Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday Summary

The musk ox, which lives only in the Arctic regions, is not an ox at all. It is more closely related to sheep and goats. It is marvelously adapted to bitter cold with it's thick coat and heavy hooves that can dig through snow to forage. As a species it has out lived many of it's evolutionary contemporaries like the woolly mammoth and the saber toothed tiger. Scientist really can't explain how they've survived.

I didn't write a summary last Saturday because I had read only very depressing things, like the fact that the Unites States has had soldiers at war for the last 30 years! Yes! 30 years. Three recent books describe what's been going on and it's not pretty. I've lost the note I made of the titles and authors. But, in the meanwhile I've found a few more positive bits of information.

The worldwide gap in literacy rates between men and women has decreased since 1997; the percentage of difference in favor of men [as if I need to say that] has dropped from 12% to 9%.

A glass of red wine a day has been shown to contribute to a longer life -- happily, it's now known that champagne has the same effect! Just in time for the holidays too!

Some very good things are happening in New York City. Fast food places must display the calories in their offerings and the amount of trans fat as well. Also the city has made a deal with the cable companies that if a repair man misses an appointment the customer gets a refund. Other cities might take heed.

In the I'll believe it when I see it category; the Terrafugia Transition is the name of a flying car that is scheduled to be available sometime next year. Does anybody else remember those drawing about the wonderful future that school kids were shown back in the '50s? I'm still waiting for the flying car!



HMMM -- flying cars -- how will they know where the road is in space? Or will it just be that you are on your own and resemble bumper cars like at carnivals? I think they got the difference mixed up between women and men on the smartness scale -- I think it is just the opposite. -- barbara

June Calender said...

Flying cars seems even more dangerous than texting while driving.

Barbara, I think I wasn't clear, it's a difference between how many people have actually had the education to be literate. It's saying finally women are being allowed to go to school at a greater rate than previously.

Kass said...

I wonder how big the glass of wine has to be to get the benefit. I wonder if part of the benefit is the relaxation from being slightly tipsy.

Jonas said...

It never fails to move me - the sight of our hooved cousins standing stoically in the fields or astride rocky mountains as rain, bitter wind, sleet and snows torment them relentlessly. I always feel so small and ill-tempered whenever I witness such grace.

June Calender said...

Kass, I think they consider 6 ounces a normal size. I consider a shot of scotch in the evening an equivalent. I'm sure there's a relaxation factor.

Jonas, grace and stocism. What a fuss we make about any kind of weather, as if it's a personal insult.