Regarding Laurence Geller's Oct. 19 Opinion piece "Rebuild New Orleans with visitors in mind": It seems Mr. Geller is so anxious to get his New Orleans Hyatt Hotel going again that he is forgetting a few things of substance.
First, a lot of folks just aren't going back to New Orleans, no matter what. It may well be that most just don't want to go through another hurricane like Katrina.
Next, New Orleans is slowly sinking into the ooze below, and the city is below sea level already. Is rebuilding the right long-term answer? The dikes at New Orleans were built to protect against a Category 3 hurricane; Katrina was a Category 4. Should new dikes be built to withstand Categories 4 and 5 hurricanes, and can that even be done? And at what cost?
Furthermore, the delta to the south of New Orleans is being eroded to the tune of about one football field every 30 minutes, which amounts to over 25 miles of erosion per year. So the Gulf of Mexico may well be at the doorstep of New Orleans within 50 years, if not before. Considering this, maybe just the commercial side - the port area - of New Orleans should be rebuilt, and the jazz should be moved elsewhere. Ports can't move, but clarinets can.
Richard Walton Stanley
St. Paul, Minn.
Regarding the Oct. 20 article, "Wanted: a flat, mineral-rich plot - with Earth view": We have as much need to return to the moon at this time as the Gulf Coast needs another shirt-sleeve visit from the president. The realistic aim for NASA and the other space-ready nations should be the completion of the International Space Station (ISS).
After the ISS is expanded to provide living and working quarters for scientists and engineers, we can build and launch all of the craft we want to the moon and beyond. And this can be done at a much cheaper cost.
Private enterprise needs to be brought into the planning and building of the space station. This will help pay for all of the scientific ventures that we could desire - one step at a time!
In response to the Oct. 19 article, "Video iPod faced with fuzzy future": From the perspective of an iPod user watching the product line grow, the new video iPod is an improvement. The iPod has come a long ways since it had a black and white screen.
When people borrow my Sony T-1 digital camera, they marvel at the screen, a 2.5 inch, like most MP3 players, and this seems to be the perfect size for a pocket media experience.
About the video functions, they are like ice cream on top of a piece of pie. The ability of people to catch up on their shows on the same device they use to listen to music all day is definitely a bonus.
When will it all come together, is really the question major media outlets should be asking. Once the soap operas jump in, and the rest of the major networks, and then the cable networks and TiVo, then Apple stock prices will hike.
When the iPod first came out, there was no iTunes store. Now the first video-capable iPod has a tiny store. And since the new iMac can play movies and recorded shows just like a TV, too, more content is really the key. And I have no doubt that Steve Jobs has been working on that since he approved the video iPod concept. I'd bet my G5 tower on it.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
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