# Quick Ones…

Am spending most of this week at a conference in darkest Peru. Well, actually in Dallas. And I’m ready to go home. But here are some things to ponder…

• When I travel alone, I buy magazines that I would not otherwise read. On my last solo trip in the Spring, I bought the June issue of Esquire. I’m not sure why it caught my eye. I was interested in the John Kerry article, if I recall. I’m sure the picture of bikini-clad Carmen Electra on the cover didn’t hurt. (Must. Control. Reptile. Brain.) Anyway, I didn’t finish reading it until this trip. And there, burried deep in the magazine, was an article by Thomas P. M. Barnett titled “Mr. President, Here’s How to Make Sense of Our Iraq Strategy.” Excellent reading. It explained in very clear terms what we’re really doing in Iraq and how it fits into the broad arc of U.S. foreign policy. (As well as explaining how the Bush administration’s dissembling and failure to explain this strategy has cost us political capital in the world.) Unfortunately, it’s not available for free on the web. Perhaps I’ll write up a brief summary later.

• The Hampton Inn shower curtain rod arcs out from the shower. This makes the shower feel much more open and roomy, and it greatly reduces the tendency of the shower curtain to blow around. I probably wouldn’t have noticed were it not for the fact that I’ll be installing a shower curtain in my bathroom soon. (Well, as soon as I finish the demolition, install the drywall, install the tub surround, and reinstall the needed tile.) At this point, though, I think I’ll see if I can find one like this.

• The new budget passed by Congress cuts the budget of the National Science Foundation by $105 million from the current year, despite the fact that GWB requested a$168 million dollar increase in funding. This also flies in the face of the fact that in 2002, Congress authorized doubling the NSF budget by 2007. And apparently, along with this year’s budget cut, the agency was advised to expect flat or declining budgets for the next several years.