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

October 4, 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

 

 



October 4, 2008

“The trouble with practical jokes, is that they often get elected."
                          --Will Rogers (1879-1935)

HALF A DOZEN European communities are now experimenting with the idea of removing all traffic signs and traffic lights from their downtown areas to encourage better driving behavior. In the German town of Bohmte where the center—referred to as “a naked square”—is shared by bikers, pedestrians, cars and trucks, 13,000 vehicles each day, courteously make way for each other. “The whole village has become more human. We look at each other, we greet each other” says Ulrike Rubcic. Last year Bohmte (pop: 13,315) had 50 traffic accidents; so far this year, none. The only rule is to always give way to the person on the right, and the plan “brings people closer to rediscovering and appreciating cities, not only as traffic places but also as human, social places” states Heiner Monheim, a traffic management expert at the University of Trier.

WHY IS THERE something, rather than nothing? was one of the questions submitted to the Notes & Queries section of Britain’s Guardian newspaper which solicits answers from readers. Among the many replies was one from a Canadian reader: Because something is somewhere but nothing is nowhere. Next question: How wide is a rainbow?

AFTER BEING LONG scorned, rosé wine has suddenly become popular in France with reports that it will account for one out of every five bottles of wine sold. “The big change” writes Tim Hayward in the Guardian, ”is among younger French drinkers who see it as a light-hearted festive drink and seem to have scandalously little time for the niceties of label, vintage, grape varietal or origin”.

THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT is suing a New York bank for $22.5 billion in a Moscow court which makes Fortune magazine think that this is one battle that the U.S. probably won’t win. “Moscow’s commercial court is widely regarded as not only a place susceptible to corruption” the mag says, “but one in which judges simply lack the judicial, independence to rule against important state interests”. The case stems from the questionable actions of a Bank of New York vp back in the 1990s that allegedly resulted in laundering money and wire fraud. Fortune explains that any judgment, while not enforceable in the U.S., might be in some of the 100 other countries in which the bank does business.

SPEAKING OF WHICH, Russia may be just waiting for the excuse of another bitter disagreement with the Ukraine to seize the Crimean port of Sevastopol which is home port for the navies of both countries. The Berliner Zeitung explains that three quarters of the Ukrainian port’s population is ethnic Russian and they complain of being increasingly besieged as Kiev tries to redefine it as a Ukrainian city with that language predominating in schools, hospitals and cinemas. If another little war breaks out, warns Newsweek, it would make recent events in Georgia look like “a sideshow”.

BICYCLES AS ARTWORKS—that was the project sponsored by the Italian cycle-maker Cinelli which donated 13 classy frames (usually costing thousands of dollars) to artists who agreed to beautify them. Clowns and cartoon characters were the most popular creations but only one—by Barry McGee—went into limited production, selling for $2,100 apiece. All went on show this month at the opening of Lance Armstrong’s bike shop, Mellow Johnny’s, in Austin, TX.

VIRGINIA ARTIST Andreas claims to have redefined the term mixed media “ by connecting philosophy, psychology, political science, literature and cinematography”. He devoted a full-page ad in Art News explaining that he does not sell his major works because he “did not want to distract this development with marketing”. The Corcoran Museum in Washington, DC, will stage a retrospective of Andreas works next year, after which some will be sold—value enhanced, of course, by the show.

THE WILCOCK WEB: What piece of skullduggery can we expect from the GOP this month as they fabricate their traditional “October Surprise”?…. And will anybody turn up to picket the Oct 19 annual convention of the Mortage Bankers Association in San Francisco?…..It’s 75 years since the California legislature adopted the unfair and undemocratic rule that a simple majority doesn’t decide things. But the only people who can change it, are the only ones who wouldn’t benefit from the change…. “Everyone says they’re building a museum, but most of them just say it to try to get discounts”  complains Damien Hirst, $200million of whose works (fabricated by his 150-member staff) sold at Sotheby’s last month….“Big bondholders and  creditors generally go to the front of the line in a corporate bankruptcy and small parties are forced to the back”, says a newspaper report. In a less avaricious society, it would be the other way around….If rightwing pastors want to defy the principle of separating church and state by giving political sermons, let them join the rest of us and pay taxes….George H. W. Bush was president when the Savings and Loans went bust.  George W. Bush is president when the banks got into trouble last week.  Can’t wait to see what happens to the U. S. when Jeb gets his turn,” writes columnist Bob Patterson…. Could it ever be possible to imagine a society that didn’t exist on debt, one where nobody (including short sellers) bought anything they didn’t have the cash to pay for?…. A winner in the Washington Post’s competition for new words was Sarchasm: the gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it …. Every election since 1980 has been won by the candidate with the top-selling Halloween mask. So far this year, Obama masks are 4% ahead of those for McCain…. The men who make revolutions are always despised by those who profit from them—Françoise Guizot (1787-1874)

9/27/08

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