Thursday, April 28, 2005

Amid Poll Woes, Bush Proposes Social Security Fix - Yahoo! News: "But for Americans concerned about investing in the stock market, he also proposed a relatively safe investment option for private accounts, one invested entirely in U.S.-backed treasury bonds."

Yes, that's right. Those same treasury bonds that Mr. Bush recently said were worthless. He can't be a liar because the contradictory lies don't make any sense at all. I think he is just plain stupid. I don't really believe he understands what he is saying. It's just extremely curious. I would like to know someday just what in the hell is going on here. This is all just too bizarre.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Yahoo! News - 'The Simpsons' Hit 350th Episode Milestone: "'That isn't to say we don't do some bad shows now and didn't then. But I say that by and large, the shows we're doing now are just as good as any I've been involved with.'"

I would have to agree. When you press those who claim the show has gone downhill, they admit they haven't watched the show regularly in about 5-10 years. I was not a big fan of the show at first, especially during the Bart-craze. I think it was somewhere around season 6 or 7 when I started to watch it on a regular basis. It has been a marvel of consistency to me. They cram a great many jokes into those brief 22 minutes, a lot of them in the background. How many shows can do that?

Friday, April 22, 2005


Now THIS is what the internet is all about! Absolutely awesome app that finds music for you based upon how you rate what it finds. A great idea, elegantly executed. Brilliant all around. THIS is what the music industry should have come up with in response to Napster. If they think file sharing was hurting their business, wait until Indy reaches a tipping point.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 > The_Office > Episode Guide - Basketball

As an ardent admirer (ok, HUGE fan) of the BBC original, I have been watching the US version since the pilot hoping that the series would eventually reach a tipping point of its own. I believe with this episode it has. Very funny, very American, and for once the Michael Scott character becomes believable and almost recognizable. That seemed to be the 'magic' of the BBC version that Gervais was able to pull off this loathsome character and make him not just recognizable but sympathetic. Cannell, who I think has significant comedic talent, has been unable to get me to that point but with last night's episode he is starting to. Maybe it is also the writers are becoming more comfortable with the whole concept and able to make it their own. It is a question now as to whether NBC will renew the series, which is certainly one of the most daring and intelligent sitcoms on network TV today, just as it is seeming to gather some steam. The season finale is next week.

Friday, April 15, 2005

STLtoday - Genetically modified rice won't be planted near Bootheel fields: "The California company whose plan to sprout pharmaceutical rice in Missouri's Bootheel triggered a boycott threat from the Anheuser-Busch brewing company said Friday that it would seek a new Missouri planting site removed from commercial rice fields. After a meeting in St. Louis with brewery officials and political leaders, the California company, Ventria Bioscience, said it would amend its application with the U.S. Department of Agriculture so that its genetically engineered rice would be planted at least 120 miles away from the prime rice fields of southeast Missouri. "

I guess the market actually does work...thanks to worldwide consumer opposition to GMO crops. I will have to do some research on this, but I can't recall anyone having open-air fields of pharma-crops. There are many instances of cross-contamination of crops hundreds of miles away so this is merely a temporary setback. How Missouri can allow a company to plant this in an open-air field when you cannot even TEST to see if something has been contaminated by it is beyond me. Not even mentioning the fact that if it does contaminate other crops, it would more than likely render it worthless for human consumption. From a business standpoint, this GMO stuff is simply not going to work. ANd I love this line: "Blunt called the agreement 'a huge step forward' for agriculture, Missouri's plant-science industry and Ventria's goal of finding medicines that can help children." Oh please. There are already plenty of medicines and FOOD available to help all the children you want. It is a distribution 'problem' (read: no profit). GMO's are not going to help that.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 / News / Boston Globe / Ideas / The evolutionary revolutionary: "He's certainly returning to the ideas generated by that work. The book on deceit and self-deception that he's now starting grows out of a brief but widely cited passage from his introduction to Dawkins's ''The Selfish Gene.'' If deceit, he wrote, ''is fundamental to animal communication, then there must be strong selection to spot deception and this ought, in turn, to select for a degree of self-deception, rendering some facts and motives unconscious so as not to betray-by the subtle signs of self-knowledge-the deception being practiced.'' Thus, the idea that the brain evolved to produce ''ever more accurate images of the world must be a very naive view of mental evolution.'' We've evolved, in other words, to delude ourselves so as better to fool others-all in the service of the great game of propagating our genes. For Trivers, this isn't a mere technical question but the key to unlocking all sorts of deep human mysteries."

I find this approach extremely fascinating. While I have no idea if his conclusions will hold up to scrutiny, it should be quite apparent, especially in America at this point in time, that deception, of ourselves and others, is if not hard-wired then pretty darn close.