February 2013

February 2013

The Battle of the Books. Again. First it was the classics versus the moderns (c. 1704).  Lately it’s been one hand-held book against another (since both digital screens and bound volumes usually require the use of hands). Now the contest moves to the cosmic plane: as new libraries open their doors without so much as a single book, older ones feign novelty to bring more patrons in.  Even at the beginning (c. 2250 BC), it was clay tablets vs. scrolls at Ebla in northern Syria, where another kind of battle is being waged today.

The Battle of the Publishers. Martin Peretz, a Harvard professor married to a sewing machine heiress, made The New Republic sing when he bought the venerable journal of the left in 1974. This month he took to the op-ed page of The Wall Street Journal (not a venerable journal of the left) to attack his old magazine (age 99 years). Under its new editor, Chris Hughes, who made money with something called Facebook, the magazine has descended, said Peretz, into unpardonable journalistic sin: it has become predictable.

Pope the Next. The announcement of the papal abdication scheduled for next Thursday was surprising but hyperbolic. There were nine such departures from the third century on and more cases if you count the popes who were deposed amid European strife.  Interestingly, Canon Law 332 plays it casually, beginning: “If a Supreme Pontiff should happen to resign….”

“Jerks at Work.” That’s the title of a upcoming webinar from the employment law firm of Ogletree Deakins. Can you suggest a similar title for workplace woes? Winner gets a book.

One degree of separation. Busch, Slipakoff & Schuh, an Atlanta firm of 30 or so lawyers, will not hire the un-degreed. A would-be administrative assistant, file clerk, receptionist or runner with a degree is “just more career-oriented,” said Adam Slipakoff, managing partner at the firm, in The New York Times. The unemployment rate nationally for degreed workers is 3.7 percent, versus 8.1 for those with only a high school diploma.

Quote to Note. “When you put a fox in the henhouse, you’re going to have chicken for dinner every night.”— Anonymous (from somewhere in or around Savannah)

Thanks for reading,

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