What a nice bunch of messages from folks noting my absence from our
little virtual community and welcoming me back. :^>
I had the exceptional fortune to spend two full weeks on the Big
Island of Hawaii in November. This was intended to be a vacation (my
first one since '92) where I and my travel-pard, a telecommunications
engineer, did NOT work. We were generally successful, and at the end
of the first week did not recognize the sound of the telephone
ringing in the cottage. :^D
But there were agricultural and communications moments nevertheless
(besides eating).The first week, I got to do grassroots pesticide
education in Kailua-Kona as well as some public information work for
the Mauna Kea Observatory visitor center. The second week, I stayed
in a cottage on a small farm in the north, in the Hamakua District.
My first experience of feeding a captive feral piglet mass quantities
of tropical fruit remains (they like bananas best and will squish the
insides out before eating the skins). Met quite a few organic and
small farmers and ate of their amazing food. This was also the first
time I ever cooked, served, and ate octopus (/tako/) for Thanksgiving
dinner. A trip Web site is forthcoming; 1,040 digital photos now
being processed, and seven rolls of film for prints.
And that is my transition to these URLs for you all.
Among my two-foot stack of surface mail upon returning was the USDA
/Agriculture Fact Book 1998/. Here is the on-line version:
You can view it as text files or .PDF. Of especial interest is this
piece on the cost of food services and distribution:
I'll clip and send it separately.
Those of you in a millennial mindset might enjoy (?) this
Collapse: why do civilizations fail?
I found the material on Mesopotamia particularly interesting because
it identifies nonsustainable agriculture as the reason for that
"cradle of civilization's" downfall. That material also highlights
the farming systems in the San Joaquin Valley as headed in a similar
The publications of the U.S. Geological Survey are available at:
Geology, hydrology, and related pubs and materials. Plus a spiffy
feature, "Ask-A-Geologist." I'm awaiting an answer as to whether
magma in the center of the earth glows inside there...or whether the
glow is a feature of its surfacing. Such questions occur to one after
10 or 12 miles of hiking on volcanic craters, and watching lava meet
ocean in an explosion of steam (sulfuric acid plume) and rock. I am
now a devotee of the Cult of Pele (that grrl rocks), an enthusiastic
volcano worshipper. It is my life's mission now to convince everyone
to see an active volcano in their lifetime.
Michele Gale-Sinex, communications manager
Center for Integrated Ag Systems
UW-Madison College of Ag and Life Sciences
Voice: (608) 262-8018 FAX: (608) 265-3020
There is something fascinating about science.
One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture
out of such trifling investment of fact.
To Unsubscribe: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with "unsubscribe sanet-mg".
To Subscribe to Digest: Email email@example.com with the command