Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday Summary #13

An iceberg broke off of Greenland's larger glacier creating an island four times as large as Manhattan. It is taller than half the height of the Empire State Building and contains enough water to keep the Hudson and Delaware Rivers flowing for three years. And it's all fresh, clean water!

Sonia Gandhi, head of the Congress Party in India has proposed that the "right to food" be a universal law of the land. Just in India's eight poorest states, in 26 of Africa's poorest countries. We in the developed world don't even think about whether having food is a right -- we take it for granted and eat far more than we need for good health.

On the subject: doctors in some clinics are prescribing "farm"aceuticals -- Actually writing prescriptions for people to eat fresh fruit and vegetables.

Speaking of growing things: in the arid sections of the south of France lavender has long been one of the few cash crops that grows in that soil and climate. They produce 70% of the world's lavender which amounts to 15 tons of scented oil for perfume on every 1000 acres. Synthetic oils have been produced and threaten the market for real lavender these days. But the beautiful fields have also served as an attraction for tourists.

Other attractions for tourists that are becoming increasingly popular in Europe, especially France and England, are slag heaps from coal mines that have been covered, planted with grass which is kept watered and wet and used as ski slopes year round. Other slag heaps have been turned into paraglider runways, ampitheaters and even bird sanctuaries.

Being the director a world class museum can be a very cushy job. Not only do the directors of the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Modern Art get very large salaries all are provided with free housing -- the MoMA condo is in the tower above the museum, the others' large apartments are within very easy walking distance. And they don't have to pay tax, for some reason, on this perk.

Of course, I'm sure, everyone knows about my favorite incident of the week -- the airline steward who lost all cool, cursed out the passengers and his job, on the public PA system, pushed the emergency chute and slid out of the plane, ran to his car in the employee parking lot and drove home. Soon, of cosure, he was arrested and is unlikely to fly again. The part I like best is the vision in my mind's eye of him sliding down the chute. It's as good as get-aways in action movies. And I'm not sorry the passenger got cursed out for getting up and opening the overhead bin - I've always felt irked by those people who think that's going to get them someplace faster than the rest of the passengers.


standing on my head said...

"farm"aceuticals-i love it!
and yes, the steward sliding down the chute, beer in hand, satisfies on so many levels.

Conda V. Douglas said...

For some reason, everyone loves that story of the steward--and wonders if the passengers were charged extra for the "entertainment"!

Marie aka Grams said...

Great summaries. I love your segues. Also, check out Ben Stein's comments on today's "Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood," on CBS. It's a keeper.


June -- like the Indian idea of ,"the right to food." we do take food for granted in this country but, what about the future with our growing population and shrinking farm land? -- barbara

June Calender said...

Thanks for your comments. I just read that the steward has become an instant "folk hero." The reason given is that most of us now hate flying and can sympathize with his frustration.

With Barbara, I think increasing population will lead to more hunger - and I think water will be a huge factor as well, both for raising the food and for drinking.

Thank you all for reading my summaries and commenting, I love doing it.