Nevada has a new political party, and it's for anyone who thinks the old political parties just don't have much to offer in the way of distinction.
Well, the Evolving Minds Party promises to be different.
According to records filed with the Nevada secretary of state last week, it was formed by Eric Thorsen of Phoenix, who authored its constitution.
Article 1: "The purpose of government is to make everyone in society as happy and neuroscientifically and psychologically satisfied as possible. The government has to become 'ONE BIG HUGE HAPPY FACE' that makes people happy. In other words, we'll put huge happy faces on every street corner in every city and the happy faces shall be technologically designed to say 'Hi, be happy. Have a happy day!'"
The constitution also calls for tax-free subsidies for corporations, universities and inventors to mass produce flying cars, flying bicycles, flying motorcycles, flying brooms, flying wheelchairs, flying canes and/or walkers and flying backpacks for kids.
I'm taking a wild guess, but do you think the Evolving Minds Party is having its convention in the Black Rock Desert?
Reading the Minds platform made me miss Merlyn Merlin, who was registered at the Nevada Legislature as a lobbyist for the Embassy of the Avalon Saucerians. Merlin, whose real name was David Solomon, died in 2001.
Here's hoping the Evolving Minds are as successful as Merlin, who campaigned for the Extraterrestrial Highway. We could use a few more huge happy faces.
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With all the complaining about traffic congestion in Carson City, I would suggest you take a bicycle ride instead - and be reminded just how bike-unfriendly some drivers can be.
I'm not a frequent pedaler, but I can certainly sympathize with those who are.
I was crossing Carson Street on my bike and had just entered an intersection when the light changed from green to yellow. A woman made a left turn in front of me, apparently unconcerned that I had the right of way. She was more interested in beating the yellow.
That made me a sitting target for the guy behind her, who decided he was going to make a left turn on the red light. He came busting through the intersection, swinging into the outside lane as he turned. He spotted me at the last second. Otherwise, I would be a smudge on the asphalt.
It doesn't really matter whether you're in a car, on a bicycle or hoofing it. Please don't let Carson City become one of those places (like Reno) where it's just expected that drivers are going to cruise through intersections on the yellow and, inevitably, red lights. That's how people get killed.
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I just returned from my favorite kind of vacation - staying at home and enjoying Northern Nevada
My sister and two of her granddaughters, ages 6 and 12, helped me do the "tourist thing," as it's called. Family members have made it something of a tradition to visit in August, although it was the first time for the 6-year-old, Madison.
After a horse-and-buggy tour of Virginia City, we bought her a pink cowboy hat and black boots. I'm sure she made quite an impression when she returned home to Illinois.
We also took Madison and her cousin, Ali, to Sand Harbor for one of the special presentations of "The Tempest" for children. It's a great opportunity - and free, although you do need to get tickets in advance. Plan to take the kids next year, as the last Young Shakespeare Program performance of the season is today at 10 a.m. in Truckee. More info is at laketahoeshakespeare.com.
I was expecting some form of Shakespeare-lite intent on appealing to the kid-cartoon generation, but I was pleased to hear the language intact. I'm sure the children in the audience followed the plot as well as I did. The play was much abbreviated, a concession to short attention spans, and Shakespeare's wit came through loud and clear.
We spent the rest of the day swimming in Lake Tahoe, then headed for San Francisco for a couple of days to ride cable cars and visit the sea lions at Pier 39.
Having the time to enjoy Carson City, eat in the local restaurants, take in the sights, and make a few side trips is a great reminder of why it's such a pleasant place to live.
Except when trying to cross Carson Street, at least until they start mass-producing those flying bicycles.
- Barry Smith is editor of the Nevada Appeal. Contact him at editor@nevada appeal.com or 881-1221.