July 22, 2006
BY A REPORTER whether he was ever shocked by anything that happened
on his show, Jerry Springer said "No, I don't think you
can be a grown-up in today's world and be shocked by anything what's
shocking any more? You can't really say that anything you've seen on
our show hasn't really happened in real life to someone, somewhere".
CONGRESS AWARDED it's highest civilian honor to Tony Blaira staunch and steadfast allyback in May 2003, but the
British prime minister has never bothered to collect it. Many people
believe, suggests the Guardian, that he won't bother to do so until
he's left office because there is so much opposition in Britain to his "lapdog" stance towards Bush.
IN A DISTINCTLY non-scientific study, Swedish researcher Britt-May
Wikström called together a group of 20 women for weekly immersion
in and discussion of the art of Chagall, Kandinsky, Magritte and Matisse.
A similar group met weekly to discuss current events. When the experiment
was over, Wikstrõm claims, the women in the art group were markedly
more likely to describe themselves as happy, peaceful and satisfied
and showed significant decreases in fatigue and blood pressure.
THE UNSEEN FLAW IN GLOBALIZATION writes economist Barry C.
Lynn is that total reliance on a single source for supplies can
be a catastrophe if power and transportation systems are disrupted.
When an earthquake hit Taiwan, for example, within days factories were
closing in California and Texas, assembly lines were being shut down
and workers laid off. In his book, End of the Line: The Rise and Coming
Fall of the Global Corporation, Lynn calls for more aggressive use of
antitrust power to ensuresays The American Prospectthat
no global firm controls more than a quarter of any American market (or)to
protect our supply.
GOVERNMENT IS FOR SLAVES; free men govern themselves declared the 19th century anarchist Albert Parsons who told a
congress of revolutionaries (in 1881) that voting was an invention
of the bourgeoisie to fool the voters. Parsons story is
outlined in a new book, Death in the Haymarket (Pantheon) by
labor historian James Green, which recounts the bomb-throwing incident
in Chicagos Haymarket in May 1886 after which Parsons and three
other anarchists were hanged. Ahead of her time. Parsons wife
suggested that tramps who were thinking of drowning themselves should
become suicide bombers instead.
ITS NOT LIKE THE 60S, when people felt a need to
get out and protest en masse declares Camille Paglia. The fact
that people are in constant touch and agreement with each other through
the internet, vehemently denouncing the war, doesnt seem to result
in collective action. You wonder whether technology isnt
in some way sapping energy from overt political action
THE SHORT-TERM PROSPECTS for ethanol are beginning to look less
rosy than at first appeared. First of all, writes former Senator Tom
Daschle, barely 600 of the nations 180,000 retail gas stations
have pumps able to dispense E85 (the 85/15% gas/ethanol blend) due to
the major oil companies prohibiting their installation and other barriers
also existsuch as Wall Streets timidity. Daschles essay,
part of a 32-page After Oil section in The American Prospect,
was optimistic about the prospects for American farmers providing the
necessary biomass for ethanol production, but another writer in the
section predicted gloomily that the industry would eventually be monopolized
by such giant corporations as Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill. In
1999, reported Successful Farming magazine, farmers owned all
new ethanol plants, but by this year they owned just 19% of the
1.7 billion gallons that will flow from 29 new plants.
A CHEAPER ALTERNATIVE to communications satellites will be the new
high-tech airship with solar-powered electric motor, now being tested
by Atlantas Sanswire Networks reports Scientific American.
Because the air is so thin at 20kms above the earth, the whale-shaped stratelite will be able to remain in geostationary orbit,
providing Wi-Fi based voice, video and satellite services across a footprint
240-kms in diameter.
THE WILCOCK WEB: Whats reported as an E-poll survey
of 1,171 viewers discovered that more than twice as many were
disturbed by televisions violence and sexual content than by nudity
Londons Daily Mail reports that 75% of the worlds
population has never made a phone call
do bloggers have? asked columnist Tom Shales in TelevisionWeek Why plenty! They have grudges, biases, prejudices, naked ambition,
a yearning to be famous and, of course, a computer to access the internet
and assemble the mob for lynchings.
black boxescockpit voice recordersare to be upgraded so
that even when the planes electrical systems fail they will be
able to tape ten more minutes of whatever disaster is in progress
much of the useful methane gas from rotting garbage dumps is burned
off and wasted says New Scientist reporting on a new method of
extracting the gas which is expected to provide billions of units of
It is our peculiar duty to love even those who wrong