Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Musings: A Few Things

A few things have jumped out at me lately, like the letter to the editor from the president of the Kalihiwai Ridge Community Association, crying that a proposed amphitheater next to Banana Joe’s in Kilauea:

[I]s nothing more than an “entertainment and amusement” facility that should only be found in town or in a location that is zoned for this type of use.

Meanwhile, that “ag” subdivision is choke with expensive and illegal vacation rentals that “should only be found in town or in a location that is zoned for this type of use.”

Then there was the troubling article about the “chunky soup of plastic” now floating in the Atlantic — and coming soon to an ocean near you:

But the most nettlesome trash is nearly invisible: countless specks of plastic, often smaller than pencil erasers, suspended near the surface of the deep blue Atlantic.

"It's shocking to see it firsthand," [scientist Anna] Cummins said. "Nothing compares to being out there. We've managed to leave our footprint really everywhere."

“[P]plastics are devastating the environment across the world, said [Charles] Moore, whose Algalita Marine Research Foundation based in Long Beach, Calif., was among the sponsors for Cummins and Eriksen.

"Humanity's plastic footprint is probably more dangerous than its carbon footprint," he said.


Now that's saying something.

And here's my favorite quote of the month, uttered by Dr.Gene-Jack Wang, M.D., the chair of the medical department at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, in Upton, New York:

"We make our food very similar to cocaine now," he says.

The ingredients in purified modern food cause people to "eat unconsciously and unnecessarily," and will also prompt an animal to "eat like a drug abuser [uses drugs]," says Wang.


Which leads us to the news that Hawaii Food Bank, after leaving Kauai 16 years ago, now plans to come in — and set up a whole new food bank to compete with the Kauai Food Bank. Do we have so many hungry that we warrant two food banks?

I especially liked the report on how two more “top militants” were killed in a “devasting blow” to the heart of al-Qaeda. Except:

[T]here is uncertainty around the identity of the second militant, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi. The Iraqi government has already claimed to have killed or captured him on previous occasions, and US officials have questioned whether he is even a real person or a fictionalized persona invented by Iraqi militants.

Don't ask too many questions. Just keep the money coming.

Then there were the comments by Noam Chomsky likening present-day U.S. to “late Weimar Germany:”

”The United States is the world power. Germany was powerful but had more powerful antagonists. I don’t think all this is very far away. If the polls are accurate it is not the Republicans but the right-wing Republicans, the crazed Republicans, who will sweep the next election.

The mood of the country is frightening. The level of anger, frustration and hatred of institutions is not organized in a constructive way. It is going off into self-destructive fantasies.”


To leave you on a high note, California is inching its way toward marijuana legalization:

The International Cannabis and Hemp Expo, the first trade show in the United States to allow on-site pot smoking, attracted an estimated 15,000 enthusiasts to Daly City over the weekend.

Clearly, some things are more addictive and deadly than pot.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Moderate Democrats in today's political climate would be considered conservative Republicans back in the seventies. Can you imagine today's Congress passing the environmental legislation that Nixon signed into law?

Anonymous said...

Man, that KFC Doubledown sandwich in your "some things" link looks good!!!

I also love double meat Whopper with bacon, cheese, extra lettuce, tomato and mayo plus large fries and 4 beers (none of that "light" puke, either!).

My kind of "heart attack on a bun".

Also, try the Heart Attack Grill in AZ....mmmmmmmmm......fantastic burgers...I like the Double Bypass Burger... and the breasts and thighs arn't bad either! Check out their youtube links.

Over 350 lbs? You eat FREE!! Sadly, I'm 95 lbs short.

http://www.heartattackgrill.com/index.html

Maria said...

yep, i heard the KFC next to the COW PALACE in SF did an amazing amount of business during their trade show. Duuude!

Dawson said...

Then there was the troubling article about the “chunky soup of plastic” now floating in the Atlantic — and coming soon to an ocean near you:

But the most nettlesome trash is nearly invisible: countless specks of plastic, often smaller than pencil erasers, suspended near the surface of the deep blue Atlantic.

"It's shocking to see it firsthand," [scientist Anna] Cummins said. "Nothing compares to being out there. We've managed to leave our footprint really everywhere."

“[P]plastics are devastating the environment across the world, said [Charles] Moore, whose Algalita Marine Research Foundation based in Long Beach, Calif., was among the sponsors for Cummins and Eriksen.

"Humanity's plastic footprint is probably more dangerous than its carbon footprint," he said.



Plastic waste in the ocean is a killer in more ways than one...

LARGE AMOUNT OF GARBAGE FOUND IN STOMACH OF DEAD WHALE

by Associated Press & KING 5 Staff
April 19, 2010

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Biologists who examined a gray whale that died after stranding on a West Seattle beach say it had a large amount of garbage in its stomach -- ranging from a pair of sweat pants to a golf ball.

The scientists say most of the whale's stomach contents was algae -- typical of the bottom-feeding mammals. But they say a surprising amount of human debris was found. Besides the pants and golf ball, there were more than 20 plastic bags, small towels, duct tape and surgical gloves.


Full text and video (warning, it's disturbing) at http://www.king5.com/news/environment/Garbage-in-stomach-of-whale-found-in-Seattle-91566229.html

Andy K said...

Islandbreath.org just had a good article about the albatross chicks on Midway dying with bellies full of plastic. It was espcially poignant because it covered how the photographer was coming to terms emotionally with what he saw.

http://islandbreath.blogspot.com/2010/04/bearing-witness-at-midway-atoll.html

Joan Conrow said...

Thanks, Andy. That was a good piece. I've seen those chicks at Midway, and it's a sight/feeling I'll never forget. I can't go to the beach now w/o picking up plastic.

I think the photographer's comments about losing the denial and feeling the emotions is key.

Anonymous said...

We're number one:
http://photo.newsweek.com/2010/3/americas.html

Anonymous said...

[I]s nothing more than an “entertainment and amusement” facility that should only be found in town or in a location that is zoned for this type of use.

--research, people research - what was it proposed to be 5 years ago, 10 years ago, how about 20 years ago - what is/was the zoning there?

- nothing is more annoying that making assumptions based on whining, crying, children who choose not to education themselves before passing judgement.