• Right of the Mother’s Life: Lusophonic blogger ___ Nuno Guerreiro of Rua da Judiaria has an excellent post explaining Jewish theological views on abortion (I usually explain to people that abortion has the same gravitas as amputating an arm.) Nuno stresses that abortion is mandated by Jewish law (halacha) in some cases. Here is the Googlized translation.
  • Whipping sh!tties?: Take a look at the survey of US Dialects. It looks at the different things Americans say and how they pronounce them. I had fun looking at those things that are clearly “New Englandisms”–things like tag sales and cabinets. (Reference at Far Outliers.)
  • Geitner Simmons of Regions of Mind has two posts on controversial depictions of African Americans. They deal with Griffith’s Birth of the Nation and Porgy and Bess. The first was protested by NAACP for its heroic depiction of the Klu Klux Klan (James Card, in Seductive Cinema, quotes a rabbi who felt ashamed for having cheered on the Clansmen.) The second was protested because it “glorified the worst in black folk and urban street culture.”
  • Writer Shane Maloney gave an interesting speech to the students of Scotch College. Here is one gem: “It is not your fault, after all, that your families decided to institutionalise you.” (Reference at Barista.)