- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Spoons kill people

Thanks to the Gun Owners of America for sending us their nifty new T-Shirt, bearing the message:

“If guns kill people, then …

— Pencils miss spel words

— Cars make people drive drunk

— Spoons make Rosie ODonnell fat

Too much popcorn

Who isn’t talking about the exhibit of obesity that Al Gore unveiled at his Oscar-winning appearance this week?

Now, Inside the Beltway may have discovered why Mr. Gore is so suddenly rotund: “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Iain Murray, senior fellow for global climate change and environmental science at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, forwards speculation that Mr. Gore’s Oscar-winning movie could be hazardous to the former vice president’s health, and everybody else’s for that matter.

The Scotsman, Scotland’s national newspaper, is claiming that half of the children between the ages of 7 and 11 in that country are now so anxious about global warming that they’re losing sleep over it.

“A quarter of them blame politicians for the problem, and 1 in 7 believes their parents aren’t doing enough to save the earth,” Mr. Murray notes. Furthermore, Science Daily is reporting that children who don’t get enough sleep are more prone to obesity.

“And this article points out that kids who sleep better learn better,” he adds. “One has to wonder just how much damage to civilization that Gore and company will do to impose their climate-control regime on the world.”

Eye on Freedom

What’s with the telescope in the 10th floor office of Christopher Cox, the former congressman-turned-chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, overlooking the U.S. Capitol dome?

“Sometimes I jokingly refer to this as my legislative affairs operation — using the telescope I can just read the memos on their desks,” the chairman noted in recent remarks. “But I don’t have the telescope focused on the offices, but rather on the Statue of Freedom on top of the dome.”

Mr. Cox observed that the statue was placed on its prestigious perch in 1863, during the height of the Civil War.

“She stands on a globe encircled with our national motto, E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many, One,” he said. “And she was cast in bronze by a former slave, Philip Reid, who along with other D.C. residents gained his freedom ahead of the Emancipation Proclamation by act of Congress.”

Man on the moon

NASA says it plans for astronauts to be “camping” on the moon as early as 2020.

A future lunar outpost, says a new NASA posting, would be used to make preparations for a journey to Mars. Initial missions to the pressurized camp — inflatable habitats, with connecting tunnels to crew quarters and the lunar surface — would last several days for the initial construction period, then be extended to two weeks, then two months and ultimately to 180 days.

Puffs of pink

Yes, Virginia, there will be cherry blossoms this spring.

Barely a month ago everybody from Washington to Tokyo was worried because cherry blossoms were blooming in the unseasonably warm weather. Not to worry, says the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which quotes Rob DeFeo, chief horticulturist of the National Park Service, as saying that the variety of trees that were in bloom in January are sometimes referred to as the “winter-blossoming cherry.”

They will often bloom during a warm spell, even if spring is still months away. Mr. DeFeo says the famous cherry trees around the Tidal Basin are of a different variety — the Yoshino — and they will blossom as usual come spring.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival’s 95th Anniversary Dinner & Silent Auction will be held this evening.

Hurricane hand

Sister Sledge, Ciara,Patti LaBelle and Brian McKnight are among the artists whose previously unreleased recordings are featured in a new “We Are Family 2007” CD put together by the Washington-based Points of Light Foundation to help victims of recent hurricanes.

Produced by Grammy Award winner Rodney Jerkins, the CD centers on Sister Sledge’s 1970s hit, “We Are Family,” which is the title song. The CD is available through stores, online music providers, or WeAreFamily2007.com.

• John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or [email protected]washingtontimes.com.

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