Monday, October 27, 2008

Some issues of Magazine Street

Riding a bicycle around town can give you a perspective you don't get from the drivers seat. For instance: You might never realize what an impoverished state you live in until you observe for yourself that in Louisiana, even rich folks in a Mercedes or Lexus can't afford turn signals. Or this: For some reason, skinny people enjoy bicycles while fat people tend to prefer automobiles. And actions speak louder than bumpers, so if you cruise your big SUV through a busy crosswalk without looking, while yakking on your cellphone and balancing a Starbucks cup, your McCain sticker is redundant.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Or a Monty Python sketch

Okay. It's still early and I'm on my first cup of coffee. And I'm going to hell for thinking this is funny. But the BBC is reporting that Mr Gay UK has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering his lover and cannibalizing him. At the sentencing, the presiding judge said, “Not only did you murder your victim by cutting his throat and stabbing him but you cut him up, cooked him and ate part of him.” This is dreadful behavior, and I shouldn't be giggling. But read that quote again. Wouldn't it make a great Gary Larson caption?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Or harness the thermal energy of Atomic Red Hots.

There was this old joke about the wonderful electric car- cheap to buy, cheap to run, but the 40-mile extension cord sets you back 20 grand. Chevrolet has decided it seems to take their engineering inspiration from this, and they're promoting a car called the Volt. They promise it in 2010, complete with a 40-mile battery to replace the expensive cord of the old punchline. The new punchline is: No such battery exists. Plus, most of us would charge it with power from coal or nuclear plants. I say build it to run on clean, abundant snake oil.

Monday, October 6, 2008

How about “rational rant?”

I think George Carlin invented the oxymoron-as-one-liner, starting with “jumbo shrimp” and “military intelligence.” He would have loved the last few weeks, when he could have added both “legislative decision” and “business ethics” to his shtick. And we're not talking about folks trying to get way with breaking the law of the land, but the very laws of thermodynamics. Unlike government, nature never looks the other way. That's why Ponzi schemes, Amway memberships, investment bubbles, and - I'm thinking - the very concept of capital itself are fundamentally unsound. The most absurd oxymoron of them all is “sustainable growth.”