Periodically I see several noteworthy posts on another blog and will deliver a round-up. Today is one such occasion. In the past few days,’s Material Interest blog has featured several articles of note.

  • “Mara Mia” – Summarizing from this link on MI and also one on GQ, newly re-elected Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has appointed 33-yr old Mara Carfagna as the country’s Minister of Equal Opportunity. She has been a Maxim cover girl and once placed sixth in the Miss Italy contest. A few years ago, the PM’s wife forced the PM to apologize for publicly fantasizing about Mara. Berlusconi is a billionaire who has been known for his non-PC remarks. I have to hand it to him on this one: he’s got balls. The question is: why does he think with them so much?
  • “Breaking: French women are pretty” – This post highlights the publication of a new book, Guide des Jolies Femmes de Paris, authored by Pierre-Louis Colin, who is apparently a speechwriter in an important French ministry. The book harks back toward perhaps Lonely Planet’s roots as the author takes the reader on a tour of Paris’ women, conceivably arrondisement to arrondisement, or street to street. It really doesn’t matter. There will be hilarious generalizations, inaccurate statements, and, one would hope, un-PC candor. Indeed, researching the book sounds like the fun part. Rumor has it Berlusconi has his first copy in the mail already. On a slight tangent, economics Professor Tyler Cowen discusses the factors affecting the employment of married women in urban areas. I wonder if Paris would make for a suitable contrast.
  • “Clean, well-lighted places” – This post announces the publication of Richard Meier & Partners: Complete Works 1963-2008, a book worth a not inconsiderable amount ($150 apparently!). But I am sure the book is replete with gorgeous photos of recent works and vivid accounts of the architect’s many artistic episodes. I am definitely going to suggest that my local libraries purchase this so I can get a good look. You might consider the same.