Typos in the Times

Maybe it’s unproofed breaking news, maybe it’s off of a New Orleans city-produced transcript, but this is appalling to read on the website of the New York Times. I swear I’m cutting and pasting — the capitalization and spelling are theirs:

“It’s a sad day in the city of new orleans when a hero makes a decision like this,” Nagin said. “He leaves the apartment in pretty good shape and with a significant amount of leadership.”

Senator Affleck?

This is, it seems not a joke — Ben Affleck for senator in Virginia.

It was about that time that party officials started batting Affleck’s name around. “It’s spread pretty widely, at least in the political underground,” University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato, Virginia’s premier pundit, told Michael Shear, The Post’s Richmond correspondent.

Well, not entirely a joke — just a cry for help.

Death counts.

Following days of internationally reported killings, rapes and gang violence inside the Dome, the doctor from FEMA – Beron doesn’t remember his name – came prepared for a grisly scene: He brought a refrigerated 18-wheeler and three doctors to process bodies.
“I’ve got a report of 200 bodies in the Dome,” Beron recalls the doctor saying.
The real total was six, Beron said.

Go here. Read it. Ask why anyone puts up with the pretensions to professionalism on the part of the media.

So, can you meet at . . . ?

I’m sure someone out there could tell us (perhaps even break it down by occupation) how much time we spend trying to schedule meetings in the modern world. The simplest answer is “a lot of time.” I’m on a subcommittee that hasn’t met yet this year for failure to find a time when 3 of us can meet (I keep offering coffee at 7 a.m. at my place – one of the two folks lives across the street and the other is a notorious early riser).
My alma mater Rice had a simple method for this — there were NO CLASSES AT NOON. None. No classes, no labs. This helped faculty find time to eat lunch with students in the residential colleges and helped them find time to have meetings over lunch in the faculty club.
The longer I survive in academe the more sensible the policy looks.

Why have SEX when you can let a medical professional do it for you?

“Many of these couples are simply not having sex or not having enough sex,” he said. “Conception has become medicalised. It’s too clinical. There has been a trend away from having sex and loving relationships towards medicalised conception.”…

And we’re surprised? It’s their right to choose how to become pregnant, damn it! Think there’s no connection between rhetoric and action?
The story is headlined Women bypass sex in favour of ‘instant pregnancies’
via Ann Althouse

On teaching Dante

As though 3 courses weren’t enough for me this term, I’m doing what is called here at these Colleges a Readers College in Dante. Here’s a description of how the process is supposed to work:

Join a group and meet new friends over great readings! Requirements are simple: read books, join the discussions and do some writing. Students who satisfy the leader’s requirements receive 1/2 course credit. To sign up for one of the reading groups below simply contact the leader. Welcome back and happy reading!

So far it’s doing that pretty well – the 4 students didn’t know each other well before the course began but are beginning to do so. So far we’ve spent more time talking about the structure of the Ptolemaic cosmos than we have doing line-by-line readings, but those are happening, too.
The course is answering a felt need of mine, too — I wanted to read my way through the whole Commedia again before I tackle teaching Dante in a regular class. It’s certainly working for that.
We’re using the Mandelbaum translation (though one person is using Mark Musa, so we have 2 texts for immediate comparison). I’m also reading my way through the California Lectura Dantis commentary on the Inferno. It seems they haven’t gotten a 2nd or 3rd volume out. I’m also reading the Singleton notes, which are copious. Coooooopppppious. Oh, well – fun will be had by all.

Me, I’m Praying for Rice.

We never had a serious hurricane while I was an undergraduate (1980-1984), but there were enough photographs around of the campus flooded for me to be concerned for alma mater.
They’ve cancelled Friday’s classes which may be a first. From the emergency document we read:

Rice buildings are almost all strong stone and brick construction, with roofs that are sturdy and well maintained and thresholds 45 feet above sea level. This contrasts with the portions of New Orleans flooded by Hurricane Katrina, which were below sea level and flooded by Lake Ponchartrain when levees broke.
Campus officials will designate the safest buildings, and areas within those buildings (e.g., away from windows), for students to take shelter.
The Rice administration is rechecking emergency plans and supplies.
In place are:
* Food and water sufficient for all campus residents for at least three days.
* A well to provide potable water sufficient to campus needs.
* The campus power co-generation plant, which can provide power for essential operations of the campus so long as natural gas lines remain operational.
* Emergency electrical generators, whose fuel tanks are being topped off, as back up to regular power sources and the co-generation plant.
* Checks to ensure that all storm drains and storm sewers are clear and pumps are in full working condition.

Listen to the Medievalist!!

From Cnytr we learn that it is time to go out and join a religious order and spend the rest of your short life in prayer and taking care of the sick.

Sept. 15, 2005 — Authorities are investigating the disappearance from a New Jersey bioterror research lab of at least three mice carrying a deadly strain of plague.
Sources say FBI agents and bioterrorism experts have interviewed and polygraphed employees at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, N.J., the location of the lab run by the Public Health Research Institute, a leading center for research on infectious diseases.
The mice have been missing for approximately two weeks.
[...]
Officials discovered two weeks ago a failure to account for three of 24 mice that had been injected with a bacterium that causes various forms of the plague, including bubonic plague, inside the high-security facility located in the middle of the city of Newark.
The injections were part of an experiment testing potential treatments for the plague, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark, which first reported the story in today’s editions.

Messages from a lost world…

Others, including Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, are expected to push for votes against confirmation in order to send a message to the White House.

What message could Senator Edward M. Kennedy possibly have for the White House that the White House doesn’t already know?
Isn’t this tacit admission that Roberts will be confirmed? Isn’t the amazing disappearance of stories about the Roberts confirmation from the web pages of the New York Times an admission of the same?