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Pop culture at its best and worst According to Martha Bayles in an article in the Wilson Quarterly, “The most serious problem facing popular culture: the democratization, now on a global scale, of what I call “perverse modernism.” To the familiar vices of popular culture–notably, vulgarity and kitsch–perverse modernism has…

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The Food Timeline Ever wonder what the Vikings ate when they set off to explore the new world? How Thomas Jefferson made his ice cream? What the pioneers cooked along the Oregon Trail? This fascinating food timeline provides a tremendous list of the origins of specific foods, as well a…

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Booze is good for the brain? I hope so. Alcohol can help prevent dementia, according to a recent Dutch study. People who have between one and three alcoholic drinks a day can reduce their risk of dementia in later life by up to 70 per cent.

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BOOZING WITH THE BOSS? HOW ABOUT WORKMAN’S COMP? What to do for that hangover? Take an aspirin? South Korea, where corporate culture is especially dedicated to late-night carousing, has another remedy: Apply for workman’s compensation.

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TEN DAYS IN SEPTEMBER The Washington Post series “Ten Days in September” is a very compelling narrative of what the people at the top levels of our government did directly following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. While I wonder whether it’s possible to write good history so shortly after the…

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THAT’S AWFUL! It’s trashy entertainment, but it’s sort of thought provoking as well. More than anything else, it’s Something Awful.

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BERTRAND AND ME Bertrand Russell is arguably one of the brightest philosophical lights of Western civilization. So what’s the deal with him and God – specifically the Christian God? Here’s his argument, “Why I Am Not A Christian,” and a few other works. And here’s a good refutation. It’s evident…

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RATIONAL FAITH Ever find yourself wondering how a rational person can convince himself that God exists? Here are some good arguments, boiled down to a fairly digestible collection of morsels. Of course, rational or no, theism requires a leap of faith, just as atheism does.

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CATHOLIC VOTING PLANKS Here, according to Joseph A. Califano Jr., president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University in New York City, and former U.S. secretary of health, education and welfare from 1977 to 1979, is a good list of platform planks for Catholic voters…

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ONLINE ETYMOLOGY RESEARCH Mirror on History (an etymology research dictionary) This is, according to the author of the online etymology dictionary, “a perspective on the living history of words and their respective meanings.” He (or she?) writes, “using a descending scale of nine ( H, I, U, S, N, M,…