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Obama’s open hostility toward Netanyahu and his disproportionate reaction to the unintentional slight delivered to Biden are important, and deadly serious, because there is no doubt they were authentic expressions of real emotion. We’ve seen Obama be a little churlish and somewhat peevish, but rarely more openly negative than that. Nothing in the course of his presidency has made him angry, so far as we know, in the way that Israel and Netanyahu have made him angry. Not Iran’s defiance and game-playing. Not the supposed chicanery of Wall Street and the monstrous insurance companies that have served as his populist targets. Not even Rush Limbaugh. –“Mr President: Your Animus is Showing,” John Podhoretz, Commentary
A Belarusian started out sane, just sitting there. Every 30 seconds a pitiless stream of water came out from a ceiling shower in the center of the sauna and splashed on the molten-hot rocks, creating a 100% humidity level in the room that would melt gold. About two minutes in our man started rocking a little. At three his eyes started blinking oddly. At four he began twitching. At five his eyes got huge. At six he started swallowing each breath like a gulp of scorching soup. Then he started glancing around wildly, as if to say to the others, Are you mad? Don’t you see what’s happening? They’ve locked us in a Crock-Pot! He started wiping his eyes and mouth. He moved his hands out toward his thighs to rub them, then realized that’s not allowed and did so anyway, crazily, as though he were covered in lice. The judges flagged him once, then twice. Then he lurched for the door, and he was out. Sanity and cool air whooshed back into his brain, and suddenly he was normal and smiling again. –“Sports From Hell,” Rick Reilly, ESPN
Not long after Jones’ conviction, a new mitochondrial-DNA test came into use that could have identified the hair with far more certainty than that microscope analysis — a technique that remains largely unchanged since it was first used in 1861. But Jones’ appeals to have the hair tested were denied, as was a last-minute petition to then Governor George W. Bush for a stay of execution. Bush had postponed other executions to wait for new DNA tests, but Jones had spectacularly bad timing. His petition came in the middle of the Florida recount fight after the 2000 presidential election. Bush’s legal team sent him a brief on the case, but it neglected to even mention the possibility of a new DNA test, and Jones became the 152nd — and final — inmate executed during Bush’s tenure. –“In Texas, Seeking the Truth About an Executed Man,” Nathan Thornburgh, Time
This pop is everything, everywhere, all the time;
Lebanon owns Israel…in global falafel and hummus contests that no one really takes seriously except in the Middle East where it’s like life and death (hold the white sauce, please);
Bourdain and Santayana–like peas and carrots;
for Tolstoy, like Michael Jackson, the children were the future
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.”