Is There a Need to Bear Down on Troublesome Bears in Florida?

The bear population in Florida is increasing by leaps and bounds and so are their interactions with humans.

“Officials are worried about the sharp growth in human-bear interactions—and a vicious attack—in a state where the number of people has tripled. Can ‘bear-awareness’ keep the peace?”

Maybe the Vikings Weren’t Invincible After All

It turns out the legends were wrong about the Vikings kicking ass all the time. In fact, they got their own asses kicked as often as not:

“Forget the funeral boats burning at sea and tales of the most bloodthirsty warriors in history. In fact, you can forget pretty much everything you think you know about the Vikings — it’s all wrong. Many of the legends associated with the Norse raiders were invented by their victims whose written accounts dominated the narrative long after the Viking Age.”

Given the upper hand, the Vikings were as ruthless and brutal as can be — there’s no question about that — but in battle on equal terms, they were by no means invincible.

For instance, a recently discovered mass grave in Dorset, southern England, contains some “50 men, whose bones can be traced back to Scandinavia.” The men had been “rounded up and beheaded at some point in the 11th Century. It’s hardly the kind of scene you find in the terrifying, florid descriptions of unbeatable Norse raiders written by monks and churchmen at the time.”

Were Strunk and White Grammatical Incompetents?

“The Elements of Style” is one of the most highly esteemed books ever written on the art of writing. But is that esteem well-founded?.

Not at all, according to Geoffrey K. Pullum, head of linguistics and English language at the University of Edinburgh.

In an article entitled “50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice” he writes:

“The Elements of Style does not deserve the enormous esteem in which it is held by American college graduates. Its advice ranges from limp platitudes to inconsistent nonsense. Its enormous influence has not improved American students’ grasp of English grammar; it has significantly degraded it.”

Hogwash, you say, and point out that in the hallowed halls of writing excellence, “The Elements of Style” has long been considered a virtual blueprint for how to write properly.

All I can say is you should read the entire article.

It’s quite an eye-opener.

Apparently Philip Seymour Hoffman Was Born With No Resistance to Drug Addiction

It’s official now — it was drugs that killed Hoffman:

You’d think that with all his money, and access to the best rehab treatment it could buy, Philip Hoffman should have beaten his drug addiction hands down. But apparently in his case it wasn’t that simple. Apparently he had no resistance to drug addiction. Apparently he was born with the potential to become an incurable addict.

While many adults in the Western world have at some stage experimented with mind-altering substances — “alcohol, prescription pain killers, ADHD medication, anti-anxiety medication, and yes, even marijuana (save the ‘it’s not addictive” arguments for later, please)” — most escape serious consequences from such dabbling. That is because they were born with a resistance to addiction.

Which, unfortunately, is not the case with people like Hoffman.