Reader #5: Deep Reading

July 5, 2014

I don’t recall precisely where I obtained this picture, nor do I have any inkling of who she might be, but I find the comely, scantily-clad lass in it–deeply absorbed by the words of the Bard no less–well . . . deeply absorbing. Something about the turn of her ankle, perhaps. Or her pearls. Or possibly her pretty eyes. I said her eyes.

deep reading

(Yes I do realize that it’s been quite awhile since I’ve added anything to this sequence of entries . . . but then again it’s been ages since I’ve added anything to this blog period. Whatever. The hiatus is over.)

You can hear the wind blowing over the rubble . . .

November 26, 2012

As the dust settles in Palestine.

The Gaza Strip

“. . . the killing of entire families and the destruction of government buildings and police stations, far from encouraging Palestinians to submit, will only fortify their resistance, something Israel might have learned by consulting the pages of recent Jewish history. The Palestinians understand that they are no longer facing Israel on their own: Israel, not Hamas, is the region’s pariah. The Arab world is changing, but Israel is not. Instead, it has retreated further behind Jabotinsky’s ‘iron wall’, deepening its hold on the Occupied Territories, thumbing its nose at a region that is at last acquiring a taste of its own power, exploding in spasms of high-tech violence that fail to conceal its lack of a political strategy to end the conflict.”

Why Israel Didn’t Win” by Adam Shatz, online only at the London Review of Books‘ website.

Contrasts in Approach

November 20, 2012

Gaza Under Attack

Barenboim in Gaza

Gaza-related material linked with the images above, and then there’s “Music for Peace in Gaza and Israel: Leonard Cohen, Steve Earle, Daniel Barenboim” blogged by Greg Mitchell at The Nation.

Inheriting the Wind Department:

November 18, 2012

I Am Jewish and I Want Israel to Stop Killing Palestinians

A Pillar Built on Sand” is John Mearsheimer’s careful and scrutinizing assessment of the current and ongoing–and characteristically cruel–devastation of the Palestinian Gaza Strip by Israel’s military, at the London Review of Books‘ website.

If I Only Had a Brain Department:

November 13, 2012


“If you take a look at the progress of science, the sciences are kind of a continuum, but they’re broken up into fields. The greatest progress is in the sciences that study the simplest systems. So take, say physics — greatest progress there. But one of the reasons is that the physicists have an advantage that no other branch of sciences has. If something gets too complicated, they hand it to someone else . . . . If a molecule is too big, you give it to the chemists. The chemists, for them, if the molecule is too big or the system gets too big, you give it to the biologists. And if it gets too big for them, they give it to the psychologists, and finally it ends up in the hands of the literary critic.”

Where Artificial Intelligence Went Wrong” is a discussion by Yarden Katz at ZNet with Noam Chomsky, focusing on the progress–or lack thereof–in artificial intelligence research and theories about and observations of the operations of the human brain. It doesn’t, alas, explain the persistent and pervasive dysfunctions of the Right-wing cerebrum.

The 2,000 Year Old Man in His 80s

November 13, 2012

2000 Year Old Man

Mel Brooks: ‘The only weapon I’ve got is comedy’” is an interview at, conducted by Stephen Deusner, marking the release of a new set of DVDs collecting a mass of hard-to-find Brooks material, both audio and video. In the interview Brooks recalls times with Alfred Hitchcock, Madeline Kahn and others–many now gone–with whom he has worked in his career. But he still gets together with Carl Reiner every other day to talk over the hazards of fried food and the merits of nectarines.

Speaking of Election Day . . .

November 5, 2012

Hallucinations is the latest book from the intensely curious and passionately congenial Oliver Sacks.  The Point of Inquiry podcast has also just done an interview with Sacks.