Let's start with the inauguration/coronation. The inaugural poem by Elizabeth Alexander has come in for a drubbing. Not so at the Weekly Standard where Eli Lehrer praises it as a celebration of everyday life in this. He may have half a point. You can read the text here. As for me, the last time I paid attention was when I was sorely disappointed by the Maya Angelou opus. Question of the day: has poetry lost relevance to our lives, or have our lives lost their poetry?
Billed as holding lessons for the Obama administration, here are some easily accessible documents, part of the choreography of US/Cuba relationships over time. Not so coincidentally they are cited in an article in the February Cigar Aficionado, which fueled by altruism, nicotine, and the American way has a special report on Cuba. Macanudos, mulatas, and misery, anyone?
In a reverse Cinderella story, this former nurse, widow of a physician, finds herself destitute, having lost 7.3 million to financier/apparent con artist Bernie Madoff. Consequently, she finds herself selling off possessions and working as a companion. It's a sad story, but it boggles my mind that anyone would entrust all their resources to a single person/outfit.
In the science department, the earlier mentioned outbreak of the Reston variant of Ebola in Philippine pigs may have jumped species. According to this article, one worker tested positive for the virus. And earthquakes have hit Los Angeles, a small one, and Alaska, a larger one. Stay tuned.