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

February 7, 2009
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 7, 2009

Every few years UFO disclosure mania rises to a fever pitch but always subsides.  The idea of a major “disclosure” coming soon has long been a major hope and a speculation in UFOlogy, paralleling the Christian fundamentalist’s operation of the Second Coming.” – Robert Sheaffer in the Jan/Feb issue of Skeptical Inquirer, devoted to escalating UFO interest. (One researcher described the UFO movement as “an evolving system of paranoia.”)

How could 9,000 business reporters blow the biggest story on their beat? asked Mother Jones in a piece that bemoaned the way that the financial press failed to see disaster in advance. The business press message, wrote Dean Starkman, a former WSJ reporter, has been much more devoted to personality profiles than investigations about fraud.  He quoted Michael Hudson, an early critic of the sub-prime mess a decade ago.  “The press were kind of prisoners of respectability.  With exceptions they really want official sources; they want official approval; they don’t want to be first out front.  They want to do a good job after the fact; but not beforehand when it counts.”

Last year’s Ig Nobel Awards, which honor science’s lighter side, included a new category, Archaeology, for the first time and launched a new word on the world:  bioturbation.  It describes the way that as animals burrow, they disturb the different ground layers, which confuses later archaeologists to no end.  The study that won —about armadillos-- described how animals not only dig up the soil but also press it down.  You can see how an archaeologist could be unreasonably confused by that sort of behavior.

THE PURPOSE OF US nuclear weapons, born nearly 65 years ago, was to deter a massive Soviet army that threatened to invade and dominate all of Europe, says Foreign Affairs. “But the reality is that only one real purpose remains:  to prevent the use of nuclear weapons by others.”

In a piece headed The Logic of Zero, the magazine makes the case for “a comprehensive international nuclear control regime, an airtight verification system to enable the world to move from the thousandsof nuclear weapons...ultimately to zero.

“A nuclear arsenal of many thousands of weapons will do nothing to defer terrorists from using a nuclear bomb, should they acquire one; indeed the more nuclear weapons there are in the world, the more likely it is that terrorists will get their hands on one...The US needs to change its nuclear thinking policies and bring them into line with the changed threats it now confronts”.

Because of growing demand for nuclear energy (fueled by rising gas prices, increased pollution, depleted oil supplies, global warming) more nations will insist on developing their own nuclear fuel cycle to enrich uranium for the sake of self-sufficiency. And  because there is little difference between enriching uranium to the level needed to power a civilian reactor  and producing weapons-grade uranium, any international monitoring verification must include all fissionable material “wherever it is and what its purpose”.

EVEN THE MGHTY New York Times is not immune to the collapse of the print media writes Michael Hirschorn in an essay in the Atlantic which points to the huge debts the paper will have to settle in May. Like so many other papers the Times is suffering from plunging circulation and advertising cutbacks and its new $600 million headquarters no longer looks like such an inspired idea. The paper’s “steady march toward temporarily profitable lifestyle fluff…has gradually hollowed out journalism’s brand by making the newspaper feel disposable” says Hirschorn, a direction taken under the guise of “service”.

The Mayor who loves women and treats them well most of the time doesn’t like them to get pregnant according to Portfolio.  A story about New York’s Michael Bloomberg suggests that he has “two faces” – the liberal minded chief executive who backs pro-choice and has devoted energy and resources to causes important to women, and a man who once apparently said he’d like nothing more in life than to have Sharon Stone sit on his face.  But the famous bluntness--and salty and sometimes downright crude-sense of humor--the magazine charges, are secondary to the fact that he is facing lawsuits from at least two women who claim they were fired from his company for being pregnant.

WHEN IT COMES TO wearing a dress with horizontal or vertical stripes, fashion has been getting it wrong all these years, concludes a study at York University, which says exactly the reverse is the case. Oddly enough, as early as 1867 a book by a German scientist named Hermann von Helmholtz concluded that vertical stripes were more flattering  and nobody can explain how the opposite of his conclusions came to be accepted wisdom.

THE WILCOCK WEB: Boycott those exploitatively tasteless companies that present  “An Open Letter to the President” --insulting, full-page ads which do nothing more than advocate he buy one of their crummy mattresses…..On sale until May in England: squirrel-flavored potato chips, the winner in a contest by Walkers to discover new varieties …. Supermarkets are reporting dramatically increased sales of cheaper ”house brands” in preference to nationally-advertised products, as shoppers seek ways to save reports Brian Sharoff of the Private Label Manufacturers Association….Live shark-feeding demonstrations are a feature of the world’s largest shopping center, the Dubai Mall whose 1,200 shops include 220 devoted to jewelry…. Whoever imagined the US Postal Service would put Marx on a stamp? It’s actually Groucho Marx and he’ll be one in a series of 20 stamps this summer to celebrate early black and white television shows….A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France resulted in Linoleum Blownapart….“Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends” opined H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)..... Ron Popeil, that late-night TV pitchman who brought you the Pocket Fisherman, Showtime Rotisserie and Chop-O-Matic, will soon be peddling his new Deep Fryer for Turkeys…..Formerly healthy white-collar criminals are increasingly discovering they suffer from substance abuse now that participating in a prison rehab allows them to have their sentences reduced…. Bestseller in Japan: “diet glasses” whose blue tint make food less appetizing….When eating snacks labeled “low fat”, people consume about 28% more, evidently believing mistakenly that they’re eating fewer calories…..  Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power--Benjamin Franklin  (1706-90)

1/31/09

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