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Today, FWF has more than 13,000 official members, plus six times that many who participate in programs such as their annual sweepstakes: You can win a boat or an eco-friendly car, such as a Toyota Prius or a Ford Fusion. The Federation has volunteer activists all over the state and a volunteer board of directors. There are only seven full-time staffers. Once the province of camo-clad WASPs, FWF is now Obama-America diverse: male and female, Wonderbread white and African American, Southerner and Snowbird. Some like to bag game: Jenny Brock, the Northwest Florida regional director, hunts in the Wakulla County woods near her house, and VP for Conservation and General Counsel Preston Robertson goes after deer in Georgia and Illinois with a sixty-four-pound compound bow. Others are content to appreciate Nature unarmed. Diane Hines, FWF’s Pennsylvania-bred vice president for administration, says, “I’m not a wildlife expert or a hunter. I come from a golfing family.” –“Diane Roberts on Greens With Guns,” Diane Roberts, Oxford American
Happy illegal weapon of mass destruction with lingering carcinogenic and other toxic effects day, folks!
scientifically, inexorably, undeniably obvious, or experiments in looking without seeing;
Tom Cruise playing volleyball continues to haunt America’s flying aces
I long ago ceased reading the newspaper’s letters section in the hope of finding a man or woman after my own heart. With the exception of David Brooks, who allows that his general position is slightly to the right of center but who is not otherwise locked into a Pavlovian political response, I find no need to read any of the Times’s regular columnists. Every so often I check to remind myself that Maureen Dowd isn’t amusing, though she is an improvement, I suppose, over the termagantial Anna Quindlen, whom I used to read with the trepidation of a drunken husband mounting the stairs knowing his wife awaits with a rolling pin. I’d sooner read the fine print in my insurance policies than the paper’s perfectly predictable editorials. Laughter, an elegant phrase, a surprising sentiment—the New York Times op-ed and editorial pages are the last place to look for any of these things. –“Adios, Gray Lady,” Joseph Epstein, The Weekly Standard
For centuries, Timbuktu was a centre of the southern hemisphere, a stronghold of trade, an Islamic university city. Where the Niger Delta met the desert, the paths of ages crossed: from the North came the caravans, over the river came gold from West Africa. And after the merchants came scholars; Timbuktu was a cosmopolitan city. Our men murmuring into the evening are lying in the exact spot where West Africa’s Quartier Latin lay in the 15th century, or to be more precise, a Quartier Arabe with 25,000 students. Almost the population of Timbuktu today. Deceptive, this sand-coloured silence, the sense of being lost to the world. –“The scramble for Timbuktu,” Charlotte Wiedemann, Sign and Sight
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.”