Go Figure


Goals that Ronaldinho, the Brazilian soccer star, has scored for Barcelona in all competitions this year. But he took his most notorious shot of the season last week—accidentally breaking a window in the centuries-old cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain’s most famous pilgrims’ shrine, while filming a TV commercial. “I asked Ronaldinho to hit the ball as hard as he could, and he had the bad luck to hit the window,” the ad’s director told the Spanish press. “It was my fault.” Luckily, the window was a small, modern addition to the cathedral and can be replaced.


Fine that Clear Channel Communications agreed to pay last week for smutty material broadcast by ex-DJ Bubba the Love Sponge. But if the authorities are serious about fighting indecency, they may have to start on the playground. A new book, Heavy Words Lightly Thrown, by Chris Roberts, suggests nursery rhymes are drenched in sex, death and violence. For example, “Jack and Jill Went Up the Hill” is, according to Roberts, the tale of two young people losing their virginity and Jill possibly becoming pregnant. “The interesting bit is that, having successfully ‘lost his crown,’ it’s Jack who runs off rapidly, probably to tell his mates what happened,” Roberts says. Many rhymes are centuries old. Says Roberts: “These were heady topics to cope with, so why not keep it short and tell it in rhyme?”