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Page One-ology

May I be indulged a forbidden thought?

Every now and then I wonder what future generations will make of our notions about what constitutes a Page One story. We live in an era of mind-blowing scientific discovery, virtually none of which ever makes the front page, even as every trivial twist and turn in the rococo political drama has a secure place as the lead story. Today, for example, the New York Times leads with the news that Chris Christie, who after all has been saying for some time now that he won't run for president ... won't run for president. Meanwhile, it relegated to Page 7 the news that the expansion of the universe is not merely the aftereffect of the Big Bang, but also the result of an accelerating force called dark energy. I realize that this isn't technically "new," but rather pegged to the awarding of the Nobel Prize to the discoverers of this phenomenon. Even so, the typical man or woman on the street probably has no idea about any of this, even though it speaks to the fundamental nature of the universe. Whereas the typical man or woman on the street probably knew not only that Chris Christie was not running for president, but that he definitively said he wasn't running for president at a press conference yesterday.

The Times does have a Page One "reefer" box about the prize, though, with a very cool photograph of the remnants of a supernova.

We now resume our regularly scheduled political commentary.