Sunday Reads: Monster Weeds, Taxing the Poor and Beware of Full MoonsPosted: July 24, 2011
Yesterday was a very sad day in the music world. Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London home. She was 27 years old and as Dakinikat mentioned in the comments, there have been many other musicians in the past that upon reaching the age of 27, also left this world too soon. So here is a link to a series of images and stories… Dead At 27: Nine Artists Gone Too Soon | Billboard.com
An uncanny number of musicians have passed away at age 27, and with the passing of Amy Winehouse today (July 23), the club has unfortunately recieved a new member. Here we reflect on some of the 27 Club’s most notable members: Kurt, Janis, Jimi and Jim may be gone, but none of them are forgotten.
With her heartfelt songs about love and heartbreak powered by her alluring alto vocals, Amy Winehouse‘s prowess laid in her fearlessness to showcase her vulnerability. Unfortunately, the British soul singer’s potential and success were overshadowed by her addiction to alcohol and drugs. As Winehouse sold millions of albums and won numerous awards, Winehouse was personally tormented by substance addiction, eating disorders and destructive relationships, most notably with her husband Blake Fielder-Civil. In May 2011, at the advice of her father, Winehouse checked into rehab. On July 23, two months later, police found the singer dead at her London loft. At the time of the announcement, a cause of death was still undetermined.
Winehouse had an amazing voice, and like so many other musicians, led a tortured life…a self inflicted tortured life. I always thought her singing reminded me of Janis Joplin. Of course no one had a set of pipes like Janis, but Amy Winehouse had a familiar emotion in her voice. A sadness and deep emotion that comes with a difficult life. So sad indeed.
This week has been such a difficult one for me personally, and perhaps for many of you as well. I know there was no full moon, but it sure as hell felt like there was. So maybe this is why the following story jumped out at me this week. STUDY: After Full Moon, Lions Likely to Eat Humans – International Business Times
That midwives’ tale about crazy and strange “events” happening when a full moon is out isn’t merely a myth. Now a study coming out of Africa is saying that lions are most likely to eat human beings following a full moon. Lions are predators that hunt most successfully in the dark, which surprises their prey.
The research analyzed records of some 500 lion attacks on Tanzanian villagers between 1988 and 2009, and also the size of lions’ bellies. The lions killed and ate humans in two-thirds of the attack, and the majority of the attacks happened between dusk and 10p.m. when the moon is faint or below the horizon.
The findings also revealed 30 percent more attacks in the second half of the moon cycle, also when there was minimal moonlight.
The study suggests that other predators, such as the wolf that comes to mind in association with the moon, may be most dangerous following a full moon when the night is dark.
“The full moon is a reliable indicator of impending danger, perhaps helping to explain why the full moon has been the subject of so many myths and misconceptions,” say researchers.
If anyone lives in an area where lions and tigers and bears roam the streets, beware of those full moons. So if lions eat more humans during a full moon, I wonder if that also goes for politicians in Washington, DC?
On to a beast of another kind, monster super weeds are becoming a big problem in farm country. It may not be radiation that turns these weeds into mutants…it’s genetic engineering. Monsanto-Resistant Weeds Take Root, Raising Food Prices | Fast Company
For decades, farmers had it relatively easy when it came to weeds infesting their soil: apply herbicides, wait for the weeds to die and grow more crops. Those salad days, alas, are coming to an end.
A new series of studies released by Weed Science this month finds at least 21 weed species have become resistant to the popular herbicide glyphosate (sold as Monsanto’s Roundup), and a growing number survive multiple herbicides, so-called “super-weeds.” The same selection pressure creating bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics is leading to the rapid evolution of plants that survive modern herbicides. If the trend continues, yields could drop and food costs climb as weeds grow more difficult to uproot.
“The herbicide resistance issue is becoming serious,” said journal editor, William K. Vencill, in a recent statement. “It is spreading out beyond where weed scientists have seen it before.” More than 11 million acres, up from just 2.4 million in 2007, are now infested with Roundup-resistant varieties. The herbicide, a relatively low-impact chemical since it biodegrades quickly, has ranked among the most popular for farmers since Monsanto introduced its genetically engineered Roundup Ready crops that are unaffected by the chemical, accounting for about 90 percent of the soybeans and 70 percent of the corn and cotton grown in the United States.
The article goes on to give an example of these super weeds. Pig weed, which can grow three inches a day and is tough enough to damage farm equipment has grown herbicide resistant…leading to stronger toxic chemical herbicides and extreme plowing, both of which will cause even more damage to the environment.
Personally, I would like to see one of these pig weeds go at it with some of these damn political assholes. Well, there is always the next full moon…it is pretty damn pathetic when the only hope you have for any good to come in these horrible economic times is a giant monster pig weed, going up to Obama and doing its best impression of Rick James. There may be some of you who do not know what I am talking about…so I give you this. After you see it, you will “get it.”
Oh, to tell Obama…what did the five fingers say to the face…but even then I don’t think it will “slap” any sense in him.
From Minx’s Missing Link File: So, this article from the Wall Street Journal was published this week, and it just highlights one of Bachmann’s ridiculous ideals: Bachmann: Everybody Should Pay Taxes – Washington Wire – WSJ
Republican presidential candidates have been resolutely opposed to tax increases in the debate over the nation’s budget straits, but Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann this week suggested there’s one group that needs to be paying more: poor people who pay nothing now.
At a town-hall meeting Tuesday given by the South Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce in Columbia, a questioner noted that major U.S. corporations are paying “very few dollars of federal income taxes, if any.” He prefaced his point by saying the Bible advises us to render unto Caesar what Caesar is due.
Ms. Bachmann turned the conversation elsewhere: “Part of the problem is today, only 53% pay any federal income tax at all; 47% pay nothing,” the former federal tax attorney said. “We need to broaden the base so that everybody pays something, even if it’s a dollar.”
Why is it always the ones who have shit loads of dollars, who bring hell on the ones who have absolutely no dollars?
Easy Like Sunday Morning Link of the Week: Here is an interesting look at the big news outlet magnate, Rupert Murdoch, by comparing him to the Orson Welles’s character Charles Foster Kane, who of course was based on William Randolph Hearst. There is a link to listen to this radio broadcast. Enjoy it…Milos Stehlik views Rupert Murdoch through ‘Citizen Kane’ | WBEZ
It is one of the most famous and enigmatic words uttered in film: as he dies, Charles Kane, wealthy newspaper baron, whispers his last word, “Rosebud.” The scene from the Orson Welles masterpiece Citizen Kane, references the name painted on a small sled that Kane had as a child, implying that this was the only happy time in his life.
Kane was loosely based on real-life newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst, whose own “Xanadu” is the famous Hearst Castle at San Simeon, California.
In real life Hearst, urged on by his top gossip columnist, Louella Parsons, tried to stop Citizen Kane from reaching the screen. His efforts to condemn the film to oblivion nearly succeeded. Today, it commands mythic status.
Have a fabulous Sunday, and be sure to post some links to things you are reading today.