Friday, May 20, 2011

May 20th, outsourced

Welcome to Pyongyang, North Korea.

If you've ever seen those smarmy high fructose corn syrup commercials, this SNL spoof will be really funny to you.

Just how Mormon is Jon Huntsman? Everyone's dying to know. Too bad it really IS "tough to define."

But here's a look at Huntsman compared to Romney re: Mormonism, anyway. (And then an interesting follow-up.)

Dear goodness, this made me laugh.

Here's an entry from The Economist's Gulliver blog about how airline passengers have taken some safety measures into their own hands since 9/11.

The headline doesn't really make sense, and the principle described in the article makes even less: Suicide Punishable Under UAE Law. Huh? Because for sure what a person who has tried to commit suicide but failed needs is to be prosecuted as a criminal. That will show them!

The first image in this collection of photos from the Southeastern USA flooding is mesmerizing. I keep thinking about how it came to be. When did they build the levy? How nervous are they that it will break? How do you even do that?


Liz Johnson said...

And here's ANOTHER article about Huntsman... this one is my most favorite ever.

It seems like it would be hard to sentence somebody for suicide...

Jen said...

1. I feel a profound sadness at those North Korea photos. I look at those people and wonder what would happen to them (or their loved ones) if they refused to pose.

2. Jon Huntsman: I'm pretty far removed from Utah politics at this point, and so I was surprised...nay, SHOCKED to hear that he might be anything other than a devout, orthodox, card-carrying Mormon. Not disappointed. Not appalled. Just surprised. I'm one of those people who thinks it's rude to drag one's religion into political nit-pick-ness. Liz--that article was great. Mitt Romney, on the other hand...well...I hear quite a bit about him 'round these parts. =)

3. I'm always so impressed that you have such sophisticated reading taste.....'The Economist,' 'The Atlantic,' etc., etc., etc.

Jen said...

Oh, I forgot #4....which will probably make me appear callous and downright insensitive...but it's how I feel.

Re: the mississippi river flooding. That river might just be the most interfered-with, over-engineered river in the world. Spring flooding is a normal part of the life cycle of the river. The flood plain of the Mississippi is SUPPOSED to be nearly 300 miles wide, but people have developed (and over-developed) that river to infringe upon Mother Nature's boundaries.

What's SUPPOSED to happen each year is that the runoff from the Rocky Mountains (filled with minerals and nutrients) flows into rivers, which then are supposed to flood and fertilize the land (making it ideal for farming). Instead, those minerals and nutrients are being washed into the Gulf of Mexico and having an adverse effect on fish and other marine life.

That's not to say that this flooding is not tragic and doesn't deserve our sympathy and help. Because it does. It's awful. It should give us pause, however, to think about how we are trying to control nature into doing things that it was never intended to do.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Jen is right about the Mississippi River situation. Countless billions of public dollars have gone into that drainage basin over the past century because people choose to live in a predictable flood plain. Fabulous farmland has been created by periodic flooding, then the settlers are forced out by flooding, then rescued by the Fed.

4 weeks ago I read a book called Rising Tide by John Barry, which is about the great Mississippi flood of 1927. It was as boring as all get out, but I persevered and am glad now, given the current situation, because I understand it better. A deliberate decision was made in the early 1900s to build the levee system, and over the years they have been “improved” so that now some are 35’ high. Nice to live near the Mighty Miss, but you’ll never get a view of it because of the levees. In 1927 the levees were breached to save New Orleans, just as they have been this past week.

The folks who live in the Atchafalaya Basin know the risks, yet remain.

One of the most bizarre aspects of the Mississippi Basin is: how/why did people build below sea level in New Orleans?

Merkley Jiating said...

I am glad I read these comments. I didn't realize what Jen said about the Mississippi. People are crazy.

Kathy Haynie said...

I continue to be astounded by the breadth of your reading - how do you do it? Thanks for some fascinating links. I once wrote a poem that included the Yazoo River (featured in many of the Mississippi River photos) because I needed a line that started with "Y."

Carrie G said...

speaking of N. Korea, have you seen this site?

Bridget said...

I liked that additional article about Huntsman, Liz.

Jen, I didn't know all that about the Mississippi River! Thanks for the information. The levee around that particular home makes more sense now. In my mind, I thought it was like "oh no, flood waters will be here in ten minutes, better build a levee!!!!!"

Carrie, had not seen that. I liked it. Sad and hilarious at the same time, you know?


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