Saturday, July 3, 2010

Saturday Summary #7

Hot and dry: The Sahara [the word means dessert, so to say "the Sahara desert" is redundant just as it is to say "ATM Machine"] is 35 million square miles which is a big as the 48 United States. The Saler de Uyumi [Salt Dessert] of Bolivia is the highest dessert in the world at over 13,000 feet. In far western China is the Takla Maklan desert, the name means "you go in, you don't come out."

I'd rather "arise now and go to Innisfree" -- an Irish blogger says that the "lake isle of Innisfree written about by Yeats is not the little island tourists are taken to which is too rocky to even have a "bee loud glen" but rather a large and more difficult to reach island in the same lake called Church Island. Being a poet of exquisite sensitivity, three syllable Innisfree sounded far better than flat olf one syllable Church.

As for bees: 7 of Germany's airports keep bees on their grounds and regularly test the honey for toxins in order to monitor air pollution. They give the honey away.

The Chinese have developed a taste for American almonds as a snack food which their ads say "impart a healthy and radiant life". They also like our pecans and walnuts and actually import over $737 million worth of nuts a year. And we thought they only exported to us.

Financially speaking, Matt Taibbit writing in Rolling Stone Magazine described Goldman Sachs thus: "A great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly sucking its blood from anything that smells like money."

I'd like his take on this bit of nastiness: Trailers that FEMA provided for survivors of Katrina were found to have so much formaldehyde in their materials that a federal judge declared them unfit for long term human habitation. Those trailer are now appearing all along the Gulf coast as housing for BP spill clean up volunteers. And about clean up volunteers, of the many who went to Valdez to help with that clean up in 1989, almost all are dead today.

On a lighter note, interesting words most of us will never need to use referring to the phases hair follicles go through during growth: anagen is the phase of growth, catagen is a regressive phase, telegen is a resting phase and exogen means pushing the hair out during catagen. These aren't usually found on the "new word a day" calendars.

Happy 4th of July all -- if you go somewhere, drive carefully and don't let the kids play with the fireworks.


Kass said...

The deaths of the Valdez volunteers is shocking. The FEMA trailers and the formaldehyde is also sobering. I've read that the formaldehyde in foam camping pads and carpet pads off-gasses for a year and then is free of the gas. I wonder now if this is really true.

Marie aka Grams said...

June, where DO you get these gems. They are certainly not trivial, and I find them fascinating. Thank you for enlightening us all.

June Calender said...

I read all kinds of books and magazines, all sorts of internet news composites and quite a few blogs. I'm pretty picky even though I read a lot. Trivia I don't need which is part of the reason I don't have a TV. I'm a dinosaur who believes in the written word, but I have advanced to that word in electronic form. The subjects that interest me are myriad.


Good information. Good post. -- barbara