I set my clocks early 'cause I know I'm always late.
Originally posted September 18, 2001 It’s been one week. So this is the first anniversary of sorts. And next week it will be two weeks. And then it will be a month since. And then it will be six months. And then a year. And then five years. And then ten years. When all the […]
I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.
John F. Kennedy, Civil Rights Announcement, June 11, 1963
Imagine yourself in a bar where a pickpocket takes money out of your wallet and with it buys you a glass of chardonnay. Although you would have preferred a pinot noir, you decide not to look that gift horse in the mouth and thank the stranger profusely for the kindness, assuming he paid for it. You might feel differently, of course, if you knew that you actually had paid for it yourself.
Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.
The regional government in Calabria, Italy, has approved a bill that would reduce prison sentences in exchange for reading books: For certain inmates, sentences would be cut three days per book. The bill will now go to the Italian Parliament. The bill was inspired by “Redemption Through Reading,” a similar program that’s been successful in […]
Urge the FDA to Say YES to Accelerated Approval for safe, effective therapies for children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy — the leading genetic killer of children, which impacts one out of every 3,500 boys born in the United States.
A few weeks ago I did a little web searching on a mission to see if it would be possible to acquire duplicates of any or all of my grandfather’s service medals. He fought as a member of Merrill’s Marauders in the Pacific Theater in WWII and I know he had been awarded (at least) […]
It’s the 94th birthday of Prohibition! The Eighteenth Amendment, the Volstead Act, took effect on this date in 1920, a year after it was ratified. Congress passed the Act even though President Woodrow Wilson had vetoed it. It made the manufacture, sale, and transportation of liquor illegal. It took almost 14 years before the 21st […]
Have you ever heard of planarian worms? These little guys exhibit the remarkable ability to regenerate (like starfish) if you chop them into little pieces. That in itself is a pretty nifty trick, of course. But what really makes planarian worms seem like something out of science fiction is that — unlike starfish — they […]
Starting in the next few days, you’ll start to see them. They’re the resolutionists, and they’re going to invade your local gym. But new studies show some bad news for everyone working a desk job, and not just for the ones suddenly motivated to start lifting weights or getting some cardio “this year”. Those of […]
Today is the anniversary of the massacre at Wounded Knee, which took place in South Dakota in 1890. Twenty-three years earlier, the local tribes had signed a treaty with the United States government that guaranteed them the rights to the land around the Black Hills, which was sacred land. The treaty said that not only […]
How Not to Say the Wrong Thing: The Ring Theory of Kvetching