DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE: Ireland’s Debt & the Heart of St. O’Toole

By Conn Hallinan
Friday March 16, 2012 - 08:40:00 AM

Someone has pinched the heart of St. Lawrence O’Toole, and thereby hangs a typical Irish tale filled with metaphors, parallels, and some pretty serious weirdness. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: Sarah Palin and the Republican Identity Crisis

By Bob Burnett
Friday March 16, 2012 - 11:40:00 AM

HBO’s splendid movie, Game Change tells the story of Sarah Palin’s rise and fall as John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 presidential contest. It provides insight into the GOP’s identity crisis that’s produced this year’s demolition derby in the Republican primaries. -more-

SENIOR POWER: Bells are Ringing…

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Friday March 16, 2012 - 11:56:00 AM

In 1976 Margaret Elliot Murdock was interviewed about her father, printer Charles Albert Murdock (1841-1928), and early San Francisco and UC, B days for the Bancroft Library oral history program. From her responses, I have gleaned herstory. Part 1 (last week’s column) was mainly about her San Francisco childhood. Part 2 takes her to Berkeley and the University, and Part 3 (next week’s column) to the Sather Tower bells. -more-

WILD NEIGHBORS: The Black Swift’s Secret

By Joe Eaton
Tuesday March 13, 2012 - 05:17:00 PM
Black swift on nest behind waterfall, Yellowdog Creek, Idaho.

Finding the breeding or wintering grounds of a migratory bird species is always a big deal. I’m old enough to recall the excitement attending the discovery of the Alaskan breeding range of the bristle-thighed curlew. Not that people were dancing in the streets, kissing random nurses, or setting fire to police cars, but there was a nice photo spread in National Geographic. (That may also have been my first encounter with the word “thigh.” In my family, in deference to my grandmother’s sensibilities, we called that part of the chicken the shortjoint.) -more-