Jan. 22, 2012 — My favorite class of all time was Fall and Winter Survival, which I took when I was a senior in high school.
The class started in the fall and was taught by the coolest biology teachers, who were also avid outdoor enthusiasts.
We took field trips to local parks and identified native, edible plants — like rosehips and berries.
We learned how to build fires using only one match. This turned out to be very important during our final exam, a three-day survival solo in the backwoods of Maine in January.
Jan. 15, 2013 — Beneath Paris streets, Metro passengers walk by a billboard featuring a larger-than-life man who looks like he’s trying to blow his brains out with a half-shucked ear of corn. Photoshopped pictures of Frankenfish, cucumbers that peel like bananas, rainbow-colored broccoli and other crazy-quilt images of genetically altered foods abound on a Google image search.
Are we all just lab rats for the biotech food industry’s experiments in genetically modified organisms (GMOs)? News headlines combined with tidbits from history are really starting to worry me.
Butter was one of the first foods I recall being modified, albeit on a molecular level instead of genetic. Oleomargarine was first developed in France, at the request of Emperor Louis Napoleon III. According to a Wikipedia article, it was developed in France for use by the armed forces and the lower classes.
Jan. 15, 2013 — Every year at Christmas time, I make cookies according to my mother’s recipe. Timing is critical: Made too soon, the cookies never leave the house — I eat them. Also too, every year after Christmas I swear I will never make the darn things again, but somehow the deed gets done.
Christmas Eve, the last batch of cookies was being rolled into balls at the kitchen table when there was movement in the apple tree off the back deck. Being as it was a dead still day further investigation was required. In the branches of the tree was a bear cub. There were still plenty of apples left on the bare branches of the tree and this cub was determined to get at ’em.
It would hook a claw on a branch and very slowly draw the prize towards him. He did this about five times, losing the apple at the very last moment until he finally got one and began to munch on the fruit.
From its opening words, California’s open meeting law, commonly known as the Ralph M. Brown Act, declares the people have the right to know what their public agencies are up to and how and why they make the decisions they do.
The Brown Act begins, “In enacting this chapter, the legislature finds and declares that the public commissions, boards and councils and the other public agencies in this state exist to aid in the conduct of the people's business. It is the intent of the law that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly. The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.”
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