Wednesday, July 4, 2007


The fourth of July is the Independence Day holiday in the USA. Bet the English are wishing Tony Blair had declared Independence from Cheney-Rove-W Administration, but enough politics. It's a holiday so As Good As News will just go for the easy laugh.

Sturgeon are jumping uncontrollably in Florida's Suwannee River. Sounds like nature at its most beautiful, unless you are doing 30 miles per hour on a power boat or a jet ski and suddenly find one of these 200 pound monsters in your face - WHAP. A real safety issue, but still, I wish we had the video, with soundtrack:

Summertime and the livin is easy
Fish are WHAP jumpin WHAP WHAP
and the cotton WHAP WHAP is WHAP high

The sturgeon have a "pressing, mysterious urge to jump all summer long" but no one knows why. Marine biologists - consider doing interviews at any hoops court. Ballers might be able to explain sturgeon based on comparable experience.

The Chamber of Commerce of Mauritania managed to plant an article on page 1 of the New York Times. The story appears to deal with efforts by the government and the women of Mauritania to change the culture - produce thinner, healthier women. The real motive jumps out on even a casual reading: "To men here, fat is sexy", see also - description of crash feeding programs designed to achieve the ideal of obesity. This is not really a story about a cultural change to address a serious health problem - Mauritania is stealthily trolling for immigrants. And it is working. Just hours after this story appeared the Air Dubai counter at JFK Airport was swarmed with a gleeful throng of new Weight Watchers dropouts, force feeding Hershey Bars and begging to get standby seating on the next flight to Mauritania.

Prius is the best selling hybrid because every Prius is a hybrid. The buyer can make a statement that everyone else will understand. Buy a Honda Civic hybrid and you will do just as much for the environment, but your neighbors might not realize it. My former employer makes a catalyst that converts ozone to environmentally safe oxygen. Among other applications it is sold as a radiator coating on regular automobiles. It doesn't help (or hurt) the car's performance and no one knows it's there, it just improves the environment as you drive along. My former employer also makes pigments for paints and can design any shade with any feature (even a color shift depending on angle of view). The hybrid story encourages me to revive an old suggestion. Why not develop a unique color, "BASF Green" -trademark it and and license it for use only on cars equipped with BASF ozone abating catalyst. As the story on hybrids shows, environmentalists may be better than the rest of us, but they are not saints, they want that E for environmental extra credit. A do gooder product that no one knows about is a tough sell.

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