Friday 17 June, 2022

Our mysterious plantlet

The consensus is that it’s a field maple. The fact that the first leaf I photographed was asymmetrical seems to have been just a freak aberration.

I should have photographed it from the top — like this. In which case the mystery disappears.

Many thanks to everyone who joined in the hunt. And apologies for the misleading photograph.

Quote of the Day

“A revolution is an opinion backed by bayonets.”

  • Napoleon

Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news

Beethoven | Piano Sonata No. 15 in D Major, Op. 28 Pastorale | I. Allegro | Alfred Brendel


I needed something restful after a frantically busy day. This was it.

Long Read of the Day

 Where does the wealth go when asset prices go down?

Nice down-to-earth essay by Noah Smith.

I’ve been writing a lot about the crashes in the stock and crypto markets. Sometimes I say stuff like “Over $2 TRILLION of notional value has now been wiped out compared to the peak in late 2021.” And some people have been asking me: Where did all that wealth go?

The short answer is: It didn’t “go” anywhere. It vanished. It stopped existing. That’s not a natural or intuitive idea — how can wealth just disappear? — so this post is an explainer of how that works. And as we’ll see, this has implications for policy, for how we think about inequality, and for how we plan our own financial futures…

Lots more, including some nice examples.

My commonplace booklet

 How to Give Directions Like My Dad

Uncomfortable reading for (grand)parents by Charles Stayton.


Ask whether your audience is getting regular oil changes.

Tell them about Donny from your high school who wrapped his Corvair around a huge oak over by the American Legion.

Mention the extra oil filters you have lying around that happen to be an exact fit for your audience’s vehicle.

Spot on, sadly.

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