But for all scientists and statisticians now know of freezing and its physiology, no one can yet predict exactly how quickly and in whom hypothermia will strike–and whether it will kill when it does. The cold remains a mystery, more prone to fell men than women, more lethal to the thin and well muscled than to those with avoirdupois, and least forgiving to the arrogant and the unaware.
As parents and citizens, we entrust our children not only to the safety of schools but also to the nurturing and cultivated environment of schools and teachers. Education is the very foundation of civilization and cannot be undermined or undersold. That we now have to somehow consider an unchecked population of firearms as part of this equation seems absolutely ludicrous and terrifying.
I recently visited some Latin American countries that mesh with the N.R.A.’s vision of the promised land, where guards with guns grace every office lobby, storefront, A.T.M., restaurant and gas station. It has not made those countries safer or saner.
Then there is the relentless urge to lean on those who’ve proved themselves more “interesting.” To explain how sex declines within marriage de Botton writes, “repudiation of lovemaking [by a married couple] may thus be likened to a mountain climber’s or a runner’s not wishing to luxuriate in the lyricism and hypnotic grandeur of a great poem, perhaps by Walt Whitman or Tennyson, just before scaling a peak or starting a marathon.” Everything is wrong here, the logic, the assumptions, the contortions to mention Whitman and Tennyson. Not even a quote, just a shout-out to ensure that we are aware of every last volume on the author’s bookshelf.
“Then I recorded ‘Space Oddity’ and made some money and spent it which everybody liked.”
In short, B&N’s scorched earth policy of the 1990s has ultimately left us with, well, scorched earth.