Sunday, April 30, 2006

Hot Air
In honor of the most recent Earth Day, here's an article from Newsweek circa 1975 that decries the peril the planet faces from global cooling

The antidote, as they say, can be found here - an interview with economist Julian Simon who details how virtually any announcement that comes from the environmental establishment must be treated with deep suspicion.

Okay, so then what's a good Gaia-worshipping man/ape supposed to do? Easy, read Bjorn Lomborg's The Skeptical Environmentalist and realize what challenges really face us. Lomborg shows untold charts and graphs where he uses the same data as the environmentalists - he just shows the data in an extended timeline rather than the pick & choose data the environmentalists use. This simple exercise exposes how environmentalists abuse data to support their ends.

So get on board. Leave that contribution check for the Sierra Club unsigned. Go to the Copenhagen Consensus website for an understanding of the problems our planet faces and our best chances for improvement given scarce resources.

Forget Environmentalism with a heart. We need one that has a brain.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Dumb President
I wonder how the Dumb President feels that fans of a hugely popular tv series have gone berserk with cries of Jumped the Shark! over a recently revealed plot twist regarding that show's Dumb President. You see, that Dumb President, who in all previous episodes appeared to be quite the Dumb President, has revealed himself to be actually an Evil Conniving President. Fans just don't believe it! I mean, what's a Dumb President got to do to get any respect nowadays? Can a Dumb President be anything but a Dumb President? Seems like if he has any hidden talents, they just get written off. Nobody believes a Dumb President to be anything else but.

He's the One they Call Dr. Feelgood
Mrs. Rants and I are heading down to Belize in a few weeks for a vacation. Since we are staying in the jungle we decided to take some anti-malarial medication. Our doctor prescribed us both Lariam which seems to have quite the profile of nasty side effects:
- headache, nausea, dizziness, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, vivid dreams, and visual disturbances.
- serious side effects: seizures, depression, and psychosis.

After researching up on this medicine, and that fact that the
CDC website recommends a different drug chloroquine we called up our doctor to get our prescriptions changed. Man, was he hesitant! It was like pulling teeth convincing him that we needed something other than Lariam. Several phone calls. I had to walk him through the CDC website to prove to him that the government recommends chloroquine and not Lariam. He was intent on medicating me into a paranoid state for my vacation!!! I can see it now,

"Honey, you can come out from hiding underneath the beach chair. The dragons have stopped firebombing...."
Well anyways, in our confrontation with our doctor, we won. Chloroquine it is.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Perhaps the most lamentable development to have happened to American culture in he last 50 years is the decline of the Polynesian themed restaurant. There are plenty of places you can go to eat that have the garage sale decor, or are decked out in a Mexican theme, or have the look of an Italian villa. But nowhere can you go where you're instantly transported to the South Pacific. I don't think anyone has attempted to update this theme for modern times and franchise it. Why is that?

It's sad because clearly at one time people were nuts for Polynesia. Michener and the musical South Pacific got people's juices flowing. Then of course the nuclear bomb tests, Bikini Atoll, and subsequently the popularization of the word bikini all have their origins from the Pacific. Then of course there's the popular fascination with Heyerdahl's Kon Tiki voyage, the show Hawaii Five-O, and the music of Don Ho and enough Elvis in Hawaii movies to take up the day. Oh yeah, and don't forget the hula hoop. We could not get enough of the South Pacific!

It's sad to go to a long standing Asian restaurant and see the dusty remnants of this once popular fascination. The booths framed in bamboo. Velvet paintings of girls in grass skirts. And the aged drink menu listing Headhunters and the venerable (and mostly ignored) Mai Tai, a tasty drink served in a tiki idol. This stuff needs to come back!! I mean, with all of the theme restaurants to choose from, why isn't there an effort by the chains to bring back the grass skirted kitsch? Give me pineapples! Give me torches, bamboo, palm fronds, and Hawaiian steel guitar. Give me tiki idols, coconut shell bikinis, fire dancing, and drums. Going to the Outback for a steak is BORING! Australia is not exotic. There's only so much yard sale stuff on the walls that I can look at. A sombrero can be worn only so many times. We need a new theme! I mean, we did it up Polynesian style once before. Let's do it again.