book: J. Madeleine Nash’s El Niño: Unlocking the Secrets of the Master Weather-Maker. It’s been sitting unread on my shelf since it came out three years ago. It’s good so far, by which I mean she’s a) found a good line to follow through the story, and b) told me things I didn’t already know.

stuff I wrote elsewhere: There’s this great episode of the Simpsons where the Continental Soccer Association comes to Springfield: “It’s all here – fast-kicking, low scoring, and ties? You bet!” A soccer riot ensues as the residents of Springfield scramble to get out of the stadium because the game is so boring. Now come a group of physicsts from Los Alamos who have proven that soccer is the most interesting sport. (Is there any question physicists can’t answer?

quote of the day: “Prefer the specific to the general.” Strunk and White. With that in mind, and with the help of, shall we say, a “source familiar with the Simpsons,” for my soccer story I tracked down this bit of business:

That is what happened last November when middling Doncaster prevailed over Manchester City, then Aston Villa on the way to Britain’s coveted Carling Cup.