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One advantage Dothan has over a city like Meridian—where a synagogue was bombed in 1968—is that it has no history of overt anti-Semitism. Larry Blumberg remembers a time during his childhood, in the 1960s, when all public schools were closed for the Jewish High Holidays, and a local Jewish businessman was president of Dothan’s tony country club. Dothan has other selling points as well. It’s home to many of the region’s hospitals, hotels, and banks, and nearby farms produce about half the country’s peanuts. People there are also quick to mention that the beaches of Panama City, Florida, are a mere 81 miles away. –“A Promising Land,” Ben Austen, The Atlantic
The trouble is that the 1.4 quintillion cubic metres of the world’s ocean is chewed up, processed and spat out again and again by organisms we can’t see with the naked eye, and that we know almost nothing about. We do know that these life forms are the most important on the planet for converting carbon dioxide into living matter by the most significant chemical reaction of them all – photosynthesis. In fact, photosynthetic micro-organisms live in a compulsory symbiosis with reef-building corals, but the cohabiting microbes are very sensitive to the overheated water resulting from carbon dioxide’s greenhouse effect. It’s double jeopardy for coral, therefore. –“An acid trip no one wants to go on,” Caroline Ash, New Statesman
Rove blames himself for a dirty trick at the start of his career. In 1970, he got hold of an invitation to the opening of the campaign headquarters of Alan Dixon, a Democratic candidate for Illinois state treasurer, and used it to counterfeit a flyer: “Free Beer, Free Food, Girls, and A Good Time for Nothing.” The fake invitation spelled out the time and place of the actual opening of the headquarters, and Rove handed out his forgery to “vagrants, homeless, and drifters,” as he puts it, “in bad parts of downtown Chicago and at a free rock concert in Grant Park.” He pleads guilty to the misstep but he says it had no successor. He denies that there was ever a poll in the 2000 South Carolina primary in which voters were asked: “Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for John McCain for president if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?” –“The Curveball of Karl Rove,” Dave Bromwich, The New York Review of Books
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.”