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1979 / May | View All Issues |

May 1979

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Letters

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The easy chair

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The early afternoon of the gods

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Arms bazaar·

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SALT was never intended to disarm

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Collection

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Dr. Kissinger goes to war·

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Dr. Kissinger goes to war·

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Article

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Lewis Carroll’s letters to little girls·

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Fiction

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Women in a Roman courtyard·

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A short story

Other things being equal

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Eyes only·

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Other things being equal

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Other things being equal·

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Article

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The mistresses of Singer·

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A fantasy

In our time

82 PDF

The national pastime·

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In our time

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In our time·

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Books

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Goodness incarnate·

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Sheltering Jews in Vichy France

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Biological imperative·

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Writing about science for laymen

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The fourth estate

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Invitation to a hanging·

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An encounter with Islamic justice

The fourth estate

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Poetry

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This ego in the wilderness·

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Poetry

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Zimmer’s last gig·

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Reflections on equality

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Thirty childbirths·

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American miscellany

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Poetry

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Crocus·

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15, rue du Sommerard·

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Puzzle

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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

Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:

2:1

Mathematicians announced the discovery of the perfect method of cutting a cake.

Indian prime-ministerial contender Narendra Modi, who advertises his bachelorhood as a mark of his incorruptibility, confessed to having a wife.

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