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Monday, January 24, 2011

News Factoids for January 2011

The White House Oil Spill Commission's final report is released, and includes the statement "Drilling offshore is a privilege to be earned, not a right to be exercised by private corporations."

A new N.O.A.A. report of October 2010 concludes that the existing damage to the Arctic caused by the climate crisis is likely permanent.

"Interest on the official national debt is $571 billion for fiscal 2012, making debt service roughly equal to the base budget for the military."
~~ per Admiral Mike Mullen, in July 2010

"Twenty percent of the world's vertebrate [species] are threatened with extinction, according to a study in the journal Science."
~~ per Time Magazine, October 2010

"According to the N.O.A.A., the first half of 2010 was the warmest January to July on record. And this is just the beginning. Owing to the inertia of the climate system, the warming that we're experiencing now is only a fraction of the temperature increase that's already guaranteed."
~~ reporter Elizabeth Kolbert

Sunday morning after Thanksgiving, big truck unloading Xmas trees to a vacant lot in my tiny town. (It's not even December yet!)

There are 1,011 billionaires in the world and forty percent live in the USA
~~ per Forbes Magazine

Global phytoplankton has dropped 40 percent since 1950.
~~ per Nature Magazine, in July 2010

Put up a sign in your office or cubicle that says "Cliché free zone" and then live up to it. When someone asks 'How was your weekend?' -- Then. Tell. Them.
When someone asks 'What's new?' -- Then. Tell. Them.

Amazon sales in 2009 topped $24.5B (over all products) while 2008 sales at all U.S. bookstores was less than $17B. According to publishing industry statistician Bowker, 2005 saw 172K books published in the U.S.A.; by 2009, that had increased to 288K 'traditional' titles, plus the addition of 'self-published and niche books' for a total of one million new books published in 12 months.

[Carbon diozide] is responsible for roughly three-fourths of the global warming effect [of greenhouse gases] ... Globally, agriculture is responsible for 90 percent of nitrous oxide emissions (296 times more heat-trapping potential than CO²) and two-thirds of methane emissions (with 23 times more heat-trapping potential than CO²)
~~ per Anna Lappé

The amount of arable land in developing countries was one-third of a hectare per capita in 1961, reduced to one-fifth of a hectare in 1992 (35% reduction), and is expected to decline to 1/10th of a hectare by 2050 as population increases (a further 50% reduction)
~~ per a United Nations report in 2010

An annual income of $250,000 puts you in the top THREE percent of U.S. households, and is almost five times the national median wage.

In 2007, the top one percent captured 23 percent of the U.S.'s total income.

The top 0.1 percent of earners saw their share of national income triple between 2002 and 2007, earning as much as the bottom 120 million taxpayers.

Coding movies & books for Amazon most of the day on my various bookstore websites, I have noticed lately that VHS is making a comeback. New & old movies that had the VHS versions go out of production are being remade and sold newly on Amazon. The probable cause is the dire post-Bush economy: shoppers did not trash their video players, and the common VHS prices of $5 to $12 are a great savings over $20-25 for DVD or Blu-ray.

State governments lost 30% of their revenue in 2009.
~~ per The Washington Post

The classic Chinese list of Seven Emotions includes: anger, desire, fear, happiness, hatred, love, and sadness.

Copyright 2011 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

Saturday, January 22, 2011

January 2011 Quotations

"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king."
[In regione caecorum rex est luscus.]
~~ Desiderius Erasmus [1466-1536]

"The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours. But to win it requires total dedication and a total break with the world of your past, with the doctrine that man is a sacrificial animal who exists for the pleasure of others. Fight for the value of your person. Fight for the virtue of your pride. Fight for the essence, which is man, for his sovereign rational mind. Fight with the radiant certainty and the absolute rectitude of knowing that yours is the morality of life and yours is the battle for any achievement, any value, any grandeur, any goodness, any joy that has ever existed on this earth."
~~ John Galt quote ending last public speech by philosopher Ayn Rand [1905-82] in New Orleans, November 1981

"If there’s one piece of economic wisdom [that] I hope people will grasp this year, it’s this: Even though we may finally have stopped digging, we’re still near the bottom of a very deep hole."
~~ Paul Krugman, New York Times columnist, in January 2011

"Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will."
~~ Goethe [1749-1832]

"Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries."
~~ Anne Herbert

"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it."
~~ Mark Twain [1835-1910]

"Deregulation [of broadcast media] has made celebrities of the loudest asses in the barn."
~~ Diane Simon

"When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere."
~~ François de La Rochefoucauld [1613-80]

"The name of the game is not Social Security. What an error! Social Security is an entirely different game. The name of the game is Give All."
~~ Saul Bellow [1915-2005]

"No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."
~~ Sir Winston Churchill [1874-1965], in a speech in the House of Commons, 11 November 1947

DICTA by G.E. Nordell
• Dream like you're going to live forever.
• Plan like no one can stop you.
• Act like the deadline is today.
• Be very thankful when anything actually works out.

"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home."
~~ Twyla Tharp

"Life is too short to have anything but delusional notions about yourself."
~~ rocker Gene Simmons

"Marriage is nature's way of keeping us from fighting with strangers."
~~ Alan King [1927-2004]

"To be happy with a man, you must understand him a lot and love him a little. To be happy with a woman, you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all."
~~ Helen Rowland

"Worse than not realizing the dreams of your youth would be to have been young and never dreamed at all."
~~ Jean Genet [1910-86]

"Experience is the teacher of all things."
~~ Julius Caesar [100-44 B.C.E.]

"Speech is of time, silence is of eternity."
~~ Thomas Carlyle [1795-1881]

"The truth is always something that is told, not something that is known."
~~ Susan Sontag [1933-2004]

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty."
~~ John F. Kennedy [1917-63], Inaugural Address on 20 January 1961

"Poetry is about the grief. Politics is about the grievance."
~~ Robert Frost [1874-1963]

"Is it possible to succeed without any act of betrayal?"
~~ French filmmaker Jean Renoir [1894-1979]

"It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to have to paint it."
~~ comedian Steven Wright

"If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough."
~~ battlefield photographer Robert Capa [1913-54]

"Jazz will endure just as long people hear it through their feet instead of their brains."
~~ bandleader John Philip Sousa [1854-1932]

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?"
~~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. [1929-68]

“There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”
~~ John Maynard Keynes [1883-1946], in 1919

"Death is nothing to someone who knew how to live."
~~ French outlaw Jacques Mesrine [1936-79]

"Information wants to be free."
~~ Stewart Brand, in 1984

"Film your murders like love scenes, and film your love scenes like murders."
~~ Alfred Hitchcock [1899-1980]

"Wit, perhaps, might find many interpretations, but wisdom none."
~~ Samuel Wesley [1662-1735]

"This is business. It's the best game in the world."
~~ John Dickson Carr [1906-77]

"Here or henceforward it is all the same to me, I accept Time absolutely."
~~ Walt Whitman [1819-92]

"It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all of the answers."
~~ James Thurber [1894-1961]

“A progressive believes that society can be made better, that it can be made better by informed people acting in concert, and that it can be called 'better' only when it is better for everyone.”
~~ Garret Keizer

{each set of posted quotations are then posted at the Working Minds website, alphabetical by author}