this week i

wonder if cia accountants lead interesting lives.  france without manche is a star.  you have a chef's kiss of a face.  i learned of the lion of venice


illustrated if carcinization expands beyond aquatic arthropods, with bonus oral view bobtail squid.  aren't all cetaceans cetaceans of paradise?


retold the late pleistocene extinctions with jacopo bassano's best.  if all crustaceans tend toward crabs, all my poetry tends toward casey at the bat

ark manifest enumerates two pigeons, passengers,
but rush to beat the rains, no time for fishing poles hooks lures
sabre tiger deathly rattle
woolly rhino spikes the punch
and all because poor noah has forgot to pack a lunch

could never tame hippocamps like oceanus, his beard effortlessly better than my dome. leaden pinky, but not pictured: lower back hair aka dorsal fin



(1) there has never been a comprehensive inventory of pre-columbian sites across the basin


machine learning techniques such as random forests have become popular for species distribution models

predictive probability function for the number of as yet undetected earthworks

our model predicts the number of as yet undiscovered pre-columbian structures at between 10,272 and 23,648 with 95% probability, giving an average of 16,187 sites..these estimates suggest that the earthworks already documented in the amazon to date account for a mere 4 to 9% of the total, and that 91 to 96% of amazonian earthworks remain undiscovered

(2) cbo's distribution of family wealth

concentration of wealth.  the growth of real wealth over the past three decades was not uniform: family wealth increased more in the top half of the distribution than in the bottom half.  families in the top 10 percent and in the top 1 percent of the distribution, in particular, saw their share of total wealth rise over the period.  in 2019, families in the top 10 percent of the distribution held 72 percent of total wealth, and families in the top 1 percent of the distribution held more than one-third; families in the bottom half of the distribution held only 2 percent of total wealth

how does cbo's estimate of the share of wealth held by the top 1 percent of the distribution compare with estimates from other studies?  cbo estimates that the share of wealth held by the top 1 percent of the wealth distribution increased by 7.4 percentage points over the period - from 26.6 percent in 1989 to 34.0 percent in 2019.  the agency's estimate of the share of all wealth held by the top 1 percent in 2019 is roughly in the middle of the other estimates, which range from 30.7 percent to 37.9 percent.  other studies' estimates of the increase in that share over the 1989-2019 period are similar to cbo's, ranging from 6.6 percentage points to 7.6 percentage points.  several factors explain the variation in those estimates, including differences in the data sources, unit of analysis, and definition of wealth used by the studies

median family wealth, by age group: thousands of 2019 dollars


various estimates of the share of wealth held by families in the top 1 percent of the wealth distribution

the forbes 400 although the scf covers nearly the full distribution of family wealth, by design it does not include information about the nation's 400 wealthiest people, as identified by forbes magazine.  cbo supplemented the scf data with the forbes data to identify the shares of wealth held by different groups and to calculate the percentiles of the full distribution of family wealth.  the forbes data lack information on portfolio allocations, so when calculating changes in categories of assets and debt for families in the top 10 percent of the wealth distribution, cbo approximated the forbes 400 families' composition of wealth by using that of other families in the top 0.1 percent of the distribution of net worth

financial accounts of the united states the faus are national accounts that measure total wealth by economic sector.  the data are released quarterly by the federal reserve board.  each release shows the assets and liabilities in each sector of the economy at the end of the period in question.  cbo supplemented the data on family wealth from the scf with information about total defined benefit wealth from the faus.  that information was taken from table l.117, "private and public pension funds," which includes total defined benefit liabilities of private, federal, and state and local funds

(3) anyone wondering what the future of space exploration might look like should pay attention to the governance of the high seas

bottom trawling alone releases as much carbon as the entire aviation industry

the governance of the giant bluefin tuna, for instance, has been a policy of 'managed extinction'

(4) i want them all to go, even if they go to the moon

a statement of approval by the israeli government for an operation to transfer sixty thousand palestinians from the gaza strip to paraguay

(5) europe in revolution at california's gold rush

from the beginning of march 1848, it becomes impossible to trace the revolutions as a linear sequence from one theatre of turbulence to the next.  we enter the fission phase, in which almost simultaneous detonations create complex feedback loops.  reports of political upheaval from cologne, mannheim, darmstadt, nassau, munich, dresden, vienna, pest, berlin.  milan and venice and elsewhere fuse into an all-engulfing crisis.  the narrative bursts its banks, the historian despairs and 'meanwhile' becomes the adverb of first resort

the departing world leaves behind it not an heir but a pregnant widow.  between the death of one and the birth of the other much water will flow by, a long night of chaos and desolation will pass

'we are not poles,' they told their masters.  'we are imperial peasants.'  then they turned on the szlachta with sharpened scythes and flails, chased them to their manor houses and began the massacre of thousands of landowners, their families and their stewards

"i see the people rise in tumult; i see kings grow pale beneath their diadems"


(6) the bts song 'not today' (571 million views on youtube) takes on police brutality; 'go go' and 'silver spoon' are concerned with income inequality

(7) it's not poverty we need to get rid of..but our judgment of poverty

the reign of domitian, who forced philosophy teachers out of the city on suspicion of anti-imperial sympathies

marcus aurelius'
meditations were written by a misanthropic, warmongering emperor for his own edification, but epictetus' kindness to his needy, self-pitying students is legible on the page

for a stoic, as for an epicurean or a cynic, well-being is not about feeling cheerful, but about control

epictetus' version of stoicism posed no threat to existing social norms.  diogenes the cynic had shown his contempt for convention by living in a barrel, wearing rags and defecating in public

the wise stoic never gives up his desire for power and possessions

the unmanliness of tweezing body hair


(8) the british understood that there was nothing organic about nigeria, the country they had fashioned in 1914 for the purpose of plunder

bola ahmed to be seventy but is at least ten years older


(9) stealand landford

in the summer of 1852 stanford's father disposed of his shiftless son by paying for his passage around cape horn to join his siblings.  (before the transcontinental railroad, the sea voyage was cheaper than the land route)

the university's current art museum still devotes a couple of rooms to reliquary items like leland jr.'s baby shoes, some of his toys, and his death mask

the classic posture of strychnine poisoning victims: knees widely separated, soles of the feet turned inward, insteps arched, toes pointed, eyeballs protruded, pupils dilated, jaws fixed, fingers contracted, thumbs digging into the palms of her hands


(10) in 1894 thomas edison's studio produced a brief film of two cats boxing with each other

we do not know how they conceived of larger, less competent cats?

cats galore encore!

the greeks and romans were familiar enough with cats (though much of their mousing was done by snakes and weasels).  but cats play almost no role in the greco-roman imagination

spinoza's idea of conatus ("the tendency of living things to preserve and enhance their activity in the world")

that cats have no use for philosophy is an indictment..not of cats, but of philosophy: "posing as a cure, philosophy is a symptom of the disorder it pretends to remedy"

as a harvard medical student, the future republican senate majority leader bill frist adopted cats from boston-area animal shelters, whisked them off to the lab, and dissected them, to provide data for experiments on cardiac muscles.  he had the grace to express some regret about this later