this week i

published a multi-survey analysis of retiree employer-sponsored insurance and then beneficiary counts on an approval pathway for the latest blockbuster.  john oliver presented our work focused on those without coverage: even before the chaos of the unwinding, in 2022 about a quarter, a quarter of uninsured people eligible for medicaid were not enrolled in it.  none of it as impressive as rosemarie launching her south jersey book club


argue with dad beyond his grave whether rhubarb good.  i'm in this, like school of athens' surreptitious raphaelfie.  pallbearer applications accepted

visited oxford for near east tiffin, mongol jug, livia, lapis lazuli at ashmolean, bodleian tour, botanic garden, scribble-beaked bird.  if only treasure of sierra madre were bogart's empty sack rather than philippine access to south china sea.  i won one, drew theater masks two, in red, white, and blue

no swords in the library

one sees nothing except what the librarian chooses to show you





(1) the history of instant replay

to remind fans: 'this is not live!  ladies and gentlemen, army did not score again!'

like listening to several non-pilots trying to land a plane


(2) moscow's useful idiots

after the concert hall attack, russian authorities took the unusual step of releasing footage of security services torturing and beating the suspects.  all four were bruised when they appeared in court on march 24


(3) the times of the joy of sex

free healthcare - or free childcare - seems more radical today than free love

comfort made important contributions to gerontology and to training doctors in geriatric medicine - 'for a long time looked upon as just another branch of embalming' - as well as working with the grey panthers to agitate for change in the social treatment of the elderly.  but his big project, a 'test-battery' that would follow a group of people as they aged to determine the biomarkers of senescence, never got funded, despite years of effort


(4) a frozen military parade

gaza has been the deadliest conflict for the press on record.  earlier this month, the un reported that more than 122 journalists and media workers had been killed, a death toll unprecedented in modern wars.  yet the systematic murder of their palestinian colleagues has barely been registered in the western press

the tank commander said he thought shana's camera was a rocket launcher


(5) the book that told botanists how to name plants

botany's bulwark against a potential babel of names

above all, take notes; don't got to bed until the day's observations have been written down in proper order


(6) if our damp pizza box or polythene bag gets sloughed off to landfill, well, at least we tried

a recycling sorting centre, or materials recovery facility, in south london

the plastic soup foundation

ban unnecessary single-use plastics

at the sorting centre, i'd watched a large, ornate bible drift down the paper stream.  feeling, irrationally, that someone should draw attention to its existence, i gestured towards it and asked if it might clog the machinery.  'oh no,' anne said.  'we get them all the time'


(7) what we observe is not nature in itself but nature exposed to our method of questioning

metaphysical overreach

borges..became obsessed with zeno's paradox

the very notion that we can discern the difference between heat and cold, light and shade, necessarily entails a self embedded in time and able to bridge two disparate moments.  without a self, kant argued - without a sense that someone is looking and can register the beginnings and endings of sensations - experience itself would not exist

quantum physics, too, has suggested that reality cannot be described without reference to an observer

"enchanted by its rigor, humanity has forgotten, and continues to forget, that it is the rigor of chess masters, not of angels."  what we forget, in other words, is that the world ceases to make sense when we imagine we are transcendent beings who can stand outside it, not the players of a board game whose rules are formulated by our own limitations

nietzsche's idea of eternal recurrence, the notion that, given infinite time and a finite number of atoms, the universe must inevitably run through all possible permutations of reality and start repeating itself 


(8) darwinian personal life

i also daily smoke 2 little paper cigarettes of turkish tobacco

the animal wilfulness of plants

in "on the hypothesis that animals are automata, and its history," huxley argued that all organic beings, including people, were essentially automatic machines, their consciousness a mere "collateral product" of the mechanism..terminally ill and writing to thank huxley for a note of advice and comfort, darwin teased, "i wish to god there were more automata in the world like you"

the fundamental unity of the human species

we should remember that its smoothness, on which so much of its beauty depends, is mainly due to all the inequalities having been slowly levelled by worms 


(9) the twenty-sixth census director

we're trying to compete with space camp

i was really fond of ed sheeran


(10) it will be easier to design new drugs - and novel viruses

if i were advising governments, i would say that there's a 10 per cent chance these things will wipe out humanity in the next twenty years.  i think that would be a reasonable number

we will see highly accelerated technological progress, driven by but not limited to ai, that there are very significant risks associated with this and that 21st-century politics isn't well placed to deal with these challenges

of the 692 ai systems that have so far been approved by the fda for medical use, 531 target radiology, and yet today there are 470 vacancies for radiologists listed on a us job board

the simplest form of artificial intelligence predicts the appropriate label for some form of data

(11) galen, who wrote a flabbergasting 12 per cent of all surviving ancient greek

many in the ancient mediterranean world - enslaved and free people - lived barely above subsistence level.  but among the comfortably off, eating habits ranged from the demonstrative asceticism of the stoic philosophers to the decadence of trimalchio, a fictional roman freedman at the time of nero who held a banquet at which all of the many dishes on the table were made of disguised pork 


(12) dan savage has published how many short-response columns

you're arguing for the benefit of gullible people who might be following that idiot.  the point of arguing with idiots online is peeling low-information non-idiots away from them, not bringing malevolent idiots to their senses


(13) the houseless and their advocates

the dickensian plight of the homeless

a man dying of cancer..back in the alley with his buddies, pouring vodka down his feeding tube

he finds a model in sisyphus - or sisyphus as imagined by camus, who converted the tale of futility into a parable of purposeful striving.  although sisyphus is condemned forever to watch the rock he pushes uphill tumble back down, "the struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart," camus insisted.  "one must imagine sisyphus happy"

as a source of other destabilizing conditions, childhood sexual abuse may be more common and more damaging among the deeply disadvantaged than is generally understood

an abstract painting looks like "the face of a dude i beat up"


(14) nusantara and more

it is illegal to be an atheist in indonesia

prabowo's team gave the head of one pesantren a new car.  another was given funds for a new dormitory.  someone else was promised a trip to mecca 


(15) shell famine

a drone operator told me how he had watched as russian soldiers dashed across open ground, only half of them making it across alive

today 30 to 40 percent of injuries were drone-related, compared to almost none six months ago

no matter how good we are, medical services don't win wars

no one talked like this two years ago

between 16,000 and 17,000 russians died in the five months they took to capture avdiivka.  between 1979 and 1989 the soviets lost 15,000 men in their failed attempt to control afghanistan


(16) computational ecology

the poopsing trends in digital technology and biodiversity: as the former was expanding exponentially, the latter was plummeting

a bar code reader for zebras

if the global tech sector were a country, its total power usage would rank third in the world behind the united states and china

training just one algorithm created five times as many emissions as an average us car creates over its entire lifetime


(17) sans eyes

a blind man goes into a department store and starts swinging his guide dog by the tail over his head.  'can i help you?' the clerk asks.  'no, thanks,' the man replies.  'i'm just looking around'

that astonishingly durable 70 percent unemployment figure

the quinze-vingts, denoting its three hundred

when a blind person reads braille, neuroscientists have discovered that the area of the brain mediating vision is activated in much the same way as that of a sighted reader

seeing starlight for the first time