A delightful cheese omelet (Manchego, Jarlsberg and a crumbled strip of bacon: outstanding!) for the first.
As for the second, my reading's been all over the block, including Tim (Network Neutraility) Wu's* fascinating The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, in which he considers that communications media tend to evolve from open, innovative systems to closed and very stable systems. You can disagree with Tim's proposed solutions, but he makes a very strong case for the cycle from wide-open and disruptive to centralized, consolidated and tightly-controlled, using the telephone, broadcast and motion pictures as his main examples.
That's on my Kindle; in the bath, in used softcover, I'm reading The New Yorker Book Of War Pieces, covering 1939 to 1945. It is engrossing, with the level of writing you'd expect from New Yorker and an immediacy nothing written after the war can quite capture. Fighter pilots Brendan "Paddy" Finucane (d. 1942, in action) and Philip Cochran (survived the war to die while fox-hunting at the age of 69; model for a character in Terry and the Pirates and at least one of the sources for "Steve Canyon") are among the many people profiled, along with events from 88 days on a raft in the South Atlantic to an escape from Occupied France to (so far) the invasion of Italy. In the early going, resolve is greatly apparent, but there's uncertainty, too -- can the Allies win this war? This is history as you rarely get it, but should.
For the discursive mind, these books and Internet access are a heady combination, at least as addictive as reading footnotes.
* Rannie Wu says "No relation." It's a name about like "Smith," after all.
4 weeks ago