The Case—Please Hear Me Out—Against the Em Dash from Slate.com:
According to the Associated Press Stylebook—Slate's bible for all things punctuation- and grammar-related—there are two main prose uses—the abrupt change and the series within a phrase—for the em dash. The guide does not explicitly say that writers can use the dash in lieu of properly crafting sentences, or instead of a comma or a parenthetical or a colon—and yet in practical usage, we do. A lot—or so I have observed lately. America's finest prose—in blogs, magazines, newspapers, or novels—is littered with so many dashes among the dots it's as if the language is signaling distress in Morse code.The article immediately gets points for talking about the AP Stylebook and for being funny, but its most attractive aspect is that it’s talking about my favorite punctuation mark!
There is an entire website devoted to G.K. Chesterton in America. And a magazine.
I never knew color photography was around during the Great Depression. But apparently the Library of Congress had some color photos from the period.
The War Against Girls: Since the late 1970s, 163 million female babies have been aborted by parents seeking sons. From the book review on WSJ.com:
In nature, 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. This ratio is biologically ironclad. Between 104 and 106 is the normal range, and that's as far as the natural window goes. Any other number is the result of unnatural events.The book is “Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men” by Mara Hvistendahl and its subtitle basically tells what it’s about. Apparently Ms. Hvistendahl is still pro-choice (to use her term), but as the book reviewer points out, “Choice is choice. For if ‘choice’ is the moral imperative guiding abortion, then there is no way to take a stand against ‘gendercide.’”
Yet today in India there are 112 boys born for every 100 girls. In China, the number is 121—though plenty of Chinese towns are over the 150 mark. China's and India's populations are mammoth enough that their outlying sex ratios have skewed the global average to a biologically impossible 107. But the imbalance is not only in Asia. Azerbaijan stands at 115, Georgia at 118 and Armenia at 120.
What is causing the skewed ratio: abortion.
And for your occasional dose of interesting video: