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The first thing to understand about Gloria Allred is that she does not care what you think about her relationship to media. If you search for any sense of embarrassment or shame, such as you might feel if your name were a late-night punch line for any joke regarding overly tenacious lawyering, you will not find it. It doesn’t exist. Her relationship to media is like Oprah Winfrey’s to money. It is uncomplicated, and you are free to project onto it whatever you like. –“The Avenger,” Laurie Winer, New York Times
Although much has been written on the history of meat-eating, the topic of doneness is strangely unexplored. Over the past few years, Lynne Olver, of the food history site the Food Timeline, has begun surveying the subject, from the caveman on. In an e-mail, Olver explained that for eons, “[m]eats were cooked with one general goal: make them edible.” Nonetheless, even the ancient Greeks and Romans “prescribed,” as Olver puts it, certain methods of preparation in accordance with their humoral theory of medicine. For instance, according to Hippocratic teachings, beef “will agree best with those who use it well-boiled,” and pork “should be eaten without the skin, and in a coldish state.” Such aphorisms laid the groundwork for theories on preparation that developed in the following centuries. –“Shoe-Leather Reporting: A history of well-done meat in America,” Susan Burton, Slate
Our view of classical populism is shaped by both the warnings of philosophers and the experiences of some democracies, ancient and modern. In the Politics, Aristotle defines a demagogic democracy as one in which “the decrees of the assembly override the law” and a popular faction “takes the superior share in the government as a prize of victory.” The people’s leader, the demagogue, incites them to pursue such despotism through extravagant rhetoric, playing on the people’s basest desires and fears. The result is laid out ominously in Plato’s Republic: The people — “an obedient mob” — “set up one man as their special leader…and make him grow great.” The masses take the property of the wealthy to redistribute it among themselves; the people’s enemies, meanwhile, are charged with crimes and banished from the city (or worse). The Athenian philosophers were not merely theorizing such scenarios: Their city had lived through them, during the reigns of the 5th century B.C. demagogues Alcibiades and Cleon. –“Populism, American Style,” Henry Olsne, National Affairs
More from TedRoss:
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.”