Good Things of 2017 (links: http://rasmusen.org/special/christmas/xmas2017.htm)


1. The Grace of Shame (2017) by Timothy Bayly, Juergen von Hagen, and Joseph Bayly. A critique of the evangelical view of homosexuality, with close attention to the role of involuntary temptation.

2. The Grand Canyon. Truly sublime, and a well-run park.

3. Le Roi de Fer (1955) by Maurice Druon, first of the Cursed Kings series about the last Capets around 1300. These are about as easy to read and as gripping as Dumas.

4. Twitter. Not good for what people write, but for what they link to, and to keep track of links you find yourself.

5. Bleak House (2005) Little Dorrit (2008), and Martin Chuzzlewit (1994), but not Hard Times (1994). BBC mini-serieses of the Charles Dickens novels. The Bleak House one is better than the novel, I think--- more tightly edited. Maybe LD and MC are too.

6. The Lucky Express Chinese restaurant in Bloomington. A hole in the wall but very good food. Crowded, often. Try the Crispy Salted Chicken.

7. The IGM Forum at Chicago Booth b-school. One-question polls showing answering 1-5 and confidence levels 1-10 of famous economists, with, sometimes, about 20 words of explanation of their answer. Good: these are named economists, and it's short.

8. Python, an all-purpose, open source, computer language for webscraping, programming, numerical examples, symbolic mathematical analysis, statistical analysis, matrix operations, diagramming, and I hope everything else I might need except for what Latex does. Anaconda is an free installation and Spyder is an editor/batcher included in Anaconda that works well. See Johannsson's Introduction to Scientific Computing in Python (2016, the best), Sargent and Stachurski's Lectures in Quantitative Economics (long), and Bell's Lectures on Python for Economists (2016, for webscraping).

9. Hillsdale College and the Baylor Great Books major. Some colleges are differentiating for a competitive edge and the preservation of Western civilization.

10. Reading out loud on car trips. We read Tony Hillerman novels in Arizona and New Mexico, just the place to do it.

11. Dilbert.com. Scott Adams is full of ideas about how people think.

12. A list of good articles, a new idea to try to make ephemera into permanenta. A list of a dozen good articles discovered this year, with web links. You need to go to http://rasmusen.org/special/christmas/2017-articles.htm.

Honorable Mentions: Bleak House (1853) by Charles Dickens. The Slow Cooker pressure cooker. Google Flights. Travel backpacks. Vivaldi's Night Concerto for Flute. Agatha Christie's Cards on the Table (1936). The Monn concerto-- the cello equivalent of the Seitz. Batman Begins movie. Counterexamples in Analysis (1964) by Bernard Gelbaum. Sergeant Pepperís Chicken in Martinsville. The Blue Gate restaurant in Shipsewanna. Tim Kellerís The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God (2013). Robin Hartshorne's Geometry: Euclid and Beyond (1997). David Hilbert's Foundations of Geometry (1899). Stuff sacks for sleeping bags. Sandwich Grace Chapel. The new Bloomington garbage can system. The Fisherman's Knot for tying two strings together. AirBnb aparments in Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Over the Edge: Death in the Grand Canyon (2001) by Michael Ghiglieri and Thomas M. Myers. Death in Yellowstone (2014, 2nd ed.) by Lee Whittlesley. The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War (2007) by David Halberstam.