In his 2004 book, The Vanishing Newspaper, Philip Meyer predicts that the very last copy of the very last daily paper will be sold in the year 2043. The architects of the Newseum, D.C.'s newly reopened museum of journalism, may have had that year in mind when they designed the $450 million structure of translucent white and clear glass. But blown-up images of the front pages of the day's newspapers from across the country displayed on the museum's façade remind visitors that the year is, indeed, 2008. The daily newspaper is not dead yet.
Everything really is bigger in Texas. This month's Texas Monthly reports that the state is the largest recipient of federal money for abstinence education -- more than $4.5 million annually -- but ranks first in the nation in teenage births. Almost a quarter of those births are not the girl's first delivery.
During talks this week in Rome, the United States is dangling carrots in front of the Sudanese government:
"The Bush administration could remove Sudan from an American list of state supporters of terrorism and normalize relations if the Sudanese government agreed, among other steps, to allow Thai and Nepalese peacekeepers in its Darfur region...
Sudan wants an end to economic sanctions imposed by the United States since 1997. Sudan complained in the negotiating papers that sanctions had continued “despite the many positive achievements” by its government in Khartoum.
A light-hearted piece in The Economist details the culinary battles among Silicon Valley technology companies. Back in 1999, Google appointed Charlie Ayers, who has cooked for Bill Clinton and The Grateful Dead, as its first "chief food officer," and during his reign he fed employees grass-fed beef, sautéed clams, and shots of wheat grass. The company, after all, is not too far from San Francisco, a city where restaurants often provide the spectacle of a Broadway show.
The New York Times reports that China has just rolled out something of a last ditch effort to clear the notoriously grimy air that hangs over Beijing in preparation for the summer Olympics. The measures will "freeze construction projects, shutter chemical plants, and close down obsolete gas stations around Beijing…Even spray painting outdoors will be banned during the weeks before and after sporting events, which begin on August 8."