A thoughtful observation from James Fallows: I remember how often, how vehemently, and with what certainty Obama’s detractors during the Democratic primaries said that he could not, possibly, in any way, in any real world, withstand the onslaught of GOP negative campaigning once it geared up against him. That he’s been seriously underestimated twice —…Read More Underestimation
When I was planning to visit Iasi in Romania, I looked at a map, saw that it was in the northern part of the country, and casually assumed that this meant that it was in Transylvania. Well, no. I’ve spent the last hour reading up in Wikipedia on the history of Iasi, Romania, Transylvania, and…Read More Sorting out history
My colleague Ben Elliss responded to my last travel posting by saying “Iâ€™m looking forward to reading your upcoming posts about beautiful Slough, Geoff”. So what should I say? I’m staying at a hotel about a mile and a half from the office, and the weather’s been nice, so yesterday and today I left the…Read More "Beautiful Slough"
Over the next week or so I plan to gather together my thoughts about Neal Stephenson’s new book, Anathem, so that I can write a full review. But here are my preliminary reactions: Anatham is (at least) three books in one. It’s a science fiction yarn, in which geeks indulge in amazing feats of derring-do…Read More Anathem – first thoughts
No comments required…. Well, maybe one comment – from John McCain: Let me just say categorically I’m proud of the people that come to our rallies… I’m not going to stand for people saying that the people that come to my rallies are anything but the most dedicated, patriotic men and women that are in…Read More Palin's base
After two productive days at our Edinburgh office, I drove south today. The trip planner had projected a driving time of six and a half hours to reach Oxford, and that was alost exactly right: my rest/fuel stops added up to an hour and a half, and the elapsed time was eight hours. I kept…Read More Travelling along
Christopher Hitchens endorses Obama, and wishes that McCain could be “taken somewhere soothing and restful” – “I haven’t felt such pity for anyone since the late Adm. James Stockdale humiliated himself as Ross Perot’s running mate.” But he has no such tender feelings for McCain’s running mate. The most insulting thing that a politician can…Read More "…the only talent that she apparently possesses"
Whenever I return to Britain and venture into a supermarket, I am confronted with products that I could not imagine encountering back in the USA. For example: I just bought a container of mixed nuts at Tesco. Not just any mixed nuts: “Rosemary & Thyme Infused Jumbo Cashews, Macadamias & Pecan Nuts”. And they’re brilliant:…Read More Only in Britain
Nils Gilman discusses how he and some colleagues spent a day last March discussing financial scenarios. By the end of the day… …we had laid out a scenario whereby the money center banks […] could end up insolvent, necessitating a wholesale nationalization of the banking sector.Â We then looked around the table at each other and…Read More "That could never happen. Impossible."
Travel’s going well so far: Got a complimentary upgrade on the Seattle-Chicago leg. Channel 9 was on; oddly, our callsign was “United 958 Juliet”. Got a window seat with nobody next to me on the Chicago-Heathrow leg. The flight departed late because, with the strong tail-winds that were forecast, we risked arriving before the end…Read More Just keep on chooglin'