Monthly Archives: July 2004

That’s why they call it ‘hazardous’

It may sound obvious to anyone who knows me, but “hazardous, tricky clean-up of nuclear sites”: is for me the single compelling reason to avoid nuclear power as a major energy source. I don’t worry nearly so much about Chernobyl-style accidents as I do about subtle, continuous contamination of an ecosystem due to nuclear byproducts.
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Training young capitalist pigs?

Help me here.

It is an odd thing to have one of your favorite mythical worlds spun in an unpleasant way. I came across a mind-twisting article on Harry Potter, the capitalist pig. Nevermind that J.K. Rowling is richer than God now; the fantastical world she created was a lift to my spirit every time I entered it. Maybe it is because I have been raised in a competitive, capitalist environment all my life, and furthermore find competitiveness and also greed to be intrinsic to human nature in all but, as we would say, the most “saintly” among us (when thinking of the greed aspect), but I can’t fathom how the competitive drive could be conquered on a large scale within the real world, and how that would even be healthy. Competition causes us to rise to greater challenges, and without the constant battle, we would be complacent and jaded.

Not that I don’t tire of the battle to survive many days… especially when paying rent and other bills. In the U.S. the balance is probably shifted too much toward a “lord of the flies” mentality. And the consumerist aspect of our culture truly is poisonous. The latter and former things are somehow conflated, though, to make wholly “evil” the very process by which evil is battled in Harry Potter’s world.

I welcome comments that address the mindset of the essay’s author. (Does this explain the lukewarm reception of Lance Armstrong by the French and other Europeans? This year he has certainly approached Le Tour with the mindset of dominance.)

Contagious yawning

Apparently “chimps are subject to contagious yawning”: just like humans.

_The team played videos of chimps either yawning or exhibiting other open-mouth behaviours such as grinning to six adult chimps and three infants at the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University in Japan._

_…They argue that their figure of 33 per cent of adults showing contagious yawning compares well with humans since the chimps do not understand the purpose of the trial._

_…”Our data suggest that contagious yawning is a by-product of the ability to conceive of yourself and to use your experience to make inferences about comparable experiences and mental states in others,” Gallup told New Scientist._

MacGyver would be proud

I don’t know how many times I wish I had a tripod along, even for my pocket-sized camera. Now that won’t be a problem, because I can carry a “home-made bottle-cap tripod”: and pop it on a handy water bottle.

To the Ace Hardware, Robin!

cuts both ways

I ordered my copy of “Outfoxed”: today, and it’s left me feeling ornery. Here are some political quickies:

* “The bin Laden vote”:
* “Something to make us ill with shame”:
* “Refreshing humor”:
* “The facts behind the film”:
* “A little something to chew on”: