|This scary Eve
is an appropriate time to update my tens upon
tens of faithful readers on my and my son's
upcoming fact-finding mission into the dark heart of
Mexico. In February, we plan to fly as
far south as some enterprising, local travel
agent can get us for the least amount of money --
preferably directly to San Cristobal de
las Casas in the highlands of central Chiapas.
From there we hope to...well, find our way home.
And of course, the subsequent, first-draft
adventures of this excursion WILL BE
POSTED ON THIS HUMBLE WEBSITE! (Yes,
internet cafes are everywhere.) To
insure that you are notified of updates, drop me a
line requesting to be put on the mailing list,
if you haven't already.
Mexico Connection: a survey of mainstream
media reporting on U.S. military aid, the "drug
war," and human rights in Mexico. From MediaAlliance.
Bird of Doom...Or Was It?
Remember the uproar over the spotted owl?
Everyone said the roof would cave in on the
Pacific Northwest economy. Here's
what really happened. From Amicus Journal.
"My girlfriend came up to me the
other day and introduced me to one of her male
friends, and at first I didn't mind, since I'm
not the jealous type. I just wish she hadn't
started calling him 'Sweetie' and living with him
and having his kids and marrying him and stuff.
It's really starting to make me wonder if she
wants a future with me or not."
--- Derek Maness
Chiapas Change? From MotherJones.
October 31 was Samhain for
the ancient Celts--the death night of the old
year. Druids (priests) lit huge bonfires, while
people dressed as demons and witches paraded
noisily through the streets to frighten off the
roving souls believed to be seeking new homes for
the new year.
Ways the World Could End
From gamma ray bursts to rogue black holes, alien
invasions to divine intervention. From Discover.com.
"When you cut your finger, that's a
tragedy. When you fall down a man hole and die,
that's a comedy".
--- Mel Brooks
do we grow old and die?
The human life-span has shot up over the past
century, despite our ignorance of the underlying
biochemistry. From Nature.com.
The word skeleton comes from the Ancient Greek
word for dry.
Metaphor and Revolution
The fall of communism is a story that needs to be
told properly. It wasn't about the free flow of
capital, but rather the free flow of information.
"The nation which reposes on the
pillow of political confidence, will sooner or
later end its political existence in a deadly
--- James Madison
In creating his paintings and sketches, John
James Audubon refused to use stuffed
models. Instead, he used real birds that had been
freshly killed and wired into natural-looking
poses. To keep his models fresh, he was known to
shoot dozens of birds per painting.
I could have a problem
Horse with No Shame
Racehorse Zippy Chippy has never won a race in
his life, reports Failure Magazine,
a quirky online publication committed to "humankind's
boldest missteps." Sometimes the beloved
thoroughbred is too slow, sometimes he stops dead
in mid-race and sometimes he simply refuses to
leave the starting gate.
"Now consider the hamburger bun. It
requires a certain type of mind to see the beauty
in a hamburger bun. Yet, is it any more unusual
to find grace in the curved silhouette of a bun...than
in the arrangement of textures and colors in a
butterfly's wing? Not if you view the bun as an
essential material in the art of serving a great
many meals fast."
--- Ray Kroc, the man who brought McDonald's to
Cristóbal de las Casas. From RoughGuide
to halt church's Baptist-flavored
Have you traveled south of Mexico City? If so,
I'd love to hear from
When upwind of their enemies in battle, the Aztecs would set fire to
chilies and use the smoke as tear gas.
Cannibalism hardly raised any eyebrows, but
when Jared Diamond talked of circumcision with
New Guinea friends, they
were horrified... From Nature.com
GOV. BUSH: Because the
picture on the newspaper. It just seems so un-American
to me, the picture of the guy storming the house
with a scared little boy there. I talked to my
little brother, Jeb—I haven't told this to
many people. But he's the governor of—I
shouldn't call him my little brother — my
brother, Jeb, the great governor of Texas.
JIM LEHRER: Florida.
GOV. BUSH: Florida. The state of
From The News Hour with Jim Lehrer
fate of the fifty-six men who signed the
Declaration of Independence. From Serendipity.
I am sitting at a table, holding a flyswatter.
Ten flies are on the table. With one swat - I
kill three flies.
How many flies are left on the table?
At the Final
Curtain, clients are encouraged to develop
site-specific works of passage -- their own
tombstones, mausoleums, caskets, or urns -- as
homage to their lives and their spirit.
The world's slowest drip.
the era of the electric car finally arrived?
And, if so, what does it mean for us? Designer
Dan Sturges views the electric car as the key to
a community-based vision of
transportation that goes beyond issues
of air pollution to tackle problems of congestion,
urban sprawl and even declining civility. From MetropolisMag.
A Halloween Poem
Ruth and Artie, side by side,
Went out for an auto ride.
Artie hit a bump.
Ruth hit a tree.
And Artie kept driving,
Reading for the Twenty First Century
What books might help shape our thinking as we
enter the new century?
Cool Word: etiolate [v. E-tee-uh-late]
To cause something to grow weak or sickly by
stunting its growth, or draining it of its color
or vigor, is to etiolate it. First used in
English in the late 1700s, etiolate is from the
French etioler (to make pale). This was
probably derived from the French eteule,
from the Old French estoble, which was a
variant on the Vulgar Latin stupula (also
the root word of stubble which means any
short, rough growth).
"Work is the curse of the drinking
--- Oscar Wilde
did the chicken cross the road?
At the fourth annual Chicken Crossing Conference
in Chicken, Alaska, a team of distinguished
scholars met to consider this matter
in depth. Here follow the various reasons given
to explain the behavior of the chicken.
Hans Berger created the electroencephalograph
(EEG) in 1924. By attaching 2 pieces of silver to
his son’s head and connecting wires between
them and a galvanometer, he recorded electrical
signals emanating from the brain.
Yes, fluoride helps prevent cavities in children,
but it also is a toxic substance, which in small
quantities can kill vegetation, fish, mussels,
crabs, shrimp, cattle. Environmental columnist
Donella Meadows asks, "why fluoridate the
whole water supply, the millions of gallons with
which we flush toilets and take showers and water
lawns, if our only target is children's teeth?"
of a dot-com junkie
I have a high-paying job at an e-commerce site. I
have stock options that should make me rich. And
I'm a heroin addict. From San Francisco Bay
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's
Inside a dog it's too dark to read."
--- Groucho Marx
A tongue-in-cheek look at the
meaning of God in the modern world from the
perspective of a Deist, a Catholic, an
Atheist and an Agnostic. From Flak Magazine.
It's likely that you enjoy the taste of bee