Economics, the Comic Science

So, you're an Oxford engineering student who doesn't know a thing about Economics. You're sent to China for three days, expecting to lecture on economics to sixth-formers. It turns out that you may have been mistaken for a leading American economist with the same name and the lecture that you're expected to give, on a subject you know nothing about, is to be given to PhD students. Do you:

a) Point out the mistake to your handlers and apologize profusely.
b) Cry
c) Bluff your way through shamelessly, using an Economics for Dummies textbook as the basis of your notes.

Matthew Richardson of Oxford, England, has gumption. He picked c. The full story is here. The "inscruitable Chinese" comment aside, it's quite a funny story.

Link courtesy Lightly Toasted.

Weekend happenings

I've been spending my weekend immersed in a lot of web stuff. On one level, it's quite fun and creative, but after twelve hours of non-stop web work, I'd have to say that I'd prefer twelve hours of non-stop writing.

One of the websites I'm working on belongs to my friend Dan, who decided to bite the bullet and get himself his own domain name and his own full-fledged blog. Dopplegangland is now up and running at the new site. Dan writes well and has an exuberant style. If you enjoy geeky (his words) television reviews with a touch of liberal politics, you'll enjoy his site.

The other site is a work in progress, and something I might actually get paid for. J.S. Porter, a poet, critic and teacher living in Hamilton, e-mailed me out of the blue and asked me to put together a website for his writings. I'd previously met him after he introduced Erin at the Arts and Spirit festival last year in St. Jerome's University. He quite liked Erin's website, and wanted something similar.

The site is called Spiritbookword (after J.S. Porter's most recent book, subtitled "An inquiry into literature and spirituality") and is going to be a fairly static repository of book reviews, art criticism, and essays on spirituality in general and Thomas Merton in particular, but Mr. Porter may decide to add a new column to the front page once a month or so. Feel free to click on over and tell me what you think; just remember it's still a work in progress.

During the week, for the next month or so, I'm also involved in more web work, creating two archive websites for the Social Planning Council of Kitchener-Waterloo. Specifically, I'm involved with the ConnectKW and the Social Economic Inclusion Initiatives -- two programs which seek to remove the obstacles keeping various disadvantaged groups from accessing the Internet.

I have no idea where all of this webwork came from, but I'm starting to realize that I might be able to do this for a living (or, at least, a portion of a living).

Another bit of web work I've just completed is uploading my sister-in-law, Wendy Ewell's latest painting on her website. Check out Green Leaf. Like all her other work, it's impressive.

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