I wouldn't want to have to write a story set in 2037. That's 28 years from now — 28 years that will certainly bring about massive changes I couldn't hope to predict. Just look back 28 years. There was still a Soviet Union, an Eastern Bloc and a Cold War, but no cell phones, no [Read More...]


Here was, to me, the most astonishing quote in the news last week, a staggering admission — a boast actually — of moral imbecility. From a Washington Post item on the resignation of Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter: "[President Barack Obama] says he wants to appoint judges who show empathy, but what does that [Read More...]

Catching up, a little

The flu came to town last week and the paper has been frantically on the story ever since. At any journalism outfit, stories like this will highlight the tension between those trying to figure out what readers need and those trying to figure out what readers want (as in what it is that makes readers [Read More...]

What do you see?

This is a photograph, a visual recording. What you're looking at here is a European Space Agency satellite photo of what used to be the ice bridge connecting Charcot Island and the Wilkins Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Here's the caption that was supplied with the photo: "An Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) image dated [Read More...]

Scenes from a Tea Party

That Fox News varnish is getting out of control and the effect seems to be spreading.  So let this be a lesson to you kids out there: Don't huff the varnish from Fox News. It'll make you stupid and crazy with rage. And stupid and angry never leads anywhere good. The photo on the left, [Read More...]

The Immortals

It seems 2007 was a record year for births here in the U.S. of A.: Forget the baby boom. More babies were born in the United States in 2007 than any year in the nation's history. …  The 4,317,119 births, reported by federal researchers Wednesday, topped a record first set in 1957 at the height [Read More...]

Rayford Douthat

Brad DeLong takes a short break from making me wish he were working in Washington instead of Berkeley in order to highlight an astonishingly revealing and horrifying passage from Ross Douthat’s book, Tropic of Privilege. Douthat, for those who don’t follow such things, is the young rising star of the conservative movement who was recently [Read More...]


Outrage seems to be all the rage just now, so OK, I'll chime in. Here are a few things, ranked by their respective outrageousness, that I find upsetting. No. 2: The AIG bonuses. It's not so much that they're paying out huge bonuses after accepting billions in bailout funds from taxpayers. It's that they're paying [Read More...]