A retrospective section published a few weeks ago in the local weekly I write for reminded me of just how effective a small-town, non-daily newspaper can be. And it raised the possibility of my telling a story that ought to be heard far and wide. But you won’t find it without looking. It has to do with an heroic editor who uncovered an important story of the “Emperor’s New Clothes” variety and published it — even though it ultimately cost her her newspaper.
The headline was sad but not surprising: “The Health Risks of Being Left-Handed: Lefties Face Chance Of ADHD, Other Disorders; Brain Wiring Holds Clues.” The article, published in the prestigious Wall Street Journal, cites a “research” which claims that left-handed people — called “lefties” by epithet-flinging bigots in the right-handed majority — aren’t quite as good as right-handed people.
What wiser heads have long suspected has now been proved by actual scientists working in real laboratories: cats control the minds of some people and make those persons insane.
The news was unexpected, sad, but not especially shocking: My friend and former colleague Morris Chafetz had died. He was sufficiently famous that there were long obituaries in both The New York Times and The Washington Post. Though I suppose the circumstance of his death figured into it, too.
Who are all those old people? I received a URL in the email. Terrified but unable to resist, I clicked on it. I may never recover.
If one were to do a survey of the next tablet computer from a major manufacturer likely to disappear — the HP TouchPad now being gone — the near-unanimous choice would very likely be Research In Motion's Blackberry Playbook. And that's too bad. The little 7-inch Playbook is a really cool machine, a Mercedes to HP's Ford F-150.
Don’t it always seem to go: you don’t know what you want until it’s marked down to a fraction of its retail price and there is a brief but vast buying frenzy. Yes, I was drawn to think of what Joni Mitchell ought to have written when, a few weeks ago, I discovered that my life would never be complete until I had one of the discontinued Hewlett Packard TouchPad tablet machines.
A few years ago there was an advertising campaign on television, the punchline of which was, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!” Like so many commercials, I remember the joke but not the product — I believe it was margarine, but I do not know or care which brand.
The bug bites, I think, were worth it. One of the advantages of living in the country is the absence of sensory overload, which allows us to take in the more subtle phenomena that we would otherwise miss.
There is said to be a place hotter than it has been around here, but believers — I am among them — hold the view that if one is good, and repentant, it is possible to avoid ever going there. I’m speaking, of course, of Washington D.C.