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A quiet day of reflection

A quiet day of reflection

Today I drove over to the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanical Garden. If you’ve never been there before, you are missing an incredible treat – that is, if you enjoy green grass, trees, flowers, insects, squirrels and peacocks. As I entered the grounds of the 215 acre arboretum complex, I marveled at the changes that I see in myself. In fact, if I had looked forward to where I am now 20 years ago, I would not recognize me! I…

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Should we worry about Nestles water?

Should we worry about Nestles water?

There are people protesting Nestles because it is pumping 80 million gallons a year out of a spring in California. You realize 80 million gallons is not nearly as much water as you think. Let’s compare, shall we? “A shocking 2,100 gallons of water are needed to produce just a single pound of shelled almonds” (Ecology.com). That would mean that Nestle is using as much water as it takes to grow 38100 pounds of almonds. We grow a LOT of…

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Invader species

Invader species

Did you know your standard, garden variety honey bee is not native to the Americas? They came over with the Europeans after Columbus. http://bugguide.net/node/view/475348 Did you know earthworms are not native to the Americas either? They also came over with the Europeans and caused ecological disaster on the continent. Earthworms change the way leaves and such are decomposed and thus change the nature of the land. http://www.charlesmann.org/art…/NatGeo-Jamestown-05-07-1.htm http://ecosystems.serc.si.edu/earthworm-invaders/ Did you know tomatoes are not native to Europe?They were transported by…

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One decision changed the world

One decision changed the world

The next time you think one person cannot have a dramatic effect on mankind and the future, think about this: A single German, Wilhelm Souchon, decided at the start of WWI that he was going to take his battleship, the Soeben, to Constantinople, which was then the capital of the Ottoman empire and Turkey. His purpose, with just his one battleship, was to cause Turkey, a very powerful country at the time, to enter the war on the side of…

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Bullies

Bullies

I’m seeing some posts about bullying, so I thought I’d add a couple of cents. When I was going to school, from kindergarten through the end of high school, I would have a hard time remembering a day when I was not bullied in one form or another, including verbal harassment all the way through actually getting bloody from getting punched. Note that much of the bullying was from the teachers themselves as well as the students. I was bullied…

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Is the remake ever any good?

Is the remake ever any good?

I am a movie buff, simple and sweet. I have over 1,500 movies in my DVD and BluRay collection, am a member of Flixster (primarily for their Ultraviolet service) and use an Amazon Fire TV because Amazon Prime has a good selection of free movies included with their service. These days it seems movies are somehow lacking in something. They are missing some special qualities that older versions were filled with. Well, at least it seems that way sometimes. But is…

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One person can make a difference

One person can make a difference

On Sept 26, 1983 Stanislav Petrov saved the world. The Soviet computer systems signaled that a full scale missile attack had been launched from the United States to Russia. According to the computers, a first strike of several hundred missiles was on it’s way to Russia. With literally seconds to decide, Petrov trusted his gut, which told him this was a false alarm, and did not order the counter-strike. If this man had followed standard procedure, twelve thousand Russian nuclear…

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Maybe if we bury our head in the sand we’ll find water!

Maybe if we bury our head in the sand we’ll find water!

Rarely in my life have I seen such non-confront, business as usual, someone else’s problem as with the drought going on in California. Estimates are California will run out of water in 12 to 18 months. It doesn’t really matter about the weather anymore. The drought is that bad. Think about California with no water. What’s being done about it? Voluntary rationing. Some noise from the politicians. A bond is being placed on the ballot in November (all the way…

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Perfect Storm

Perfect Storm

I had glorious plans for the day: get up early, drive up to Fresno, meet three beautiful ladies all dressed in pirate outfits, photograph them all over the renaissance faire, then make the long drive home overnight. It started off well and early. Fresno was a four hour drive from my house, so I had to get up before the sun was up, jump in the car with my cameras and costumes, and make the long drive. But it was…

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Insidious Advertising

Insidious Advertising

I hate most of the advertising today, because it’s so insidious and pervasive in the western world. It seems like you cannot go anywhere or look at anything without seeing more stupid ads than can be counted. The problem with so many advertisements is not that the products are not worth purchasing. The problem is the advertisements use emotional buttons to get you to purchase something which you would not normally purchase. You are pressured, unconsciously, day in and day…

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