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Much has been written about the Insight, Honda’s new low-priced hybrid. We’ve been told how much carbon dioxide it produces, how its dashboard encourages frugal driving by glowing green when you’re easy on the throttle and how it is the dawn of all things. The beginning of days. So far, though, you have not been told what it’s like as a car; as a tool for moving you, your friends and your things from place to place. So here goes. It’s terrible. Biblically terrible. Possibly the worst new car money can buy. It’s the first car I’ve ever considered crashing into a tree, on purpose, so I didn’t have to drive it any more. –“Honda Insight 1.3 IMA SE Hybrid,” Jeremy Clarkson, TimesOnline (via)
A particularly good-hearted neighbor, Nancy Cardozo, approached and attempted to intervene.
“She doesn’t want a tree,” Cardozo noted.
“Sorry, I have the contract and I have a big payroll,” the man replied. “I have to put the tree there.”
The man’s tone remained remarkably amiable, even though Cardozo positioned herself in a way that might impede the work.
“You can have the tree moved later,” he offered.
“Wouldn’t it make more sense just to put it where we want it?” Cardozo inquired.
“No, this is what I have to do,” he said.
Washington Post‘s terrifying “Laws That Could Save Journalism” proposes breaking the Internet and allowing even more media consolidation to solve newspaper woes; Glenn Greenwald on Maureen Dowd’s plagiarism and the relationship between bloggers and traditional journalists; The Awl on Dowd
Microsoft is on its way to becoming a dominant brand in Africa, mainly through the deals made with various governments. “We are very conscious of the environment in which we do business, where our employees and customers live, we always try to empower those communities,” said Dr Diarra. “Africa is really the last frontier in not only developing technology that is specific to people’s needs, but eventually even developing new business models that will enable the emergence of local software industries, such as young people who have the skills to be able to write their own applications for their own community,” he said. –“The hi-tech battle for Africa,” Alka Marwaha, BBC World Service
Related: Does Bill Gates’s anti-hunger initiative actually perpetuate hunger? Subscribers can read the Harper’s June cover story, “Let Them Eat Cash: Can Bill Gates turn hunger into profit?” by Frederick Kaufman.
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”