Hello, readers! I’m still here—just a little more distracted than usual.

Following the coverage of Egypt’s revolution has been gripping. The big 3-D map of Cairo in Sunday’s Times brought a stream of memories flooding back. The Nile Hilton, where all the media was holed up? I’ve stayed there! Midan Tahrir (Tahrir Square)? I’ve crossed the street there! (According to one travel guide, my survival means that I can safely negotiate a street-crossing anywhere else in the world.) Revolution, to Americans today, is such a distant concept—something seen only in photographs and shaky video. It’s weird to see it unfolding in a place that feels familiar.

On a related note, one wonders why Al-Jazeera English is not available in the USA. I don’t have cable or satellite, but if I did, I would harass my provider endlessly about this channel. My usual hotel in Hong Kong has it and it is 1,000% more interesting and more cerebral than any American news channel. And, in my limited experience, much more objective.