Thursday, June 12, 2014

Coffee and Provocation

Fascist Coffee Man
From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of 1933: "Fascist Air Minister Italo Balbo of Italy, soon to fly to America with 20 planes, has hot coffee shot up to his office through pneumatic tubes. So in fact do all the 2,000 clerks and other personnel of his ministry.... I have my manias, and I impose them,’ he laughed. ‘There is not a drawer in the building.’ He explained that his first four years in politics gave him a horror of desk drawers....Every desk has a telephone and a pneumatic tube such as department stores use to shoot change from customer to cashier and back. The elevators are endless chain affairs which never stop; and on and off which passengers leap while they are in motion.... In fifteen minutes the lunch was over and everybody flowed around to a colossal bar filled with glittering coffee ‘espresso’ machines. Each made his own coffee; and it was there that Balbo showed with some pride the system by which the clerks get coffee in their offices without leaving their desks. A clerk shoots an order down the tube with his desk number on it; and in a moment a sealed bottle with the coffee in it plops out of the tube. 'It is a good ministry to work in. It closes at a quarter to four.'”

The Arctic Fox Came from Mr. Everest?
Based on the recent analysis of an extinct fox species found in the Himalayas, researchers think that that cold, mountainous region might may have served as an evolutionary nursery for several species -- including polar bears, gray wolves and Arctic fox --  that now populate the Arctic, over a thousand miles to the north.

Old Soles
The Rough-eye Rockfish can reach an age of 200 years, as can red sea urchins,  Bowhead whales can live 150–200 years, Freshwater pearl mussels have been found that were over 130 years old, while it is believed that ocean quahogs can live to be over 400 years old.  The oldest living sea creature is probably an Antarctic sponge.  One of those once dated by scientists and estimated to be over 1,500 years old. 

Pentimento in the Dust
As I have noted in the past, the ghost of Mammoths can be seen in our hedges.  In North Carolina, the penitmento of what once existed can be found in the dust, where Scarlet Kingsnakes in the forests of the Sandhills have evolved to better resemble coral snakes, a poisonous species that vanished from the area more than 50 years ago.

A Simple Sack for Sustainability
The Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, promises to dramatically improve food availability and quality using simple chemical-free, multi-layered, hermetic sacks to keep food fresh and free from pests for more than a year after harvest.  The goal of the PICS project is to have 50% of the cowpea harvest in West and Central Africa stored using the hermetic sack method by 2012.

Ten Companies That Control Everything You Buy
And you were worried about the government?  Fool!

Rat Regrets
Rats regret it when they go to bad restaurants.  Yes, they do.

This Blog is Powered by Coffee
It’s why it’s dark and bitter, and why it is just a wee bit better than average blog says science.  Would it be different if I worked on different drugs?  Maybe (see link).  But coffee is as far as I go.  Sorry.

Jackie Shane - Walking The Dog - 1965 
Jackie Shane was a transgender singer and a cousin of Little Richard. Apparently she was "the queen of the Toronto R & B scene" in the mid 1960′s.

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