Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Brave New World

Okay, here I am in Rockville, MD attending a meeting at the HQ of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, located in a vast post-industrial office park wilderness.

When you walk in the front door, there is of course a security station, with armed guards and metal detectors. Behind the security station, on either side of the portal leading to the inner sanctum of the building, are two enormous plasma TV screens, on which are displayed, all day long, Fox News.

Oh, and by the way, the same feature is prominently displayed in the lobby of the hotel where we are staying. For whatever it's worth, of course, the hotel (a Hilton) predominantly does business with the federal government. At Logan Airport, through which I passed to get here, the newsstands (owned by Hudson News) all have enormous televisions showing, during all hours when the airport is open, Fox News.

I may talk about the meeting later, but it turns out I was supposed to turn in my visitor's badge when I left the building, which I did not know. You may never hear from me again.

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