Saturday, February 17, 2007

News of Note (to me)

I may have been offline, but I wasn't dead.

Among the articles that got my attention but weren't among the headlines, here are a few from the week in review:

  • From the "Oh, lighten up!" file, there was a story in Thursday's Gazette about an e-mail making the rounds with neighborhood-specific Barbies (you really have to follow that link, and look closely at those two babies with Widefield Barbie) for southern Colorado. "Experts in human behavior say it’s juvenile, mean-spirited and a perpetuation of hurtful stereotypes. It could, some suggest, harm the self-esteem of children — and even adults — in the targeted neighborhoods." If the shoe fits . . . and believe me, as stereotypes go (founded in generalization based in fact) I have to admit, these hit pretty close to home. I would love to have a BMW convertible, Shallow Ken that I am. And stereotypes can play an educational role as well. I didn't even get Trinidad Barbie until my 18-year-old explained to me that Trinidad, Colorado, was the "Sex Change Capital of the World." Seriously people, laugh at it, get over yourself, and forward it to seven friends in the next hour or you'll have bad luck for a year.

  • This piece from the "Yeah? Well read this!" file goes out to Nate, who's skepticism regarding global warming may be real or may be make-believe, but is a convenient target nonetheless (as, I suspect, he intends). Tucked away on page 10 was this little jewel, pointing out that, "Spurred on by an unusually warm Siberia, Canada, northern Asia and Europe, the world’s land areas were 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than a normal January, according to the U.S. National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. That didn’t just nudge past the old record set in 2002, but broke that mark by 0.81 degrees, which meteorologists said is a lot, since such records often are broken by hundredths of a degree at a time." Yeah, it was cold here, but just wait for summer baby.

  • From the "Things you don't notice until someone points them out, then see all around you" file, comes an article on how we keep track of time. I've worn a watch for as long as I can remember. Too long to even fathom at what point it became a part of my flesh. Without something on that left arm--a self-setting, sun-powered, dive-safe, Casio G-shock for everyday--or an Eddie Bauer classic for dressier times--my wrist looks naked and scrawny. But according to this article, "In a survey last fall, investment bank Piper Jaffray & Co. found that nearly two-thirds of teens never wear a watch — and that only about one in 10 wears one every day." Wow. I live with teenagers, but I hadn't noticed this. Fascinating.

  • From the "Goings on back home" file, this article about an English-only movement in Beaufort County, North Carolina, caught my eye this morning. It made for a particularly interesting read, arriving as it did, on the same day as an e-mail from a friend bearing this article on "the Amnesty Trail" from Wednesday's Tuscon Weekly

Finally, I have truly saved the best, from today's news, for last, but it is so important, it will get a post all its own. Stay tuned.