If you haven't been following the conversation around Occupy Wall
Street, it's perhaps best summarized in terms of the Tumblrs.
First there were the 99 percent, who have been demonstrating in
New York and elsewhere for weeks.
In the 1830s most Americans were finding plenty of adventure in their own country. It was just over 50 years old, after all. Some were trudging along the new Oregon Trail; some were pushing Native Americans west of the Mississippi with legislation or guns; others were involved in increasingly volatile arguments over slavery.
I don't normally go for gotchas based on political candidates'
rambling improvisations. But this one is hard to ignore: when Herman Cain
appeared on Piers Morgan this week,
he first told Morgan that he's opposed to abortion in all circumstances.
"Occupy Wall Street may not come up with solutions, but at
least it is asking the right questions in a nonviolent setting," says Shane Claiborne. "I don't believe
that love can be forced, but I believe it can be provoked."
I'm a big fan of The
Conversation, the New York Times online
feature in which Gail Collins and David Brooks have a casual chat. I think the
appeal is supposed to be that the two are reasonable, amicable and witty
columnists who clearly like each other a lot. That's all nice, but what I enjoy is the palpable pleasure the
hilarious Collins takes in needling the less intentionally hilarious Brooks.
Egypt is facing a severe water shortage, which is getting worse as the population grows. Researchers at Alexandria University are developing an innovative desalination process using a membrane that binds with the salt as salt water passes through it. Since no electricity is used, the process requires about half the energy that other desalination methods use. It is hoped that the membrane, consisting of five components, can be mass-produced and used worldwide (Christian Science Monitor, October 28).