In an essay for the New Yorker, John McPhee (previously, previously, and previously) reflects on the points of reference writers choose in order to illuminate their topics, sometimes to the annoyance of readers. "Mention Beyoncé and everyone knows who she is. Mention Veronica Lake and you might as well be in the Quetico-Superior." Frame of Reference: To illuminate—or to irritate? [more inside]
"But not doing things too disastrously is not some minimal achievement; it is a maximal achievement, rarely managed." Does it help to know history?
"Why am I not constantly grieving?" The wonderful Roger Angell on love, loss, sex, death, time, and the view from age 94.
The Hot Spotters examines the possibilities of a strange new approach to health care: to look for the most expensive patients in the system and then direct resources and brainpower toward helping them. — by Atul Gawande [more inside]