ECLECTIC RANT: Jim Crow Never Left

By Ralph E. Stone
Friday February 10, 2012 - 07:23:00 PM

In his article, "The Caging of America" in the January 30, 2012 issue of The New Yorker , Adam Gopnik quotes Robert Perkin's "Texas Tough: The Rise of America's Prison Empire," who argues that the South is "the fountainhead of subjugationist discipline." That is, America's prison system is a slave plantation, a way of reimposing Jim Crow. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: The GOP Problem: “It’s Halftime for America”

By Bob Burnett
Friday February 10, 2012 - 05:01:00 PM

This year’s Super Bowl program contained a commercial ”It’s Halftime in America”, featuring Clint Eastwood. Initially this seemed to be a public service pep talk for the nation, then a promo for Detroit, and it turned out to be a Chrysler ad. The commercial outraged Republicans. It’s an indication of their core problems in the 2012 Presidential contest. -more-

WILD NEIGHBORS: The Albatross and the Anarchist

By Joe Eaton
Friday February 10, 2012 - 06:34:00 PM
Courting Laysan albatrosses on Tern Island, Hawaii.

One of the science blogs I check regularly is Darren Naish’s Tetrapod Zoology, currently hosted by Scientific American. Naish has a taste for the gratifyingly obscure, and the blog’s science-to-polemic ratio is high. He recently wrote about a remarkable case of mutualism—a reciprocally beneficial cooperative relationship between organisms of different species—that was described by a group of Japanese scientists in the journal Marine Biology. -more-

SENIOR POWER:On Dining Alone…

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Friday February 10, 2012 - 04:38:00 PM

There were few people with whom gastronome M. F. K. Fisher cared “to pray, sleep, dance, sing, or share her bread and wine.” In an essay sprinkled with foody tidbits, she contended that A Is for Dining Alone. “I drive home by way of the corner Thriftmart to pick up another box of Ry Krisp, which with a can of tomato soup and a glass of California sherry will make a good nourishing meal for me as I sit on my tuffet in a circle of proofs and pocket detective stories.” -more-

MY COMMONPLACE BOOK (a diary of excerpts copied from printed books, with comments added by the reader.)

By Dorothy Bryant
Friday February 10, 2012 - 06:29:00 PM

You don’t inquire what is selling these days. You don’t worry about what editors or reviewers may like or not like. -more-