“The key to a man’s heart, and other parts, is pumpkin pie. Out of the 40 odors tested in the study, a mixture of lavender and pumpkin pie got the biggest rise out of men ages 18 to 64. That particular fragrance was found to increase penile blood flow by an average of 40%.”—Dr. Alan Hirsch
The letters span the romance between Nabokov and Vera Slonim, later Vera Nabokov, from their meeting in Berlin in 1923, up until just before the author’s death in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1977. Nabokov devoted most of his published work to his wife, who was also his editor and translator, and the couple rarely separated for any length of time. Nevertheless, their only son discovered more than 300 letters in his mother’s archive. She had destroyed her letters to her husband.
A selection of the letters appeared last week, in their original Russian, in the Russian magazine Snob. They are to be published in English next year.
The US was catapulted into a worldwide diplomatic crisis today, with the leaking to the Guardian and other international media of more than 250,000 classified cables from its embassies, many sent as recently as February this year. At the start of a series of daily extracts from the US embassy cables - many of which are designated “secret" – the Guardian can disclose that Arab leaders are privately urging an air strike on Iran and that US officials have been instructed to spy on the UN’s leadership.
Among scores of other disclosures that are likely to cause uproar, the cables detail:
• Grave fears in Washington and London over the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme.
• Alleged links between the Russian government and organized crime.
• Devastating criticism of the UK’s military operations in Afghanistan.
• Claims of inappropriate behaviour by a member of the British royal family.
The cables published today also reveal how the US uses its embassies as part of a global espionage network, with diplomats tasked to obtain not just information from the people they meet, but personal details, such as frequent flyer numbers, credit card details and even DNA material.
The electronic archive of embassy dispatches from around the world was allegedly downloaded by a US soldier earlier this year and passed to WikiLeaks. Assange made them available to the Guardian and four other newspapers: the New York Times, Der Spiegel, Le Monde and El País. All five plan to publish extracts from the most significant cables, but have decided neither to “dump” the entire dataset into the public domain, nor to publish names that would endanger innocent individuals. WikiLeaks says that, contrary to the state department’s fears, it also initially intends to post only limited cable extracts, and to redact identities.
Is it good for the world to worship a deity that takes sides in wars and human affairs, to appeal to our fear and to our guilt — is it good for the world?
To terrify children with the image of hell … to consider women an inferior creation. Is that good for the world?
This is what I do whether I’m sick or not. (Religion) is still the main argument.
”—Hitchens’ opening remarks in the debate with Blair. He criticized religion for blocking peace in the Middle East, perpetuating poverty by subjugating women as inferior and causing numerous conflicts including the genocide in Rwanda — a country he says “is the most Christian country in the world, and one which many of the people who committed the crimes are now hiding in the pulpit.”