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Media bites

• Taken out of context, from a radio advertisement:
  "... wishing you a happy, healthy, and rewarding holiday season. Some restrictions may apply..."
    — 24 December 2012

• "The idea that they left Africa at 60,000 [BCE] and ended up at Australia at 50,000 — my God, did they ever stop running!"
  — Journal Nature, 27 January 2011

• "Father Tony Walsh, imprisoned for raping boys last week" ...
  — The Guardian, 17 December 2010.

• "[Recently-resigned Taoiseach (prime minister) Bertie Ahern] said a further lodgement of £8,000 sterling to his daughters' accounts in 1996 was the result of particularly successful horse-racing bets in that year."

— The Irish Times, Thursday, 5 June 2008.

• "There is nothing quite as enigmatic as a platypus."

— Richard Gibbs, director, Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Texas. Journal Nature; article published online 7 May 2008.

• "The Hubble Space Telescope has captured stunning images of colliding galaxies, which have been released to mark the 18th anniversary of the telescope's launch."

— BBC, in a stunning abuse of the language, 26 April 2008

• "Mies and Le Corbusier designed pretty uncomfortable miniature manifestos," said Gareth Williams, curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. "That's probably why most photographs of their furniture don't include people."

— International Herald Tribune, 3 March 2008, in yet one more article about revolutionary, unusable furniture.

• "If Democrats can’t landslide the Republicans this year, they ought to just wrap up, close down, emerge in a different form."

— Ralph Nader, announcing his bid for the United States Presidency as a third-party candidate on the TV show "Meet the Press," 24 February 2008.

• "Clinton-bashing is the last shared article of faith (and last area of indisputable G.O.P. competence) that could yet unite the fractured and dispirited conservative electorate."

— Frank Rich, New York Times, "Who’s Afraid of Barack Obama?" 2 December 2007

• "The half-life of irregular verbs is proportional to the square root of their frequency."

— The Journal Nature, 10 October 2007

• "It’s time to turn the page on Washington’s conventional wisdom — that agreement must be reached before you meet, that talking to other countries is some kind of reward, and that presidents can only meet with people who will tell them what they want to hear."

— Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, according to the New York Times, 1 August 2007

• "(House speaker [Dennis]) Hastert sought to blame Democrats for leaking sexually explicit computer instant messages between [Mark] Foley and former pages from 2003."

— Forbes, 3 October 2006

• "There are very few examples of state forces winning decisive and sustainable victories against committed geurilla forces. Political solutions must be found."

— Martin Griffiths, International Herald Tribune, 30 June, 2006

• "I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed of yourself."

— Real Estate agent Harry Taylor, 61, to President George W. Bush at a Charlotte, S.C. "town hall" meeting, 6 April 2006. [Video]

• "This year, the proportion of the world population living in urban areas passed 50% for the first time."
— The Journal Nature, 4 October 2005

• "Dutch witches may deduct the cost of their training in spells, magic potions and healing against tax, a court in The Netherlands has ruled, confirming an earlier decision by the tax authority."

— Bloomberg, 28 September 2005

• "... The only exceptional thing about Americans' neglect of their fellow citizens after Katrina struck is that for once the consequences of that neglect were visible on national television." — Paul Krugman, New York Times (reprinted, International Herald Tribune, 20 September 2005.)

• "Palestinian-controlled Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on earth, with some 4,091 people per square kilometer. Gaza covers an area of 360 square kilometers."

Tehran Times, 16 August 2005

• "I have never completed his 'Ulysses.' And I've never met anyone who has, although I've met people who say that they have."

— Gerry Adams, in the New York Times, on James Joyce. 14 August 2005

• "Before the war they castigated the CIA for understating the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction; after the war they castigated the CIA for exaggerating the very same threat."

— Paul Krugman, NYT, on the pro-Bush press. July 2005

• "Antiwar activists should be ashamed of themselves: Their petty obsessions have detracted from the debate we really need...."

Christian Science Monitor, 29 June 2005

• "I did not kill my best friend. I did dismember him."
  — Robert Durst, testimony in a Texas courtroom. The state jury found him not guilty of murdering Morris Black, whom he killed in a struggle.

"... The head has never been found."

New York Times

• "What else don't we know?" asked Sen. Bob Graham of Florida, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

7 July 2003

• "The number that believes this country [U.S.] has found weapons of mass destruction [in Iraq] is 23 percent, down from 34 percent in May...."

— The Guardian (UK), 1 July 2003

• "I wouldn't say a single word to them; I would listen to what they had to say. And that's what no-one did"

— Marilyn Manson, on what he would say to the kids of Columbine High School. (From Michael Moore's film "Bowling for Columbine.")

• "When you connect the dots, you see very clearly a climate of chilled dissent and debate."
  — Anthony D. Romero, executive director, American Civil Liberties Unionn, April 2003.

• "This coalition does not target journalists...."

— Brig. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, on the killing of three journalists in Baghdad.
  — April 2003

• "I'm sorry. But the chick was in the way."

— Sgt. Eric Schrumpf, 28, U.S. army sniper, speaking of an Iraqi woman he killed.

— From the New York Times, 29 March 2003

• "Those investors that are willing to go ahead and assume the risk that the conflict will be resolved satisfactorily will in all likelihood benefit from increasing their exposure to stocks."

— John Loski, chief economist at Moody's Investors Service, on the chance to make money from war. (25 November 2002)

• "She can call herself an ambassador for Finglas if she likes."

—a spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland, when asked whether he considered Miss Ireland Ms. Lynda Duffy an ambassador for the country. Duffy has decided to compete in Nigeria despite murderous religious riots over the pageant. Finglas is an area of Dublin. (23 Nov. 2002)

"There's nothing political about American literature. Everyone can like American literature, no matter what your party."

— First lady Laura Bush. October 2002

• "We had seven years of progress toward peace in the Middle East, and they tried to blame me for trouble in the Middle East. That's just what they do. Republicans have always done that."

— Former President Bill Clinton, July 2002

• "Ireland has the second-highest per-capita rate of drinking. The only country whose people drink more is the Czech Republic. Ah, you can just tell by looking at them... a bunch of lushes."

— from an Irish radio station, some time in 2001

• "Or take Ann Coulter of the National Review: "We know who the homicidal maniacs are. We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."

— The Irish Times, November 2001

• "...the finding of a woman's body, which the gardaí are treating as suspicious."

— 2 FM Ireland. (Gardaí are the Irish police.)

Steve Edwards