Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Athletic Turf - Herbicide-tolerant turfgrass gets a setback: "According to [Penn State's David] Huff, it is not the ability to develop such grasses but the problems of controlling their spread and fixing liability for any escape that are the short-term hurdles...Gene stewardship is another concern. Part of the hubbub is that grasses are vegetatively propagated and their pollen can fly in the wind. Turf grasses are perennials and often grow close to native species. They can hybridize with those native plants....A report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in October 2004 by L.S. Watrud showed that gene flow from genetically modified plants occurred up to 13 miles away — in just one year. The 300 acres for modified plants was surrounded by an 11,000 acre control area."

And then comes the real kicker and the frightening, truly frightening part. According to Huff: "NO ONE REALIZED IT COULD TRAVEL THAT FAR"!

And you know, maybe that could be chalked up to an honest mistake. But that is precisely the point: one such mistake is all it takes to wipe out a crop around the world. There seems to be just too much we do not know about how GMO works and it seems to be too volatile to play with it. And there really doesn't seem to be any societal need for the thing. It is all about greed.

Monday, January 17, 2005

NFL Playoffs: Colts at Patriots: "Once again, it is time to marvel at the Patriots' coaching and preparation. Was there really any doubt that Belichick and his staff would figure out a way to shut down Manning and the NFL's deepest and most talented pass-catching corps?"

What I have yet to hear from any commentator or analyst is how in the world ONE TEAM is capable of stopping the most prolific offenses in the NFL day in and day out. Regardless of players because the Patriots' defense was decimated by injuries like most teams. And how come nobody copies them? I think Mike Nolan is a good defensive coach and the 49ers should improve with him at the helm, but Romeo Crennel must be an absolute genius. How can you pass up a guy like that?
Sen. John Kerry criticizes election outcome at Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast: "He reiterated that he decided not to challenge the election results, but 'thousands of people were suppressed in the effort to vote.'"

Does anyone STILL have questions about why this man lost the 2004 election? He was against the war but voted for it, thought the election was rigged but didn't want to contest it... When does it all end? Can you please just go away now? Please?

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The New York Times > Dining & Wine > The Minimalist: A Vegetarian Haiku in Four Dishes (Reg. required): "'In Japan,' she said, 'the idea of focusing on a small aspect of something and then exploding it into many possibilities is an appealing notion, in both life and aesthetics. Working in a limited set and not letting it inhibit you but allowing it to take you to another level is part of the pleasure. Think about using just ink and paper instead of the whole palette of colors and media in painting; in the same way, the limits of cooking with plants force me to be more creative, to explode, almost into infinity, all of the possibilities.'"

This applies to any endeavor. Sometimes having more power/resources makes us lazier, creatively speaking. This probably appeals particularly in Japan because it is severly limited in space and resources and has been for thousands of years.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The Scotsman - International - US 'preparing to detain terror suspects for life without trial'
Here is what bugs me about Democrats. On this issue here is what Carl Levin, the senior Democrat on the armed services committee had to say: "There must be some modicum, some semblance of due process ... if you’re going to detain people, whether it’s for life or whether it’s for years". Compare that with this quote from Lord Hoffman from Britains's House of Lords: "It calls into question the very existence of an ancient liberty of which this country has until now been very proud: freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention. The real threat to the life of the nation ... comes not from terrorism but from laws such as these." THAT is the kind of quotes Democrats need to be making. (And to be fair Levin may have made a more substantial statement or been quoted out of context.) But I find similar statements being made about other issues like the so-called social security "crisis". You cannot go along with the language and the assertion of a problem when it is demonstrably false. To do so validates the argument from the start and you are then locked in a battle to compromise.