Our Imperiled Dwindling Food Variety

Some shocking stats: 93 percent of the seed varieties available in US seed houses in 1903 had gone extinct before 1990. And 1994-1995 were the first years that outdoor growing of GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) began, which started to result in crop contamination and further pressure on our international seed stocks.

This National Geographic infographic spells out some of the specifics (through 1983):

1903-1983 study by Rural Advancement Foundation International results.

1903-1983 study by Rural Advancement Foundation International results.

Needless to say, the situation has become more dire in the 2000’s. Continue reading

Audio Challenge:

A fun sonic quiz for any Rolling Stones’ fans. Hear the intro to 100 Stones’ tunes and try to type in the answers as quickly as you can recognize each track, simply using lower-case letters, no punctuation and only needing the first two words of the title to help you speed through the list that much faster.

There’s also a bunch more of the audio quizzes on the site, including 100 Classic Rock Songs, 100 80′s Rock And Pop Songs, 100 Rap & Hip-Hop Songs and more. Good for a quick break from coding, SEO and design work, or just to have a blast testing your musical knowledge while the clock is ticking… 100 Rolling Stones Songs Audio Quiz

Rinzai: I Don’t Bow to Either…

Rinzai visited the stupa at Yuji. The Keeper asked him, “Do you bow first to the Buddha or Daruma (Bodhidarma, the one who brought Buddhism formally to China from India)?”

Rinzai replied, “I don’t bow to either of them.”

The Keeper asked, “Why? Are you and the Buddha and Daruma enemies?”

Rinzai shook the dust from his sleeves and went away.

WordPress DC is Back in the Loop, WC Philly Draws Near

WordPress DC Reconvenes, WordCamp Philly Schedule Posted

As PHP might say,
“if (have_WordPress_DC_meetup( ‘place’ )) :
while (have_WordPress_DC_meetup( ‘place’ )) :
the_WordPress_DC_meetup();
endwhile;
else echo “climb the walls for 8 months and feel less connected”;
endif;”.

Woot! WordPress DC finally got together again after finding a new spot to meet at. It was our first gathering since August(!) which I think set a record for the group, which has been active for at least four years. It was also our first get-together since co-organizer Aaron Jorbin moved to the Big Apple to take on a new job there. Several folks pitched in to fill the breach, including the always helpful and encouraging Tracy ‘taupecat‘ Rotton who stepped up to become one of our co-organizers, and we landed a room for the evening which could hold 80 of us (versus our old stomping grounds which could fit 100+).

Andrew Nacin, the lead developer from several of the last few WordPress releases, took us through all the major developments and features from WordPress v3.6-3.9 since we last met, and then we got to briefly catch up with each other before the room had to close. It was great to see everyone again and our June meetup is already on the books and has a waiting list. Andy also covered the present and future for WordPress, going through what he referred to as three of the pillars of what’s to come: API, Infrastructure and Education and Mentoring.

You can catch the full presentation HERE, archived on UStream.
    
Continue reading

Chuang Tzu: The Wind Envies the Eye, the Eye Envies the Mind

The walrus envies the millepede
(for its many legs and nimble gait),
the millepede envies the snake
(which moves without any legs),
the snake envies the wind
(for moving far more quickly even without a body),
the wind envies the eye
(which travels without moving),
and the eye envies the mind
(which can observe more than just what is in front of it).

The walrus said to the millepede, “I have this one leg/trunk that I maneuver along on, though I make little progress. Now how in the world do you manage to work all those ten thousand legs of yours?”

The millepede said, “You don’t understand; it’s not like I consciously direct each one. Have you ever watched someone spew their drink? Out it comes; some drops as big as pearls, some as fine as mist, raining down in a jumble of countless particles. All I do is put in motion the heavenly mechanism in me – I’m not aware of how it all works.”

The millepede said to the snake, “I have all these legs that I move along on, but I can’t seem to keep up with you who have no legs at all. How is that?”

The snake said, “It’s just the heavenly mechanism moving me along – how can I change the way I naturally am? What would I do with legs if I had them?”

The snake said to the wind, “I move my backbone and ribs and manage to get to where I am going, but I still have some kind of body. But now here you come whirling up from the North Sea and whirling off again to the South Sea, and you do it without even having a body. How is that?”

The wind said, “It’s true that I travel far and wide. But if you hold up a finger up against me you’ve defeated me, and if you trample on me you’ve likewise overcome me. On the other hand, I can break down big trees and blow over great houses – this is a unique talent I happen to have. So I take the mass of little defeats in stride and make them into a Great Victory. To make a Great Victory simply with what I have/am – only the sage is capable of that!”

-Chuang Tzu (circa 369-286 BCE), excerpted from chapter 17, “Autumn Floods”

Strawberries and Sprouts Sandwich

Here’s an interesting little combo I put together when I was on a tomato n’ sprouts sandwich kick and ran out of tomatoes. I thought, “Hey, how about putting two layers of strawberries in there instead?” Strawberries in a sandwich with mayo?!

Yup, turned out really good in fact.

A strawberries and sprouts sandwich pic from Life Is Melody

A strawberries and sprouts sandwich

  • Two lightly toasted pieces of sprouted or whole grain bread
  • 3/4 cup of organic mixed sprouts
  • 6 (organic) strawberries sliced to 1/3″ thick
  • Organic mayo

Put a light layer of mayo on each slice of toast. (Toast makes a much better sandwich here than untoasted bread.) Build a two-layers thick bottom base of strawberries. Pile on the sprouts and maybe a little more mayo on the top piece of toast. Press down to slightly ‘pack’ the sandwich so the sprouts and strawberries don’t tumble out as easily. You’re set to go!