Friday, April 21, 2006

All sorts of cool and/or odd stuff

OK. First, you've got to go check out this post on Street Prophet. It led me to these very cool maps that show the concentrations of various religions in our country, broken all the way down into counties. The maps are from a course at Valpo on American Ethnic Geography.

The maps make me want to ask all sorts of questions. I knew that there was a large concentration of Muslims in the area around Dearborn, Michigan. But why a big concentration in one county in Ohio? What's the attraction? No surprise about Baptists dominating the south. But what's the deal with that one county in Nevada? And I guess that the farther west you get, the less you need to believe in something? And maybe the older you get and the more retirement communities that surround you, the less you care about believing because, hell, you're going to die, anyway?

Next in oddities, we've got a Catholic Cardinal talking common sense about sex. Ooo. Ahhh. Cardinal Martini approves of using condoms for married sexual activity when a partner has AIDS. I understand that in Catholicland, sex is for babies. Hey, that's what I'm teaching my teenagers, in an attempt to get them to understand the risks of teen sex leading to pregnancy. But when it's a choice between babies and death between two married people, seems like sacrificing the possible baby would be a wise choice.

Target stole the Marshall Fields' clock. OK. Not really. But apparently Target, Inc. has absconded with the famous Rockwell portrait of the clock being repaired, and now won't give it back to the relatively new owners of Field's, Federated. Why does Federated care about this iconic piece of Chicago history? Money, of course. Didn't I tell you yesterday that money is always the correct answer to any question.

It certainly couldn't be because Federated cares about history. Because if it cared about history, it would leave Marshall Field's name as Marshall Field's, instead of renaming it "Macy's", as it planned in the near future. We Chicagoans suffer so from these types of indignities. The Cubs can't win the World Series (don't talk to me about the Sox, ok?), Frango Mints are no longer made by us. And now that beloved clock will be a New York Macy's clock. Please.

And what's the deal with the mumps? I had them when I was little, I think. Or maybe my mom had them. No, she had whooping cough. But why the sudden upswing in mumps out here in the Midwest? The Times had no light to shed on this issue. What's the deal with vaccinations if they aren't working?

And why are people bothering to give their kids those damn chicken pox vacs anyway? True, a tiny portion of the population, mostly those who have poor immune systems, are going to get complications. But most who get chicken pox are merely inconvenienced and annoyed by them. I firmly believe the reason for the pox vac is, drum roll please, money again. Money as in, I lose money if I have to leave work to take care of a kid with chicken pox. And money as in, I get lots of money if I'm a pharmaceutical company and I convince you to make this vaccination mandatory.

Reminds me of the stupidity of giving babies Hepatitis B shots, which is passed only through sexual activity and drug use. Why not give it at age 10 or 13 or 18, when Hep B is really a possible problem?

Last oddity, idiocy? That would that the hiring of Fox Commentator Tony Snow as Scott McClellan's replacement. That would be even considering hiring Snow is truly astounding to me. Have they no shame over at the White House? Do they care NOTHING for the credibility that the Press Secretary is supposed to have? Perhaps the next step will be making Fox News the Official News (sic) Channel of the US Government.

Off to shower and ponder other oddities,


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2:12 PM  

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