Today on the list: the power of same-sex liaisons, poetry in the Bible and more.

Every day, Truthdig brings you the news items and other odds and ends that found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

We’ll update this entry with new items as Larry sends them to us, with the newest links on top. Like a Chia Pet, the list will only grow with time.

Scientists Demystify the Stradivarius ‘Secret’

It has long been suspected that the beauty of a Stradivarius violin was skin-deep, with its gleaming lacquer responsible for the instrument’s supreme, bright sound.

The Great Wall of Israel Try to imagine this: An American president visits Israel and, in a speech given close to the vast “separation wall” Israel continues to build in part through Palestinian territory, says: “Mr. Netanyahu, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for Israel and the region, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Netanyahu, open this gate! Mr. Netanyahu, tear down this wall!”

Homosexual Selection: The Power of Same-Sex Liaisons Not long ago, the news was full of reports about two male Humboldt penguins at a zoo in Germany that adopted an egg, hatched it and reared the chick together. It seems like every time you turn around, the media spotlight has fallen on another example of same-sex liaisons in the animal kingdom.

The Key to Decoding the Bible Is Understanding Its Poetry The quickest way to understand the audacity and originality of what David Rosenberg is attempting in “A Literary Bible,” the big book of his selected translations from the Hebrew Bible, is to read the introduction to his excerpt from the Book of Jeremiah.

Colleges Should Protect Humanists in Fair-Use Cases Did you see the news item that a Stanford professor had won a six-figure settlement from the James Joyce estate? That was me.

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