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Take a look at this, from the front page of today's The New York Times. Kathleen was so upset by the ghoulish ring of photographers that she didn't even notice the hot-pink sheets. The hot-pink sheets excited my conspiracy-theory gland. What kind of hospital/morgue pays for hot-pink sheets? 

Below the fold is the story that made my Monday. It's about Alexandra Hai, a woman of Algerian/German background who has won the right to dance the forlana, or at any rate to pilot a Venetian gondola. The first gondoliera ever! In actual Venice! Reading the story, I savored a missed literary delight: the "Letters From Venice" that The New Yorker ought to be commissioning, at this cardinal time in the history of the Serenissima, from Donna Leon.


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