Today, I conducted a telephone consultation with Dr. Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon, part-time employee of the Harvard – Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and co-author of The Maunder Minimum and the Variable Sun – Earth Connection; Proxy Climatic and Environmental Changes of the Past 1000 Years; Modeling Climatic Effects of Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide Emissions: Unknowns and Uncertainties; Estimation and Representation of Long-term ( > 40 year ) Trends of Northern-Hemisphere-gridded Surface Temperature: a Note of Caution; and, Variation in Surface Air Temperature of China During the 20th Century; as well as sole author of Non-equilibrium Kinetics in High Temperature Gases; Variable Solar Irradiance as a Plausible Agent for Multidecadal Variations in the Arctic-wide Surface Air Temperature Record of the Past 130 years; […]


Monday was Presidents Day, which is a federal holiday, thus sparing America, for twenty-four hours, at least, from the incompetence, ignorance and idiocy of the United States Civil Service. But as usual, federal holidays bring no respite for Gretchen or myself, since I have plenty of other clients to deal with; it’s simply a matter of booking their consultations solid every federal holiday from seven in the morning until six at night. My eleven o’clock appointment, for example, was Percy M. Filch, a senior partner in Steele, Filch and Robb, a K Street lobbying firm. True to his usual form, he had called for an appointment at the last minute on Friday afternoon and Gretchen only just managed to squeeze […]


My ten o’clock consultation today was Dr. Batroun Ibn Himaar, an econometrician at the World Bank. For about an hour and ten minutes, things went pretty much as I expected while we discussed the probabilistic projections of international currency exchange rates based on a stochastic optimization model of petroleum prices. But at the conclusion of a particularly grueling Monte Carlo analysis which addressed all forty-six dimensions of the multivariate parametric partial differential equations involved, Dr. Ibn Himaar reared back and threw up his hands. “Enough of this!” he proclaimed. “I can’t concentrate sufficiently in such a state of anxiety!” “What are you anxious about?” I inquired. “This President Obama of yours!” he declared. “The man’s an irresponsible trouble-maker!” “What makes […]


Things were so hectic at the office today that leaving to eat lunch was simply not feasible. The new regime in Saudi Arabia, combined with the confrontation over debt resolution between Greece and the rest of the European Union had packed my schedule from six in the morning until eight at night. Amid the barrage of consternated diplomats and Washington apparatchiks, I had managed to carve out time for three ten minute espresso breaks and a half hour for lunch, starting promptly at noon. But fate had other plans for me. No sooner had I begun to tuck into the exquisite sushi Gretchen had ordered from SEI over in Penn Quarter, than she buzzed me on the intercom from the […]


At ten o’clock Friday morning, I received an urgent call from Dr. Harah Ben-Zonah, First Secretary of the Israeli Kus Emmak Party. Tom: Good afternoon, Dr. Ben-Zonah. Ben-Zonah: And good morning to you, Mr. Collins. Please, call me Harah. Tom: My pleasure. Call me Tom. How can I help you today? Harah: As a major figure in the Kus Emmak Party, the Central Committee has appointed me to investigate the circumstances prevailing in the United States which have lead to the… unnatural relationship… between Benjamin Netanyahu and your House Speaker John Boehner. Tom: Ah… I don’t think there’s anything… um… unnatural about their relationship, actually. A little bromance, maybe – some male bonding, snapping wet towels in the locker room, […]

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