Archive for the ‘Markets’ Category

Daily Office: Tuesday

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

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¶ Matins: Just what we all need: China produces and sells more than 12,000,000 cars in a single year.

In a sidebar, Jorn Madslien reports that Shanghai Automotive Industries owns a majority share of Shanghai General Motors’s venture in India, leaving (American) General Motors to take “a back seat.” (BBC News)

¶ Lauds: A very interesting comment from Felix Salmon, writing about productivity/price differentials between the fine-arts and photography markets. The former has split in two, with mass-marketed items buoying a “an elite circle of valuable works.” The dynamic hasn’t been tried in photography.

¶ Prime: Alex Tabarrok writes about Project Cybersyn, an economic regulator waaaaay ahead of its time. (Marginal Revolution)

¶ Tierce: How to account for same-sex liaisons in terms of natural selection? The investigation promises to be complex and counterintuitive. Also: resistant to cross-species generalizations!

Gore Vidal has always insisted that there is really no such thing as homosexuality; perhaps he’s right after all. (New Scientist)

¶ Sext: What you need to know in order to navigate the tricky holiday shopping season: it will cost $395. (The Onion; via The Morning News)

¶ Nones: New, and with more than T-shirts: Ottomaniacs!  One thing seems clear: Turkey is finally emerging from Atatürk’s secular tutelage, a nation with imperial memories. (NYT)

¶ Vespers: At HuffPo, Alexander Nazaryan proposes Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland as the American novel of the passing decade. We heartily concur, and we nominate Joshua Ferris’s Then We Came to the End as runner-up.  

¶ Compline: Witold Rybczynski reports that academic architects still don’t like Christopher Alexander’s patterns. (Slate; via Arts Journal)

Daily Office: Thursday

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

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¶ Matins:  Matins: Darshak Sanghavi, a pediatric cardiologist and the health-care columnist at Slate, writes lucidly about medical-malpractice litigation. The tort-based system is broken, but it works, sort of. Dr Sanghavi likens it to a casino — terrifying doctors as a class while overcompensating a handful of plaintiffs — but he also attributes significant drops in patient injuries to lessons learned. (via The Morning News)

¶ Lauds: Two public spaces that people will know better from photographs than from visits: The National September 11 Memorial & Museum (when and if) and the White House. The latter, which is indeed a house, requires periodic replacement therapy, in the form of “redecoration,” a word that, Martin Filler tells us, Jacqueline Kennedy didn’t like. (via Felix Salmon and The Morning News)

¶ Prime: Felix Salmon reminds us that nothing is riskier than a market in which everyone shuns risk.

¶ Tierce: Muscato remembers his family’s observance of Veteran’s Day.

¶ Sext: Two pieces that were printed side-by-side in the Times, and ought to have appeared in the same fashion online. Food colleagues Kim Severson and Julia Moskin are Jack Sprat and his wife about Thanksgiving. For Ms Severson, it is all about turkey. For Ms Moskin, the turkey is a turkey. The bitchery is quite amiable.

¶ Nones: We’re not quite sure why the offer would help negotiations along, but the UK will return 45 square miles of sovereign territory on Cyprus to — to whom? We can remember when Cyprus was in the news every day. Remember Archbishop Makarios?  (BBC News)

¶ Vespers: Dan Hill’s review of Alain de Botton’s Heathrow book, A Week at the Airport, is long and serious but hugely compelling, inspired to be challenging where the book under review leaves off. For example, after quoting the passage about an interview with an airline CEO that stressed the fact that neither the CEO nor Mr de Botton works in a profit-making industry, Mr Hill cocks an eyebrow. (City of Sound; via The Tomorrow Museum)

¶ Compline: David Dobbs argues for replacing the “vulnerability” model of genetic variation with an “orchid” model. The older thinking holds that variants increase their carriers’ vulnerability to disorder. The new idea acknowledges vulnerability but also inverts it, seeing heightened access to special skills. (The Atlantic)

Daily Office: Thursday

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

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¶ Matins: Jebediah Reed complains about some insidiously sexy energy ads, at The Infrastructurist.

¶ Lauds: Jon Henley considers the French tradition of treating artists as out-of-the-ordinary — à propos Roman Polanski’s arrest in Switzerland.

¶ Prime: Oops! Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand appears to have hidden the Prisoner’s Dilemma — from Alan Greenspan, at least. John Cassidy at The New Yorker.

¶ Tierce: A library/staircase, in London, at Apartment Therapy. (via kottke.org)

¶ Sext: How to make… (are you sitting down?)… Bacon Mayonnaise. And we don’t mean mayonnaise with bits of bacon broken up in it. We mean mayonnaise made with over a cup of bacon fat! (At How to Cook Like Your Grandmother.)

¶ Nones: Honduras’ Geneeral Romeo Vasquez thinks that it’s time  to come to terms. As the man who oversaw the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya, he may be listened to.

¶ Vespers: Patrick Kurp connects two great Italian modernists, Giorgio Morandi and Eugenio Montale.

¶ Compline: Arthur Krystal’s essay, “When Writers Speak,” reminded us that, even though we can make no properly scientific claims in our support, everything that Steven Pinker says about language seems not so much wrong as tone-deaf.  

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Daily Office: Thursday

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

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¶ Matins: Michael Specter takes a good look at the potentially scary field of synthetic biology — and does not panic.

¶ Lauds: Booing at the Met: Luc Bondy’s Tosca. (Not to be confused with Puccini’s, no matter what they sang. Maybe Sardou’s, though.)

¶ Prime: Engineering in the Age of Fractals, or “Why Bankers Are Like Bacteria.” (via Felix Salmon)

¶ Tierce: Abe Sauer’s quite informative Essay Touching Upon the Economics of Britney Spears’s Circus Tour Show in Grand Forks, North Dakota; or, Don’t Blame Ticketmaster.

¶ Sext: It’s a bit early for us, but our cousin Kurt Holm will be on the Early Show tomorrow morning, and CBS Studios at 59th and Fifth will be the place to hang out.  (Between 7:15 and 9, I’m told.) This week at notakeout: Mark Bittman guests!

¶ Nones: Yesterday, we were reminded of Il Trovatore. Today, it’s Rodelinda. How did Manuel Zelaya get back into Honduras? The sort of question that never comes up in genuine opera seria. Maybe this is opera buffa.

¶ Vespers: The book to read before it’s sold over here: The Queen Mother: The Official Biography, by William Shawcross. Why? Because she was “Past Caring.”

¶ Compline: Mash-ups considered as the model for creative intelligence, at The Frontal Cortex.

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Daily Office: Tuesday

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

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¶ Matins: The Economics Department at Notre Dame plans to dissolve its humanist, “heterodox” wing, and focus exclusively on “sophisticated training in quantitative methods in addition to a liberal-arts emphasis.” (via Marginal Revolution)

¶ Lauds: Michael Johnston ogles a book of “camera porn” from the George Eastman House. SFW!

¶ Prime: James Surowiecki calls for detaching the ratings agencies from official securities regulation.

¶ Tierce: Tom Scocca, Dad with a pen, goofs again: “It was a mistake to get on the Metro train with the kid riding on my shoulders.”

¶ Sext: Of the lower 48 states, 5 birds are 26 states’ official avian: Cardinal (7), Mockingbird (6), Meadowlark (6), Bluebird (4), and Goldfinch (3).

¶ Nones: Wake-up call from New Delhi to Indian state governments: “Leak reveals India Maoist threat.”

¶ Vespers: Emily Gould’s report on a panel discussion about the future of fiction is the sort of document that we don’t want to lose sight of: this is how published authors regarded the Internet/marketing/branding in September 2009: still in the old-fashioned way. (via The Rumpus)

¶ Compline: “Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres”: Project Gaydar at MIT. (via The Morning News)

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Daily Office: Friday

Friday, September 18th, 2009

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¶ Matins: An attempt to “urbanize” Tyson’s Corner, Virginia appears to have spooked the planners: they don’t want anything too urban!

¶ Lauds: With Julie & Julia about to open in France, a number of critics are echoing Mme Brassart.

¶ Prime: A word about arbitrage from Felix Salmon. Actually, two words:

  • Picking up nickels in front of a steamroller
  • Don’t try this at home.

¶ Tierce: As if it had been waiting for rifts within the Anglican Communion to threatens its future, Canterbury Cathedral has begun to fall down in earnest. (via The Morning News)

¶ Sext: Fast Food: The DeStyling.

¶ Nones: Has or has not fighting broken out between China and India? Officially, not. But the media on both sides pipe a different tune. Amit Baruah reports from the BBC.

¶ Vespers: A nice, long, faux-depressing, genuinely funny look at the publishing biz, by former Random House editor Daniel Menaker.

¶ Compline: Paul Graham on The List of N Things: sometimes a simple list fits the case exactly, but, too often, it’s “a degenerate case of essay.” (via  Mnémoglyphes)

Bon weekend à tous!

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Daily Office: Thursday

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

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¶ Matins: Is there such a thing as good luck? Ayn Rand’s fans are certain that there is not: hard work is everything. Jonathan Chait assesses the Rand legacy in light of this conviction, at The New Republic. (via The Morning News)

¶ Lauds: Our latest discovery: MetEveryday. (Thanks, Ms NOLA!)

¶ Prime: David Leonhardt profiles Robert Shiller — in the Yale Alumni Magazine, naturally. (via Marginal Revolution)

¶ Tierce: A violin repair shop in Morningside Hides has been told to cease and desist from violating antiquated zoning restrictions. No, noise is not the issue.

¶ Sext: Links to an assortment of Lost Symbol reviews, at Speakeasy.

¶ Nones: True-life ghost fleet — container ships and other freighters parked off of Singapore. (via  The Infrastructurist)

¶ Vespers: John Curran, author of Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks, lists then top ten titles in her ouevre. How many have you read? (Film adaptations don’t count!) (via Campaign for the American Reader)

¶ Compline: Jason Kottke asks (in a footnote, no less):

You’ve got to wonder when Apple is going to change the name of the iPhone. The phone part of the device increasingly seems like an afterthought, not the main attraction. The main benefit of the device is that it does everything. How do you choose a name for the device that has everything? Hell if I know.

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Daily Office: Tuesday

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

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¶ Matins: Caleb Crain examines the culture of economic adversity — in the Depression.

¶ Lauds: Holland Cotter hopes that we have seen the last of the blockbuster exhibition.

¶ Prime: Over the weekend, Times columnist Joe Nocera raised the “what if” question about Lehman, speculating that “it had to die to save Wall Street.” James Surowiecki isn’t so sure — and neither are we.

¶ Tierce: More about the clothing style known as “trad”: this time from Joe Pompeo, at the Observer. (via Ivy Style)

¶ Sext: We had never seen a picture of today’s Hilo Hero, Margaret Sanger, before.

¶ Nones: Is Internet opinion in China driving a trade confrontation with the United Statess?

¶ Vespers: At The Second Pass, John Williams passes on The Lost Symbol — in advance.

¶ Compline: At  Good, 10 great urban parks, seen from above at roughly the same scale.

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Daily Office: Friday

Friday, September 11th, 2009

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¶ Matins: James Surowiecki assesses President Obama’s Health Care speech, finding it a success.

¶ Lauds: A Portrait of a Man, bequeathed to the Museum as a Velásquez, demoted to “studio of Velésquez” by skeptical curators, is revealed to be a Velásquez again — after cleaning and conservation.

¶ Prime: Megan McArdle explains why investment bankers make so much money. Think: drop in the bucket. Also: movie trailer. (via Felix Salmon)

¶ Tierce: Who needs the movie? While planning your weekend getaway, you can have your fill of prison scenes at Scouting New York.

¶ Sext: It has been a while since we were treated to a gallery of weird old LP jackets. This one, it seems, comes from Russia. (Don’t be put off by the first, rather distubring one.)

¶ Nones: Hugo Chávez tears another page out of the Castro playbook, and sucks up to Mother Russia. And we thought that we’d won the Cold War once and for all!

¶ Vespers: Richard Nash writes about Ted Striphas’s The Late Age of Print. The book, which assesses the history of publishing and bookselling in clearly commercial terms, sounds compelling, but the review is an absolute must. (Grocery stores?)

¶ Compline: How two 75 year-old former bombshells couldn’t be more different, after all these years. Which would be your choice, stray cats or tomcats? (via Arts Journal)

Bon Weekend à tous!

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Daily Office: Thursday

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

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¶ Matins: Jonah Lehrer, cross-posting for the vacationing Andrew Sullivan, anticipates the legalization of marijuana.

¶ Lauds: It’s not new, but we just found out about it: Thorsten Fleisch’s Gestalt.

¶ Prime: Although slightly intemperate in tone, David Barash’s essay at Chron Higher Ed persuasively equates the “growth economy” with the “Ponzi economy”: “We Are All Madoffs.”

¶ Tierce: We forget who it was who commented on the following report with the quip, good thing Alan Bloom is dead: “Twitter 101: DePaul University’s Social Media Prof Gives His Syllabus.” Oh! Of course! It was Christopher Shea.

¶ Sext: V X Sterne urges respect for the typical Ian Fleming villain. ”With his historic level of megalomania, his massively outsized sense of entitlement, his complete lack of perspective, his issues with impulse control, that infantile fixation on revenge, it’s a wonder he gets anything done.”

¶ Nones: Greece reboots: Prime Minister Karamanlis calls for a “snap election.”

¶ Vespers: At Survival of the Book, Brian picks up Christopher’s thread (Oops! We mixed them up) and considers the lost art of writing — writing real books, that is.

¶ Compline: Tom Scocca muses on the mad appeal of Useless Facts. (via kottke.org)

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Daily Office: Wednesday

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

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¶ Matins: Lawrence Krauss is not joking when he suggests, on the Times Op-Ed page, that the best way to get men to Mars is to abandon the idea of bringing astronauts back home.

¶ Lauds: Luc Sante reminisces about Jean-Michel Basquiat. “I was happy for him, but then it became obvious he was flaming out at an alarming pace.”

¶ Prime: William Cohan profiles Chris Flowers, a financial Icarus — of sorts (he’s still worth $1.5 billion). (via Felix Salmon)

¶ Tierce: MetaFilter Discovery Nº 1 (we made two of them, the other day): amassblog, designer James Phillips Williams’s catalogue blogué of the things that he collects.

¶ Sext: MetaFilter Discovery Nº 2: Stuff Christian Culture Likes. Mordant and wry but not patronising.

¶ Nones: Visiting Dansk on the 70th anniversary of the German invasion of Poland, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin denounces the Nazi-Soviet pact as “immoral,” and deplores the Russian atrocity at Katyn in 1940.

¶ Vespers: Michelle Huneven explains the not-so-pedestrian charm of listening to books while taking a daily constitutional.

¶ Compline: We only just finished reading “Critical Shopper,” Justin Wolfe’s magnificent essay on the pleasures of reading about exotic foodstuffs and expensive scents, neither of which he expects to sample in this lifetime. Take your time, but be sure to read it yourself!

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Daily Office: Wednesday

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

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¶ Matins: Sorry! We missed this amazing news on Friday: “Mexico Legalizes Drug Possession.”

¶ Lauds: Christopher Hampton will adapt, Sam Mendes will direct, and Oprah Winfrey will produce a film version of Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland.

¶ Prime: Tyler Cowen asks if the bailouts were a good idea, and decides that they were.

¶ Tierce: Thirteen year-old Laura Dekker wants to sail around the world, alone. Her parents don’t object, but the Nederlander government does. A tough call?

¶ Sext: President Obama has lost all “creditability,” according to an anti-health-care-plan auto-faxer that somehow came to the attention of Choire Sicha. Sure, the wingnuts are scary. But, boy, can’t they write!

¶ Nones: Why special Sharia courts in secular nations pose a threat to sovereignty: “Malaysia Postpones Whipping of Woman Who Drank Beer.”

¶ Vespers: John Self behaves himself, and reads Bohumil Hrabal’s Closely Watched Trains. (He had owned a copy for a while.)

¶ Compline: The awful truth about asexuality: it’s not awful! (via  Joe.My.God)

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Daily Office: Tuesday

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

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¶ Matins: Jonah Lehrer proposes a molecular theory of curiosity: don’t worry, it’s easily grasped.

¶ Lauds: David Denby’s unfavorable review of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds makes sense to us — which confirms our suspicion that it is an old-man view of things.

¶ Prime: Felix Salmon reads that crazy story about the guy with the $25,000 certified check in his briefcase, and contemplates a depressing conclusion.

¶ Tierce: Why rock stars ought to die young: “eccentric-looking old man” spooks renters, turns out to be Bob Dylan. (via The Morning News)

¶ Sext: A “Good Food Manifesto for America”, from former basketball pro Will Allen. (via How to Cook Like Your Grandmother)

¶ Nones: Turkey struck an interesting agreement with Iraq last week: more water (for Iraq) in exchange for tougher crackdowns on PKK rebels active near the Turkish border. (via Good)

¶ Vespers: Not so hypothetical: what if you could teach only one novel in a literature class that would probably constitute your students’ only contact with great fiction? A reader asks the editors of The Millions.

¶ Compline: Two former policemen argue for legalizing narcotics. (via reddit)

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Daily Office: Thursday

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

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¶ Matins: Great news! Our trade deficit widened, as we imported yet more junk in June! That must mean that our economy is doing better, right?

¶ Lauds: A new artists’ colony — this one just for composers — will start up in Westchester next month. (via Arts Journal)

¶ Prime: The shipping news: Los Angeles/Long Beach would rank as the world’s fifth busiest container port, if they were tabulated together.

¶ Tierce: The case that has everything keeps on giving. Subway stabbings! (Almost.)

¶ Sext: Can powdered wigs be far behind? The spoofsters at Being Tyler Brûlé staff the eponymous (amd still fictional) airline.

¶ Nones: Hugo Chávez declares that golf is not a sport; officials move to close courses.

¶ Vespers: Now that everybody seems to be reading The Age of Wonder, Richard Holmes’s book about a handful of scientists working between the heydays of Enlightenment and Romanticism, we are ever more mindful that science, however bound to numbers (rightly so!), is practiced by messy human minds.

¶ Compline: Jonah Lehrer on the self: a ghost that runs the machine. “The self feels like a singular thing – I am me – and yet it comes from no single brain area…”

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Daily Office: Wednesday

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

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¶ Matins: First the bad news, then the worse: Bob Herbert on the ongoing evaporation of good jobs, and Adam Cohen on a Supreme Court challenge to the ban on direct corporate political contributions.

¶ Lauds: The Chicago Tribune‘s Blair Kamin asks, “Can the public love public art to death?” Perhaps “love” is not the word, but, yes. Ben van Berkel’s temporary Burnham Plan Pavilion in Millennium Park will close for four days of repairs. (via  Arts Journal)

¶ Prime: Two scapegraces — one of whom ended the other’s Wall Street career — don wise-old-men hats, and discuss “Who Killed Wall Street?

¶ Tierce: Muscato muses rather eloquently on differences in ageing, then (1956) and now. “The New Math” considers two 51 year-old women…

¶ Sext: Almost as cool as the High Line, plus they’re in Brooklyn: the alleys of Crown Heights, at Scouting NYC.

¶ Nones: What to do about Burma? Now that Aung San Suu Kyi has been senteced to more house arrest, in a bogus move to keep her off the next year’s ballot, sovereign critics of the ruling junta can choose from three options: pouting ineffectively, imposing sanctions of doubtful impact, or “doing something,” whatever that means. In other words, bupkis.

¶ Vespers: We haven’t read Richard Russo, but John Williams’s review of the latest novel, That Old Cape Magic, at The Second Pass, might change that.

¶ Compline: A young teacher at a charter school quits, claiming, basically, that she was starved for respect. Her principal replies, observing that “teaching is never about the teacher.” True — but would anyone be having this conversation if teaching were properly compensated? (via Brainiac) (more…)

Daily Office: Tuesday

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

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¶ Matins: David Carr writes about The Party. You know the one! The Talk launch, which happened ten years ago last Sunday. Remember? When the Web was a “niche”?

¶ Lauds: Alex Ross’s New Yorker column on the wealth of interesting music available through Internet portals, “Infinite Playlist,” hits a lot of bases, but keeps running.

¶ Prime: Thinking of “investing in art”? Felix Salmon: Don’t be daft.

¶ Tierce: Compare and contrast these contemporary fines: $675,000 for file sharing in Massachusetts; $1300 for second DUI arrest. Get your dose of righteous anger at World Class Stupid — it’ll make you laugh before you can rant.

¶ Sext: Here’s something useful to fight about while we ponder Michael Pollan on cooking and couches: the (Scottish or English) origins of haggis.

¶ Nones: Sometimes, ceremony matters. A lot of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s former cronies stayed away from his “endorsement.”

¶ Vespers: Here’s a wonderful new literary game from LRB: take the title of a famous book and attach it to the name of an author who (a) couldn’t possibly have written it or (b) would have turned in a very different text.

¶ Compline: David Bromwich writes about “America’s Serial Warriors,” captured at Tomgram. (via The Morning News)

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Daily Office: Thursday

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

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¶ Matins: At Politico, nutritionist Katherine Tallmadge writes from up close and personal about the runaway unhealthiness of life in our Capitol. (via The Morning News)

¶ Lauds: At the London Review of Books, Michael Wood exposes the “rococo” nonsense of North By Northwest, and thereby explains why Hitchcock’s masterpiece is so gripping.

¶ Prime: In two posts, Felix Salmon asks two good questions: Has the NYC housing market bottomed? (No.) Have we “wasted” the financial crisis? (Yes.)

¶ Tierce: Lee Landor, deputy press secretary to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, resigns subito when some of her Facebook comments, calling Henry Louis Gates a racist and referring to “O-dumb-a,” were forwarded to her boss.

¶ Sext: In a somewhat more serious social app boo-boo, Amanda Bonnen of Chicago has been sued by the company that managed her former apartment, for libel by tweet.

¶ Nones: At the London Review Blog, Hugh Miles writes about a scandal in Libya — or is it a scandal on Capitol Hill?

¶ Vespers: In The Atlantic Fiction 2009 issues, four international writers, all of them Anglophone but none American (although Joseph O’Neill has become a US citizen), discuss the tension between nation(alism) and literature.

¶ Compline: Any story that links soldiers and information makes us happy. “In Battle, Hunches Prove to Be Valuable.” And we remember when intuition was for girls.

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Daily Office: Thursday

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

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¶ Matins: A counter-intuitive HIV-prevention strategy that is gaining traction. (via Good)

¶ Lauds: At The New Republic, Antoni Cimolino argues against “adapting” Shakespeare for modern ears. (via The Morning News)

¶ Prime: Felix Salmon (who happened to see the eclipse in China) is not convinced that the advent of 401(k) plans was a positive financial innovation.

¶ Tierce: Nothing really happened in the Marshall trial today, but I sense a sea change in the case.

¶ Sext: Tom Scocca sings of time and the bed — and a kid who’s discovered “testing.”

¶ Nones: Sudan takes an important step toward partition (between North and South) — at The Hague.

¶ Vespers: Anglophone literature in India takes a new turn: with more Indian readers, writers can focus on local life to an extent that makes their work difficult to follow outside of India. (via Arts Journal)

¶ Compline: The story following this headline actually lives up to it: “Laptop? Check. Student Playlist? Check. Classroom of the Future? Check,” by Jennifer Medina.

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Daily Office: Tuesday

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

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¶ Matins: Joe Bagent considers the growth of the white underclass. Anecdotally.

¶ Lauds: How about a very plausible mash-up of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Rick Astley’s ”Never Gonna Let You Down”? (via MetaFilter)

¶ Prime: Felix Salmon disagrees (violently) with Robert Shiller’s reconsideration  of sub-prime mortgages.

¶ Tierce: What’s the difference between $700 million and $50 billion — aside from the number of victims and the size of their losses? Who was the bigger spender — Bernie Madoff or Mark Dreier?

¶ Sext: Lately, I’ve tugged by an existential anxiety: why, week after week, can’t I bring myself to open — not even to open — the Sunday Times Magazine? Happily (and hilariously), Tom Scocca and Choire Sicha have the answer: “Memoirs! Leer At Yer Crazy Memoirs! From A Circus of ‘Times’ Employees, A Thousand Magazine Excerpts Bloom“.

¶ Nones: Just say ‘No’: “Georgians Hope U.S. Will Join Boundary Monitors.” I propose Chinese troops for this job. The Chinese and the Russians have a long history of border disputes.

¶ Vespers: Ann Leary proposes some “Good Books for Hard Times.”

¶ Compline: Although we strongly disapprove of performance-enchancing drugs of any kind (we just read Methland!), we think that it would be a mistake to dismiss Jamais Cascio’s Atlantic essay, “Get Smarter,” as just another piece of futurism.

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Daily Office: Tuesday

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

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¶ Matins: It’s  Bastille Day — but not in France. In France, it’s “La fête nationale.” What do you say to friends on le quatorze juillet?

You say, “Bonjour, madame,” comme d’habitude.

¶ Lauds: You know, before you even start reading, that Anthony Tommassini is not going to give Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna top marks. But if you read between the lines, his review begins to look like a rave.

¶ Prime: Robert X Cringely writes about the MADD strategies of Google and Microsoft, and how, if either of them suffers a mortal blow, it won’t have been aimed by the other.

¶ Tierce: Pardon me, but I’m no longer interested in the Marshall trial’s verdict, whatever it may be. I’m already casting the movie. Who wants to play Brooke Astor, banging her cane as she is “dragged” into the library? Or saying, “I feel like throwing food in someone’s face”?

¶ Sext: It’s very easy to make fun of Town & Country — if you’re not throwing up into an air-sickness bag — but Choire Sicha can be counted upon to do it well.

¶ Nones: We throw up our hands: both sides in the Honduras dispute request American intervention. What a sterling opportunity to make enemies and influence people to hate the United States.

¶ Vespers: At The Millions, novelist Sonya Chung tells us what it was like to meet her new book’s dust jacket.

¶ Compline: Meet the Schweeb. An amusement-park ride for the time being, it may become tomorrow’s urban transport. (Via Infrastructurist)

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