Monday, August 07, 2006

newsbits

Scientists have gathered convincing evidence that we all make decisions based on emotion, rather than intellect. So much for Myers-Briggs. I can't decide if this makes me feel better about my first marriage, or worse. But if this were more commonly known, perhaps it would help reduce the accusations of liberals being bleeding-hearts and conservatives being heartless bastards. Not to mention the regular admonitions to "Think!" by the opposite party. Thinking has little or nothing to do with it, folks.

Other scientists with different proclivities have rendered legible more of Archimedes' Palimpsest manuscript, by using X-rays. I knew almost nothing about this manuscript, but apparently the text was once scrubbed off by a monk (they call it the Dark Ages for a reason) who wrote prayers over the goatskin parchment. Stuff like that makes me sympathize with Sabine Fairweather.

AJ wrote a blog entry about big box stores last week, which helped wind up my resentment of Wal-Mart again. I pretty much only go in there if I'm on a road trip and have to use the bathroom; I figure they still owe me some benefits in the form of water and toilet paper, at least. Today, I went and visited Walmartwatch.com, which I hadn't looked at in a while. They have lots of links to articles about why Wal-Mart is evil. Read them. Shop local if you can. Saving money is no excuse. How many DVD's and bottles of pop do you need, anyway? Try buying less and paying more for better-quality items, or things you really need instead of things that are merely cheap. You can "choose" to shop at Wal-mart, and you'll pay lower prices for a while, but their business practices are designed to make them the only choice, and after that they can charge whatever they want, can't they?

Last week I saw an article about Wal-mart and somebody else, Home Depot, I think, taking further steps to create their own banking entities. I seem to remember that Wal-Mart has encountered some resistance to this plan in past years, from whomever regulates such things--the FDIC? Must research this further. Feel free to do the surfing for me.

On a more personal note, I sat down this weekend and plotted out about 75% of "Curious Weather," which encompasses all of Sabine's journal entries and Trace's education at her hand. I still need to sequence the subplot arc of Trace's story, and one major scene I thought would go in that story may in fact be pushed back to story No. 6, which will either be titled, "Sideshow" or "Wild Man of Borneo," depending on my mood. The machinery's a little dusty, but it's turning again.

And I'm listening to Disturbed today. Really diggin' that Land of Confusion remake. Generally I think remakes are inappropriate and gratuitous, but this one seems appropriate to the day and age.

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