Monday, January 30, 2012
I don't know why I bought a subscription to the New Yorker. Maybe the hours spent in dentists' waiting rooms have somehow conditioned me, like an old lag craving prison chow. Also, it was very cheap. But I don't think I'll be renewing. For one thing, being reminded of the world-class events I'm missing every week is making me unhappy. Then there's the house style, with its excessive use of the word “the:” “The guitarist Bill Frisell appears along with the bassist Ron Carter and the drummer Joey Baron.” I like the cartoons. But I can't stand all the articles.
Monday, January 23, 2012
It's been a while since I've updated you on biofuels. Actually, I've never updated you on this important topic. But now there's a major scientific breakthrough worthy of your attention. A team led by synthetic biologist Yasuo Yoshikuni has genetically modified the common E. coli bacterium so that it digests seaweed and excretes ethanol. So in the future there will be no fuel shortages. The next step is to introduce the relevant genes into the human body. Because once each of us can basically subsist on compost while peeing vodka, why would anybody ever need to go anywhere ever again?
Monday, January 16, 2012
Now that the holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr is uniformly celebrated in all 50 states, it's easy to forget that it was opposed by Senator Helms of North Carolina, who cited the Reverend's “action-oriented Marxism” and other “radical political” views. And really, being opposed by Jesse Helms is more dignified that having a Kmart sale in your honor. Dr. King would undoubtedly be proud to know that he was being treated with same disrespect as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, whose commemorative holidays are also used as precepts for unseemly retail promotions. Oh, and Jesus Christ. Him too.
Monday, January 9, 2012
It must be more than mere coincidence that this year's New Hampshire primary is occurring just a few weeks before the 201st birthday of one of that state's most influential and successful natives, Horace Greeley, who, even had he not died at the age of 61 while waiting for the results of a landslide defeat in the 1872 U.S. presidential election, would certainly have been dead by now anyway. Greeley's paper, the New York Tribune, was known as the Great Moral Organ. Oh, yeah: Then there's his neckbeard, which was so unpleasant looking as to defy the powers of language.
Monday, January 2, 2012
I note with dismay that our public schools are teaching science without any reference to phlogiston theory or Ptolemy's geocentric model of the universe. Since when is okay to use government dollars to support just one side in an ongoing debate? Surely there's room in our public institutions for free and lively discussion between many viewpoints. And Flat-Earthers pay taxes the same as everybody else. Also, since churches get government support in the form of protected tax status, shouldn't they be required to teach the controversy by including Origin of Species side-by-side with the Bible in their Sunday school classes?