The most significant piece of writing the Curator can share this week was heard by millions—and read by not nearly as many—at 9 p.m. EST on Tuesday, January 12, 2016. President Barack Obama offered up his last State of the Union address, and it was a humdinger. A true doozy! Tired old noise from the Rs—I’m listening to Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) as I write—but a great, great speech from our president.
The Curator heard no mention of guns during the SOTU, but there was a “girlfriend” call early on and they rule, so maybe I missed a reference. Because guns are never far from the Curator’s mind, however, I was taken with Obama’s Guns Gambit, written by Margaret Talbot for the New Yorker’s January 18 issue. Better still, if you have the time, is Common Sense from On the Media. Brooke Gladstone, Bob Garfield and crew take on the gun debate in a way that is, at one and the same time, eclectic and thorough. Well done!
From the New York Review of Books the Curator enjoyed Einstein: Right and Wrong by Jeremy Bernstein. Candidly, the Curator understood almost nothing he read, but Mr. Bernstein’s comments get close to almost making sense about such as relativity, special relativity, the shape of the universe, and black holes. And for sci-phobes, the whole essay is about 1600 words.
The January 11 New York Times magazine cover story, The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare is a must-read piece for anyone who venerates American industry. DuPont lied and cheated about a really bad chemical, and once it was caught its defense amount to a “who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?” Shame on DuPont, and kudos to Rob Bilott and his Establishment law firm, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP for taking on the sort of case that too many in my profession cannot or will not handle.
Big news from the national restaurant front. Per Se is an important New York City restaurant. Owned by Thomas Keller, it’s the East Coast counterpart to The French Laundry, Mr. Keller’s big deal place Yountville, CA. Alas, gravity being gravity, there was a falling. Per Se has been a New York Times Four Star restaurant for all of its 11+ years … until January 12, 2016. Here’s the Pete Wells review, which takes the fine dining establishment down two notches, to a mere Two Stars. Mr. Wells is a terrific writer / reviewer, and the reader comments are a hoot.
Also from the New York Times is Pizza with Shrimp, Bacon and Artichoke Hearts. It’s a fine pie. Stay tuned for a picture from my kitchen. For now, check out the ingredients: