Sunday
Jun212015

More Findings

Eight things I underlined in the July Harper's:

1. Black Americans die younger in areas with more Google searches for "nigger."

2. Happiness creates a signature smell in human sweat that can induce happiness in those who smell it.

3. There is no such thing as pure autism.

4. There is no such thing as pure dominance.

5. Prominent composers in the nineteenth century died 2.2 years earlier if another major composer lived in the same city.

6. Middle initials are overrepresented among lead authors of psychology articles.

7. Chins, which are unique to modern humans, are not useful.

8. A Chernobyl fox made itself a sandwich.

Tuesday
Jun092015

Big bucks for short talks

My latest:

Toward the end of his presidency, George W. Bush told Robert Draper, reporting for a book called Dead Certain, that he intended after vacating the Oval Office to “replenish the ol’ coffers.” He said he could make “ridiculous” money on the lecture circuit.

“I don’t know what my dad gets, but it’s more than 50, 75” thousand dollars a speech, he said.

“Clinton’s making a lot of money,” he added.

As critics over the years have chided Bill Clinton and also his wife for the industriousness with which they have pursued opportunities to get paid a lot of money in this manner, Bush, too, has been doing exactly what he said he would be doing.

Since 2009, POLITICO has found, Bush has given at least 200 paid speeches and probably many more, typically pocketing $100,000 to $175,000 per appearance. The part-time work, which rarely requires more than an hour on stage, has earned him tens of millions of dollars.

Relative to the Clintons, though, he’s attracted considerably less attention, almost always doing his paid public speaking in private, in convention centers and hotel ballrooms, resorts and casinos, from Canada to Asia, from New York to Miami, from all over Texas to Las Vegas a bunch, playing his part in what has become a lucrative staple of the modern post-presidency.

Keep reading. So far at POLITICO.

Saturday
May302015

Rule No. 953 in the May Esquire

Events that are inappropriate to live-tweet: Your delay waiting to board; your delay waiting to take off; your delay waiting to disembark; your delay at the baggage carousel; the mix-up at the car-rental place; the traffic on the way home from the airport; the accident causing the traffic jam; the accident that you've just caused because you're tweeting and driving; your own death.

Tuesday
May262015

Tuesday night's best sentence

Our first glimpse of them bodes ill: limber beauties, draped in muslin underwear and hosing themselves down in the middle of nowhere. Click.

Tuesday
May262015

Makes me think of football

This sentence in the Kelefa Sanneh piece in the May 25 New Yorker:

But if boxing is dying it has been dying for a long time, which may mean that it can continue to die for a long time yet.

Tuesday
May262015

In case you missed it ...

He was born in Midland, Texas, and he spent a good bit of his boyhood in Houston, and he went to high school in Andover, Massachusetts, and to college in Austin, Texas, and he has lived for the last three and a half decades in Miami. But at the top of the list of the most important places in the world in the life of Jeb Bush is the central Mexican state of Guanajuato, and its conservative, old-world Catholic capital of León. Keep reading.

Monday
May252015

Lee Jenkins on Steph Curry

In the new SI with Stephen on the cover, Lee here is of course right:

Curry's great gift, besides his shot, is leveraging the attention/anxiety/terror that shot inspires.

Some additional pre-Game 4 reading?

Monday
May252015

The new Findings

Four things I underlined in the June Harper's in one of my favorite regular features in any magazine:

1. Approximately 3.6 million Americans are impulsively angry and carry guns in public.

2. Use of "I" and "me" goes down 69 percent in the tweets of the recently engaged.

3. Some prepsychotic adolescents are not truly cold and callous but just upset and sad.

4. An environmental sociologist who divided dog owners' defecation-management strategies into "traditional," "responsible," and "furtive" types suggested that "the poop lying on the pavement nicely wrapped up in a plastic bag can be understood as a form of collective communication to the dog-less outside world: 'Look, I tried, but ...'"