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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:
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
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 tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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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.”