The Dartmouth Observer
Sunday, April 17, 2005
Now this is exciting
Scientists begin to unlock the secrets of papyrus scraps bearing long-lost words by the literary giants of Greece and Rome:
The original papyrus documents, discovered in an ancient rubbish dump in central Egypt, are often meaningless to the naked eye - decayed, worm-eaten and blackened by the passage of time. But scientists using the new photographic technique, developed from satellite imaging, are bringing the original writing back into view. Academics have hailed it as a development which could lead to a 20 per cent increase in the number of great Greek and Roman works in existence. Some are even predicting a "second Renaissance".Cool. (Sorry, can't think of anything more enlightening to say at the moment.)
Sunday, April 10, 2005
Where's my Jedi option?
I was just browsing my InCircle profile [InCircle is Dartmouth's official version of the Facebook] and noticed some very weird entries under the Ethnicity and Religion pull-down menus. In case you're wondering, here are the choices available:
American Indian/Native American
For goodness sakes, "Burmese," "Cambodian," "Pakistani," "Indonesian," and so on are not ethnicities. They're nationalities...and you've already got a "Country" menu on that same page! How can "Cao Dai," "Neo-Paganism," "Rastafarianism," and "Tenrikyo" be considered legitimate religions? How the heck did Juche, the official state ideology of North Korea, make the list? And if "Shintoism" and "Buddhism" can be given separate entries, what about some for Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Lutheranism, and so on?
It's pretty clear that the administration isn't trying hard enough to be inclusive. So in that spirit of charity, I'm going to suggest a few additions to both categories:
To the former: "American," "Canadian," "European," "Slav," "Arabic," "Persian," "Basque," "Global Citizen."
To the latter: "Wahhabism," "Market Fundamentalism," "Communism," "Reason," "Satanism," and of course, "Jedi" and "Sith."
These should certainly make alumni feel a lot better about themselves.