07 October 2010


BEE MYSTERY. "Since 2006, 20 to 40 percent of the bee colonies in the United States have suffered 'colony collapse.' Suspected culprits ranged from pesticides to genetically modified food. Now a unique partnership of military scientists and entomologists appears to have achieved a major breakthrough ... a fungus tag-teaming with a virus has apparently interacted to cause the problem, according to a paper by Army scientists in Maryland and bee experts in Montana."

Who cares, right? Well, you do. Bees are the prime pollenators for nearly all fruits and vegetables grown commercially -- not to mention the pollenators of wild and ornamental flowers, shrubs and trees. Take away the bees, and ... well, you get the idea.

Here is the entire NYTimes article describing how the fungus-virus symbiosis works, and the disastrous effects on entire bee colonies.

EMPTY SEAT. Regular readers know how little tolerance I have for racism or other forms of prejudice. Zero. The more you learn about socialized hatred, the more you realize how much there is yet to learn. John Edgar Wideman describes his experience riding Amtrak's high-speed Acela train beween New York City and Providence, RI -- a black man being shunned by white passengers to the point of having two seats to himself. Sounds like an unexpected benefit at first blush, until you place yourself in his shoes and experience how that must feel. The article is written with no rancor or finger-pointing. He calmly states the facts, and leaves you to draw your own conclusions about those 90 percent of people who would rather stand, than sit next to a person of color. How pathetic is that?

I just noticed an interesting confluence -- the word "racism" appears within the word "ostracism."

SPIRIT DAY. This announcement on the blog homorethanmusic -- "It's been decided. On October 20, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the seven gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months mostly due to homophobic abuse in their homes and at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LBGTQ flag and that's exactly what we'd like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20. Please tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools. RIP Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase, Billy Lucas and Cody J. Barker (picture not shown). You are loved."

I remember thinking with horror upon hearing of the murder of students at Kent State University by Ohio National Guardsmen on May 4, 1970, "Oh my god, we're killing our children." Antiwar demonstrations and police riots have faded in memory, yet we are still killing our children. When will we stop the madness? Regardless of your sexual preference, please join in making a statement for tolerance -- please wear purple on the 20th.

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