The pope denounces the “evil” of the Sicilian mafia . Benedict urged Sicilians to be “ashamed of evil, which offends God and man” and called them to bring organised crime. which “injures the civil and religious community,” into the open, reports  The Daily Telegraph .

An English conservation group offers ways to help toads survive crossing the road . Volunteer toad patrollers carry toads across the road to their breeding ponds (toads, it turns out, like to return to the same pond every year, unlike frogs).

A defense expert examines the dangers and difficulties inherent in keeping state secrets . “In the face of self-defined public interest,” he writes, “publishers who disclose legally protected information either act against that interest or, rejecting its definition, arrogate the authority to redefine the public interest.”

An Italian scholar examines the missionary method of “accommodation” in the work of the Jesuit missionary to China, Matteo Ricci. Ricci “adopted an approach remarkably similar to the one proposed by Benedict XVI today, in seeing the Gospel as “an absolute innovation, come from God” and human reason as “common to all who live under the same sky.”

A prominent book editor reflects on social class through  the changes in dust jacket author biographies from those that “leaned very heavily on the tough and colorful professions and pursuits” (like  circus roustabout, oil field roughneck, engine wiper, and short-order cook) to those that “tend to document the author’s long march through the elite institutions, garnering undergraduate and postgraduate and MFA degrees.” (Note that this is a temporary link.)

One of Mad magazine’s major cartoonists is also a long-time cartoonist for  The Moshiach Times , a family magazine produced by Chabad.

In fashion,  the bosom is back (fall styles are “chest-centric”), though psychologists say that men like curves more for casual relationships than committed ones.

Psychologists are finally studying seriously people with conflicting feelings about most things , which they call “ambivalence,” which is associated with greater maturity as well as indecision.

Articles by David Mills

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