Dubious Denials. Cornered by the press, the scandal-scarred politician finally deigns to answer the charges against him. Listen to his language carefully, especially for signs of the overly specific denial. “On my word of honor, I never accepted cash or other favors in office” is not a blanket refutation of bribery. Maybe he was handed the money in a hotel room or while he was still a candidate. Denying a “five-year affair” is different from claiming a lifetime of marital fidelity. An advanced gambit is angrily rebutting a charge that was never made. When Richard Nixon claimed in the midst of Watergate, “I am not a crook,” he was telling a literal truth. He was charged with the abuse of power — not larceny.
larceny = the act of taking something from someone unlawfully.
Elizabeth Duncan had been gassed in California in 1962, before the moratorium on executions.
moratorium = a legally authorized postponement before some obligation must be discharged.
Brad Pitt expertly portrays trailer-park renegades who …
spurned the offer
… and seemed unfazed by reports of public displays of marital discord between …
faze = To disturb the composure of; to disconcert; to nonplus.
Moreover, Aladdin has earned “$1 billion from box-offices income, video sales and such ancillarybaubles as Princess Jasmine dresses and Genie cookie jars.” Moreover, produced as a video interactive game, Aladdin has sold over 3 million copies in 1993. Similar sales are expected for the video and interactive game version of the film, “The Lion King,” …
Animating Youth: the Disnification of Children's Culture by Henry A Giroux. @ Source
bauble = A small, showy ornament of little value; a trinket.
ancillary = relating to something that is added but is not essential.
Meanwhile, male parental investment also makes the man's naturally polygynous bent inimical to his wife's reproductive interests. His quest for a new wife could lead him to withdraw, or at least dilute, investment in his first wife's children. This reallocation of resources may on balance help his genes — but certainly not hers.
“The Moral Animal: Evolutionary Psychology and Everyday life by ROBERT WRIGHT” amazon
inimical = unfriendly, hostile.
So here is problem No. 1 with the pair-bond thesis: women are not by nature paragons of fidelity. Wanderlust is an innate part of their minds, ready to surface under propitious circumstances. Here's problem No. 2: if you think women are bad, you should see men.
Infidelity--It may be in our genes. Our Cheating Hearts By Robert Wright. @ Source
wanderlust = very strong or irresistible impulse to travel.
scabrous = rough to the touch; covered with scales or scurf; dealing with salacious or indecent material.
It was a week of visual superlatives, of images both awesome and horrifying. Astronomers said they had never seen anything like the fireworks produced when comet chunks, one of them roughly as big as an alp, crashed into the planet Jupiter. … Now such explosions have become spectator events. In theory, this rush of instantaneous sightings should be a boon to human understanding; the more we notice, the wiser we become. In practice, such cascades of images can prove deracinating. The mind is cut adrift by what the eyes provide.
deracinate = 1. To pull out by the roots; uproot. 2. To displace from one's native or accustomed environment.
Runaways. They are the refugees from a million private wars being waged across America — a ragtag army of the abused and the ignored drifting aimlessly like flotsam out of sundered families. Each year as many as 1.3 million teenagers flee home, according to the National Network of Runaway and Youth Services.
Diana's image as the innocent wronged woman in a bad marriage was tarnished. Now it has been splattered.
splatter = covered patchily.
The quickening pace and mounting numbers have reduced what often used to be, a spectacle into an almost humdrum event. Today few people in town other than Jack King, the local mortician, even know that an execution has occurred until they read about it the next day, buried on an inside page of the Huntsville Item. When a chubby killer named Richard Beavers got his lethal injection of sodium thiopental last week, the only noteworthy aspect of the event was its timing: late on the night of Easter Sunday. That might have provoked an outcry a few years ago, but a vigil for Beavers outside the penitentiary's tall brick walls drew only four candle-carrying participants. At the local Dairy Queen one block away, oblivious teenagers slurped sodas as the hour approached. “People don't give executions a second thought anymore,” said manager Irene Cassidy. “They've become the norm.”
mortician = one whose business is the management of funerals.
humdrum = Lacking variety or excitement; dull.
Potential tantrumdefused. Gilbert went quietly to his demise thereafter, although he did drop-kick his racket into the net after the final point and mutter a few Gallicepithets. But Gangji, 41, one of the top professional umpires in tennis, chose to ignore this final frisson of petulance.
Graf, Courier, Stich and Edberg may be gone, but as Wimbledon moves through its final week, Gangji and the other 359 umpires employed by the All England Lawn Tennis ＆ Croquet Club for the tournament stoically march through the draw. Underpaid and often abused by the churlish multimillionaires they judge, umpires must display the probity of a Supreme Court Justice, the acuity of a marksman and the patience of a marriage counselor.
defuse = To disorder; to make shapeless. [Obs.] —Shak.
Gallic = Pertaining to, or derived from, galls, nutgalls…;
frisson = A French word intended to convey the shiver or thrill of fright that can be strangely pleasurable.; A experience of intense excitement.
petulant = Unreasonably irritable or ill-tempered; peevish.
And indeed The Blue Kite is by far the most excoriating depiction in Chinese film of Mao's ravages. But at its heart it is about domestic dreams, about a hope for better days that flies above the characters as brightly and vulnerably as Tietou's favorite blue kite. The rhythms of this family — the ; meals and arguments, the worries about money and the sweet moments when a put-upon mom finds bliss playing with her bright child — are handsomely observed and beautifully played. In Lu, Tian found one of those perfect faces from which emotion rises spontaneously, acutely and eloquently.
maunder = To mutter; to mumble; to grumble; to speak indistinctly or disconnectedly; to talk incoherently.
Alternative rockers are notoriously mopey, but Love's husband Kurt Cobain took the attitude to a tragic extreme and killed himself with a shotgun. Months later, Love revealed the couple's horrifying original plan: to commit a double suicide following the birth of their daughter.
mope = To be dull and spiritless; to spend time doing little.
When France's stiff antismoking laws took effect in late 1992, people girded for some of the nastiest civil unrest since the storming of the Bastille. Smokers, who represent more than one-third of all Frenchmen over age 12, cried “Egalite! Liberte!” and vowed to puff on. They should have saved their breath for the next cigarette. Despite laws that severely restrict the number of public places where French smokers are allowed to puff their Gauloises, they continue to light up with impunity virtually everywhere. Designated nonsmoking areas in offices and restaurants are routinely ignored, as are curbs in public transport stations: butts account for three of the 20 tons of garbage collected daily in the Paris Metro. To date, only one citizen has been prosecuted for smoking — and he was hauled before a judge only after he ignored requests to leave a cafeteria's nonsmoking area, then threw a pitcher of water, injuring a five-year-old.
The disjuncture between law and practice may be extreme in France, but it is not unique. Around the world, legislators have followed the U.S. lead in trying to stub out tobacco by restricting smoking areas, banning or limiting cigarette ads, imposing steep taxes and issuing ominous health warnings. But with a few notable exceptions, such as in Singapore and Australia, cultural attitudes and habits have largely quashed such efforts.