2005-04-17

Eureka! Extraordinary discovery unlocks secrets of the ancients

By David Keys and Nicholas Pyke
17 April 2005
Thousands of previously illegible manuscripts containing work by some of the greats of classical literature are being read for the first time using technology which experts believe will unlock the secrets of the ancient world.

Awesome story!

2005-04-14

Second HS Beducator is Exposed

A nice clipping refering to the recent string of educator/student misbehavior, and an early candidate for word of the year.

2005-04-05

Police in Idaho Say Strippers Aren't Art

By REBECCA BOONE, Associated Press Writer
BOISE, Idaho - Art night at Erotic City apparently wasn't artistic enough. Police raided the Boise bar Monday night for violating the city's nudity ordinance, which requires that dancers wear at least pasties and a thong unless they are engaging in a performance with "serious artistic merit."

The club had tried to beat the ordinance by distributing pencils and sketch pads to patrons during special twice-weekly "art nights," when the dancers performed nude.

This post isn't linguistically relevant per se, but it does address a crucial debate of the definition of art and thus free speech and the government's role in interpreting and enforcing. Nothing against Boise policemen, of course, but who are they to determine art, isn't art eternal and in the eye of the beholder? I am angered and feel this is a slippery slope we'd best leave unmounted!

2005-04-01

Le Google envy. Or, Google à la française

IN THE dimly lit cyber-café at Sciences-Po, hot-house of the French elite, no Gauloise smoke fills the air, no dog-eared copies of Sartre lie on the tables. French students are doing what all students do: surfing the web via Google. Now President Jacques Chirac wants to stop this American cultural invasion by setting up a rival French search-engine. The idea was prompted by Google's plan to put online millions of texts from American and British university libraries. If English books are threatening to swamp cyberspace, Mr Chirac will not stand idly by.

Is it just me, or is viewing Google as an "American cultural invasion" just a wee bit paranoid? Who knows what the zany Jacques will come up with next, but we wish him all the best in his endeavor to hold back the invasion. (A nasty comment could be inserted here regarding the French and their success in stemming other invasions, but I think Chirac deserves the benefit of the doubt.)