Archive for May 14, 2009

Suu Kyi Arrested

May 14, 2009 Leave a comment


I would have missed this article in the back of the World section of today’s NYT had the New Yorker’s George Packer not posted a note about the issue at his blog today. The gist of the story is that Aung San Suu Kyi, the winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, has been arrested, thanks to the bizarre behavior of an American named John William Yettaw, who swam across a lake to the Kyi’s home, where she is under house arrest, eluded guards, and insisted that she let him in. She pleaded with him to leave, so she would not be in violation of the terms of her house arrest, but he insisted on coming in, and spent the night. He was picked up the next day as he was swimming back across the lake, and now she has been arrested, just weeks before her house arrest was supposed to come to an end.

George Packer is as familiar as any American journalist with life in Burma today. He visited last June and wrote a superb piece in last August about the trip. Here’s what he wrote today about the incident and Suu Kyi’s arrest:
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Categories: Today's News

The Modern Wing

May 14, 2009 Leave a comment


The Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago, designed by Renzo Piano, will open on Saturday, which happens to be exactly one half year after our visit to the Art Institute that I wrote abouthere. Now I can’t wait to go back. We should have that opportunity next November, when I’ll have business in Chicago again.

Nicolai Ouroussof has a review of the wing in the NYT and there’s also an accompanying slide show that includes the photo above. In my post last November, I mentioned the footbridge that connects the wing to Millennium Park across Monroe Street. It shows up well in the photo. But go to the slide show to see all the photos.

I’ll close with one passage from Ouroussof’s review.
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Categories: Architecture

Trick of the Year

May 14, 2009 Leave a comment


The newly-arrived June issue of The Atlantic has an article by Joshua Wolf Shenk that I will take up in a separate post. (Titled What Makes Us Happy, it treats the famous longitudinal study of Harvard men that began in 1937.) I just want to point out here a line that got my attention when I read the article two days ago, as part of my never-ending quest to focus on language rather than content. Regarding one of the participants in the study, Shenk tells us that “At 35, he spent 14 months in a hospital for an infection.” I sure would love to squeeze 14 months of living into a year.

Categories: Language, Math