27 December 2007

R. I. P.

Merry Christmas, world.


12 December 2007

Good news?

A week ago in Slate, Christopher Beam ("Have You Heard the Good News?") parodied three brief blurbs on the nonexistence of an Iranian nuclear threat (I'm willing to stick out my neck and call it that), the "ending" of the stem cell debate, and the slowing spread of the AIDS epidemic. Beam adds rosy predictions about: the end of socialism in Venezuela, the gross overstatement of genocide in Darfur, and so on.

Beyond the humor, the Iranian news is really the one bright spot in what is shaping up to be another, well, terrible month for, uhh, humanity.

From my morning headline browse:

- Of course, the new Balkan powderkeg. Explosion set for circa February 2008.

- The bombing in Algeria. "Al Qaeda" in Algeria is really nothing new, but this seems to represent at least a resurgence.

- The bombing in Beirut. They still don't have a proper government.

- The fiasco that is shaping up in Bali. I hope the governments at least understand that we basically have until 2015 to arrest greenhouse gas emissions increases.


07 December 2007

These people also definitely need to read Aquinas

Even more urgently than the previous guy.

(via CT)


06 December 2007


These people need to read Aquinas.


05 December 2007

An important metaphysical detail, though unfortunate for the fish

G. W. Leibniz, from New System of Nature (1695):

I begin with the distinction that must be drawn between a substance and a collection, or an aggregate of several substances. When I say "me," I speak of a single substance; but an army, a herd of animals, a pond full of fish (even if it is frozen solid with all its fish) will always be a collection of several substances.


04 December 2007

For those of you who are not Aldous...

...but would still like a sense of what it's like to visit the culinary Mecca that's Spain's San Sebastián, Slate is running a series of articles (with slides) by wine columnist Mike Steinberger on the town that has the most Michelin stars per capita in the world.

Highlights so far: Juan Mari Arzak's spice chamber, and the fact that the exterior of Restaurante Arzak wouldn't look out of place in Brooklyn, as Steinberger suggests, or failing that, Etobicoke.


03 December 2007

One of the mysteries of life

Why are "Your Pictures", just advertised as a weekly collection of photos sent in by BBC News online readers, not specifically on the Scottish section, always from Scotland? Click through the photos from a given week, and go through previous weeks - the locations are always Caledonian.


01 December 2007

Breaking the "Democratic" Peace?

So, it's happened. Turkey has attacked the PKK in Iraq (possibly without actually crossing any borders), and the Turkish government has authorized the army to take cross-border action - not quite carte blanche but a significant move from the October parliamentary vote. Bruce Russett, Michael Doyle, et al. probably won't lose too much sleep over this one, though (Iraq being barely a state, much less a democracy).