December 30th, 2006

aibo, sleepy, cute

thought-provoking news

Couple of posts to "serious" news items that made me think:
In the tiny town of North Pole, Alaska, it's Christmas 365 days of the year. Santa is king, schoolchildren are his 'little helpers' replying to letters from around the world - good cheer is a civic duty. So why did six pupils plot a Columbine-style massacre last April? Saturday December 23, 2006, The Guardian. Link from booklectic.

Forbidden Fruit. Inbreeding among polygamists along the Arizona-Utah border is producing a caste of severely retarded and deformed children. (Note, article is much less judgemental than that synopsis: it makes it clear that it's a specific branch of "fundamentalist" Mormons that's the problem rather than Mormonism in general. Apparently in this particular sect, the patriarch arranges all marriages personally in the attempt to create the "perfect race". Ick.) Friday December 29, 2006, Phoenix New Times.

Both of these articles are sad and thought-provoking.