URLs du Jour

2008-12-16

  • The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education reports:
    FIRE found that approximately 74 percent of schools surveyed maintain policies that clearly restrict speech that, outside the borders of campus, is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
    This includes policies of the University Near Here.

    FIRE has a 1.000 batting average in challenging unconstitutional speech codes, so they know whereof they speak.

  • The "stimulus pacakge" won't work, except to encourage this type of behavior:
    With estimates of the package, which will be considered by the new Congress starting in January, topping out at anywhere between $500 billion and $1 trillion, ailing sectors such as home builders and sellers, airlines, railroads -- and, yes, the auto industry -- view the stimulus as a means to get healthy again.

    That includes the air conditioning industry, America's libraries and even catfish farmers.

    Perhaps inspired by those last two words, the metaphor "chum in the water" is employed later in the article. (Via Club for Growth.)

  • Out of context quote du jour from Professor Ann Althouse:
    It seems to me that pornography teaches men to take care of their problems on their own.
    It's an argument against bad metaphors. Honest.

The Edge

[Amazon Link]

The Dick Francis hero in this outing is Tor Kelsey; he's independently wealthy, but to keep himself from falling into degenerate lassitude he has a real job: undercover investigator for the British Jockey Club. He's trying to nail one Julius Apollo Filmer, a dastardly villain who's trying to worm his way into horseracing via intimidation, blackmail, and murder.

The plot is probably one of Francis's most contrived, but it's still entertaining: Filmer is going on the "Great Transcontinental Mystery Race Train", a trans-Canada rail trip that transports rich owners and their horses from Toronto to Vancouver. They stop along the way to race and sightsee. And, for entertainment, a group of professional actors is aboard to stage a semi-improvisational mystery play inamongst the passengers during the trip. How this all gets involved in Kelsey's efforts to thwart Filmer is unlikely, but fun.

The rear-jacket photo of Dick Francis shows him on the train engine, and his acknowledgments thank a number of train folk. So I assume he experienced a version (hopefully less perilous) of the voyage himself; it shows up in the book's details and descriptions.


Last Modified 2012-10-09 8:21 AM EST