Winston Churchill’s 1941 Christmas Eve Address

On December 24, 1941, Winston Churchill joined Franklin Roosevelt in Washington D.C. to plan for war. For England the blitz was on and the island nation stood alone. For the United States Pearl Harbor was three weeks prior and the war was joined. That night Franklin Roosevelt lit the nation’s Christmas tree for the ninth […]

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20 Great Winter Photographs

If it’s not very white outside where you are this holiday season, check out these 20 great winter photographs at 500px. It certainly got me in the winter mood (which is good because it’s raining where I am).

What I Mean When I Say Chinook Salmon

This poem by Geffrey Davis appears in this week’s New York Times Magazine. My father held the unspoken version of this story along the bridge of his shoulders: This is how we face and cast to the river — at angles. This is how we court uncertainty. Here, he taught patience before violence — to hold, […]

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Fed Goldbeg

If you’ve wondered precisely how tighter monetary policy by the Fed will slow the economy and ease inflation, this should make it all perfectly clear.

Review: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Reading the novels of David Mitchell can ruin you for his genre, which I can only and insufficiently describe as scifi-fantasy-thriller-postmoderism (but not really any of those). In fact, The Bone Clocks might ruin you for just about any contemporary fiction genre, and if it doesn’t, the remarkable and astonishing Cloud Atlas certainly will. That being said, […]

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Direction From The Chairman Of The Board

A very cool 1990 letter to George Michael from Frank Sinatra on dealing with the challenges of stardom. Via Michael Beschloss.

Talent must not be wasted … those who have talent must hug it, embrace it, nurture it and share it lest it be taken away from you as fast as it was loaned to you. 

Trust me. I’ve been there.


NFL Playoff Simulator

The New York Times Upshot sports blog has a N.F.L. playoff simulator up. With 109 games left in the season, the Times reports that there remain roughly 9 quintillion ways the season could end. Pour a large cup of coffee and begin exploring them all.


As for my home team, the simulator predicts a 41 percent chance of making the playoffs based on 189,000 simulations. After they lose today (as I predict they will) those odds will drop to 28 percent. But the simulator also tells me that the next two games of the season are essentially meaningless – if they win the last two games of the season, they’re nearly certainly in.

So I can relax today, which is nice.


For the past several days I’ve been reading NextDraft, the news blog written by Dave Pell. Each weekday morning he visits some 75 news sites, and from them curates 10 stories for the day. The content is good, the blurbs smart, and the design beautiful. See the most recent edition here, and there are RSS feeds and an iOS app, too.


White Elephant Strategy

FiveThirtyEight gives a game theory strategy for winning your white elephant gift swap. There’s a clear advantage in going late in the order, or best, last. But order aside, strategy matters. (If you want to see the nitty gritty, check out the analysis and notes at Github.)

How To Fold A Dress Shirt

Beginning a new category of posts here, “Hacks,” with how to fold a dress shirt for packing (courtesy Antonia Centeno). Personally I use Method 1.3-ways-to-fold-a-shirt-infographic-800