Some odds ‘n’ ends

1. An American (Jeff Madrick) in Europe

… as I write this, the leaders of the Eurozone are having trouble agreeing on a program to back bonds or expand their relief fund. More dangerous, the ponderous old guard who run the European Central Bank are not nearly as flexible as our Fed, which was once bad enough.

2. New Zealanders debate and consider voting systems

In the Herald,

Mt Eden resident Michele Donovan, who attended yesterday’s Keep MMP launch in Auckland, said she wanted to see it stay because it was the “best proportional system”, adding that the best way for the current system to be improved was by voting to keep it.

… while the Electoral Commission explains,

There’s a Referendum taking place at the same time as the 2011 General Election.

 The Referendum gives you the chance to have your say on the voting system you’d like to use to elect our Parliaments in the future.

3. Voting systems again: STV Irish-style – the power of the negative

… voters who want to do everything they can to ensure a specific candidate is not elected should use their vote as effectively as possible, by placing a 7 opposite their most disliked candidate and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 opposite the others in whichever order appeals.

4. Etymology

Charles Ponzi was probably the most colorful and outlandish practitioner of the scheme that bears his name. An Italian immigrant and postman’s son who arrived in Boston in 1903, he had charm, imagination, and chutzpah of epic proportions. [more from Ron Chernow]

5. Raising Kael

Lumet liked Kael’s work. Over the previous few weeks, he had allowed her on his set as a reporter, hoping she would learn something about shooting technique. Also present that night was the caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, and after a few drinks—actually, after quite a lot of drinks—Hirschfeld and Kael started quibbling about the uses of movie criticism. Finally, Hirschfeld asked her point-blank what she thought critics were good for. Kael gestured toward Lumet. “My job,” she said, “is to show himwhich way to go.” The evening ended soon afterward. Lumet later explained, “I thought, This is a very dangerous person.” [more]



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