Best Things of 2022

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I will have the Christmas card version, without pictures and maybe without links, at Best2022. I've posted our Christmas card in powerpoint and in pdf.

The Dozen Best

1. Chemistry in 100 Numbers by Joel Levy (2015). Not just Avogadro's number, but lots of others. A good way to learn some chemistry.
2. Korean dramas Anna and Stranger. These are modern dramas, not historical ones, but they're still good. Anna (2022) is about a girl who pretends to be a rich girl she meets. Stranger is about prosecutors fighting corruption. Both are gripping.
3. Weird Al Yankovic videos. The four best are Amish Paradise (1996),"First World Problems" (2014),White and Nerdy(2006), and "Just Like a Surgeon" (1985).
4. Charles Portis books, even beyond True Grit (1968). That's the best; then the ranking is Gringos (1991), Lords of Atlantis (1985), Norwood (1966), and The Dog of the South (1979).
5. The MIT Free Speech Alliance (MFSA). I helped found this alumni organization in October 2021 and by now we've gotten a half-million dollar grant, 900 members, Peter Bonilla as executive director, and perceptible influence on MIT. We discovered that nine of the ten exec comm members have helped start corporations, which may account for how well we work together. See our website or follow us on Twitter-- lots of good stuff there.
6. A Book of French Quotations by Norbert Guterman (1963). French on one side, English on the other. Very well done and well indexed. Chronologically ordered like Bartlett's, for fun browsing.
7. The old quarters of Rome and Naples. I liked Italy a lot better than I expected, perhaps because I like dilapidation, narrow streets, and layers of history. They're so much older than Paris and London that there's no comparison. The people are nice, the food is good, and we didn't get robbed. But the temperature was 100 degrees, and the trains don't run on time.
8. Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana where my Amelia and her husband Jadon are living. It has the largest tyrannosaurus and triceratops collections in the world. Six T-Rex skulls are on display, including the largest ever found., a solitaire chess game. The middle category is right for me; I win about 60% of the time. The computer is very bad at end games, but it's a challenge for me to get that far and the ease then provides some relief as I mop up its pawns and crown mine.
10. The Great Gatsby movie with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow (1974). Why do a remake? And it's faithful to the book.
11. Hum Do Hamare Do (Two of Us, Two of Ours) (2021). A Hindi comedy. Very sentimental and a predictable happy ending, which probably accounts for bad reviews, but I really liked it. A self-made man, an orphan, needs to come up with temporary parents when he wants to marry a doctor's daughter.
12. The November 2022 Stanford Academic Freedom conference. Amazingly good-- Douglas Murray; John Cochrane, Tyler Cowen (economics); John Ioannadis, Bjorn Lomborg, Jay Bhattacharya, Charles Atlas, Dorian Abbot (science); Joshua Katz, Niall Ferguson; Amy Wax, Nadine Strossen, Eugene Volokh, Michael McConnell (law); Peter Thiel; Lee Jussim, Steven Pinker, Jonathan Haidt, Jordan Peterson (Psychology). Audience top-notch too, e.g. Harald Uhlig, Bari Weiss, Rick Sander, four of us MFSA members. Lots of socializing, like in a medium--sized academic conference. Video is online.


  • Keegans's Six Armies in Normandy (1982). Not his best (The Face of Battle, World War I, The Mask of Command) but still very good. The armies? --American, British, Canadian, French, Polish, and German.

Dozen Best Articles

This *really* requires discipline. See