The Sunday Cat finds a new metaphor for philosophical discussion!

This is a form of feline pre-fight, I believe. 

Unfortunately, this version is dubbed.  If you’d prefer not to have a human speaking for the cats, I’d strongly suggest you turn the sound off.  There is an original, non-dubbed version, but it can’t be played except at youtube.


And could we just note that the well meaning remark from a commentor last Sunday’s cat was incorrect, according to the photographer.

U.S. Congresswoman shot in the head

Updates will be added to this post after becoming available.  So shortly after the 2011 House of Representatives was sworn in, this event seems especially awful.  From the Washington Post:

Tucson – Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot and critically wounded Saturday morning while hosting an event outside a Tucson grocery store, according to local news reports. Doctors said she survived the attack, but six others did not.

The shooter is relatively unknown, and according to the most recent reports on Huffington Post, the most reporters can find about him is a handful of YouTube videos inveighing against government and appearing to convey “paranoia.”

“Huck Finn, Censorship and the N-Word”

That is the title of this article, which looks at the recent controversy surrounding a new edition of Huckleberry Finn.  The new edition has a couple of textual alterations, the biggest of which is the elimination of 200 occurrences of the N-word, and the substitution of “slave” for them. 

The article linked to does a fair job, I think, of summarizing the pros and cons, along with giving a full picture of who is doing it. 

The biggest point against the change mentioned in her article  is that we loose the record of racism.  We could add to this a worry about simply changing what are regarded as great art works.  Anyone for clothing statues, for example?

There is also a good reason for making the change, the author argues.  This has to do with the harm involved  in the reiteration of racist discourse.

I’m a bit puzzled by why our choices have to be so simple:  take it out or leave it in.  Typographically there ought to be ways to keep the N-word on the page (perhaps in a separate column along with arcane terms).  What do you think?

Molestation’s effects

This is very sad.  A graduate student at Princeton died on Jan. 5th after an apparent suicide attempt.  He left a long letter about the misery in his life that, he says, resulted from repeated molestation as a child.  I won’t quote from the letter; it says he doesn’t mind its being published, but it should be published as a whole. 

It seems to me that it is a convincing document of the legacy of very severe child abuse.  A whole life can seem as though it is about the abuse.  It is also profoundly sad and disturbing.

I’m posting a link to the letter because I think it is a valuable document to think about if you care about protecting children.