Daniel Henninger'sWall Street Journal op-ed column today is mind-boggling. He comes out hard, so it's easy to summarize: "It needs to be said. The rescue of the Chilean miners is a smashing victory for free-market capitalism." His point is that the drill and the drill rig used for the miner rescue were developed by two smallish companies, right here in America. Other bits of technology were also created by companies! The free market innovates! Companies make things! So capitalism saved miners. Pretty much everything about this column is utterly undone by the facts.
Why was the damage from this weekend's earthquake in Chile so much less destructive than the recent tragedy in Haiti? The Wall Street Journal editorial page has a theory!
The path is an archaic technology; the foot that fashions it, even more so. In a so-titled travelogue, Robert Macfarlane refers to walking and its synonyms—way-faring, trekking, traversing—as one of "the old ways." The foot progresses precisely as quickly as its body allows, and precisely as far as its terrain extends. Each step is a repetitive terraform over a jagged quarry, or a well-trod mountain trail, or a barely hardened square of urban concrete.
For Paul Salopek, paths are an artifact of humanity's self-propelled evolution: the universal, oft-retold story of the progress of the human species from here, where we are, to there, where we were and will [...]
"Chilean President Sebastián Piñera has apologized for writing the words 'Deutschland Über Alles,' a phrase frowned on in Germany because of its association with the Nazi era, into the official guest book of German President Christian Wulff during a visit to Berlin last week." —Pinera, who was visiting to thank the German government for its help in rescuing the trapped miners earlier this month, said he didn't realize the phrase was "linked to that country's dark past." We know what he was thinking: "I hate signing guest books, I never know what to say. There's so much pressure to be funny or clever or whatever. I was like, Germany, [...]
Here is the first video of the 33 miners trapped in a collapsed gold and copper mine in Chile-where they will be for the next three or so months. Apparently the company that owns the gold mine is nearly bankrupt: "San Esteban is in such bad shape that it has neither the equipment nor the money to rescue the men; Chile's state-owned mining company is going to drill the escape tunnel, which will cost about $1.7 million…. On Thursday, the first of many expected lawsuits against San Esteban and the government were filed, and a judge ordered the retention of $1.8 million of company money in [...]
These things happen: "The general manager of the Chilean mint has been dismissed after thousands of coins were issued with the name of the country spelt wrongly." The error on the Chilean equivalent of the dime, which went unnoticed for about a year, had the country's named spelled as "Chiie."
The Chilean student demonstrations are really amazing—at least 527 or possibly 552 or could be 800 people all told were arrested yesterday (often, let's say, not nicely), and students occupied state TV offices to get the message out in a traditional fashion. The higher education system is now predominately a group of for-profit businesses, and the students are organizing on the principle that going permanently into debt for education is not a way a country's education system should be run. How about that. Today, student organizers are turning down a vague proposal from the government that increases some public funding. Good!
I personally slept in an extra 33 minutes yesterday, one minute in observance of each Chilean miner, but everyone pays tribute in his own meaningful way, like the Pixies' 33-song show in Santiago the other night. Which, you know: also? An awesome, awesome show. Here's the best four videos we can find from their last few dates in South America.
Look, captioning errors happen. It's understandable. Particularly in this day and age, when the frequent use of slideshows and galleries tends to introduce a number of extra variables which increase the opportunity for misaligned photos and descriptors. But you know what? This is still pretty great. [Via]