Archives August 2003

The advance of civilization

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Then:

One boy,
Boy for sale.
He’s going cheap.
Only seven guineas.
That—or thereabouts.
Now:

They rose before the sun on a crisp September day in 2001 and headed off on the long drive from Groton to Fenway Park. Sticking close together, and to the social workers who drove them in, Joe and Art found ...

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The evolution of slash

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Catherine Salmon and Donald Symon have written a book, Warrior Lovers, in which they try to use evolutionary psychology (or sociobiology, or whatever they’re calling it this year) to explain slash fiction. This strikes me as a silly idea on its face, but Henry Farrell was brave enough to read the book, and reports that ...

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Quiquid latine dictum, altum videtur

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

In the course of an otherwise interesting commentary on last week’s parsha, Rabbi Avraham Fischer says:

[Someone who feels very distant from God] must continue to pursue Hashem, to revere Him from the position of beholding the “mysterium tremendun” [sic] and to obey His commands.

Reading this, I wondered: why, in the course of a d’var ...

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We’ve come a long way since Job

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

…although, perhaps, not in the right direction.

Shorter John Derbyshire:

“Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell thought that 9/11 was divine punishment for American hedonism. We Episcopalians don’t have such a crude view of divine justice. Then again, Episcopalian theology is kind of watered-down and PC compared to the way it was in the good ...

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Meanwhile, back in Afghanistan…

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Charles Dodgson excerpts a recent NPR program on the situation in Kandahar. Our good friends in Afghanistan, the provincial warlords, are making sure that we don’t run out of Taliban to fight with:

It is absolutely clear in Kandahar that these so-called US allies are in fact allowing the extremist elements back in from Pakistan ...

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Peer-to-Palestinian-peer networking

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

It appears that some Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza are so confident of victory over the Israeli Defense Forces that they are taking on an even more formidable enemy: the Motion Picture Association of America. To quote their press release:

Earthstation 5 is at war with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA ...

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Dr. Laura to God: But what about <em>my</em> needs?

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

In September 2000, The Jewish Homemaker, a magazine published by Organized Kashrus Laboratories, published In Defense of Dr. Laura, an essay praising the talk-show host and describing her journey to an Orthodox Jewish conversion.

According to the article, Rabbi Reuven Bulka, of Ottawa, shepherded her through the conversion process. When her speech before a secular Jewish ...

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Save Adam’s marriage!

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Adam Felber has posted a heartfelt plea to arrest the gay-marriage movement before it…um…does something bad to him.

…Because when our gay friends start getting married, it will cheapen and destroy what we have. Not in a religious way (No. Legislating on those grounds would be illegal, for heaven’s sake!). It’s more of a general ...

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Life imitates B-movie

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

In Demolition Man, Sylvester Stallone plays a cop who is cryogenically preserved for thirty years and then thawed out in a sterilized future. As she brings him up to date with current events, Sandra Bullock makes a passing reference to “President Schwarzenegger.” Stallone is confused, since Ah-nold isn’t a natural-born citizen. Oh, Bullock says ...

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Don’t give him a hand

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Jose Hernandez-Rebollar, of George Washington University, has developed a glove that can translate the manual alphabet, and some signs in ASL, into spoken English. He expects a two-handed version to be ready by 2005.

The AP article mentions the military applications of similar devices, but highlights the glove’s potential as a machine for helping the ...

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