynching)

like jimi hendrix, jim morrison, janis joplin, kurt cobain and amy winehouse after him, johnson died at the age of 27

in 1943 international harvester introduced the mechanical cotton picker, hastening the collapse of the economic system johnson had lived and died under.  maybe he would have ended up in chicago, recording for chess.  if so, we'd probably know where he was buried

(2) vermont's loss should be quebec's gain

burning the remains of hundreds of millions of flora and fauna in the course of a few decades, we're forcing the planet through changes that usually take eons; deep time is suddenly running like one of those films of a flower opening in seconds

in the mountains..the temperature drops three degrees celsius with every 1,640 feet of elevation, but in the lowlands a bird or a tree would need to travel 310 miles north to get similar relief

grizzly bears don't live in yellowstone because they appreciate being part of the wyoming tourist economy, they live there because it's the right temperature

less than one percent of the planet's surface has an average temperature higher than twenty-nine degrees celsius, or eighty-four degrees fahrenheit; at the moment that's mostly in the sahara region.  but computer modeling shows that within fifty years those kinds of temperatures could be common in most of the tropics, an area projected to be home to 3.5 billion people

rice farmers in vietnam are planting at night with headlamps to avoid dangerous heat

(3) resegregation trends

from a high point of integration in 1988, when 37 percent of black students attended majority-white schools, america's public schools have resegregated to a startling degree.  by 2018, that percentage had fallen by half

justice louis brandeis wrote in 1932, "in most matters it is more important that the applicable rule of law be settled than that it be settled right"

"it is my firm conviction," stevens wrote, "that no member of the court that i joined in 1975 would have agreed with today's decision"

(4) a very brief period in which to reshape our food systems

forced to live isolated lives in devastated environments often devoid of natural beauty, and indeed from which nature has largely been expunged, they watch their mortgages grow much more reliably than their crops, until some wonder whether life is worth living.  far too many decide that it's not, and in some regions - particularly in india - the rate of farmer suicides has reached horrifying levels.  even in affluent countries like france, the uk, the us, and australia, farmers kill themselves at almost twice the rate of the population as a whole

people who depend on the highly processed foods, abounding in fats and sugars, that tend to fill food banks can become simultaneously obese and malnourished.  according to the un food and agriculture organization, a good diet costs five times more than one that merely has adequate calories, and for those afflicted by an insufficient diet, high levels of diabetes and heart and circulatory problems can lead to early death..pundits insist that the problem with the obese is a lack of "'willpower' - people are 'failing to take responsibility' for their diets."  yet this overlooks the catastrophic consequences of poverty and inequality.  rather, he concludes, "obesity is a communicable disease.  its vectors are corporations"


(5) betty windsor

those of us who find it strange that a country should be deeply shocked by the death of a ninety-six-year-old woman must remind ourselves that it is a crime in england to let your thoughts dwell on the death of the monarch.  the treason act of 1351, still in force, makes clear that this most terrible of offenses is committed by anyone who can "compass or imagine the death" of the sovereign.  this thought-crime arises, presumably, from the belief that a world beyond the reign of the anointed queen or king ought to be unimaginable.  for if it is not, that supremacy is deprived of its most potent magic: the illusion of permanence.  the subject (and the british are subjects, not citizens) is compelled to feel for the ruler the love that shakespeare calls "an ever-fixed mark/that looks on tempests and is never shaken"

elton john..watching the queen, she approaches her nephew viscount linley.  his sister sarah had taken ill and retired to her room.  elizabeth asks linley to go and check on her: when he repeatedly tried to fob her off, the queen lightly slapped him across the face, saying "don't" - slap - "argue" - slap - "with" - slap - "me" - slap - "i" - slap - "am" - slap - "the queen!"  that seemed to do the trick.  as she left, she saw me staring at her, gave me a wink and walked off

whatever you say, say nothing

thomas hobbes called the papacy "the ghost of the deceased roman empire"

(6) the voluntary matrix

the hardware and software necessary to convert the two-dimensional internet into a three-dimensional experience

gucci is now designing apparel and accessories for video game avatars

real money dropping from an imagined, pixelated tree

in 2020 neurosurgeons at johns hopkins used an ar headset with a see-through display to do spinal surgery.  the headset let the surgeons superimpose the patients' scans over the actual affected area, allowing them to target it with more precision than if they had to consult those images on a nearby computer

(7) china's current system is inherently unstable

how had almost everyone gotten him so wrong?

placing clueless junior officials in positions of great authority was a deliberate strategy by mao to enhance his personal power while he still lived

(8) buster keaton: a very serious child

"keep your eye on the kid."  buster quickly assumed an equal and even predominant role, by the testimony of reviews in newspapers and trade journals, which singled him out as "a diminutive five-year-old comedian who is unusually funny," "a laugh-maker," "so clever...that there are many who believe him to be a dwarf"


(9) the first man to read that after more than two thousand years of oblivion

 the flood myth that significantly predated the book of genesis

that the epic of gilgamesh exists at all is close to a miracle, and has much to do with the bibliophilia of the last great assyrian king, ashurbanipal (reigned 669-627 bce), as well as the curatorial talents of desert sand

a scene that begs for an ennio morricone soundtrack

the sudden surfacings of new shards of gilgamesh..creates "a bizarre experience for a trying to paint a model who refuses to sit still


(10) intergalactic billiards

in 1992, 17-year-old michelle knapp of peekskill, new york, had recently bought a chevrolet malibu for $300.  after the car was smashed beyond repair by the impact of a large meteorite, she sold it to a collector for $25,000

for now, we know that we can successfully strike an incoming asteroid.  real progress, and certainly well ahead of anything the dinosaurs achieved, even if we have yet to show we can save ourselves from their fate