Musings from Brian J. Noggle
Saturday, March 04, 2006
 
British Librarians Disprove Value of American English Degree
Apparently, some British librarians have identified fifty books one should read before dying. I've listed the books below and have identified those I have read in bold and those I have on my to-read shelves in italics:
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    The Bible
    The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien
    1984 by George Orwell
    A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    All Quite [sic] on the Western Front by E M Remarque
    His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman
    Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
    The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
    Tess of the D'urbevilles by Thomas Hardy
    Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne
    Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
    The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
    Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
    Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
    The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
    The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
    The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
    David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
    The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
    The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
    Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    Middlemarch by George Eliot
    The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
    A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzenhitsyn
Hey, it's a meme! Everyone play!

Also, please note that should I get to a total of 49 of these books, I will not read the last, because that would indicate I am ready to die. Thank you, that is all.


 
Free Non-Profit Idea
Get in on the ground floor with your very own non-profit idea in a new agitation industry! You, too, can have jets, spacious hotel accommodations, audiences with kings, reporters, and senators, as well as a good salary paid by your donors while you can simply "educate," raise funds, and not produce anything but enough money to cover your expenses and fundraising efforts.

To get into this lucrative industry, be the first on your block to be a:

CosmicEnviro Activist!

I got the idea from this post wherein Michael Williams talks about mining asteroids in space for big dollars. I mean, let's face it, the idea has dangerous sides that can really make excellent bullet points in fundraising letters, such as:
  • Could destroy the cobalt industry in Zambia, driving that country into poverty.

  • Profit-oriented corporations will use asteroids as weapons to pulverize the competition (Did you notice that the bad guys in Niven and Pournelle's Footfall were elephants? Do the math!)

  • Disruption of celestial bodies will ruin star charts and astrologies for everyone!
Hurry and establish your charity now while there's no glut in the market! You'll be able to use Since 2006 in your promotional material henceforth. And by the time the other usual suspects arise to protest, you'll have the cachet--and the wealthy database of previous contributors!

It would be much funnier if I didn't fear it's satire today, semipowerful actual lobbying group tomorrow, and taking credit for the UN ban on space commerce two weeks from now.

 
Education Story of the Day
Overland Students Walk Out In Support Of Teacher.

You know it's about that geography teacher who helped his students find Germany or the United States on a world map by comparing Bush to Hitler (both liked dogs! They are just the same!).

I don't care about the story about its grassrootsification of students walking out of class--hell's belles, today's students know they won't get punished for "political expression," so they go on these little short-term field trips when the cafeteria is out of chocolate milk. No, I like a story that includes multiple implications for what's wrong with our public education system (the teachers, the students, the administration, to name a few) that offers insight like this:
    "I think he inspires so many students and he's a great teacher," one student said during the rally. "I mean he makes people do there work and he makes people care about things."
If you don't know what's so pleasantly wrong with that, I'm not going to explain it to you. Ask your fellow alumni from Overland High School.


 
Jim Talent Outsources American Manufacturing
Sort of. I mean, action:
    The Senate gave final approval Thursday to broad anti-methamphetamine provisions that will impose tight curbs on the sale of popular cold remedies used to make the highly addictive drug.

    The long-stalled crackdown on cold medicine sales - initially opposed by retail and drug lobbyists - passed after months of intense negotiations with those industries over the scope of the new restrictions.

    The measure, part of legislation reauthorizing the Patriot Act, has already passed in the House. The president is expected to sign it.
Reaction:
    Missouri drug investigators say there are fewer makeshift labs churning out methamphetamine, but they also warn the state's menacing meth problem might be taking a new direction - changing from small-time illegal operations to a fertile market for imported drugs.

    Police say imported meth is starting to sneak into Missouri as area drug labs shut down. Just last month, seven Mexican citizens pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of conspiring to distributes large quantities of meth in southwestern Missouri. Police in the St. Louis area say they expect to see similar cases in the area as organized crime, particularly Mexican drug-trafficking groups, take over the local meth trade.
As a result of the Talent-Feinstein meddlings and the happy Federal determination that some states could not use common sense in their retailing of certain cold remedies and that all must abide by an asinine standard since Talent and Feinstein know better than individual legislatures, crank heads will still get their meth, but my wife will not be able to stock up on Claritin when it's on sale.

Thank you, Senator Talent. Hopefully, this year we can send you on the next step of your career: lobbyist.


 
Subtleties
The difference between d├ęcor and decor is about 68% in retail price.


Thursday, March 02, 2006
 
The New Battlestar: Galactica Miniseries Review, 5 Seconds Into the DVD
How modern; the premise of the original, where the Cylons where the mechanical spawn of an ancient race inimical to man (or, if one goes extra-textually to the actual broadcast of the original series, merely an ancient race inimical to man), has been replaced with the premise that man created the Cylons to serve man.

Kinda like America funded Saddam Hussein in the 1980s or any other variation on the Biblical theme that all the evils you face today are retribution for the sins of your fathers and so on.

Your honor, note that this person is a hostile witness (and a rabid partisan of the original series).

Man, I hope this improves after the expository stills.


 
Astronomer Agitates for Space Exploration
Telescopes 'worthless' by 2050:
    Ground-based astronomy could be impossible in 40 years because of pollution from aircraft exhaust trails and climate change, an expert says.

 
Unless Its Demands Are Met, UN Threatens to Unleash Weather Havoc
Hurricane season could match '05: UN:
    This year's hurricane season could match the record breaking destruction caused by storms in 2005, the United Nations warned.
Don't make it unleash the havoc again.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006
 
Belated Happy Anniversary
Oh, yeah, congratulations to the pups at Another Rovian Conspiracy for their one year anniversary.


 
Twenty-First Century Nuclear Family
All blowed up:
    Some women have their book clubs, and others belong to professional groups. Some connect in therapy and others through sororities. But here is a relatively new connection: a group of 11 sharp, educated and independent women brought together on the Internet by one man's sperm.

    Not one of them has met the donor -- his identity is kept secret by Fairfax Cryobank in Virginia. Known only as donor 401, he has fathered all of their children -- 11 so far, and Leann Mischel, 41, a Pennsylvania college professor, has a second child by way of his sperm on the way.

    "It's an emotional connection. We have a common base," explained Carla Schouten of San Jose, who adds that the women have less interest in knowing the donor than they do one another. "Most of us are single. We all desired children, and we were all attracted to the same donor."
Perhaps these women hope for a future that looks a lot like Utah, but where men are only kept in barns to be milked when needed. However, more traditional people will outbreed these cretins and hopefully their fatherless children will grow up well-adjusted enough to be Republicans or Libertarians.

Were I this 401 guy, though, the thing I'd dread most is the possibility of getting on the hook for child support. It hasn't happened, gentle reader, but that just means it hasn't happened yet. One creatively-reasoned (i.e., made up) legal argument and one progressive judge is the narrow distance between the increasingly tenuous reality and settled law.


Tuesday, February 28, 2006
 
Book Report: Planning & Remodeling Family Rooms, Dens & Studios Sunset Books 1979
I bought this book for a dollar from Hooked on Books this weekend and sat down to mostly glance at its pictures. Of course, I've recently been considering family rooms, dens, and studios, not to mention some rathskellar basement bars, so I hoped to get some ideas from the book.

The book puts me in an odd place; although I remember rooms designed like this, I think it screams for James Lileks treatment on the rooms and color patterns and whatnot. The strangest bit, though, is the people. I can convince myself that some of these environments were warm and inviting and even "neat," but not the haircuts and dress. Also, the remodeled rooms all feature neat places to hide your 19" television and some of the more modern studies feature electric typewriters.

Wow.


 
In Flagrante Delicto
Ajax and Aurora, caught canoodling:

Caught Canoodling


Monday, February 27, 2006
 
Movie Preview: Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
The Day After Tomorrow for Kids.


 
The Pox That Keeps On Scarring
The fence along the Mexican border shows how many bugaboos the left can fit into a single action: Not only is it bad for the poor people of color and other nationalities who would only come to this country for noble purposes, such as they can, but also, we should note, the fence along the Mexican border is actually strangling baby seals and clubbing baby spotted owls. Or something:
    But in the name of national security, the Department of Homeland Security wants to build 3.5 miles of fencing just south of this federally protected land -- a project environmentalists say could spell disaster for the sensitive ecology of the region.
Coming soon, studies will no doubt show that steps taken in the name of border security also:
  • Dramatically reduce Social Security benefits for seniors.

  • Have been proven to cause cancer in laboratories. Not in laboritory animals, mind you, because opponents of the fence also oppose animal testing; however, somewhere, someone in a lab right now is getting news that he or she has cancer, and what, you're going to attribute that to smoking two packs of unfiltered cigarettes for twenty years?

  • Are linked to childhood obesity, as children will no longer be able to run back and forth across the Mexican frontier unimpeded.

  • Will result in the loss of health coverage for 60,000 working Americans.
How evil are conservatives? So evil that everything they do makes the world worse in innumerable ways!


Sunday, February 26, 2006
 
Perhaps They Should Try eHarmony
Police still seek partners


 
All About the Branding
I find it somewhat macabre that the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has a service mark on the 65 Roses® description of the disease.

Because it doesn't want the other Cystic Fibrosis fundraising machines to use it, I suppose. But still, one would hope that charitable organizations would not need to worry about it nor would not spend money and time on proper branding for the disease they're supposed to be fighting, but I've always recognized the difference between charitable organizations and fundraising machines.


To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."