Saturday, September 8, 2012

What I’m reading #78

Performance tips from Bill Manhire at Modern Lettuce.

Should governments fund the arts? A perennial question. There was an online debate on the topic at the Economist. Good arguments on both sides.

Tim Worstall takes issue with the oft-repeated claim that “it takes 7kg of grain to produce 1kg of beef”. Not true, and good comments from people who know.
Girls in tight niqabs are “asking for it”, apparently.

Joe Hildebrand goes on the offensive.

Chris Bourke salutes Hal David.

Dunedin crime novelist Paddy Richardson is in Germany: Komm, spiel mit mir (“in heißer Sommertag, wie geschaffen für ein Picknick am See. Eine große Schwester, die wieder einmal den Babysitter spielen soll. Und ein kleines Mädchen, das am Abend spurlos verschwunden ist …”), published this week, is her brilliant Hunting Blind from 2010, one of the best crime novels I have ever read. Also available: Der Frauenfänger (“Die Journalistin Claire lebt alleine mit ihrer Tochter Annie in Dunedin, Neuseeland”) which is 2008’s A Year to Learn a Woman. Can 2011’s Traces of Red be far behind? Paddy will be at Frankfurt, so anything is possible.

As a birthday present I received the new 12th (and final print) edition of my favourite dictionary, Chambers, which I wrote about here. I always liked its definition:
charity begins at home, usually an excuse for not allowing it to get abroad.
I mentioned this to Paul Litterick who cited from memory this:
Welsh rabbit, melted cheese with or without ale etc., poured over hot toast – sometimes written ‘Welsh rarebit’ by wiseacres.
Sadly, the new edition has removed these jokes but – fair exchange – adds “rangatira”, “rangatiratanga”, “mana” and “whanau”. 

Jargon of the day: “refocusing our capability mix”. This means hiring more people in one area than another.

Honor Blackman, and here’s why:

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