GOP debates and Jerry Springer

I often wake up in the middle of the night, usually for 30-45 minutes.  I listen to the radio to put myself back to sleep and usually it’s the BBC World Service on MPR that's playing.  I find it soothing to listen to the calm delivery of a variety of stories from around the world. Early Friday morning I woke up and heard something completely different: the BBC played excerpts from Thursday’s … [Read more...]

Drugs, domestic workers, and artists’ daily rituals

I’m reading a delightful book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, by Mason Currey.  The book consists of miniature biographies of painters, writers, scientists, and architects, with a focus on how they structure their day to get things done.  Or, in some cases, don’t structure their day and get something done.  Or, in yet other cases, don’t structure their day and don’t get anything done.  Or, … [Read more...]

The economics of toasters and colleges

General Electric recently sold off its appliance division to Haier Group.  GE is a household name but you’ve probably never heard of Haier.  The story came and went but I think it holds two important lessons, one for the US economy, in general, and liberal arts colleges, in particular. GE is a leader in diesel locomotives, jet engines, medical equipment, and energy generation. Sure, they could … [Read more...]