Take the G-Train

The "we don't get no respect" department: This past Tuesday night, Crimson reporters were scrambling around like chickens with their heads out off trying to scoop the other heavies in what was undoubtedly the biggest story of the year: this year's commencement speaker. While five Crimeeds furiously tried to brainstorm as to who the "crowd-pleasing women" could be (that was the only tip they could manage to get). FM sat watching this debacle for a good half-hour, chortling away in our private mirth before we called our imminently dependable (and totally hush-hush) source. Within minutes, FM found out that the speaker, while neither a crowd-pleaser or a woman, was our Vice President Al Gore '69.

The only problem was, no one believed us. After a good 20 minutes of skepticism (fueled, no doubt, by a resentment that the mag had found out what the Crime could not) we got confirmation, straight from the V.P.'s office down in D.C.

So remember: it's all connections. And plastic.

Tales from the Admission Office: Inside sources over at Garden Street related this tragic story about the sorry fates of 100 would-be first years. Last Friday, the admission office was all ready to send off its hefty packages telling 1,600 some high school seniors that they were being granted the privilege of spending the next four years of their lives in Cambridge. At the last minute, those with the power to decide these things decided that a hundred of these bright-eyed teen-agers were not up to snuff, and so a hundred of those hefty packages were taken apart and replaced with a hundred envelopes, all filled with letters starting with the words "we're sorry, but..."

It you think coffee table books are the province of old ladies in crocheted mittens, check outsleeping Beauty: Memorial Photography, a fascinatingly lurid decorative tome of post-mortem photography.

In the first half of the 19th century, when the art of photography first came into being as such, it was employed almost exclusively in the service of bereaved family members of the recently deceased. Photography was an uncommon, costly and lengthy process, and theidea of being reproduced on film was completelyforeign. Therefore, cameras were first used toproduce highly stylized portraits of the dead,which were then hung in places of honor in thehomes of their living relatives.

The most compelling of these images are theones that picture the living with the dead, forexample a mother with her dead child, or a wifewith her dead husband shocking sights indeed: asternly dressed woman holding a desiccated babywith a sting of blood dripping out of its mouth,for example, or a whole family killed in some sortmass-murder, clad in their finest and with bulletwounds sloppily stitched up.

It's quite inconceivable that people hung thesethings on their walls. But they did; not onlythat, they sometimes had them made into lockets,book covers, or whatnot.Sleeping Beauty wascompiled and edited by S. Burns and released in1989, and lists for $45.

Nearer my death to thee: Cruising in the closecomfort of a prop jet into the lights of Quebecfor a bilingual spring break, FM thought all thoseyears of French had come to naught. We could havesworn we heard the pilot use the words"bombe" and "une evacuation" as we circledthe city. Silly us, we thought, those Canadiansare too busy trying to keep warm in late March toworry about bombing airports. The pilot'scharmingly accented anglais told usotherwise.

Montreal's Dourval Airport was evacuated for anhour Thursday evening while we sat on the runway,a safe distance from the avenging Mounties. Wewere entertained by a lively soprano duet byinfant twins, harmoniously accompanied by a chorusof police sirens. As we settled in the wait outthe bad guys, our experience prompted a reflectionon our luck. A week of vacation. A Fresh issue ofCosmo. Two charming traveling companions.

Our reverie was interrupted by the pilot'svoice floating over the cabin, offering us "uneopen bar" to ease our anxieties. One morepiece of luck, we were in a bomb threat in Canada.

And in Canada, even the youngest of use arelegal