(1) Yes, Trajan was a good emperor. So far as we can tell, anyway–his reign is singularly ill-documented. James Smith Reid gives him an excellent write-up in the 1911 Britannica. Just holding the empire together for 20 yrs & dying in your bed was pretty good going at this point. T’s main virtue was that as a professional soldier, and a very capable & successful one, he had the respect of the army, so they did not feel inclined to kill him just to get a donative. (The soldiers got a donative–a cash “bonus”–on the accession of a new emperor–surely one of the dumbest customs any empire ever had.) In fact, Trajan’s authority was so secure, he REDUCED the amount of the donative, without getting bumped off by angry guards. Brings to mind the remark by one of Eisenhower’s biographers that whatever faults Ike may have had, at least he wasn’t in awe of the Pentagon brass, having been brass himself & won a war.
(2) Lotsa Freecell sites. Try this.
Also this, at a higher level.
(3) Very nice appreciative email from Steven Johnson, author of EVERYTHING BAD IS GOOD FOR YOU, who was reading NRO (is there anyone who DOESN’T read NRO?) while sitting in the departure lounge at Heathrow. Thanks, Steve.