Unless somebody reminds us...

We Forget How Many Ways America Is Changing The British Newspaper The Guardian Reminds us... (Those Brits, always reminding of stuff we'd rather forget)
The American family farm is disappearing

1950  (Scooter was in the 7th grade)
        Total population: 151,132,000; farm population: 25,058,000; Number of farms:
5,388,000; average acres: 216 (About 5 folks per farm family)

1998 (Olde Scooter was about to retire)
Total population: 275,900,000; farm population: 2,987,552; Number of farms: 2,143,150; average acres: 461 (About 1.4 folks per farm "family") I.e. In one man's work life, about 22 million folks left their farms. Huge "industrial" farms frequently have NO ONE living on the farm.  Maybe a few thousand hogs or tens of thousands of chickens, or endless waves of grain - soy and corn mostly.

We sort of know all this.  It just slips out of consciousness without a reminder now and then. 

How America’s food giants swallowed the family farms  **Thank you, Guardian; I …

'Nuff Said


Ten-year-Long study!  Half a million kids!  Super study and incontestable findings.

So you anti-vaxers better come up with some other excuse.  

Just sayin'.....

* Good summary

Another Pick - On Southern Prejudice

A Short, True Tale... ...From my days in San Francisco Get's another "Pick" from the NYTimes. I apologize.
When AIDS was just coming out, I was home in Texas and the subject came up. I was chatting with an old pal who said, "It's just a queers' disease." I told him it was already proven that anyone could catch it, which he denied ferociously and went on to give HIV a Biblical twist.  Then today, I saw a story in the NYTimes by a Houston doctor bemoaning how HIV is still rampant in Houston while San Francisco has it mostly under control. 

Up bubbled my memory of that old conversation, and I wrote a cynical "comment" that picked on the South - mostly unfairly.  Some comments moderator agreed with my umbrage and 'picked' my comment.  I apologize for being a categorical insulter, a category I mostly despise.

This one I'm not that proud of :\

The Chinese A.I. Leapfrog

That Darn 'Invisible Hand' Sometimes it scratches the wrong itch.
China has a massive global lead in the absolute number of new factory robots, and is pouring large sums into developing AI.*

"The position in this country has been to let the market dictate what happens with tech and science, and I think that's going to prove to be a catastrophic mistake," says Amy Webb, a professor at NYU and author of a "The Big Nine," a forthcoming book on the future of AI.
Even as U.S. industry and top universities invest in future technologies, China is vastly outpacing the West in national planning and investments in AI and robotics, experts say.
Olde Scooter's closet of scary Chinese news:
"Winning" China'sPharma Invasion It's China More Than Russia China Becoming World Science Leader? More Threats from China - SUPERCOMPUTERS! Watch China Watch the Sky... Worrying About Chinese Competition Deep space communications
Electric Cars
Quantum communications

Old Music for New Politics

Stuck in the Middle With You
Just seems like a fitting old song for what it's like to be a "moderate" these days. 

1972 toe tapper.

Simply Gorgeous

Franco-German.    Wouldn't you know it?

It's a concept drawing, but I love it. It'll be on the market in a decade or so. Maybe.

Read about it here.

Masters of the You-niverse, Our Teeny Life Partners

You Know Olde Scooter (that would be me) Is Seriously Interested in the Human Microbiome**

Thing is, every living thing on this wonderful planet has a microbiome. Plants, animals, bugs, birds, even microbes themselves.

A new scientific discipline is studying all this wondrous mega-commensalism...

*Why Metagenomics? Microbes run the world. It’s that simple. Although we can’t usually see them, microbes are essential for every part of human life—indeed all life on Earth. Every process in the biosphere is touched by the seemingly endless capacity of microbes to transform the world around them. The chemical cycles that convert the key elements of life—carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur—into biologically accessible forms are largely directed by and dependent on microbes. All plants and animals have closely associated microbial communities that make necessary nutrients, metals, and vitamins available to their hosts. Through fermentation and other natural processes, microbes create or add value…