Thursday, December 30, 2004


Weekend Reading

Disasters: Natural and Man Made Edition

A three day holiday weekend awaits, so Elephant bids you adeau for 2004. The focus of the last weekend reading segment for 2004 is on disasters. Hopefully this will exorcize any linger chances of events like we've seen this past week and set us all up for a prosporus and peaceful new year. (Hey, I can hope can't I?)

(Note, my selection of articles should not be seens as assigning moral equivalency between events, just trying to assemble a common theme.)

Asia's devastation

THE clue lies in the Japanese name that has been adopted for them around the world: tsunami. Formed from the characters for harbour and wave, and commemorated in the 19th-century woodblock print by Hokusai that decorates so many books and articles about the subject (see article), the word shows that these sudden, devastating waves have mainly in the past occurred in the Pacific Ocean, ringed as it is by volcanoes and earthquake zones.

Tsunamis: Facts About Killer Waves

The Indian Ocean tsunami generated by the most powerful earthquake in decades this weekend is believed to have killed as many as 70,000 people and made millions homeless, making it perhaps the most destructive tsunami in history.

Dollar Falls to Record $1.36 per Euro as U.S, ECB Allow Decline

The dollar declined past $1.36 per euro for the first time, reaching a record low for the seventh time this month, on speculation the U.S. and Europe will allow the currency to drop

Meritocracy in America: Ever higher society, ever harder to ascend
THE United States likes to think of itself as the very embodiment of meritocracy: a country where people are judged on their individual abilities rather than their family connections. The original colonies were settled by refugees from a Europe in which the restrictions on social mobility were woven into the fabric of the state, and the American revolution was partly a revolt against feudalism. From the outset, Americans believed that equality of opportunity gave them an edge over the Old World, freeing them from debilitating snobberies and at the same time enabling everyone to benefit from the abilities of the entire population. They still do.

Jersey Girl Out On DVD

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