Jun 112015
 

Weeknights at the Round Robin Bar tend to be quiet, uncrowded and convivial – unless it’s a Friday, when things become a bit more, shall we say, kinetic. Last night should have been one of the former, naturally, but it definitely wasn’t. When I walked in, there were Horn and Hardart, going at it hammer and tongs. “You bastard!” Horn complained, pounding his fist on the bar. “OPM paid Microsoft Federal eight figures for software and support, and God damn it, that was supposed to include some [expletive] security!” “Read the EULA,” Hardart retorted. “The software product is provided ‘as is’ and without specific guarantee in whole or part, expressed or implied!” “Now I know why you joined Congressional Country […]

May 252015
 

Saturday evening, after dinner at Del Campo in Chinatown (which paradoxically features South American cuisine, by the way), Cerise, having been given two free tickets by a friend serendipitously connected with the show, and having subsequently promised to go as a personal favor to that individual, went with me to see The Orginalist at Arena Stage. It’s a play about Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Yes, international readers of this Web Log, whom the Googlestats tell me are legion, strange as it may seem, here in the USA our playwrights actually devote their creative energies to works concerning judges, in this case one who parses the prose of our Constitution using an eighteenth-century dictionary in order to ensure he correctly […]

Apr 192015
 

Shortly after lunch yesterday, Gretchen began to receive frantic calls from the Associated American Federation of Educators, a well-known and powerful national lobby of K through 12 teachers here in Washington DC, urgently requesting a consultation as soon as possible. As it happened, the Turkish Foreign Under Secretary to the United States had to cancel – as a result of being beaned with an iron skillet during an argument with his Welsh wife about who committed the first genocide, the British or the Turks. The Turks, of course, as Kanye West and the Kardashians, as well as a somewhat lesser celebrity who goes by the name of Pope Francis are making sure everyone knows, killed a lot of Armenians a […]

Mar 112015
 

This morning, just as I concluded a consultation about Boko Haram’s latest overtures to ISIL with a distraught Nigerian diplomat, Gretchen buzzed me on the intercom. “Mr. Collins,” she told me, “there’s this old Southern lady on Line Two. She sounds exactly like Woody Allen imitating Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire.” “Did this person give a name?” I asked. “Yes,” Gretchen answered, “she says she’s named Linsey or Linseed or something like that.” “And this person wants to speak with me?” I inquired. “Uh-huh,” Gretchen confirmed, “she seems pretty adamant about it.” “And this person,” I sought to confirm, “is haughty, arch and condescending but nevertheless obviously a pathetic bigot and a total ignoramus?” “Right,” Gretchen huffed, “she […]

Feb 242015
 

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; […]