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

September 1, 2007
John Wilcock - September 1, 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

 

 


September 1, 2007

ARE WE GOING BACK to the moon? Yes, says former astronaut Thomas D. Jones, and this time on a permanent basis, although not until a decade from now. This time, however “their goal will be to live off the land, extend scientific exploration and practice for an eventual lap to Mars.” Jones is the lead writer in a special issue of Popular Mechanics which seeks to celebrate 50 years of spaceflight (Sputnik was launched Oct 4, 1957) together with  looking ahead to the next 50.

        At the moon’s south pole, it seems, almost constant sunshine could provide steady power and charge storage batteries, and millions of ice buried in the canyon’s depths could be harvested, melted and provide water for drinking and agriculture. Oxygen, too, could be pried from volcanic rock and combined with hydrogen--brought from earth--to produce water. (Why can’t this be done in deserts on earth?)

    “Both spacesuits and machines”, the mag explains, “will have to cope with lunar dust: gritty, sharp-edged and murder on seals and bearings. Engineers hope to use electromagnetic filters and shielding systems to prevent dust from working into critical components.”

     Living quarters at the start will be inflatable, easy-to-ship modules, coupled with a fabric that hardens in ultraviolet light and the pioneers will venture out to strip regolith from the moon’s surface from which to extract nitrogen for farming, calcium for cement and silicon from which to make glass and ceramics.

     Spaceship designer Burt Rutan predicts that the next 15 years will see thousands of people leave the atmosphere on suborbital flights, 100,000 on his company’s SS2 system,  and that thousands will be traveling to the moon by 2050.

SINCE GENE RODENBERRY, Star Trek’s creator, was ‘buried’ in space a decade ago, more than 300 people have had a tiny portion of their ashes crammed into a lipstick-sized tube and—for $995--rocketed 72 miles into the cosmos. But according to Discover magazine most of the capsules have since crashed back to earth. And even when Space Services, a Houston company, begins sending them into orbit later this year, they’ll still eventually burn up and disappear, often within months. “Cremation memorials are becoming more trendy around the world” reports the company’s CEO, Charles Chafer, who estimates that within five years there’ll be 10,000 of them taking place each  year. And for those who seek a permanent resting place, a burial’ on the moon is available for $44,995.

ONE MONTH BEFORE the centenary of Ian Fleming’s birth in May next year, the Imperial War Museum will open an exhibition devoted to celebrating the James Bond phenomenon and the life of its creator. Goldfinger’s golf equipment, flick knife shoes and Halle Berry’s bikini will be among the items featured. Curator of the show, James Taylor, comments that among the similarities between the author and Bond were their love of luxury. “It was said of Churchill that he was easily satisfied with the best of everything and I think you could say the same about Fleming”.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY IS STILL such a big deal in Cuba reports the late author’s former secretary, that “the Cuban Hemingway has become an export like rum, cigars, music and art”. Once married to Ernest’s youngest son Gregory (who died in 2001), Valerie Hemingway paid a recent visit to Havana and met British impresario Toby Gough who is adding a dance revue, Hemingway in Havana, to the pre-Castro type productions with which he tours the world. “Cuba sells the image of Cuba in the ‘50s the whole time while rejecting its values”  Gough told Valerie, whose lengthy tale can be found in the August Smithsonian.

“We see ourselves as selfless, as adopting positions that represent only a higher good”  writes Dennis Ross in Statecraft: And How to Restore America’s Standing in the World (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007). “We’ll have to step down from the moral high ground to reality. We’ll need to work with others, listen to their ideas and sometimes follow their lead.”

THE WILCOCK WEB: Scheduled to operate between Dusseldorf and Japan, Germany’s Smokers International Airways (SIA) has powerful air conditioning, a cocktail bar serving oysters, caviar and champagne and business return fares beginning at $8,500…”Nothing tasteful has ever come out of a stretch limo” wrote Ariel Leve in the Sunday Times…. Brightly-colored individual newsstand boxes are due to disappear from downtown Dallas after the city council decreed that all papers must in future share space in “modular black news racks holding up to eight papers apiece…. If is not necessary to change, wisely opined Lord Falkland, it is necessary not to change.Aspirin was first synthesized 110 years ago this week…. Is this the longest palindrome in the English language? Madame, not one man is selfless; I am not one Madam ….….”Diaper sniper” is a prison term for a child molester, and “jump the broom” describes when one prisoner ‘marries’ another ….Skeptical Inquirer editor Kendrick Frazier wrote that among the “furious” letters the mag had received after running its piece on global warning, were two from subscribers who had cancelled. “Science is a methodology not an ideology” he emphasized…. Slightly more than half of U.S. households are now headed by a single person….About Paul McCartney, once said Michael Jackson: “Okay writer, not much of an entertainer. I do better box office than he does”….A new Japanese device can assess stress levels of a dog or cat by measuring the amount of sweat secreted on the animal’s paw ….Technology is the knack of organizing the world so that we don’t have to experience it—Max Frisch (1911-91).

08/25/07

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