Two miscellaneous items of interest:
“There are now thought to be some 4.5 billion web pages worldwide. And with half the population of China now on line, most of them are written in Chinese.
“Still, some linguists predict that within 10 years English will dominate the internet – but in forms very different to what we accept and recognise as English today.”
“On December 25, Christians around the world will gather to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Joyful carols, special liturgies, brightly wrapped gifts, festive foods—these all characterize the feast today, at least in the northern hemisphere. But just how did the Christmas festival originate? How did December 25 come to be associated with Jesus’ birthday?”
On everyone’s mind: the Newtown school shootings
“Almost all of the public-policy discussion about Newtown has focused on a debate over the need for more gun control. In reality, gun control in a country that already has 200 million privately owned firearms is likely to do little to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals. We would be better off debating two taboo subjects — the laws that make it difficult to control people with mental illness and the growing body of evidence that “gun-free” zones, which ban the carrying of firearms by law-abiding individuals, don’t work.”
“If you count only such crimes in which five or more victims were killed, there were six in the 1980s and 19 in the 2000s.
“Why the increase? It cannot be because gun-control laws have become more lax. Before the 1968 Gun Control Act, there were almost no federal gun-control laws. The exception was the National Firearms Act of 1934, which set up an extremely severe registration and tax system for automatic weapons and has remained in force for 78 years.”
Mark Snoeberger offers several good policies that our governments should promote as a long-term preventative to tragedies like the Newtown shooting.
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