Sunday Morning Reading

I woke entirely too early this morning — or, to be more precise, before “morning” eclipsed “night” — and had time to catch up on last Sunday’s New York Times. Not the news, I get that daily, hourly even, on my computer’s desktop, rather the elegant and time-demanding pages of Sunday Styles and Sunday Review.

In “Statisticians 10, Poets 0,” I learned there’s apps for measuring everything now, including the frequency and length of sex. Now that’s useful information. However, from the same article, I also learned the name Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a statistician, who wrote The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. The combination of the names Nassim and Nicholas alone is pretty improbable. What was I doing in 2007, when the book came out, that allowed me to miss it? Obviously something improbable. If nothing else, my life as been impacted by the highly improbable.

An interesting word, improbable. Far more interesting than unbelievable.

From the Review section, I learned that in this age of digital books, book jacket blurbs are less useful. Now writers wanting to help other writers use Twitter. Okay. I’ll go back to building my Twitter feed. It’s jesunderland@ if you’re interested. Twitter is sort of like digital books — more screen time required.

But even more interesting was learning that alternative medicine, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, is once more being addressed and with more pro-remarks than con. Now I have to look up Dr. James S. Gordon who’s a proponent of mind-body techniques. As a child growing up on a farm and as an adult without health insurance, I relied on alternative medicine. And when I finally had health insurance, thanks to getting old and getting Medicare, I was mostly grateful for the lower cost to seeing my chiropractor. And yes, I have a yearly physical now, and yes, I have yearly blood tests, but no, I don’t take medications. Except for allergy meds to clear my stuffy nose. And a lot of whole food supplements. It would be totally fabulous if those would become covered by insurance.

So that’s the news worth retelling from last Sunday’s paper. I see this week’s lying in the driveway. Maybe it will get read before next weekend. I’ll keep you posted.



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