Jan 092015
 

The action in Measure for Measure is driven by the dickish behavior of a petty bureaucrat who has suddenly been put in charge. Shakespeare had the number of such people, who plainly exist in every age, not least our own.

ISABELLA

Could great men thunder
As Jove himself does, Jove would ne’er be quiet,
For every pelting, petty officer
Would use his heaven for thunder;
Nothing but thunder! Merciful Heaven,
Thou rather with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt
Split’st the unwedgeable and gnarled oak
Than the soft myrtle: but man, proud man,
Drest in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he’s most assured,
His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As make the angels weep; who, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.

Measure for Measure, Act I Scene II

S0, right after posting the above I happened to be listening to this piece on the Radiolab podcast, The story is also in this Washington Post article. Basically, the CIA got real time satellite images of a convoy moving through the scablands of Yemen and decided that some al Qaeda prick we are after might be with them, so we had a drone hit them with 4 missiles. Turned out to be a wedding party traveling from the bride’s village to the groom’s, and zero connection with the Al Qaeda guy.

Talk about thundering as does Jove, I think hellfire missiles trump thunderbolts any day. We give people in a room in Langley or some such place the ability to reach down from the sky and obliterate whomever we we like;  8 people dead, mind you, and who knows what other damage just to maybe get one guy.

ISABELLA
O, it is excellent
To have a giant’s strength; but it is tyrannous
To use it like a giant.

Measure for Measure, Act I Scene II

 Posted by at 4:25 pm
Dec 052014
 

here are the podcasts to which I subscribe. See below for how to download podcasts

Fresh Air         http://www.npr.org/templates/rss/podlayer.php?id=13
Terry Gross is the best interviewer of all time, has encyclopedic knowledge of popular culture, gets the very best people in the arts, high end writers and the like. Essential listening.

On the Media         http://feeds.wnyc.org/onthemedia
I can hardly bear to watch/listen/read the news in the usual sources. OTM is a weekly NPR show devoted to analysing the way the news of the previous week was handled and mishandled, and in the process provide a very palatable summary of the news of the week. Edited by Brooke.

In Our Time With Melvyn Bragg         http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/iot/rss.xml
Tweedy British academics, mostly, with upper class accents talking about tweedy academic subjects. Gengis Kahn, Fermat’s Last Theorem, carbon, the Minoans. That sort of thing. I hope you enjoy the programme.

99% Invisible         http://podcast.99percentinvisible.org/feed/podcast/
Groovy engaging guy talking about design. Really, a very, very good program. Always read the plaque.

Lexicon Valley        http://feeds.feedburner.com/SlateLexiconValley
Funny, profane and engaging smart guys, including the guy from OTM, talking about spoken language.

Sinica         http://popupchinese.com/feeds/custom/sinica
Two Westerners who live and work in China, and know the language very well talking about all manner of things to do with contemporary China. Their guests are typically very smart people, journalists mainly including very well known writers for the Guardian, New York Times, New Yorker and Wall Street Journal. Also post doc students in various Chinaish subjects. The expat community seems pretty chummy in Beijing. Everybody knows everybody.

New Yorker: The Political Scene         http://feeds.newyorker.com/services/rss/feeds/campaign_trail.xml
The brain trust of the New Yorker providing the informed and detached liberal take on the events of the week.

Slate’s Amicus with Dahlia Lithwick         http://feeds.feedburner.com/SlateAmicusWithDahliaLithwick
Brand new podcast about current cases before the court

~~~~Read On

Planet Money         http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast.php?id=510289
Hipster NPR type economics nerds.

Frank Deford         http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast.php?id=4499275
Princeton guy, and sounds it, has worked for Sports Illustrated for 50 years. Wonderful voice, great raconteur , old fashioned appreciator of sports, and calls out bullshit of big time sports from time to time

New Yorker: Out Loud         http://feeds.newyorker.com/services/rss/feeds/newyorker_outloud.xml
New Yorker staffers talk in detail about one or two articles in the magazine. A little smarmy at times.

Lawyer2Lawyer         http://www.legaltalknetwork.com/RSS/C2C_feed.xml
discussions of current legal topics, often including advocates from one or both sides of an issue.

This American Life         http://feeds.thisamericanlife.org/talpodcast
Ira Glass. That’s all that needs to be said.

Archaeology Channel         http://www.archaeologychannel.org/rss/TACfeed.xml
Archeology nerds giving the archeology news, which is kind of an oxymoron.

WNYC’s Radiolab         http://feeds.wnyc.org/radiolab
Very smart media guys, including the great Robert Krulwich, doing interviews about science.

Brain Science Podcast         http://brainsciencepodcast.libsyn.com/rss
Really boring people talking about their very interesting research in neurology

The Bugle         http://feeds.feedburner.com/thebuglefeed
Two very funny, in a low comedy way, English hack comedians whose main goal every week seems to be to crack one another up. They seem to be good friends.  One is John Oliver, now famous, and one is Andy Salzman, still playing gigs for 30 people in Leicester

I’m not crazy about I-Tunes for podcasts, but it is sort of the default way to subscribe. I don’t use it, but most people do. And to their credit, Apple pretty much made podcasts happen by making it easy to download them and making sure they are all free.
Notice the podcasts item on the I-Tunes menu.

itunes 1 Then copy the feed url from this post (the text that begins “http://”)

then  go to file/Subscribe to podcasts, and paste the url into the box that appears. It looks like thisitunes copy

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 Posted by at 6:50 am

Sharia

 Legal Stuff, Podcasts  Comments Off on Sharia
Apr 262012
 

Fresh Air April 16, 2012    Sadakat Kadri is an English barrister, a Muslim by birth and a historian. His first book, The Trial, was an extensive survey of the Western criminal judicial system, detailing more than 4,000 years of courtroom antics. In his new book, Heaven on Earth, Kadri turns his sights east, to centuries of Shariah law.

 Posted by at 6:01 pm

Why We Fight

 Head Trips, Podcasts  Comments Off on Why We Fight
Apr 232012
 

Here is a Planet Money podcast very much worth hearing  Why People Do Bad Things I have always been fascinated by stories about people who get involved in serious wrongdoing almost by accident. This piece has psychologists explaining how, one teensy little step at a time, we go about convincing ourselves that what we are doing, while technically totally wrong, is still OK. A maxim I invented to explain some of the stuff I see at work is that humans have an almost infinite capacity to convince ourselves that what is good for us is Good.

 Posted by at 8:21 pm