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"Rarely do any of us sit down before a table of facts, weigh them pro and con, and choose the most logical and rational explanation, regardless of what we previously believed. Most of us, most of the time, come to our beliefs for a variety of reasons having little to do with empirical evidence and logical reasoning. Rather, such variables as genetic predisposition, parental predilection, sibling influence, peer pressure, educational experience and life impressions all shape the personality preferences that, in conjunction with numerous social and cultural influences, lead us to our beliefs. We then sort through the body of data and select those that most confirm what we already believe, and ignore or rationalize away those that do not."
Not that any of us are like that, it's just something worth reading for those other people that are like that.
Bill writes "News From Iraq says Iraqis are buying political and religious books and snapping up satellite dishes once banned under the oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein, to quench a thirst for information they were once denied.
On the famed Mutanabi Street book market of Baghdad, shopkeepers and vendors who work right off the pavement shrug off any concern about the sky-rocketing sales of satellite dishes since the end of the US-led war to oust Saddam a year ago. â€œPeople are buying more books since the end of the war,â€? said Mohammed al-Yawi, who owns Al-Naktha, one of the oldest bookshops in Baghdad."
Bob Cox writes "tennessean.com reports on Harry Fanning, who has music on the brain, symphonies swimming in his head.
On a good day, he awakes to music. Like last Tuesday, when he arose from slumber humming the second movement of a work by Antonin Dvorak. Yes, he could hear the music. He could discern the softest pianissimo from the boldest fortissimo; he could detect the intricacies of interplay between the instruments.
For days like this, the 73-year-old retired junior high art teacher gives thanks. His beloved music remains with him, even if his hearing has mostly disappeared. The joy of inserting a CD into his stereo and enjoying a mini-concert in his living room, a room he designed with a cathedral ceiling to specifically enhance his listening pleasure, is gone, taken by a viral infection that left him with a severe hearing loss."
Peter writes, "Those long days and nights away from home can affect people in different ways it seems.
A book in every port?" An Australian seaman pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing nearly a thousand books from various military libraries worth approximately $270,000.
". . . â€œOn our family vacations to California when we were kids, I always went to the library, and checked out books on all the places we were going in San Francisco. â€¦ My wife [basketball star Rebecca Lobo] and I live in a small townhouse. If we ever get a house, I don't care what it has except a library. I'd like to just sit in a big chair with a goldfish-bowl-sized brandy sifter, and a globe, surrounded by books. We have boxes of books on bookshelves, boxes in our garage. â€¦ I was in a used bookstore and picked up a 1200-page biography of Charles Dickens. I will probably finish it in the time it took Dickens to live his actual life, but I will finish it.â€?"
"When the U.S. Department of Education reported that in 2001 nearly six out of 10 high school seniors lacked even a basic knowledge of the nation's history, Bruce Cole was indignant and concerned. ... A test administered in 1915 and 1916 to hundreds of high school and college students who were about to face World War I found that they did not know what happened in 1776 and confused Thomas Jefferson with Jefferson Davis."
You need to register to read the entire article at the Washington Post
Accountants are among the keenest readers in the UK, a survey published yesterday shows.
Bookkeepers spend more of their time, an average of just over five hours a week, buried in a work of fiction than many professions more naturally associated with the written word.
The survey, which coincides with World Book Day, found that members of the clergy read for an average of two hours and forty minutes a week, putting them at the bottom of the list for the amount of time that people from various professions spend reading.
AshtabulaGuy writes "The National Review has two articles about Dr. Seuss. Jennifer Graham explores Dr. Seuss from the perspective of a mother, while John J. Miller discusses some aspects of the works by Dr. Seuss that could be considered somewhat subversive. Both offer differing viewpoints on a great author of what are proving to be timeless works." Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel (1904-1991) was born 100 years ago today.
Houston Chronicle Story about British rocker Peter Frampton reading the work of children's author Shel Silverstein at the Cincinnati Public Library (his hometown).
"Fan Carol Meier recalled going to a Frampton concert in the 1970s.
I never thought, 30 years later, I'd see him reading children's books at the local library," she said.
Jayson Blair, recently disgraced reporter for the New York Times, is publishing the story of his banishment from the paper in a few weeks --story here from Editor & Publisher . The Times book editor, Charles McGrath is planning to review it. The book, titled "Burning Down My Masters' House," and due out March 6, is being published by New Millennium Audio and Press of Beverly Hills. It tells Blair's story of how he engaged in one of the worst acts of plagiarism, deceit and fraud in newspaper history, resulting in his firing in May 2003 and the eventual termination of former executive editor Howell Raines and managing editor Gerald Boyd.
Blair is hoping to fund a scholarship for future journalism students at his alma mater the University of Maryland (story in the Diamondback) with the proceeds of his book, but the University hasn't said if they'd accept his offer.