Dispatches > Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead

Issue: "The rise of localism," March 12, 2011

Domain decision

A March 18 meeting of the International Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers will likely decide the fate of a proposed top-level internet domain dedicated to pornography. ICANN, which governs top-level domains like .com and .org, has been asked to decide on whether a .xxx domain would be appropriate to add to the internet. Critics say that a .xxx domain would legitimize pornography, while supporters claim it would help parents and employers to block pornography.

Women's day

The March 8 centenary of International Women's Day could bring special focus to the plight of women in the strife-torn Arab world. Women's rights activists decried Egypt's decision not to include any women on the committee charged with amending the nation's constitution.

Ash Wednesday

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Ashen foreheads mark the beginning of Lent on March 9 for those who follow the Lenten tradition. In February, Cardinal Keith O'Brien of Scotland argued that Lent could be a way to fight Europe's emerging obesity culture. But it seems unlikely many will follow O'Brien's lead in the United States. According to a Georgetown University survey of American Catholics in 2008, just 38 percent said they abstain from anything besides meat on Fridays during Lent.

The First Four

After long considering enlarging the men's Division I Basketball Tournament, the NCAA will add three more teams in March Madness this year. In 2001, the NCAA expanded the field from 64 to 65 teams, adding a play-in game. This year, by adding three more teams, the NCAA has created what it calls the First Four-a quartet of games beginning March 15 to determine the lowest seeds of the traditional 64-team bracket.

Rock ceremony

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ushers in its newest class on March 14. In addition to pop singer Neil Diamond and blues musician Dr. John, the Cleveland institution will induct shock rocker Alice Cooper-who is nowadays known nearly as much for his idiosyncratic Christian faith as his macabre stage presence. "Drinking beer is easy," Cooper told The Sunday Times. "Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that's a tough call. That's real rebellion!"

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