According to an opinion poll published Friday,
the French dislike themselves even more than Americans dislike them,
The survey of six nations, carried
out for the International Herald Tribune daily and France 24 TV
station, said 44 percent of French people thought badly of themselves
against 38 percent of U.S. respondents who had a negative view of the
Anbar Province, long the lawless heartland of the tenacious Sunni Arab
resistance, is undergoing a surprising transformation. Violence is
ebbing in many areas, shops and schools are reopening, police forces
are growing and the insurgency appears to be in retreat.
“Many people are challenging the insurgents,” said the governor of
Anbar, Maamoon S. Rahid, though he quickly added, “We know we haven’t
eliminated the threat 100 percent.”
Many Sunni tribal leaders,
once openly hostile to the American presence, have formed a united
front with American and Iraqi government forces against Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. With the tribal leaders’ encouragement, thousands of
local residents have joined the police force. About 10,000 police
officers are now in Anbar, up from several thousand a year ago. During
the same period, the police force here in Ramadi, the provincial
capital, has grown from fewer than 200 to about 4,500, American
military officials say.
The remaining paragraphs are full of caveats, but it's still a basically positive story.
Mars is being hit by rapid climate change and it is happening so fast that the red planet could lose its southern ice cap,
writes Jonathan Leake.
Scientists from Nasa say that Mars has warmed by about 0.5C
since the 1970s. This is similar to the warming experienced on Earth
over approximately the same period.
Since there is no known life on Mars it suggests rapid changes in planetary climates could be natural phenomena.
mechanism at work on Mars appears, however, to be different from that
on Earth. One of the researchers, Lori Fenton, believes variations in
radiation and temperature across the surface of the Red Planet are
generating strong winds.
a paper published in the journal Nature, she suggests that such winds
can stir up giant dust storms, trapping heat and raising the planet’s
This drawing by medical illustrator Jan van Rymsdyk is dated 1764. It was published in 1774 in William Hunter's The Anatomy of the human gravid uterus. It is in the collection of the University of Glasgow Library.
I've been reading Wendy Moore's The Knife Man, a biography of John Hunter, younger brother and assistant to William Hunter, the author of the book in which this picture appeared. In fact, the picture itself figures in one of the chapters.
As Moore explains, pregnant women on whom to perform anatomical dissections were hard to come by in the mid-eighteenth century, so William Hunter, who owned and operated an anatomical school in London with the assistance of his younger brother John, was more than ready to seize the moment when the body of a woman in her ninth month of pregnancy was deposited at his doorstep. William delegated John to perform a detailed dissection and Jan van Rymsdyk to illustrate. One of the results was the red chalk drawing above. (I was intrigued enough by Moore's description of van Rymsdyk's work to track down one of the drawings.)
It is very likely that the cadaver was obtained by grave robbers under the direction of John Hunter, who, according to Moore, turned the rather rare crime of body snatching into a thriving industry that emptied coffins throughout London in the second half of that century and the beginning of the next when the passage of the Anatomy Act of 1832 made the study of the human body possible without the need for "Resurrectionists." On the brighter side, John's dissections gave him the practice he needed to become a great surgeon -- great enough to be considered the father of modern surgery.