Monthly Archives: August 2005

Mock of the Mockingbird

Copy­right 2005 Ben S. Pol­lock “[Russ A. Charif, a research biol­o­gist at Cor­nell Lab of Ornithol­ogy,] said after his talk that the ‘kent’ sounds alone were not con­clu­sive because sci­en­tists could not com­pletely rule out a blue jay mim­ic­k­ing the sound of an ivory bill. …” — The New York Times, Aug. 25, 2005. Yeah, right. […]

Short-term (newspaper) memory

Copy­right 2005 Ben S. Pol­lock Sun­day, Aug. 21, 2005. Sat­ur­day, in The Morn­ing News of North­west Arkansas the local col­umn of my old Lit­tle Rock col­league Doug Thomp­son (an earnest jour­nal­ist, sar­donic in con­ver­sa­tion) wrote glibly and at times care­lessly of Wehco Media pur­chas­ing from Com­mu­nity Pub­lish­ers the assets of the Ben­ton County Daily Record, […]

Unintentional humor

Copy­right 2005 Ben S. Pol­lock Fri­day, Aug. 19, 2005: The lat­est inno­va­tion in Inter­net adver­tis­ing is a boon to humor colum­nists. Maybe it’s not the absolute newest improve­ment but now wide­spread is a cus­tomiza­tion fac­tor: You open a news­pa­per Web site’s arti­cle on, for exam­ple, gar­den­ing, and a cou­ple of ads on the same page […]

Introduction or transition?

Copy­right 2005 Ben S. Pol­lock Wednes­day, Aug. 17, 2005. News item: Not now. “News item” is a decades-old method to pre­pare the reader for an essay or col­umn, espe­cially a humor­ous one, whose sub­ject, or just an allu­sion used in it, may be bor­der­line obscure. If it truly is obscure, we wouldn’t use it, would […]

Go, Hogs, Quickly

Copy­right 2005 Ben S. Pol­lock Sat­ur­day, Aug. 13, 2005: News item: The Razor­back foot­ball team of the Uni­ver­sity of Arkansas is end­ing a decades-old tra­di­tion of open prac­tice. Start­ing this sum­mer, the ses­sions will be closed to the pub­lic in gen­eral and the press in par­tic­u­lar. If a tree falls in the for­est and no […]

Eek! A Thing

Copy­right 2005 Ben S. Pol­lock Wednes­day, Aug. 10, 2005: It’s only taken three decades to admit I’m a West­erner. That is, I began read­ing about East­ern reli­gions in my pre-teen years. (It was the late 1960s and the Bea­t­les were into the Mahar­ishi, all reported in Time, Life and the Arkansas Gazette, received at the […]


Do you really care? Thurs­day, Aug. 4, 2005: Just to get the month rolling with a freshly laid Brick, let’s note the delay was due to fam­ily com­ing to visit the first of the month. Details such as the vis­i­tor was one brother and not a flock of kin, and that the stay was 26 […]