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  • Thought Of The Day
    • untitledAcceptable Collateral Damage
      Originally posted on September 25, 2011

      Every time we get into our car, we die a little.
      Every time we return safely home, someone else hasn’t. That driving an automobile is a dangerous activity is not open to dispute. We all understand the frequency of accidents, and what happens when cars crash: terrible collisions that ruin (or end) lives.  This specter of harm hovers over all our machines, including motorcycles and airplanes, each of which has a long-term expectation to return a predictable amount of mayhem and misery. Cars, though, are America’s default choice for getting from here to there. Our nation is built around them. So, aside from their environmental impact and all the other unpleasantness they cause, cars are also the most frequently used method for injecting danger into seemingly safe lives.
      The inevitable injuries and deaths associated with driving a car must then be considered one of the “costs” of operating the machine. Beyond the dollars spent on purchasing, maintaining, insuring, and fueling a car, operating it inevitably costs a certain number of people their life. We have enough data to understand that for every X number of miles driven Y number of humans will perish. It’s a mathematical certainty, a fait accompli, that stringent licensing…

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  • Previous Thoughts
    • lemur facePavlov’s Dogs

      On a recent trip to Madagascar in search of wildlife in its natural habitat, we visited the magnificent Andasibe National Park, where a dozen species of lemur monkeys found nowhere else in the world make their home in the forest canopy. Viewing sifaka (“dancing lemurs”) normally seen only in captivity cavorting in the wild, leaping from branch to branch with an athleticism and grace touched by Terpsichore, moved us deeply. We felt reconnected to everything that modern life inexorably cleaves…

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    • kid-with-cellphone2Poem: What’s in There?

      You could say our addiction to convenience and comfort has been successfully repackaged as the highest end for our brilliant technological means.

      Or, you could say that we’re in the grip of a nationwide plague. Of…A.D.D.

      Or, you could say we’re simply a country of poorly developed adult minds with the collective attention span of squirrels during mating season.

      Or, you could look up, my fellow fool – if you can tear yourself away from the sacred screen.

      You’ll see…

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