Reader: There are so many serious, terrible things going on in the world; how can you write about nonsense?
Me: Oh give me a ******* break. It's the summer, at least where I am.
Now that that's out of the way, a couple of random obs.:
1) I spent about 40 minutes or so this evening with a hard-copy edition of the NYT from July 1, which I happened to have bought. I don't sit down with a 'real' newspaper this way all that often, and it persuaded me of something I already believed: the experience of reading print newspapers is different, and in some ways much better, than reading them online. There's something about the print and about the pages and about not having to wait a second or two while your browser loads the particular article you want. There was quite a lot of interesting stuff in the July 1 Times, which unfortunately I don't really have time to go into, it being quite late.
2) However, I do have time to take a quick jab at GW law prof and popular blogger Jonathan Turley, who had a recent post about what he called "a Harvard study" on the impact of Fourth of July celebrations in childhood on adult political views. Turns out this is not in fact a "study released by Harvard" -- after all, universities don't release studies in their institutional capacities very often -- it's merely an academic paper (and apparently a somewhat odd one) co-authored by an assistant prof at the Kennedy School.
At the end of his post Turley opines that July 4th should be celebrated "even on [sic] Harvard Yard." Now, my impression is that no one does anything "on" that particular piece of real estate; even birds dropping their waste do it in Harvard Yard, not on it. Curious, I turned to Turley's very lengthy biography, scrolled to the end, and found that he received his undergraduate education at -- drum roll etc. -- the University of Chicago. Makes sense: they're too busy imbibing the Great Books there to worry about certain parochial and idiomatic uses of prepositions.