Saturday, March 3, 2012

Good Saturday morning to you all.  And it is a good morning because once again the most severe weather went either north or south of us.  The tornado devastation is mind boggling and all too close.  Actually, anywhere something like that happens is way too close.  I just spent a few minutes on line looking for statistics on tornadoes.  I was trying to see if there was any evidence form my own gut feeling that this kind of severe weather had become increasingly common over the last couple of decades.  I remember in the late 1980s being surprised when tornadoes hit Denver.  I had always been told that tornadoes didn't happen at higher altitudes but I remember one that hit Colorado State University's Pingree Park campus and that is even higher than Denver.  I found a mishmash of information--a lot of it contradictory.  Nothing to unequivocally confirm or disprove my gut.  Right now we are getting intermittent bouts of snow but nothing much.  The outside temperature is about 36F and in my little greenhouse--40-42F.

I have just turned off the news and put on the first of a stack of our own DVDs.  The news went from the tornado outbreak and a couple of small but interesting stories to 'Rush Limbaugh acting badly (again or still, whatever).'  The best part of the story was that three of his sponsors have pulled their support.  My question: why haven't all of them done so?

The NY Times Magazine has an interesting dissection of Olympia Snowe's career and announced retirement.  I have had a strange sense of dissonance reading the accounts (nothing has been said on the broadcast news--perhaps because retirements have been coming often now-a-days).  The accounts from mainstream calls her a 'moderate' Republican but I couldn't remember anything especially moderate about her.  The analysis presented in this editorial reveals nothing particularly courageous or principled either.  But it does reveal a strong sense of opportunistic self preservation.

Cornell has introduced a new purple strawberry.  Burpee's has it for sale.  And no I am not going to get it.  Beautiful though it is it bears in June and I want an ever bearing variety.  And it is almost $10/plant.  A bit more than I want to spend.

The results of this study doesn't really surprise me.  Children who are regularly given home grown produce and vegetables are likely to eat more of them than those who are not.  Home grown simply taste better.  We have found that out repeatedly.  I wonder what they would find if they looked at those kids whose veggies and fruits came from a local farmers' market?

I find the math involved in this story somewhat--screwy.  Detroit has hired a private firm to manage their public transit system for 10 months for which the company will be paid $2million.  The company has instituted service cuts that will 'save' the city $11million.  And the company will also be eligible for 'bonuses' of as much as $3million.  So approximately one-third of the 'savings' will go the the private company.  All for 10 months of work.  And for the people of Detroit?  No service on some routes as early as 8pm and no service at all between 1am and 4am.  Anyone care to be a night worker without access to a car in Detroit?

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