Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Good Tuesday to you all.  The sun is just starting to rise here.  They say we should get plenty of sun and temps in the mid-to-high 60s.  I checked the temperature in the mini-greenhouse yesterday afternoon and the thermometer read 80F.  That is without any direct sun.  It won't get any direct sun for a month or more.  When it does I will have to arrange to cover it a bit.  I saw a couple of spinach plants peeking through the soil in the containers I put out a month or so ago when I tried the 'winter sowing' techniques I was reading about.  Given how quickly spinach grows we should have fresh greens before our average last frost date (May 15 here).  I plan to get the over-the-fence hangers out of the greenhouse where I have stored them over the winter and put them on the fence.  I want the space to put new containers of lettuce.

The Murdoch phone hacking scandal rolls on with the six more arrests.

So now thieves are targeting Tide.  The morning news said that drug dealers are accepting Tide in payment for their merchandise and then reselling the Tide at half the supermarket price.

I found this interesting piece at Prudens Speculari by way of Chris Martensen's Blog.  It provides an excellent case against the big banks.  Someone (sorry--I don't remember who) yesterday expressed the opinion that sooner or later these banks will be broken up.  I can only hope it is sooner.

I have been bemused, as you all know from earlier posts, about the attention the news media has given the rising gas prices and the impact those prices are having on President Obama's popularity.  I am bemused because I simply don't see what he can do about the situation.  Michael Klare has a new post at Tomdispatch dealing with oil that illustrates some of the difficulties and none of them are really within the power of the President to influence greatly or for any length of time.  As Klare makes clear, the problems is not that we are running out of oil in an absolute sense but rather at what price, economically and environmentally, we can extract it.  I saw an interview a couple of weeks ago where the industry analyst said that, at present, oil costs about $50/barrel to extract.  Klare estimates oil companies need a price of $90+/barrel to profitably harvest the 'tough' oil which now is about 10% of the world's oil supply.  The problem isn't how much oil is out there but whether, when it finally reaches the end consumer, we can afford the gas, plastics, fertilizers, and other petroleum based products we depend on.  An interesting report on the morning news claimed that public transportation systems have seen an increase in the number of riders thanks to the increasing gas prices.  But that comes as a number of such systems are cutting service.

Al Jazeera has an interesting article on the 'maker movement.'  I hadn't heard of it but it seems to take the old 'do-it-yourself' notion to an all new level.  Al Jazeera, of course, focuses mainly on the non-western phenomenon.  I will have to put this on my list for a Google exploration.

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