Lauren Ober interviews Randi Miller, the voice of Metro’s “doors closing” announcements.
This looks promising: the New Play Exchange has just launched,
a crowd-sourced, open-access database of plays, playwrights, and producers built for everyone who makes, looks for, and loves new work for the theatre, will become available to everyone with access to the internet.
Roslyn Sulcas profiles five top dancers with New York City Ballet.
Jimmy Carter talks to Diane Cole about his and Rosalynn’s work to eradicate Guinea worm disease.
Our main commitment at the Carter Center is to fill vacuums in the world. We don’t duplicate what others are doing. If the World Health Organization or the United Nations or the United States government or [other organizations] are doing work, we don’t get involved. We tackle problems that other people aren’t addressing.
New books on the shelf, thanks to Brett, Leta, Cleveland’s Horizontal Books, and Powell’s.
Posted in Like Life
Eric Green wonders why major thoroughfares in the Commonwealth are named for traitors to their country:
It’s been suggested that Jefferson Davis Highway should be called the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial Highway (for obvious reasons) or Freedman’s Village Highway, to honor a camp, established in South Arlington during the Civil War, where African Americans fled to escape slavery in the South.
I’ll sweeten the deal: find new names for Jeff Davis Highway and Lee Highway and I’ll stop referring to DCA (officially Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport) as Strikebreaker Airport.
ᔥ Greater Greater Washington
WAMU’s Metro Connection devotes a complete show to the vexed problem of self-determination for the 600+ thousand citizens of the District of Columbia, and its lack of voting representation in the Congress—from the 1965 Voting Rights Act to today.
A few weeks ago, I was asked what my favorite public radio program was. Partly to remind my questioner that much of what airs is produced by local member NPR stations, I nominated Metro Connection. With the production of this hour, the show has become my favoritest.
The Economist’s Free Exchange blog interprets recent research which suggests that the economic effects of environmental regulation are not nearly as severe as those on the pro-business right would have it.
There are several possible explanations for the finding. One is that damage from environmental regulation is not great enough to change the overall productivity figures. A rule of thumb says a 10% change in the oil price is associated with a 0.2% change in GDP, so if green taxes push up energy prices by only a few cents, their macroeconomic impact might be modest. The effect on jobs, investment or trade, though, might be greater.
Another explanation may be that stricter environmental regulations do as much good as harm.
Definitely an oldie but a goodie: in a 1990 paper for Journal of Political Economy, Hugh Rockoff put together a marvelous reading of L. Frank Baum’s Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) as an allegory of the pros and cons of bimetallism as a progressive-era monetary policy (caveat lector: there are some scannos in this copy of the paper). (The Free Silver crowd argued for the [inflationary] return to silver coinage as a means to break out of the U.S.’s late-19th-century deflation.) Those of us familiar only with the 1939 film version might scoff, but when Rockoff reminds us that Baum gave Dorothy silver slippers to wear, not ruby, as she skipped along the golden road—well, the parallels begin to line up. My favorite is the explanation of Dorothy’s vanquishing the Wicked Witch of the West (William McKinley) with a bucket of water: in an era when dryland farmers of the Plains west of the 100th meridian claimed that just a little more rain would make their lands bloom, it all makes sense.
(Ah, it turns out that Rockoff was anticipated by Quentin Taylor and others.)
↬ N. Gregory Mankiw, Principles of Economics, 7/e
A collection of short pieces of puppetry, all of them concerned with death—or more broadly and accurately, the evanescence of existence—from the broadly comic to the baldly conceptual. The company uses a variety of techniques and materials: some of them are rather steampunk and indebted to Edward Gorey, while others depend on such elements as an oversize popup book, a child’s play set of farm animals, or live-blown soap bubbles (chew on that, Joseph Cornell). (Some of the more obscure works of the Neo-Futurists find a certain affinity here.) Spoken English language is relegated to obscurity: perhaps the most effective pieces are wordless, narrated by grunts and gasps, or in a foreign language. Most of the time, the troupe is not concerned whether we see the manipulating hands or not: if it happens, it happens. While the interludes spoken by “Nathanial Tweak,” one of the few articulating puppets in the cast, lend little to the proceedings, the troupe’s ability to animate mute wood and plastic is strong.
I visited several new spots, without making a big deal of it this year.
- Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint, Washington
- Anacostia Arts Center, Washington
- The Lab @ Convergence, Arlington County, Virginia
- Reynolds Hall, Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, W. Va.
- Paul Sprenger Theatre, Atlas Performing Arts Center, Washington
- Howard Theatre, Washington
2013’s list. 2012’s list. 2011’s list.
Almost all of my exploring was close to home this year.
- Great Falls Park, Fairfax County, Virginia
- Lichens at Carderock, Montgomery County, Maryland
- Back to Fraser Preserve, Fairfax County, Virginia
- Back to Calvert Cliffs State Park, Calvert County, Maryland
- Stony Man to Jewel Hollow, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, where my old boots finally gave out
- Paint Branch, Montgomery County, Maryland
- Northwest Branch, Montgomery County, Maryland
- Manassas National Battlefield Park, Prince William County, Virginia, to break in new boots
- Nescopeck State Park, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
- South River Falls, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
- Riverbend Park, Fairfax County, Virginia
- Mid-Atlantic forests of the Blue Ridge, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain
Due to my class project, I spent nearly as much time at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park as I did at Huntley Meadows Park.
2013’s list. 2012’s list. 2011’s list. 2010’s list. 2009’s list. 2008’s list.
I missed the VNPS annual meeting in Tidewater Virginia this year, but I got to visit a few places. Overnight stays in 2014:
- Manhattan, New York County, New York
- St. Davids, Radnor Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania
- Martinsburg, Berkeley County, West Virginia (3 visits) (Thanks, Charlie!)
- Bloomsburg, Columbia County, Pennsylvania
- Rocky River, Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Thanks, Dotty!)
2013’s list. 2012’s list. 2011’s list. 2010’s list. 2009’s list. 2008’s list. 2007’s list. 2006’s list. 2005’s list.