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

March 1, 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

 

 

March 1, 2008

“Until Americans get over their hysteria about giving young people access to birth control, we will continue to have the highest teen pregnancy rates in the western world. It’s really that simple".
  --Dr. Victor C. Strasberger, U of Mexico School of Medicine

ALL THE EFFORTS of well-meaning scientists, engineers, economists and politicians to reduce fossil-fuel use and emissions are not enough, says Scientific American, which proposes  a grandiose “Solar Grand Plan” to cover huge tracts of land with photovoltaic panels and solar heating troughs. It would cost $400 billion by 2050 but could provide 69% of the country’s electricity by that date, SA explains, displacing hundreds of coal and natural gas powered plants and effectively eliminating all imported oil. The magazine meticulously lays out all the details in 10 pages of its January issue profusely illustrated with charts, maps and pictures. “The greatest obstacle to implementing a renewable US energy system is not technology or money (but) the lack of public awareness that solar power is a practical alternative”.

THE FARTS & BURPS emitted by the world’s 1.5 billion cows are thought to account for 5% of all greenhouse gas emissions so Japanese scientists have been seeking to find a way to lower the emissions. Now Professor Junichi Takashi at the Obihiro University of Agriculture has come up with a blend of nitrates and amino acid which can be added to cattle feed and which suppresses the production of methane in the cow’s stomach.

A HUGE MASS OF greenhouse gas emissions go into making the hundreds of thousands of cotton T-shirts handed out by various marathons every year and many of them end up as unwanted clothing or rags that go back to underdeveloped countries. “Not a little ironic” comments the environmental quarterly Bear Deluxe, “since many of the tees were originally manufactured in China or Central America under less-than-pleasant working conditions”.

IT’S TIME THE BAN on DDT was abandoned, says Steve Forbes, editor of the eponymous magazine, because its value in eliminating malaria far outweighs its supposed dangers. Contrary to Rachael Carson’s Silent Spring, he writesa cup of coffee exposes one to more carcinogens than long-term exposure to DDT, which suffers from “murderously emotional know-nothing” labeling. Banned by the U.S. in 1972, the chemical has been thoroughly re-examined since and now the World Health Organization has recommended its use as the single most effective anti-malarial agent ever invented.

THIS COLUMN’S ENTHUSIASM last year for Lewis Lapham’s new quarterly magazine were dashed when they refused to send me a copy on its appearance. But now, after reading The New Criterion’s review of it, it’s easy to understand why. Calling the quarterly “pretentious” and “irritating”, TNC’s critic predicted it would be short-lived, adding Lapham’s “command of inconsequentiality has elicited comment for years….along with his patrician drawing room leftism”.

WITH PAINTINGS OF kissing policemen, and Lenin with a Mickey Mouse head, a Moscow art gallery, the Tretyakov, has incensed Russian authorities who have banned sending the pictures to shows outside the country. Calling the gallery’s recent show “a disgrace to Russia”, culture minister Alexander Sokolov thundered: “It is inadmissible to take all this pornography, kissing policemen, and erotic pictures to Paris”. Art News says that the ministry is “squeamish about the deeply unsubtle, in-your-face descendants  of the nonconformists of Soviet times”. But the magazine adds that similar works depicting figures wearing masks of Stalin, Lenin, Princess Diana, Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe and others in sexual poses had been widely seen on the internet.

IN A WIND TECHNOLOGY experiment, a huge kevlar sail will be erected over a valley adjoining Lake Ladoga near the Baltic Sea to test the theory of architect Laurie Chetwood, that air can be directed via a trio of turbines to generate electricity. Scheduled for next year, the project will cost $5million and theoretically will have the capacity to power 35 homes.

EVEN THOUGH POLYGAMY is as illegal in Britain as in most countries, the government’s Social Service department has agreed that polygamists whose marriage is legal elsewhere, can apply for the U.K.s regular benefit which is around $175 a week plus $60 for each additional spouse.

THE WILCOCK WEB: Dried jalapeno peppers will increasingly be an ingredient in cocktails this year predicts New York sommelier Junior Merino, known as ”The Liquid Chef”…. Writing about PBS in the New York Times, Charles McGrath described its pledge programs as “the fund-raising equivalent of water-boarding”... After reading a fascinating annual digest called The Bathroom Reader, I asked the publisher to send this year’s copy for review. They promised to do so—four times—but it never arrived, so you’ll just have to take my word for it….”Chickens”, says Philip Proctor, “are the only animals you eat before they are born and after they are dead” (ducks, too?)….”Charlatanism of some degree is indispensable to effective leadership” wrote Eric Hoffer……New Zealand scientists have bred a “gene-silenced” onion with the eye-watering gene removed….The new British 50p coins will finally drop the figure of Britannia, which was not only the name given by the Romans to the islands, but also generally felt to represent the warrior queen Boudicca who almost fought them to a standstill…After studying 200 students, a professor at Reading University concluded that watching TV for half an hour before exam levels raises IQ levels. ”It warms up the brain without stretching it too much” he says…….”War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography” sneered Ambrose Bierce…. To publicize his then-new product, US toothpick magnate Charles Foster hired Harvard students to hand them out in restaurants…Why do they sterilize the needles for lethal injections?…..Environmental campaigners are assembling one million bottles for its Tappening campaign to persuade people to refill water bottles with tap water….An Alaskan police officer, Richard Holschen, has invented a lip balm combined with caffeine which kicks in within minutes like a jolt of strong coffee….Martin Amis has been hired by the University of Manchester to teach 28 hours of creative writing for which he’ll be paid $150,000--“Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new”---Henry David Thoreau (1817-62)

2/23/08

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