December 26, 2010
“O Rahm, O Rahm Emanuel” tops 1,000 views
While I’m not going to take credit for Rahm Emanuel passing the first hurdle in his sprint to become Chicago’s next mayor, I’m not going to rule anything out. After all you can’t buy the kind of publicity that my caroling group,The Frozen Robins, have given him in the past few weeks, thanks to our holiday hit, “O Rahm, O Rahm Emanuel.” Makes me wonder what he’s going to do to get in the public eye now that the holidays are almost over. Well, I’m sure he’ll think of something.
As we lurch toward a new year…what did I miss?
It’s that time of year, kids, when I look back at all of the worthy news stories that should have made it to my program and say, “How the heck did I miss that?” Which is why I am doing my second annual list of stories that caught my eye at one time or another…and which I completely forgot in about twenty seconds.
- If you drive, you’ve seen the high-tech digital billboards.What you probably didn’t know is how many resources they consume. Environmental News Network reports this story: “The Rise of Digital Billboards: What a Waste!”
- Author Michael Pollan reviews five new books about food in America in an article for The New York Times Review of Books called “The Food Movement, Rising.”
- Meanwhile, Missouri farmer Blake Hurst fires back at Michael Polland in his article for the Journal of the American Enterprise Institute called “The Omnivore’s Delusion: Against the Agri-intellectuals”
- But Blake Hurst might want to read this story in the New York Times about how companies like Monsanto aren’t doing farmers–or the environment–any favors, in a story called “Farmers Cope With Roundup-Resistant Weeds.”
- And to put the cap on the “Foodies v. Farmers v. Big Ag” debate, Tom Philpott writes on Grist.org how Monsanto has gone from Fortune 500 bully to “the worst stock of 2010”.
- It’s one thing to disagree with educators and scientists who might think that chemicals like Monsanto’s Roundup are causing birth defects. It’s quite another thing to physically attack them, as is chronicled in Truthout’s “War Over Monsanto Gets Ugly.”
- I often talk about how more community groups and schools are growing their own food. But in a Chicago Tribune story, reporter Monica Eng writes how “Most school garden produce is forbidden fruit in CPS lunchrooms”
- If Time Magazine had a “bug of the year,” it might be the stink bug, which wreaked havoc on crops on the east coast. Now Purdue University reports that “Brown marmorated stink bug reported in Indiana for first time”
- You might not think of Motor Trend Magazine as being particularly political.But after Rush Limbaugh and George Will impugned MT’s credibility after it named the Chevy Volt the 2011 the Car of the Year, MT blogger Todd Lassa relishes in the smackdown.
- The date I received this video link from a friend about a man who has invented a machine that turns plastic into oil Too good to be true? Watch the video and then you tell me.
- Butterflies in Europe are taking a hit. Environmental News Network explains in “The Fall of the European Butterfly.”
- File this under “Is Chicago the greenest city in the world?” Regardless of your answer, blogger Aaron M. Renn, who writes for SustainableCitiesCollective compares the Windy City to New York and concludes that we’re losing ground.
- I don’t even know how I stumbled acrossThe Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. But it’s sure interesting.
- Here’s another interesting website: Plant Smart. Its goal is to protect American trees from harmful invasive species. Good luck.
- Oh, great. We still don’t know why there there isn’t more plastic in both the great Pacific and Atlantic garbage patches. Hint: it might be breaking down into particles that can’t be seen or captured.
- Why do some flowers close at night? Richard Vierstra, a professor of genetics at UW-Madison, proffers a theory.
- Did you know that coffee is the number one source of antioxidants for Americans? Hey, I just like the taste. But the article “Coffee’s Mysterious Benefits Mount” in Live Science show that drinking coffee has all kinds of medical benefits. Who knew?
- The world’s first 60 Watt LED bulb was unveiled this past spring by Philips. What’s so special about that? 60 watt incandescent light bulbs represent about half of all domestic incandescent light bulbs sold on the market.
- If you have a dog, be careful about using cocoa mulch in your garden beds. According to this article from Illinois Extension, the combination of the the chemical compound theobromine and your pet’s inability to say “no” can be deadly.
This might have to be the quote of the year:
A lawn is nature under totalitarian rule. – Michael Pollan (The quote heads the chapter on herbicides/pesticides in the recent book “Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things,” by Canadian environmentalists Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie.This information was sent to me by listener Jeffrey Kunka)
Under the wire: Year-end contributions you should consider
If you have last minute, end-of-the-year decisions to make about charitable contributions, you might consider one or more of these groups that work tirelessly to save our environment and make life better for everyone in our area. These are some of our favorite groups, most of which have been featured on The Mike Nowak show. Any money sent their way is going to help do some real good.