A billion here, a billion there: Every two years or so the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi issues this claim: he could eliminate global terrorism by creating a “spiritual force field” with donations from billionaires (Chicago Sun-Times, August 29).
Eyes to see: When two of Motti Tamam’s brothers were killed by a Hezbollah rocket, the Israeli asked that his brothers’ eyes be available for transplant. One of the recipients was an Arab, Nikola Elias, who was blind in one eye and had little vision in the other. The two men later met, shook hands and exchanged phone numbers (ABC News, August 10).
How dare he? When retired Anglican archbishop Desmond Tutu spoke in a Seattle cathedral, the audience was prepared to applaud him for his part in ending the apartheid regime in South Africa. However, people were apparently miffed when Tutu criticized members of the congregation for not bringing their Bibles to church. Few shook his hand as they left the cathedral (Thomas Trzyna, Blessed Are the Pacifists, Herald Press, forthcoming).
Truth in fiction: Fiction often captures a historical moment. Already a number of novels have appeared that deal with the 9/11 terrorist attacks and their aftermath: John Updike, Terrorist; Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close; Jay McInerney, The Good Life; and Lorraine Adams, Harbor (Chicago Tribune, July 15).
Hot air: Although Americans drive just 30 percent of the world’s nearly 700 million motor vehicles, they account for nearly half of the greenhouse gases emitted by vehicles worldwide. The reason? Americans drive farther and their cars get lower mileage and use fuel with more carbon content (Los Angeles Times, June 28).