LASMAN: Losing power

September 1, 2011 • 1
In the past few weeks, the East Coast has experienced a sort of miniature End of Days – an earthquake that caused up to $300 million of damage from Georgia to Ontario, followed by a hurricane that claimed over 40 lives and is likely to rank as one of the costliest (if far from the »

Lasman: Lies et Veritas

April 21, 2011 • 4
At the end of the year, the temptation to pass judgment on a calendar’s worth of successes and disappointments becomes hard to resist. We feel the need to distill a year of experiences into an unambiguous truth. But as we yearn to find closure and move forward, perhaps we should resist the urge to simplify. »

Lasman: From Bieber to Al Weiwei

April 15, 2011 • 1
It’s been a bad week for artist-government relationships. First came China’s reactive detention of the artist Ai Weiwei for “economic crimes,” a euphemism for anti-regime agitation. A few days later, a proposed meeting between Justin Bieber and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fell through. The rendezvous seemed to have been poorly planned, and the reasons »

Lasman: Violent delights and violent ends

April 8, 2011 • 0
Romeo and Juliet is not about the ability of love to transcend divisions and violence. However boundary-breaking the Montague-Capulet couple seems, the lovers cut a destructive path through everyone around them, claiming innocent lives and shattering family bonds. In the end, it isn’t love that brings the feuding houses together — love lies stabbed and »

Lasman: The two faces of women in war

April 1, 2011 • 0
It’s far too early to say how Operation Odyssey Dawn will go down in history. But whether humanitarian triumph or interventionist debacle, the conflict in Libya has provided two prominent and conflicting images of women’s role in contemporary warfare. On the one side is the instrumental parts played by Secretary of State Clinton, U.N. Ambassador »

Lasman: The continuing trial

March 4, 2011 • 2
Finally. After 2,000 years of waiting for the official verdict, the Jewish people have at last been cleared of collective guilt in the death of Jesus Christ. Pope Benedict XVI’s “Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem to the Resurrection,” the latest volume of his opus “Jesus of Nazareth,” instead offers a redemptive take on »

Lasman: The future of the future

February 25, 2011 • 1
In one of my improv group’s signature games, three lined-up players — one sitting, one kneeling, one standing, all flailing arms — purport to be a single omniscient being called the Oracle. The Oracle can answer any question, past, present — or future — by speaking one word per head until it reaches a vaguely »

Lasman: Man’s best friend… for now

February 18, 2011 • 3
For most of us outside the monkey labs, Yale is a strikingly animal-free place. Growing up across the street from a horse farm, in a house occupied by dogs, snakes, turtles, hedgehogs and the occasional human, this was a significant transition for me. I missed their companionship, their silent indication of an existence larger than »

Lasman: Words, both free and fair

February 11, 2011 • 5
It may have escaped the notice of all but a grab-bag of News online commenters, but two weeks ago The Huffington Post published an article by Greg Lukanioff titled “The 12 Worst Colleges For Free Speech.” Mr. Lukanioff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, handed Yale the fifth spot on the list »

Lasman: Axis of ambivalence

February 4, 2011 • 0
Brasov does not forget its martyrs. Picturesque and cloistered by Romania’s Carpathian Mountains, the city exudes old-world charm with medieval walls and Habsburg edifices. But a closer look reveals the scars of revolution: bullet holes unpatched in the façade of the downtown Modarom building; elaborate wooden crosses emblazoned with “Our Heroes of December 1989”; gravestones »

Lasman: Fighting words

January 28, 2011 • 12
“Threats and challenges.” So began the brief portion of the President’s State of the Union that was devoted to foreign policy. The ominous phrasing speaks to our besieged mentality: an increased introversion after the international adventures of the previous administration and the economic downturn. Yet it is easy to forget, amidst such trepidation, that the »

Lasman: Hug me, it’s my inauguration

January 21, 2011 • 0
As all civics nerds will know, yesterday, Jan. 20, is an important date for the nation. Since 1937, the 20th Amendment has stipulated that Presidential inaugurations occur on that day. Then I was informed that today, Friday, marks another national observance of profound import: National Hug Day, enshrined by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office »