The Wall Street Journal, Friday, 13 March 2020

p. A4: CRISIS TESTS PRESIDENT’S AD-LIB STYLE

Does self care? She means, about the testing of the President’s “ad-lib style”? No, not really.

President Trump’s rare prime-time speech Wednesday was designed to reassure the nation about his administration’s response to a quickly spreading coronavirus.

Instead, Mr. Trump’s scripted speech included errors about health-insurance payments and European travel restrictions, people involved in the speechwriting said Thursday. He also inserted his own mistakes as he spoke, the people said.

During the 10-minute speech — with its one stray word suggesting that the U.S. would ban cargo from Europe — stock futures fell sharply, and the global market rout that followed led to U.S. stocks’ worst drop since 1987 on Thursday.

These Strange Times

Today’s headline, Wall Street Journal:

20200219_133108

No words. Simply no words.

Sunday Morning Reading: WSJ Weekend Edition, 15-16 February 2020

20200216_092330

2400 passengers

Health workers in masks and body suits

“I can’t wrap my head around the fact that I could die from this cruise.” — Gay Courter, 75, American novelist

Trigger Warning: Cruelty to Animals

Wall Street Journal, 24 December 2019, p. A6

U.S. HALTS BOMB-SNIFFER DOG PROGRAM AFTER DEATHS IN EGYPT, JORDAN

by Jessica Donati

The U.S. has stopped providing bomb-sniffing dogs to Egypt and Jordan after an investigation disclosed that several dogs in those countries died because of mistreatment and neglect, U.S. officials said Monday.

The report was triggered by a whistleblower complaint and published by the State Department Office of the Inspector General … prompting the department’s response.

The report found that two dogs died in Jordan of neglect and mistreatment this year, including one death caused by heat stroke and another by poisoning from an insecticide.

Three out of 10 dogs provided to Egypt in August 2018 have died, the report found. Egyptian authorities have refused to grant U.S. personnel access to the dogs or their kennels. The U.S. Embassy has requested medical reports for the dogs that died this year.

Question of the Day: WSJ, A4, Saturday/Sunday, Feb. 3 – 4, 2018

WHAT IS THIS MEMO?

It was compiled by the Republican staff of the House Intelligence Committee and based on highly classified law-enforcement documents.

— article reported by Byron Tau and Rebecca Ballhaus

This is the memo commonly referred to on Twitter as ‘Yo Memo.’

Go straight to #YoMemoJokes.

Do not pass Go.

Stay tuned.

WSJ: Saturday/Sunday, Feb. 3 – 4, 2018

Top Headline: Memo Fuels Fight on Russia Probe

Graph: Markets Shudder on Inflation Signs

Other Page 1:

  • Fed Orders Wells Fargo to Change Board
  • Ice Dancing Has a Problem: There Aren’t Enough Men
  • Nigeria Brought Back Its Girls; Now Comes the Hard Part

Such a moment we are all living in.

Stay tuned.

#amreading: SOLARIS, by Stanislaw Lem

DSCN0611

Stanislaw Lem was self’s first science fiction. She stumbled across it in a bookstore on Harvard Square. This translation (from the French) was by Joanna Kilmartin and Steve Cox.

Opening page:

At 19:00, ship’s time, I made my way to the launching bay. The men around the shaft stood aside to let me pass, and I climbed down into the capsule.

Inside the narrow cockpit, there was scarcely room to move. I attached the hose to the valve on my spacesuit and it inflated rapidly. From then on, I was incapable of making the smallest movement. There I stood, or rather hung suspended, enveloped in my pneumatic suit and yoke to the metal hull.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Houellebecq: SUBMISSION, p. 128

  • He was born in 1922, if you can believe it. Exactly a hundred years ago. He joined the Resistance early on, in late June 1940. Even in his day, French patriotism was an idea whose time had passed. You could say that it was born at the Battle of Valmy, in 1792, and that it began to die in 1917, in the trenches of Verdun. That’s hardly more than a century — not long, if you think about it. Today, who believes in French patriotism? The National Front claims to, but their belief is so insecure, so desperate.

Trying, Not Succeeding

Self has moved on from Everlark.

She is still part of the fan fiction universe, only she’s switched allegiances to a new ship, Gendrya.

She is in complete awe of those fan fiction authors who drop Game of Thrones place names (Dragonstone, King’s Landing, Westeros, Highgarden, Casterly Rock, Stormsend, Braavos, The Red Keep, Winterfell, Volantis) as casually as bon bons.

She’s actually attempted doing a one-shot, but her lack of cred is immediately apparent because she’s only read one of GRRM’s books.

She doesn’t like AU Gendrya, it just doesn’t go well with the Bastard identity and Faceless Assassin plot lines. In the meantime, she lurks.

The number of Gendrya fics are about half the number of Everlark fics. But there are new ones appearing every day, because the ending of GoT Season 7 was so inconclusive.

Which brings us to:

The Books section of the Wall Street Journal, 12 – 13 August, 2017.

In Black Ships Before Troy, Rosemary Sutcliff (a rock star in her field) re-tells the Iliad. Now, the 1993 book has been re-issued and so it is with great pleasure that self adds the book to her reading list. It begins:

  • In the high and far-off days when men were heroes and walked with the gods, Peleus, king of the Myrmidons, took for his wife a sea-nymph called Thetis.

What. A. Fabulous. Opening. Sentence.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amreading: Advice for the Chronic Worrier, Elizabeth Bernstein, Wall Street Journal, 28 February 2017

For most people, worrying is a form of problem-solving where you look at challenges in the future and work them out before they happen, which can be constructive . . .  But some people worry too much. Chronic worriers fret all the time, about everything. Pathological worriers are chronic worriers whose apprehension affects their functioning.

— Elizabeth Bernstein (from “You’re A Worrier? Don’t Worry”, p. A13, Wall Street Journal)

First, ask yourself: Are you a “chronic worrier”? Here’s a list of things you can do to end “chronic worrying” and be happy

  1. Start with a reality check. Is the emotion you’re feeling equivalent in intensity to the situation you are worrying about? Usually the answer is no.
  2. Tell yourself a better story rather than focusing on the worst-case scenario. Not only will this help you feel less negative, you will free your mind up to find solutions to your problem.
  3. Make a plan. Write down in detail how you will deal with the situation. It will seem more controllable.
  4. Set a timer. Give yourself 15 minutes to worry as much as you want. Then stop.
  5. Yell “Shred!” (in your head). Picture your worries going through a paper shredder. Visualize them being destroyed.
  6. Distract yourself with music, exercise, a good book or movie. It is hard to focus on the negative when you’re enjoying yourself.

You’re welcome.

Stay tuned.

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