Combo plate for the week before Thanksgiving
The ‘Joyous News’ department:
My friend Pete, his wife Melissa and their newly adopted Ethiopian daughter Iona are back on American soil and headed home. Ask yourself; what would it be like as a rich American in Ethiopia, adopting a child? The answer is in the stories.
The ‘pertinent questions’ department:
As our economy teeters on the brink, what’s our motivation? Why do we get up every day and ‘do it again’? A psychiatrist and a neurologist tackle the question in The Road Less Traveled and Studs Terkel. Let’s ask: Is affluence an unqualified good? Or do we, in good times, need to be extra-vigilant against a kind of spiritual blindness?
***Dave proposes: “How about we bail out the Auto Companies—on the condition that everyone who is a prefixed VP (Senior, Group, Executive) or higher is fired with no severance pay?” A compelling idea, given the Breathtaking Capital Destruction of these mismanaged companies, and the fact that they still do not get it.
Do GM workers really get seventy bucks an hour? Um, NO, they don’t. Jim Henley at Unqualified Offerings, who runs a car company himself, explains why, and wonders aloud why people are throwing that figure around.
Cindik at Pam’s House Blend turns anti-gay logic around and asks “Why do we allow heterosexuals to marry?”. And remember Newt Gingrich’s recent tirade about “gay fascism”? His gay sister Candice has a few things to say to him about that. Things could be a little tense around the family table on Thursday this week.
The ‘Interesting Stuff’ department:
I didn’t know there is a museum in the old Book Depository building in Dealey Plaza in Dallas. It’s a place for historical reflection.
John Wilkins admits he can’t handle the Truth. If you always suspected science isn’t really about Truth, here’s your chance, but don’t get too comfortable.
The Greeks figured out the distance to the sun, just by looking at stuff. Here’s how they did it.
You may have heard that today’s marijuana is far more potent than that of my generation. Drug Monkey examines what high-potency weed really means in terms of policy. Curiously, it could mean that today’s toke is actually less damaging.
The ‘Useful tips’ department:
“Yang Yang was so cute I just wanted to cuddle him,” said Liu, the 20-year-old Chinese man who climbed into the panda cage for some affection. He is expected to recover from his injuries. Here’s a hint, Liu, panda bears are still bears. Buy a plush one in the zoo gift shop and cuddle up with it instead.
Julie Deardorff at Chicago Tribune has some good tips about winter cycling in Get Winter Tough. Most of what she said agrees with what I wrote about winter biking strategies 10 months ago, but she has a few improvements. Chicago bikers, as you might imagine, deal with a LOT of wind and slush.
Y’know, maybe it’s just me, but if you don’t want nude photos of yourself or your spouse on the Internet, maybe your cell phone isn’t the best place to keep them.
Columnist growing up department:
And finally, Kathleen Parker is finding herself out in the cold after she calls the Christian Right what it really is: the “oogedy-boogedy” wing of the Republican party. This is an exactly correct description of people who think we humans are riding an insulated raft down the rapids of history driven by a bronze-age god, and need not concern ourselves with planetary health or social justice. After years of characterizing liberals as flaky ‘60’s radicals, maybe Parker herself is finally ready to move out of the ‘60’s. Heaven knows liberals did a long time ago. Come on in and have some cocoa, Kathleen. You want marshmallows?