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

September 13, 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

 

 



September 13, 2008

Looking to the ancient Greeks for precedent, when they requested the known world to suspend all wars for the duration of the Olympics, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has declared September 21 an  International Day of Peace and called for a minute of silence at noon. Good luck with that but the odds are not great with 18 countries (Afghanistan to Uganda) currently at war.

IT’S NOT ONLY OIL that keeping Saudi Arabia in the winner’s seat now that geologists have discovered that the desert kingdom is flush with valuable minerals. “Gold, copper, phosphate, bauxite—this place could be the next Canada or Australia” boasts Inés Scotland, CEO of an Australian mining company at work in the country. Fortune reports that prospectors have been extracting gold from Arabia for 3,000 years—King Solomon’s riches came from here—but the Saudi government has only recently opened up the land for large scale development. Another sign of ever-growing prosperity is Saudi Arabia’s plan to build four, huge new cities, each as big as Hong Kong and equal to, reportedly, the economic output of Singapore.

INTERVIEWING JACKIE COLLINS in its final issue, Publishing News asked the author if people recognized themselves in her gossipy books. “I have this theory” Collins replied, “that in Hollywood they don’t really read books—they just read Vanity Fair so they can sound extremely well read. I get away with a lot. Some of my friends read them but people never recognize themselves, especially if it’s a bad person”.

SUPPOSING THAT THERE’S a race of super robots somewhere out there in space, with an intelligence so highly developed they don’t think it’s worth their while to communicate with us? It’s not only possible but likely according to NASA historian Stephen Dick who says that aliens may already have opted for robotic brains equipped with artificial intelligence after exhausting the potential of their biological brains. But we may catch up. “Some scientists speculate that in a few decades an event called the technological singularity will occur” he told Popular Science, “and machines armed with computer brains will become sentient and surpass human intelligence”.

THE NEWLY-FORMED Hellenic Film Commission has allowed Winnipeg-born Nina (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) Vardalos to be the first to film at the Acropolis.  Her new movie, My Life in Ruins, is summarized as “a despairing divorcé falls in love with a tour guide while conducting a disparate group of tourists”.

GOING TO COLLEGE just prolongs childhood declares Charles Murray, author of a book with an interminable title: Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America’s Schools Back to Reality.  Murray maintains that students are forgiven so many lapses and absences and demanding professors are so lacking that today’s colleges are structured to prolong adolescence rather than midwifing maturity. “The real danger lies in raising children who reach their 20s still thinking like children. The years after high school are for learning how to be a grown-up. Today’s colleges are terrible places to do it”.

LONDON’S INDEPENDENT  NEWSPAPER unearthed a 10th century joke:

“What hangs at a man’s thigh and wants to poke the hole it has often poked before? A key”.

ALLEGEDLY INSPIRED BY THE Seinfeld episode about “nothing”, the new Jill Sander store in Manhattan’s Soho has a completely empty first floor lacking signage, salespeople, mannequins or clothes. Would-be customers must climb the marble staircase to the second floor passing through what Dutch designer Germaine Kruip describes somewhat pretentiously as “mind space…a conceptual air lock that allows you to smoothly acclimate from the street to the promise of a world where clean lines are next to godliness”.

NOTING THAT ONLY six per cent of male workers wore a tie to work every day last year, the trade group representing America’s tie-makers shut up shop after 60 years. Sales of ties were reported to be down roughly half since 1995.

THE WILCOCK WEB: If each member of the California legislature was fined $100 for every day past the deadline that the budget wasn’t passed, the deficit might have disappeared by now…. Two drugstore chains, CVS and Rite Aid, topped Stores annual list of Hot Ten Retailers on 2007 with IHOP in third place. All three have absorbed other chains in the past year….. Staples and other stores are selling--for $4.49--DVD movies that self-destruct after 48 hours when oxygen causes a chemical reaction to make them unplayable…. European banks are testing a security device by Germany’s Siemens company that requires bank customers to run their fingerprints over a hand-held reader which checks with a stored copy…. Greek banks have reacted to financial crunch by cutting back staff so completely that customers, waiting in rows of chairs now wait as long as an hour for their number to be called ….A Colombian clothing store selling $2,000 bulletproof business suits has opened a branch in Mexico City….. “The first duty in life” said Oscar Wilde, “is to assume a pose. What the second is, no one has yet discovered”….Louis Vuitton is selling (for $2500) golden pendants replicating Nelson Mandela’s prison tag, promising that part of the proceeds will go to Mandela’s Foundation against Aids. Of course, they don’t say how much “part” is….. A Palo Alto, CA., company has copyrighted Drivetones, a device which adds artificial sound to otherwise silent electric cars which could be a danger to pedestrians who don’t hear them coming… The Big and Noisy Book of Vehicles coming from a London publisher this month boasts of containing “spectacular sound effects”… And its exactly 100 years since Ford produced the first of 15 million Model T’s ….“Think how stupid the average person is” mused George Carlin, “and realize half of them are stupider than that" ….Because of pesticides in too much of the ground, most of the 700 million snails consumed by the French every year are now imported from Poland……. Psychologists at the University of London noticed that, like the rest of us, dogs witnessing humans yawning were inclined to imitate the action…“An economist is a man who states the obvious in terms of the incomprehensible” —Alfred Knopf (1892-1984)

9/06/08

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