Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

The Rains in Africa

There are times – it doesn’t matter where I am, but it’s usually a grocery store. Kuwait. Qatar. Pensacola – they all have this elevator music, music you barely notice, until you find yourself unconsciously belting out “I miss the rains in Africa . . . .”

I love that song. We’ve visited many African countries, and occasionally just before or after the rainy season. When the drops of rain hit the dry earth, there is a scent like no other, an earthy, clean perfume smell.

MIT scientists have worked out the source of that intoxicating scent – tiny bubbles.

 

Earthy, Post-Rain Smell Explained by MIT Scientists

By Jim Algar, Tech Times | January 18, 11:22 PM

Raindrop aerosols

Researcher create slow-motion video of “champagne bubble” effect to show the origin of the familiar after-rain smell. Raindrops can release aerosols from the ground into the air as they hit, researchers find.
(Photo : MIT)

 

Researchers say they’ve used high-speed photography to show the origin of the familiar earthy, sweet smell that lingers in the air following a rainstorm.

Scientists call that aroma petrichor, and have long ascribed it to chemicals and oils in soil released as aerosols when raindrops hit the ground.

Now researchers at MIT say they’ve created super-slow-motion footage to demonstrate how that “rain smell” moves from the ground into the air.

“It’s a very common phenomenon, and it was intriguing to us that no one had observed this mechanism before,” says professor of mechanical engineering Cullen R. Buie.

“Rain happens every day — it’s raining now, somewhere in the world,” he says.

When a raindrop impacts a porous surface, the researchers found, it traps tiny bubbles of air that then shoot upwards like the bubbles in a glass of champagne, ultimately bursting out of the raindrop in a fizz of aerosols.

Those aerosols contain aromatic elements that can be released by light rainfall and spread by winds, they say.

More aerosols are produced by light or moderate rainfall than during heavy rainfall, which is why the familiar petrichor odor is more commonly apparent after a light shower, they add.

“Heavy rain [has a high] impact speed, which means there’s not enough time to make bubbles inside the droplet,” says postdoctoral researcher Youngsoo Joung.

The scientists filmed raindrops falling on a variety of surfaces, including 16 kinds of soil and 12 engineered materials.

Identifying a mechanism for raindrop-induced generation of aerosols may help to explain how some kinds of soil-based diseases are spread, Joung says.

“Until now, people didn’t know that aerosols could be generated from raindrops on soil,” he says. “This finding should be a good reference for future work, illuminating microbes and chemicals existing inside soil and other natural materials, and how they can be delivered in the environment, and possibly to humans.”

The MIT scientists are conducting further experiments with surfaces containing soil bacteria and pathogens, including E. coli, to see if rainfall and its aerosol-generating mechanism can spread them.

“Aerosols in the air certainly could be resulting from this phenomenon,” Buie says. “Maybe it’s not rain, but just a sprinkler system that could lead to dispersal of contaminants in the soil, for perhaps a wider area than you’d normally expect.”

The results of the MIT study have been published in the journal Nature Communications.

 

January 22, 2015 Posted by | Africa, ExPat Life, Experiment, Quality of Life Issues, Technical Issue, Travel, Weather | , | 2 Comments

Total WOW at Pot Roast And Pinot

So Pot Roast and Pinot has been open for months now, and although we have heard good things, we couldn’t bring ourselves to go. We hear the food is wonderful. People rave about it. But . . . pot roast? Pot roast is that tasteless Sunday dish anyone can make, stringy meat, watery gravy . . . hmmmmm, no, that doesn’t sound good to me, nor to AdventureMan.

But one day I said “we really have to go, so we can have an informed opinion” and we both kept coming up with alternatives, we were so unenthusiastic. Then, AdventureMan googled the Menu at Pot Roast and Pinot and his opinion shifted. “We should go,” he said, “We should give them a try. Their menu is interesting.”

As we entered, we mentally groaned. It’s all hard surfaces and hard chairs and a hard looking bench along one set of windows. The chairs are not actually hard to sit in, and that is good, because service is relaxed, i.e. slow. They aren’t slow in a bad way, they let you take your time ordering, they don’t rush you. We spend longer at Pot Roast and Pinot than we spend in other restaurants (and we have eaten there twice now). It’s an urban feel, with an open kitchen.

It also gets crowded fast. We’ve been once for lunch, once for dinner, and this is a popular place. Both times, we ended up sitting at ‘high tops’ in chairs I have to climb up on and have difficulty dismounting gracefully.

Those are the negatives.

The meals, the preparation and the presentation overcome the negatives. The food at Pot Roast and Pinot is ripe with robust flavors.

This is what it looks like mid-day inside. I love the frosted windows that let in the light but hide the traffic outside on Cervantes.

00PotRoastPinotInterior

This is the sign on the outside, as well as the logo on their glass. I think they need to be more specific for most people – many won’t guess that it is supposed to be a Pot Roast and Pinot.

00PotRoastPinotGlassLogo

Here is their signature soup, and our first hint of the delights to come – Tomato Florentine Soup. It hits your mouth with a burst of flavor, the ripest intense tomatoes, basil, spinach, it’s all there with some mild but enhancing herbs. A Total WOW.

00PotRoastPinotTomatoFlorentineSoup

My starter was a beet salad, and another ‘oh, WOW.’ Thick, meaty slices of red beets AND a golden beet, woven together, a smokey tomato, very tasty, and a smokey vinaigrette dressing, with a sprinkle of a mild goat cheese. This salad was a rich tapestry of perfectly blended ingredients.

00PotRoastPinotBeetSalad

My main course was a bowl of Gumbo, and this was one of the best Gumbos I have ever eaten. It was a very manly treatment of Gumbo, thicker than most, a rich thick brown roux binding it all together with great big shrimp and spicy bites of andouille and every bite as flavorful as the last. This was so filling, I couldn’t even eat half of it, and I had the rest at night for dinner. It was just as delicious for dinner as it was for lunch. It had a beautiful garnish of deep fried okra on top, wasted on me, as I am not a big fan of okra, but I appreciate the effort and the artistry 🙂

00PotRoastPinotGumbo

AdventureMan was in heaven. He ordered the grilled vegetables. He got a plate glistening with a great variety of vegetables, each more luscious than the previous. He said he would order this dish again in a heartbeat, it was so good.

00PotRoastPinotGriledVegetables

We had them pack up our leftovers so we could split a dessert. I love love love the drip-free container for my Gumbo. The lid fits tightly and doesn’t spill a drop, wooo hooooo!

00PotRoastPinotTakeAwaySoup

The Creme Brulee’ changes from day to day, and this day was chock full of huge blueberries. It was perfectly crisped, not burned, with a smooth interior. Magnificent!

00PotRoastPinotCremeBruleeBlueberries

When we went back, it was night (not good for photos) and crowded (not good for photos) and we were with friends (not a good time to take food photos) but the food was equally good. One friend actually ordered the pot roast, of which he ate EVERY bite and declared it very tasty, and another ordered the Surf and Turf special, which was also perfectly prepared.

One friend is totally Gluten Free, and appreciated the goodly number of gluten free options on the menu. She has to be very careful what she eats; when she had questions, the waitstaff were very helpful at getting confirmations for her.

We all enjoyed the Chocolate Mousse for dessert, and I think as much as I like their Creme Brulee’, I am totally hooked on their Chocolate Mousse!

Pedestrian name; world class flavor. Forget the name, go for the flavors. There is no place like this in Pensacola.

August 11, 2014 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Cultural, Customer Service, Eating Out, Experiment, Food | Leave a comment

Crime to be “Happy” in Teheran?

From today’s Kuwait Times:

 

TEHRAN: The arrest of six Iranian youths for dancing to US singer Pharrell Williams’ hit “Happy” in a video that went viral highlights the rift between conservatives and youths fascinated by the West. Recorded on a smartphone and uploaded multiple times on YouTube, the clip shows three girls dancing and singing along to the song in a room, on rooftops and in secluded alleys with three young men. For the youths, the homemade video now watched one million times was merely an “excuse to be happy”, but for the Iranian authorities it was “vulgar” breach of the Islamic republic’s values. Originally posted online in April, the clip gradually spread online before it led to the arrest of the dancers and their director on Tuesday for having “hurt” the country’s strict moral codes, according to Tehran police chief Hossein Sajedinia.

The youths appeared on state television repenting for appearing in the clip, after the girls failed to properly observe hijab, a series of rules that oblige women in Iran to cover their hair and much of their body when outside.

Their arrest sparked international fury and criticism in the media and online, with many Iranians expressing shock and some observers questioning whether it was a “crime to be happy in Iran”. Supporting the young Iranians, Williams himself chimed in and hit out at their treatment, saying on Twitter and Facebook: “It’s beyond sad these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness.” Reports emerged Wednesday night that the dancers were released on bail, with one of the arrested girls, Tehranbased fashion photographer Reihane Taravati, saying on Instagram: “Hi I’m back.” The arrests came after President Hassan Rouhani-a selfdeclared moderate who claims to be for more social freedomsreiterated in a weekend speech his calls for a relaxation of Internet censorship. Rouhani’s statements have irked the conservatives, who have long imposed limitations on the Internet, blocking millions of websites particularly social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, as well as YouTube. — AFP

 

May 23, 2014 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Civility, Community, Crime, Cross Cultural, Cultural, ExPat Life, Experiment, Faith, Family Issues, Humor, Iran, Living Conditions, Movie, Music, Women's Issues | Leave a comment

Alzheimers and Cancer: Does One Decrease the Liklihood of the Other?

A study published today on AOL Health News has an intriguing find – that there is a negative correlation between Alzheimers and cancers. You can read the entire study by clicking on the type above. Below is a quote from the study:Ei

Benito-Leon said that scientists need to better understand the link between Alzheimer’s disease, which causes abnormal cell death, and cancer, which causes abnormal cell growth.”

It refers also to a study published last year on

Skin Cancer May Be Linked to Lower Alzheimer’s Risk, Study Says

A new study finds a link between non-melanoma skin cancer and a decreased risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

 

From an earlier study on AOL EveryDay Health:

WEDNESDAY, May 15, 2013 — A new study found an association between a history of non-melanoma skin cancer and a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The observational study, published in the journal Neurology, analyzed a cohort of 1,102 participants of the Einstein Aging Study at Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Institute of Aging in the Bronx, N.Y.

The researchers report that study participants with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer were close to 80 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than people who did not have skin cancer.Among the 141 participants who had non-melanoma skin cancer, only two developed Alzheimer’s disease. But the researchers say they’re still unsure why this link may exist.

“Our goal is really to identify risk factors and genetic factors for Alzheimer’s,” said Richard Lipton, MD, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, and lead author of the study. “One explanation is that there is a biological link, and another explanation is there’s a link between risk factors. Really what we need to do is sort out the reasons for these associations.”

Researchers followed participants for an average of 3.7 years. The average age of study participants was 79. At the start of the study, none of the subjects were reported to have dementia, though 109 people had a history of skin cancer. During the study, 32 additional people developed skin cancer, while 126 of the subjects developed dementia. Out of the subjects with dementia, 100 of them had Alzheimer’s-related dementia.

“In neurodegenerative disease, specific cell populations have a tendency to die,” said Dr. Lipton. “In cancer, cells tend to divide out of control. Good health requires a balance between cell death and cell division. Skin cancer may reflect a predisposition to cell division, which protects against Alzheimer’s disease.”

But Lipton also said that subjects in the study with a history of skin cancer may also have lived a more active life, engaging in outdoor activities such as running, playing tennis, or swimming. “We know that physical activity and cognitive activity can prevent against Alzheimer’s,” he said. Therefore, more physical activity would also likely mean more time spent under the sun and in the great outdoors.

Some experts, such as Ahmedin Jemal, PhD, vice president of Surveillance & Health Research at the American Cancer Society, speculates that these findings simply reflect how healthy lifestyle choices can reduce Alzheimer’s risk. “Those people who develop skin cancer are more likely to be physically active and if those people are physically active, they are more likely to eat healthy food, such as fruit and vegetables,” he said.

Dr. Jemal also said there’s research suggesting that high levels of vitamin D can also protect a person from developing Alzheimer’s disease. “For our body to synthesis vitamin D we need sunlight,” he said. One study published earlier this year in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, suggests that high levels of vitamin D may jump-start certain genes in the immune system that are able to help dissolve amyloid plaques in the brain. These plaques are found to cause Alzheimer’s disease.

But Lipton recognizes there are limits to his study. While the researchers did adjust their findings for age, gender, education, and race, they did not base any analysis on diet or vitamin D levels. He added that his team is seeking funding to analyze blood samples of study participants, which may be able to detect certain nutrition-based biomarkers, which may help to better understand the study findings.

Heather Snyder, PhD, director medical and scientific operations at the Alzheimer’s Association finds the study’s findings compelling, but she’s also skeptical, since the number of skin cancer incidences in the study pool is relatively small. However, she said the study points to the value of further research.

“[The study] really underscores the need to understand the biology of these disease mechanisms,” said Dr. Snyder. “If we highlight what mechanisms might be connected in disease processes, if we can understand these disease processes, then we can develop therapies.”

 

April 13, 2014 Posted by | Aging, Experiment, Health Issues, Statistics, Survival | , , | Leave a comment

When Strangers First Kiss

Fascinating video from Huffpost on AOL News:

In seconds, a first kiss can go from insanely awkward to completely perfect.

Filmmaker Tatia Pilieva managed to capture that transformation in her short film, where she pairs off 20 strangers and asks them to kiss.

Watch above as the couples’ uncomfortable introductions turn into small, sweet romantic moments.

UPDATE 3:50 p.m. Tuesday, March 11: Wren studio, a womenswear brand based in Los Angeles, announced on Twitter that this video was shot as part of an ad campaign for their Fall 2014 collection

March 11, 2014 Posted by | Adventure, Communication, Cultural, Experiment | 2 Comments

Saudi Women Working in Shops

This weeks New Yorker, with a delightful cartoon of Pope Francis on the cover, making snow angels (Isn’t it great to see a powerful man having so much fun doing his job?)

Screen shot 2013-12-21 at 9.36.33 AM

. . . there is also a truly wonderful article, sympathetic and well written, about Saudi women being allowed to work in select shops. New Yorker only allows me to print an few lines from the article, but I loved how it captured the delight these women take in having a little bit of life outside the home to call their own. It also covers the dilemma of dealing with the religious police, the Muttawa, who are in a fit because now women will be in contact with MEN and who knows what might happen?

I had not read anything in the papers – our papers rarely cover smaller details of life in the Middle East. We were there when men were in every shop, selling underwear, selling abayas, and not a woman to be seen. This is a major change, done so so quietly, and women who need more space to breathe are finding a little bit of that space.

Not every woman wants to work outside the home, but many are bored and restless. When they talk about working, they talk about the friendships they form with other women, the pride they take in having a purpose to their daily life, and the increased respect with which they are treated by family members – all good things. The article is sensitively and sympathetically written.

zoepf_saudiwomen0001-1

LETTER FROM RIYADH SHOPGIRLS: The art of selling lingerie.
BY KATHERINE ZOEPF
DECEMBER 23, 2013

A women’s revolution has begun in Saudi Arabia, although it may not be immediately evident. This fall, only a few dozen women got behind the wheel to demand the right to drive. Every female Saudi still has a male guardian—usually a father or husband—and few openly question the need for one. Adult women must have their guardians’ permission to study, to travel, and to marry, which effectively renders them legal minors. It took a decree from King Abdullah to put tens of thousands of them into the workforce. For the first time, they are interacting daily with men who are not family members, as cashiers in supermarkets and as salesclerks selling abayas and cosmetics and underwear.

One afternoon in late October, at the Sahara Mall, in central Riyadh, the Asr prayer was just ending. The lights were still dimmed in the mall’s marble corridor, but the Nayomi lingerie store had been unlocked. The rattle of steel and aluminum could be heard as security grilles were raised over nearby storefronts. Twenty-seven-year-old Nermin adjusted a box of perfume on a tiered display near the entrance, then turned to greet six saleswomen as they filed out of a storeroom, preparing to resume their shift. Nermin started working at Nayomi eighteen months ago, as a salesclerk herself. She was warm and engaging with customers, and was recently promoted to a position in which she oversees hiring and staff training for Nayomi stores across four Saudi provinces. All the employees wore long black abayas and niqabs, which revealed nothing but their eyes. They positioned themselves among the racks of bras, underpants, nightgowns, and foundation garments—black-cloaked figures moving against a backdrop of purples, reds, and innumerable shades of pink.

Nermin is one of the Nayomi chain’s longest-serving female employees. She was hired nearly a year after King Abdullah issued a decree, in June of 2011, that women were to replace all men working in lingerie shops. Early in 2012, on a visit to the Nayomi store in a mall near her house with her younger sister, Ruby, Nermin noticed a poster advertising positions for saleswomen. The sisters had never considered working, since there were virtually no jobs for women without a college degree or special skills. Nermin and Ruby mostly spent their days watching television, exercising, and surfing the Internet. In a blisteringly hot city with few parks, the mall was one of the only places to go for a walk. They filled out applications on the spot, and their family encouraged the idea. “I was surprised to find that I like to work,” Nermin said. Ruby, who got a job at the same store, is now the manager there. She wore its key on a yellow lanyard around her neck; pink-trimmed platform sneakers were visible beneath the hem of her abaya. After graduating from high school, she had spent four years feeling increasingly trapped at home, she said. “Nayomi gave me the chance to go on with life.” . . .

December 21, 2013 Posted by | Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Experiment, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Friends & Friendship, Living Conditions, Saudi Arabia, Shopping, Social Issues, Women's Issues, Work Related Issues | Leave a comment

One Thing Leads to Another

“I’m afraid to go home,” AdventureMan told our son. “She’s moving the furniture.”

“She can do that without consulting?” our son asked.

“Yeh, she can,” AdventureMan responded, “And I count myself lucky that she hasn’t bought another house and said we’re moving.”

house-cleaning-money-online

Moving furniture is one of those things I do. I get tired of everything the same-old same-old. If I’m not moving, it gives me a chance to re-think things, and try something else to see if that works better.

We have a dining room we hardly ever use. We have never eaten a meal in there. We had too much furniture, and besides, in the family room we have a huge circular teak table that seats eight. It’s less formal and a lot more fun. The dining room is in a very quiet part of the house, so we talked about turning it into a library (see! we talked!) and that is what I did. But when you move a piece of furniture, or get rid of another, or both, you end up also having to evaluate all the things inside that piece of furniture, and having to think through where things need to go.

Life is so different. As an Army wife, we entertained all the time. I hit the sales in Czechoslovakia and have bar ware and wine glasses for our 48 closest friends, and we just don’t entertain like that any more. We don’t even drink like that!

We do entertain; we host the monthly book club some months, I have my quilting group in frequently, and we have dinners for family and dinners for visiting IVLP delegates. We entertain people we like. It’s a whole different world when it’s a choice. I’m getting rid of a lot of pieces I’ll never use again and I’ll never miss once they’re gone.

I’m getting rid a lot of irrelevant things, including an old TV cabinet, you remember them? They enclosed an old fashioned TV, had shelves for videos (remember them?) and little drawers for CDs? I’ve been using it as storage for art work and a thing that plays music from an iPod or two. I’ll hang some of the art work, get rid of some, and find another place for the MP3 player.

Yesterday was the big work, the figuring out how to change furniture and carpets into new positions. Of course, once you move something, you have to clean the places no one ever sees, so it takes more time, but you’ve got to do it right.

booksonshelf.jpg71edacec-6ab7-4b35-bf92-12e1b6adc53dLarger

Today was the small but time-consuming work of getting things put away in a kind of order so that they can be found again. When I put books on the shelves three years ago, it was like fiction here and non-fiction there, and I never went back. Now, I have them sorted into subjects and country, art related, or religious. Got rid of about half my CD’s but still have too many.

It’s a messy process; you take something fixed, turn it into chaos and slowly, slowly, bring a new pattern into being. Tomorrow I need to hang some more art work. It’s been three years.

Then we live with the changes and see if they work for us. If not . . . the process starts over, but in the meanwhile, got rid of some stuff! One of these days, need to tackle the closets . . . Have an entire closed full of evening clothes I never wear, and can’t bear to part with . . . yet.

September 16, 2013 Posted by | ExPat Life, Experiment, Family Issues, Home Improvements, Living Conditions, Marriage, Pensacola, Relationships | 6 Comments

Touched the Hem of His Garment

Today’s meditation from Forward Day by Day touches on one of my very favorite stories – and its opposite. It’s all about the power of belief. The woman, suffering from bleeding, would have lived a terrible life, considered unclean, untouchable, and trying everything to be cured without success. Just a touch – one touch – and her illness is gone. Jesus is astonished and tells her that her faith has made her well.

In contrast, the people in his own village are skeptical. How can good ole Jesus, son of Mary and that carpenter, how can he be anything special? In the face of such callous disbelief, Jesus can do little.

SATURDAY, July 27

Mark 6:1-13. And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them.

What a contrast, in just a few verses. Yesterday the bleeding woman merely touched Jesus’ garment, and Jesus’ power streamed into her. Today he is home, and those who watched him grow up ask, “Just who do you think you are?” and the Son of God is stopped in his tracks, like Superman when he is exposed to kryptonite.
My field education rector preached on this passage a year ago, and I was spellbound by his ending. He asked, “If Jesus came to All Saints, would he be able to do deeds of power?” Then the rector got even more personal, asking, “If Jesus came to you, would he be able to deeds of power?”

Oh, how I hope so. I’m not sure how to have the faith that allows Jesus to perform deeds of power, but I can see what kind of behavior does. It is hopeful, brave actions that seem to open the way for Jesus to work; and it is arrogant, fear-based behavior that seems to block the way.

Lord, teach us not to fear the change you bring. Teach us to reach out to touch your garment.

When my Mother was still living on her own, there was a revolving guest room, and my sister left a CD for me there, as she departed and I arrived, which contained the song above. I want it sung at my funeral. It is a succinct statement of faith; it is the song of the bleeding woman who believes and is cured, and nothing is ever the same.

July 27, 2013 Posted by | Aging, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Character, Community, Cross Cultural, Cultural, Experiment, Faith, Health Issues, Lectionary Readings, Living Conditions, Spiritual, Values | Leave a comment

Name that Country: A Most Difficult Challenge

This morning, as I was praying for Panama – there is always a diocese listed in the daily lectionary to be prayed for somewhere in the world – I was thinking how I know where Panama is. When we are praying for Nigeria, there are names I haven’t heard of. I now Lagos, and Port Harcourt, but where is Abuja? Owerri? I go to GoogleEarth and look them up.

 

I struggle with how little the average American knows about geographical location. It’s just embarrassing. Through all the years I lived abroad, most of the time, unless it was Germany, people couldn’t quite place where I was living. Many had heard of Tunisia; we had troops there in World War II, and Saudi Arabia, because they had seen it often enough on the news, but the rest of the Arab Gulf, Jordan, Syria, North Africa – beyond them.

 

Then, on the first night of one of my grad classes, the professor handed us this map and gave us ten minutes to put in the appropriate country names. He did not, thanks be to God, ask us to put in capitals. Not a single one of us got them all, and this was a class full of nation-oriented people.

samerica

 

 

It was also on the final exam, three months later, and most of us got them all right – thanks to some fervent cramming and study groups.

 

Here are a couple more maps, in case you are feeling cocky. See if you can accurately fill in the name of each country:

african_color

 

 

 

Unknown

Bonne chance!

 

 

 

July 16, 2013 Posted by | Africa, Cultural, Education, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Experiment, Geography / Maps, Germany, GoogleEarth, Interconnected, Jordan, Lectionary Readings, Middle East, Pet Peeves, Random Musings, Travel, Tunisia | | Leave a comment

Specialization and Work

In today’s A Word a Day, Anu Garg quotes that great science fiction writer, Robert Heinlein. If you don’t know him, get a copy of his Stranger in a Strange Land, and move on from there. He makes you laugh, and cry, and THINK. I am in the middle of reading World War Z, very different from the movie, very thought provoking, and this quote fits beautifully the mid-crisis work of survival after society has collapsed. People need to be able to do things with their hands, things that help with the very real business of survival:

Science-fiction author Robert Heinlein once said, “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

(How can you not love a man who believes that everyone should be able to change a diaper?)

I’ve always wanted to spin wool. I think I need to learn. I’ve often thought about how we would manage the basic necessities in a post-unthinkable-collapse society, you know, the basics like food, shelter, clothing, medications . . . Maybe, living in the South, I should learn how to work with cotton . . . or linen. Now I have to find out if flax will grow in Florida . . .

July 15, 2013 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Civility, Community, Experiment, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Health Issues, Living Conditions, Political Issues, Survival, Technical Issue, Work Related Issues | 5 Comments