Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Planning for a Perilous Future

What a wonderful concept – creating a seed bank to store samples of all the crops that nourish us on earth. I love it when human beings go beyond their own immediate needs and think of future generations. Beyond their children, their grandchildren, or great-great-great-grandchildren; thinking of the generations of humankind a thousand or more years in the future, and doing something today to provide for a potentially perilous future.

It’s a terrible prospect, that there might come a day when “…plant epidemics, nuclear war, natural disasters or climate change….” will have killed most crops on earth. What would it be like to be sent back to the early days of agriculture when we first learned to grow food? All the knowledge we’ve gained over centuries – and all our advanced technology – will be worthless without the seeds to start again.

Thanks to Norway and other Scandinavian countries, humans will have a second chance to get it right. Life will wait patiently until then in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

An Occasional Rant

OK, I admit it; I’ve become a news junkie over the past few years. I check CNN online several times a day. I say it’s to give my eyes and mind a break from work, or even to find new ideas. But sometimes it can lead to a blog entry…like this.

Will someone please tell me why a story about the poptart Britney Spears stays on the “Latest News” list all day? Is there nothing that can bump her from prominence? I should care that she is a self-proclaimed “emotional wreck?”

Let me get this straight: she’s spent approximately her entire pre-pubescent and now pseudo-adult life seeking the spotlight, making sure her picture and name were on every tabloid. Now the poor little thing is upset because the paparazzi she has courted so assiduously won’t leave her alone?

The mind boggles. Every day great books are published, good people do good deeds, science makes strides, and even the government occasionally does something good.

I like CNN, really – but oh, please, put her where she belongs. Somewhere between the news of groundbreaking for a new porn shop, and the cleanup of a toxic waste dump.

Rant ended.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

An Excellent Act of Congress

Now, don't get excited. Although the U.S. Congress does occasionally pass some excellent legislation, the one I'm talking about goes back a few years. 87 to be exact. On this day in 1919, the 66th Congress passed a Joint Resolution consisting of only 39 words. And when three-fourths of the states ratified it by August 18, 1920, women could finally vote in the United States.

You probably can't read them on the image to the right, so here are those historic words:

"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

It took years of marches, hunger strikes, civil disobedience, women locked in jails, and perhap a few non-conjugal nights, but the men of the U.S. Congress and the states finally did the right thing. Women first voted in national elections in November 1920. There were and continue to be attempts to intimidate, dismiss, and discourage the "women's vote." It didn't work then, and it certainly doesn't work now.

When my grandmother was married, she could not vote. I doubt she ever marched for women's suffrage, but I'm absolutely sure she voted as soon as she could. She recognized how valuable a right it was when the world was just recovering from the "War to End All Wars." How much more important is it that women vote today, when the world clearly hasn't learned that wars end nothing but young lives?

Saturday, June 03, 2006


I've seen web sites go live before, but never enjoyed it quite so much. That's because this time it's mine!

The new combined WordLens and I Blog For You site went live this afternoon, and now I'm asking everyone to go there, take a look, and let me know what you think. Sure, I'd be delighted to hear that you love it, but even happier to know if there's something you think could be improved.

Cyber-champagne all around!