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Vital reading on Putin 

The Financial Times’s subscription policy has rarely seemed more foolish to me than today. Martin Wolf’s column on Vladimir Putin and the fight against terrorism is essential reading, but it’s restricted to the handful of FT.com subscribers as well as the newspaper readers. At least the FT should have a Wall Street Journal-like policy of putting a few daily highlights on a publicly available site.

Here’s Wolf’s important peroration: “To pity innocent Russian children is right. To embrace the butcher of the Chechens as an ally in the struggle against barbarism is to risk losing our souls, not just the struggle against the Islamists.”

Poll averse 

I have to stop following polls day to day. I think it might be injurious to good health (unlike reading Homer, see below). But today’s news is far, far cheerier than in some time.

Homeric breathing  

Marginal Revolution reports that reading Homer is good for your health (as if I didn’t already know that): “Reciting the Iliad could have epic effects on your health. German physiologists have recently shown that such poetry can get your heart beating in time with your breaths. This synchronization may improve gas exchange in the lungs as well as the body’s sensitivity and responsiveness to blood pressure changes.”

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