Thursday, August 30, 2007

Does Monsanto Co. Sew Seeds of Death?


In both of these documentaries the name Monsanto is mentioned in a very unflattering light. In THE DYING FIELDS, they talk about how Indian farmers (from India) are committing suicide (by the 1000s) because they are going into huge debt because the seeds they are buying from Monsanto are too expensive and aren't living up to the hype. In THE FUTURE OF FOOD, they talk about how American farmers are getting sued by Monsanto because somehow they "accidentally" grow crops with Monsanto seeds--farmers have been getting bills saying "you owe us X amount of dollars" when they haven't intentionally grown crops.

--One of the things Monsanto does is place patents on seeds. In my opinion, putting a patent on any kind of life is unethical whether human, animal, or vegetable. Here's why: when it comes to life or death matters, the "profit factor" needs to be taken out of the equation. Along those lines, I think they should shorten the time of patents on drugs.

Also, there should be a seed bank in the U.S. where farmers can get free seeds.

Obviously, I'm not a farmer, so I don't know all the subtle nuances of this issue, but that's never stopped me from throwing my opinion into the ring.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

My Favorite Picture of Me and Muffin

When I was 10 years old, I lived with my mom, my sister, and the coolest dog to ever walk the face of this earth--Muffin.

We lived in a trailer off Hunter Ferrell in Irving.

My favorite picture was taken by sister. She just walked by my bedroom and snapped a picture--caught me completely off guard. In the picture, I'm laying in bed with Muffin. She has on a flea collar, and I swear I'm not making this up--she wore the exact same flea collar for 5 years! She didn't care. That's awesome. I think finally all the moisture evaporated out of the plastic collar, it cracked and just fell off.

From this picture, I can understand how a picture can become so dear to someone because this picture reminds me of one of the happier times of my life. In the photo, there's a very old Budweiser can in the window sill that I found on side of the road. I kept it because it wasn't aluminum and I couldn't turn it in. The can was also pre-pop top, meaning, the person who drank it had to use a can opener. It was interesting at the time so I kept it.

One thing about Muffin--she always had a sly grin on her face, and when her ears popped up, one stood up and the other flopped over, which made her look silly. I really loved that dog.

So, I was just kind of laying there under my blanket, and you can see my Battlestar Galactica sheets-from the original series, which at the time, that show was my reason for living. Yes, I'm a nerd--deal with it.

I remember on my closet door (not in the photo) there was a poster of Neal Armstrong standing on the Moon with a quote bubble next to him that read "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind!" That had to be the coolest poster of all time! I loved my life back then. All the things that I thought were flaws in my life seem perfect now--the picture reminds me of all this.

My mom and my sister have since past away. I miss them and love them both dearly--the picture reminds me of them.

Muffin was killed within a year of the photo. She was hit by a car. I remember when April came to the door crying. My mom rushed to the door, and April said, "Muffin's dead." I bolted up from the couch and ran out side. They were in front of me. I yelled out--Muffin. I followed them around to April's backyard, and Muffin was laying there. She looked asleep with the same sweet look on her face she always had. I knelled before her and just cried, I kept saying her name over and over as if somehow saying it was going to bring her back to life.

After about 15 minutes, I couldn't cry anymore. My mom wrapped her in a blanket and put her in the trunk of her car, and I'm not really sure what she did after that.

I got to miss the next 2 days of school. And that was that.

A Thousand Splendid Suns

When snugglepants recommended Kite Runner I was skeptical--not cynical. I just wasn't sure a story set in Afghanistan could be really good.

Finally, I read it, and honestly, I cried the last 40 pages the book. It was simply one of the most beautiful stories I've ever read.

Then, A Thousand Splendid Suns comes out. Still skeptical, but only from not being sure he could write a book as good as Kite Runner--How could he possibly top a book that good? So, I gave Khaled Hosseini, the author, the benefit of the doubt. As I'm typing this, it's 5:30 in the morning--I've been up all night. Tears were rolling down my cheeks--again, and I couldn't put the book down...A Thousand Splendid Suns has to be one of the most beautiful stories I've ever read.

Once again, I was surprised by how I completely fell in love with these people from Afghanistan. My hats off to Khaled Hosseini, he has written another masterpiece.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

George Bush actually made an interesting point.

Today, George Bush made a reasonably intelligent sounding speech, but I wouldn't have known unless I was watching the BBC World News this evening.

Anyway, he actually brought up Vietnam, and he mentioned the millions of people who were killed after the US pulled out, and how new words made it into our lexicon like "killing fields" "re-education camps" "boat people"

--If you haven't seen The Killing Fields with James Woods, you should.So yeah, Bush makes a valid point every now and then. There was a genocide in Cambodia in the 70's and the rise of the Khmer Rouge's power was influenced by the U.S.

Bush has been saying pulling out will have severe consequences, but when you actually throw in a decent reference-- it makes you go--hmmmmm....

The Killing Fields were actually in Cambodia, but still...

The re-education camps and the boat people were in/from Vietnam. They came about as a result of our hasty retreat. Something like that could easily happen again, especially when you consider how terrible it has already been. It's fine mess Bush has gotten us onto.

When you consider Bush was keeping the Texas airspace free of Vietcong during the Vietnam war, his point really wasn't really that great of a point.

Random Ramblings

So, I'm sitting here tapping away on my iPhone- I just wrote about Gandhi, and I started listening to Moby 18--a brilliant album. Somehow, it reminded me of the dispute between Moby and eminem. (Yes, I'll bring up something the entire world forgot about 3 years ago.)

It's a pity there was a feud. Eminem's music is incredibly juvenile sometimes, and Moby's can be too repetitive. But, I think, if you put these 2 dudes in a studio, they could come up with something incredibly soulfull and lyrically brilliant. Both of their careers are in the toilet right now. Maybe, if someone from either posse googles "fixing eminem or Moby career" they'll get this message.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

2 Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in 4 minutes.

Are you ready?

1. Turn stove on high
2. Toast 4 pieces of bread in the toaster.
3. Cut off 1 tablespoon of butter and microwave in a dish for 20 seconds.
4. Unwrap 4 pieces of cheese.
5. Lightly butter outside of bread.
6. Place on frying pan for about 30 seconds until butter is lightly brown and crunchy.
7. Place cheese ontop of bread and microwave 25 seconds

And that's all she wrote.