Gongol.com Archives: February 2014
Jay Leno moves out, and Jimmy Fallon gets ready to move in
Leno may have been hard-working and successful in attracting (and keeping) an audience, but he never really used his five hours a week in the world spotlight to do much of anything to elevate the human condition. He had a tremendous soapbox on which to stand, and never really said anything really sincere or deeply thoughtful. It doesn't have to be a Charlie Rose kind of show every night, but you don't have to look any farther than Craig Ferguson to see occasional examples of moments that are both entertaining and thoughtful. Instead, Leno's usual routine was bland and lowest-common-denominator, based largely upon pointing and laughing at someone else for being stupid (see "Jaywalking").
GDP is just one among many useful measurements
It's roughly like the measurement of airspeed in an airplane: Absolutely essential, but not the only thing that matters. So, those who would jettison GDP as a measurement of well-being are just being blinded by some ulterior distaste for economic growth (or an unhealthy obsession with equalizing outcomes), but anyone who cartoonishly ignores every other measure for sake of GDP alone is also missing the point. It's an imperfect measurement, but it's also one of the most important, by far.
Former "McGruff the Crime Dog" actor is going to prison for 16 years
Railcar graffiti: If it isn't yours, don't paint it
But at a cost of $1,000 to repaint a car, owners sometimes don't want to bother. One could wonder whether there's a way to channel the work of the frustrated artists who are just looking for a canvas (as opposed to the gang members and criminally-oriented taggers).
Burlington Northern will spend $5 billion on capital improvements in 2014
A huge amount of America's infrastructure is actually privately-funded and privately-maintained. But if one railroad can spend $5 billion in a year, are we doing enough to keep up with our public-sector infrastructre spending -- or are we just deferring much-needed maintenance and hoping it fails after we're gone?