November 29th, 2002 § Comments off § permalink

I think I overdosed on pie.

Reading on a hell of a feeling

November 25th, 2002 § One comment § permalink

Prangstgrüp is a bunch of wacky kids at Columbia University who perpetrate goofy stunts on an unsuspecting public. Like, for example, performing a musical in a library. This is probably one of the ten funniest things I have ever seen.

Thin ice

November 18th, 2002 § Comments off § permalink

Because of global warming, Montana’s Glacier National Park may run out of glaciers within the next 30 years. Visitors to the park are beginning to understand why they should be concerned about climate change; the park’s superintendent says that people “wanted to know what I was going to do about stopping the glaciers.”

More federally-mandated morality

November 17th, 2002 § Three comments § permalink

In yet another fine example of “compassionate conservatism,” the Bush administration has begun to appoint critics of condoms to an AIDS advisory panel. It’s all part of the Bush administration’s efforts to promote abstinence instead of responsible, effective sex education programs.

The ethics of meat

November 11th, 2002 § Three comments § permalink

Michael Pollan has yet another terrific piece in this week’s New York Times Magazine about the ethics of eating meat. After examining the philosophical underpinnings of vegetarianism, Pollan concludes that the act of eating meat is fine; it’s the way we raise meat in the United States that’s troublesome. Worth a read no matter what your eating habits might be.

Incidentally, Pollan is lecturing at UC Berkeley tomorrow (Tuesday) night. I wish I could go.

Hot lobster

November 9th, 2002 § One comment § permalink

Scientists have discovered an apparent correlation between increased temperatures in Long Island Sound and the declining health of the area’s lobster population. Put simply, lobsters in the Sound are dying and could disappear entirely.

Christ on a clutch

November 8th, 2002 § One comment § permalink

A coalition of evangelical Christians is trying to convince thousands of churchgoing Americans that Jesus wants them to get better mileage. The campaign presents transportation choices as an ethical issue, encouraging Christians to consider the environmental consequences of their SUVs.

Meanwhile, under President Bush–whose favorite philosopher, as you may recall, is Jesus–the Environmental Protection Agency is forcing fewer polluters to pay fines, and collecting less money in fines overall.

Cod wallop

November 7th, 2002 § Comments off § permalink

Due to years of overfishing, the North Sea’s cod population is lower than it has ever been, and experts are worried that the region will never recover unless commercial cod fishing is banned indefinitely.

The article notes that a fishing ban would destroy the economies of some Danish towns. Surely, though, it would be better (and cheaper, in the long run) for the European Union to subsidize those towns temporarily rather than watch the cod stock dwindle to nothing.

There’s another more difficult issue here, as the article acknowledges: “[E]ven if the North Sea cod are saved, the pressure will likely move to other fisheries to meet the voracious appetite for fish sticks, fish and chips and fried fish sandwiches–or it will go to other species.” The only way around that problem is for people to change the way they eat. (Farm-raised fish are an alternative, but they’re far from a panacea.)

Tiptoing to defeat

November 7th, 2002 § Comments off § permalink

New York Times columnist Bob Herbert does a much better job than I did of summarizing this week’s election: “Republicans didn’t win control of the Senate on Tuesday. The clueless Democrats lost it.

Post-election thoughts

November 6th, 2002 § Comments off § permalink

I don’t have much to say about yesterday’s election, except that the Democratic Party got what it deserved.

No, that’s too harsh. Better to say that it reaped what it sowed; after a year of letting Bush have his way with the country, Democratic politicians have compromised their way into irrelevance.

Was that less harsh? Probably not.

Where am I?

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