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November 10, 2007
John Wilcock - November 10, 2007

 

  The column of lasting insignificance
     


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2011
November 26 2011
November 19, 2011
November 12, 2011
November 5, 2011
October 29, 2011
October 22, 2011
October 15, 2011
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October 1, 2011
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September 17, 2011
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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
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2010
December 25, 2010
December 18, 2010
December 11, 2010
December 4, 2010
November 27, 2010
November 20, 2010
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November 6, 2010
October 30, 2010
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August 28, 2010
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May 1, 2010
April 24, 2010
April 17, 2010
April 10, 2010
April 3, 2010
March 27, 2010
March 20, 2010
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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
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August 8, 2009
August 1, 2009
July 25, 2009
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June 27, 2009
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May 30, 2009
May 23, 2009
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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

 

 


November 10, 2007

AS WESTERN COUNTRIES gradually move away from cigarettes, or at least become more aware of its dangers, the habit is growing in Asia, stoked not only by greedy tobacco giants but governments such as China and Thailand where tobacco is a state monopoly. Almost half of tobacco’s global victims—about 2.3 million people—are in Asia where the Economist estimates that around 700million smokers can’t get through the day without puffing on a cigarette. Taking conflicting sides of the matter, China is exporting cheap-price smokes to other countries in the region while ordering larger health warnings on the packets. Indonesia, the only country not to have signed the World Health Organization’s tobacco-control treaty, promises to cap cigarette output by 2010 but meanwhile counts tobacco taxes as 10% of government revenue. What worries WHO officials is that the smoking habit will, just as in the West, be taken up by more women as men quit.

In India, where 99% of the population has never flown, a businessman named Bahadur Gupta charges $4 to strap themselves into seats in his battered Airbus plane (which never leaves the ground) and listen to “Captain” Gupta make typical flight announcements (“We will soon be passing through a zone of turbulence…We are about to begin our descent into Delhi…”).

MEALS FROM CHEMISTRY seems to be the message that Popular Science is sending us, devoting 23 pages of its November issue to all the high-tech tools from precision scales to tanks of compressed carbon dioxide that the present-day chef might have at his service. “Today some kind of R&D can be found in many restaurants…even the most familiar foods can always be refined and improved using science”. The improvements range from using low pressure chambers causing water to boil at room temperatures (concentrating the aromas), to the chef who uses a fan whose blades are “painted with an ocean fragrance to blow a gentle breeze on the diners”. The industry “doesn’t just talk about things tasting good anymore” the magazine adds. “Now it’s about providing an exceptional flavor ’experience’”.

MEANWHILE, IF YOU BUY a package of organic meat from the Wholesome Harvest company you’ll note that it’s marked with a Farmer ID number which you can call and find yourself talking to the actual farm from where the meat originated. The company’s founder, Wende Elliot, says he modeled the plan on similar ones in operation in Europe and Asia and, says Stores magazine, “believes that traceability builds a bridge between farmer and consumer, creating trust and reassurance that the animals were raised on small farms in the United States rather than foreign or industrial factory farms”.

“To be given license to be completely inappropriate and get away with it is cathartic. It’s something that few people experience. I get all that behavior out of my system and not let it bleed into personal relationships. If we all had that outlet we’d probably be much healthier”Steve Carell interviewed by Hudson Morgan in Men’sVogue about his role in The Office.

UNSURPRISINGLY, THE BOOK TRADE has benefited immeasurably from the success of the Harry Potter movies reports Publishing News. For publishers, says PN, it never hurts for the buzz of a major picture to spread around town. “Even a bad film is a good thing” says Puffin Press’ Francesca Dow, “because you benefit from a wider audience and platform for the book”. Thanks to the film, Puffin’s Charlotte’s Webb was catapulted from a family classic…to a mass market best seller. And, according to literary scout John McLay, what the Harry Potter books achieved was to broaden the definition of fantasy to contemporary stories containing fantastical elements. “It isn’t often” he muses, “that the glitter of Hollywood gets sparkled on children’s books so when it does we get very excited”.

IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN, when the nicest present you can give a friend for Christmas is a gift (in his/her name) of a much-needed animal to some poor family in a Third-World country. How about a flock of chickens ($20) or a share in a water buffalo or a llama? Details at www.heifer.org/catalog

THE WILCOCK WEB: Barack Obama should concede the obvious—that if he voluntarily persuaded Hillary to adopt him as her veep, millions of conflicted Dems would be overjoyed to have their dilemma defused…. Celebrating publisher Victor Navasky’s visit to Washington to try and get the hike on magazine postal rates rescinded, the Nation is selling sheets of Navasky stamps….Sasha says GAP, is the new acronym for "Greedy Adult Pedophiles."…..Even after soldiers get killed, their parents promote the war so their dead kids won't be lonely in heaven writes Ted Rall…. A Texas man is suing 1-800—FLOWERS for $1million because he sent a bouquet to his girlfriend and his wife saw the receipt when it arrived at his home…..“I want to have children while my parents are still young enough to care for them” quipped comic Rita Rudner. “And when I meet a man, I ask myself ’Is this the man I want my children to spend the weekend with?” …..The $26 million that television pays Judge Judy is more than the combined salaries of all nine Supreme Court justices…. A cleric at Egypt’s Al-Azhar University has decreed that any Muslim couples who act a marriage scene on film are deemed married in real life…. The logo of the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) which is violently anti-immigrant, depicts three white sheep kicking a black sheep off the national flag…. Gabriele Pauli, a rightwing German politician, has proposed that partners in civil marriages should be allowed to dissolve their union after seven years without needing the formality of a divorce…..Women are expected to make up more than three quarters of the customers at the new, three-story Playboy store on London’s Oxford Street where “frilly knickers” cost $100….“In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends”—Martin Luther King (1929-68)

11/03/07

comments? send an email to John Wilcock

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