Of course, the practical significance of this technology outweighs its sci-fi quality. The chip is merely a sensor that is wired to a power source that transmits signals via cell phone towers. Nevertheless, proponents hope that giving plants the ability to text message will save farmers thousands of dollars a year and increase sustainability.
Read the entire article at Discovery News or Tree Hugger
Image: Discovery News
"Delusional consumerism" is a good way to describe the fruitless endeavors of the economically privileged to stay fashionable with trends that exist solely from the physically, ecologically, and mentally toxic practices of corporations.
Charty Durrant's Resurgence article, "The Tyranny of Trends," looks at the evolution of fashion through the lens of consumerism -- how the artistry of "adornment and embellishment" has devolved to a system dependent on self-obsession, worker exploitation, and ecological degradation. As people blindly consume the never-ending rotation of trends, the bigger picture becomes subsumed by the chase. Meanwhile, Durrant points out, the desire for distressed denim is leaving Tehuacán, in Mexico, with extraordinary land and water pollution. In a similar vein, China must deal with 80% of their water supply destroyed from feeding westerners' "need" for cheap clothing.
Criticism of consumerism, and fashion in particular, is nothing new. But posting this article after one about the "economics of poverty" beautifully underscores the illusory quality of modern consumerism.
Continue reading Durrant's article >>>
"You don't have a car to get to a supermarket, much less to Costco or Trader Joe's, where the middle class goes to save money. You don't have three hours to take the bus. So you buy groceries at the corner store, where a gallon of milk costs an extra dollar."
"Paying the Price examines the impoverished lives of migrant workers from the town of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. We follow them from their community to their lives as migrant workers in a large Sinaloa agribusiness camp, Buen Año, where they pick exotic Chinese vegetables for export to the US and Canada. We see the hardships faced by these workers in their community of origin, largely abandoned by the local and state governments to the inhumane and slave-like working conditions they encounter in Buen Año. Through interviews with members of the community of Ayotzinapa, the owner of Buen Año and others involved in agribusiness in Sinaloa Paying the Price presents the polarized reality of how migrant workers are seen in Mexico: through the eyes of agribusiness these workers are merely an annoying, culturally backward necessity to be dealt with in order to reap their multi-million dollar profits. Members of the community speak about being forced to leave their community because of the lack of work in their region, constant illness and their inability to save enough money to sustain their families."
Arise, all women who have hearts!Howe's manifesto is somewhat obscured by the more familiar Mother's Day story: where Anna Jarvis came to regret the commercialized version of her well-meaning campaign to honor mothers with a holiday. Why Howe's feminist, anti-war day became subsumed by Jarvis's more "sentimental" holiday (and I harbor no prejudice toward sentimentality), one can only guess.
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."
Equally intriguing is the Mother's Day Proclamation in context of Howe's other writing, specifically "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," the Civil War hit published in 1862, and "The Hermaphrodite," published post-humously in 2004 and presumably written in 1846-47. When placed beside one another, these three pieces offer a fascinating look at gender politics in 19th century U.S.
Watch Mother's Acting Up's dramatic reading of Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation:
For more information, visit juliawardhowe.org, Code Pink, and Jodie Evans's article, "Do You Know Why Mother's Day Was Started?"
Now, kids, if that grandpa of yours hasn't given up and wandered off to watch a ball game on TV, he may well be skipping over this part of the story, believing that you couldn't possibly relate to all this stuff about the Fifth Element, about the Mystery, about magic, ancient grain spirits, and so forth...
He's wrong, isn't he?
From the article:
A verdict should be coming by the end of the year.
Donald Moncayo, an activist who works with the poor farmers and Indian plaintiffs in the case, takes visitors on what he calls "toxic tours."
After tramping through the jungle, Moncayo reaches a huge pool of oily sludge and sticks a long pole into the muck. He says this is a legacy of Texaco's quarter-century in Ecuador: pollution that affects tens of thousands of people who bathe and drink from rain forest waterways.
Continue reading the article from NPR >>>