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

August 18, 2007
John Wilcock - August 18, 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

 

 


August 18 , 2007

WITH BURNING MAN LESS than three weeks away, some purists are getting worried. Could this be the year that dreaded commercialism marks the beginning of the end? For the first time, the annual late-August event is going to allow companies to exhibit their products, albeit without displaying their names. “People profit greatly from an environment where they’re not being huckstered all the time” founder Larry Harvey told Business 2.0 magazine. Theme for this year’s happening, the 21st, is The Green Man and what Harvey calls “Disneyland inside out” is bringing in green-energy companies to demonstrate their wares sans logos and marketing material. (In the past even participants arriving in U-Haul trucks have been asked to cover the branding). Despite gate entry fees of $400 from the 40,000 attending the Black Rock site in the Nevada desert, Burning Man itself barely breaks even after forking out $800,000 for security, toilet facilities, ice, coffee, lighting and the $4-per-day per person “rent’ charged by the Bureau of Land Management for use of the desert.

TRYING TO DECIPHER  the text of most closed-captioning is “like no other experience you will have…I wonder if (the texters) know how entertaining their work can be” writes Jim McKairnes in Television Week. Apart from the clueless misspellings--chaftize, oozy, blind-blowing and Sir Yea (for Syria)—he notes how often that the text is missing in its entirety “at crucial points in story-telling.”

WHAT’S NASA’s POLICY about sex in space? Well, actually there isn’t one. “It’s a sensitive and delicate issue” says NASA’s chief health and medical officer Richard Williams. “It’s pretty much left up to individual judgment as to what’s prudent and appropriate.” However, now that future missions might last a year or more it may be necessary to offer some guidance, not only about sex, but how to cope with an injured astronaut with, say, a burst appendix or a broken leg—even a death on board. But any rules will have to be adaptable. “The more specific you are about these things” says Williams, “the less flexibility you end up with”.

THE FRENCH GAME of petanque ( a variation of boules in which the player stands still while making the shot) has gotten so unruly that some of its 7,000 clubs have been suspended after losing teams threatened referees and began throwing balls at the losers. Spectators behave like football hooligans, charges Le Parisien, which attributes the decline to petanque becoming a TV spectator sport and the injection of money by greedy sponsors.

EXPERIMENTING WITH RATS, a neuroscientist at New York University claims that the drug UO126 can be applied selectively to block a specific memory. “Only those memories that are activated are vulnerable” says Joseph LeDoux, explaining that it could be possible to reduce the traumatic impact of people’s memories without “erasing their memory bank”.

“What exactly is so ‘Christian’ about these multimillionaire Republican televangelists who plainly look upon their flock as so many fat sheep to be fleeced?…Contributions are routinely misused to purchase enormous luxury estates, private jets, antique collections, lavish vacations in Las Vegas and other worldly resorts, rather than to propagate the gospel in Asia or to relieve suffering in Africa as advertised. Indeed, very little of their reaping reaches the mouths of the hungry”—Joe Conason in the New York Observer

THE WORLD’S LONGEST BEACH, at Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, sees no swimmers because Islamic authorities are in charge and in Muslim countries people are not seen unclothed in public. “I’ve seen beaches in Brazil, Spain and Thailand” explained one visitor, Syed Ahmed Khair, a merchant navy officer, ”but in terms of beauty this is the best. But Bangladesh is a conservative country”.

THANKS TO HOLLYWOOD and television, everyone in the English-speaking world is familiar with the implications of being tagged Lord and Lady says Andrew Bulpin. And for a mere $350 or so you, too, could add that distinction to your otherwise drab and unpretentious name. But that’s not all. You could be a Earl, a Viscount or even a Duchess. ”With a title in front of your name you will sense a difference in people’s attitudes” Bulpin says, “and for a career, it’s a real door opener. Check out Elitetitles.com.

SHOPPERS WHO DRIVE to Oklahoma City’s AutoTram will never need to leave their cars as customers make their selections at a touch screen kiosk and within minutes the items will be bagged and placed on a high-speed conveyor belt to be delivered to the exit ramp. Described as the world’s first “conveyance store” will open next month.

THE WILCOCK WEB: Those “forever” stamps the post office is peddling cost 41c, same as the current rate for first-class mail. What’s the betting on how “forever’ they’ll remain next time the rates go up?…..Since Irish shops started charging 20c each for plastic bags, their use has dropped by 90%….“The great virtue of a democracy” suggested historian A.J.P Taylor, “is that it always thinks its leaders are frightful”….An Epoc headset embedded with 16 electrodes from California’s Emotiv company measures brainwaves, translating the wearer’s thoughts into action by an onscreen avatar…. Wrap icebergs in blankets so they won’t melt as fast, suggests Swiss textile boss Fritz Landolt who claims to have tried it successfully in Switzerland on the 300,00 square foot Vorab glacier….. Nearly half of the thousands of alcoholism deaths in Russia each year are from drinking household products such as eau de cologne….“The urge to save humanity”, noted H.L. Mencken (d.1950) “is almost always a false front for those who want to rule it”…. We’re a year or two away from developing for offensive use the new RM (reactive materials) shrapnel composed of powdered metal which will ignite and burn up on striking the target. “(It has to be) strong enough to survive launch but fragile enough to react on impact” says Judah Goldwasser at the office of Naval Research…..”…. An early 1956 printing of John F. Kennedy’s Politics in Courage is offered for $11,000 by a NYC rare book dealer who seeks $9,200 for Cole Porter’s 1936 Red Hot and Blue. Books are often a better investment than stocks. Even one of my books, The Autobiography & Sex Life of Andy Warhol ($5 when published in 1971) is now worth more than $100 on Amazon…. Savonlinna in Finland is the site of the mobile phone throwing world championship on August 25…. Announced for October publication by Doubleday is John O’Farrell’s An Utterly Impartial History of Britain or 2000 Years of Upper Class Idiots in Charge…..Manhattan’s famed Plaza Hotel will reopen with 181 condos (one costing $56 million) on its 100th birthday in October….No one lies so boldly as the man who is indignant—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

08/11/07

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