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Iran's president at Columbia University

Full transcript, the very end of which is Columbia’s Bollinger having the last word: I’m sorry that President Ahmadinejad’s schedule makes it necessary for him to leave before he’s been able to answer many of the questions that we have or even answer some of the ones that we posed to him. (Laughter, applause.) But I think we can all be pleased that his appearance here demonstrates Columbia’s deep commitment…

The New Atlantis – Virtual Friendship and the New Narcissism – Christine Rosen

The New Atlantis The structure of social networking sites also encourages the bureaucratization of friendship. Each site has its own terminology, but among the words that users employ most often is “managing.” The Pew survey mentioned earlier found that “teens say social networking sites help them manage their friendships.” There is something Orwellian about the management-speak on social networking sites: “Change My Top Friends,” “View All of My Friends” and,…

Curses, Foiled Again: College Paper Punished For Anti-Bush Expletive

From the AP, via Editor and Publisher: Colorado State University’s student newspaper has lost $30,000 in advertising and had to cut pay and other budgets by 10 percent because of fallout from the use of a four-letter word in an editorial about President Bush, the Coloradoan reported Saturday. In large type, the editorial included the words “Taser this (expletive) Bush.” The editorial said it had the support of the Collegian’s…

Images of Journalists in Popular Culture

Images of Journalists in Popular Culture (PDF) A newsroom is always filled with fast-talking, bright people whose main work is to speak to strangers, investigate a situation, get answers, develop a story. Since reporters are always finding out something about someone, they create countless stories with good beginnings, middles, and endings. The newspaper gave the moviemaker an endless flow of story possibilities in an atmosphere that soon became so familiar…

Hoax/Art/Stupidity

I’ve been scanning the online coverage of the MIT student who caused a bomb scare when she walked into an airport wearing a blinking circuit board on her sweatshirt. I’m dismayed by the number of headlines that unquestioningly repeat the authorities’ line that she was wearing a “fake bomb.”  Several headlines at least put the term in quotation marks, and a good number of them describe the device more neutrally…

From the Sickbed

I’ve been laid up in sick all weekend, mostly drifting in and out of sleep. I started getting chills Friday afternoon at work. I zipped up my jacket and put the heater on in the car to keep the chills under control, went to the couch in the basement (where my wife banished me) and just tried to keep sane. All Saturday was a blur. I tried to sleep as…

Urban Dictionary: aibohphobia

aibohphobia The irrational fear of palindromes (words that read the same forwards and backwards). Dude 1: Hey, what’s your name? Dude 2: Bob. Dude 1: AAAAAAAAAAH! *Runs and hides behind sofa* Bob: Wow. Dude 1: AAAAAAAAAAH! *Runs away and falls down stairs* This completely stupid fauxbia made me laugh for some reason. There appears to be a real art to writing a successful Urban Dictionary entry. Such entries are often…