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Peter Garrison

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Dodging the Y2K Bullet

You have to say one thing for Gary North: He has the courage of his convictions. North is the Christian fundamentalist whose millenarian Web site (www.garynorth.com) consistently deployed the most apocalyptic warnings of what was in store for the world when the year 2000 rolled around and all the computers......
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Life’s a Beach

Illustration by J. Hadley Hooper For some reason, dream paradises are often beaches. We happened on ours by accident. I was flying in a small plane toward Bahia de los Angeles, a few hundred miles south of the border on the east coast of Baja California. Immigration at Tijuana had......

Recalling Happy Squalor

Art by Peter BennettMARK WAS A FORMER STUDENT OF my former college roommate. He was visiting Europe, I was living there. I was to hitchhike with him, introduce him to the world of happy squalor. We hooked up in Palermo. I had waited there two tedious days, walking around for......

Year 2000

The subcommittee also graded a number of agencies and departments separately. Social Security, which began fixing its systems in 1987, received an A+. Other agencies did not fare so well. The Department of Defense, with thousands of computer-controlled weapons systems, many of them quite old, got a D. The Department......

Year 2000

In a little less than a year and a half, something bad is going to happen. The world's computers, on which just about everything we eat, earn, spend and save depends, are going to suffer a seizure - or rather a snowballing series of tiny spasms, which in the end......

Rain Forest Crunch

To walk into the rain forest is to enter an epoch before man existed. It is something one ought to do slowly and alone. I have visited the sultry tropical rain forests of Central and South America and the cool, fogbound ones of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state. Each......

Sex and the Single Fruit Fly

A decade ago, the California Department of Food and Agriculture was dropping malathion on us in order to kill medflies. Now they've changed their approach: They raise medflies and drop them on us. This may seem mad, but there's method in it. The ingenuity of the program is that the......
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