I suggested CPNO August 12 and 13, 2008, at $30 and again December 18 at $10.24. One reason was its CEO, John Eckel, whose talents and integrity I had observed at close range for 30 years. John died last week, which in addition to being deeply sad also led a couple of you to ask what to do. At $19.55 last night, I have not rushed to sell. I suspect John had good people in place; and, while it would be hard for them to be as good as he was, there’s also the chance, when a thing like this happens, that some larger company will come in and make a bid. I truly don’t know what will happen; just that a lot of us will miss John.


Stewart Dean: “Dan Nachbar writes: ‘The concern that wind turbines kill birds is something of a red herring.’ And here’s a more appropriate place for that metaphor: A concern that water turbines kill fish, if not herring….and the latest finding is that that’s not a problem either. As described here, the East River of NYC and may soon provide substantial energy. [“After two failed attempts with previous prototypes, the latest aluminum alloy versions successfully held their shape for the two year period in the face of brutal storms.”] Unlike wind turbines, free-water turbines are unseen below the water. Also, the power is perhaps more continuous, certainly more predictable than windmills, pausing only twice a day during slack waters between ebb and flow.”


Joel Grow: “Your top ten films list actually has some of my top ten, but the 1951 Christmas Carol with Alistair Sim is vastly superior to the 1938 version. And WHICH King Kong? Either the recent one or the original is fine by me, but please don’t say it’s the 1976 version with Jessica Lange and Jeff Bridges ( both of whom I like, but for whom this movie is not their finest hour). When in doubt, just go to 1939, which brought us Gone With the Wind, Dark Victory, Drums Along the Mohawk, Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Hunchback of Notre Dame (w/ Charles Laughton), Gunga Din, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Ninotchka, Stagecoach, Young Mr. Lincoln, and The Women, among others. Three of these directed by John Ford, who would follow shortly with masterpieces How Green Was My Valley and Grapes of Wrath. Why, in the discussion of wind/solar/nuclear power, and. Really, all issues of scarcity, do we not discuss overpopulation? EVER?!

☞ I wrote a story on the 1976 King Kong, which producer Dino DeLaurentiis billed as “the most original motion picture event of all time.” Needless to say, that’s not the one I meant. And we both somehow forgot Bridge On the River Kwai and, of course, The Guns of Navarone, and The Ruling Class. That puts me up to 21, I think, which is a bulging Top Ten. I burst at the scenes with enthmoviasm.

As for overpopulation, it staggers me to think we are now more than 6.9 billion strong – and countingnearly triple the population of Spaceship Earth since I was born. As noted here, all the home insulation and hyperdriving in the world will not make up for the environmental impact of having another child.

So please only have children you truly want and will nurture brilliantly (as I know you will). Plan B makes this possible without abortion. Why would any ovulating household be without it? And please celebrate families, straight or gay, that choose to adopt rather than multiply.

It’s not that I don’t love kids, it’s just that I’ve read Jared Diamond’s Collapse. How do 6.9 billion people, soon to be 9 billion, manage to live on a tiny cosmic island? Where do they put the garbage?


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