Sunday, December 10, 2006

Topics of interest: Week ending Dec. 10

Path to adulthood in the divided world
In the first of a series about young people around the world as part of the BBC's Generation Next season, the BBC's Robin Lustig asks what does it really mean to be an adult?

Audio slideshow: Santa training school
When budding Santas want to learn the tricks of the trade, where do they go? Santas - who insist they are standing in for the real thing - practise ho ho hos and learn about costume at a one-day school.

Winter storm strikes central US
Driving snow and high winds left half a million people without power and brought traffic to a halt as a winter storm hit the central United States.

Snail mail is still king of greetings
Chicago Tribune
Senders and receivers alike enjoy handwritten notes for the `keepsake phenomenon' and the `mantel test,' leading consumers to send only 1 e-card for every 20 traditional greeting cards.

Will Smith gets serious
Chicago Tribune
If you're keeping score, he's at peace with roles as superstar actor, husband and father.

A Walk Across Afghanistan
New York Times
Rory Stewart's first book, "The Places in Between," recounts his journey across Afghanistan in January 2002. Even in mild weather in an Abrams tank, such a trip would be mane-whitening. But Stewart goes in the middle of winter, crossing through some territory still shakily held by the Taliban — and entirely on foot.

How Queen's English has grown more like ours
The Telegraph
A scientific study of Christmas broadcasts to the Commonwealth since 1952 suggests the royal vowel sounds have undergone a subtle evolution since the days when coal was routinely delivered to Buckingham Palace in sex.

All the Signs of Pregnancy Except One: A Baby
New York Times
Pseudocyesis, or false pregnancy, is rare, occurring at a rate of 1 to 6 for every 22,000 births. Though scientists are still largely baffled about what causes it in humans, recent case studies and studies of similar conditions in animals are beginning to provide insight, exploring the role of hormones and psychology.

From Ruins of Afghan Buddhas, a History Grows
New York Times
The empty niches that once held Bamiyan’s colossal Buddhas now gape in the rock face — a silent cry at the terrible destruction wrought on this fabled valley and its 1,500-year-old treasures, once the largest standing Buddha statues in the world.

Serious use for Silly String
In an age of multimillion-dollar high-tech weapons systems, sometimes it's the simplest ideas that can save lives. Which is why a New Jersey mother is organizing a drive to send cans of Silly String to Iraq.

Plastics 'poisoning world's seas'
Microscopic particles of plastic could be poisoning the oceans, according to a British team of researchers. They report that small plastic pellets called "mermaids' tears", which are the result of industry and domestic waste, have spread across the world's seas.

Virginia police sign out on code words
Since they were first introduced in the 1930s, abbreviations such as 10-4 and 10-20 have been the natural language of the American cop; part of police folklore. ... The codes were originally introduced in order to keep conversations brief on a single police radio channel - and have gone on to have a long and distinguished career.

Six hurt as tornado hits London
Six people were injured and up to 150 houses were damaged when a tornado swept through several London streets leaving a trail of destruction.
See also: Science and Nature: Tornadoes in the UK

Teen rebellion - a Western export?
In the second of a series about young people around the world as part of the BBC's Generation Next season, the BBC's Robin Lustig asks if teenage rebellion is a natural phenomenon or nurtured by Western pop culture.

Major redesign is latest twist in plan for spire
Chicago Tribune
The proposed "drill bit" skyscraper has lost its point but gained some heft. The developer of the twisting spire, which would be the nation's tallest building, has overseen a top-to-bottom redesign that seeks to make the much-ballyhooed project financially feasible, and he will submit his revised plans to the city Friday, people close to the project told the Tribune.

Pearl Harbor survivors gather for `final reunion'
Chicago Tribune
In the decades since the bombing of Pearl Harbor, countless survivors have made the long journey back to Hawaii every five years to remember comrades who were lost and to catch up with those who lived but later went their separate ways. ... But this year's reunion holds an urgency that hasn't been part of gatherings past: Most Pearl Harbor survivors, nearing their 90s or even older, say it will be their final trip back to this place that changed the course of their lives and their nation forever.

Sitcom’s Precarious Premise: Being Muslim Over Here
New York Times
“Little Mosque on the Prairie” ventures into new and perhaps treacherous terrain: trying to explore the funny side of being a Muslim and adapting to life in post 9/11 North America. Its creators admit to uneasiness as to whether Canadians and Americans can laugh about the daily travails of those who many consider a looming menace.

Online R.S.V.P.’s: A Simple No Just Won’t Do

New York Times
In the centuries before party invitations were pinged across cyberspace, invitees did not feel compelled to explain in depth how a soiree conflicted with their Lamaze class, spa weekend or Ironman competition. Regrets were nonspecific platitudes. And the only people who heard them were the hosts. No more.

On the Seine, Houseboat Dwelling
New York Times
They bought a century-old converted barge and set out to cover some of the thousands of kilometers of canals and rivers around France. ... The Gieskes bought the boat for about 200,000 euros, or $263,000, from a retired Dutch operator... The barge, called Joli Coeur, or Pretty Heart, is moored for the winter in ... the heart of Burgundy.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi! Feel free to leave a comment. You do your part, and I'll try to keep the conversation going.