01 December 2010


SATURDAY MAIL. Once upon a time, mail in the U.S. was delivered twice a day, six days a week. Rising costs forced the US Postal Service to cut back deliveries to once a day. Now Saturday delivery may be in jeopardy, according to an NPR news segment. The reason? Money, of course. USPS claims that competition from FedEx and UPS, email and online billing services, are cutting into the Postal Service's revenue.

This is only the latest example of distorted priorities on the part of the Federal government, mostly at the behest of Republicans. Our support for essential services like education, transportation infrastructure, NASA, and mail delivery has taken a back seat to the hemorrhaging of budgetary funds to the military and to corporate fat cats who happen to contribute to the election coffers of members of Congress. Our taxes pay for the services which are being diluted or withheld. Government officials work for us, not the other way around.

I want my Saturday mail delivery to continue. Do you? Click on the NPR link above for a text of the full discussion, as well as a video. Click on any image to enlarge.

EVOLUTION RIPPLES. An article in the Smithsonian online notes that "Natural selection acts by winnowing the individuals of each generation, sometimes clumsily, as old parts and genes are co-opted for new roles. As a result, all species inhabit bodies imperfect for the lives they live. Our own bodies are worse off than most simply because of the many differences between the wilderness in which we evolved and the modern world in which we live. We feel the consequences every day."

The article goes on to list ten common, seemingly non-adaptive traits with which we must contend. Here is a brief listing -- see the article link for a fuller (often humorous) explanation.
  1. Our cells are weird chimeras.
  2. Hiccups.
  3. Backaches.
  4. Unsupported intestines.
  5. Choking.
  6. We're awfully cold in winter.
  7. Goosebumps don't really help.
  8. Our brains squeeze our teeth.
  9. Obesity.
  10. The list goes on.

I don't know about you, but number 8 has me a little concerned. Stop it, you brains !!

BONUS. There are a number of enterprising (and principled) individuals who are protesting TSA's escalation of invasive searches at airports in a rather creative fashion. One such person has designed t-shirts and underwear which feature the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (guarding against unreasonable search and seizure) printed with metallic ink onto the garment. The message shows up clearly on TSA scanners, as show below.


  1. Excellent work! Move over, Chwis Maffews!

  2. Thanks, Robert -- your comment made my day !