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

November 14, 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

 

 



November 14, 2009

John Wilcock
the column of lasting insignificance

“President Obama expresses a willingness to expend untold billions—not to mention who knows how many lives—in order to determine the fate of Afghanistan… What is it about Afghanistan, possessing next to nothing that America requires, that justifies such lavish attention? That is a question that in Washington goes not only unanswered but unasked.”
Andrew J. Bacevich in Commonwealth.

NEXT MONTH’S GLOBAL SUMMIT in Copenhagen about climate change is getting attention in the mags with Mother Jones’ Bill McKibben calling it “the most important diplomatic gathering in the world’s history”. The MJ’s  lady editors emphasize the importance of working to preserve the future of the planet and ponder why Americans, in contrast to the rest of the world, seem so little concerned. Without major environmental changes, they forecast, 30% of the world’s species will in our lifetimes become extinct, the Southwest will be a dustbowl and 200 million people will have become climate refugees.

Among the proposals to be considered when representatives of 192 countries meet is “climate debt”, the controversial idea that rich countries should pay reparations to poor countries for the climate crisis. Nearly 50 of the world’s least-developed countries will take this demand to Copenhagen, writes Naomi Klein in Rolling Stone as she quotes Sharon Looremeta, an advocate for Kenya’s Maasi community which “does not drive 4x4s or fly off on holidays in airplanes. We have not caused climate change, yet we are the ones suffering. This is an injustice and should be stopped right now”.

DIAMONDS REALLY AREN’T forever says the skeptical Theodore Gray and neither are they either rare or intrinsically valuable. ”Those are ideas invented by the diamond industry” he writes in Popular Science as he points out that cheaper and more attractive stones would survive if your house burns down, but diamonds “will be gone in a puff of CO2”.

THE BATTERY-OPERATED electric airplane is ready but is still prohibited for use by the sort of pilots who could use it—the owners of “light sports” aircraft. “We’re reluctant to introduce new technology on a less experienced flight population” says the FAA’s Steve Flanagan. “We need to get some more flight experience with electric motors”. The new ElectraFlyer X kit plane, to cost $65,000, is powered by lithium-ion battery packs and can stay aloft for two hours with a top speed of 100mph.

Johnny Carson used to come to Spago and take home 10 pizzas. One day, I said, ‘Johnny, are you having a party?’ He said, ‘No, I put them in my freezer and then pop them in the oven for dinner’. I thought, How can you do that to my pizza? Then I tried it—it wasn’t bad”Wolfgang Puck, explaining to Inc. how he got into a new line of business

HUNDREDS of ads have appeared about an exercise machine promising that four minutes a day is all you’ll need to spend on it for a complete work-out. Sounds unlikely? Well, according to Benjamin Radford’s investigation “it’s a load of bullshit”. At an expensive $14,615, the ROM (Range of Motion) machine “is little more than a stylish, glorified exercise machine not unlike any other costing one-hundredth of the price” Radford writes in the Skeptical Inquirer“You’re paying for pretension and packaging instead of proven efficacy”.

SURELY FEW THINGS could be sadder than the pictures of homeless horses on the website of the Unwanted Horse Coalition whose recent report explains that the declining economy is not just affecting people. The issue is “a big problem”, the UHC reveals, with most of the existing rescue/ retirement facilities for the poor beasts so full, that hundreds now are being turned away.

CONTEMPORARY ART’S BIGGEST conman, Damien Hirst, he of the “dead animals and pills and paintings painted by other people” (in the words of the Independent’s Tom Lubbock) staged a show of his own paintings in London which was not universally admired. Lubbock described Hirst’s work as boring and “about the level of a not-very-promising, first-year art student”, an assessment endorsed by the Evening Standard’s  volatile Brian Sewell who termed the exhibition “fucking dreadful”.

THE WILCOCK WEB: “Why start with Afghanistan? Why not first fix, say, Mexico?” writes Andrew J. Bacevich…..…. Russian oil billionaire Roman Abranovich is awaiting delivery of the world’s biggest yacht (557 feet long), which is equipped with 25 cabins, a mini-submarine, and laser system that can deflect and disrupt electronic light sensors in paparazzi cameras.….  “If Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters they might still be around”  wrote Florida correspondent Julia Hughes Jones in a letter to the  Utne Reader ….William F. Pepper, lawyer for Sirhan B. Sirhan who shot Robert Kennedy in front of a dozen witnesses, is wasting everybody’s time seeking reopening of the murder because of “new evidence”. Could the sad assassin have had an unhappy childhood?…..In California, Orange County honchos are declining the offer of 20,000 acres of open space because they don’t have the funds to “manage” it. Why not accept the gift and leave it alone until they do have the money? Obviously the land survived for thousands of years without “management” before bureaucracy arrived…. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still…Anything more than hiking boots is forbidden for visitors to German’s first nude hiking trail, an 11-mile woodland trek in the Hartz Mountains which Goethe praised in his poetry”…. Multi-armed robot tools that can perform complex surgical operations on patients with more precision that the doctor are becoming mainstays of hospitals reports Popular Mechanics A Michigan firm, Windtronics, has produced a rooftop turbine that, with sufficient wind, can produce 18% of a household’s energy needs…. And Italy’s KiteGenResearch has devised a kite that, spinning an alternator as the wind carries it to 2,600 feet, generates electricity and is then winched in before rising again…..….Trashing the likes of Sean Penn and George Clooney for their political comments, Rush Limbaugh sneered that they were just “entertainers”, which is also how he has described himself ….We do not deal much in fact when we are contemplating ourselves—Mark Twain (1835-1910)

11/7/09

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