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Mississippi Shipping Continues, Despite Drought

Mississippi Shipping Continues, Despite Drought | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The river remains open for business, thanks to a remarkable feat of engineering that effectively lowered the bottom of the channel by two feet.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Another example of how the federal government really does work in many situations.

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Preserving Traditional Crops: The Tohono O’odham I’itoi Onion - Indian Country Media Network

Preserving Traditional Crops: The Tohono O’odham I’itoi Onion - Indian Country Media Network | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Native American farmers keeping traditional crops alive with sustainable farming methods; the Tohono O’odham I’itoi onion is the precursor to the cultivated shallots grown today.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I love a good onion and more than that I love the thought of traditional crops and foods. Did these onions originate with European imports or are they truly indigenous (a gift from the gods)? That I leave to your imagination. Meanwhile, happy eating. 
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Inside Cancer’s Newest Miracle Cure

Inside Cancer’s Newest Miracle Cure | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
What makes immune-based therapies so promising— and so powerful—is that they are a living drug churned out by the patients themselves.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What a wonderful thing it would be if we could wipe out cancer, especially in children. However, two issues remain. 

The first is the slippery slope of allowing genetic modification of people. While I'm all for doing so with people who are alive and who will be healthier for the therapy, what about gene therapies on embryos? Are we making Frankenbablies? Should we be playing god?

The second is the cost or such made-to-order therapeutics? Doesn't this become an argument for reducing the possibility of making profit from therapy and increasing our reliance on a single payer so that everybody has equal access or should the wealthy get first dibs on treatment once it emerges from the research cocoon? For my part, while I want the developers of such wonderful new methods to receive just and large compensation, I don't want to see another epipen type of situation. Do you? 
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You Can Own a Lighthouse for $10,000

You Can Own a Lighthouse for $10,000 | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
And some bids start as low as $10,000.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
There is something incredibly tempting about this. What a great place to write. Of course, there may be some problems about living conditions, but once it was renovated. Imagine sitting up in the optic section staring out through the storm panes and listening to you muse. Oh, I want it. Of course, my wife would have a very different idea, maybe like divorce over incompatible life styles.  
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The real dirt on seven filthy food habits

The real dirt on seven filthy food habits | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Consuming bacteria is the risk you take if you eat cake after the candles have been blown out, dip a chip in salsa after someone else double-dips or eat toast that has fallen on the floor, even for five seconds.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Double dipping, five second rule, playing beer pong, having a slice of lemon in our glass of water: just how much bacteria gets shared on our food and in our drink? Some fascinating little studies. But, one thing that rules them all is, "If you're sick, don't share your germs with your friends and family. Save them for your enemies and random politicians." Meanwhile, anybody want to share a bowl of guacamole? 
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Chef Karlos Baca, Founder of Taste of Native Cuisine, Talks Decolonizing Foodways and Waking Up the Indigenous Consciousness - Indian Country Media Network

Chef Karlos Baca, Founder of Taste of Native Cuisine, Talks Decolonizing Foodways and Waking Up the Indigenous Consciousness - Indian Country Media Network | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Karlos Baca, the Diné/Tewa/Nuche founder of Taste of Native Cuisine, is making waves in the collective indigenous food sovereignty movement.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I would love to try this chef's food. While there is no way our culture can survive on such hunting-gathering sustenance, there is surely much to learn from Chef Baca and his ilk about flavors and ingredients. The closest I've come is eating on a few of the reservations, where the food has been mostly Mexican or starchy American, and a couple of "indigenous" meals at the Heard Museum for Thanksgivings, at which my wife and I were among the few who ate the venison, rabbit, fish, and the like instead of the farm-raised turkey with stuffing that most of the attendees favored. 

If any of my Native American friends are into cooking and especially into finding food for their tables in the woods and waters of their lands, I'd love an invite to dinner. How about you? Ready to try food that's not your norm? 
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India Builds Highway to Thailand to Counter China's Silk Road

India Builds Highway to Thailand to Counter China's Silk Road | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government approved $256 million to upgrade a section of a remote border road last month, few took notice.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This is what the US should have been doing during those Vietnam years, building a unified Southeastern Asia economy by improving the infrastructure and encouraging trade. It is what China is doing in Africa. For my part, I'm delighted to see Delhi competing with China. I only hope that the US will get over its empire-orientation and start cooperating with some of the other potential giants to get our share of this world economy and build our share of roads and railroads instead of military bases. Our natural allies against China are Russia, Iran, Japan, and India. However, Japan is the least useful because of declining population. Instead of keeping our eye on the ball of the world's economic development, we're chasing the outside pitch of North Korea. I sure wish somebody in Washington would start looking at things through my eyes. I want to see American 18-wheelers tying the world together not our bombers and missiles trying to keep an old order. 
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India Launches Energy Saving Solar-Powered Train Coaches

India Launches Energy Saving Solar-Powered Train Coaches | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
India has once again stepped up as it launches solar-powered train coaches to ditch diesel and for energy-saving purposes.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I figure a little ray of sunshine is always something worth sharing. Possibly in the long run the engineers of this world will figure out how to keep our species and all life on Earth alive. 
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Is Halo Top Ice Cream Good For You?

Is Halo Top Ice Cream Good For You? | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Is Halo Top ice cream healthy? Here's what you should know about the low calorie, protein rich ice cream.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Ice cream is ice-cream, and for that reason it should be enjoyed. For me the bottom line question is never which ice cream is healthier but which is richer, creamier, and most delicious. So, having tried Halo Top, I'll just say that my few precious bites of ice cream will come from a different container. How about you? Are you going with the pseudo-health of HT or sticking with the deliciousness of the real stuff?

By the way, have you ever had home-churned ice cream? I don't mean made in the freezer but churned in a real old-fashioned hand churn? I have. Now, that was enough to tell me there might be a heaven. 
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Facing Wave of Refugees, Montreal Opens Up Stadium for Housing

Facing Wave of Refugees, Montreal Opens Up Stadium for Housing | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Many of the new asylum seekers are Haitians, who fear that under Trump administration rules, they may be deported from the United States.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This story has layers of meaning. First, most of the refugees are from Haiti. They fled after the horrible flooding. So, what has gone wrong with the rebuilding of that benighted country? What happened to all that assistance that Bill Clinton was going to deliver? Second, that makes them environmental refugees, which is a new class. They weren't fleeing political oppression but the ravishes of the environment. We need nationally and internationally to forge new rules to cover them. If we look at what's happening to the Earth, there are going to be many more people running from food, earthquake, etc. in the not too distant future. So, we'd best get working on those rules quickly. 

Of course, right along with that question we have to talk about American policy towards development in the Caribbean. Many of the countries there, which are our allies and neighbors and even in the case of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico our territories,, are hurting terribly. Other than tourism, there is little place for them in the world economy. If we don't help them build infrastructure and jobs, they will become ever more vulnerable to the vagaries of nature and to the political machinations of negative leaders.

Then, we have the tension that is developing between Canada and the US. Some of that tension started before the election. For example, by shortening the amount of time her citizens could stay out of country before forfeiting their medical insurance, Canada effectively cut back on a huge number of snowbirds in places like Arizona and Florida. The too, there is the issues around cheese and lumber and the biggest point of economic conflict during the Obama years, the oil pipelines. However, never before has Canada directly questioned the human rights values of the States. Sure, in Canada there has been a different approach to refugees from the Middle East, but not in a big number and those refugees were coming directly to Canada. Giving refuge to these Haitians (and a few others) is a direct criticism of American policy. Most of the people involved don't have any big flaws and will probably be given refugee status in Canada. By placing them in Montreal, the Canadian have pointed out that they speak French and thereby implies that they will be accepted. 

Which brings us to a big question. We aren't talking about a huge number of people; a little over four thousand to date. About 56 thousand in total in the US. Why the emphasis on deporting them, and remember this started under Obama. Remember, these were people who were vetted to get in. We aren't talking about criminal behaviors. What is the issue with them? Would we have taken the same position were we talking about any group of Caribbean or Latin American refugees? I think not. Haitians are Black, not the brown of most of the islanders. And, to be honest, they have never had much material wellbeing. So are we being honest about our values as we drive these poor Black people from our borders? 

On the other hand, can we carry the rest of the Americas on our backs?  My head spins with the issues. One thing I do know, if I were looking to set up lower wage manufacturing jobs, I would try to set them up in our poorer neighbors in the Islands before I would turn to China. Would they be as profitable? Probably not, but they would have a better long-range outcome for America. 

What do you think? 
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Roman Ruins Found in France Are Called ‘Exceptional’

Roman Ruins Found in France Are Called ‘Exceptional’ | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The ruins were uncovered near the southwestern city of Vienne and have been called “probably the most exceptional find from the Roman era in years.”
Kenneth Weene's insight:
It constantly amazes me that archeologist keep finding new, wonderful sites to study. I can imagine myself there and then, sitting on the banks of the Rhone discussing the meaning of god and drinking some good wine, eating delicious cheese, and enjoying wonderful bread. 

Is there any place better to talk, to drink wine and to eat cheese and bread than France?  
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How White House officials were 'fooled by email prankster' - BBC News

How White House officials were 'fooled by email prankster' - BBC News | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
A cyber security adviser and Trump's ex-media chief are reportedly among those tricked.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I guess we can be happy that they didn't get involved with a Nigerian princess. And these are the guys who are trying to run the country. Wow. I wonder if I were to send them the right bait could I get some good leaks, maybe to find out who the next chief of staff will be in this game of revolving offices. Now, the big question: since he wrote his son's response about those meetings, did Donald also write some of these emails? In this White House, who can know? where is Hillary when you have problems with e-mail?
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Chris Christie Has Another Bad Day At The Ballpark After Yelling At Cubs Fan

Chris Christie Has Another Bad Day At The Ballpark After Yelling At Cubs Fan | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
“I called him a hypocrite because I thought it needed to be said."
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I don't like Chris Christie but think this kind of fan behavior is wrong. The governor has a right to go to a baseball game without being heckled. I might boo when he came in, but I't try to not. What about you? If you were at a game, which public figures would you boo? Would you call them names?  
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Celebrating 151 Years: 2017 Winnebago Homecoming Celebration & Pow Wow - Indian Country Media Network

Celebrating 151 Years: 2017 Winnebago Homecoming Celebration & Pow Wow - Indian Country Media Network | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
151 years of pow wows: Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska honors cultural traditions at Homecoming Celebration & Pow Wow
Kenneth Weene's insight:
People who know I've been working on it, ask me about Red and White, my newest novel. Yes, it is coming along and YES, it is about the Winnebago, at least to some degree. I needed a tribe that was split in its location and that send some of its children to the Carlisle School at the very beginning. Because I am writing fiction in an attempt to capture the larger philosophic and human meaning of the gulfs between people, I don't stay true to the history of this great tribe. However, that doesn't mean I' not fascinated by it. For one thing, the tribe provided some great warriors led by Chief Little Priest to fight for the U.S. Army. Can you imagine how difficult it was for those Ho-chunk to decide to fight against other Indians? It certainly is one of the historical realities that I have taken into consideration as I tell the story of Lonely Cricket. 

So, stay right here and I'll let you know when I've finished this, the longest and most involved novel of my writing career. And visit my other books at http://www.kennethweene.com 
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Repairs, renovations and replacements: Inside the White House facelift

Repairs, renovations and replacements: Inside the White House facelift | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Repairs, renovations and replacements: Inside the White House facelift
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Of course he now says he didn't say it, but it was pretty widely reported that Mr. Trump called the White House a dump. Meanwhile, Mr. Obama had arranged for major renovations to be done. Why they weren't done before Mr. Trump arrived I'm not sure, but I would guess at least part of the reason was to allow the Trumps to pick colors, etc. How do I know the Obamas arranged this? Well, such monies aren't that readily available to the president, not since Mary Lincoln overspent. Now it has to be appropriated. So, somebody had to ask, the expenditure approved, and then the contracts put out to bid. Can't do that in a few months. 

At any rate, it is reasonable that the White House get an update every 20-30 years. This one is after 27. Nothing big to report here other than that the dump ain't so bad. 

Now, you want to read about living in a dump? Get your copy of Tales From the Dew Drop Inne. Where Cal and Ephram lived; well, let's say I wouldn't have kept my dog. Here's the trailer. Enjoy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDm0ugyphoI&t=3s ;
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Nobody Knows What Lies Beneath New York City

Nobody Knows What Lies Beneath New York City | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Subterranean cartographers are bringing to light the dark, tangled truths buried under the streets.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The Shadow may know what secrets lie in the hearts of men, but what lies beneath the streets is another matter.

It used to be that only a handful of people knew how to rescue New York from disaster if the sewer or water systems failed; a few more if it was the power grid or the gas lines. This new map will give the city much greater control over its underground world. On the other hand, access to such depth maps for any city will increase the opportunities for terrorists to find ways to sabotage and criminals to find points of entry. Worse, yet, how easy will it become for the members of one agency of government to make its points by sabotaging another. Yeah, I worry about the bureaucrats not just the jihadists. 


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Will the Great American Eclipse make animals act strangely? Science says yes

Will the Great American Eclipse make animals act strangely? Science says yes | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Will animals be affected by the Great American Eclipse? Scientists will run experiments to find out.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I'm not in the path of the full eclipse so I don't expect to see much change in the animals around me, but I found this article fascinating. I wonder which animals experience the eclipse and are aware that something strange is going on, animals that actually watch for the unexpected the way we humans do. As I read the article, which is really cool, I was struck by the whales gathering. 

Meanwhile, if my dog Uncle were still alive, I know exactly how she'd react. "Time for another drink." Yep, that was Uncle, any excuse for another glass of sherry. I should have dedicated Tales From the Dew Drop Inne to her, but she wouldn't have hung out there, the booze wasn't good enough for Uncle. Hey, top shelf for the queen. You can read more about the folks who did hang out with Sal, Cal, and Ephram while you're waiting for the big event on the 21st. 
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23 things non-English-speaking immigrants gave us that we totally don't need. Not at all.

23 things non-English-speaking immigrants gave us that we totally don't need. Not at all. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

President Trump wants to keep them out. Here's what we wouldn't have if the Founding Fathers took his advice.

Kenneth Weene's insight:
I guess we also wouldn't have a lot of us who now speak English even though our grandparents didn't. For my part, I just want decent, hard-working people, the kind of people who have made this a wonderful country in which to live. What about you? Do you think we should limit admission to those who have been fortunate enough to learn English? 
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Genetically modified salmon hits the shelves in Canada – and sells quickly

Genetically modified salmon hits the shelves in Canada – and sells quickly | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
AquaBounty salmon was approved for sale in Canada in 2016, paving the way for it to become the first genetically engineered animal to enter the food supply
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I'm not all that big on GMO food, especially when it isn't being labeled as such. In this case, it isn't even just modified but actually is significantly different biologically. More like a mule as a combination of horse and donkey than say a horse that has been modified but is still a horse. For one thing, this mule-fish is sterile like it's four-legged counterpart. 

That said, I would personally try the end product and compare it to a salmon. Heck, I'm like Mikey and will eat almost anything once. Of course, the ultimate question: how will it taste when smoked and served on a bagel? 

What are your feelings about GMO foods? 
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The 13 Strangest Beers on Earth

The 13 Strangest Beers on Earth | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Whale testicle-infused beer is real, and it’s not going away
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I'm not a beer drinker, but I do love the unusual, the strange, the—well to be honest—just plain weird. So, as they might say in Iceland, "SKOAL!" 
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The Trump agenda, as told by Steve Bannon's whiteboard

The Trump agenda, as told by Steve Bannon's whiteboard | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
He seems big on "TAXES!!"
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Forget a problem with leaks, we have an administration that is giving peeks. You can't get much stupider than this, letting journalists take photos of your agenda. Hell, Bannon might be as incompetent as Debbi Wasserman Shultz, another political hack with head-up-butt syndrome. 
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In a time when the word Debunk has so much relevance.

In a time when the word Debunk has so much relevance. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Sometimes the history of a word fascinates.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Sometimes the history of a word just fascinates me. Take the word debunk (verb tr.: To expose the falseness of a claim, myth, belief, etc.)

 The backstory: After Buncombe, a county in North Carolina. In 1820, Felix Walker, a representative from that area, made a pointless speech in the US Congress. While his colleagues in Congress urged him to stop and move to vote on an issue, Walker claimed that he had to make a speech “for Buncombe”. Eventually, “Buncombe” became a synonym for meaningless speech, became shortened to “bunkum”, and then to “bunk”. And if there’s bunk, it’s one’s duty to debunk.

So let's debunk the fake stories from Washington and and remember those politicians who honor Felix Walker by talking nonsense. 
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Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What are upside of smartphones and iPads for kids? Well, the kids who are using them are less likely to get into trouble, to drink, do drugs. The down side? Mental illness, depression, and a sense of isolation. This is a fascinating and important article. Well worth your time reading. 
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Irish Brexit report sets out united Ireland proposal - BBC News

Irish Brexit report sets out united Ireland proposal - BBC News | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
An Irish parliamentary committee outlines recommendations about talks between the EU and the UK.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Ireland has become a dynamic and changing country. Now, faced with Brexit, Dublin has to find a way to stay in the European Union and maintain the closeness of its people with those who still live under the Union Jack. While it appears that the majority of people in the North favor staying in the United Kingdom, it falls to Dublin and the new Irish PM, Leo Varadkar, to figure a way to continue the growing cooperation between the two parts of the divided island. My bet is on the Irish. 

Speaking of the Irish, have you read my book about the Irish experience in Boston? Widow's Walk is not just the story of one woman and her family but is also a paean to the Irish-Americans whom I knew as a boy.  https://www.amazon.com/Widows-Walk-Kenneth-Weene-ebook/dp/B004FN1VMO/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
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Love Monarchs? Participate in the Monarch Monitoring Blitz This Week! - Citizen Science Salon

Love Monarchs? Participate in the Monarch Monitoring Blitz This Week! - Citizen Science Salon | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
By Cora Lund Preston, Communication Specialist for Monarch Joint Venture The Monarch Monitoring Blitz has begun! Grab your hats, sunscreen and clipboards and join fellow citizen scientists for some fresh air and an international monarch monitoring blitz from July 29-August 5th! With enough reports, your information will provide a snapshot that helps scientists understand the range …
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If you love these beautiful, gentle creatures of the summer, perhaps you'd like to help collect the data and help scientists keep track of not only these flying delights but also the resources on which they depend. Follow the link for information on how.
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A million miles away behind her own front door: A Saudi woman's secret apartment

A million miles away behind her own front door: A Saudi woman's secret apartment | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Thanks to new technology and work, she found a place of her own - and wants more
Kenneth Weene's insight:
No matter how thick you lay the concrete, nature has a way of pushing weeds up. So too, no matter how repressive the regime or family, nature will find a way to allow the human spirit to search for freedom. She may only be a strange cat lady to some, but this Saudi woman represents the best of feminism to me. Some day, perhaps her father with all his holier than thou parenting will realize that she, not he, is the better person in spirit and soul. I know that her story inspires me. I wonder if there would be a way to help her buy that average without causing issues in her parental home. How do you react? 
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