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

February 2, 2008
John Wilcock - January 5, 2008

 

  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

 

 

February 2, 2008

“On some great and glorious day” predicted H.L. Mencken almost a century ago, “the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned with a moron”

A revolutionary way of powering ships via a central electrical system is being tested by Frank Whittle, one of the inventors of the jet engine, and said to be able to save up to 25% of current fuel costs. Electric drives were tried almost a century ago but abandoned because they were large and unwieldy. But modern electronics and smaller, more powerful electric motors are now making them feasible. Boeing is testing electrically-powered light aircraft using batteries and fuel cells as power sources but this is only possible with small planes.

COPYING THE IDEA of playing loud classical music to drive the thugs, muggers and aggressive teenagers from its troubled downtown area, the city of Seattle achieved unexpected results. “They played that music and people started acting all fancy” reports Michael Vandelay, who spends most of his time hanging around the Westlake Mall. Gang-bangers have adjusted their attire, pulling up their jeans over their underwear, he says, “and one guy even showed up in Dockers”. But City Councilor Peter Steinbruech told Seattle magazine: “It’s unseemly. We miss the days when thugs were street thugs not Ludwig-loving upstarts. Our city is losing its gritty edge”.

FLIRT WITH SCIENCE was the name of a recent competition set by New Scientist magazine which invited readers to “seduce the person of your dreams with a science-related chat-up line”.  Many contestants offered variations of putting I and U together on the periodic table and sometimes the feeble: “Do you know anything about computers?”

Here are some of the winners:

“Would there be any resistance if I asked to take you ohm?”
“I’ve had my ion you”
“Would kissing you increase global warming and damage the Arctic
irreversibility, or is it just enough to break the ice?”
“Hello, I’ve just taken part in the clinical trial of a new drug to help
memory loss; could you tell me, do I come here often?”

NOT EVERYBODY IN RUSSIA has caved in to Putin. After a trio of highly-ranked academics published what has been described as “a flowery and obsequious” letter supposedly representing artists and filmmakers without their assent, writer Viktor Erofeyev described the letter as shameful, appearing to be addressed “to a sultan, not a president”.

Art News reports that 1,000 artists and writers signed a rebuttal to the fawning tribute, admonishing Putin: “Unfortunately, in the years you have been in power there has been a revival of many manifestations of the cult of personality that was so characteristic of Soviet times and was associate with every Kremlin ruler”.

TAKING CALIFORNIA AS its model, European planners are thinking of extending CSP (concentrated solar power) along the desert shores of the Mediterranean and Middle East using hundreds of thousands of mirrors to create steam to drive turbines. The Desertec project, if fully implemented, could produce 100 billion watts of power—about four times what Britain currently uses—most of which would be exported by undersea cables.

MICE SEEM TO BE the great exception to America’s animal-welfare consensus writes Greg Critser in Harper’s after attending a seminar on what he termed state-of-the-art mouse colony management techniques. It seems that America consumes 80 million mice and rats a year for the ostensible purpose of making our lives better. There are “mouse models for every possible variety of human disorder”. Critser visited Maine’s Jackson Laboratory viewing hundreds of thousands of mice in huge, sterile, temperature controlled rooms, practicing anaesthesia, collecting blood from throats and eyes and learning how to break the mouse’s neck. “It’s all in your speed and smoothness”, says lab boss Joe Gile. “You want to absolutely minimize the stress and anxiety on the animal”. When UC San Diego surveyed its legion of lab workers last year, it found one of the biggest unmet health needs was grief counsel for its staff euthanizers. The newest development in the current “mouse gold rush” says Critser, is the fast-selling (for $350,000) ultra sound machine which allows researchers “to monitor the metabolic trail” of any drug.

THE WILCOCK WEB: The emblem of the European Union’s Nordic Battlegroup, a crack force of 24,000 troops, was a lion with an oversized penis which has now been  amended after complaints from a group of female Swedish soldiers…..Sir Anthony Hopkins, better known as an actor than a pianist, is planning a world concert tour…. The U.S. Treasury made a $4 billion profit from issuing all those special state quarters…….Alex Gibney says his new movie, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter. S. Thompson, shows Hunter “as a tall, gangly but very shy unassuming character, not the fullblown extrovert he became later”… Hegel’s Paradox: Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history…. Reviewing some of the new celebrity brand vodkas (Robert Cavali, Sean Combs and Jimi Hendrix among them), Fortune claims the Donald Trump one “lacks finesse”….Banned three years ago, British folk hunts still take place following “a scented trail”, and if they accidentally flush out a fox it’s purely coincidental…..”I am a person who is trained to look other people in the eye. But I can’t look into the eyes of everyone who wants to look into mine.. I can’t emotionally cope with that kind of volume”, explains Jack Nicholson. “Sunglasses are part of my armor”…. Pfizer’s new anti-smoking drug Chantix racked up $800m in sales last year but the drug’s label warns the side effects may include insomnia and nightmares…. To cut pollution, dozens of French towns have replaced cars, trucks and buses with horse-drawn vehicles to collect garbage and take children to school…...”An optimist is someone who thinks the future is uncertain”  declared somebody….Virtual worlds are now showing up on Japanese cell phones…. Barcelona’s Syriaca Wine Company has launched reds and whites in aluminum cans but advises to pour them into a glass to reduce the metallic tasteGreat people talk about ideas, average people talk about things but small people” says Fran Leibowitz, “talk about wine”….. In Russia, the first Starbucks has just opened…. India’s Supreme Curt has overruled a 92-year-old law that forbid women to work selling drinks in bars….Give a man a mask and he’ll tell you the truth --Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

1/26/08

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