I’ve gone back and forth a couple of times on what to do with things I just want to link to but don’t have a lot of additional stuff to say about, or that don’t warrant a full blow post with the great big title. So I’ve set up the Daily Reading thingy over there on the right, which are things I’ve come across that I think are worth reading. It has its own separate RSS feed.
From Joshua Clark, a resident of the French Quarter’s daily column “Apocalypse N.O.” in Salon:
Last week, the 10 of us holed up together in the commune formed an organization to start cleaning the Quarter: New Orleanians Eliminating Negative Debris (NO END). Our motto is “Less Weeping, More Sweeping.” In keeping with our motto, we constructed a sign and hung it in front of St. Anthony’s Garden behind the St. Louis Cathedral. In the center of the garden, smack-dab in the center of the French Quarter, stands a 20-foot-high statue of Jesus with his arms stretched high and wide — a city icon known lovingly as “Touchdown Jesus.” The sign, now locally (in)famous, says, “Jesus Swept.”
I’ve felt I had little to add to the Katrina blather, but, after the feelings of sympathy and amazement at the devastation and devolution have passed, my lasting impression remains what today’s Onion totally nails: “God Outdoes Terrorists Yet Again“. I thought pretty much the same thing after the Iran earthquakes in 2003 and last December’s Tsunami. When God shows how he can wipe out thousands of people in any corner of the world with such casual ease, how can anyone either be a terrorist or seriously fear terrorists? I mean, this is not a being who needs help from his followers when he wants to do some serious killing.
Right now, if I’m Osama, I’d have to wonder if maybe even thinking I can come close to matching God’s murderous capacity is just blasphemy and self-flattery. And right now, if I’m me, I’m thinking, I’ve got no problem riding the subway everyday, but being so close to the Atlantic is maybe not such a great idea.
Marina Bai has sued the U.S. space agency, claiming the Deep Impact probe that punched a crater into the comet Tempel 1 late Sunday “ruins the natural balance of forces in the universe,” the newspaper Izvestia reported Tuesday. … Bai is seeking damages totaling $300 million — the approximate equivalent of the mission’s cost — for her “moral sufferings,” Izvestia said, citing her lawyer Alexander Molokhov. She earlier told the paper that the experiment would “deform her horoscope.” (from Yahoo! News via Slashdot)
Now, even if you take astrology at face value, how is it possible to deform a horoscope? Are the celestial bodies supposed to cause things to happen on Earth, or are they just part of the same celestial clockwork, mirroring events on Earth, allowing astrologers to read them? In which case, the cause of the celestial event is irrelevant.
Or, even if you do think that celestial bodies cause Earthly events, doesn’t that mean that the celestial bodies caused NASA to send a probe to the comet? Maybe she should sue the stars.
From New York Metro:
… Yet the standard-issue amber-cast pharmacy pill bottle has remained virtually unchanged since it was pressed into service after the second World War. (A child-safety cap was added in the seventies.) An overhaul is finally coming, courtesy of Deborah Adler, a 29-year-old graphic designer whose ClearRx prescription-packaging system debuts at Target pharmacies May 1.
From the Sunday Globe Ideas section (which I’m reading online, given the blizzard has made paper delivery impossible): “the conventional wisdom about establishing the run turns out to be a classic case of misinterpreting cause and effect…. Even if you don’t get too many yards on the ground early, say most analysts, winning teams need to keep running to wear the defense down.” Still, isn’t this kind of obvious? Baseball has so much more opportunity to mis-interpret numbers, or to find new significant numbers. I guess it’s why it’s been keeping me coming back for the past few years, and football hasn’t.
In other sports news, though I don’t follow football much, my sympathies are definitely not with the “New England” Patriots (the very name of which reeks of someone’s business plan— come on, real teams belong to a city!), but with the old hometown team. I will be waving the Terrible Towel tomorrow with a friend who also was branded by growing up in Pittsburgh during the Steelers’ dominance in the 70′s.
From the BBC: “Wildlife officials in Sri Lanka have reported that, despite the loss of human life in the Asian disaster, there have been no recorded animal deaths.”