The End of the Strawberry As Some of Us Know It?

In my early teens I spent the early weeks of a few summers in the strawberry fields around Portland. I say early weeks because the berry’s season in Oregon is very short. In recent years the strawberry crop in Oregon has been shrinking, a victim of the flavor-intense ripe berry’s very short life and inability to travel far. Watsonville, California, meanwhile has been dramatically increasing its berry output. The California season is nearly year-round and the berries have a long shelf life. Oh yeah, not much flavor, either.

Gravenstein apples have suffered a similar fate in Sonoma County for similar reasons, with the additional pressure of vineyards taking over every patch of ground

Cheney Heart Factoid

This is not about the million-plus taxpayer dollars spent on Dick Cheney’s heart. This is about Internet security and privacy. Just kidding! We know – and have accepted – that neither exists.

It’s about the Internet of Things: “… devices that interact with the Internet, such as watches, refrigerators, pacemakers, robotic vacuum cleaners, baby monitors, video cameras at street intersections, and more. Security researchers have exposed security vulnerabilities in everything from Hello Barbie dolls, which allowed hackers to intercept a child’s communication, to cars that can be remotely hacked so their brakes and transmission are disabled.”

Hackers can even get into medical devices. This was enough of a concern that Dick Cheney’s physician turned off his pacemaker while he served as vice-president … to prevent his being attacked from within, so to speak.

Richard Nixon’s Other Legacy

Playing devil’s advocate here…

How evil was Richard Nixon? He resigned in disgrace. But he left us with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), the Clean Air Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. Oh yeah, he also initiated diplomatic relations with China.

We the People…

The Confederated Congress dissolved itself on March 4, 1789 and immediately met as the first session of the United States Congress. Eleven of thirteen states had approved the new Constitution – the other two would the following year – to replace the Articles of Confederation. The new constitution was ratified with ten amendments, largely the work of James Madison. The amendments, the Bill of Rights, were added partly from political expediency and compromise to ensure ratification of the Constitution. Madison wrote, “Bill of Rights—useful—not essential.” A couple of the more famous Founding Fathers are on record about the amendments to the new Constitution.

  • “…whilst you carefully avoid every alteration which might endanger the benefits of an united and effective government, or which ought to await the future lessons of experience; a reverence for the characteristic rights of freemen, and a regard for public harmony, will sufficiently influence your deliberations on the question, how far the former can be impregnably fortified or the latter be safely and advantageously promoted.” – George Washington
  • “I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as a civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.” – Thomas Jefferson

You can draw your own conclusion about what they would think of “A well regulated Militia” in the twenty-first century.

Transgender and Sanitation

Rubina is using the hanging toilet everyday in molar slum. Rubina has lived here for last three years. Before that she was in village. Her husband got a job in Dhaka so they moved into the slum. The toilet they are currently using is a shared hanging toilet. It is situated 20 metres from their home. Once, in middle of the night, she went to the toilet and someone knocked the toilet door so harshly as if they were going to break the door. She got very scared and nearly fainted by the incident. Since then, she is too scared to use the toilet after 9pm.I’m so glad to live in an affluent country where we can have controversy and outrage about who is using which public rest room. And where state legislatures controlled by purported small-government politicians can pass laws prohibiting local governments from legislating certain things. Poorer countries have concerns about toilets more basic than the gender of the person using one.

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Literally Decimated & Other Malapropisms: Post-Mother’s-Day Thoughts

E. B. White & friend
E. B. White & friend

Language is a living, ever-evolving organism. The meanings and uses of words change over time. If a word is misused enough over a long-enough period of time, it becomes part of the accepted language.

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