China phone thief repents after 21 text messages

BEIJING (Reuters) – A Chinese thief has returned a mobile phone and thousands of yuan he stole from a woman after she sent him 21 touching text messages, Xinhua news agency said on Monday. ADVERTISEMENT Pan Aiying, a teacher in the eastern province of Shandong, had her bag containing her mobile phone, bank cards and 4,900 yuan ($630) snatched by a man riding a motorcycle as she cycled home on…

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A New Sith, or Revenge of the Hope

Han and Luke get medals but Chewie doesn’t. Actually, Leia offers him one but Chewie turns it down. He got one of those things from Yoda about 20 years ago, but there’s no way he can tell her that. –A New Sith, or Revenge of the Hope (Mornignstar) A great little detail that really helps this fan re-interpretation of the first Star Wars trilogy, in what we learned about the backstory…

Of thought and metaphor

Even something as seemingly straightforward as asking for the salt involves thinking and communicating at two levels, which is why we utter such convoluted requests as, “If you think you could pass the salt, that would be great.” Says Pinker: “It’s become so common that we don’t even notice that it is a philosophical rumination rather than a direct imperative. It’s a bit of a social dilemma. On the one…

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A Christmas Present from the MLA

Even now, the thought of going on the academic job market seems so spiritually suicidal that I would rather abandon my career altogether than submit to the scrutiny of another semihostile search committee. As far as I can tell, the hiring process in English favors psychopaths with ice water in their veins, which explains a lot about the changing climate of the profession. Mind you, I am not bashing the…

Parents turn against birthdays gone wild

“I was going to do gift bags, but I was going to do them right,” Zwicky recalled. The party had a train theme, so she got sticks and bandannas and made “hobo packs” that included animal crackers and bubble solution. Zwicky said that party was a turning point for her. She helped found Birthdays Without Pressure. –Parents turn against birthdays gone wild (Yahoo | AP (will expire)) Moms get sucked into…