Sunday, March 26, 2006

A Time cover doesn´t make it wrong

OK, the prediction of a crisis on the cover of a newsweekly is the classic indiction that the prediction is wrong. The classic example is Business Week´s August 13th, 1979 issue titled "The Death of Equities," which predicted the stock market to be a terrible place to invest in the coming decades. The graph below shows what actually happened.
Nevertheless, just because environmentalists and news weeklies predict a crisis does not necessarily mean that the crisis will never happen.

That´s how I feel about Time´s cover story this week about global warming, ¨Be Worried, Be Very Worried" I am presumming that the title is meant to be serious -- not a campy self-parody of media fear mongering. On the presumption that they are serious, I still think that they are right.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Glacial Earthquakes

Down here in Argentina, watching glaciers crumble is a major spectator sport. The TV even shows 5 or 10 minute live clips, move in the way TV in Los Angeles shows car chases. The Independent reports:

"The annual number of glacial earthquakes recorded in Greenland between 1993 and 2002 was between six and 15. In 2003 seismologists recorded 20 glacial earthquakes. In 2004 they monitored 24 and for the first 10 months of 2005 they recorded 32."

Meanwhile, Will Ferrell does a fantastic imitation of George Bush talking about global warming. It will be really interesting to see when global warming gels as a political issue. On the one hand, the evidence is overwhelming. On the other hand, so is the value of denial.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Tom Cruise "Trapped in the Closet"

Since Tom Cruise´s alleged (and probable) censoring of the South Park episode that makes fun of him and Scientology, the issue seems to be merging with the issue of the anti-Muslim cartoons. Looks like there is a push to say that any religious belief should be protected from satire. That´s really sad.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"Capote" and "In Cold Blood"

Gary and I saw "Capote" yesterday in Mendoza, Argentina. It´s really great to read "In Cold Blood" before seeing the movie, which is about Capote´s research and writing of the book. .

Monday, March 20, 2006

"Collapse" by Jared Diamond

I just finished by the book and, wow, it is really sobering. All of people tend to dismiss environmental warnings because of all the doom and gloom predictions in the 1970´s that turned out not to come true. Many predictions then were overblown, and technology has radically mitigated the effects of a lot of environmental degradation. But I doubt that there is way to stop overpopulation or global warming through technology.

If you missed Betsy Kolbert´s series about global warming in the New Yorker, it has been published as a book titled Field Notes from a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert. It is really incredible stuff and, most interesingly, shows the factors beyond mere CO2 emission that will accelerate the global-warming trend in the coming decades.

Brokeback all-time no. 8

Accroding to boxoffice mojo, Brokeback Mountain ranks 8th in all-time top-grossing Romantic Dramas:

1 Titanic Par. $600,788,188
2 Ghost Par. $217,631,306
3 Pearl Harbor BV $198,542,554
4 Jerry Maguire Sony $153,952,592
5 An Officer and a Gentleman Par. $129,795,554
6 Cold Mountain Mira. $95,636,509
7 Out of Africa Uni. $87,071,205
8 Brokeback Mountain Focus $82,059,000