Britain's Poet Laureate Andrew Motion has dubbed Bob Dylan's "Visions of Johanna" the best song lyrics ever written. Citing "the concentration and surprise" of Dylan's lyrics, as well as the "rasp of his anger," Motion rhapsodized over the songwriter's use of language. Not all British poets share Motion's taste. Dannie Abse told the London Observer, "[Dylan's] writing is inferior poetry, and inferior poetry is not really poetry at all." Poet Craig Raine argued that Lorenz Hart was a better lyricist than Dylan.
In Loco Parentis Returnus
Recently amended federal confidentiality laws have prompted such schools as the University of Delaware, Indiana University, and Penn State to notify parents when students under 21 violate campus rules concerning drugs or alcohol. A student referendum on notification at the University of Illinois produced the highest turnout for a student election in 10 years: More than 80 percent of students voted against it.
All Hail Marx and Einstein
Karl Marx is the greatest thinker of the millennium, according to a BBC News Online poll. Albert Einstein placed second. Rounding out the top 10: Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, St. Thomas Aquinas, Stephen Hawking, Immanuel Kant, René Descartes, James Clerk Maxwell, and Friedrich Nietzsche.
The Lilly Endowment Inc.'s recent donation of $30 million to the American Indian College Fund is the largest private donation ever made to a Native American organization. The money will be spent on improved classrooms, labs, and libraries at tribal colleges on reservations. In July, Lilly gave $50 million to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and last year it donated $42 million to the United Negro College Fund, making it one of the largest supporters of minority education.
Journalists, Heal Thyselves
The Journal of the American Medical Association has appointed its first female editor: Dr. Catherine D. DeAngelis, a former nurse, the vice dean of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and a member of JAMA's editorial board. The Journal dismissed George Lundberg as editor in January after he published a survey of college students' sexual attitudes (sample question: Is oral sex the same as sex?) that too conveniently coincided with President Clinton's impeachment trial. Asked if she was offered guidelines about editing the journal after Lundberg's dismissal, DeAngelis told the Washington Post, "Editorial freedom is essential. I have no doubt that editorial freedom will be the byword."