Monday, April 30, 2007
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay: Won the Pulitzer for fiction, understandably. I just can't say enough about this book. It draws you into the lives of the protagonists and takes you from Prague to Brooklyn to Antarctica to Manhattan and along the way makes you care about them deeply. With one or two exceptions, it never crossed my mind to doubt that such truly amazing adventures could be happening to real people. (This was a selection from my mothers' club book group.)
The Jesus Machine: How James Dobson, Focus on the Family, and Evangelical America Are Winning the Culture War: Dobson has been one of the most powerful non-elected men in politics over the last two decades. This is an unbiased (really) examination of how and why he got there, and also how the Christian Right became so powerful that it was able to pull off feats like winning Dubya the 2004 election.
Three Cups of Tea: I'm only about a third of the way through this book, but I'm totally hooked. The writing is wonderful and the story is truly incredible. It follows an incredibly fascinating person that I can't relate to at all to a place I can't imagine but makes me want to be along for the ride. (Our latest book club selection.)
Saturday, April 28, 2007
As Bigdra points out over at NoE, transportation and electricity aren't exactly the only bit culprits in global warming.
American meat eaters are responsible for 1.5 more tons of carbon dioxide per person than vegetarians every year.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
The trend runs counter to what is happening statewide, where highway deaths fell 9 percent in 2006, the biggest drop in 14 years. Yet deaths on Bay Area freeways rose 9 percent last year.
"If there were that many homicides, people would wonder, `Where is this crime waving coming from?' But we seem to accept it," (police Lt. John) Carr said.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
This was the view from our tent Sunday morning in the Upper Pines campground. We were not really prepared for snow, so we packed up fast and came home.
Matthew woke up in a tent covered in snow and went wind surfing the same afternoon!
Friday, April 20, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I also love how the Onion homepage has been redesigned to more closely resemble the NYT homepage.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
And yet 41,000 Americans are killed each year in automobile crashes. That's about three-and-a-half Virginia Techs a day. And millions, of course, die each year of diseases caused by obesity and inactivity, which can be largely attributed to the sedentary lifestyle our car culture has enabled. Yet no hand-wringing there. No calls for more public transit or fewer roads. No outcry for expanded bike lanes or walkable cities. I guess it's easier to call for stricter gun laws when only 38 percent of American households own firearms, while 60 percent of American households have at least two cars. For most Americans, you'll have to pry the steering wheel out of their cold, dead hands.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
Regent University, founded by the televangelist Pat Robertson to provide "Christian leadership to change the world," boasts that it has 150 graduates working in the Bush administration.
Unfortunately for the image of the school, where Robertson is chancellor and president, the most famous of those graduates is Monica Goodling, a product of the university's law school. She's the former top aide to Alberto Gonzales who appears central to the scandal of the fired U.S. attorneys and has declared that she will take the Fifth rather than testify to Congress on the matter....
Consider George Deutsch, the presidential appointee at NASA who told a Web site designer to add the word "theory" after every mention of the Big Bang, to leave open the possibility of "intelligent design by a creator." He turned out not to have, as he claimed, a degree from Texas A&M.
Or there's the case of Claude Allen, the presidential aide and former deputy secretary of health and human services, who stepped down after being investigated for petty theft.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Saturday, April 14, 2007
MediaNews and Hearst had sought to dismiss Reilly's suit, arguing that individual readers have no stake in antitrust laws because they suffer no harm from any alleged reduction in newspaper competition.Oh that's interesting. As a reader, I shouldn't give even a little rat's ass if my local paper is going down the crapper.
But U.S. District Judge Susan Illston said federal law recognizes the public's concern in maintaining competition and diversity in the news media....
law shows that "Congress values the existence of separate sources of newspaper content in a community, and that loss of separate sources injures consumers," Illston wrote.
More generally, she said, a consumer in a market that is threatened by anti-competitive activity has the right to sue for antitrust violations.
So, good luck to Clint Reilly, who should get a plaque or something for trying to help the rest of us get decent news coverage of our area.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
She is the queen of the painfully obvious statement. Such as saying something to Sacha Baron Cohen like: "Your humor is based on making other people feel uncomfortable." And that's not nearly the worst.
She is so freaking pretentious and overrated. The way she says "Frr-ESH Aairr" is enough to deserve banishment from the airwaves.
I would love to have someone comment on why they (or others) think Terry Gross is such a great interviewer.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
By Paul Sullivan
Tribune staff reporter
April 11, 2007, 11:27 AM CDT
With a fresh blanket of snow on the field and the aisles as slushy as a convenience store drink, the Cubs opted to cancel Wednesday's game with Houston and reschedule it for the night of July 12.
A Cubs spokesman said the team is able to add another night game to the schedule because it kept one date open in case ESPN wanted to add a Sunday night game.
Manager Lou Piniella, holding his first press briefing in his new office at Wrigley, was realistic about the decision to cancel the game.
"You couldn't play today," he said. "And the weather for (Thursday) doesn't look all that promising. … You'd like to play, but you can't do anything about the weather."
The Cubs already have a scheduled off-day for Thursday, so Piniella and pitching coach Larry Rothschild decided to rearrange the rotation, moving Carlos Zambrano up to start Friday's game against Cincinnati, with Wednesday's scheduled starter, Rich Hill, moving to Saturday.
Ted Lilly will now pitch Sunday instead of Saturday, and Jason Marquis and Wade Miller will round out the homestand, starting against San Diego on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
"What we're trying to do is keep everybody pitching as much as we possibly can," Piniella said.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Of course, part of the problem is that many color men are former players, and as a rule, those guys just aren't that bright (see yesterday's post -- and if you have ever heard Ron Santo on the radio, you know what I'm talking about). But still. There are only 30 major league teams. Assume there are a couple TV guys, and a couple radio guys, and throw in a couple more for the middle innings or whatever, and that's only 180 guys. One hundred and eighty people get these jobs, out of the 300 million Americans. And we baseball fans have to listen to people like Bob Brenly butcher the English language?
Granted, I get exposed to the low end of the curve because Chicago's teams have arguably the worst announcers in the biz (the Sox have un-arguably the worst announcers EVER). I know this because I pay the extra cash every season to get the satellite package that lets me watch every single ballgame, so I have listened to pretty much all of them. And listening to the Giants game the other day I noted that those guys can barely put a sentence together.
What must it be like to listen to a minor league game on the radio? It has to reduce your IQ by a point an hour or something. Then again, maybe something is keeping the good ones out of MLB, something like the chuckle-head ex-players getting these sweet gigs.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
To summarize: at this point, the Merc is about one step above the Fremont Argus.