Wednesday, January 25th, 2017
Albeit behind Iran, Israel squeaks onto Walter Russell Mead’s list of the Great Eight Powers of 2017. It’s amazing that only one European country makes it here.
Friday, January 20th, 2017
Headlines say 2016 hottest year ever. Yes, 0.01°C hotter than 2015. But working from statistics that claim a margin of error of 0.1°C! Ah, truthiness.
Wednesday, January 18th, 2017
Good point, yes. If under Trump it’s between the symbol of a U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem or the reality of continued building throughout the city—as it may well come down to—then the choice is clear, writes Nadav Shragai.
Friday, January 13th, 2017
Tuesday, January 10th, 2017
A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over feeding trial conducted for eight weeks at the University of New Mexico demonstrated that eating walnuts improves men’s mood (but interestingly not women’s). I announce here my love them with raisins, that’s 5 per half-walnut.
David Cripps, the London Symphony Orchestra’s horn soloist, on playing the Star Wars music, and particularly “Leia’s Theme”. Seems clear from this and an interview I read on “Rey’s Theme” that John Williams is inspired by charismatic actors.
Ian Buruma on Brussels. I found it a pretty exciting city so when I saw this article I jumped on it (plus I vaguely remember being impressed by something else this fellow wrote) and it’s pretty sweeping and fun.
Friday, January 6th, 2017
Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017
If we huff and chide them, they soon come not to mind it, and get a self-reliance; and if we indulge them to folly, they learn the limitation elsewhere.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, on children, in Representative Men
Monday, January 2nd, 2017
Flight of the Eagle: The Grand Strategies That Brought America from Colonial Dependence to World Leadership
The great virtue of this book is its steady track across the entirety of American history, treating each president equally under its own law and order. This completely democratic coverage, right up to the present day, is a marvelous homologue to the ideals of the society under discussion. And it lets us see recent presidents in no more living color than their black & white and even pre-photographic predecessors, helping us evaluate them and consider what the country most needs next.
Saturday, December 17th, 2016
Wednesday, December 7th, 2016
The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World
Randall E. Stross
The book tells of the flip-side of the focus and concentration that enabled Edison’s inventiveness, namely stubbornness unto folly. One of his many mistakes was pooh-poohing AC current over his DC, although AC is clearly the more suitable for longer-distance power transfer, which is what he was after, and it’s not clear beyond bloody-mindedness if there was any reason for his preference.
Sunday, December 4th, 2016
Thursday, December 1st, 2016
Gut: the inside story of our body's most under-rated organ
It’s arguably a profound and important book in that it can change our self-perception to one that’s closer to the truth.
Putting aside some questionable attempts at humor, the core of the book is an engaging, informed Fantastic Voyage from in the mouth all the way to out the bottom. I’ve seen so many images of our digestive system but never been presented with the process as a clear narrative, with emphasis on the differences between the organs involved and the inflection points between them.
Tuesday, November 29th, 2016
Saturday, November 19th, 2016
Friday, November 18th, 2016
This article features a list by Dan McNichol of suggested public works projects throughout the USA. He is author of The Roads That Built America, a history of the Interstate highway system (of which I actually have a copy).
Wednesday, November 9th, 2016
Tuesday, November 8th, 2016
I’m thinking it’s the most awesome TV show ever, but I also thought the same about about the other back in the day until close to the end. This insightful piece by Lindsey Romain in Vulture points out the thematic similarities
between Westworld and Lost. Let’s hope it all doesn’t degenerate into a flabby Manichaeism.
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016
Free-running amazingness may well become, like swimming, an increasingly common part of the human repertoire. Good monkey, good.
Tuesday, November 1st, 2016
Monday, October 24th, 2016
Thursday, October 20th, 2016
Monday, October 17th, 2016
Tuesday, October 4th, 2016
Tuesday, September 27th, 2016
Tuesday, September 20th, 2016
Monday, September 12th, 2016
Now that I’ve joined eyeem.com, I was attracted to this article on Instagram and art history. “Today, we look at Instagram feeds with the same level of scrutiny as the Renaissance merchants who converted their Madonnas into ducats.” He argues persuasively and enjoyably that we are being just like Amsterdam burghers.
Sunday, September 11th, 2016
Monday, September 5th, 2016
This article explains — and demonstrates — all the advanced basics we need to know regarding photography with the iPhone. The aperture is fixed but everything else — shutter speed, focus, ISO, white balance — can be set. Only three apps are required: Camera+ (for the manual stuff), AfterFocus (to compensate for the lack of aperture control), and Slow Shutter Cam (because Camera+ doesn’t go slower than 1/4s).
In this report on Ryanair’s service between Budapest and Eilat, anna.aero lists the low-cost airlines flying to Israel. All the others fly to Ben-Gurion. So that’s Eilat to Budapest in February roundtrip for 85€!!!
Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
Speed of Dark
I was brought to this most non-sci-fi of sci-fi novels by the Brighton Science Fiction Discussion Group. Narrated in character by its autistic protagonist, Speed of Light initially reminded me of Mr Robot. Yes, I did like it, but wasn’t sure if the thinness of the other characters is due to our narrator’s limitations or those of the author; I don’t know her other work so can’t say. A mostly unsentimental decency permeates — actually it’s an exploration of decency — which gives it an appreciable pre-cyberpunk, almost square feel.
A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars; it’s where the rich use public transportation.
Petro Gustavo, Mayor of Bogota
Monday, August 29th, 2016
Ideas are the currency of life.
Friday, August 26th, 2016
Sports are the linchpin holding the entire post-war economic order together.
Ben Thompson, The Sports Linchpin
Wednesday, August 24th, 2016
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016
History’s in the eye of the guy.
Monday, August 22nd, 2016
Thinking, Fast and Slow
The contents of Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow, though perhaps some are contestable, are surprising and mostly new to this layman, and we should all know these things about ourselves, therefore it’s an important book. Presumably this is a retrospective and a compilation so that all this knowledge is available in various books and articles elsewhere, but this is a fine and good way to get it.
Saturday, August 20th, 2016
If the author has anything to teach here it is self-promotion and then being engaging. How was he able to get then keep my sustained attention for this warmed-over pap? And even get me to pay for it (albeit not much)?
What we learn from the past is to maximize the qualities of our future memories, not necessarily of our future experience.
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
Tuesday, August 16th, 2016
I wake up, read, write, exercise, eat, attend meetings (phone or live), then reverse the process: eat, write, read, and sleep.
James Altucher, Choose Yourself