In 2018 I read an old book of miscellaneous addresses and essays by my favorite Canadian curmudgeon Robertson Davies called The Merry Heart (1998 [amazon]), and in previous years enjoyed similar compilations of material from Neil Gaiman (The View from the Cheap Seats, 2016 [amazon]); and Neal Stephenson (Some Remarks, 2012 [amazon]).
This year’s delight is certainly going to be Scalia Speaks (2017 [amazon]), a compilation of speeches by the late justice known for his staggering erudition, his biting wit, and his personal warmth. One of his sons (Christopher J. Scalia) and one of his former law clerks (Edward Whelen) have chosen and introduced a number of addresses given on many occasions. They are marvelous! Scalia’s good friend and fellow justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Notorious RBG herself) wrote the forward.
Here are a few tidbits:
Continue reading The Delightful Scalia
Lyman Stone, writing for Vox, adds* his voice to others suggesting that we are having too few children in the United States.
He looks at polling data to show that while the Total Fertility Rate is now only about 1.8, the number of children desired is much higher. He explains why this shortfall is bad for our society, and proposes some fixes (all interesting) but this paragraph brought a grin to my face:
If getting ahead in your industry requires happy-hour drinks three nights a week, that’s unfriendly to families and may be preventing your female colleagues from having the family they want. Check your childlessness privilege. If you never volunteer to babysit your friends’ kids, but expect to benefit from their Social Security taxes, you’re a societal free-rider.
I would have never thought to say this, honestly.** There are many other rewards to having larger-than-replacement families, but this Vox article does raise some points we don’t often hear. Lyman Stone, “The US needs more babies, more immigrants, and more integration,” Vox (Nov. 10, 2017) [link].
*I guess he “added his voice,” but I did not see the article at the time.
**He also proposed special parking privileges for minivans, but that proposal is way too late for us.
Do you have trouble going to sleep (or staying asleep)? I have friends who wake up in the night to take melatonin (which seems counterproductive, though I don’t want to be discouraging). My method is to make sure that the temperature in the house starts with a “6” in fahrenheit (“5” would work better, but my family would protest from under their mounds of elk skins).
In any case, The New Yorker (“Annals of Insomnia”) has an amusing article for anyone who has (or fears) sleep issues:
Patricia Marx, “In Search of Forty Winks: Gizmos for a good night’s sleep” The New Yorker (Feb. 8 & 15, 2016) [link]
Read it tonight — not on your computer, silly, avoid that blue light! Print it out and leave it on your bedside table.