Sunday, July 31, 2016

Silence of Three Robinson Crusoes:

Blimey – it’s true, time speeds up as you get older...

Australia Has Moved 1.5 Metres, So It’s Updating Its Location For Self-Driving Cars Slashdot

Time Accelerates: Labor takes seat of Herbert leaving Malcolm Turnbull with majority of just one seat

Liveable Sydney 555 surburbs the size of the Block nect to Alex Perry

Former Neighbour Alex Perry pokes fun at David Jones Drugs and Autism at absolutely fabulous movie premiere

Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once  RIP Producer Sandy Pearlman

Don Manuel , the priest in Tierra de Cha, used to sit between the two winterlings, who were only little girls back then. He was short and fat, an absolute glutton. He was always somewhere between dinner and Mass. As soon as he finished the sermon, he’d be out and into the street. With great strides, pulling up his cassock to keep the manure off it, he would cross the square to eat his lunch. While the maid was tying a napkin around his neck and serving him, he positively burbled with pleasure.His mouth watered  at the sight of what lay before him : a hearty broth
~Bathroom Quote

Botanists Sniff at Mystery of Smelly Corpse Flowers’ Blooming Wall Street Journal

You can’t weigh, record, or export it. You can’t eat it, collect it, or give it away. But in a noisy world, silence sells. Just ask Finland... Noisy Finishers 

Atlantic Writer: Emigrant Melania Trump ‘Has Not Lived the Story of America.’

Writing lessons from Michelle obamas DNC speech

Clever koalas learn to cross the road safely BBC

BREAKING: New DNA Testing on 2,000-Year-Old Elongated Paracas Skulls Changes Known History Ancient Origins 

To writers, their work amounts to evidence that they've fallen short of their potential. The oeuvre is never satisfied, always taunting, a work in progressuntil the end ...  Potential

Better three hours too soon than a minute too late. 
~ William Shakespeare

It’s against the law to run a puppet show in a window, and other NYC laws that may have outlived their purpose [Dean Balsamini, New York Post]

Former Russian Prime Minister-caught in Bed with Opposition Leader - Universal Politics in Action

Per Swedish study, lottery winners do not get healthier after their windfalls. Some implications about health care and inequality? [Alex Tabarrok]

Former Labor minister Eddie Obeid​, who is awaiting sentence for misconduct in public office, has hired a private detective in an attempt to discover whether a crime figure provided information about his and his family's affairs to the Independent Commission Against Corruption. Obeids hire PI in case against ICAC

Boeing Considers Ending Production of 747 Wall Street Journal.  My virgin - maiden trip on commercial plane Memories of 747 from AUSTRIA to AUSTRALIA ...

 Clerk thief his life as a baker visiting judge tells story of 1919 Supreme Court leak ( insider trading and Wall St)

Banks ‘could be forced to keep all your money’ Daily Mash

Women and econ blogs

"If a seventh grader starts trading fake burps for laughs in gym class, what's a teacher to do?" So beings a dissenting opinion that Tenth Circuit Judge Neil M. Gorsuch issued today.
Steven A. Bank (UCLA), Brian R. Cheffins (Cambridge) & Harwell Wells (Temple), Executive Pay: What Worked?,  42 J. Corp. L. ___ (2016): CEO pay is a controversial issue in America but there was a time, often overlooked today, when chief executives were not paid nearly as much as they are now. From 1940 to the mid-1970s executive pay was modest by today’s standards even though U.S. business was generally thriving.

“Naturally, publishers and booksellers alike are keen to capitalise on our exotic new appetites (to use the phrase “cash in” seems a bit unfair in these slightly rarefied circumstances). Nearly every week, publicists send me new or previously ignored (by us) foreign novels.” The Observer (UK)
A woman I know was waiting for the Sydney Mercedes bus, in the sparse shade of a live oak. Normally proper and demure, she whispered, “Even my underwear’s dripping,” which was far more than I wanted to know...

All Cards on the Table: First-Use of Nuclear Weapons War on the Rocks . Today’s must read. As we’ve said for some time, the reason the US has been putting “defensive” missiles all over Eastern Europe.

Bloomberg gets into rapid-fire explainer journalism with breaking Q&As

“Many, many writers are chronically broke. Many have a long list of grievances with the publishing industry. Many will tell you about the circumstances that would have allowed them to enjoy the success of Ernest Hemingway or David Foster Wallace. Many have had multiple brushes with suicide, but there’s only one who wrote The Last Samurai and Lightning Rods, two of the finest novels published this century.” New York Magazine Multiple Brushed with Suicide

The Pigeon Tunnel by John le Carré:coverThe British intelligence officer turned bestselling spy novelist has written his first memoir, regaling readers with stories from his extraordinary writing career. A witness to great historical change in Europe and abroad, le Carré visited Russia before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and met many fascinating characters in his travels, including KGB officers, an imprisoned German terrorist, and a female aid worker who was the inspiration for the main character in The Constant Gardner. Le Carré also writes about watching Alec Guinness take on his most famous character, George Smiley. 

When in French by Lauren Collins:coverNew Yorker staffer Collins moved to London only to fall in love with a Frenchman. For years, the couple spoke to each another in English but Collins always wondered what she was missing by not communicating in her partner’s native tongue. When she and her husband moved to Geneva, Collins decided to learn French from the Swiss. When in French details Collins’s struggles to learn a new language in her 30s, as well as the joy of attaining a deeper understanding of French culture and people. 

Via POGO:  “In a new report, London-based watchdog Global Witness sheds light on the dangers of anonymously-owned companies in government contracting. The recent Panama Papers scandal has raised concerns of how money stashed in anonymous shell companies is used to evade taxes and fund international crime. In a similar vein, a Global Witness report titled Hidden Menace: How secret company owners are putting troops at risk and harming American taxpayers is a fascinating and startling look at how money lost to anonymously-owned contractors engenders waste, defrauds taxpayers, and threatens national security…”

I do not know why I did what happened next. It was neither intended nor instinctive, it was neither in cold blood nor in hot; but yet it seemed, once committed, a necessary act; no breaking of the commandment. My arm flicked out and slapped her left cheek as hard as it could. The blow caught her completely by surprise, nearly knocked her off balance, and her eyes blinked with the shock; then very slowly she put her left hand to the cheek. We stared wildly at each other for a long moment, in a kind of terror: the world had disappeared and we were falling through space. The abyss might be narrow, but it was bottomless.

“Three Robinson Crusoes

in an abandoned shack,

we found a real find –

a single, battered book.

“We three were friends

and we quickly agreed

to share out this treasure

as Solomon decreed.

“The foreword for cigarette-paper:

one friend was delighted

with a gift so unlikely

he feared he was dreaming.

“The second made playing cards

from the notes at the back.

May his play bring him pleasure,

every page bring him luck.

“As for my own cut –

those precious jottings,

the dreams of a poet

now long forgotten –

“it was all that I wanted.

How wisely we’d judged.

What a joy to set foot in

a forgotten hut.”

In a note, Chandler writes: “This poem records a real incident. Shalamov describes how playing cards were made from paper, saliva, urine, a little chewed bread and a tiny piece of crayon.” The final section of the anthology is inspired: “Four Poems by Non-Russians.” Most interesting and most pertinent to our literary love of Mother Russia is “Learning the Letter Щ by Nancy Mattson, a Canadian-born poet who lives in London. Щ is the Cyrillic letter usually transliterated shcha. The sound resembles the English sh, but is prolonged: “It is basically a long, palatalized version of English’s `sh’ as in `ship.’” Mattson’s poem is a wash of Щ’s. See the final stanzas:

“I remember the shooshch

of my grandmother’s tongue and teeth

sucking her tea through a sugar cube

telling her stories in Finnish

“Hush now, it’s the one about her sister

in Soviet Russia, how she barely survived

on watery cabbage soup:   ЩИ

but was finally crushed     lost      she


the sound is a soft shchi

one wave in an ocean of millions

that receded but never returned”

Corn crops are important to Iowa, and the faster they grow, the better. When Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley posted a tweet crediting GMOs for the state's taller corn, an Iowa newspaper stepped in with a well-researched fact check

Feds will pay $475,000 to settle “illegal body cavity search” case ars technica