In My Glorious Rule…

We would build miles of neighborhoods like these (near suburban train stations, downtown cores, over deserted and hideous strip malls…) SF Girl by Bay – LITTLE HOUSES OF WESTLAKE. They’re all 2 or 3 bedroom homes, with 1 bathroom, and tiny, manageable yards. Because to get started on the housing ladder, you do NOT need […]

Categories: History

Death on the Nile

Mark Steyn: The Princess and the Brotherhood For nine decades, Egypt has fled modernity. For my part, I would bet Egypt’s fate will be largely driven by its fiscal ruin. Morsi is a good example of what happens when full-blown Islamic rule is put into effect in a country without the benefit of oil. He’s […]

Categories: Geography and Foreign Affairs

The Death of Culture

With an unexpected Die Boomers Die twist at the end! Vanity Fair – You Say You Want a Devolution? For most of the last century, America’s cultural landscape—its fashion, art, music, design, entertainment—changed dramatically every 20 years or so. But these days, even as technological and scientific leaps have continued to revolutionize life, popular style […]

Categories: Business & Media

*Bursts Into Applause*

I’ve been reading this, via Janice Turner’s Twitter feed, on my phone, and I’ve gotten up to “there are criticisms flying about” and I had to get up and link to it on here because I just keep laughing out loud and doing subtle air punches (we’ve just had dinner, the child is in bed, […]

Categories: Art and Literature

In Which Some Corners of the Internet Are Vastly Superior to Others

It’s a funny old world. One must never, never, never read the comments of a news article, a newspaper opinion article, a youtube video, a post on a political blog (unless independently run and strictly moderated); even amazon and yelp reviews will mostly only serve to cause confusion and anguish (best to stick to the […]

Categories: Science and Nature

Jan Steen: A Painter For Our Age

(Unrelated, but: Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!) On Friday I went to the de Young Museum in San Francisco to see the Girl with a Pear Earring (Dutch Paintings From the Mauritshuis). It really is a lovely painting. Nobody seems to point out how Vermeer seems to have put the whole thing out of focus (especially […]

Categories: Art and Literature

And the Most Amazing Item of the Day

Judi Dench in Cabaret! From the video’s notes: Yes, that Judi Dench…from the original London production of Cabaret in 1968…keep in mind, the character of Sally Bowles from the original stories was supposed to be woefully untalented (this was changed for the Liza Minnelli film version) and this particular song was not included in the […]

Categories: Entertainment

Plucky Little Peugot

Time Machine *cries* Curtsy: Vanderleun.

Categories: Sports and Leisure

China Getting Older Before It Gets Rich

The Telegraph – IMF sees 140m jobs shortage in ageing China as ‘Lewis Point’ hits China’s vast reserve of cheap workers in the hinterland is vanishing at a vertiginous pace. We can now discern more or less when the catch-up growth miracle will sputter out. Another seven years or so – enough to bouy global […]

Categories: Geography and Foreign Affairs

The Lykovs of the Khakassian Taiga

This is about the most amazing thing I’ve read in ages; I don’t know WHY the headline points out that they missed WWII when they missed EVERYTHING and that is hardly the most interesting thing about their story (the missing of events, that is). Smithsonian – For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off […]

Categories: History

Trains! Steam Edition

Obviously I sat on this till it was too late to be of any actionable interest to anyone, BUT STILL! Look out for four steam trains in London this Saturday And then I’ve had this sitting on my desk, from the October issue of WIRED (I can’t find it online), page 48: BACK ON TRACK […]

Categories: Science and Nature

In Which I Spend 16 Minutes Staring at Liz Taylor

Yeah so I just watched this whole thing: Liz Taylor & Mike Todd – A Happy Marriage Random observations: • People have been saying their daughters are so smart they’ll be the first female president since before the Baby Boomers invented the line. • Liz Taylor is cool.

Categories: Entertainment

A 40 Year History of Wedding Dresses

This is really interest. Mostly because it proves that the obligatory cupcake-and-chiffon dress wasn’t a Thing for (shall we say) post-virginal brides until, yup, the 1990s. I actually like dresses 2, 3, and 4 the best (the first one is lovely but if it’s done by a studio’s costume designer I don’t think it particularly […]

Categories: Entertainment

Trains! XXIV

Wheat & Weeds – Trains! Sigh, think what the world would look like if we still got around by train. We live right next to the little downtown of the little town we live in and running along side us and it is a 4 lane road (quite lovely, at least) which was paved over […]

Categories: History

Thrilling Developments in Saxon History

An overlooked area of history, I think: BBC (video) – Archaeologists ‘find palace site’ at Kingsholm

Categories: History