Amoeblog

One man's basura is another man's trash,

Posted by Whitmore, April 22, 2008 09:48am | Post a Comment

Ever since I was a kid learning, practicing and mastering the sophisticated skill of dumpster diving, I’ve always been kind of fascinated by all things garbage. I think that’s why I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was young, to unearth and study ancient crap, and then take it home and put it under my bed.

Rubbish, trash, junk, waste, debris, rubble, crap or whatever pithy expression best suits the smell, garbage has always been one of civilizations greatest, never ending problems. I thought I’d occasionally dig into the tricky world of rubbish and blog some numbers, pictures, anecdotes or whatever gushes from my filthy, litter packed desk. For example, a 2004 study conducted by the University of Arizona points out that perhaps as much as forty to fifty per cent of edible food in the United States never gets eaten, an estimated $43 billion worth of edible food is tossed out every year. And here is something for Earth Day: the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also known as the Pacific Trash Vortex in the North Pacific Gyre has plastic floating debris covering an area thought to be at least the size of Texas, or possibly twice the size of the continental United States. There is an estimated 100 million tons of flotsam in the North Pacific Gyre region alone.
 
Here is my favorite favorite song that's sort of about trash.

See It Now, March 9th, 1954

Posted by Whitmore, March 9, 2008 09:58pm | Post a Comment

On this date, March 9, 1954, America's most respected journalist of the day Edward R. Murrow narrated an episode of See It Now, a news magazine broadcast on CBS television, called "A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy."  Murrow had produced several episodes looking into hysteria of the Communist witch hunt of the 1950’s, but this program in particular was a monumental step toward the collapse of the demagogic and Constitutionally reckless Joseph McCarthy. Often referred to as television's "finest hour”, Murrow takes apart McCarthy’s campaign, showing it to be nothing more than unsubstantiated accusations and persecution towards anyone with a different point of view. By mainly playing recordings of McCarthy himself bullying witnesses and making cockeyed speeches, See It Now showed what they felt was the most dangerous risk to democracy-- not suspected Communists working in the government, but McCarthy’s actions themselves. The broadcast received tens of thousands of letters, telegrams and phone calls running 15 to 1 in favor of Murrow.

As Murrow said in his ending:

"No one familiar with the history of this country can deny that congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating, but the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one and the junior Senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly. His primary achievement has been in confusing the public mind, as between internal and the external threats of Communism. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men -- not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.

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not that anyone asked, part two ...

Posted by Whitmore, January 6, 2008 02:27pm | Post a Comment

Here are some of my favorite Presidential campaign quotes, miscues, gaffes, and faux pas’ for 2007…





On Apr. 5, 2007:  Mitt Romney in trying, once again, to re-defend his undetectable machismo stated:  “I'm not a big-game hunter. I've made that very clear. I've always been, if you will, a rodent and rabbit hunter. Small varmints, if you will. And I began when I was 15 or so and have hunted those kinds of varmints since then, more than two times.” Later he acknowledged he had only gone hunting twice in his life.















April 18, 2007:  John McCain, not only proved he was an old rock and roller at heart but a fan of Dr Demento’s as well, when in response to the question, “When do we send them an airmail message to Tehran?”, he sang a parodied version of the old Beach Boys tune of “Barbara Ann”, crooning “Bomb, bomb, bomb ... Bomb, bomb Iran.”















Sept. 21, 2007: Rudy Giuliani, in a classic Rudy moment, explained why he interrupted a speech to the National Rifle Association by answering a cellphone call from his wife: “Quite honestly, since Sept. 11, most of the time when we get on a plane, we talk to each other and just reaffirm the fact that we love each other.” Giuliani answered: “Hello, dear. I'm talking to the members of the NRA right now. Would you like to say hello?” The next day the New York Times under the headline, “Just a Moment. It's My Wife. Again,” questioned whether Giuliani staged the call in front of an unreceptive audience, reminding readers that a similar scene occurred earlier in June during a speech to Cuban immigrants.

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Not that anyone asked ...

Posted by Whitmore, January 6, 2008 10:58am | Post a Comment

Not that anybody asked, but I thought I’d toss up a couple of my picks for the best photos of the year.

This image is of Mary McHugh at the grave of her fiancé, Sgt James J. Regan at Arlington National Cemetery. He was from Manhasset, New York. Sgt Regan was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq.

After a record drought year, this past fire season was one of the most destructive and costly in Southern California history, photographer Karen Tapia-Anderson took this photo of 12 firefighters trapped atop a ridge in Orange County after flames jumped the road sending the fire up the hillside, prompting the firefighters to deploy their fire shelters. "We just remained calm, everyone did," one firefighter said after he was checked out by paramedics. All 12 firefighters were treated at the scene, none of them wanted to be sent to the hospital. 

A photo of the gruesome aftermath of Pakistan’s oppositional leader Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, the suicide attack left more then 20 people dead.

The Klutz Cargo Adventures, epilogue ...

Posted by Whitmore, November 24, 2007 04:47pm | Post a Comment

You think people get crazy around here the day after Thanksgiving; check out this shopping frenzy in the UK last January. A cargo ship, the MSC Napoli, ran aground about a mile from the town of Branscombe, dumping more then 200 containers into the ocean. And what a bonanza on the beach, (if you didn’t mind the accompanying chemical and oil spill), some barrels were filled with perfume and wine, while others contained battery acid!  Some of the larger cargo containers held BMW cars, motorcycles, auto parts, tractors, bags of dog food, weird bric-a-brac and bales of wool. Police tried to close the beach to prevent crowds from ransacking the containers and seeking to claim ‘salvage rights’, but by the time the local scavengers were finished, about £1million worth of ‘treasure’ was carted away to make a little seaside village an even more idyllic place to live, and shop. That is if you don’t mind the battery acid killing off the local sea life …

 

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