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1966 / January | View All Issues |

January 1966

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Letters

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The editor’s easy chair

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Substitutes for violence·

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Notice

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After hours

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Fast food and footloose Americans·

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Poetry

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Unwanted·

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A villanelle

[Coming in Harper’s]

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Lindsay, Kennedy, and the power struggle in New York·

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Requiem for a west Texas town·

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Gabriel·

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Fiction

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An off-campus love story·

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Poetry

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The other side . . .·

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An open letter to the Ford Foundation·

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Jean Shepherd·

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Radio’s noble savage

Washington insight

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The scientific pork barrel·

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Cartoon

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“Learn to live with it?”·

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The new books

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Don’t let’s be beastly to the Germans·

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Knight in top hat·

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Edmund Wilson, Lionel Trilling, Philip Rahv·

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Cars coming–faster and faster·

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Discussed in this essay:

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Henry Holt. 352 pages. $28.

The extinction symbol is a spare graphic that began to appear on London walls and sidewalks a couple of years ago. It has since become popular enough as an emblem of protest that people display it at environmental rallies. Others tattoo it on their arms. The symbol consists of two triangles inscribed within a circle, like so:

“The triangles represent an hourglass; the circle represents Earth; the symbol as a whole represents, according to a popular Twitter feed devoted to its dissemination (@extinctsymbol, 19.2K followers), “the rapidly accelerating collapse of global biodiversity” — what scientists refer to alternately as the Holocene extinction, the Anthropocene extinction, and (with somewhat more circumspection) the sixth mass extinction.

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“Now may be the unlikeliest time for us to grow a conscience about how our rapacity is endangering other species, since we’re now aware of how frightfully our rapacity is endangering us.”
Collage (detail) by David McLimans

Percentage of Americans who say they would not enjoy spending time with their own clone:

70

Astronomers recorded the most powerful pulse of radiation ever observed; the radiation was emitted from a pulsar 12,000 light-years from Earth and was “capable of totally vaporising and ionising all known materials, shredding them into hot plasma.”

Alberta dentist Michael Zuk, the owner of a molar that belonged to John Lennon, revealed that he hoped to clone a new Lennon and raise him as a son. “Hopefully keep him away from drugs,” said Zuk, “but, you know, guitar lessons wouldn’t hurt.”

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