Ready for the return
“If the Messiah descends from the Mount of Olives as foretold in the Bible, America’s two biggest Christian broadcasters are well positioned to cover it live, thanks to recent acquisitions of adjacent Jerusalem studios on a hill overlooking the Old City,” reports the Los Angeles Times. “Texas-based Daystar Television Network already beams a 24-hour-a-day live webcam from its terrace. Not to be outdone, Costa Mesa-based Trinity Broadcasting Network last month bought the building next door.”
Best face forward
“Like any corner-cutting modern builder, the ancient stonemasons who built Stonehenge lavished the most work and best materials where they would be first seen – shining in the last light of the setting winter solstice sun, or at dawn on the longest day,” says The Guardian. “In an epic piece of work, the stones facing in the direction were laboriously shaped to appear straight and regular, their original rough brown surfaces hammered away, or pick-dressed, to expose the lighter inner layer of stone which, when newly worked, would have shone in the sunlight. The gigantic lintels that bridge the uprights were also elaborately worked to even their size and height. In contrast, on the opposite side of the circle the builders only bothered to pick-dress the inner faces of the surviving uprights. The backs, they clearly reckoned, would never be studied in detail.”
Un boom in Anglicisms
“ ‘Êtes-vous un trader, une working girl successful, ou un web marketeur? Aimez-vous la Caesar salad, le fudge, et les grogs healthy?’ It’s not quite the French you learned at school,” writes Bernice Murail in The Christian Science Monitor, “but more and more you’ll find such Anglicisms in France’s print media – despite print’s reputation of being more linguistically conservative than radio, TV or the web. ... One of the reasons for this increase is access to the U.S. way of life through the Internet by journalists who either don’t find a proper translation or deliberately use the original. Until recently, ‘garçon manqué’ would have been preferred to ‘tomboy.’ ”
Dinosaurs long gone
“The concept of reconstructing dinosaurs from ancient DNA is unlikely since genetic material can only last one million years, Australian researchers say,” United Press International reports. “While short fragments of DNA could possibly survive up to a million years, more complex sequences of genetic material would only have a half-life of around 158,000. … Scientists made that determination after analyzing DNA from bones of the extinct New Zealand moa.”
The fall of man?
“For more than two decades, Chrissie D’Esopo welcomed thousands of strangers to her property, raising some $175,000 [U.S.] for charity, but she has reluctantly closed her garden gate,” says The Hartford (Conn.) Courant. “More than 40,000 visitors trekked through her gardens and home without incident, until this summer. An Avon, Conn., woman fell during a July garden tour, hurt her ankle and filed an insurance claim against [Ms.] D’Esopo and the two nonprofits benefiting from that day’s tour. She fell on a brick walkway that’s flush with the grass. Despite the insurance companies’ willingness to cover all the medical expenses for the woman, her husband, who wasn’t on the tour, has threatened to sue for his own ‘pain and suffering’ linked to his wife’s hurt ankle, [Ms.] D’Esopo said. ‘I risk losing my house by having garden tours.’”
Thought du jour
The crowd worships its heroes fanatically while they are in fashion, but it likes to turn about and roll them in the mud of satire in order to teach them who made them and how easily it can unmake them.
William Graham Sumner
American academic (1840-1910)