October 11, 2014

Weekend Miscellany 2

The Secret Pot-Growing Operations in America's Cornfields

Once a corn field is planted and herbicide applied, many farmers don’t return to a given field until harvest time. The biotechnological and labor-saving innovations that have reduced costs for corn farmers mean that literally no one walks into the average corn field during the growing season. Which presents a major opportunity for marijuana growers.
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Piggybacking on the incredible technological investments required to create so much corn, marijuana growers reap orders of magnitude more revenue per acre. This fact is not lost on individual farmers, but is virtually undetectable in national conversations about the profits and pitfalls of industrial corn agriculture.

"I love John the Baptist’s definition of the word politics – “poly means many, tics are bloodsucking parasites.” from Tim Walker's 5 star review of The Man Jesus by Simon Callow now on the London stage. "Funny, knowing and profoundly sad".

Michael J Totten on The Walking Dead in an Age of Anxiety

The Walking Dead is a morality tale that disdains easy answers. How does a civilized person behave in a world where civilization has collapsed? Decency is still possible, the show instructs us, but ruthlessness is needed as well. “It’s ugly,” Carol says when explaining this to a child, “and it’s scary and it does change you, but that’s how we get to be here.”
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The fascination with the zombie apocalypse, I believe, is a cultural reflection of the new age of anxiety that opened on 9/11, with its fear of social collapse. As Penn State professor Peter Dendle puts it, the zombie is a “barometer of social anxiety”—and we’re plenty anxious.
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A zombie invasion is simply a metaphor for any situation in which the government cannot protect its citizens.”

The Gaelic Stars of YouTube Irish-language covers of popular English songs.  All by students of Coláiste Lurgan, an Irish-Gaelic-immersion summer school, with a musical, energetic, social approach to learning Irish, an endangered language, but now a mandatory part of a school's curriculum.

What a beautiful language Irish is. Here Stiofán Ó Fearail  sings "Wake Me Up"

Have you ever seen students so engaged or having so much fun learning language?

Google Chairman, Eric Schmidt, "We're Going to End Up Breaking the Internet" unless governments reform their surveillance practices.

NPR: Firestone Did What Governments Have Not: Stopped Ebola In Its Tracks

Posted by Jill Fallon at October 11, 2014 8:30 AM | Permalink