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“If we admitted that we are not going to fight a war with China anytime soon, we could retire chunks of the Air Force and Navy that are justified by that mission. Even with a far smaller defense budget, ours will remain the world’s most powerful military by a large margin. The recently enacted GI Bill, which gives veterans a subsidized or free college education, offers a vehicle for transitioning military personnel into the civilian economy.”
“The SDS– scent delivery system– is one of the add-ons that Stone has adopted to make the training games more realistic. It consists of eight sealed chambers, each of which holds a pot of wax impregnated with a pungent odour. Available at $25 (£17.26) each from Biopac, an American educational supplies company, they range from the likes of gingerbread and April showers to a mix of odours designed to evoke combat. On command from the computer, compressed air is blown over some or several of the chambers to stir up an instant impression of Kandahar.”
“Throughout the Limbo, the first circle of hell, you’ll come across Virgil, the author of the Aenid and Dante’s guide, and he’ll actually relay lines from the epic poem. Yes, in between, slaying demons and wrecking havoc through hell, you can pause to read from one of the classics of Western literature… But artistic license aside, there are also moments in the game that are cringe-inducingly literal. For example, you’ll actually run across unbaptized babies, which are mentioned in the text. EA Redwood Shores imagines them as zergling creatures that have blades for feet and Dante will have to kill them as they skitter, spiderlike, across the floor… Dante’s Inferno is schedule to be released next year.” (via)
“Geoffrey Hill: I do not wish to repeat the opposition between science and poetry. It is not science that is the enemy of poetry, but the fact that our world is secular and governed by this plutocratic anarchy which I talked about yesterday. What produces poetry is the exact opposite of what produces this secular concern. But it is wise to admit that this world of plutocratic anarchy is more powerful than anything.”
Chances that a deep breath inhaled today will contain a molecule from Julius Caesar’s dying breath:
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences, by John Allen Paulos, Hill and Wang (N.Y.C.)
The earth once had three moons; the two lost moons may have crashed into the surviving moon, or been sucked into the sun, or flung out of the solar system to drift through deep space.
In Florida, an 87-year-old World War II veteran flying touch-and-go drills in a Cessna collided with an airborne skydiver. “There was a ‘woof’ sound,” said a witness, “like falling on your face into your pillow.”
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”