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Coffee and Cigarettes, Approximately

Bethany's train left for the Frankfurt airport at 3:15 AM this morning. (What all did we see and do in Europe? You'll just have to wait for that post.) I took a bit too long helping her get her bags on the train and was suddenly a captive passenger of ICE 5 headed toward Frankfurt. After explaining the situation to an understanding train conductor, who seemed to enjoy the opportunity to practice his English, I got off at the next stop around 4:45 and waited for the next train back to Göttingen.

During the wait I bought the latest copy of The Economist and holed up in an American-style diner reading it while enjoying a cup of hot chocolate. (I still don't drink coffee.) I haven't read The Economist since a brief period of addiction while leasing apartments last summer, when each week I'd eagerly await buying up the glossy-paged British periodical at Barnes and Noble and reading the articles between my apartment showings. As I was paging through the magazine, I was thinking how it is sort of my pack of cigarettes, my guilty pleasure that I treat myself to now and then. What's so great about it? Despite it's weight toward economic analyses of topics (accompanied by a strong free-trade bias), each issue has articles on a host of political, social, and (of course) economic issues, all areas in which my understanding is admittedly very weak. All of the articles are anonymously written by the editorial staff and each article presents an opinion in addition to presenting its analysis. It therefore doesn't fain a completely objective approach like most journalism, which is biased but pretends to not to be, and which has an opinion on the given subject but pretends not to. The Economist's articles are thorough, well-written, straight-forward, and often a little witty - like a thinking-man's Newsweek.

I've never been one for newspapers, feeling that most journalism lacks analysis and historical perspective that really allows people to understand the issues, but I also realize that there's a large void in my knowledge of what's going on in the contemporary world. Since I don't think I could ever commit the time to reading a daily newspaper, I hope that The Economist might help fill that void a bit.

Yes, I am a nerd.

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You are such a rebel. :)

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