Your Third Castling

I For isn’t, indeed, Stephen Daedalus himself castled by Leopold Bloom? And Bloom then castled by…Molly? And on and on? A cursory search of the internets leads me to believe the Fritz Cramer who provides the epigram for Lars Gustaffson’s “Stories of Happy People” might not exist. That sentence itself was thrice castled, in terms …

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Paling Kings

“Most of us are allowed to go through the span of life allotted to us in actuarial tables.” from The Echo newspaper, November 1, 1869 Except the tables don’t tell the whole tale, do they? There are also qualitative burdens—especially when it comes to certain folks, say for example kings, who: …must bear all. O …

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Our Only Hope (for H.M.)

Between 1966 and 2001, the median salary in the US increased by 11% after adjusting for inflation. In the 99.99th percentile (where the 13,000 highest paid US workers fall), annual income increased 617%. It’s gotten worse since then. Over the past 40 years, while the “debate” raged over democrat vs. republican and government activism vs. …

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4 Questions for Marianne del Cerriota

Marianne del Cerriota, M.D. is a senior fellow at the Kassel Institute for Bio-Economic Policy, a think-tank in San Diego. del Cerriota is a respected authority on bioeconomics issues at the frontier of medicine and technology, most notably generative medicine and semantic bio-diagnostic research. Author or editor of 14 books as well as a chapbook …

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Democratization of Language

Subtitle: Have you ever seen the phrase “piacular recompense” and the word “stuff” (the noun variety) in the same sentence? After Tuesday there will be no more President Bush press conferences. During these linguistic spectacles, the Harvard- and Yale-educated oil-tycoon scion sometimes dropped the “g’s” off his gerunds and uttered phrases such as “We’re gonna …

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Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton

In a radio interview, Tracy Kidder, who’s written quite a few good books and at least one important one, advocated for a sort of Maxwell’s demon approach to book reading. He claimed to divide books into two main categories: books in which he has interest and books in which he does not. He went on …

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Already There

One of the difficulties of diagnosing contemporary US culture is that we lack perspective. Here’s a helpful ichthyological fable I heard somewhere: Two young little fish are swimming around and they come across a big older fish who asks, “How’s the water, boys?” The little guys are unsure of how to respond and they swim …

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