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Math vs. vampires: vampires lose

Efthimiou sup­posed that the first vam­pire arose Jan. 1, 1600, around the be­gin­ning of a cen­tu­ry dur­ing which some of the first im­por­tant mod­ern writ­ings on vam­pires ap­peared. The re­search­ers es­ti­mat­ed the glob­al pop­u­la­tion at that time, based on his­tor­i­cal re­c­ords, as 537 mil­lion. As­sum­ing that the vam­pire fed once a month and the vic­tim turned in­to a vam­pire, there would be two vam­pires on Feb. 1, four the next…

Salon Interview: Camille Paglia

What does it mean for Democrats to be agitating over Web communications, which in my view fall under the province of free speech? It’s a civil liberties issue. We can say that what Foley was doing was utterly inappropriate, professionally irresponsible, and in bad taste, but why were liberals fomenting a scandal day after day after day over words being used? And why didn’t Democrats notice that they were drifting…

Allen's Revenge: Exploses Underage Sex Scenes in Opponent's Novels

Webb’s novels disturbingly and consistently — indeed, almost uniformly — portray women as servile, subordinate, inept, incompetent, promiscuous, perverted, or some combination of these. In novel after novel, Webb assigns his female characters base, negative characteristics. In thousands of pages of fiction penned by Webb, there are few if any strong, admirable women or positive female role models. — Press release issued by Sen. George Allen (R-Va), regarding the writing…

New book takes humbug out of quotations

A new, meticulously researched book of quotations attempts to set the record straight on those beloved phrases that have crept into everyday use as signs of wisdom and wit, including Sigmund Freud’s sage advice that “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” (He didn’t quite say that, although his biographer thinks he would have approved of the idea.) “The Yale Book of Quotations” has a simple thesis: famous quotes are…

We will soon be lost for words

At first Nihal and I were slightly wary of each other and then I told him I wondered if an ageing Radio 4 presenter could learn “street”. He humoured me and gave me a lesson. I flatter myself that I have a reasonably good ear for language. I reckoned I could get away with a bit of “Hey, man? how ya doin?” But, no, it doesn’t work like that. Street…