Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Hotel-Eating Vampire Writes China to Rain Pianos

I'm backed up on interesting stories. So, I offer a potpourri day where you may pick among them like wild posies in a meadow.

1) China gets stuck by the thorns of its own progress. Centrally designed, grand redirections of natural watercourses and selective areas of gigundous waste have resulted in rocketers sending payloads of silver iodide over the Fragrant Hills to seed the clouds for rain. Does it work? It's not clear, but China also has a growing contingent of internet addicts who abandon their real lives under central control for the escape virtuale. Comparing this story from other reports, what's the focus? Shock therapy of course.

2) An anonymous man who was found soaking wet near the English coast has been dubbed the Piano Man. He doesn't speak, and has only communicated with medical personnel by drawing a picture of a piano. After being supplied an instrument, he performed a four-hour classical concert. Is the lost virtuoso Norwegian?

3) Update on Competitive Eating, which I first covered here with links to Larry Getlen's article that introduces the major players. The amazing and diminutive Kobayashi won yesterdays' Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest for the 5th straight year with 49 weiners in 12 minutes. But closest behind him with 37 was the even more petite Sonya Thomas, a 105-pound rising star in the sport. It could just be mustard, but methinks I smell a nemesis!

4) Are the preserved corpses found in German moors executed "criminals" feared to return as vampires? Commenters on the story from Witchvox perceive an anti-pagan slant to the coverage.

5) The National Commission on Writing will release its report today. AP says: States spend nearly a quarter of a billion dollars a year on remedial writing instruction for their employees, according to a new report that says the indirect costs of sloppy writing hurt taxpayers...He shudders to think how the Declaration of Independence, published 229 years ago today, would have read in government worker-speak. ''It would be 10 times as long, one-tenth as comprehensive, and would have lacked all inspiration," [former Senator Bob] Kerrey said.

6) On the heels of the Kelo eminent domain decision, which I despised here, a businessman is protesting by trying to get a small New Hampshire town to take Supreme Court Justice David Souter's home so he can build his Lost Liberty Hotel. I had to laugh.

Enough. I've sufficiently cleaned my backlog. Hope you enjoy one or all.

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