Sentence of the Day, 1st Sunday of October 2021

George Holliday, who recorded the beating of Rodney King, died on September 19th, aged 61.

Lead sentence, The man on the balcony,The Economist Obituary, 2 October 2021:

  • For near on nine minutes, George Holliday stood outside his second-floor windows with his three-pound Sony Handycam clamped to his eye.

It is quite an amazing article.

China Shuts Ningbo

from The Economist, 21 August 2021, p. 57

A 34-year-old dockworker at Ningbo, who had come into contact with visiting crews, was diagnosed with the Delta variant of covid-19 despite having received two shots of the Sinovac vaccine. On Aug. 11, China shut down operations at Ningbo which, “in the first half of this year . . . handled more tonnes of cargo than anywhere else in the world.”

“The port infection was part of an outbreak that was first discovered on July 20 at Nanjing airport. By August 10, it had spread across a dozen provinces. Unlike other countries, which are learning to live with Delta, China has imposed a hardcore combination of widespread testing and uncompromising quarantines. Anyone who tests positive is whisked to a hospital, even if they are free of symptoms. Anyone judged to have come into close contact with them (based on mobile phone data and other indicators) is quarantined, as are close contacts of these contacts. By August 10th, China had quarantined 50,808 people, more than 20 for any active confirmed case. The government has discouraged non-essential travel between cities and provinces. And two of the worst-hit cities, Nanjing and Zhengzhou, have postponed the start of the school year.

Quote of the Day: The Economist, 3 July 2021

“Claiming to be winning while actually losing . . . Caught between their primary voters and loyalty to the constitution, most have concluded that, unless the Capitol is under siege, the best course of action is simply to stay silent.”

— Leaders, The Economist, 3 July 2021

Fault Lines: Fractured Families and How to Mend Them

Yes, self did blaze through Rules of Estrangement in just two days.

She can’t wait to get to the more “fun” books on her reading list, like Keith Lowe’s Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II.

How did her summer reading get so dark? Blame The Economist, which recommended Rules of Estrangement and Fault Lines.

Quote of the Day: RULES OF ESTRANGEMENT

Self cannot believe she found this book as a result of an article in The Economist — which, as some readers might know, is not into New Age Psychology or anything so CALIFORNIA.

The author, Joshua Coleman (Ph.D. is after his name, so there’s that), is a psychologist with a private practice in Oakland, California.

p. 13:

  • My mission is to help you find healthy ways to reconcile. In general — and there are exceptions — I believe reconciliation is better than staying apart. Better for you and better for our society. And if a reconciliation isn’t possible, I want to help you have a happy, healthy life with or without your kid in it.

Finished INFERNO

Right eye’s been flickering, on and off, all day. Tired.

Next, she’s going to be reading a couple of self-help/psychology books recommended, improbably, by The Economist.

She’s starting off with RULES OF ESTRANGEMENT: WHY ADULT CHILDREN CUT TIES & HOW TO HEAL THE CONFLICT, by Joshua Coleman, Ph.D.

Inferno was excellent * excellent * excellent. Finished it a few minutes ago. The last chapter was about assigning guilt or blame.

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Required Reading: Wolves in the American West

Back in February, Montana’s Republican governor killed a wolf without a proper permit. Greg Gianforte, who is best known for body-slamming a reporter on the campaign trail in 2017, trapped the creature after it strayed out of Yellowstone National Park and onto a private ranch owned by one of his political donors — the director of Sinclair Broadcast Group, whose 191 local TV stations might not frown on trapping liberals. A satirist could be proud of this Western. It also exemplified what Chris Servheen, a wildlife biologist in Missoula, describes as a new bout of “anti-predator hysteria in state legislatures in the northern Rocky Mountains.

Lawmakers in Montana and Idaho have recently passed a slew of measures to reduce the number of bears and wolves in their states. In Idaho one law allows wolf-hunting from snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles. It devotes money to private contractors tasked with hunting the animals down and removes limits for the number of wolves one person can kill. The law says that wolves can be killed so long as their number still exceeds the state’s recovery goal of 150 animals. That means 90% of the Gem State’s 1500 wolves are at risk.

The Economist, pp 24 – 25, m

India’s Covid Catastrophe

This horrifying second wave is a catastrophe not only for India but for the world. Allowing the virus to circulate unchecked increases the risk that dangerous new strains will emerge. One worrying variant first detected in India, called “the double mutant”, has already been found in several other countries, including America and Britain. Even as scientists labour to understand how big a threat it poses, more variants are appearing.

The Economist, Leaders, 24 April 2021

The Reading Year (So Far, 2021)

From wsj’s Best Books of 2020/Science Fiction:

  • The Relentless Moon, by Mary Robinette Kowal – So far, one of the best novels she’s read in 2021
  • Ballistic Kiss, by Richard Kadrey – wildly inventive, self wasn’t so taken with the he/she/they gender politics of a major character

In a category by itself:

  • Dark, Salt, Clear, by Lamorna Ash — A first book by a 22-year-old, E.S.A.D.

Kick-Ass Discovery of the Year:

  • Eddie’s Boy, by Thomas Perry, the sequel to a 1982 novel, The Butcher’s Boy – That’s chutzpah, coming up with a sequel 40 years later. Kudos! Self added The Butcher’s Boy to her reading list.

from wsj’s Best Books of 2020/Mysteries:

  • All the Devils Are Here, by Louise Penny — Self adored Jean-Guy Beauvoir and of course Paris.
  • One Fatal Flaw, by Anne Perry — All hail the May-December almost-romance between 25-year-old Daniel Pitt and 40-year-old Miriam Crofft, daughter of his employer.

from The Economist’s Books of the Year 2020/Memoir

  • A Promised Land, by Barack Obama — Beautifully written, can’t believe 45 was succeeded by Drumpf.

from The Economist’s Books of the Year 2020/Fiction

  • SHUGGIE BAIN, by Douglas Stuart — an absolutely immersive experience, though her favorite character was not the title character but his unheralded older brother, Leek

from The Economist’s Books of the Year 2020/Business and Economics

  • No Rules Rules — This one was a disappointment.

from wsj’s Books of the Year 2020/Travels in the New North

  • Ice Walker, by James Raffan — another absolutely immersive experience, the ending almost broke self.

from Jonathan Strahan’s Notes from a Year Spent Indoors (Locus Magazine)

  • the first two books in Joe Abercrombie’s (smashing) Age of Madness trilogy and her first Grimdark: A Little Hatred and The Trouble with Peace

The Border

Whenever there is talk about “the border”, it is always the southern border, never the one we share with Canada.

The Economist’s take:

  • In the short term, Mr. Biden cannot change the dire circumstances that are propelling Central Americans, Mexicans and others from trying to set foot on American soil, but he can easily alter the signals he sends. His administration has at times sounded like a shy host who is too polite to kick out hungry gate-crashers. “We are not saying ‘Don’t come.’ We are saying ‘Don’t come now,’ was the excessively mild recent message to potential migrants from the secretary of homeland security, Alejandro Mayorkas. On March 16th, Mr. Biden sought to dispel any ambiguity: “I can say quite clearly: don’t come over,” he told ABC News. He needs to do more to impose clarity and control. — 20 March 2021

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