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The celebrants, audience, and cow will then process to Harvard Divinity School, where Dean William A. Graham will open a second half-hour ceremony at 5:30 pm. Speakers will include William Martin, Emeritus Chavanne Professor of Religion and Public Policy at Rice University (and Professor Cox’s first graduate student advisee at Harvard), and Diana Eck, Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies and director of the Pluralism Project at Harvard, who will reflect on the significance of cows in world religions. The cow will then receive its evening milking. –“Renowned Harvard Professor Claims Privilege of Grazing Cow In Harvard Yard,” Harvard Divinity School (via)
The list of powers that supposedly come with the tattoos is long and includes: imperviousness to bullets, anti-landmine protection, invisibility, an amplified voice to address troops and “great gravity” magic to make one’s fists into heavier, deadlier weapons. –“With Art as Their Armor,” John Maloy, GlobalPost
And now, said the Daily News, “Dr. Roxanne Shanté” has “launched an unconventional therapy practice focusing on urban African-Americans,” in which she “incorporates hip-hop music into her sessions, encouraging her clients to unleash their inner MC and shout out exactly what’s on their mind.” The story was endlessly blogged and tweeted, heralded as an example of a heroic triumph by a girl from the projects over her evil record label. Credulous music-industry critics lapped it up; Techdirt, after stating flatly that Warner had “tr[ied] to cheat [Shanté] out of her contract,” reflected the online sentiment: “It’s nice to see how Warner Music actually did some good in the world, even if it had to be dragged there kicking and screaming.” One problem: Virtually everything about the Daily News’ heartwarming “projects-to-Ph.D.” story appears to be false. –“Roxanne’s Nonexistent Revenge: Heard about the rapper who forced her label to pay for her Cornell Ph.D.? It never happened,” Ben Sheffner, Slate
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”