The Towers in Korea: What Humanity? – UPDATED

I saw this yesterday and wondered if it was a hoax:The designers of the towers, Dutch architectural firm MVRDV, have responded to the controversy by quickly publishing an apology in English. “It was not our intention to create an image resembling the attacks,” the designers insist, “nor did we see the resemblance during the design process.”They did not see the resemblance during the design process? The problem with this assertion – apart from its inherent implausibility – is that they hav … [Read more...]

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Military Religious Freedom A-Ok for Druids, "Meh" for Catholics

Plundering the Deacon's Bench, again...The Colorado Springs Gazette reports that the Air Force Academy is now accommodating its Wiccan and Druid cadets with their own chapel:Add Wiccans and Druids to the list of faiths that have their own chapel at the Air Force Academy.A circle of stones around an altar was dedicated on a hilltop above the campus Tuesday with earth-centered prayer and speeches about religious liberty at the academy, a school that has long faced criticism as a bastion for … [Read more...]

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A Failed Voyeur to War

This is a silly story about a sad story.In January of 2005, American troops opened fire on a car that turned out to be carrying an Iraqi family. Both parents were killed outright, the sons was badly injured. Getty Images photographer Chris Hondros snapped an image of the daughter standing in the blood spatter. Half-blanketed by darkness, she is reduced to pairs of tiny feet and hands, and a wide-open, screaming mouth.The New York Times has tracked the girl down. In "Face That Screamed … [Read more...]

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Drawing A Veil over A Villain

In The Four Stages of Cruelty, William Hogarth depicts the body of Tom Nero, a fictitious murderer, being dissected during an anatomy class. From the ceiling hang the skeletons of Burke and Hare, the infamous grave-robbers. Tom Nero might never have existed, but the fate of his mortal remains was entirely plausible: in 1752, the British Parliament had passed a law, permitting the authorities to donate the bodies of executed criminals, as it were, to science.Hogarth was preaching a homily in … [Read more...]

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Down with Reaction Nazis

Shortly after 9/11, Adam Gopnik published an essay in the New Yorker titled "The City and the Pillars." In it, he strolls the streets of New York in the days immediately after the attacks, noting the reactions of the man on the street, as well as his own sensory impressions. Of the smell wafting from the fallen towers, he writes:The smell, which fills the empty streets of SoHo from Houston to Canal, blew uptown on Wednesday night, and is not entirely horrible from a reasonable distance -- … [Read more...]

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When Gloating isn't Gloating

Ever since Osama bin Laden's death became generally known, the country's mood has felt like spring break for grown-ups. In front of the White House, at Ground Zero, at the Phillies-Mets game, people were celiebrating. Strangers were hugging. In the long run, it might not turn out to be one of those events for which everyone recalls his wherabouts, but then, it might. (For the record, I was fast asleep.)But then, the Vatican weighed in. Speaking as the Church's official voice, Fr. … [Read more...]

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