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

August 25, 2007
John Wilcock - August 25, 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 25, 2007

There’s still time to access

thegreatbritishduckrace.co.uk/duckday.php

and pay about five bucks to adopt a couple of rubber ducks which will be among the 165,000 to be dropped into London’s River Thames on September 2 for a 1km charity race whose winner will net $20,000. There will be 30 other prizes for leading ducks.

Psychology TODAY magazine assembled a group of experts to examine the main would-be presidents in such categories as “body language, rhetorical style, emotional tone and universal values”. No dramatic conclusions resulted, but the mag reported that the most optimistic candidate had won 18 out of the last 22 presidential elections, and that Hillary was the most optimistic of the current batch (Giuliani was the least). Other conclusions:

  • Barack Obama’s language style “signals machismo..a keyword profile close to Clinton’s
  • John Edwards has the highest sense of “commonality–kumbaya pulling together ‘we can do it’ type language
  • John McCain’s angry, highly negative style could alienate voters
  • (Mitt) Romney’s language is uber-patriotic, which usually signals a person without a platform

Pyschology Today  wrote that in the category of universal values—on which all scored fairly high—assessments were made by compiling random excerpts from the candidates’ speeches.

THE LOS ANGELES ZOO hired a Beverly Hills feng shui practitioner for $4,500 to help design their new $7.4 million monkey habitat, on the grounds that it would help the valuable Chinese Golden Monkeys—due to arrive next year—to feel at home. Writing in the Skeptical Inquirer, Jim Underdown pointed out that “there are different schools of thought in feng shui and masters advising on identical environments have been shown to radically disagree on what changes should be made.” He solicited any scholarly research on “monkey luck”, any evidence of baboon behavior changing with the alteration of a door’s location. And besides, he said, why not just recreate the look of the Chinese village from which the monkeys will come. “You don’t need all that ‘energy’ mumbo jumbo to make it look the same”.

“One notable constant in American history, is our lack of awareness of the rest of the world…the misguided belief that one’s polity is the center of the world. Today America’s narcissism has blinded its citizens to a host of looming dangers (with a) perspective that has skewed Americans into believing that we are the world’s moral center as well as its power center”—Cullen Murphy in Are We Rome? The Fall of the Empire and the Fate of America (Houghton Mifflin, 2007)

THE ERA OF THE glossy annual report may soon be over as companies realize that the million bucks it can cost to mass produce and mail them is often less effective than spending $20,000 to create a video report instead. “People want to hear management talk about their business,” says Ruth’s Chris Steak House cfo Thomas Pennnison Jr., “and the opportunity to do that in front of most investors is limited.” Videos are becoming so commonplace in the business world that some candidates are using them as resumes, and one boss is quoted telling CFO magazine that in five years “a printed annual report will be a collector’s item.”

NBC’s ORIGINAL PLAN to replace Jay Leno--still “a proven late-night winner”-- with Conan O’Brien in 2009, isn’t looking so rosy now says a columnist for TelevisionWeek. But if NBC keeps Leno, now 57, under the current format, says David Carroll, O’Brien will doubtless walk away with a $40 million buyout as compensation for a broken promise.  Carroll’s suggested solution: let Conan take over Tonight at 11:35 but precede it with a show hosted by Leno at 10:30.

THE MYTH OF CUBAN HEALTHCARE is just that, writes Jay Nordlinger—a myth, in that there are three kinds of healthcare: (i) medical tourism in which foreigners pay for treatment cheaper than they can get at home: (ii) for privileged members of the Cuban nomenclature (government officials, army etc); and (iii) the “wretched” treatment available to ordinary Cubans who must take their own sheets and towels to hospitals with them and find that even aspirins are a rarity. “The Left” says Nordlinger in National Review, “has always had a deep psychological need to believe in the myth of Cuban health care and he quotes “the Leninist rationalization” that ‘You have to break some eggs to make an omelet’ along with Orwell’s reply: “‘Where’s the omelet?’”

ROCK PAPER SCISSORS fans are infuriated by the tireless efforts of anarchist players to introduce the unwelcome fourth element, dynamite, into the timeless game. Dynamite--”a mythic throw sometimes seen in street games but banned from all respectable competitions”, explains Rod O’Connor—is expressed by a closed fist with the upward thumb representing the wick. The problem lies in the ambiguity: obviously it blows up rock, but does the wick burn paper or be smothered by it?

THE WILCOCK WEB: “Office holders sell to donors, but they don’t buy from voters” writes Dirk Olin in the New York Times, pointing out that big donors can buy pols’ votes but the pols won’t pay voters for theirs….One of Beijing’s 6,530 road signs being tidied up in preference for next year’s Olympics has been changed from Dongda Hospital for Anus and Intestine Disease to Dongda Proctology Hospital….A British reader of the Guardian defined American football as “random violence interrupted by committee meetings”….More than two out of every three items returned to big stores have been shoplifted and return for cash reports Texas A&M’s Center for Retailing Studies which notices such things….The Ford Motor Co. is said to have made a mere $2 profit on each of the early Model-Ts….. “When I was kidnapped”, Woody Allen once quipped, “my parents sprang into action: they rented my room”….Archaeologists are saddened that the famous rock art in Malawi, designated as a World Heritage Site, is being defaced by graffiti vandals. “Hundreds perhaps thousands of years of local history destroyed… by the local equivalent of ‘Leroy Was here’ comments Archaeology Magazine….Flat screen TVs, leather couches and gourmet coffee are features of Joe Moffatt’s P.B. Loco Café in Tupelo, Miss. The PB stands for peanut butter which is all the café serves in a variety of combinations….“It seems to be a law of nature that Republicans are more boring than Democrats” ---Stewart Alsop (1914-74)

08/18/07

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