Monday, July 31, 2006

Random Stuff

Be sure to look at this month's National Geographic. Decide for yourself if the ending of the Earnest Gaines' essay is too heavy-handed:
New Orleans, New Orleans, New Orleans, you will come back. But will you be my New Orleans, or the little boy's New Orleans, or the woman's New Orleans, or the Joseph sisters' New Orleans? I doubt it. Katrina and the politicians have made you a different New Orleans forever.

I didn't think so. There's also a photo gallery, slides and a video. I was tempted to jump into a topic on the discussion forum, but decided to let somebody that tact comes naturally to speak for the city. I might try to jump in tomorrow, in a diplomatic manner of course.

I'd like to recommend the article on killer storms, but I still have a headache from trying to figure out one passage:
It would be easier to find a building undamaged by Katrina in New Orleans' Ninth Ward than to locate a reputable climate scientist who doubts that human activity is warming the Earth. But the claim that hurricanes are growing stronger as a result has set off a tempest of its own. William Gray of Colorado State University, a pioneer hurricane forecaster, has called it "plain wrong."

From what I have learned of how the atmosphere ticks over 40 years of study, I have been unable to convince myself that a doubling of human-induced greenhouse gases can lead to anything but quite small and insignificant amounts of global warming.

I don't think it's presumptuous for a layman to point out that Dr. Gray doesn't just have doubts about the influence of global warming on hurricane activity, he's still a doubter about global warming altogether.

After all the negative things I've said about the local paper, it's only fair that I give a big thumbs up to the T/P for yet another hard-hitting, meticulously detailed front page expose of a politician who's no longer in a position to plunder the public purse.

I actually went to the City Park Botanical Garden yesterday without going to the meeting. I couldn't get there until 3:00 and couldn't tell from the publicity (if that's what their calling it) whether it was going to be one organized four hour meeting or something more like an open house. As I walked up, I got the impression that meetings were already in progress, but that wouldn't have kept me entering quietly and listening. As it was, a distinctly bad vibe that I thought I sensed from the meeting prompted me to walk around the gardens instead. Apparently I was right that bad feeling.

One hint to the organizers, when you go on the news to discuss the reconstruction of New Orleans, don't paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld talking about the reconstruction of Iraq. "Democracy sometimes happens in chaos," sounds a lot like, "Democracy is messy." We already know that as much profiteering is taking place here as there, now it's looking like our messy, chaotic democracy will be every bit as democratic. But we already suspected that.

BTW, Schroeder, if you noticed a guy with a raincoat trying to read your name tag when you were interviewing somebody behind the building, I wasn't sure if that was you. I probably would have been carrying the raincoat at that point, didn't know how long the interview would last.

Sorry I missed you. You could just tap me on the shoulder and smile. You know, I think the Katrina photo exhibit got a lot of visitors that day from frustrated people who walked out. I almost did the same.
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