U.S. Postal Service has approved a pilot program for personalized postage. For about twice the regular cost, consumers can now slap any old picture of Fluffy or Aunt Gladys on a stamp and surprise the recipient of their postcard or envelope. Somewhere in the rules and regulations it says the image must not be deemed objectionable by the folks at Stamps.com who run the program for the USPS. It seems there's wide latitude in interpretation of the word "objectionable." So far, unobjectionable images include, among others, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Monica Lewinsky's infamous semen-stained blue dress, and the Unabomber, Ted Kazinsky. The whole story
The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk. Republicans: The No.1 reason the rest of the world thinks we’re deaf, dumb and dangerous
Literary types will know the Man Booker prize is a British award given each year since 1968 for outstanding contemporary fiction published by a writer from the Commonwealth or Republic of Ireland.
Much ado is made about the long-list, just announced for 2004, even more about the shortlist, which, more or less indicates what books ought to be read by folks who fancy themselves being literately trendy.
I've recently read several insider accounts by judges, usually writers themselves, of the rigors of reading so many books, many of which, so the story goes, are unworthy of even being published let alone widely read.
The Booker is a bit like Elizabeth Taylor: it’s been around forever, it’s lost its mystery over the years, there’s a faint worry that it’s been commercialised and everybody knows the best bits of gossip anyway.
Harvard psychologist Jerome Kagan, the much-honored professor - who in 2002 ranked 22d on one psychology journal's list of the top psychologists of the 20th century, one notch above Carl Jung - argues in his new book that inborn temperament stays with us through our lives.
This will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with behavioral sciences ( or dog breeders) but for his book he has devised a fun little test.
At 4 months old, plop your baby into a bouncy seat and present him with a series of colorful new toys - ones he's never seen - one after the other, for 20 seconds at a time.
Does he cry madly and shake his arms and legs? If yes, be forewarned: Your baby may be at higher risk for "developing serious anxiety over social interactions" a decade down the road.
If your baby just stares calmly at the toys, he will be slightly more likely to become a delinquent.
So, I guess it won't really matter if you cuddled your child as an infant or showered him with play dates as a toddler. She'll probably never be a cut-throat CEO, or high octane politician, although he might become a brilliant medical researcher or a melancholy poet. Read more
The Long Shadow of Temperament" (Harvard), is Kagan's new book from which the above material was gathered. I may have misrepresented his thesis so don't take my word for it.
The second annual "Hollander Pool Goes to the Dogs," is sponsored by the City of Newark [OH] Parks and Recreation Department and Homeward Bound Humane Society. The event, designed to let dogs and their owners have fun together in the water, closes out the public pool's season.