There's excitement in the science world. They've rediscovered a lizard with a long nose, informally dubbed Pinocchio, which scientists thought was extinct. Columnists, comedians and satirists are excited, too.
A gift of days with the extended family stretching from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday inevitably invites reflection on the fields of folly where we find the rising generations at work and play. Youth, beautiful in its blossoming, arrives with predictable attitude, often illustrated by various piercings and tattoos.
You could call it the "Catfight at Cheney Corral" (but if you do, you should expect feminist outrage). When Liz Cheney moved from the suburbs of the nation's capital to Wyoming to run for the U.S. Senate, she knew she was asking for trouble.
John F. Kennedy became more myth than man with his assassination, a half-century ago this month.
Edward Snowden's stolen secrets and the dismal failure of the rollout of Obamacare is giving electronic technology a bad name. But blaming high-tech tools is more like blaming the messenger.
Three decades ago, Woody Allen made a movie called "Zelig," and Zelig is still among us -- popping up in Hollywood, politics, academia and anywhere where ambition is on the make. Zelig is a human chameleon, a liar and an imposter eager to fit in anywhere opportunity knocks.
We no longer have to play at goblins and ghosts on Halloween. We've got real snoops and authentic spooks, and they're plenty scary, reading our mail and tracing us through social media.
When the Germans found out from Edward Snowden that America's National Security Agency had spied on Germany, an outraged German artist projected onto a wall at the American embassy the words "United Stasi of America."
Nobody likes a newspaper fight like the British. Such fights are great entertainment in a land where newspapers are full of ginger and the language lends itself to insult by rapier rather than bludgeon.
She likes pantsuits, suffers public attention to her coif and shows telling signs of age with unflattering puffs under her eyes. But Angela Merkel is no Hillary Clinton.
After the massacre comes the rush to judgment. The blame game begins. Such things shouldn't happen among civilized people. Don't we have safeguards to prevent such tragedies? Can't we do something, as they say in the old westerns, to cut the killers off at the pass?
Miss America is back in town. After being exiled to Las Vegas for seven years, the pageant moved home to its birthplace for an end-of-summer carnival of kitsch and kicks, beautiful women romping in the sand and dipping toes in the sea, and showing their gams to the boardwalk empire.
The latest Syrian crisis broke just as the children, like Congress, were returning from the long summer vacation.
How remote the talk of war sounds. There's sound and fury aplenty but no passionate urgency in the president's call for military action against Syria.
"Humane killer" appears to be an oxymoron that startles with contradiction. Yet talking of war is a way of drawing a fine distinction, not a contradiction.
August, despite its heat and humidity, isn't cruel like April, but it taps deeper into melancholy. The days grow shorter, sunlight becomes less intense, and shadows lengthen, shading the edges of experience. Summer begins to feel like Sunday night.
At the town meetings now being called to order across the continent, congressmen are spending their recess getting an earful, peppered with pro and con about the bill presented by the Gang of Eight in the Senate and passed on to the House. The personal is everything.
Every generation confronts its own obstacles. My parents eloped because they couldn't afford to get married, and they hid the nuptials from their families for a year.
Let's face it. Anthony Weiner is the comic relief we've been seeking: sexualized politics without a moral message. Salacious texting, a parody of sensual touching, doesn't depend on the meaning of "is" or "was." Vice in virtual reality is sexuality-lite, superficial fantasy, timorous titillation, shadows in the shallows of the Internet.
"At a time when economic anxiety is driving the public toward a narrow concept of education focused on short-term payoffs," observes the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, "it is imperative that colleges, universities and their supporters make a clear and convincing case for the value of liberal arts education."
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