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Lunch Atop a Skyscraper – The Story

by Miriam - June 7th, 2017

Very interesting video about the iconic photo (and others):

Blessings on Memorial Day

by Miriam - May 29th, 2017

Global Seed Vault

by Miriam - May 24th, 2017

The World’s largest collection of genetic diversity of crops.  Seeds from all over the world, including 70,000 varieties of barley, 150,000 varieties of rice and 140,000 samples of wheat.

Take a tour:

Commodity Export Share of US Ag Production

by Miriam - May 16th, 2017

Check out the graphic, and click on the image to link through to read the article about the percent of US Commodity production that leaves the States:

 

From: Which Commodity Depends the Most on Exports? AgWeb article by Ben Potter.

 

Some fun facts:  The US produces 80% of the world’s supply of almonds, most of which comes from California.  Only 10% of the US Beef production is exported – the lowest of the listed commodities.

Cedar Point Virtual Ride – Valravn

by Miriam - May 2nd, 2017

AKA – how I tested the video on my new wide-screen monitor.

A Cautionary Tale of Overreach

by Miriam - May 1st, 2017

I can’t make this stuff up.

Duarte Nursery v Army Corps of Engineers  (note:  link is to an early decision – the case is still pending as of this writing) is a case about the Feds pursuing a farmer for alleged tillage of wetlands.

The farmer’s point of view is (1) I avoided any potential protected areas and (2) I only tilled 4″, not 36″ as alleged by the Corps.

Note:  The Corps did not attempt to verify their own charges until after they pursued enforcement action.

This is a cautionary tale of how “over the top” government can reach into private property and use bully tactics including significant fines to discourage private citizens from asserting their rights.

Don’t take my word for it – read some of the excellent articles and comments:

When A Farmer Punches Back at the Feds – AG Web (most recent article on the case)

Trial Court Ruling in Duarte Nursery v. Army Corps of Engineers Concerning for Landowners – Texas A&M Ag Life Extension

Ruling in Favor of Army Corps is Game Changer for Agriculture – United Ag

A Farmer’s Due Process Rights are Plowed Under by the Feds – Pacific Legal

A Google search of “John Duarte farmer” returns many more responses with varying degrees of information and sources.

Scary, indeed.

 

Happy Easter

by Miriam - April 16th, 2017

A Peek into the Playbook

by Miriam - April 15th, 2017

Great article from RECODE

This is Jeff Bezos’ Playbook

The article reproduces Jeff Bezos’ (Amazon CEO) 2017 annual letter to shareholders.  Interesting philosophy that completely dispenses with the careful, conservative, considered approach of most large corporations.

Well worth the read.

A Lane Changer

by Miriam - April 6th, 2017

Yeah, I know, April Fool’s was a week ago, and I missed seeing this one.  I would definitely sign up for this technology. I can dream.

400 Day Honeymoon, Documented by Drone

by Miriam - March 31st, 2017

A charming use of drone technology.  Kaz and Mariko Yamaguchi, from Kyoto, took a 400-day honeymoon to 48 countries and captured some beautiful video via drone.

The BBC News bit on their experience is also worth the watch:

Drone Lawsuit Shot Down

by Miriam - March 29th, 2017

A federal judge has dismissed a case filed by a drone owner against the self-described “drone-slayer” for shooting down the drone. The drone owner brought the lawsuit under federal and FAA violations, but the judge found that this was a civil (tort) matter under state jurisdiction.

Moral of the story: Shooting down drones that violate local property “airspace” is not a federal case (though it may be a state case).

In other news, Amazon is deploying Amazon Prima Air – a drone delivery service.

Be careful out there.  Use common sense and manners when enjoying the flight of your drone.

World Record Domino Circle Bomb

by Miriam - March 27th, 2017

Epic.  Short video.  Very cool.

Happy Spring!

by Miriam - March 20th, 2017

Jane Zhang – 5th Element – Opera Performed Live

by Miriam - March 14th, 2017

The 5th Element is one of my all-time favorite movies (right up there with “Princess Bride,” and yes, I know I have simple tastes). There is an opera number in the film performed by an alien. The actor who sang the number was digitally augmented, and popular theory was that the human voice could not achieve the range of the song.

Theory disproven, below.

Jane Zhang is a popular Chinese pop artist. She has another charming video that features a modern take on classic painting, and is with the watch:

Bi-annual Rant: Daylight Savings Time – How is this Still a Thing?

by Miriam - March 11th, 2017

Aarrggghhh.

PS – Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead an hour tonight.