taking the saab story out for another spin around the digital block

Unlike the car itself–designed by Swedes for rough winter roads–my recent story on the Saab brand being saved by dint of an 11th hour deal between GM and Dutch manufacturer Spyker got precisely zero traction.
Maybe it was a bit late behind the news trends, and in comparison to any number of big things happening at home and abroad, the story itself simply got dwarfed by far more pressing matters. I have a personal attachment to the story to which I alluded in the contents. Without a doubt that investment of my own baggage is at the root of my disappointment that there was no indication that anyone read the damned thing. Always a bad idea as a writer to set myself up to take it personally.

Still, I’m waxing impertinent, and have decided to take this one out for another spin, and for three reasons:

1) I like the story itself of Saab being diverted from what had been an all-but-certain destiny for the car history scrap heap;

2) I was pleased with how my treatment of the matter unfolded; and

3) As I realized only after it went live to the Tonic.com site, this article marks number 400 that I’ve done. One one hand it hardly seems possible, but on the other, I have taken on kind of a bluish pallor owing to how much time my schnozz is pressed against the computer screen these past few months.

Unaltered Saab 96 photo courtesy of underwhelmer via flickr; edited versions of same by yours truly.

Posted via email from dmboisterous

Shaken to the core

A shallow (geologically-speaking) quake of 7.0 located under land is going to wreak havoc. If that land happens to be heavily populated and urbanized, it’s bound to be disaterous.

And if the urban area in question is characterized by some of the most dire, crushing poverty to be found anywhere in the western hemisphere, the sorrow becomes nearly too much to wrap a mind around.

Yesterday’s temblor was situated just 10 miles away from the capital city of Port au Prince and its population of two million. With such densely settled humanity in a region characterized by inexpensive and structurally substandard building methods, what we’re seeing unfold is tough to grasp and promises to get grimmer still.

I’m not religious in the least, but a strong spiritual streak runs through to my core, which explains why I find the following quote, taken from an article written by KC Baker for Tonic.com (the site for whom I contribute science news items), so resonant and compelling:

“At this moment, there is no place for so many of these people to go,” he says. “No food. No shelter. No clothes. Nothing. We are being given the opportunity to extend a helping hand. As a person of faith, I believe this is God’s way of saying to the world, ‘I want to see your humanity. Where is it?’–Louis Elneus (President and Founder of Connecticut-based Haiti Lumiere de Demain children’s charity)

I’m additionally compelled to make note of a nice bit of in-the-room elephant identification by the most excellent astrologer Eric Francis, who observes:

“…the Haitian prime minister has said that the estimated death toll of last evening’s earthquake is 100,000 in one little country. Contrast this with a far more powerful earthquake on the island of Sumatra in 2004 which took 230,000 lives in 14 countries.

I wonder how it’s possible that humanitarian aid for the Sumatra quake was just $7 billion USD, whereas the AIG bailout was more like $180 billion.”

I’m not yet sure precisely what I can or will do. Watching and reading the immediate aftermath rapidly unfold, I’m feeling shaken to the core. Regardless of any divine force that may or may not be at play, clearly we are presented with a test of our collective heart and values. I hope that somehow I’m able to rise to this occasion.

I hope that we all are.

Image of event shake map by US Geological Survey via Wikimedia Commons

Posted via email from dmboisterous