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

March 31, 2007
John Wilcock - March 31, 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 31, 2007

THE GROWING SCANDAL in England over the manipulation of voters on telephone calls to television shows may spread to other countries. It’s long been known that some shows make more money from gullible viewers phoning in than they do from advertising, and now there are indications that some encourage suckers to vote long after the winners have already been picked. Qualifying questions are made deliberately simple to encourage more income-producing toll-rate calls (split between the shows and the phone companies) and London’s ITV channel reports getting up to 6,000 calls per minute. In Budapest a company called Telemedia InteractTV trains comely ladies in different languages how to coax more calls from naïve viewers of live game shows—usually the same show—that goes out to 40 different countries.

IT WAS 75 YEARS AGO when Alice Liddell Hargreaves visited Columbia University to celebrate the centenary of Lewis Carroll’s birthday. When the Lewis Carroll Society of North America meets there on April 14, it will see Dennis Potter’s 1985 movie, Dreamchild, about that visit by Carroll’s real-life Alice.

‘ENERGY BALANCE’ IS the term used to define the ratio between the energy expended and the energy gained when manufacturing ethanol. Made with corn, for example, the energy balance is 1.3, meaning that the ethanol yields 30% more energy than was needed to produce it. For ethanol made with sugar cane in Brazil, the energy balance is 8.3, so in a sensible world the U.S. would benefit both parties by buying Cuba’s surplus sugar crop. Why does it prefer to use corn, a valuable food crop that could help the Third World? Well, America’s corn growers bribing a few congressmen could have something to do with it.

    At any rate, reports the Economist, now there’s a new player in the game: ethanol, made from trees, grasses and other types of biomass containing lots of cellulose. With “treethanol”, the energy balance can reach 16.1, once scientists have solved the job of breaking down the cellulose more efficiently. New Zealand’s research institutes hopes to solve this problem soon, thus making itself self-sufficient in energy.

SEED MONEY FROM Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince has enabled the country’s Kalima Foundation to buy, translate and distribute foreign books “to lift the country culturally” says Publishing News. They plan to translate 500 books into Arabic within the next two or three years. “It is time that someone takes a brave step into the Arab world and gives them what they deserve” says Kalima’s Karim Nagy. (Karima  means word).

THERE WILL SOON be only a handful of ports in the world large enough to handle the oversized new tankers known as Panamax (too big for the Panama Canal). Some are already capable of carrying 11,000 20-ft containers (a train carrying that load would be 44 miles long) and shipping companies are talking of cutting their costs further by building tankers up to 70% bigger.

India’s  top BUSINESS GROUP, the Reliance company with 49 stores, will join with that country’s biggest private phone service, Bharti Enterprises, to compete for customers in a big way by opening 4,000 stores in the next four years. “We will be formidable competition (to WalMart) in India” promises Reliance Retail’s operations chief Raghu Pillai. The retail battle, aimed at the country’s increasingly affluent middle class of 300 million shoppers, has been described by observers as “the great India retail gold rush”.

For Brooklyn native Rudy Giuliani and enthusiastic transplant Hillary Clinton, the question is this: Is their association with New York something to brag about in campaign stops across the country or will they choose to campaign simply as rootless national figures, products of a generic political/celebrity culture?…they should run on the strength of New York rather than running away from New York—editorial in The New York Observer. 

THE INCREASING AVAILABILITY of information on the internet is prompting donors to charities to ask more questions on how their money is being spent according to CFO magazine. “There’s almost no oversight, the sector is regulated as if it were a bunch of kids selling lemonade” comments Trent Stamp, president of Charity Navigator, an online watchdog. The sums are huge: Americans are said to have given $260 billion to one million charities in 2005, but in many cases the percentage spent on overhead and fund-raising seems disproportionate and raises questions. Patrick Rooney, director of research at the Center on Philanthropy, suggests that many charities “are deliberately manipulating the numbers”.

THE WIDE DISTRIBUTION in Europeof a book, The Atlas of Creation, demonstrates that Muslims also are not immune to whacky theories.  The 800-page, colorfully illustrated Islam text is by Harun Yahya, a Turkish creationist, who argues that Darwin’s theory of evolution “is responsible for all the evil in the world, including international terrorism”.

THE WILCOCK WEB: Being rude to waiters is the most likely way to ensure no second date takes place according to a survey by the match-making service Just Lunch, which rates it even ahead of blowing one’s nose at the table….….“We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us” says Andrew Boyd “But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect that there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong”….Aging customers at Kaiser’s Senioren Supermarket in Berlin can sit down in its trolleys, which are equipped with magnifying glasses. As they shop at the talking fruit and veggie stands….. Britain’s biggest liquor company, Diageo, plans to build in Scotland its first major malt whisky distillery in 100 years “to meet soaring demand from Indian and Chinese consumers”… Humor is the shortest distance between two points  said Victor Borge …. It is illegal to lasso a fish in Tennessee or to get one drunk in Oklahoma ….A Slovenian named Marin Strel, 52, is attempting to swim the entire length (3,900 miles) of the Amazon River…. Xerox is developing a re-usable paper on which markings disappear after 24 hours…..His voice deepening with age, the most prominent of The Three Tenors, Placido Domingo, 66, has become a baritone …. An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics—Plutarch (46-120AD)

MARCH 24/07

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