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With the villain’s quasi-sibling bond to the hero, 2015’s 007 movie deflates to an incestuous Möbius Strip.
I’ve tried to enjoy schlepping water, thinking that it serves to keep us to some human roots.
Annoyances and upsets with the iPhone 4S have been more than offset by its screen, the silkiness of its surfaces, the camera, and the third-party market for both software and hardware.
It’s amazing, given the adulation he enjoyed elsewhere, that the Israeli public knew from the start not to trust US President Obama.
It’s 1983: Go for the Apple IIe with 64k that could be opened up as a hobbyist machine? Or the smaller, sleeker and newer IIc with double the memory but a closed case?
There’s nothing else around here except empty desolate pretty hills. The Israel Trail passes by a bit to the west. The shops are mostly franchises, almost all homegrown: Super-Pharm, Aroma, Tzomet Sfarim, Cup O’ Joe’s, LaMetayel, Mega, Fox, Castro, H&O.
So, finally, we stopped yesterday; the Israeli assault on Gaza of late 2008/early 2009 is over. With it, Israel lost moral purity and made vital strategic gains.
Even if it did nothing, was just a prop in a futuristic movie, the MacBook Pro would be impressive; it’s like a sculpture of my previous computer, the MacBook, except it’s actually an improved computer!
Ariel Sharon’s disengagement policy reflected an understanding that ownership of the Palestinian issue is shared with Egypt and Jordan. If Tony Blair were to acquire this view, perhaps he really could help facilitate an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
There she was, sitting outside the apartment block! How did she do it? Dogs—or at least Jam—must have some sort of navigational sense we don’t understand.
I have had something very flattering: a request. Juan Carlos has asked me for comments on Casino Royale.
The Mrs is skeptical of David Allen’s Getting Things Done self-management system because it eschews the rigors of time management for what feels right. But GTD is about informed feeling.
I want to get people in my pics, but it’s tougher when you’re no longer a wide-eyed teenager, because people generally don’t like to think they are a spectacle.
Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
Tuesday, January 31st, 2017
“Yesterday we had a fight about whether I’d been dismissive about him saying his feelings had been hurt by my dismissing his feelings during a previous fight…” From the amusing but very dark Narcissism: a reflection by Laura Kipnis in Spiked.
Monday, January 30th, 2017
It seems to be a deceptively hard song to cover, but here’s a good one with a man, a woman and a ukulele on a living-room sofa, deceptively casual, deceptively perfect. Nobody’s done it better, not even Radiohead. And for something completely different: a great ‘Nobody Does it Better’ series montage by Rik Moran.
Fast, clear, cogent, respectful, dominating — what a performance Hugh Hewitt recently gave on Charlie Rose. He even asked Charlie a couple of times what he thinks, and it quickly became two chummy top media guys sharing ideas, not a mainstream media star interviewing a right-wing kook.
Hewitt managed to work in his career in government — which was all very long ago — and the very many people he knows, but without the name-dropping being the point of his responses. He called Charlie Charlie often enough that Charlie finally called him Hugh. “Great to have you,” Charlie ended it. “Good [ie, maybe not so great] to be here,” the response.
I listen pretty regularly to The Hugh Hewitt Show and it would be nice if we could get this fast-talking, super-smart, reasonable and sophisticated guy instead of the dumbed-down base-cultivating borderline bully we sometimes get on his home turf.
Friday, January 27th, 2017
Smart liberal reporters are probably inclined to think that smart liberal experts are right when they say things the smart liberal reporters already agree with.
Jonah Goldberg, The Goldberg File, January 27, 2017
Wednesday, January 25th, 2017
George Friedman, founder of Stratfor, explicates the constituent parts of Trump’s foreign policy views — for instance, that multiple bilateral agreements are preferable to multilateral ones (something Israel has always stuck to). Someone recently noted that you can’t point to any particular Washington thinktank and say that this is where Trump gets his views. This might have been meant disparagingly, but it also suggests that the new President has actually been thinking. Indeed, Friedman writes elsewhere that this more general level of thought is the most salutary for a successful presidency.
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
At Den of Geek is Max Williams’ revisit of all 24 James Bond movies.
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.
The world’s most (only?) prescient columnist takes a step back to show us where Russia and China are similar and different to America. This article is one for these new times, to be sure.
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
Thank you, Evelyn Gordon, for providing some clarity for those now afar over why so many Israelis are supporting Elor Azaria, convicted of manslaughter for killing subdued terrorist Abed al-Fattah al-Sharif.
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
At the Zapier Blog they note that AirTable, the online database builder, is the fastest-growing app. Competitors include Knack and Zoho Builder. Could be that the online database service might finally be entering public consciousness as a possibility, taking its rightful place alongside word processors and spreadsheets.
The New York Times attempts to embarrass Trump’s new appointment by linking to eight of incoming American Ambassador to Israel David Friedman’s columns in Arutz Sheva as if his words alone are enough to horrify. I for one though agree with everything he writes in these, except perhaps in “Time to Regroup on Iran” where he suggests hitting Hamas harder — not sure about that. I’m with him on J Street, and there’s great stuff on what he dubs the two-state narrative.
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
Francis Fukuyama coins and explains vetocracy. The intricacies are bamboozling—which is the point. Seems to me that fixing this is the first domino.
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
Niall Ferguson on Kissinger on the Obama legacy and Trump prospects. Long, juicy, probably somewhat prescient, also a bit nutty.
Saturday, November 19th, 2016
My current first go-to page for news: Politico’s daily diary of the Donald Trump administration transition.
Friday, November 18th, 2016
Some tentative optimism from The American Interest: If the new Administration can both push infrastructure and simplify the regulatory process, “it will have proven that the Trumpian earthquake can in fact break certain decades-long patterns of bipartisan paralysis…”
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
Witty, prescient pre-mortem by the mendacious documentarian Michael Moore on 5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win.
“The press takes [Trump] literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.’ Salena Zito in this September 23 article in The Atlantic. What a thing.
Also Democrats, Trump, and the Ongoing, Dangerous Refusal to Learn the Lesson of Brexit by Glenn Greenwald in The Intercept.
And What I learned after 100,000 miles on the road talking to Trump supporters by Chris Arnade in The Guardian.
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
Video and transcript of Peter Thiel’s speech to the National Press Club on his support for Trump.. Government isn’t the problem, pisspoor government is.
Monday, October 24th, 2016
The New York Times sassily brings us up to speed on the revival at least in interest of Brutalist architecture.
Thursday, October 20th, 2016
Fascinating research into the five types of UK school heads — philosophers, surgeons, soldiers, architects, accountants — and that the wrong type is being rewarded.
Monday, October 17th, 2016
Visiting Poland, George Weigel articulates the current civilizational crisis.
Tuesday, October 4th, 2016
New British prime minister Theresa May’s first major decision was the nuclear plant at Hinckley Point and it seems she took the easy way out.
Tuesday, September 27th, 2016
I’m wrestling with taking too many pictures these days, and why don’t I just stop, but not as well as does the author in “What We See When We Look at Travel Photography”.
Tuesday, September 20th, 2016
At last — birth control for rats! A Long Read in The Guardian.
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
Among the lessons from a 45-year study of super-smart children is to encourage effort rather than praise ability.
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
In Commentary Magazine Lazar Bergman summarizes Netanyahu’s cautious, patient geopolitical successes. And in the same issue, this more biographical piece by Seth Mandel.
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016
What sets you apart in high school at 17 makes you a cliché in Brooklyn at 27.
Christian Lorentzen , “Toward a Unified Theory of Joan Didion”
An inviting tour of the Hebrew writer’s oeuvre as Shai Agnon is translated into English. [via aldaily.com]
History’s in the eye of the guy.