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my busy week

Somehow I managed to solve some repellent problems in Canada while thinking big thoughts at the UN.



"The work will also add to a raging discussion in the policy world about how to best reduce poverty. This type of discrete intervention can’t deter many of the major contributors to poverty, such as corruption or government instability, according to John Crowley, a chief within the social and human sciences sector at UNESCO."  [thanks to pgdf]

In the land of dreamy dreams

 Correspondents who remember or who paricipated in the brave though failed effort here to build a taxonomy of dreams -- back in 2009 -- may be interested to know that the effort forms a part of my new essay in Harper's magazine.  It was great fun setting it forth, tough of course it had to be fairlly restricted.  


I'm sorry to say that Harper's has a pretty high paywall -- but of course there's always the library.



How clever of me to know about unicorns in the newsroom altering the story process.  I think I learned it from John Clute or possibly Tom Disch.  It seems important to know this in my apparent job.


Return of the Grammar Whiz

American justice clear time

Rules as always:  add words at the beginnind and/or end to make a grammatical English sentence.  No adding punctuation to the phrase.  No meta-syntax using words as objects of discussion, e.g. "The phrase American justice clear time makes no sense"  or similar.

Dismaying, a little

I learn in the new New York Review of Books that Ezra Pound was influential in getting sections of Jouce's Ulysses published in the American literary journal the Little Review.  One of the pieces (for which the issue was suppressed) included one "proposed title" -- which I was amazed to see -- and research showed me was not far in the finished book, which i read with care long ago -- including this passage no doubt -- which i thereupon forgot that I had read, except i perhaps had NOT forgot:


      It's even described as a sort of play, as was my own:

Ars Auto-Amatoria, or
Every Man his Own WIfe

A Very Heroic Epyllion, in Four Fits

...with a Dramatis personae which included "the brothers,Ballaock, a pair of hangers-on"  (see Daemonomania, pp.147-152 of the Bantam edition).  OBVIOUSLY readers have assumed I just lifted it.  And maybe I did.
I think the phrase "at long last" is strange -- strangely moving, odd in construction, impenetrable in meaning to a non-English speaker, beautiful on the mind's tongue so to speak.  I retain it as the title of a book I very likely won't write.  I looked on Amazon and it is the title of a small number of books -- a gay romance, a get-rich guide, etc., but no book I saw carried the touching affect of the words, or that the words could have in the right context.

A time to update

It seems to me that it's time (!) to update Ecclesiastes. "A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together"? "A time to embrace, a time to refrain from embracing"? Surely we can improve this list. "A time to tweet, a time to refrain from tweeting" would be one, but surely the list could be as long as the original and more, you know.
What the "News of the Weird" classifies as "Unclear on the Concept."   From the NYTimes report on the release of the Ferguson report:

“With the conclusion of our investigations into these matters,” Mr. Holder said, “I again commit to the people of Ferguson that we will continue to stand with you and to work with you to ensure that the necessary reforms are implemented.”

On Wednesday night, there were two dozen protesters outside the police department, and officers made a handful of arrests of those standing in the streets.


The Asutralian auto dealership I owned with my brother Brendan (where'd he come from?) has collapsed, apparently quite literally if you believe the photo:


More me

My climate change research, which I can't think how I found time to do, has turned up some surprising results, suggesting that it may be due to a sort of natural gastric upset on Mother Nature's part.  I'm sure I have my reasons.