Monday, July 21, 2003

After a media-free vacation, I am in no mood to count the deaths in Iraq (or farmer's markets) since I left, nor dwell on Monsanto's latest frivolous lawsuit, nor indeed the discovery of escaped Atlantic salmon in Washinton State's rivers. Instead I direct you to CJR's profile of Sy Hersh, and the OED's celebration of itself, featuring such figures as William Chester Minor:
Minor, an American physician, had served as a surgeon-captain during the American Civil war, but had a history of mental illness. During a trip to England in 1872, he shot and killed a man, and was committed to Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum. Being a man of great intellectual ability, he became a principal contributor of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century quotations to the first edition of the Dictionary. The quotation slip submitted by Minor appears in set, v., sense 17 a. The text on the slip reads: 'a1548 Hall Chron., Hen. IV. (1550) 32b, Duryng whiche sickenes as Auctors write he caused his crowne to be set on the pillowe at his beddes heade.'
Oh, in case you forgot to read the Times in my absence, don't miss Marian Burros's excellent discussion of the alleged health benefits of organic food. [referring to a corn/marionberry study I discussed here and this italian peach study.]

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