Citing Cost, States Consider Halting Death Penalty

'Old Sparky' is the electric chair that Nebras...

The new argument: death penalty cases cost three times as much as non-capital homicide cases. We can’t afford that when there are better cheaper ways to dissuade crime. Death penalty opponents welcome their new economic allies. And even some longtime death penalty proponents are being swayed, although others continue to trot out the same old tired arguments about the death penalty as a deterrent. via NYTimes.


The I’s Have It

William Shakespeare

‘Since his election, the president has been roundly criticized by bloggers for using “I” instead of “me” in phrases like “a very personal decision for Michelle and I” or “the main disagreement with John and I” or “graciously invited Michelle and I.”

The rule here, according to conventional wisdom, is that we use “I” as a subject and “me” as an object, whether the pronoun appears by itself or in a twosome. Thus every “I” in those quotes ought to be a “me.”

So should the president go stand in a corner of the Oval Office (if he can find one) and contemplate the error of his ways? Not so fast.

For centuries, it was perfectly acceptable to use either “I” or “me” as the object of a verb or preposition, especially after “and.” Literature is full of examples. Here’s Shakespeare, in “The Merchant of Venice”: “All debts are cleared between you and I.” And here’s Lord Byron, complaining to his half-sister about the English town of Southwell, “which, between you and I, I wish was swallowed up by an earthquake, provided my eloquent mother was not in it.”

It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that language mavens began kvetching about “I” and “me.” ‘ via NYTimes Op-Ed.

Students Stand When Called Upon, and When Not

“The children in Ms. Brown’s class, and in some others at Marine Elementary School and additional schools nearby, are using a type of adjustable-height school desk, allowing pupils to stand while they work, that Ms. Brown designed with the help of a local ergonomic furniture company two years ago. The stand-up desk’s popularity with children and teachers spread by word of mouth from this small town to schools in Wisconsin, across the St. Croix River. Now orders for the desks are being filled for districts from North Carolina to California.” via NYTimes.

Could this be all it might take to stem the tide of tarring and feathering a significant fraction of American gradeschoolers with the ADHD label? (As readers of FmH know, I think this is one of the greatest travesties of modern psychodiagnosis.)

Brooklyn’s New Culinary Movement

Location of Brooklyn shown in yellow.

“These Brooklynites, most in their 20s and 30s, are hand-making pickles, cheeses and chocolates the way others form bands and artists’ collectives. They have a sense of community and an appreciation for traditional methods and flavors. They also share an aesthetic that’s equal parts 19th and 21st century, with a taste for bold graphics, salvaged wood and, for the men, scruffy beards.” via NYTimes.

I was born in Brooklyn although I only lived there until I was 5, but it sounds (and tastes) like now would be a good time to be back there.

Is honor killing a Muslim issue?

Given the recent beheading by an American Muslim of his ex-wife, this is a Google search on the question, “Is honor killing a Muslim issue|problem?” (In the spirit of the ‘memewatches’ Jorn Barger used to do in Robot Wisdom, if that means anything to you…)