Sunday, November 26, 2006

Topics of interest: Week ending Nov. 26

Jack the Ripper's face 'revealed'
Using new profiling techniques, investigators have created a picture of what they believe the 19th Century murderer would have looked like. The man, who evaded police in the 1880s, is thought to have killed and mutilated five London prostitutes. The Scotland Yard team describe him as "frighteningly normal" but someone capable of "extraordinary cruelty". And investigators have admitted that police at the time were probably searching for the wrong kind of man.

Beijing building the Olympic dream
The Beijing Olympics may be almost two years away for you, but this city lives and breathes it.

Russia denies poisoned spy claims
The Kremlin has dismissed as "sheer nonsense" claims it was involved in the poisoning by thallium of a former KGB colonel living in the UK.

What is thallium?
Thallium, the substance which has poisoned ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in London, is a highly-toxic heavy metal.

Gay Donor or Gay Dad?
New York Times
While the role of the mother in gay co-parenting arrangements can, on a day-to-day basis, be quite traditional, the father’s is often part-time and ancillary from the first. Why would any man, gay or straight, choose a kind of fatherhood that would seem to curtail both its joys and responsibilities?

The Kid With All the News About the TV News
New York Times
When people in the television news business want to find out what’s going on in their industry, they turn to a blog called TVNewser. But while the executives obsessively checking TVNewser are mostly high powered and highly paid, the person who creates it is not: he is Brian Stelter, a baby-faced 21-year-old at Towson University.

Questions at the end of life

Chicago Tribune
Art Clifton's good life included a successful career and a loving family. His death -- a universal tale -- proved a test of faith and love for him and his wife.
A story in two parts.

Why the dollar is king
The US dollar is probably the most widely recognised currency in the world - it's accepted universally and most internationally traded goods and commodities are priced in dollars.

The Best Science Show on Television?
New York Times
The show, which has been on the air since October 2003, may be wacky, but Mr. Hyneman and Mr. Savage employ thinking and processes that are grounded in scientific method. ... It is the kind of logical system of evidence-based conclusions that scientists understand but that others can sometimes find difficult to grasp. And so “Mythbusters” fans say the show has hit on a great way of teaching the process of scientific discovery.

Syrian TV dramas tackle taboos
In place of the staple nostalgia of history epics, it was home-grown terrorism, corruption in the circles of power and mass poverty that were the subjects, once considered taboos in this tightly controlled and socially conservative society, that were tackled head on by Syrian dramas beamed into the living rooms of millions of Arab homes.

The Lebanese crisis explained

Lebanon is the most politically complex and religiously divided country in the Middle East, which is what makes it such a potentially explosive factor in an unstable region.

A hero comes home at last
Chicago Tribune
Army Spec. Bryan Anderson, who lost his legs and an arm to a roadside bomb in Iraq, comes back to Illinois. `This is real life now. I'm ready.'

Do men like smart women?
Sydney Morning Herald
There seems to be popular notion spiraling through the media which says that men are intimidated by intelligent women. In other words smarter femmes are less likely to find a bloke. Is this true?

Thanksgiving Springs from Beloved Traditions, Myths
Voice of America
According to curators at Plimoth Plantation, a living-history museum in the same settlement where the Pilgrims and Indians marked that harvest more than 300 years ago, the Thanksgiving story is laced with myth and exaggeration. For one thing, the event likely took place not in November, but in October, closer to the corn harvest.

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