NPR Topics: U.S.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Placinta

Mr. Placinta,  the furry   creature in the picture, lives in a  newspaper kiosk

A heavy beautiful poem. Hat-tip to my friend Calin

BURIAL PRACTICE
By Srikanth Reddy

...
Then the pulse.
Then a pause.
Then twilight in a box.
Dusk underfoot.
Then generations.



Then the same war by a different name.
Wine splashing in the bucket.
The erection, the era.
Then exit Reason.
Then sadness without reason.
Then the removal of the ceiling by hand.



Then pages & pages of numbers.
Then the page with the faint green stain.
Then the page on which Prince Theodore, gravely wounded,
is thrown onto a wagon.
Then the page on which Masha weds somebody else.
Then the page that turns to the story of somebody else.
Then the page scribbled in dactyls.
Then the page which begins Exit Angel .
Then the page wrapped around a dead fish.
Then the page where the serfs reach the ocean.
Then a nap.
Then the peg.
Then the page with the curious helmet.
Then the page on which millet is ground.
Then the death of Ursula.
Then the stone page they raised over her head.
Then the page made of grass which goes on.



Exit Beauty.



Then the page someone folded to mark her place.
Then the page on which nothing happens.
The page after this page.


Then the transcript.
Knocking within.


Interpretation, then harvest.


Exit Want.
Then a love story.


Then a trip to the ruins.
Then & only then the violet agenda.


Then hope without reason.
Then the construction of an underground passage between us.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Back in Snowy Indiana

A bit confused,  but things are becoming  swiftly familiar again.

Monday, December 6, 2010

An alternative to Amazon

Goggle has oppened its ebook store.   What's nice, is that you can use  almost any  device to read those books,  except you guessed, KINDLE. Even better, and you can purchase them from many sellers, including independent ones including

Powell's Books

Allibris

and many indie bookstores

Monday, November 15, 2010

'Skinny'

I'm a 6ft, 200lb  middle-aged man for whom the attribute skinny  does not  correspond to reality. I went shopping for some jeans this past weekend, and  in all of the stores that I visited, all of the models that I liked were     in the 'skinny' version. That was telling me that  I have no place shopping in there.  Kinda bad business, given that  I have both the resources and the desire to shop.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Money

The more I think about money, the less I understand its meaning. I understand a pound of chorizo, or a bottle of bourbon.  But what in the world in  one dollar worth?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

IMF vs Romania

The latest IMF  report  on Romanian finances is scathing. I guess it comes a time when the shit hits the fan.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A letter to the editor of ''The Tech''

I found this piece in The Tech,   MIT's student newspaper.   I could not take quietly the cheap shot at the end of the article  and I  sent this message to the editor.


I have a few comments about the piece Derail the High Speed Rail

I think  that the analysis in this piece  would have been much more illuminating if the author  included  some statistics about how much   the truly high speed rails (in  France, Germany and Japan)  do reduce the congestion.
Only then one could begin to understand  whether these investments make sense or not. Compared to the French TGV at 200mph +  our high speed rail looks like an over caffeinated    nag.   The author  has a broad analysis of costs,  but only  a skinny one on the benefits.    I assume that the construction of the Subway System  was not cheap, but I believe it does reduce the congestion. It is difficult to imagine how  New York, or Boston or Chicago would  function without these systems.


The author   argues that   the liberals obsession with the rail  `` it is rooted in an affection for authoritarianism and collectivism, a latent hatred for the go-anywhere-leave-anytime freedom that automobile owners enjoy''.

I find this to be  a  cheap shot  that does not fit the tone of the rest of the paper.  I would remind the author that the ``the go-anywhere-leave-anytime freedom that automobile owners enjoys ''   is based on  another massive governmental  investment,   the Eisenhower  Highway System. As we well know, this  idea of highway system  is of a dictatorial extraction (yes, it is Hitler and his autobahns).  Just because Hitler had this idea, does not make it a bad one. Also,   just like our  High Speed  Rail, our highway system is only a  poor imitation of the   German autobahn.   I guess that the Germans may have taken to heart the words of Oliver Wendel Holmes: taxes are the price we pay for civilization.  

The heat is on

Literally!  They've actually turned on the heat in my office, and now it is a pleasure to  read, think and do whatever people do in their offices.

Canteloupe Island

Universities Ranking

There is a new ranking out from StateUniversity.com


Notre Dame is ranked ahead of  Yale, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, U Mich and other places much better than us.  Our administrators must be having an orgasm. Better knock before you enter one of their offices.

Caragialism



Am avut de curand  un schimb de mesaje cu un jurnalist roman pe nume Cristinel Popa  care m-a lasat  masca. Cred ca e o poveste  care merita sa o impartasesc.

Acum cateva zile a aparut    un interviu pe  care l-am dat Jurnalului National  asta vara la Centenarul Seminarului.  Fiindca  acest  interviu continea tot felul de exagerari    am  trimis  jurnalistului urmatorul e-mail

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Dle Popa,

Am citit  articolul din Jurnal si sunt dezamagit din mai multe motive.

1.   Mi-atzi promis ca ma anuntatzi cand va apare si ca voi vedea  si eu  forma finala  inainte de aparitie. Am aflat de publicare  cu totul intamplator de la un prieten.

2. Articolul contine afirmatii  false.  Ex.

(a) Simon Donaldson sau Michael Atiyah, medaliaţi Fields (echivalentul Nobel în matematică), îl ştiu ca pe un coleg de nădejde, un frate mai mic.  (Fals. I-am cunoscut si vorbit cu ei. Atat.)

(b)  câştigă undeva în jurul a 100.000 de dolari pe an.  (Fals)


(c) De rezultatele sale şi ale altor astfel de matematicieni este interesat până şi Pentagonul. (Fals)

3.  Editarea  articolului este   neprofesionala. Ex

Ceea ce m-a şocat a fost că, în ciuda faptului că tineri economişti şi statisticieni anunţau pe diverse canale media iminenţa unui regres, şi cifrele arătau clar cât va descreşte România, ei s-au făcut că nu văd, ca să spună acum că nu au ştiut.


Cine sunt acesti ei ? Economistii? Extraterestrii?

Liviu Nicolaescu

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Dupa 24 de ore primesc  urmatorul  mesaj  de la Cristinel. Subiectul mesajului, era Nu ma dezamagitzi!.


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Stimate dle profesor Nicolaescu,

Imi cer scuze pentru modul poate un pic abrupt de a va raspunde, dar in cazul dvs am avut parte realmente de o surpriza. Tocmai discutam cu un prieten, care si el va admira, iar eu completam cu admiratie dand ca exemplu modul de a discuta, usoara boemie pe care v-o citisem in atitudine, in modul nonsalant, din gesturi etc. Se vede treaba ca m-am inselat. Inca nu pot sa cred, prefer sa cred ca e doar partial.  
Se vede treaba ca sunteti totusi roman. Un roman caruia ii port in continuare respectul si admiratia. Nu stiu de ce, sunt aproape 100 la suta convins ca daca ati fi fost finlandez, australian, japonez, chiar si rus, nu ati fi raspuns in acest mod.
Ati fi putut spune: va multumesc pt articol, m-ati invatat ce tebuie sa fac pe viitor, multumesc pt efort. V-am facut totusi un portret, fie ca este sau nu pe deplin multumitor.
Sa va raspund punctual cu toate ca obosesc sa dau explicatii. Sa stiti ca in presa in general se intampla astfel de lucruri. Am o vorba cu un prieten: "si daca l-ar fi scris el si tot n-ar fi fost multumit!". Asa e romanul! Nu e o supriza.    

1. Credeti ca e profesionist ca eu sa-i tin in mana aparatul de sudura unui muncitor sau sa consider ca stie sa-si faca treaba? Cu toate acestea, eu am intentionat sa va trimit varianta textul, dar s-a amanat trimiterea lui si n-am mai apucat, de altfel n-am crezut ca ar putea contine ceva care supara (va deranjeaza ca am publicat convinderile dvs politice?) Sau trebuia sa scriu o oda a dvs numai cu realizarile....In fine, glumesc, sau cel putin nu spun asta cu rautate.

De aici vor fi f scurt:
a. "cunoscut si vorbit cu ei", da, si de ce nu v-ar considera un frate mai mic?, in fine, chiar si gresit, e pararea mea (dvs cand ati acceptat interviul nu v-ati asumat anumite interpretari ale autorului sau v-ati gandit ca-l scrieti dvs?)  

b. ati spus ca nu depasisti 100.000 de dolari, deci asta inseamna in jur de ...

c. "Editarea este neprofesionala". Credeti ca in cursurile si seminariile dvs nu este lasat loc deloc la interpetari?
Mai mult, se intelege clar ca "ei" sunt politicienii, guvernantii romani


Cu aceeasi pretuire si respect, un roman care incearca sa se comporte ca un european sau mai degraba ca un iesean bonom,

redactor Cristinel C. Popa

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Am decis sa-l las in sucul lui, ca sa folesesc o expresie a lui Dinescu. Ceea ce ma surprinde  e  ca un individ   cu limitari evidente si cu  interpretari inedite  ale principiilor jurnalistice lucreaza la un ziar de circulatie nationala.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This is a big fucking deal.

Really! It's gotta hurt to be a Republican. You thought you were heading to a big fucking party and ypou got there it   turned out to be a big fucking wake. And you  don't have anybody else to blame but your idiot heavily armed  TeaBaggers. Man that has to be frustrating.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The solitude of the lone blogger

Is there anybody out there?

Profanity rules on the BBC blog

The moderators on the BBC blog  have just denied posting  my comments    for usage of profanity. The  culprits  are the words bullshit and butt naked,   both in reference to the attitude of the Republican party vis-a-vis the Health Care Reform.    I can only reply with  Mark Twain quote:

Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fresh out of the womb

These are my virgin steps in the land of blogging. Bare with me.

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