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

July 18, 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

 

 



July 18, 2009

           “It’s a bad idea to have journalism mainly carried out by large corporations whose chief interest in news is how to make the maximum amount of money from it. And…to have as these corporations’ main or sole source of revenue advertising from other large corporations so that the news industry’s overwhelming incentive is to keep these advertisers happy.. It should be obvious that giant-for-profit companies do not have the same interests as the public at large”
Jim Naureckas in Extra’s examination of ‘The Future of Journalism’.

UNLIKELY AS IT MIGHT SEEM, Cuba has the latent prospect of being at the forefront of the next “intelligence-driven boom” if opening up trade allows a blossoming of its creativity and entrepreneurial innovation. So predicts Wired, pointing to the island’s investment in medical research, the  ingenuity of its artisans (think of how they’re kept those 50-year-old cars running!), their language skills, a capacity for high-tech outsourcing. “There’s tremendous potential” says Gustav Ranis, an economic development expert at Yale. “Cubans are eerily well-educated, particularly for such an impoverished people. Education is one thing Castro has done right: 98.8 percent of adults are literate and nearly a third have graduated from high school, many with the sort of vocational training the U.S. foolishly let slip a generation ago”.

IT’S TRUE THAT building a pipeline from San Francisco Bay in the west or Suisan Bay in the northeast all the way to the parched San Joaquin Valley would be expensive, but sooner or later more arid agriculture regions will be obliged to do something similar. What happens next? The sea water is pumped into vast meter-deep pools, atop which glass or plastic is angled so that solar rays condense fresh water which runs off endlessly from the underside of the cover. There’s plenty  of precedents for this process around the world with Dupont being a major researcher about the subject.

The way that countries such as China, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have been buying farmland to grow food in poor countries has been described as “the great water grab” reports the Economist, explaining that water shortages have been the “hidden impulse” behind many of the deals.  The total area concerned is equivalent to one-fifth of all the farmland in the European Union. With the land comes the right to draw the water linked to it, says the magazine, asking: “Is this beneficial foreign investment or neocolonialism?”

ICELAND MAY HAVE BEEN the first Western country to declare bankruptcy but it may also become the first to achieve a comeback from what’s underground.  And that’s not oil, coal, gas or gold, but hot water. “The island is basically one big volcano” explains Popular Science, “formed over millions of years as molten rock bubbled up from the seafloor”. And what this Kentucky-sized country plans to do with this geothermal resource, is to drill far enough down (they’re two miles deep already) for an endless supply of steam to drive turbines able to deliver as much energy as a small nuclear plant becoming “the global model for geothermal projects”. Eventually the country hopes its successful scheme will enable it to offload energy to the rest of Europe.

IN WHAT IT CALLED “The Ideas Issue” Atlantic magazine offered six pages of Quick Fixes to current problems. They included the suggestion that banks be required to allow occupants of foreclosed homes to remain in the property indefinitely paying fair market rent; that the UN overcome its objections to “mercenaries” and hire private military companies for peacekeeping duties; sell huge chunks of the ocean to profit-making companies which will have an obvious incentive for seeing they are not over-fished to extinction; hand out temporary work visas to immigrants from poor countries; abolish all taxes except one on the ownership of land; redesign the dollar; allow 18-year-olds to drink after they’ve completed an alcohol education course; and abolish the vice presidency.

THE THIRD WHEEL in Meg Hirshberg’s marriage, she reveals, is Bond Girl who’s everywhere with them—in the restaurant, at the tennis court, on the boat and at the beach. “Bond Girl is an irresistible superwoman... she has become too big to fire”.  Bond Girl, aka her husband’s Blackberry, “knows all Gary’s secrets and contains all his memories. She alone knows where he’ll be today, tomorrow and ever after”. Writing about “Sharing Gary” in Inc., the frustrated wife quotes MIT professor Sherry Turkle who says that most people feel anxious about a disconnect from the world. “We’re losing the knack for solitude and the desire to ‘be here now’”.

THE WILCOCK WEB: According to The Book of Days (1979), Egyptian priests identified July 21 as the first day of the world…. One month before the 40th anniversary of the Charlie Manson murders, Los Angeles is running an 18-page pictorial recap of the horrifying tale….It’s not unthinkable that Iran’s Supreme Leader may become the former Supreme Leader before too long…. Hong Kong’s Asia Times reports on China’s growing problem with government officials gambling away public funds:  the head of one state-owned company blew $14 million betting with online casinos…If the Swiss bank UBS doesn’t care to observe U.S. laws, why isn’t it banned from doing business in this country?….No matter how far you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery….New 20p coins lacking a date issued by Britain’s Royal Mint have been selling for thousands of bucks on eBay…. .Future astronauts will be spending so many years en route to distant planets that they may as well amputate their legs suggests University College of London professor Lewis Dartnell because “in space legs are just a hindrance, dragging around behind you”….London’s Royal Court Theatre will stage Enron: the Musical in September.Hoping to compensate for declining cigarette sales with a renewed emphasis on snuff, Philip Morris will presumably be shifting cancer from the lungs to the gums….“A lot of people” observed Doug Larson, “mistake a short memory for a clear conscience”…. There are still companies that will allow you to drive a car across country for them (with a $350 refundable deposit), one of which is Auto Driveaway (800/346-2277)… If fear alters your behavior, you’re already defeated”—Brenda Hammond

7/11/09

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