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There’s a peculiar comfort in imagining the companionship of great composers, for it is among them that a child prodigy is at home. Mozart rules the hopeful parent: homeschooled, composing harpsichord minuets at the age of five, playing the Viennese court at six, visiting Johann Christian Bach in London at age eight. He was one of the earliest celebrated child performers, and like Barbara, he was born to the profession—his father was a violin master. Then again, in some arts, there is almost an inevitability to the appearance of prodigies. Pablo Picasso’s charming Bullfight and Pigeons—drawn in 1890, when he was nine years old—can still elicit admiration at exhibitions and wise nodding. Ah, even then his talent shone through. –“Vanishing Act,” Paul Collins, Lapham’s Quarterly
Yes, yes, yes: it’s right to eat my fatty liver!
the barely questionable legality of abandoning your baby;
if real editors ship–where’s my searchable database of decontextualized statistics?
Beyond the policy debates and legislative post-mortems of the DREAM Act defeat, one key issue has been lost regarding Obama and the Democrats’ high-profile failure here. With nothing to show for his high-pain, no reward strategy, President Obama has much to account for, having ordered a catastrophic mass deportation policy large enough to clear out the City of San Jose, California. The incalculable human toll on America’s families, employers, and communities by deporting 800,000 immigrants is breathtaking. Families are broken, employers are scrambling to find critical workers, and entire neighborhoods and towns are desolate. The Administration’s iron-fisted strategy to find support for humanitarian immigration reform brings to mind the old Vietnam war dictum, “To save the town, it became necessary to destroy it.” To obtain a just solution for America’s undocumented immigrant community, the Obama Administration has found it necessary to assail, deplete, and strike fear into its heart. –“To Save the Town, It Became Necessary to Destroy It: Obama’s Politically Inept ‘Deportation First’ Immigration Policy and Epic Failure on DREAM Act,” Daniel Shanfield, Daniel Shanfield, Esq. Immigration Law & Defense Blog
Will they still leave the light on for you when the “City of Homes” finally closes down?
would a CIA honeytrap smell as sweet as one made in which you actually store honey?
memories of plane crash past
Even a “little bad” can be a little admirable, as I discovered while researching the life of Frank Sinatra, when I saw violence momentarily mingle with kindness. One day when Sinatra stopped by his first wife’s house to attend his young daughter’s birthday party, he arrived just as a rambunctious youngster toppled an antique vase from the mantel. Mrs. Sinatra screamed as her precious porcelain shattered to smithereens, and the youngster burst into tears, afraid she was going to be punished. Sinatra walked over and patted her head. “Don’t you worry about it, sweetheart,” he said. Striding to the mantel, he picked up the matching vase and smashed it to the floor. “There,” he said, wiping his hands. “Now let’s get some cake and ice cream.” –“Unauthorized, But Not Untrue,” Kitty Kelley, The American Scholar
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.”