Eucalyptus: Friend or Foe?
The exotic weeds need to be cut: I get that the eucalyptus are pretty ["Going Native," Matt Smith, Column, 9/15]. But you just can't make an ecosystem something it's not. If they're exotics, then they'll do more harm than good in the long run, either by choking native species or requiring extensive maintenance. By the way, it is crazy that people are saying that removing eucalyptus will create a fire hazard. The amount of leaf litter those trees generate, coupled with their copious oil production, makes them a menace.
The virtual farm is too far away: The reason Zynga can't get people to stick around in its Skinner boxes for very long is that its programming is so shoddy ["FarmVillains," Peter Jamison, Feature, 9/8]. I got to level 50 in FarmVille before I gave up due to lag. Lag! In a Flash game! I recently revisited it, just to help someone who was still playing, and it took over a minute to load the game. The social games in Facebook are meant to be like popcorn — you run in, work on them for a few minutes, then dash back out to your main Facebook page. Thanks for the article. I'm tempted to quit Mafia Wars right now because of this.
Playing games means more jobs: Shame on [Zynga] for creating hundreds of jobs. They are forcing those millions of people to play their games. Slave labor, I tell you! Companies should create games purely for their aesthetic quality and nuanced gameplay. If the consumers won't pay for it, then the federal government should step in and prop up the business.
Bait Cars and Good Samaritans
No good deed goes unpunished: I hope that the producers of [TV show Bait Car] get sued ["Crime Starters," Chris Roberts, Sucka Free City, 9/8]. They kidnapped kind people who were only trying to get an abandoned car out of the middle of the street. So what is the point of this series? To teach all of America that it doesn't pay to help your fellow man? Don't do a good deed, or it could result in your being thrown in jail for the weekend and then have to spend God only knows how much money on legal fees and lost time at work. What has this nation come to?
Music Man, Mad Man
Phil Spector's case gets screen time: I saw this film [The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector] and was unprepared for the questions it raised about his involvement in Lana Clarkson's death ["Wall of Sound, Bars of Steel," Michael Fox, Night and Day, 9/8]. He is definitely nuts and he has definitely held guns on many women over the years, but did he pull the trigger in this particular case? It's very hard to like the guy, but he comes across as being railroaded.
Blog Comment of the Week
In response to a blog post about Emeryville's street-food scene's possible demise: The more the better ["Is Emeryville Poised to Kill Its Street-Food Scene?" John Birdsall, SFoodie, 9/14]. This is America, where everyone should have a chance despite the business model. I have worked in Emeryville since 1980, and have visited most of the places to eat. I think the food trucks are a grand infusion of new and interesting choices. There are more than enough customers to go around. If a business is losing customers, it's time to step up to the plate and lure them back. Free enterprise and competition are a great part of what makes America the greatest place to live.
Viva la food truck.