Jonylah Watkins died on a Tuesday. She was with her father, who was sitting in a minivan in Chicago on the night of March 11 when someone opened fire.
When asked to explain the brisk pace of his novels, Elmore Leonard said, "I leave out the parts that people skip." You will not want to skip anything in William Zinsser's short essays written for the American Scholar magazine's Web site and now collected in "The Writer Who Stayed," a book that begins with him wondering why "every year student writing is a little more disheveled."
The fight goes on. Whether cats are bird-killing machines or soft balls of love (for themselves, anyway) remains a subject of painful debate. The first part is undoubtedly true. Cats in the United States destroy a median of 2.4 billion birds a year. Add to that death toll 2.3 billion mammals, many of them native creatures: chipmunks, rabbits and voles, reptiles and amphibians.
You want a routine checkup. Or your throat is sore. It's probably nothing, but you're concerned. Do you need a full-fledged MD with all those certificates and perhaps a God complex?
Two guys are at a conference, looking bored. On stage, there's been talk about "dongles," which, if you aren't aware, are devices you plug in to laptops to get connectivity. Bigger ones are supposedly more powerful. Can you guess the joke? (Hint: about whether size matters.)
Let there be no cheers for Rob Portman. The Ohio senator is, pardon the tautology, a conservative Republican and last week, he did something conservative Republicans do not do. He came out for same-sex marriage.
FISHTRAP HOLLOW --It's been a bad week here in the Hollow. A letter from the Mississippi Department of Revenue informed my county that I was ineligible for the homestead exemption on my house and land. "Applicant is not a natural person," it said.
Really? Bobbie Smith, too? Geez. This is what I'm thinking when word comes that the lead singer of the Spinners has died. It comes a month after Richard Street and Damon Harris, who sang on "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" with the Temptations, passed away just days apart.
No matter what Barack Obama does, he cannot escape the shadow of his former political opponent.
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is an exception to the rule that a law's title is as uninformative about the law's purpose as the titles of Marx Brothers movies ("Duck Soup," "Horse Feathers," "Animal Crackers") are about those movies' contents.
The recent rape conviction of two teenagers, one of whom also distributed a photo and sent cruel text messages about their victim, has captured the "bystander effect" in graphic and nauseating detail.
Michael Vick was all set to do a book tour to promote himself as a new and improved role model when things got ugly. "Despite warnings of planned protests, Vick had hoped to continue with the appearances as planned, bringing his story of redemption and second chance to major markets," his publisher, aptly named Worthy Publishing, said in a statement.
The day the retired pope gave his last tweet, I was captive in the car for seven hours. I heard a lot of radio news, or what passes. First I listened to my usual National Public Radio allotment, and it seemed rather like a slow news day. No marauding shooters were abroad, no wars were started and nobody but the outgoing pope tweeted anything of importance.
Karen Houppert has written a book of nightmares.
More than perhaps anyone else in America, David Blankenhorn personifies the struggle so many have experienced over same-sex marriage. First he was agnostic, then he was against it, now he's for it.
Perhaps you remember when Dr. Doom conquered the world. Or perhaps you don't. Sadly enough, even in this day and age, not everyone is comic book literate.
I haven't seen the Ladies' Home Journal in about a million years, except maybe in the dentist's office when I was trying to avoid a television permanently set on Fox News. Somebody's grandchild was selling magazines for a school project, and Ladies' Home Journal was the only one on the list I recognized.
All things considered, I'd rather be in Rome. Isn't everyone?
1. Voice of the people: Robert Gillis LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)
2. Voice of the people: Johann Christoph Arnold LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)
4. Voice of the people: Margie Canon LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)