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

June 14, 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

 

 


June 14, 2008

TODAY, WITH VIOLENCE falling in general, it’s oil producing states that make up a growing fraction of all the world’s conflict-ridden countries asserts Michael L. Ross. “Oil often wreaks havoc on a country’s economy and politics,  makes it easier for insurgents to fund their rebellions and aggravates ethnic grievances” he writes in Foreign Affairs. “The world’s thirst for oil immunizes petroleum-rich governments from the kind of pressure that might otherwise bring them to the bargaining table”.  Although some governments are too busy profiting from corruption and crushing their opponents, Ross says, one way to reduce the problem would be if the oil companies teamed up with more service companies to conduct anti-malaria campaigns or help to build schools and irrigation projects. And the “volatility of  prices” which constantly soar and crash could be changed “so that the oil companies bear more of the risk and governments bear less”.

WILDCATTERS ARE BACK now that the price of oil makes it again worthwhile to set up a drilling rigs in somebody’s back yard. “For all the talk about Big Oil” reports Smart Money, “the major companies drill almost exclusively offshore and internationally –more than 90% of the drilling in the U.S. last year was done by independents”. Once again the Texas town of Midland—where George W. Bush headed in search of oil—is center of what’s known as “stripper wells”, those that produce less than 10 barrels a day. Yet even as they capitalize on roaring prices, the mag says, these independent operators know that flush times, like the deposits themselves aren’t likely to last long. “We’re in the last five minutes of the Easter egg hunt” ruefully remarks  second-generation wildcatter Ted Collins Jr. who has just dropped $1.6 million for the right to drill for that Texas Tea.

A DIAMOND DAGGER in a plush-lined case was handed over by the Crime Writer’s Association  to Santa Barbara’s Sue Grafton during her visit to London to promote the 20th crime fiction novel, T is for Trespass, in the A-Z series on which she embarked with A is for Alibi in 1982. She paid tribute to an earlier awardee, her “favorite writer of all time, Elmore Leonard” and said she’s also had encouragement from a fellow schoolmate, Hunter Thompson, although he was “more likely to offer advice on the best drugs to buy than how to write”.

SLOT MACHINE TECHNOLOGY is about to make a giant leap into the future with the help of the innovative game industry. Even a traditional slot machine, costing $12,000, nets at least $2000 a day, and when things like Star Trek machines with progressive story levels are added they will be even more rewarding. Bally is planning to install television screens on new slots so gamblers can watch college football games as they play.

WHEN QUEEN ELIZABETH’S grandson Peter Phillips—son of Princess Ann—married his Canadian bride, Autumn Kelly, last month the wedding pictures of the entire Royal family were sold to Hello!  Magazine for $1million, prompting cries of “greed and vulgarity” from at least one London newsman. And a letter in the Daily Telegraph  asked: “Has Peter Phillips become the first person who has actually managed to sell his grandmother?”

THE ART LOSS REGISTER, a data base of stolen or missing art, reports that 574 Picassos are currently on the wanted list along with 79 Degas’ and 52 Cézannes. At present, with art thefts on the rise, Balkan Bandits (Serbs, Croats, Albanians etc.)   are “the greatest predators in Western Europe for high profile art robberies and burglars” declares private investigator Charles Hill, a former member of Scotland Yard’s art and antiques squad. “There’s been a significant change in the last decade among art thieves that’s very worrying”, he told Art News. “They charge in fully tooled up. They are now armed. These are violent thieves. Even the Mafia didn’t steal at gunpoint prior to this group”.

NOT JUST CHILDREN but pretty much everybody loves popping the pods on Bubble Wrap. But only children were allowed to enter the competition sponsored by its maker, the Sealed Air Company, which offered $18.000 in prizes for using the product for ”an innovative new product—a tool, a toy, whatever”. Some of the entries were

  • A fun game designed to help children learn to count
  • Enables people who can’t speak to more easily communicate their basic needs
  • A tool to help the blind learn Braille
  • A lightweight shelter to protect outdoor plants in winter
THE WILCOCK WEB: The first thing Obama should do is to dump the embarrassingly ego-driven Terence McAuliffe…..Something similar could be said about the “sleazy and slimy” Todd S. Purdum who now can be seen as a boring addition to those tedious Sunday morning pundits…..”The adversarial system is premised on the theory that if you have two liars testifying, the truth will come out” writes Professor David Bernstein in the Iowa Law Review ….Being exposed to a familiar logo triggers associations that affect our behavior, claims Duke University professor Gavan Fitzsimons, with experiments that seemed to indicate, for example, that when we regarded a logo with trust we were more likely to answer subsequent questions truthfully …..Mike Sheldrake has created a working surf board from cardboard covered with fiberglass….London’s Daily Express charges that British jails are in a state of anarchy and that drugs are so prevalent that prisoners are smuggling them out to sell on the street….Salman Rushdie, the 1981 winner of Britain’s annual Booker Prize, is 6-4 bookie’s favorite to win the Best of Booker, an extra award to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the famed literary prize….Judging by CBS's new show Password, it doesn’t matter how puerile the program is, Regis Philbin seems always willing to host it…. Thousands of gas station owners are on a waiting list to pay $650 to have their pumps retrofitted so they can charge more than $3.99 per gallon. Or they can pay $10,000 for a new electronic pump….After already being used to contain everything from soup to orange juice, the aluminum-coated paperboard known as Tetra Pak has been discovered by vintners as perfect to hold wine…. Striving to outdo the iPhone, several companies are working on designs for a cell phone with a built-in video projector….  The wise and brave dares own that he was wrong—-Benjamin Franklin (1706-90)

 

6/7/08

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