In the news

July 26, 2010

Catching up on the news from the past couple of weeks:

Ex-Conrad: The Canadian media has been in a tizzy all week over the news that the former Canadian media mogul, Conrad Black, has been released from prison after his fraud convictions were overturned by the US Supreme Court. I gather he still faces some residual charges, but he is out on bail. Does anybody outside Canada know or care about this story? Does anybody inside Canada? It strikes me as one of those teapot-tempest stories in which newsrooms talk to themselves.

Planck map: The Planck spacecraft released its first whole-sky map a few weeks ago. Planck is measuring the fine temperature variations in the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, and its data is expected to give cosmologists amazingly detailed information about the universe. I remember hearing about the Planck experiment when I was an undergraduate, and it is wonderful to see that it is now aloft and that results are beginning to come in. Perhaps knowledgeable readers can comment on the significance of this satellite in the grand scheme of experimental cosmology.

Census rage: Canada’s Conservative government, which rarely does anything that could be construed as conservative, has made the uncharacteristically nervy decision to cancel Canada’s mandatory long-form census. Predictably, numerous government departments have erupted in outrage at the prospect of losing the data source they rely on. How will they be able to effectively manage Canadian society without the census data? Exactly.

Mangy Anglican: At a local Anglican parish a dog was given Communion.  Good grief. Osbert Parsley comments.

Gregoriana: A group of cloistered nuns from France has won a competition to find the best female singers of Gregorian chant. They have been rewarded with a record deal on Decca. It has been often remarked how incongruous it is that recordings of Gregorian chant sell so well today, given that monasticism is about as far from the Zeitgeist as one can get. I suppose most people use it as relaxing background music, but I still think it good that this music gains a hearing, however haphazard. I must say though, with all due respect and well wishes to these Benedictine sisters, that the finest female singers of Gregorian chant have already made numerous recordings. I am referring, of course, to the luminous aural phenomenon called Anonymous 4:

4 Responses to “In the news”

  1. cburrell Says:

    Hmmm. The music link seems not to be working.

    Update: Fixed.

  2. KathyB Says:

    We subscribe to the National Post over here, and it has indulged in a week-long Conrad-Black-a-thon, to the point that if we want to find out what is actually going on in the world, we need to look at the other newspapers. Not a good move for the Post.

  3. cburrell Says:

    Their excuse is that they were (or maybe still are) founded by Black. But I can’t figure out why the CBC and the Star are so entranced. Maybe they are worried that he’s going to come and get them.

  4. Francesca Says:

    They do say he is intent on revenge.

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