Essays

Trojan train: Keep D.C. a car commute away
Published on Apr 7th, 2005
0 comments   I used to fantasize about hopping on a train in Charlottesville on a Saturday morning, spending the day in Washington, and catching the train back to Charlottesville in the evening. Wouldn't...
Bad rap: What if TV's <I>good</I> for you?
Published on Mar 31st, 2005
0 comments   "Watching TV is a lot like smoking. People know all the crummy side-effects and continue to do it anyway," declares one typical anti-TV rant. "Most smokers are aware that their habit can cause...
Rejection reflection: Who wants to watch a loser?
Published on Mar 24th, 2005
0 comments   I'd be without entertainment if I lived in Ancient Rome. Watching gladiators duel to the death or lions devour Christians is too gruesome. But now my television is offering similar fare. I can...
The Whine: Calls from readers who need to get a life
Published on Mar 17th, 2005
0 comments 252"> The HooK: ESSAY- The Whine: Calls from readers who need to get a life // >> classifieds  >> personals  >> advertise  >> contacts...
When we marched for Selma -- and freedom
Published on Mar 10th, 2005
0 comments Forty years ago this month it was Wednesday, March 17, 1965 UVA students, staff, faculty, and spouses walked up the sides of the Lawn, under the arcades, to the north side of the Rotunda where they...
Forget birds: We could all die from this flu
Published on Mar 3rd, 2005
0 comments At the risk of sounding like a crazed Chicken Little, I would like to call your attention to the possibility of a pandemic of killer influenza. I know: You don't want to hear about it. Isn't it...
All about you: It could already be on file
Published on Feb 24th, 2005
0 comments As confirmed addicts of the various Crime Scene Investigation television police procedurals well know, people are constantly shedding DNA as they go through life. Microscopic amounts of skin, hair,...
Doping athletes: Unlocking the gene-ie advantage
Published on Feb 17th, 2005
0 comments I am not a sports fan. I barely know that baseball is the game that's played with a stick. (Oh, they call it a "bat?" Never mind.) I was the tallest kid in my high school, but when the basketball...
Know-nothing party: First Amendment a mystery to students
Published on Feb 10th, 2005
0 comments "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people...
Trash talkin': How Virginia gets dumped by New York
Published on Feb 3rd, 2005
0 comments Let's talk trash. Or commerce, if you're the courts. Or politics, if you're slamming your opponent. Or looming disaster, if you're a Virginian. The courts call garbage a "product in interstate and...
All for Dave: Behind the pack-n-ship scenes
Published on Jan 27th, 2005
0 comments     Dec. 16: Call me a behind-the-scenes worker for the Dave Matthews Band. Call me a roadie for Madonna. All right, I've got a temp job at a big company that ships fan material for the...
Fornication 86ed: Virginia enters the Twentieth Century
Published on Jan 20th, 2005
0 comments   When the Virginia Supreme Court ruled in the otherwise obscure case of Martin v. Ziherl on January 14, it belatedly brought the Commonwealth into the 20th century. How so? The court overturned...
Button, button: Kilgore's pushing our fears
Published on Jan 13th, 2005
0 comments 252"> The HooK: ESSAY- Button, button: Kilgore's pushing our fears BODY { scrollbar-arrow-color: white; scrollbar-base-color: black; scrollbar-face-color: "#BF0303...
Grave situation: Don't landfill the Tsunami bodies
Published on Jan 6th, 2005
0 comments   In the calculus of human misery it is impossible to grasp the cost of the tsunami that hit Southern Asia. At some point our ability to respond emotionally is overwhelmed by the numbers of dead...
Get it over with: Abolish our rights sooner, not later
Published on Dec 16th, 2004
0 comments Go ahead– overturn Roe v. Wade, take away emergency contraception, take away our birth control pills. Do it now, because I can't stand it anymore– can't stand this chipping away at every...
They hunt, we chase: Why American foxhunting survives
Published on Dec 9th, 2004
0 comments America's culture is a mix of borrowed traditions. Along with tea and textiles, early ex-patriots imported foxhunting and transformed it into a legitimate part of American history. Although it has...
'Parahumans': Do chimp/human hybrids cross the line?
Published on Dec 2nd, 2004
0 comments Esmail Zanjani, a researcher at the University of Nevada at Reno, has been able to grow mostly human livers in sheep. Zanjani achieved this by injecting into growing sheep fetuses either adult stem...
Making the leap: From writing to being a writer
Published on Nov 25th, 2004
0 comments A Hollywood agent called me 10 years ago after reading the first chapter of a novel I had been working on for 10 years before that. "I loved it!" she shrieked. "This could be very big. I work on big...
College girls: Why they outnumber boys
Published on Nov 18th, 2004
0 comments A while ago, my nephew asked me to take a look at his college admissions essay. He was a brilliant, interesting kid with superb grades and boards– a kid who in the past could've sneezed on an...
Grieving 11/2: Where are the casseroles?
Published on Nov 11th, 2004
0 comments When somebody dies, we know how to handle it. We bury the body, then go back to someone's house and take comfort in ham sandwiches and brownies. We commiserate. Neighbors, understanding what a...
Jumbo lumps: Why Geico fears Googling
Published on Nov 4th, 2004
0 comments The sale of targeted advertising is one of the few business models that actually work on the Internet. Google has been an industry leader in creating ways to display relevant unobtrusive advertising...
Dems everywhere: Or so she thought...
Published on Oct 28th, 2004
0 comments It was one of those sweet moments when I get to feel like a genius– something that's only likely to happen when someone else is obviously a dope. It's all relative. Earlier this month, I was...
Fraud-busters: 3,140 polls better than one
Published on Oct 28th, 2004
0 comments There's no such thing as a national election in the United States. This may come as a surprise to people who believe that Americans will vote for a president on November 2 in a "national" election....
Letter from Kabul: Ex-Albemarle registrar watches elections
Published on Oct 21st, 2004
0 comments (Kabul, Afghanistan– October 5, 2004) The weather has turned, and the nights are getting chilly. But the days are still sun and dust, sun and dust. Some Asian bank has just put up half a...
Gun's safety: Drawing a gun can save your life
Published on Oct 14th, 2004
0 comments People are often surprised to learn that guns are used defensively by private citizens at least three times more frequently than guns are used to commit crimes. A question I hear repeatedly is, "If...
Your bong: Basis of 'narco-terrorism'?
Published on Oct 7th, 2004
0 comments Two cheers for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), whose latest public relations effort usefully reminds us that propaganda is not simply intellectually dishonest. It's also morally repulsive...
Apple smash: Stinging good times in the holler
Published on Sep 30th, 2004
0 comments Yellow jackets– potent weapons, workers of an impatient queen hidden deep within her dark paper fortress. Where are they? Her special brood needs attention– the great pale grubs that will...
Listen up, John! Before it's too late
Published on Sep 23rd, 2004
0 comments John Kerry's campaign is an airplane with no right wing. The fear of terrorists and the anger at our country's being attacked are the forces behind George Bush's reelection. How is it possible that...
American slendor: Don't legislate our waistlines
Published on Sep 16th, 2004
0 comments "We're just too darn fat, ladies and gentleman, and we're going to do something about it," proclaimed the formerly plus-sized, multiple-chinned Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson...
Fast forward: Pushing 'send' instead of thinking
Published on Sep 9th, 2004
0 comments Here we go again: another forwarded e-mail that makes me want to bash my head against the keyboard. My Republican neighbor has sent me one of those inflammatory us-versus-them missives that ricochet...