Bright Ideas

1. Dress Blues This teacher intends to write “The Ballad of Draper James.”   2. Apart From That, Mr. Easterly Part of my youth was misspent studying economics. I remember this one class in development economics where I barely passed the final. The professor wrote in the blue book that it was a shame I […]

Shamrocks and Shenanigans

  The twins have become enamored of making slime. The other day Twin 2 looked up from hers and said: “Did the elf die yet?” Now, the thing about Twin 2 is, she gets furious if she has to repeat herself more than once. It’s not the Achillean rage of when she was two, but […]

These Go to Eleven

  Because Foch rejected German requests for a ceasefire while the Armistice was being negotiated … sixty-seven hundred and fifty lives were lost and nearly fifteen thousand men were wounded. Worse yet, British, French, and American commanders made certain that the bloodshed continued at full pitch for six hours after the Armistice had been signed. […]

Reading Comprehension

  Last summer Rod Stewart came through Boston for a private concert. The newspaper mentioned he’d dined someplace downtown. I was surprised because I’d been there once myself, for a fundraiser. It’s one of those shiny Irish pub simulacra. The thing was, the article said he dined there twice. I remember thinking: Huh? I’d have […]

What Happened?

  Factually, if you had told any of us who worked with President Clinton as he prepared for his first summit with Boris Yeltsin in 1993 where the Russian economy, Russia‚Äôs government, and Russian relations with the United States were going to be in 2017, we would have been appalled. – Larry Summers   I […]


Yesterday morning I found myself in a basement singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” The occasion wasn’t my usual solitary bizarrerie, but rather a children’s concert at a local library. Twins 1 & 2 knew the song, which surprised me – apparently they learned it at preschool – and the latter was merrily belting […]

T Time

  With the opening of Africa’s first fully electrified cross-border railway, getting from Ethiopia’s capital to the Gulf of Aden just got a lot easier. It also means Djibouti now has a more modern rail system than Boston. Those Red Line cars you saw in The Friends of Eddie Coyle? They’re still running, sometimes. Check […]

Clear Cut

  It is not so easy to run again when you have been ejected from office by a clear majority of voters (he lost to Mr. Hollande by more than three percentage points). It’s statements like the above that make me think I don’t understand democracy, or math. I mean, yes, I can calculate that […]