Smart Talk, Feb. 18 

Lost in the Big Woods

Nature magazine has painted a bleak picture of the possibility that the ivory-billed woodpecker may still live in the Big Woods of Arkansas, even as a “recovery” plan is pursued to protect the habitat.

There's been growing skepticism about a sighting of a bird in 2005 since a $14 million effort by the federal Fish and Wildlife
Service has turned up no further confirmed sightings. Said Nature: “ … after five years of fruitless searching, hopes of saving the species have faded. ‘We don't believe a recoverable population of ivory-billed woodpeckers exists,' says Ron Rohrbaugh, a conservation biologist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, who headed the original search team.”

Looking for love in all the wrong places

Our blood ran cold when we saw this item from a lawyer-rating website called Avvo:

“Want to date a lawyer? You're not alone.” According to Avvo, “Surveys show lawyers are among the most datable professions, but meeting and having a relationship with one can be a challenge.” Avvo then proceeds to “explain common pitfalls in lawyer dating and give some simple ways to overcome them.”

But there's a ray of hope. Avvo advises that “to meet a lawyer, you need to be in a lawyer-rich location. Topping the list is Washington, D.C., where around 1 out of every 12 people is a lawyer, right behind New York, which has 1 lawyer for every 127 people.” The state with the fewest lawyers per capita, according to Avvo? Arkansas, with “only” one lawyer for every 507 people.

Honor Broyles?

Former judge and pastor Wendell Griffen, in a sermon to his New Millennium Church congregation last week, urged them not to attend a planned program last week at the Mosaic Temple Cultural Center to “honor” Frank Broyles for his legacy in integration of athletics at the University of Arkansas. Broyles was football coach when the first black player took the field for the Hogs and, as athletic director, hired Nolan Richardson as the UA's first black head basketball coach. But Griffen, citing passages from Richardson's new book, “Forty Minutes of Hell,” contended that Broyles resisted integration at UA and orchestrated Richardson's firing. Wrote Griffen, a UA and UA Law School graduate: “I refuse to stand silently by while anyone attempts to pimp Black History Month by purporting to honor someone whose history of opposing racial inclusion is so clear.”

The Broyles program was postponed last week on account of weather. It will be rescheduled, probably in March.


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