Chris Bram is the author of the novel Gods and Monsters.
Gore Vidal was famous for his hates: academia, presidents, whole portions of the American public and, most notably, Truman Capote. Yet he could be incredibly generous to other writer friends. He wrote beautiful, appreciative essays about Tennessee Williams and Dawn Powell.
He was a man of many facets and endless contradictions.
The LUX Dark Matter Detector is installed in the Davis Cavern of the Sanford Lab in South Dakota in March. The water tank measures 24 feet in diameter, is two stories high and will hold 71,600 gallons.
Credit Matt Kapust / AP
Businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford has pledged $70 million to the Sanford Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory. He stands next to a plaque dedicating the 4,850 foot level, where several experiments will be set up, in 2009.
Credit Steve McEnroe / AP
The entrance to the Sanford lab is through the Ross Shaft building of the old Homestake Mine in Lead, S.D.
In Lead, S.D., a steel cage drops almost a mile below ground into the Sanford Underground Laboratory. It's formerly the deepest underground gold mine in North America, and when it closed a decade ago, state officials hoped that an underground science laboratory along with on-site university classes could spur economic development.
American bomber pilot Paul W. Tibbets Jr. (center) stands with the ground crew of the bomber Enola Gay, which Tibbets flew in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Tinian island, Northern Marianas, August 1945.
In 2003, in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, President George W. Bush argued that an occupation could work because history provided an example in a non-Christian, non-white, non-Western country: the United States' occupation of Japan during World War II.
He cited the work of historian John Dower, the pre-eminent scholar of postwar Japan, who promptly published an op-ed to protest a misuse of history. His work, he said, should have led President Bush to the opposite conclusion.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. The Texas Tea Party cruises to victory. Congress actually acts to avoid a shutdown, and former Veep Dick Cheney pans the Palin pick. It's Wednesday and time for a...
VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: A mistake.
CONAN: ...edition of the Political Junkie.
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
Not using one's best efforts to win a match. Few Americans know much about the sport of badminton, but that rule will likely be the subject of a lot of discussion over the next few days. Today, badminton officials at the London Olympics disqualified eight players for tanking. Women's doubles teams from South Korea, Indonesia and China drew boos yesterday when it looked like they deliberately lost preliminary matches to engineer more congenial match-ups later in the tournament.