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Ojai Orange | The Column of Lasting Insignificance | Books | Wait-A-Minute

March 3, 2007
John Wilcock - March 3, 2007

 

  The column of lasting insignificance
     


also posted:



2011
November 26 2011
November 19, 2011
November 12, 2011
November 5, 2011
October 29, 2011
October 22, 2011
October 15, 2011
October 8, 2011
October 1, 2011
September 24, 2011
September 17, 2011
September 10, 2011
September 4, 2011
August 27, 2011
August 20, 2011
August 13, 2011
August 6, 2011
July 30, 2011
July 23, 2011
July 16, 2011
July 9, 2011
July 2, 2011
June 25, 2011
June 18, 2011
June 11, 2011
June 4, 2011
May 28, 2011
May 21, 2011
May 14, 2011
May 7, 2011
April 30, 2011
April 23, 2011
April 16, 2011
April 9, 2011
April 2, 2011
March 26, 2011
March 19, 2011
March 12, 2011
March 5, 2011
February 26, 2011
February 19, 2011
February 12, 2011
February 5, 2011
February 5, 2011
January 29, 2011
January 22, 2011
January 15, 2011
January 6, 2011

2010
December 25, 2010
December 18, 2010
December 11, 2010
December 4, 2010
November 27, 2010
November 20, 2010
November 13, 2010
November 6, 2010
October 30, 2010
October 23, 2010
October 16, 2010
October 9, 2010
October 2, 2010
September 25, 2010
September 18, 2010
September 11, 2010
September 4, 2010
August 28, 2010
August 21, 2010
August 14, 2010
August 7, 2010
July 31, 2010
July 24, 2010
July 17, 2010
July 10, 2010
July 3, 2010
June 26, 2010
June 19, 2010
June 12, 2010
June 5, 2010
May 29, 2010
May 22, 2010
May 15, 2010
May 8, 2010
May 1, 2010
April 24, 2010
April 17, 2010
April 10, 2010
April 3, 2010
March 27, 2010
March 20, 2010
March 13, 2010
March 6, 2010
February 27, 2010
February 20, 2010
February 13, 2010
February 6, 2010
January 30, 2010
January 23, 2010
January 16, 2010
January 9, 2010
January 2, 2010

2009
December 26, 2009
December 19, 2009
December 12, 2009
December 5, 2009
November 28, 2009
November 21, 2009
November 14, 2009
November 7, 2009
October 31, 2009
October 24, 2009
October 17, 2009
October 10, 2009
October 3, 2009
September 26, 2009
September 19, 2009
September 12, 2009
September 5, 2009
August 29, 2009
August 22, 2009
August 15, 2009
August 8, 2009
August 1, 2009
July 25, 2009
July 18, 2009
July 11, 2009
July 4, 2009
June 27, 2009
June 20, 2009
June 13, 2009
June 6, 2009
May 30, 2009
May 23, 2009
May 16, 2009
May 9, 2009
May 2, 2009
April 25, 2009
April 18, 2009
April 11, 2009
April 4, 2009
March 28, 2009
March 21, 2009
March 14, 2009
March 7, 2009
February 28, 2009
February 21, 2009
February 14, 2009
February 7, 2009
January 31, 2009
January 24, 2009
January 17, 2009
January 3, 2009

2008
December 27, 2008
December 20, 2008
December 13, 2008
December 6, 2008
November 29, 2008
November 22, 2008
November 15, 2008
November 8, 2008
November 5, 2008
November 1, 2008
October 25, 2008
October 18, 2008
October 11, 2008
October 4, 2008
September 27, 2008
September 20, 2008
September 13, 2008
September 6, 2008
August 30, 2008
August 23, 2008
August 16, 2008
August 9, 2008
August 2, 2008
July 26, 2008
July 19, 2008
July 12, 2008
July 5, 2008
June 28, 2008
June 21, 2008
June 14, 2008
June 7, 2008
May 31, 2008
May 24, 2008
May 17, 2008
May 10, 2008
May 3, 2008
April 26, 2008
April 19, 2008
April 12, 2008
April 5, 2008
March 29, 2008
March 22, 2008
March 15, 2008
March 8, 2008
March 1, 2008
February 23, 2008
February 16, 2008
February 9, 2008
February 2, 2008
January 26, 2008
January 19, 2008
January 12, 2008
January 5, 2008

2007
December 29, 2007
December 22, 2007
December 15, 2007
December 8, 2007
December 1, 2007
November 24, 2007
November 17, 2007
November 10, 2007
November 3, 2007
October 27, 2007
October 20, 2007
October 13, 2007
October 6, 2007
September 29, 2007
September 22, 2007
September 15, 2007
September 8, 2007
September 1, 2007
August 25, 2007
August 18, 2007
August 11, 2007
August 4, 2007
July 28, 2007
July 21, 2007
July 14, 2007
July 7, 2007
June 30, 2007
June 23, 2007
June 16, 2007
June 9, 2007
June 2, 2007
May 19, 2007
May 12, 2007
May 5, 2007
April 28, 2007
April 21, 2007
April 14, 2007
April 7, 2007
March 31, 2007
March 24, 2007
March 17, 2007
March 10, 2007
March 3, 2007
February 24, 2007
February 17, 2007
February 10, 2007
February 3, 2007
January 20, 2007
January 13, 2007
January 6, 2007

2006
December 30, 2006
December 23, 2006
December 16, 2006
December 9, 2006
December 2, 2006
November 25, 2006
November 18, 2006
November 11, 2006
November 4, 2006
October 28, 2006
October 21, 2006
October 14, 2006
October 7, 2006
September 30, 2006
September 23, 2006
September 16, 2006
September 9, 2006
September 2, 2006
August 26, 2006
August 19, 2006
August 12, 2006
August 5, 2006
July 29, 2006
July 22, 2006
July 15, 2006

 

 


March 3, 2007

POOR LITTLE MONGOLIA. Sandwiched between two rapacious neighbors—Russia to the north, China in the south—its unease is understandable. Until its independence in 1921, the country had been ruled by China for two centuries, then it fell under Russia’s control. “Now”, says the Economist, “with the Soviets gone, many Mongolians watch China’s growing economic might with concern”.  The impoverished country poured millions of dollars into last year’s 800th anniversary of the way its national hero, Genghis Khan (1167-1227), unified the Mongol tribes into a single state which became the biggest empire the world has ever known, stretching from Beijing to the Balkans. But because Genghis’ grandson, Kublai Khan, founded China’s Yuan dynasty in the next century, the Chinese claim him as “an honorary Chinese emperor” and even the new Genghis Khan theme park is being run by Chinese businessmen.

FIVE KILOMETRES under the Arctic Ocean is too deep for divers to survive but this summer two specially designed robots will explore an area that scientists say might harbor exotic life forms because of the heat and nutrients that just-discovered hydrothermal vents may provide. “(But) there’s always the potential that you’ll drop the thing in a hole in the ice, wave goodbye and it will never come back” is the pessimistic prediction of the University of Maryland’s David Akin.

WHEN TONY BLAIR apologized for the slave trade (on the 200th anniversary of the 1807 Slave Trade Abolition Bill) “it is today’s slave trade, not that of 1807, that he should be apologizing for” says the Spectator. Today’s victims of human trafficking work in bordellos rather than fields and are sold in airports (for up to $15,000 each) rather than the Caribbean, the mag charges. The UN estimates that there are more than 11 million slaves today, more than at any other time in human history. The Spectator says that in Britain alone there are about 5,000 foreign prostitutes —four times more than their British-born counterparts. Demonstrations have recently taken place outside the Birmingham firm of Hiatt & Co which once made “nigger collars” for the slave trade and now makes shackles for Guantanamo.

Dennis M. Hope, who claims to be the owner of the moon because although signatories to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty prescribed that no country should own outer space it did not mention individuals, has been selling Moon Land Ownership certificates for $19.99 per acre.  The price has now been increased to $30 per acre including tax. Hope has written to 210 governments inviting them to establish relations with his lunar government.

A SWISS COMPANY is seeking distributors for LifeStraw, a plastic tube containing filters that enable the user to drink polluted water in safety. Costing about $3, each LifeStraw can filter about a month’s daily drinking water and has up to now been distributed only by charitable agencies.

“Classes in (Construction Spanish) have sprouted up all over America...classes designed to teach contractors, supervisors, and other bosses how to speak to their Hispanic workers… But wouldn’t it be better for all concerned, if the workers learned ‘hard hat, forklift’ and ‘nail gun’? …It was not too long ago that immigrants thought English was something they had to learn. They did not expect their employers or supervisors to take Survival Polish or Survival Serbian; they saw to it that they aquired some survival English” Jay Nordlinger in the National Review

IT SURELY MUST be a coincidence that the leftwing Nation and the rightwing National Review have booked the same week for their respective Alaska Cruises, the former beginning in Seattle on July 28, and the latter the day after. On July 31, both schedules show them to be in Glacier Bay which presumably is big enough for them not to even catch sight of each other.

Throughout history, narrow waists have been the indisputable hallmark of health and fertility in women was the conclusion of a group of University of Texas researchers whose study covering three centuries is reported in Proceedings of the Royal Society. About Tutankhamen’s aunt. Nefertiti (1372-1350 BC) an early scribe wrote “The buttocks are full, but her waist is narrow, the one for whom the sun shines”.

THE GROWING GAP between rich and poor, due partly to the expense of a college education, is turning America from a classless to a class-divided society writes Jeff Madrick in the Nation, who claims that today “one’s birth largely determines one’s future”. Not so long ago only 20% of one’s future was determined by the father’s Income but now 60% would be nearer the mark. “Both Republicans and Democrats (have been) party to what amounted to a sharp reversal of the progressive history in America” Madrick claims, “in which government since 1900 has been an active constructive force to help people adapt to changing and difficult economic circumstances…a college degree is not a guarantee of a middle-class life, but it has become pretty close to a necessity..(and) going to college depends on who your parents are”.

THE WILCOCK WEB:  An archive of thousands of UFO sighting reports is being compiled by the French national Space Studies Centre to place on its website….Virgin began taking reservations for its $200,000, three-hour space flights scheduled to begin in 2009….”Natives wonderful, send ketchup” was one of winners in the New Scientist’s contest to imagine short text messages sent home by aliens who have just discovered our planet….Seeking to promote scientific accuracy, Sense about Science, a UK charity, has issued a leaflet warning celebrities not to use their influential status to peddle misleading information….New green nylon shoes from Electrolux contain tiny vacuum  cleaners which suck up the dust as you walk…..The FDA has approved Pfizer’s new drug Sientrol which is added to a dog’s food and reduces fat absorption…Banks may soon start asking customers to use a new smart pen that reads the fingerprint of the user…..”There’s no such thing as good pornography” said Vincent Canby. “If it’s good it isn’t pornography”…..Using the newly-hyped nano-technology, Kraft is developing a colorless, tasteless drink that can be zapped at home with a special micro-wave to create almost any drink you desire….Talking dolls ($74) with a vocabulary of more than 1,000 words--more than most gang members--are a big hit in Japan, programmed by their owners to match their daily schedules….You can probably guess what this foreign language sign says in one country’s airlines: Schwimmweste unter dem sitz…..Star Syringe, whose interior self-destructs after a single use,  is said to be mainly responsible for halving Uganda’s AIDS rates since 2003….After talking about it for more than half a century, New York is finally ready to build the Second Avenue Subway…”Those who want to eat and slurp during a show should go to a supper club…why can’t Americans stop eating for two hours?” wrote critic John Heilpern, referring to the decision by 15 Broadway theaters to allow eating and drinking during performances….Claiming to have invented the omnipresent New York custom of Sunday brunch in the 1980s, delicatessen owner Barney Greengrass explains that it was “a kind of Jewish alternative to church for families with nothing to do on Sunday mornings”….Time is an herb that cures all diseases—-Benjamin Franklin ( 1706-90)

FEBRUARY 24/07

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