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Friday, April 17, 2009

Links of Interest and Interesting Links 

For perusal and pleasure some of the odds and ends, the serious and the curiosities, the flotsam and jetsam of the internet that has either crossed our desk seemingly of its own volition or been sent our way by you, the readers.

From the inane to the insane as the saying goes. We can't tell you which category this first one is in really. The Clarion Content has been covering the piracy story for quite a while and following it for an even longer time. One of our usually reliable and favorite bloggers, the MEP report, threw us a curveball by putting their support behind a commentary in the U.K. paper the Independent. We had to follow up. Where did the pirates come from? The Clarion Content has heard a myriad of sources cite the overfishing of Somali waters story before. However, the other issue, that the commentator in the Independent raises, toxic waste dumping, based on a single source, is news to us. If it is true, it is egregiously awful. We put slightly more stock in Mr. Hari's accounts of pirates of the earlier centuries.

This next one is an incredibly long article. Don't say we didn't warn you. It is however, brilliant. It is a masterfully nuanced piece on sentimentality, using the chemical saccharin as the conceit or entrée. It was sent to us by our ever intrepid northern most New Jersey reader who is a fount of good links. We were familiar with neither the author, who's first novel we are now eagerly anticipating, nor the magazine that published the essay. It is called the Black Warrior Review.

This next link is from the Los Angeles Times. It is a truly inspirational story about a girls high school cross-country team in Simi Valley, California. There at Royal High School, the girl's cross-country team includes one blind runner. This girl, who is in physically fine shape, has been blind since birth. She wanted to be on the team. Some places would have seen it as a logistical nightmare, even the coach admits he initially had liability concerns. She is only enabled to run through the self-sacrificing efforts of her teammates who allow themselves to be tethered to her and run side-by-side with her around the course. This is a story about kids and a coach that get it. Warning you may cry.

This is a link to a fascinating op-ed piece in the New York Times
by a man we have often disagreed with, David Brooks. In it he argues that there are chiefly two narratives of how we got here emerging from the carnage of the financial ruction we are in the throes of, the greed narrative and the stupidity narrative. He does an excellent job of embedding the links, a practice faithful readers of the Clarion Content know we love. Brooks links the big and important essays on the topic to his piece. Were the bankers greedy or stupid? Even if you think both, the Clarion Content whole-heartedly agrees with Brooks's conclusion that we shouldn't trade the hubris of Wall Street for the hubris of Washington, D.C.

This one we can't even remember how we came across. Ingenious reusage of an old i-Pod. It even tops using fubar cd's for coasters.

This final link was quite the surprise from the BBC. We had heard the oft repeated, possibly true, urban legend that the album Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd can be synched up with the movie the Wizard of Oz. According to a relatively rational sounding Wikipedia post there are some moments of bizarre coincidence such as when Dorothy finally awakens, the lyric can be heard, "Home, home again. I like to be here when I can." But the BBC has'em beat! Had you ever the theory that the Wizard of Oz was a monetary allegory about the gold standard, the populist movement and William Jennings Bryan? We bet not. Read the whole story here.

This is the link to old Interesting Links posts. (After clicking through the link, you have to scroll down past this one for oldies but goodies.)

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What a great story about those runners! Truly inspirational!
Cool huh.
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