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

May 16, 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

 

 



May 16, 2009

MSNBC featured a couple of critics of the wonderful Wanda Sykes (at the Correspondents’ dinner)-–the Correspondents’ dinner!-- who claimed she’d gone ‘over the top’. Good goddess! Haven’t any of these people heard of Lenny Bruce? What do they think he did?

“CREDIT-CRUNCHED BANKERS”  (as the Spectator calls them) are enduring sexual problems following their financial setbacks, with some wives punishing their husbands in Lysistrata fashion (i.e. no sex) as payback for “carelessly losing their master-of-the-universe status”. Their women rationalize that they surrendered their own careers for a disappearing high-octane lifestyle, and now its payback time. The magazine reports that in the past six months there has been a dramatic rise in sexually disturbed behavior, partly due to libidos crashing along with the stock market. None of the number of people he had treated recently for erectile dysfunction, commented  British doctor Philip Hopley, “had pre-existing psychosexual problems or mental health issues”.

THE MAY ISSUE of Fortune devotes 20 pages to a cover story “How Bernie Did It” which, although too technical to readily summarize, and not easy for the unitiated to comprehend, does  predicts that Madoff’s chief deputy Frank DiPascali may be willing to sing like a canary in return for a reduced plea deal.

PRESIDENTIAL PRESS CONFERENCES could benefit by including at least one question from the public at large, in the view of an activist group promoted by CommunityCounts.com and the Nation magazine. Inviting the public to submit questions on the website, the group suggests that after questions have been chosen by vote, a credentialed journalist should present something that “the mainstream media couldn’t or wouldn’t think to ask” at the next White House press conference.

POND SCUM DOESN’T sound like anybody’s idea of a good time but it’s yet-another new source of something with which we might all be eventually filling our gas tanks. A San Diego firm, Sapphire Energy, is just one of the companies researching algae which apparently contains so much fatty oil, that with minimal refining can power cars and jets. David Kurzman, a biofuels analyst, told Portfolio that “the problem is not so much the science (but) developing a major industrial process and whether this is cost-effective”. The cost of producing a barrel of fuel from algae is estimated to be between $40 and $80—roughly the same price as oil at present. Sapphire thinks it can produce 200,000 barrels a day by 2022. “We want to build an oil company” says its spokesman. “This not just a short-term play”.

Homeland Security is soliciting sources to look (or sniff) into human odor as an indicator of deception, writes Bob Parks “It’s not totally crazy.  Sweat due to nervousness comes from different glands, than sweat due to exertion, and has a stronger odor.  But this has the same flaw as the polygraph.  It’s not clear whether liars or innocents will be more nervous.

EVEN AFTER OVERTAKING General Motors to become the world’s biggest carmaker, Toyota couldn’t escape the world-wide recession. Retail sales have dropped 20% and Its losses for this year are estimated to be $11 billion.  In Toyota City –Japan’s Detroit—more than 70% of the 422,000 population depends on the company and is suffering what’s endearingly known as Toyota Shokku prompting a local mayoral candidate to deride the one-industry philosophy that has prevailed for so long. “We have to change the character of the economy” declares Masahiko Hosokawa.

IN HIS NEW BOOK, Showing Up for Life, Bill Gates Sr. talks about how he and his wife were depressed that his son (nicknamed Trey) was dropping out of college. “He told us he planned to take advantage of an opportunity he believed would be gone by the time he graduated from Harvard. However, he promised us that he would go back to Harvard later to get his degree ‘Later’ finally arrived on June 7, 2007, the day Harvard awarded Trey an honorary law degree…(he) told the audience ‘I’ve been waiting more than 30 years to say this, Dad, I always told you I’d come back and get my degree’”.

ONCE REGARDED AS offering an all-purpose future, plastics are increasingly thought to be an all-encompassing disaster having “morphed from an engineering triumph into a global scourge”. Thus does Mother Jones categorize them as emblematic of a world “swimming in waste” pointing to the littered coastlines and thousands of whales, dolphins, seals and millions of birds that choke to death on plastic waste. The magazine quotes the Worldwatch Institute’s Christopher Flavin who predicts that the next feat will be to make plastics disappear without a trace, “a complex engineering challenge that will keep many people employed for years to come”.

RISK COMPENSATION IS WHAT behaviorists call it when new safety devices are introduced making people feel less vulnerable, and thus more inclined to take risks. The subject was raised by a Smithsonian article marking the 50th anniversary of the standard “three-point” automobile seat belt whose invention, it was speculated, might have prompted drivers to drive with less caution. After all, improving the rip cord on parachutes caused some skydivers to “hit the silk too late” and children who wear protective sports equipment tend to engage in rougher play. The magazine failed to find evidence that seat belt-wearers drove more dangerously but its research led to a corollary that what did change people’s behavior were rewards, such as lower insurance premiums or free license renewals for crash-free drivers.

THE WILCOCK WEB: Having killed thousands of innocent Iraquis in an unnecessary war, we’re now killing thousands of innocent Afghani peasants in anther war. Who’ll be next?….. Perhaps somebody could set up a Cayman Islands company which ordinary people could part-own to avoid paying taxes in the US?…. When you read the small print in those newspaper ads offering “free” safes in which to store your Presidential Golden Coins, you’ll see its’ only cost is 20 payments of $98 ….”No matter how cynical you get” muses Lily Tomlin, “it is impossible to keep up”…. A medical breakthrough about to get wider recognition is Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS) which takes place via a single hole in the navel and leaves no scars…. British pharmaceutical companies have declined to produce a newly-developed five-in-one pill to treat cardiovascular disease because expected profits wouldn’t justify the expense of obligatory trials… Live commercials will be a feature of Jay Leno’s new 10pm show…. Our status as “empowered consumer” has led us to the belief that the body is “your canvas to be fixed, remade and enhanced” says Susie Orbach. “What is wrong with our bodies as they are ?”……Anybody gullible enough to work for Michael Jackson have only themselves to blame if they really expected he was going to pay his bills….Increasing alliances between Christian churches and Islamic groups in England are causing concern because of their joint antagonism to Israel….Determined to increase usage of the dollar coin, the US Treasury has begun a promotional campaign at Portland, OR; Grand Rapids, MI; Charlotte, NV; and Austin, TX…..When those unsavory lawyers have finished sliming Woody Allen on behalf of American Apparel, possibly Bernie Madoff or Robert Mugabe could use their help?…. Sheets of plastic with the strength of body armor, called X-Flex, have been developed for use on walls to protect against hurricanes or to withstand shrapnel in army units… An Arizona engineering firm has developed a new device to end car chases: a white disk which can be triggered to throw out a network of entangling wires when a car passes over it….. Karl Rove’s name is mentioned three times as being a passenger in National Review’s ad for its July cruise of the Mediterranean…. Only a malicious person is always at his best--Somerset Maugham (1864-1965)

FlaShback:
THE WILCOCK WEB:
Now that John Yoo, who handed George Bush his legal excuse for condoning torture is back at UC Berkeley, what exactly is he teaching his law students there?….May 10, 2008

         [Brief items appearing here, often blossom later
into New York Times
stories]

5/9/09

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