Admittedly, this is a seemingly trivial problem, as are all the related problems I discuss subsequently, but it drives me certifiably bat-shit crazy, notwithstanding. In fact, I am beginning to suspect that the following problems, though seemingly unrelated, are in fact constitutive of a profound and irremediable flaw in the deepest foundations, ideologically and psychologically, of knowledge-based late / 21st-century capitalist economies. OK … enough preamble … this is my problem …
o You know those bottles of, e.g., hand soap and skin lotion you buy that have bottle caps that double as pump mechanisms?
Initially, in their right-off-the-shelf condition, those bottles’ pump mechanisms are all locked down to prevent accidental or inadvertent pumping-out of the contents. Quite reasonab
For the last several weeks, I have been following the news out of the UK about the Parliament’s vote on PM Theresa May’s foredoomed plan for Brexit, including one installment of “Prime Minister’s questions,” which, for obvious reasons, centered on the still-falling debris from the May government’s unprecedented 230-vote blow-up of Mrs. May's Brexit deal. It had all the tragic dignity of, say, Sophocles’ Oedipus trilogy: you know what is going to happen, but for that very reason, you simply cannot bring yourself to avert your gaze. I was all the more horrified because, knowing the Parliament vote was imminent and that it would be followed by the 29 March deadline imposed by Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, I had begun some weeks before to read about the European Union (EU), Brexit, and
Several weeks ago, as this “Skeptic’s Column” column is written (14 Jan), I came down over the weekend with my usual annual case of the “cruds”: stuffy nose, scratchy throat, sinus drainage, etc., etc. No fever, but inside my head, I could hear the wheezing, especially as I lay in bed at night. It sounded like a gunny-sack filled with cats being tortured. (Apologies to cat lovers. I am one. But it sounded like it sounded. So sue me.) Worst of all, I could only log perhaps 2 hours sleep per night. The tortured-cat symphony kept me awake.
So next morning, I hauled my sleep-deprived, zombie-ized, bleary-eyed, Walking Dead carcass into one of those walk-in clinics a couple miles from my house. (My wife drove the car. I did not trust myself.) The doctor on duty took my temp and