The reading continues

2006-01-06

in Daily updates

Ceiling at Freud's

Last night was excellent, though it involved rather less reading than might have been expected, given the determination I expressed yesterday. All the same, it was a better use of time. There will be plenty of time for reading during the remainder of the break. (Exam in seven days, first presentations in eleven.)

I got a Christmas gift from Tristan today: a copy of Haruki Murakami’s The Wind up Bird Chronicle. I look forward to reading it, and writing about it here. Translated from Japanese, Tristan apparently found his copy in Toronto somewhere and has enjoyed it a great deal.

Taking a break from reading tonight, I played a game of Trivial Pursuit with Claire, Josiah Kaplan, and two more of her friends. I also had the chance to introduce her to The Daily Show: North American political staple that it has become.

Tomorrow, it’s back to reading. Claire lent me Kenneth Waltz’s Theory of International Politics, after saying that it’s extremely dull. After the thrill ride of the Keohane book, it might be just the thing to calm me down.


  • Apparently, in England a ‘gyro’ is a welfare payment, not a delicious combination of pita bread, some kind of meat, and vegetables served at take-away Middle Eastern restaurants and 99 cent Vancouver pizza places. This led to a brief but amusing misunderstanding between Louise and I.
  • Sainsbury’s Soup of the Month: Bloody Mary not nearly so good as the Tomato Basil, though it is half the price. Like most tomato soup, it is best scaldingly hot.
  • The “Making Globalization Work for Developing Countries” series continues on January 20th, with a seminar on the politics of the global energy regime. It will take place at 2pm in the Goodhart Seminar Room, University College.
  • As most of you will know, Israeli leader Ariel Sharon is in very serious condition, following a serious stroke and operations. We may never get the chance to find out how genuine his late-found support for a two-state solution in the region was. I hope his death or political loss of power doesn’t introduce further difficulties and violence into this fraught process.
  • Here is a cool list of ten elegant and impressive experiments.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Tim Louman-Gardiner January 6, 2006 at 7:28 am

Waltz co-authored a little book (with Sagan), and his piece was arguing that proliferation of nuclear weapons might actually have a stabilizing effect, and be a general good.

I read it in second year; after getting beat over the head with “nuclear weapons are bad” for the longest time, it really changed how I look at the world, or at least academic discourse.

Kate January 6, 2006 at 9:13 am

Have you read any Murakami before?
My brother and I have a theory that the first book of his you read ends up being the favourite, possibly because he is unlike much else we’ve read.

Having said that, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is an excellent book anyway (and better than his most famous book, Norwegian Wood in my opinion, but not as good as Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World which was the first one I read!).

Milan January 6, 2006 at 10:52 am

Tim,

I remember being MO in the round where you proposed a ‘proliferation is good’ agenda. It was interesting, and certainly cut to the core of some questions about proliferation and rationality.

Kate,

I’ve not yet read any Murakami, but given the universal endorsement I’ve heard of it, I am looking forward to making a start. I’m starting to get seriously nervous about the stats exam next Friday, however.

B January 6, 2006 at 11:48 am

Sharon’s stroke changes every political calculation with no-one, commanding such Israeli trust.

At any rate a successor may not have the will, experience or desire to follow Mr Sharon’s plans.

Antonia January 6, 2006 at 4:52 pm

“Giro”, Milan, not “gyro” – I couldn’t work out what you meant for a minute there!

Anonymous April 10, 2006 at 10:30 am

Best Daily Show quote ever:

Samantha Bee (voiceover): We’ve heard their words…but let’s look at the facts: George W. Bush once molested my grandma, while John Kerry held her down with bags of money provided by gay French Jews. On November 2, tell George W. Bush and John Kerry you support freedom…by writing a check to “Americans for 527 Ads”!

Bee’s “grandma”: Don’t let them do it again!

Bee: I’m Samantha Bee, and I approved this campaign finance loophole.

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