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Achenblog: May 8, 2005 - May 14, 2005

The Return of the Space Age

This will come as an enormous shock, but I'm actually still a newspaper reporter and not just a perpetual self-indulgence machine. For several months I've been working on a story about the future of the space program, and it...

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 13, 2005; 10:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Dumb Tom Question About "Time"

My editor, Tom, who is really hung up on the concept of time, writes the following: It's bad form, and largely meaningless, to define something by itself. To say, "a woman is a human being who is womanly" gets...

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 12, 2005; 4:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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Culture of Fear

Yesterday's panicky response to a rogue airplane is a reminder that we've become a culture of fear. Fear is institutionalized, ritualized, with an elaborate protocol. All it takes to trigger a panic is for a couple of total morons...

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 11, 2005; 9:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Bewitched in Salem

[Quick note: I've opened the comments on this item in case anyone wants to suggest a really inappropriate statue somewhere, i.e., a Gilligan's Island statue on Devil's Island.] You heard that Salem, Mass. is going to erect a "Bewitched"...

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 11, 2005; 11:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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Bones Picked Clean by Vultures

The talk yesterday in Washington, Pa., went well, big crowd, good questions, sold 3 books. I had a lunch in a neat basement pub with exposed brick and wooden beams, and a big picture of Bill Clinton on the...

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 11, 2005; 10:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Carrie, Anthony, Bo and Vonzell

This is the point of American Idol where you have to examine your prejudices, the subtle reasons you root against someone rather than merely for someone. My singer's been out of the contest for weeks and I'm rooting against...

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 11, 2005; 7:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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The Shrunken Planet

Left town this ayem at 5:55, bound for a different Washington, the one in western Pennsylvania, where I have to give a book talk. Had the tunes turned up and watched the planet roll by -- up in the...

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 10, 2005; 11:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Einstein for Dummies

Here's the latest Rough Draft column, on Einstein's difficult dotage. I'm now second-guessing the word "dilate" in the speed of light sentence....

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 9, 2005; 2:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Liberal Humor Impairment

Also in the new Vanity Fair: Michael Wolff has a piece titled, "No Jokes, Please, We're Liberal," an attempt to discover the source of an epidemic of humorlessness in the liberal media. "Why aren't liberals funny?" he begins, and...

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 9, 2005; 7:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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The Most Feared Words in Hollywood

Surely you know the most feared words in Hollywood: "Honey, I'm going to be working on a movie with Angelina Jolie." Angelina Jolie has become to Trouble what Michael Jackson has long been to Weird. She falls in love...

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 9, 2005; 7:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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