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

March 24, 2007
John Wilcock - March 24, 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 24, 2007

THE LAUNCH DATE of the final saga, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is still four months away but Amazon.co.uk has already booked 100,000 pre-orders at $15 apiece and in the U.S. Amazon’s pre-orders for the book are 54% higher than for the last one. Competition among booksellers is so fierce that most cut prices so low (to keep their customers) that very few expect to make money on the book.

      Meanwhile, after six years as Harry Potter, 17-year-old Daniel Radcliffe, finding new fame on the West End stage, is unsurprisingly mobbed everywhere he goes. In Manhattan one girl tried to climb through his limousine window, another held up a banner reading ‘Mrs Radcliffe is Here’—to the amusement of his companion, his mother the real Mrs Radcliffe. Recalling his first year in the HP role when he was only 11, he found a girl in his hotel room wearing only a towel.

Because modern varieties of rice have doubled the yield, traditional species  are in danger of becoming extinct, warn genetic scientists in Thailand where the seeds of 24,000 varieties sit in –10C refrigerated rooms at the National Rice Seeds Storage Laboratory for Genetic Resources. In charge here is Surapong Pransilapa who says preservation is imperative because certain rice breeds may have as yet undiscovered medical value and it may be possible to transfer those traits to more commercial varieties. For jnstance, he says, “we have never found that eating too much rice causes disease, not like some meats or vegetables. ”Thailand is the world’s biggest exporter of rice (7.54 million tons in 2005) but whereas they once grew 100 different kinds that number is now down to 20 or 30.

RIGHT ABOUT NOW, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development will resume discussions on why and how British authorities decided to drop their investigation into the alleged bribery of Saudi Arabian princes over contracts with British firms. More than $3.5 million and a year of inquiries had gone into the investigation which was coincidentally dropped just at the time when the Saudis had second thoughts about their $10 billion order for British aircraft.

A GIANT 2-FOOT FIGLEAF to cover Michelangelo’s David statue when it was lent to London for a show in the 1850s will feature in the Barbican Arts Centre’s exhibition Seduced: Art and Sex from Antiquity Till Now later this year. The show is so graphic that viewers under 18 will be barred. It includes a painting by Picasso,  La douleur (scène èrotique) owned by the Metropolitan Museum which refuses to display it.

WATCHING ITS HUGE PROFITS decline, Big Pharma (Pfizer, Novartis, GSDK & Merck)has been bringing pressure on the Indian government to crack down on that country’s suppliers of generic drugs. Indian pharmaceutical companies claim that when a patent expires, the drug is open to copying but with veiled threats via the World Trade Organization, PhRMA insists that the expensive clinical trials that approved the drugs in the first place must be repeated, thus hugely inflating costs for what in essence is a copy. The issue is termed “data protection” and what form it should take has been debated by the Indian parliament since mid-2006. Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) alone provides treatment to more than 80.000 AIDS cases in 30 countries, sourcing its generic drugs from India and thus bringing treatment costs down from $1,000 annually per patient to $130.

A touch of “the celebrity’s self- delight” can be seen in the faces of Tony Blair and his Tory opponent David Blair charges Times columnist George Walden,  who suggests that it would be nicer if politicians smiled only when there was something to smile about. Such indiscriminate smiles, he writes, are usually conferred only on  “children, the educationally backward or the clinically insane”.

CHINESE INFLUX REVIVES COLONIAL FEARS was the heading on a Guardian Weekly story about how the “foreign plunder” of African countries such as Zambia is arousing hostility. For every construction company boss claiming that the Chinese work harder, is some critic saying there are too many of them. “If you go to the market you find Chinese selling cabbages and bean sprouts. What is the point of letting them in to do that?” asks parliamentarian Guy Scott. “There’s a lot of Chinese here doing construction. Zambians can do that. The Chinese are undercutting the local firms. Our textile factories can’t compete with cheap Chinese imports subsidized by a foreign government”.

AN OXFORD NEURO SCIENTIST says teenagers have different sleep patterns to adults and might perform better if they were allowed to start school later. “It’s cruel to impose a cultural pattern on teenagers that makes them underachieve and then to dismiss them as being lazy” avers Professor Russell Foster. “Most school regimes force teenagers to function at a time that is sub-optimal”.

THE WILCOCK WEB: If it costs more than one cent to make one cent coins and we reportedly need 800 billion more each year, why don’t they just stop making them instead of the usual bureaucratic nonsense that requires “permission” to phase them out?…..The original title of Leonard Bernstein’s musical West Side Story was East Side Story”…..Of the average eight soft drinks the Chinese imbibe each year, only one is not a Coca Cola product ….. Rupert Murdoch gave his six kids a million dollars worth of shares each…..Leonardo DiCaprio, who knew Tim Leary, is said to be considering the part of the LSD pitchman in a projected movie about his life…. The words hit/boom/hot meaning something fashionable are listed as the latest examples of “Tinglish” by Bangkok’s Guru Magazine which says that X (meaning sexy) and O (meaning everything’s fine) have also been added to Thai slang……Due in May: a laudatory bio of Richard Nixon by accused embezzler and newspaper magnate Conrad Black….“Since helium is lighter than air, does a helium tank get lighter or heavier as you empty it?” was the question that a reader asked Dr Science in Funny Times  which responded that the heaviness that was removed was sold to record companies “to give substance to popular music”…..The wise and brave dares own that he was wrong—-Benjamin Franklin (1706-90)

MARCH 17/07

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