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Fulton Files

End of the World? Just in Time!



An eschatological itch is fast descending on our world. Never mind American Christians who want to see the Jerusalem temple rebuilt and Palestinians plowed underfoot so that Jesus can return to earth for a gourmet cup of coffee and a few words with management. The scientists are in on it, the Japanese are killing themselves with Internet sites, the American dollar is sinking and hard-core pornography is being pumped into hotel chains.

In addition, Nike gives millions in advertising contract money to basketball prodigies while leaving a U.S. soccer prodigy practically starving for funds. How is that justice? And how will our great nation dominate the world’s one international sport—soccer—given such an inequity? Kicking world ass via military might doesn’t cut it. There are those among us, including this columnist, who dream of the day America wins the World Cup. Rabid British fans notwithstanding, soccer is so much more peaceful than invading Iran or Syria.

& ull; Why not kick start your summer reading with these two recently published, fun-filled tomes? In The End of the World: The Science and Ethics of Human Extinction, author John Leslie, a professor of philosophy at the University of Guelph, estimates that the odds are 30 percent that within the next 500 years, we’ll all be annihilated by disease, nuclear war or even some high-energy physics experiment gone horribly awry. Using complex Bayesian mathematics, coupled with Hindu spiritual cycles estimating that the earth’s 8.64 billion years of existence are running on empty, Leslie makes you think twice about the wisdom of saving for retirement. Ditto for Sir Martin Rees, a Cambridge University professor and Britain’s Astronomer Royal. But Rees is even more of a killjoy, estimating in his book Our Final Hour that we’ve got no better than a fifty-fifty chance of making it out of the 21st century. Rees is more inclined to believe the progress of science could lead to the accidental undoing of the human race, whether by engineered airborne viruses, replicating nano-machines or high-energy particle experiments. Read them today, and you’ll know why you could be dead tomorrow. Consciousness in oblivion is no vice.

& ull; An article in Business 2.0 magazine concerning the economics of pornography reported that Vivid Entertainment Group now sends its hard-core movies into hotel chains including Marriott, making it even more unlikely that guests will get around to reading that bedside copy of the Book of Mormon.

& ull; Yet more proof of Internet technology’s death beyond NASDAQ: Police in the western city of Kyoto, Japan, found two women and a man dead from carbon monoxide poisoning in the man’s apartment. The three met via an Internet site for people interested in group suicides.

& ull; Predictably, any person with a working knowledge of world economic inequality condemned Nike’s obscene contract with high school senior LeBron James. But let’s face it, if Michael Jordan cleared his throat on shag carpet, most Americans would frame and preserve it. No, the real injustice is that James is $90 million richer, while 13-year-old soccer ace Freddy Adu nets a mere $1 million contract from the same shoe company. Is soccer really that paltry in American eyes? Chances are good that Adu, a native of Ghana who became a U.S. citizen in February, won’t even play professionally for an American team. Manchester (that’s in Britain, not New Hampshire) United manager Alex Ferguson already has his eye on him.