Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Morning Blog

So...uh...It looks as though quite a bit of really important stuff is going on in Tunisia. And has been for about a week or so now. And I saw the articles and just didn't click on them. Pretty embarrassing but I have to confess to looking at them and thinking "Unrest in Africa? Again? Oh, look. The sun has risen. Again."

Pretty sloppy of me, not to mention fairly typical of a certain air of Western, first world laziness. My bad. From the article:

The day’s seismic events in Tunisia, the broadcaster, Abeer Madi al-Halabi, went on, would serve as “a lesson for countries where presidents and kings have rusted on their thrones.”

Hopefully, it will work out for them...

To be on the safe side, stuff is happening in the Ivory Coast too.

And why do I sometimes miss out on the hugely important stuff? FOOTBALL, SUCKERS! In all seriousness though, the New York Times does offer a profile on my beloved city and our ambivalence about quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. It's embarrassing to say but frankly, I don't believe that the city is very ambivalent at all. Calls to drop him in the wake of his second sexual assault accusation have pretty much vanished. For most folks, it seems like it's water under the bridge since he's come back out and started throwing bombs. I called for him to be dropped myself, as did every member of my family. I still cheer...but something has been taken out of the game for me. Fortunately, I've always been much more interested in the defense anyways so that's a bit of a saving grace.

Today's game by the way, against the hated and vile Ravens is obviously a huge one. Looks like the Prophets of Vegas have the Steelers for the win with three points. Sounds about right. Sounds like it's also just going to be an ugly, ugly brawl. Given the ludicrous fines the league has been tossing about like confetti, I hope all the players brought their checkbooks.

Unintended Consequences: Lawmakers in New York state passed a law making it illegal for owners of rental properties to rent any units for less than 30 days. The idea was that it would prevent owners from renting out units as hotel rooms to tourists and other obnoxious transients. All well and good. The Upper West Side is now free of the blight of something or another that had everyone up in arms! Unfortunately though, long term residents by themselves aren't at all profitable for the buildings in question. What are profitable, are shelters for the homeless, the drug addicted and the mentally ill.

Huh...Might explain the whole: "Ketchup is a vegetable" thing.

A History of Beer.

Crowds can be horrifying and mindless things whether rioting or stampeding. In this instance, 102 people died because of a single jeep rolling down a hill. Pretty terrifying stuff to be frank.

Here is a profile of a man that went to live with wolves. How come people always want to live with the majestic animals? I have yet to hear of a brave biologist bonding with a prairie dog community.

Happy Birthday Dr. King! I don't know that I agree entirely with his sentiments on materialism (materialism is why there's a polio vaccine), but they bear repeating:

“The richer we have become materially, the poorer we become morally and spiritually,” he said. “We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.”

Placing too much value on material advantage while ignoring what he called the “spiritual lag” was a path fraught with peril, King said.

“Enlarged material powers spell enlarged peril if there is not proportionate growth of the soul. When the ‘without’ of man’s nature subjugates the ‘within,’ dark storm clouds begin to form in the world.”

Why atheism is not for the lazy: There are just way too many gods to disbelieve in. I agree. Once you get into the pantheist traditions, it could take you all day.

Finally, it's all over the web so I might as well give in and mention this: Jared Loughner posed in a g-string. Much more shocking than the whole mass murder thing.

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