April 15, 2010 |
FOR NOW, I'll leave it to others to speculate about the implications of Justice John Paul Stevens' retirement from the Supreme Court. I'm too focused on religion, wondering what's next for the WASPs. As pointed out by Adam Liptak in the New York Times, the court is about to lose its sole remaining representative of America's largest religion, Protestantism. Six Catholics and two Jews currently join Stevens on the bench. Among them are an African-American (Clarence Thomas), two Italian-Americans (Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia)
August 14, 1988 |
A swarm of wasps descended on a playground yesterday for the second time in a week, and Bordentown police closed the area and used a bullhorn to warn nearby residents to keep their children away. No one was reported stung. Sgt. Frederick Brown said neighbors called police shortly before 8:30 a.m. to report that bees had invaded the playground on Second Street near Mary Street. When officers arrived to investigate, they found more than 1,000 narrow- waisted, dark brown insects buzzing throughout the 100-square-feet playground area that houses swings and other equipment.
April 26, 1987 |
Near the beginning of The Middle Ages, playwright A. R. Gurney stipulates the playing of the hymn "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God. " When E. Digby Baltzell read the play, mention of the venerable Protestant hymn brought to mind an image from his youth. "I can just see 400 kids in St. Paul's School, in that beautiful English chapel, singing that hymn," Baltzell said. Perhaps Gurney, too, saw those youthful singers in his mind's eye while he was writing The Middle Ages, which opens Wednesday in a Philadelphia Drama Guild production at the Annenberg Center.
September 13, 1992 |
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts are using a parasitic wasp to help control the spread of Lyme disease. Scientists said they had infected deer ticks for the first time with a tiny, parasitic wasp. The work on islands off the Massachusetts coast promises a natural, self-perpetuating way to help combat the potentially crippling disease, which afflicts at least 9,300 people around the country. People develop Lyme disease from the bite of deer ticks, which feed on human blood.
August 4, 1988 |
Thomas Reinke of Upper Providence was puzzled by all the little holes in a section of his front lawn. When he noticed that the holes had dwellers, he knew he had a problem. "I didn't know what to make of it, at first," he said. "Especially after I counted about 50 holes with neat little piles of dirt around them when I went out to mow the lawn. I discovered soon enough that the holes were homes of bees. " Now, he says, he's in something of a quandary. "I don't want to take the chance of mowing the lawn, because that might agitate them," Reinke said.
September 21, 1990 |
If you've ever looked at George Bush and wondered what kind of subculture could produce a man who prefers the nickname Poppy, the movie "Metropolitan" might provide a few answers. It's a small-scale comedy that examines a hive of young WASPs in one of their natural settings - Manhattan's Park Avenue. They are an endangered species, still clinging to obsolete notions of class, lineage and status in a world that is no longer paying attention. Their dwindling circle of pedigreed friends is so small that some of the debutantes have a hard time finding acceptable dates.
January 26, 1989 |
They wear pastels. They can't dance. They play golf. They definitely have no sense of rhythm. They're silly and selfish and spoiled. They're WASPs, the latest discovery in the movies' non-stop search for idiots and villains. It has been coming a long time, but in the wake of the big round of year- end film releases, the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant as cold, repressed fool has become so prevalent as to appear to be a cliche. But those depictions aren't likely to disappear anytime soon: they are too safe and convenient a target for filmmakers to give up on them.
July 24, 1991 |
Beneath the merciless sun, the street was deserted and quiet. Real quiet. From behind windows and doors, faces peered cautiously into the heat. It was high noon in Tinicum, and the residents were waiting, waiting for a guy who could take on the ruthless villains who had been terrorizing the neighborhood, a guy who could run them out of town, cut them down in cold blood. Instead of Gary Cooper, they got Township Commissioner Tom Giancristoforo. Instead of vowing to bring in the U.S. marshals to help clean up the town, he mentioned bringing in a consultant.
August 31, 1995 |
"They're coming after people," said Stanley Lane, a Moorestown allergist who has treated seven people in the last two weeks for bad reactions. "They're very angry. They're vicious. " As the last gorgeous days of summer wind down, the heat wave may be gone, but all of a sudden the wasps are everywhere. They're fiercer than ever - the drought has them in a foul mood - and they're looking for any moisture they can find. Water your lawn? Expect winged, stinging company. Sweat in the sun?
August 15, 1988 |
It won't make a good horror movie, after all. But wasps continued to disrupt life yesterday in a Bordentown neighborhood. Sgt. Frederick Brown of the Bordentown Police Department said things were quieter at a playground that had been closed Saturday after being overrun by a swarm of more than 1,000 of the insects. The playground was reopened yesterday. An unusually large number of wasps remained yesterday morning, but not as many as were there the day before. Nevertheless, parents in the immediate area continued to keep their children indoors during the morning.