Recently in Culture Category
These are the roots from which my father-in-law sprang. Youngest speakers are in their 60s, the last generation that grew up with German spoken at home, church, and school. A University of Texas scholar is documenting the dialect while there's still time. The BBC story explains some of the distinctives of the Texas variety of German. You can learn more at the Texas German Dialect Project website.
This complex map, accompanied by charts and notes, depicts the geographical extent various dialects of English in North America. The historical notes describe the historical events that drove the migrations that shaped the odd patterns. For example: What historical development may have influenced Oklahoma City's dialect to be different from areas to the north and south?
Back in October 1921, on p. 22, the official publication of the Oklahoma Education Association offered a list of daily Bible readings and weekly memory verses.
Questions, worksheets, and activity ideas designed around William Bennett's The Book of Virtues
Sports, science, politics, travel, religion, health, life, and death -- it's all here, in a collection of stories selected by Conor Friedersdorf.
This article on the history of WEHCO Media, Inc., (owners of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and other newspapers) tells an impressive story: How a family-owned daily with half the reader base of its bigger, older rival shifted from afternoon to morning, built circulation, and wound up prevailing not only over Arkansas's oldest newspaper but the Gannett media chain as well. Bigger news staff, technological leadership, free classifieds. I read this and wonder if the Tulsa Tribune might have managed the same thing.
"In late 1978, the Democrat began an extensive effort to expand its news and classified advertising in order to become the state's largest newspaper. Included was a free want ad program that more than tripled the size of the paper's classified section. The Democrat became the only Arkansas newspaper ever to publish more than one million classified advertisements in a single year. Dozens of new reporters, editors and photographers were hired in an effort to ensure the most thorough local news coverage possible. In 1979, the Democrat switched to all-morning publication -- one of the first newspapers of its size to do so.
"As a result of these vigorous new policies, readership increased dramatically. Circulation totals showed that the Democrat was the fastest growing newspaper in the United States during 1980. The Democrat continued to make changes and in 1982 the newspaper inaugurated the use of color, using offset lithography printing presses; the Gazette followed in 1987."
How did one find quirky local bookstores before the World Wide Web was invented? Well, there was Usenet, and there was the rec.arts.books FAQ, with its listing of bookstores by region, edited by Evelyn C. Leeper. The list is still being edited and maintained, although some entries are out of date. (Remember Novel Idea? First Edition?)
On shibboleths, left-wing academia's disdain for middlebrow culture, and the New Aristocrats: "The important thing, the only important thing, about a shibboleth is that it's not what the commoners are saying. The point of the shibboleth is not reaffirm external truth, but to reaffirm personal identity. It is no wonder they all quickly fall in a line and begin spouting minor variations on the same stupid claim. The point was never, ever to consider the truth of the matter, and subject it to analysis; but precisely to simply repeat what other self-discovered members of the New Aristocrats are saying, because that's how they each know they belong."
Links to this story in Commentary by Fred Siegel, How Highbrows Killed Culture. Far from being a cultural desert, the 1950s were a time of great popular interest in the life of the mind, even on television: "'on March 16, 1956, a Sunday chosen at random,' the viewer could have seen a discussion of the life and times of Toulouse-Lautrec by three prominent art critics, an interview with theologian Paul Tillich, an adaptation of Walter Van Tilburg Clark's Hook, a documentary on mental illness with Dr. William Menninger, and a 90-minute performance of The Taming of the Shrew."
A great story about a narcissistic executive's complete breakdown while on a hunting trip. There's a political application at the end. "A neurotic Narcissist will become desperate as the false image that has been created, begins to crumble away, thus at a certain point the Narcissistic neurosis becomes a malignant psychosis."
Links to eulogies of the late controversialist and journalist, including one by his brother Peter Hitchens.