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Official BBO Hijacked Thread Thread No, it's not about that

#3781 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-July-21, 19:54

View PostGilithin, on 2021-July-21, 19:51, said:



Fruit and cake - well that explains everything.
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#3782 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-July-21, 19:58

WD Gilithin - it's a CDC heat map of 15-19-year-old pregnancies.
http://bit.ly/TeenPregUSA
This is what happens when there is too much freedom of expression.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#3783 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-July-22, 05:45

View PostGilithin, on 2021-July-21, 19:51, said:



Yes, well done. I was reading the article:

Quote

If teens were provided objective and in-depth information about condoms, birth control, and out of wedlock sexuality and romance, as well as linked to outside resources such as Planned Parenthood, they would have to tools and knowledge to avoid unwanted pregnancies and the whole slew of potential harm that sexual activity may present.


In-depth information about condoms: If you don't want to get her pregnant then it would be a good idea to use one. Is that in enough depth? And yes they protect against disease. Even in the 1950s we teens understood that much. It was easier to buy cigarettes and beer in the 50s than it was to buy condoms. That was a problem that has now been fixed.

Sex ed, like education in general, is of course welcome. But I think the number of teens who become pregnant because they didn't know sex could get them pregnant is not large. Young people need guidance from someone they trust, and that is not always a teacher in front of a classroom. Someone they trust is not always a parent either, and that's a big problem. Anyway, I am pleased to see that my home state of Minnesota is in the under 20 category. We Norwegians have good sense. You betcha.

Added: The article also talks of conflict with religion. This can be delicate, and, as often happens, I have a story from my youth. I was having a friendly discussion with a girl I was not closely attached to. She was Catholic and mentioned that she really did not like to go to confession. Non-religious me said, "It's none of their business". Her answer was a very sensible "Oh, I think it's their business, I just don't want to tell them." This illustrates the difficulty. She would not have taken kindly to a lesson that encouraged her to give up her religious beliefs, but there was a conflict. Talking with me could be a back-and-forth discussion, being in a classroom would not be as free and easy.

So it's a tough problem.
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#3784 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-July-22, 07:51

View Postkenberg, on 2021-July-22, 05:45, said:

Added: The article also talks of conflict with religion. This can be delicate, and, as often happens, I have a story from my youth. I was having a friendly discussion with a girl I was not closely attached to. She was Catholic and mentioned that she really did not like to go to confession. Non-religious me said, "It's none of their business". Her answer was a very sensible "Oh, I think it's their business, I just don't want to tell them." This illustrates the difficulty. She would not have taken kindly to a lesson that encouraged her to give up her religious beliefs, but there was a conflict. Talking with me could be a back-and-forth discussion, being in a classroom would not be as free and easy.

So it's a tough problem.

The Catholic faith is primarily about guilt. If they have her feeling guilty about not telling them, and it sounds very much like that was the case, then they have in a sense already imposed their will on her and in effect exercised a form of control over her. My simple solution - have her give an extra $10 to the church collection every week in lieu of confession. I am confident the church would be more than happy with the exchange.
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#3785 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2021-July-22, 07:53

View Postkenberg, on 2021-July-22, 05:45, said:

In-depth information about condoms: If you don't want to get her pregnant then it would be a good idea to use one. Is that in enough depth?

No, far from it.
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#3786 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-July-22, 08:30

Russel Gold at WSJ said:

A four-year-old startup says it has built an inexpensive battery that can discharge power for days using one of the most common elements on Earth: iron.

Form Energy Inc.’s batteries are far too heavy for electric cars. But it says they will be capable of solving one of the most elusive problems facing renewable energy: cheaply storing large amounts of electricity to power grids when the sun isn’t shining and wind isn’t blowing.

The work of the Somerville, Mass., company has long been shrouded in secrecy and nondisclosure agreements. It recently shared its progress with The Wall Street Journal, saying it wants to make regulators and utilities aware that if all continues to go according to plan, its iron-air batteries will be capable of affordable, long-duration power storage by 2025.

https://www.wsj.com/...ies-11626946330

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#3787 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-July-22, 09:30

View PostGilithin, on 2021-July-22, 07:51, said:

The Catholic faith is primarily about guilt. If they have her feeling guilty about not telling them, and it sounds very much like that was the case, then they have in a sense already imposed their will on her and in effect exercised a form of control over her. My simple solution - have her give an extra $10 to the church collection every week in lieu of confession. I am confident the church would be more than happy with the exchange.


I will use this to illustrate the problem. Imagine a classroom where the teacher recommends that students who do not wish to acknowledge their sexual activity to the priest simply put an extra 10 bucks in the collection plate. Assuming that she has an extra ten bucks. Or maybe she could get it from the guy. I was confirmed in the Presbyterian church when I was 13 and I went through some turmoil, actually substantial turmoil, as I thought through my religious views. Anyone who dismissed my concerns with such cynicism would have been immediately and permanently placed on my list of adults who should be ignored. I am more relaxed about such things now.

Here is the point: If we are to have a classroom discussion of sexual behavior I would of course oppose any "Because God says so" approach, and I think it would be ineffective. But I also think that any approach that cynically dismisses the religious views of the discussants is doomed before it starts. If there is not to be a discussion, only a list of things to be learned, the students will memorize the correct answers, they will answer as required on the exams, and then ignore what was said. Question: What should a person do if they do not wish to confess to their sexual activities? Answer: Put an extra ten bucks in the collection plate. I get an A, right?

Any discussion that has any chance of being worthwhile has to respect the varied views of the discussants. This includes those who think sex should be only within marriage, whether or not this view is based on religion, and the views of those who are ready to get on with it as soon as class lets out, and everyone in between. There was a movement, again I think in the 70s, with the slogan "Sex by 8, before it's too late". The 8 was age, not time of day. It's ok to not respect that group.
Ken
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#3788 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-July-23, 12:27

Matt Yglesias said:

I’d have gone with Cleveland Clinicians

Jonathan Lemire said:

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland’s baseball team changing name from Indians to Guardians.

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#3789 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2021-July-23, 14:14

Matt Yglesias said:

I’d have gone with Cleveland Clinicians

Quote

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland’s baseball team changing name from Indians to Guardians.


What about the Cleveland Burning River, or the Cleveland Rock and Rollers?
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#3790 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-July-23, 14:35

View Postjohnu, on 2021-July-23, 14:14, said:

What about the Cleveland Burning River, or the Cleveland Rock and Rollers?

Given the association of the city with fighting men (cavaliers) and colour (browns), perhaps Cleveland Grays is worth considering? It would at least highlight one of the more interesting historical facts about the place.
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#3791 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-July-27, 11:44

Fun app for bird lovers: https://www.nytimes....pgtype=Homepage
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#3792 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-July-29, 19:17

From Tyler Cowen's Conversation with Niall Ferguson:

Quote

COWEN: If you had been alive at the time and the Glorious Revolution were going on, which side would you have been rooting for and why? Speaking of counterfactuals.

FERGUSON: I think everybody should ask themselves that question each morning. Whig or Tory? Are you a Jacobite?

COWEN: Do you want Dutch people coming over to run your country? That’s another part of it, right? I would have been quite worried. Nothing against Dutch people, but you might think, “Well, they don’t have a stable ruling coalition, so they’re going to be all the more tyrannical.”

FERGUSON: Yes. I wrote about the Dutch takeover in Empire. It’s bizarre that the British Isles just get taken over by a Dutch monarch at the behest of a faction mainly motivated by religious prejudice and hostility to Roman Catholicism. At the time, I would have been a Whig on religious grounds. I’m from the ardently Protestant Lowlands of Scotland. I’m like all people from that part of the world, drawn to the romanticism of the Jacobites but also repelled by what it would have been like in practice.

If you want to understand all this, by the way, you have to read Walter Scott, which I hadn’t done for years and years. I’d never really read Scott because I was told he was boring. Then during the pandemic, I started reading the Waverley novels, and it’s all there: all the fundamental dilemmas that were raised, not just by the Glorious Revolution, but prior to that by the Civil War of the 17th century, and that were raised again in the 1745 Jacobite rising.

Scott’s brilliant at explaining something that I don’t think is properly understood, and that is that Scotland had the most extraordinary historical trajectory. It went from being Afghanistan in the 17th century — it was basically Afghanistan. You had violent warring clans in the north, in the mountainous parts of the country, and a theocracy of extreme Calvinist zealots in the Lowlands. This was a deeply dysfunctional, very violent place with much higher levels of homicide than England. Really, it was a barbaric place.

And something very strange happened. That was that in the course of — beginning really from the late 17th century — in the course of the 18th century, Scotland became the most dynamic tiger economy in the world. Also, it became the cradle of the enlightenment, had really all the best ideas of Western civilization, all at once in a really short space of time with a really small number of people, all sitting around in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

I still don’t think a book has been written that properly explains that. You certainly wouldn’t have put a bet on Scotland behaving that way by the late 18th century, if all you knew about it was Scotland in the mid-17th century. If you look at it that way, then you kind of have to be a Whig. You have to recognize that the institutions that came from England, including the Dutch institutions that were imported in the Glorious Revolution, really helped Scotland get out of its Afghan predicament.

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#3793 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-July-30, 01:02

So it is apposite then that the company with the largest market capitalisation in the world was the Royal Bank of Scotland.
When the RBS crashed and burned, it almost took the whole of the UK with it at the start of the GFC (remember the GFC, anyone?).
To complete the circle of pain from 1066, the dismal attempt to take over the Dutch bank ABN Amro was the proximate cause of the Scottish bank's problems.
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#3794 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-August-01, 02:11

Another side-effect of the Trump era is the sudden interest in the therapeutic value of psychedelic drugs:
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#3795 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-August-04, 07:56

Lunch with Heather Cox Richardson by Edward Luce at FT

Quote

I twice have to thread my way round the packed Shaw’s Fish & Lobster Wharf restaurant before I locate Heather Cox Richardson. It is a flawless midsummer day. She is leaning against the wooden railings with her back to the sundeck wearing shades and a red baseball cap. Richardson, who is a trim and youthful 58, is intently studying a well-thumbed copy of Sapiens, the sweeping take on human history by Yuval Noah Harari, the Israeli writer (“a little too dry for my taste”, she tells me).

This idyllic corner of mid-coastal Maine, which sits on one of the north-eastern state’s numerous craggy peninsulas, lacks cell phone coverage. We had agreed simply to seek each other out. The restaurant — really a lobster shack, as Mainers call it — does not take reservations. Every outside seat seems to be occupied by day-trippers. I thought I was never going to find you, I tell Richardson. “I had no idea it would be so crowded,” she replies after apologising for turning up semi-incognito.

Like many Mainers, Richardson is a private person and is reluctant to publicise exactly where she lives. Much of her caution stems from the unexpected attention generated by her wildly popular daily post, “Letter from an American”, which she emails every 24 hours at obscure points of the night or early morning to tens of thousands of subscribers.

Though Richardson’s day job is professor of American history at Boston College, 175 miles south of here, her fame derives from the newsletter. It is named after J Hector St John de Crèvecœur’s Letters from an American Farmer, which was published during the American Revolution. Her title is also a hat tip to the BBC’s Alistair Cooke, whose radio series Letter from America was beloved for decades. At no point in America’s history has one of the two main parties literally rejected the rules of the game.

Most people receive Richardson’s submission for free in their email inbox or on her Facebook page, which has 1.4m followers. Some, however, pay $5 a month for the privilege of commenting beneath her posts, which has made Richardson into one of the most successful writers on the newsletter platform Substack. The New York Times estimates that she earns more than $1m a year from it, which is not bad for a New England history professor.

Richardson writes in an understated way that makes her an outlier on a site filled with polemicists such as Glenn Greenwald, the Brazil-based journalist who collaborated with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Andrew Sullivan, one of the original bloggers, now scourge of “woke” liberalism, and Bari Weiss, who resigned from the New York Times last year in protest against its alleged liberal intolerance.

I have come to Maine to find out about Richardson’s unlikely rise to fame and fortune. But we must first put in our orders at what looks like a bus ticket kiosk inside the shack. Richardson chooses the haddock Reuben sandwich with a side of coleslaw and a soda. “Like most Mainers I get really bored of lobster,” she says. This is in spite of the fact that her partner, Buddy, is a lobsterman. As the tourist, I order a standard lobster roll and a bowl of clam chowder. Richardson needs no encouraging to add a glass of wine. She opts for Sauvignon Blanc. I go for Pinot Grigio. “On a day like this, how can I refuse?” she says. Menu Shaw’s Fish & Lobster Wharf 129 ME-32 Suite A, New Harbor, Maine, 04554 Clam chowder $10.95 Reuben sandwich $10.95 Lobster roll $28.95 Soda $2.25 Glass of wine x2 $24 Total (inc tax) $81.35

Most of Richardson’s posts are about what she judges to be the main news of the day. In recent years, this has been more often than not about the threat that Donald Trump and today’s Republican party pose to US democracy. Unlike others, though, she peppers her letters with historical allusions — episodes such as the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act and the 1896 Plessy vs Ferguson Supreme Court ruling that enshrined the Jim Crow era of segregation in the south. That story continues.

Alas, she says, things have in some ways deteriorated since Trump left office. Her last book, which takes us almost up to the present day, is called How the South Won the Civil War. Richardson is considered to be one of America’s most distinguished scholars of the US civil war and its aftermath, as well as the legacy of America’s relentless westwards expansion.

To Richardson, at least, history never ends — still less, American history. “I planned to stop my newsletter after Biden’s first 100 days, but I found that I just couldn’t,” she says. “As a historian I can tell you that at no point in America’s history has one of the two main parties literally rejected the rules of the game.”

We have found a vacant picnic bench partly shaded by a tall stack of lobster cages far from the crowds. Richardson tells me that the petrol gauge on her car flashed red as she was driving down to the wharf. When she refills after our lunch, it will be for the first time since the pandemic started. Covid-19 put an end to her commute to Boston. Most things she needs are in walking distance of her home. “Suddenly it struck me that’s why I feel so relaxed,” she says. “I am so much more at home in Maine than in Boston.”

That hardly seems surprising, I point out. Didn’t her family settle here in the early 1600s? It turns out only her mother’s family did. Her father was from Mississippi. Richardson’s parents ran a hunting and fishing magazine in Maine for several decades. People say I am a good storyteller. I have to tell you I am nothing compared to the old storytellers

I tell Richardson that her deep antecedents in this corner of New England punctures two stereotypes about Americans. First, that early settlers are basically aristocrats. Richardson’s family were “mostly mariners — a lot of sea captains”, she says. Second, that Americans don’t have deep roots. I struggle to think of many Europeans I know who could say they are living where their forebears had resided for the last four centuries.

“Many places round here are still named for the property deeds that were drawn up between the Cox family and the indigenous people of this area,” she says. But she disputes my suggestion that her family’s relative ordinariness would disqualify her for membership of the Daughters of the American Revolution. “Because of my Dad, I could probably join both that society and the Daughters of the Confederacy,” she points out. “I’m not interested in either of those things.”

I tell Richardson that there must be a link between her meteoric recent success and the very matter-of-fact, almost Yankee, style in which she writes her newsletter. Her posts even include footnotes. The lack of jazz and the quiet authority with which she links things that happen today to the American — often New England — events of yore sets Richardson apart from other correspondents.

“People say I am a good storyteller,” she replies. “I have to tell you I am nothing compared to the old storytellers . . . These old guys would come over and tell a simple tale about something. ‘Some guy one day caught a raccoon in a bait bucket . . .’ And to hear that spun out over 35 minutes, you’d break your ribs laughing.”

We are chomping our way somewhat messily through our meals. I had forgotten to pick up paper napkins. Richardson rushes off to grab a pile of them before I can offer. When she gets back, I ask why she makes only commenters pay for her newsletter. She explains that this was a method of sifting out authentic humans from the algorithmic trolls, which used to come in waves.

The first lot were “almost certainly bots posing as young Trumper men”, she says. “They were often obscene.”

It would take hours to take them all down. Then they vanished. Later came “men hitting on women”, and finally “women hitting on men”. This was all on Facebook.

Once she launched her Substack letter, she realised the easiest way of cleansing her site was to make people pay. Robots don’t have any cash. “It’s more about creating a public space where people feel comfortable, where people can comment,” Richardson says. “You’re welcome at my party but don’t pee on my rug — if you do that, I’m going to throw you out the door.”

It worked like a charm. Many of the commenters write lengthy disquisitions on their own family’s tale, or illuminate some forgotten corner of US history. Others pastorally urge Richardson to get more sleep. She only writes late in the evening after having done her day job. Often she wakes up with bruises on her forehead as she has fallen asleep on the table. “Sometimes I think: ‘Oh man, I don’t have the energy,’” she says. “But then I get an email from an old lady who says she can’t drink her coffee until she’s read me, so I carry on.”

Plus, she adds, the paywall has now screened out almost all of the toxicity. Richardson makes a point of replying to as many commenters as possible. “If you’re going to troll me, do it smart,” she says. “Bring in a critique from Karl Marx. Don’t just say: ‘You’re ugly.’ I was asked to get rid of one person on Substack and I just wrote to whomever it was and said ‘you’re upsetting a lot of people’ and this person wrote back, and was unhappy they had upset me, and apologised, and stayed on the site without any further complaints.”

Is she surprised by how lucrative it has become? “People appreciate it’s a huge undertaking and they want to be supportive,” she replies. “I feel very much indebted, not for the money, although that’s lovely, but for the appreciation.” I suggest tentatively that monthly cheques of this magnitude would make it a difficult habit to drop. “What do I need money for where I live?” Richardson says. “Do you know how much work a 40ft yacht is? I have a 14ft kayak. If something happens to it, I use duct tape. My letters began organically and they will die organically.” When Nixon ran for president he would pay all these people to flood the local papers with letters about what a great man he was. Technology has totally changed that game.

That moment will arrive when Richardson judges America’s democratic crisis to be over. At that point she will quit. She points out that America has had periodic moments where newsletters have flourished — during the 1790s in the early stages of the republic, for example, and in the populist era of the 1890s. When she used to do historical research in the basement of Harvard Library — “it was usually just me, an old librarian and [the late novelist] John Updike” — she would frequently look at the letters people wrote to newspapers. “These were the commenters of their day,” she says.

I remind her that someone once joked that Trump’s campaign was “like the comment section deciding to run for president”. She laughs. “When Nixon ran for president he would pay all these people to flood the local papers with letters about what a great man he was. Technology has totally changed that game.”

But is today’s crisis as unique as she says it is? Surely the civil war, and possibly even the late 1960s and early 1970s were just as bad? “No and yes,” Richardson replies. “We’ve had crises in America before that have similarities. One of the differences is that we have for the first time a significant number of leaders who don’t believe in the democratic system — ‘the big lie’ [Trump’s verdict on the 2020 election result] and the attack on Congress on January 6, where they flew the confederate flag from the Capitol. That’s unheard of.

“The present changes our perspective on the past. I think what we discovered in the Trump years is that the oligarchic pathway Republicans had carved before he came along was adjacent to authoritarianism . . . and with Trump they have made that leap. Biden gets this, interestingly enough. We now recognise in this moment what has actually been there for a long time. Now people see what’s been happening. Thank God.”

By now the place is almost empty. What remains of our wine has warmed in the sun. I tell Richardson it must be hard to sustain her anxiety about America amid such beguiling surroundings. She points out that several famous writers live in town and are rarely spotted. “They dress like everyone else,” she says. But the area has many more problems than meet the eye. There are as many Trump voters as liberals. They used to say, “As Maine goes, so goes the nation”, since it was once the first national caucus to be held. There is still some truth to that dictum. “

New Yorkers looking at Mainers think everyone is committing incest, drug addicts — they think it’s the worst of everything,” she says. “Others think it’s paradise. The truth is we have it all and are aware of it all. If you live in an area for a long time you’re accountable. Your bad actions will haunt you but also your grandchildren. Obviously there’s addiction and violence and child abuse, but not much gets swept under the rug because it’s a small town. The coast is pretty wealthy. Upstate is really depressed — that’s a more rightwing area. I spent 30 years in a wealthy Boston suburb but the doors were always closed. You see a lot more here. It feels much more authentic than the other lives I’ve lived.” Recommended Inside BusinessAlex Barker Substack shows publishers the value of journalists

As we saunter back to our respective cars, Richardson points across the shimmering little harbour to a beautiful New England clapboard house on the other side. Its sweeping manicured lawn is dappled with arboreal shade as it slopes down to a private wharf. “Do you know who lives there?” Richardson asks me. No, I say, half-expecting her to say Stephen King, or Updike’s family. “A plumber,” she says. I express surprise they could afford it. She points out that the winters are often hard in coastal Maine. “But once you move here,” Richardson adds, “you never want to leave.”

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#3796 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-August-04, 15:20

View Posty66, on 2021-August-04, 07:56, said:

Lunch with Heather Cox Richardson by Edward Luce at FT




It was a dark and stormy night, I was tucked up in bed wearing red and blue pyjamas with a slightly tepid cocoa reading my dog-eared copy of "How to use adverbs and adjectives to make my prose sound interesting" when I meet someone for lunch.
Did I mention that I have a cat?
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#3797 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-August-09, 07:59

Fun talk with Daniel Kahneman about his new book Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment which he co-authored with Olivier Sibony and Cass R. Sunstein.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#3798 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-August-11, 15:39

Fun conversation between Tyler Cowen and Andrew Sullivan
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#3799 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-August-13, 09:47

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Linda Xiao for The New York Times

Sam Sifton at NYT said:

Good morning. Eric Kim is in The New York Times Magazine this week with a lovely paean to affogato, that delightful modern Italian dessert of gelato drowned by a shot of espresso. “The magic of an affogato is that even a bad one can be very good,” he writes, “but a very good one can change your life.”

Of course he provides a recipe (above) to do just that, along with a no-recipe version you could make at a gas station convenience store or fast-food restaurant out on the great American road: soft serve vanilla ice cream and whatever coffee they’ve got.

Either one will deliver a jolt of pleasure and, if I add a shot of amaro to the mix in order to achieve the up-down feel of coffee and booze that the novelist Lawrence Block’s great detective Matthew Scudder enjoyed for years at Jimmy Armstrong’s Saloon on 57th Street and 10th Avenue, so might you.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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Posted 2021-August-13, 17:38

I ate/drank my first (and so far, only) affogado a couple of weeks ago. I chose one with caramel ice cream, and the taste was fantastic!
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