What kind of towns do people want to live in? It might seem like a vast, imposing question, but the answer is no great mystery to the New Urbanists, an impressive group of environmentalists, architects, designers and town planners who have been trying to teach developers what features of the built environment make a community attractive, livable and, well, a community.
It’s like the Berlin Wall falling down,” said one Mexican official about his country’s July 2 election. “But the PRI lasted longer than the wall.” A lot longer. In power for 71 years, the oxymoronically named Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, has had the longest continuous rule of any political group in the world.
The completion, or near completion, of the human genome project was announced with expressions of Promethean awe. The New York Times called the feat “a pinnacle of human self-knowledge.” Other commentators referred to the new knowledge as the “Book of Life.” President Clinton said mapping the body’s sequence of genes was like “learning the language of God.” And Dr.
Deciding to donate one’s organs and tissues for transplant after death is as morally mainstream an action as one can think of these days. Every state encourages people to use the back of their driver’s licenses to register as an organ donor.
Leaders of the National Council of Churches have at various times over the past decade floated the idea of seeking a new, more inclusive kind of ecumenical organization. Last month the NCC made its most concrete move in that direction by appointing a team of top church leaders to explore the idea with Roman Catholics, evangelicals and Pentecostals.
President Hassan Rouhani of Iran had his brother hand deliver a check for $400,000 last month to Tehran’s only Jewish hospital with the message that “our government intends to unite all ethnic groups and religions, so we decided to assist you.” In September Rouhani’s administration had issued a Rosh Hashanah greeting to Jews around the world. Though some question Rouhani’s motives, his behavior is a refreshing contrast to that of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is a Holocaust denier (New York Times, February 6).