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October 13, 2007
John Wilcock - October 13, 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

 

 


October 13, 2007

“Naturally, the common people do not want war but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.” --Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

THE DREAMS OF climate-control scientists that they might be able to change the weather are likely to be dashed by the ease with which they might be sued by the recipients of misdirected rain. Laboratory experiments show that, for example, heating up the top or cooling of the bottom of an approaching hurricane might lower its intensity even though it would require numerous flights to seed it (from below) or add soot above. “the problem isn’t the science” explains the Atlantic, “but the lawyers. Changing a hurricane’s environment is likely to change its path… the storm could destroy towns that otherwise might not have been hit and (the) team could end up being drowned in civil suits”.

WRITING IN THE OCTOBER Harper’s, Garret Keizer advocates a General Strike for Election Day, November 6 “for the sole purpose of removing this regime from power”. Nice idea, and the least you can do is to pass it along. Keizer says everybody should cease work or at least curtail consumption: vacate the shopping malls…cancel their flights…turn off their cell phones…unplug their TVs. As long as we’re willing to forsake action, Bush—“the president few of us like and most of us deserve”—and Cheney, will free to go along with their coup. “Don’t tell me what some presidential hopeful ought to do someday. Tell me what the people who have nearly lost their hope can do now.”

THE LITTLE TOWN of Banner Elk, in North Carolina expects to welcome about 25,000 visitors next week for the annual race of woolly caterpillars ($5 to enter, $1,000 for the winner) after which the judges will make their winter weather prediction based on the thickness of the black bands on the caterpillars’ furry backs—the thicker the band, the colder the winter.

JAPANESE INTERNET CAFES offer much more than connections to the web. “Before, a small space with a computer was good enough, but now customers’ needs have changed” says Momoko Sugiura whose company owns 100 Kaikaku Clubs with décor resembling beach resorts and a menu with 40 or more items. Another chain, Aprecio, offers massages, a 30,000-item manga library and a comfortable room in which to watch DVDs on flat screen TVs. One drawback is the attraction the cybercafes have for the homeless; 5,000 net café refugees have been sleeping overnight in soft chairs says Japan’s Health, Labor and Welfare ministry.

HOLLYWOOD’S BIGGEST SECRET says Dinah Eng is not how much money they make or who’s sleeping with whom—it’s how old they are. Fewer than 20% of working TV writers are over 51 according to the Writers Guild of America and jobs for actors beyond that are scarce on the ground (beyond 40 for females). The only category in which experience matters, Eng writes in TelevisionWeek, is directing. “If a single day goes south, it will cost a fortune so the networks and studios want people with a track record who can deliver a show”

THE  COMBINATION OF an aging workforce and a shrinking labor pool will affect countries around the world forecasts Business Week while revealing that Finland (40% of whose workforce will reach retirement age within 15 years) has made the most progress in countering it. Older workers there, encouraged to stay on the job longer, are being offered free golfing lessons, theatre tickets, language training and massages. In Japan more than 26% of workers are already past 55; in the US the figure will soon be 19%; and Spain will become the world’s oldest country in mid-century when half its population will be over 55.

JOGGED BY ABC’S GEICO CAVEMEN, Archaeology magazine devoted three columns to recalling earlier cavemen movies from Buster Keaton’s 1923 Three Ages to Darryl Hanna’s Clan of the Cave Bear (1986). Other cavemen/women stars have included Joan Crawford (Trog, 1969), Raquel Welch (One Million Years, 1986) and Ringo Starr’s Atouk (Cavemen, 1981)

No country IN modern times has successfully reduced its number of overweight citizens declares Scientific American’s comprehensive Feast & Famine issue which ponders, among other things,  why after globalization “ushered in a world in which more than a billion are overfed…hundreds of millions suffer from hunger”. One explanation, the mag says, is the adoption by the Third World of sugar and calorie-saturated Western diets. Obesity and starvation are strangely related, sometimes existing side by side. “Unless strong preventative policies are undertaken” warns nutritionist Barry M. Popkin, “the medical costs of illnesses caused by obesity couild bring down the economies of China, Russia and many other developing countries”.

THE WILCOCK WEB: Two days before its 100th birthday as a state, Oklahoma’s biggest-ever parade will sweep through its eponymously-named capital city on October 14. Of the quarter million native Americans in the state, Choctaws have predominated for the whole century. (Among the Choctaws,  okla means “people”  ad humma  means “red”)…. Norway’s island prison, south of Oslo, claims to be the world’s first ecological jail, growing its own organic food and reducing its electricity bill with rooftop solar panels….“Eternal nothingness is fine, if you happen to be dressed for it” quipped Woody Allen….Total amount paid out by U.S. Catholic dioceses since 2002 in child  abuse settlements, recently exceeded one billion dollars…..Treasure hunters are seeking advance deals with national governments to split bottom-of-the-sea discoveries after recent claims by Spain that sunken treasure in ancient galleons still belongs to them….More than half the world’s lakes are in Canada… The Wash H20, a new washing machine from the Chinese company Haier, uses electric current to charge ions in the water dispensing for the need for detergent….TelevisionWeek carries a picture of the trio of new security guards who prevent the exuberant guests of the Jerry Springer show from killing each other. They’re all women—off-duty cops….Credit card companies are working on a card that compares your fingerprint with the one you use at the ATM…. Berlin’s Population and Development Institute is expressing alarm that in some small towns there are only 75, or even less, women for very 100 men leading to an underclass of young men who are “partnerless, underqualified and jobless”--It is always easier to fight for one’s principles than to live by them”         —Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

10/06/07

comments? send an email to John Wilcock

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