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See Inside May 2005

Letters

If a theme emerged from the January issue, it was health and well-being, including the valuable insights gained by researchers who have resurrected the deadliest flu in history--a plague that is still less than a human lifetime in the past. Writes Laurence Garvie of McMinnville, Ore., "I was told that at the age of two I nearly died of the 1918 influenza. In the 86 years since then I have never had the flu. I have often wondered if this early attack immunized me."

The most fertile soil for reader response proved to be the provocative article on the "myth" of self-esteem, which questioned the notion that boosting students' self-esteem improves grades and behavior. William F. Bertolette of Baton Rouge, La., also gleaned from the story "the great word 'floccinaucinihilipilification' (meaning 'the action or habit of estimating as worthless'), which also describes the attitude of so many New Orleans Saints fans." Nevertheless, we've estimated our reader comments on this article and others as anything but inutile.

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