War is–green?! “Thousands of unexploded bombs and mines from the Gulf War are still strewn across the Kuwaiti desert. According to Charles Pilcher, a conservationist who has taught at Kuwait University for many years, the results are wonderful,” reports the Chicago-based Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (March), citing the Washington Times (January 6). “The unexploded ordnance has deterred the hunters, joy riders, and flocks of sheep that had created ‘phenomenal desertification in western Kuwait.’ Pilcher claims that in some instances the bird population, which he began studying in 1976, has increased a hundred-fold since before the war.”

“As a woman, I greet the new men’s movement with about the same enthusiasm that, as a Jew, I feel for a reunited Germany,” writes Phyllis Eckhaus in In These Times (February 8). “If these guys get together, I can’t help suspecting that they’re probably plotting to get me.

Daley II in two sentences. Leon Despres in IVI-IPO Action Bulletin (February): “Within the limits of its resources, a city government should articulate and pursue policies that lead to a full life for all residents–work opportunities, good education, personal safety, good housing, and freedom from racism….Human experience and discovery do not indicate that such goals can be furthered by a large casino, destroying libraries, or transforming side streets into cul-de-sacs.”

A lament from the spiritual mall. U. of C. religious historian Martin Marty in Context (February 15): “All serious church bodies are concerned that their traditional forms of worship–no matter how integrally connected to the message, the memory, and the theology of their group–may not reach a generation whose are shaped by supermarkets and television, where the attention span of a gnat is too long to use as a measure, sensation is needed, and aesthetic mediocrity is demanded.

“To do nothing to adapt means stultification and, we are told, dwindling congregations. To give the whole store away to match what this year’s market says the unchurched want is to have the people who know least about the faith determine most about its expression. This writer fears [a repeat ofl what happened in the 1950s in Protestant churches: they retooled for people who were casually attracted and liked big parking lots, spectacle, and the people left as easily as they came.

“For the first time In Northwestern’s history, no white male is editer-in-chief of any of the three [student] journals,” reports Lynn Weisberg in Student Lawyer (February). “Instead, the top editors are an Asian-American (Law Review); a woman (The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology); and an African-American (Journal of International Law and Business).”

The high price of store-bought Afrocentrism. Marshall Field’s new Afrocentric Shop offers a handcarved soapstone rhinoceros ($10,000), two king and queen statues ($5,000 each), and posters ($50).

Things that drive French teachers crazy. According to Quebec Update (January 31), published by the Canadian province’s Chicago office, on December 30 Quebec’s government officially declared that “stop” is a French word–thus ending the requirement that Quebec municipalities change all stop signs to read only “arret.”

Nature’s way of saying maybe these people shouldn’t have kids. Southern Illinois University physiologist Lonnie D. Russell has found that boys who drink heavily at a young age may become sterile, because alcohol injures and kills key sperm-nurturing cells. Concludes Russell, “We’ve looked at cocaine, heroin and marijuana, but ethanol’s the worst of the bunch.”

The face of reality. “Just 22 years ago, Edgewater and Uptown were 90 percent white,” reports the Network Builder (Fall). “Today, they are 44 percent white, 22 percent black, 20 percent Hispanic and 13 percent Asian.”

Thought for the year. The late Allan Bloom of the University of Chicago, according to student Christopher Nadon, “was fond of saying we should read a book like [Plato’s] Republic with the same level of intensity we bring to the owner’s manual of a new stereo and with the same expectation of good use” (U. of C. Record, January 21).

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.