The Great Potato Experiment

A little girl’s project becomes a dramatic example of toxins in our food.

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oh the irony

“So the fishermen came to receive training in how to clean up the oil spill that was creeping up on the nearby coastline. They were hoping to be hired by BP, the company blamed for the spill and responsible for cleanup efforts.” – NT Times

A disaster of Biblical proportions is unfolding there. And we don’t need one here.

I’m going to Vote No on Measure J – on shore exploratory oil drilling in Carpinteria. And if I get a chance to vote on offshore exploratory drilling near my home, I’ll vote no again.

Citizens Committee Against Paredon Initiative

a kneadful thought

Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven.

– Yiddish proverb

Boy, that’s the truth, isn’t it? Even in the small town where I’ve grown up, there’s a big disparity in values.

There are the whole grain flakes like me who care mostly about the quality of our environment and long-term flavor of life. And there are the unleavened ones, who don’t care what rises or falls, year to year, and would slice off half a loaf or more to make some short bread.

You thought I was gonna say dough, didn’t you?

Doh. 

waste not

I sent the following message electronically to both of my senators and my representative today.

Dear … today I received a letter from the US Census, telling me they are going to send me a census form in a week. This is ridiculous. The paper industry is a top polluter, a top contributor to climate change, and they are laying waste and devastation to our wilderness to harvest pulp. The wastewater effluent resulting from sending this sheet of paper, in an envelope, to many millions of homes, is staggering. And of course, they are all going straight into the landfills. And this isn't even the Census, it's just needless note that the Census is on the way. A note on the importance of participation couldn't have been included with the Census itself? What a waste of resources. When we re-elect you, I hope to see a higher environmental conscience in Washington. Respectfully ….

urgently urge

Several times each day, I receive an urgent e-mail from an environmental or political group, urgently urging me to click a click or a button to send an urgent message to some elected official, urging them to do something. I receive these because over the years, I’ve acceded to many such requests, and they tend to spread like mushrooms.

I care about animals, the environment, and justice for all, so I click.

A few days later, here comes an e-mail from Washington – my congresswoman or one of my senators – thanking me. And it never says, “Oh spare me, I wouldn’t support saving the burping barbaloots if my life depended on it.” In fact, it almost always turns out they supported my side of the issue all along.

Sometimes, it turns out I have dramatically urged them to support their very own bill.

Basta. No more of this. It makes me – and the people who sent me the urgent e-mail – look very stupid. So henceforth, such pleas must include some affirmation that the representative to receive our petition is presently wrongheaded and needs to be set straight. Urgently.

Or I can simply unsubscribe. That’s a good idea too.

paper is pretty dead

A friend said that to me once, only not about paper. We were talking about nutrition and he said, “meat is pretty dead.” I think it applies to paper pretty well too.

When I got my new HP pc in early August, I was promised a free upgrade to Windows 7 when the time came, which it has. So I decided to scoot online and order my Windows 7 freebie upgrade today. God knows when it’ll actually arrive – weeks I guess – but there’s no rush.

I tell you what, though. I have a scanner and I’ve got to start getting in the habit of scanning things like receipts. They wanted the “proof of purchase,” and 6 boxtops from Lucky Charms, either uploaded or mailed separately. I had trouble remembering where on God’s Earth I might have put the receipt. I finally found it on a little shelf-table thing in the kitchen-dining room, where I keep my keys and phone and stuff.

When we buy something we might need the receipt for – anything that’s supposed to last, like electronics – I think the store should offer to e-mail a digital copy of our receipt to us. Because the whole world needs to stop printing important information on sheets of dead tree. And it seems like I can’t go out in public without somebody trying to give me freekin paper to clog up my life.

Whatever happened to the paperless office we were promised when we all started getting computers? We have computers in our offices and homes, surrounded by mountains of cellulose. Our landfills are overflowing, and the fact that paper is often recyclable doesn’t make up for the fact that we’re still grinding up forests to print out crap. I know people who print out their e-mails! E’Gads!

So I scanned my receipt and uploaded it to HP, and e-mailed it to myself, and backed it up on a disc. Now I just need to figure out where I’m going to store the original little slip of fading thermal paper.

Poor trees, we hardly knew ye.

Reckoning at Coal River | CommonDreams.org

Reckoning at Coal River | CommonDreams.org:

“the human rights and constitutional violations of American citizens besieged by ruthless outside coal companies will be on full display to the national media and the nation–from the shocking and shameful mountaintop removal operations threatening the safety of a school and community in West Virginia, to the transformed halls of the US Congress.”

And Daddy won’t you take me back to Muhlenberg county,
Down by the Green River, where Paradise lay.
Well I’m sorry, my son, but you’re too late in askin,
Mr. Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away.