Archive for September 21st, 2003

She Looks OK to Me

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OK Pop Quiz
– What is the first name of the Russian Ballerina who reportedly lost
her job for being too tall and heavy for the male dancers to lift?
Well, if you don’t know it now, wanna bet you know it and are sick to
death
of it in six months?

Is this woman a ready-made media sensation, or what? Watch for her on
news magazines, then talk shows, followed by reality shows, music videos,
and commercials (for Weight Watchers?) You can tell she’s ready for prime-time
by her reaction
to her firing – she’s suing, of course!

"I only wanted a contract on equal conditions with others. The contract
they offered me amounted to a gradual dismissal," she said.

She also claims a plot involving a former boyfriend.  And her name
is Anastasia. I bet she needs an English teacher…

from the BBC

Blogging 101 Update

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The blogging may lag for the next few days, as I am hard at work designing the beginner’s sessions for BloggerCon, which will be delivered (Gulp!) two weeks from today. After several extensive rewrites, I think we are finally on the right track. As soon as I have something worth posting I will let you all see it, and try to get additonal feedback while I beta-test it on some pliant pupils (Halley?).

Also tomorrow, I start my annual fall 3-hr a day, 5 day a week, 12-week session with a dozen foreign business people here to get their MBA’s. They are all near-native in fluency already, but need work on their higher level researching, writing and argumentation skills. I think I will be using my other Blog, Monkeybrain, to post their assignments and linked articles, and to get their comments and analyses. It will be the first time I have made a Blog an official part of one of my courses, although I posted some links and questions for my Law students this past summer. Stay tuned….

Low Prices Endanger Gator Trade

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The supple, tiled skin of alligators, never really out
of fashion, is all the rage this fall, featured in Prada’s Manhattan
showroom, Chanel’s full-page magazine ads and Polo Ralph Lauren’s new
top-drawer Purple Label collection of men’s accessories. But the off-the-wall
price tags and slick fashion shoots hide grim news for Louisiana’s 1,800-odd
licensed alligator trappers: Prices for wild gators have sunk to a 25-year
low. .

"It’s all extremely tightly regulated," said wildlife biologist
Ruth Elsey, who runs the alligator program for the state’s Department
of Wildlife and Fisheries. "It’s generated a huge, multimillion-dollar
industry for the skins and the meat."  

from
the Washington Post

CIA Ineptitude Reaches to Roots

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This is the Library of Congress manuscript
 

According to a manuscript recently uncovered by the Library
of Congress, American Patriot Nathan Hale, patron saint of the CIA and
acknowledged by them as the first American to be executed for spying
for the United States, was in reality a bumbling amateur uncovered and
arrested on the first day of his "secret mission."

The British hanged Hale the next morning, Sept. 22, 1776, at an artillery
park near Dove Tavern,near what is now 66th Street
and Third Avenue in Manhattan. At this spot, Hale is reputed to have
uttered his famous line: "I
only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country" –
probably a paraphrase of a line from a popular play by British writer
Joseph Addison.

"How could anyone on a secret mission be so stupid, or to use more
generous terms, so naive or so credulous, to be taken in by a perfect
stranger and then to disclose, the next day, the object of his mission
to several more perfect strangers?"  

from the AP