Thursday, January 15, 2004

Pro leonibus exhortemur

Bush’s alleged plan to go to Mars, what the NYT editorial page calls his “space vision thing,” won’t happen any more than when his father proposed the same thing 15 years ago, but it will succeed in starving the funds of other NASA projects that might actually be implemented.

In Britain, the Iraq war looks like it will take a scalp, Defense Minister Geoff Hoon. The first British soldier to die in Iraq had been ordered a couple of days before to give up his body armor to someone else--there wasn’t enough to go around.

Afghanistan re-bans performances by women on tv. The Supreme Court, which as I’ve said is more religious than legal in composition, rules that the constitution’s provision for equal rights is trumped by its provision that all laws are subordinated to Islam.

Silvio Berlusconi, no doubt wishing to look his best for his bribery trial, has had plastic surgery (around the eyes). And not for the first time, I’d think. How many other world rulers have had plastic surgery, do you think?

A website just starting, is from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, dedicated to analyzing bad press coverage of the 2004 election. Might be worth keeping an eye on.

A Spanish socialist leader calls Tony Blair a dickhead. For those wishing to expand their vocabulary: un gilipollas integral.

Want more? Rori-kon, Japanese for sexual obsession with schoolgirls (Tokyo is thinking about banning the sale of used underwear from girls under 16).

Finally in today’s lessons: “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in Latin:

Aufer me ad arenam.
Aufer me cum turba.
Da mihi glires sparsos melle.
Reditum domum non curo velle.
Pro leonibus exhortemur.
Nil refert hominum.
Duo, tria membra edent

Actually, it’s culturally specific: Take me to the arena / Take me out with the crowd / Buy me some dormice in honeycomb / I don't care if I never go home / So let's root, root, root for the lions / Not the humans they maim / Munching two, three more body parts / at our Caesar's game!]

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