Third French Officer Killed As Terror Suspects Reportedly Spotted

This breaking news story confuses “honing” and “homing.” I make mistakes too, and would certainly make even more if I were writing up breaking news on a story that is deeply personal to everyone in the world who values the freedom of speech. The manhunt for two men suspected in the massacre at a satirical newspaper’s Paris headquarters appeared to be honing in on its targets northeast of the French capital…

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Battle of New Orleans Ended 200 Years Ago Today

The Battle of New Orleans was a series of engagements fought between December 23, 1814 through January 8, 1815 and was the final major battle of the War of 1812.[5][6] American combatants,[7] commanded by Major General Andrew Jackson, prevented an invading British Army, commanded by General Edward Pakenham, and Royal Navy, commanded by Admiral Alexander Cochrane, from seizing New Orleans as a strategic tool to end the war.[8][9][10][11] The Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24, 1814 (but was not ratified by the US Government until February…

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So We’re Supposed to Be “Amazed” or “Surprised” That Tween Boys Won’t Slap a Girl?

What Happens When Clickbait Headlines Avoid Mentioning the Young Boys Wouldn’t Slap the Girl? Headlines like these are all over social media right now. Young boys asked to slap girl in social experiment What happens when you ask an Italian boy to slap a girl? You might be surprised. What happens when you put a girl in front of a boy and ask him to slap her? Some of the…

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Author Says a Whole Culture—Not a Single ‘Homer’—Wrote ‘Iliad,’ ‘Odyssey’

I think it’s a mistake to think of Homer as a person. Homer is an “it.” A tradition. An entire culture coming up with ever more refined and ever more understanding ways of telling stories that are important to it. Homer is essentially shared. Today we have an author obsession—we want to know biography all the time. But Homer has no biography. The Iliad and The Odyssey are like Viking…

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When T.S. Eliot Invented the Hipster

  Prufrock cannot bring himself to ask his companion the “overwhelming question” (which he never identifies) that carries us through the poem. He is paralyzed by the same overwhelming fear of missing out (yes, “FOMO”) that plagues a generation facing endless options and clear few choices: “In a minute there is time / For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse,” Prufrock laments. Instead, not daring to “disturb the…

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Why I Still Blog

I particularly value blogging because of the visibility of older content. Facebook and Twitter don’t make it easy for you to contextualize links pointing to something relevant you posted a month or a year or decade ago. It may seem right to ask, after so many years: what is left to discuss about blogging? We all know what it is. We all know what it does. What used to be…