September 16, 2005
Probably it's not quite good guest-blogging etiquette to use one's first post as a substitute for a Craigslist advertisement, but it's what's on my mind at the moment:
Jen, a friend of mine from the University of Virginia bioethics program, has just taken a job in New York City and is looking for a roommate. If you or someone you know has a spare room and would like to live with an extraordinarily cool person, send me an e-mail and I'll pass it along to her. Jen has been moving around a lot since graduation, including a stint last winter helping victims of the tsunami-related flooding in India.
Speaking of which, I got an interesting though unverified list of "facts" comparing the July flood in Mumbai (Bombay) with what occurred a month later in New Orleans:
I couldn't stop making this comparison..(In case of confusion, the post title is a reference to myself, not to any waterlogged city or its citizens. Though both Mumbai and New Orleans have a distinct odor even on their best days.) Comments (3)
inches of rain in New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina... 18
inches of rain in Mumbai (July 27th).... 37.1
population of New Orleans... 484,674
population of Mumbai.... 12,622,500
deaths in New Orleans within 48 hours of Katrina...100
deaths in Mumbai within 48 hours of rain... 37
number of people to be evacuated in New Orleans... entire city
number of people evacuated in Mumbai... 10,000
Cases of shooting and violence in New Orleans... Countless
Cases of shooting and violence in Mumbai.. NONE
Time taken for US army to reach New Orleans... 48 hours
Time taken for Indian army and navy to reach Mumbai... 12 hours
status 48 hours later... New Orleans waiting for relief, army and electricity
status 48 hours later... Mumbai is back on its feet and its business is as usual
USA...world's most developed nation
India...JUST A DEVELOPING NATION
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For the next two weeks we will be happy to host a new guest-blogger. PG is a Columbia law student who blogs at De Novo, Half the Sins of Mankind, and occasionally (despite her decidedly unconservative outlook) the Columbia Federalist Society blog.
I will let her introduce herself further.
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Unmarked by me, Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita turned 50 yesterday-- an event marked by this NYT Op-ed: "The net effect of reading "Lolita" is indeed of going to bed with a pervert and waking up with a professor." The author means that quip as a compliment, and I happen to think it is one.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Marquardt suggests that the book ought to be buried under a stone for a thousand years. (It is unclear who she thinks ought to do the burying-- whether she advocates substantive censorship or merely hopes that we all come to realize the error of our depraved literary taste.) Given that she has not actually read the thing it is rather difficult to tell what her objection is. She doesn't think she would enjoy it, which is fair enough, but is that all? The novel seems to recognize and play off of her concerns-- that child abuse makes children grow up fast, and so on.
UPDATE: Ms. Marquardt makes clear by email that she doesn't advocate censoring Lolita; very good. Far be it from me to suggest that people ought to read books they think will be both unpleasant and unenlightening. I happen to love the book (but not vile H.H.) but to each her own.
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From the Washington Post's Vatican to Survey Seminarians for Homosexuality:
Archbishop Edwin O'Brien, who will oversee the seminary review, recently told the National Catholic Register that "anyone who has engaged in homosexual activity, or has strong homosexual inclinations" should not be accepted into seminaries, even if their last gay sexual activity was a decade ago.
Unsubstantianed rumors of Pope Joan aside, all of these applicants to seminaries are male and, presumably, any one applicant is only one person. Thus: "anyone". . . should not be accepted. . . even if his last. . . . 'Their' is not a singular, and 'anyone' requires a singular pronoun.
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