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One World Trade Center (the skyscraper formerly known as the Freedom Tower) is 26 stories high and beginning to poke its head into the downtown skyline. Even at quarter-height, its density and bulk are evident, and you can start to grasp how jammed up against the path tracks it is. Its neighbor at Four World Trade is up to about five floors, hard by the 1 train that continually rattles through the center of the site. The two memorial pools are framed out, and underground construction is moving forward on Santiago Calatrava’s swoopy transportation hub. Foundation work for Towers 2 and 3 starts next month, and the contaminated Deutsche Bank building, looming over the southern end of the site, will come down later this year to make way for Tower 5. Libeskind’s abiding idea—five towers standing guard around a sunken memorial—is inching toward reality. –“The Complex,” Christopher Bonanos, New York
Joan Wallach Scott is not just a “feminist.” On the contrary, she “personifies the preconceptions and biases of academic women’s studies,” above all in her embrace of the nihilistic, biased relativism that thrives in so many Western universities today. We call the relativism “biased” because it’s not an “all-cultures-are-equal” relativism. It’s an “all-cultures-are-equal-but-some-are-more-equal-than-others” variation on the species. It’s a relativism with a definite preference for non-Western, and especially non-American, societies and cultures. (We hasten to acknowledge that this preference is a largely theoretical activity. When it comes to such pedestrian matters as living arrangements, personal amenities, salaries, and pensions, you can still discern a marked preference for the Western way of life). –“Tolerating Intolerance, New Criterion
Buy dengue fever; redline the poor right out of your ivory tower;
you will never see the outside of this prison, pervert (say with Clint Eastwood snarl for full effect)
It’s funny, really. We base our professional lives on something as precise as the definitions of “love” or “happiness” and, like those ideas, we are convinced that brands are vitally important and absolutely, objectively real. Then we wonder why they’re so hard to measure, or why our C-suite associates have such trouble sharing (and consistently funding) our beliefs. Mention ROI all you want, but most CMOs are in the verse business, not prose. –“Our Measurement Problem Begins With Definitions,” Jonathan Salem Baskin, Advertising Age
More from TedRoss:
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.”