Archive for March 29th, 2005

Comic of the Day



from Ted Rall

American Babel


2005 has been officially designated the "Year of Languages."
Who knew?

In November 1979, I was part of a presidential commission that asked
the federal government to commit $180 million in new funds to create
language program that might well have prepared us to meet today’s
crises. The money requested would have enabled us to improve foreign
competency and cultural awareness at all levels: to educate our children
to meet the 21st century; to address the needs in undergraduate and
advanced studies; to advance international research and teaching
through academic and scholarly exchanges; to create an informed electorate
through citizen education in international affairs.

Kids, meet the 21st century.  21st century,
meet the kids. As to the need to speak more than one language,
hey, if those furriners couldn’t be bothered to learn English, who cares
they have to say?

John A. Rassias, writing in the Boston
about American
language chauvinism

The Dowbrigade on the same subject

New BU Dress Code


In a scathing report examining the exposure of three
Boston University researchers to tularemia last year, Boston public health
yesterday called on BU to strengthen internal oversight of safety
in medical school laboratories.

The study by the Boston Public Health Commission is sharply
critical of safety lapses in the lab where the scientists contracted potentially
lethal tularemia while developing a vaccine against the bacterial disease,
commonly known as rabbit fever.

Top representatives of the Public Health Commission
sketched out their findings last night for Boston city councilors, who
were meeting to collect testimony about BU’s ability to operate a proposed
lab where researchers could study the deadliest known pathogens, including
ebola, plague, and anthrax.

Several councilors — including Maura Hennigan, who is running for mayor
against incumbent Thomas M. Menino, an ardent champion of the planned
lab — posed this question: If BU could not safely operate a lower-security
facility, how can it be trusted to run a high security lab that would
handle lethal agents?

One more reason we have become a big fan of distance
education. Barring that, we may have to begin teaching our classes
in Bio-Hazard containment suits…..

from the
Boston Globe

Gossip Jumps the Pond


The news, in today’s
New York Times,
of the
takeover of that Dean of American Journalism, the National
, by a team of Brits, inspires a mixed reaction. On one hand,
what does the stodgy British press know about sleaze, scandal and sensationalism?
On the other, perhaps we can hope to see some naked tits while waiting
in the ckeckout line at the Stop and Shop….

Spirits were high in the offices of The National Enquirer
in Manhattan last week. A gaggle of British interlopers had taken custody
of the tabloid, a SWAT team of Fleet Street meat-eaters brought in to
revive the storied but now flagging checkout magazine.

from the New York Times

Campus Notes


The New York Times has an article about Liz Smith
and the difficulty of being a star-friendly gossip columist in a world
of smarmy and snide blogs…

today’s gossip world, being kind is hardly an option. "The
Internet and blogs have returned gossip to its earliest human roots –
the kind
gossip that
the priests
was a venal
sin," said Ms. Gerhart. "You can make it up. You can speculate
wildly. You can accuse people of the most taboo practices, all in this
sort of merry way."

The buzz around campus has it that during the recent
full moon THE DOWBRIGADE discovered Harvard President LAWRENCE SUMMERS
and commie columnist
MAUREEN DOWD sitting naked around a fire on the steps of WIDENER LIBRARY
tatooing Nazi insignia on the bodies of drugged undergraduates.

from the New York Times