Most of you, surely, have heard by now of the case of the Austrian ‘house of horror.’ For those diligently engaged with final projects, or still in the throes of post-thesis regalia, however, I will explain in brief. Last week, after a critically ill 19-year-old from Amstetten (in southwest Lower Austria) was admitted to a local hospital, medical inquiries regarding her alarming oxygen deprivation led to the discovery of a woman who had been imprisoned by her father for the past 24 years.
President Nicolas Sarkozy of France shocked his république earlier this month, not just with a whirlwind romance and marriage to an Italian singer/supermodel recently photographed in knee-high black boots and nothing else, but with an announcement about the national curriculum. Sarkozy has mandated that, beginning next fall, every French fifth grader will have to study the life story of one of the 11,000 French children killed during the Holocaust.
I’m an Obama girl. You may not find me crooning “I Got a Crush…” in red hot pants like The Obama Girl of grandiose YouTube fame, but I am certainly moved by the guy, and inspired that so many others are inspired. Practically speaking, too, I think he has a better chance of beating McCain—and so I’ll do what I can to ensure that Barack Obama is the forty-fourth president of the United States.
I have never seen any article more completely wrong than the article, “America’s Own ‘School of Assassins’” (Emily Greenhouse, Friday, Feb. 1). Every allegation in it is drawn directly from the SOAWatch (School of America Watch) website.
Paz, Libertad, y Fraternidad is the motto of Fort Benning’s combat training school, emblazoned on its official website over a watermark of blue sky and pristine, puffy clouds. Peace, Liberty, and Brotherhood: a lovely set of values, but it is hard to believe that the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security for Cooperation (WHINSEC)"as Congress strategically renamed the School of Americas in 2001"could really be upholding these utopian tenets.
Gillian Gibbons, a native of Liverpool, was working inside the Unity School in Sudan last week when she was arrested for blasphemy. Gibbons, who taught a class of seven-year-olds in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, had asked her students to name a teddy bear they were adopting as part of a project on animals. The children came up with eight possible names. After Gibbons explained what it meant to vote, her students resoundingly chose to name the toy Muhammad.
President Roth deserves much acclaim for his recently announced initiative to replace loans with grants for Wesleyan’s neediest students. It’s good to have a president who acknowledges that money makes the world go round—that without financial access, none of us would have the opportunity to be here.
Last week, British newspaper The Observer published a troubling exposé about children as young as eight working in an apparel factory in India—a factory that made clothes for an American retail chain you might have heard of once or twice. It’s called Gap.
No one understands genes quite like James Watson, one of the discoverers of the structure of DNA. In an era in which we are grappling with complex questions of bioethics, Watson has long been venerated as our in-house “Mr. Science.”
A few weeks ago, the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary shortened the beloved O.E.D. some more, with the elimination of approximately 16,000 hyphens. Certainly it’s of no dire consequence that ‘e-mail’ is now ‘email,’ and I don’t think I even knew that ‘ice cream’ was ever ‘ice-cream’ (and ‘test tube’ once ‘test-tube’ and ‘chickpea’ once ‘chick-pea’). The hyphen has never been as vital as the comma—nor even as the semi-colon, for that matter, or the emdash—and language, a dynamic thing, evolves as it must.