Posted on May 20, 2013 by ribbie
English: Multicolored Asian lady beetle feeding on soybean aphids. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As a kid, I believed that ladybugs, or ladybird beetles as some call them, brought good luck. I’d see one and marvel at their shiny, red shells. They may have even been the inspiration for the red M & M. Farmers love these lucky beetles because they eat pests. They tend to favor spicy aphids; the ladybugs, that is – not the farmers. But as it turns out, imported Asian ladybugs are becoming pests themselves, not only eating aphids, but whole vineyards.
I’m no scientist, but common sense would suggest that it’s not such a great idea to take a species of insect, fish, snake or bee from its natural environment and transplant it into an unfamiliar one. Look at what’s happened in U.S. lakes and rivers with fishzillas swimming amok, and the jumping carp that eat up the food supply, leaving nothing for the others. It’s not their fault really. They didn’t chose to invade – someone brought them here or there as the case may be. And the killer bees – that was an experiment gone bad. The rogue bees escaped their bondage and have sought revenge ever since. And all those lamprey vampire eels. Have you heard? They’ve been attacking other fish and unsuspecting swimmers in record numbers. They’d have stayed in their natural aquatic habitat had it not been for the foolish men who dug canals connecting fresh water lakes to the sea. Exhibit D: pythons. Who thought it was a good idea to bring them to Florida to keep as pets, especially when they prey on other pets.
Hey humans with your large carbon footprints, GMO seeds and hair-brained ideas: Stop mucking around with nature. It will only lead to catastrophe.
Filed under: humor | Tagged: aphids, harlequin, invasive species, ladybird beetles, Ladybugs, science | 3 Comments »
Posted on May 12, 2013 by ribbie
ODE TO ORGANIC
Range free and cageless eggs
Atop heaps of rare grass fed beef
Resting on a bed of quinoa
Peppered with chia seeds
Superfood of the Aztecs and the Mayans
And perhaps the Incas too
Beckon me to supp
And I dine
Made from organic non-GMO yeast
As Guatemalan fair trade percolates
And my mind briefly drifts to the
Snickers bar I have tucked away in my dresser drawer
That could secretly complete the feast
Filed under: food, Food and Wine, Health, humor, Poetry | Tagged: aztec superfood, chia seeds, flax seeds, grass fed beef, humor, organic, organic wine, Poem, Poetry, quinoa | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 5, 2013 by ribbie
Boron nitride (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Boron nitride, what is it and why is it in the news? I thought I knew what it was, but I was wrong. Boron nitride is not the preservative found in bacon to keep the strips looking fresh. And it’s not the stuff we used to wash our hands in elementary school – that was Borax, if you are old enough, you know what I’m talking about. That stuff was rough…it’s a wonder our hands survived that sand paper powdery grit with the slight medicinal smell. Boron nitride is neither of those things. But like Borax and meat preserving nitrates, it does preserve and clean up. Also known as white graphene, (which my spellchecker has never heard of), boron nitride can be used to create strands or sheets of atoms to spread out on a chemical spill to clean it up. When these porous sheets bond together, they create a white powder, not unlike Borax and like Bounty, can pick up the nastiest of spills from oil to other industrial chemicals that pollute our lakes and possibly create mutant species of fish like the fishzilla found in Central Park and all those river monsters Jeremy Wade keeps catching and releasing. This stuff can absorb something like 30 times its weight and get this, it can be reused! There is the little detail of setting it on fire to make it reusable, and I’m not so sure how safe that is if it means burning noxious chemicals, but I’m no scientist so I trust they know what they are doing when they ignite the thing. I mean recycling is good, right?
Filed under: humor | Tagged: Borax, Boron nitride, fishzilla, Jeremy Wade, Nanomaterials, oil spill clean up, science | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 4, 2013 by ribbie
I’ve subscribed to some free newsfeeds – Yahoo, NY Times, BBC News and a few others and when I run across an item that intrigues me, I star it for future reference. Excluding Syria and the latest developments in the Boston Marathon bombing, last week was a fairly slow news week and if I were in charge of headlines at a major newspaper, here’s what I would run: Snakeheads of Central Park. Other stories on the front page would be Horsemeat Plant in New Mexico and Boraxo beats Bounty to clean up spills, more on this later.
If you’ve ever been fishing in Central Park, you might have caught a few bass, maybe a crappie or two, but it is said that a fish that looks like a snake and has a two rows of razor sharp teeth instead of fangs inhabits the waters of the Harlem Meer. The locals call it Fishzilla and by all accounts it is a predator like no other and will eat anything in its path, including (perhaps) fishermen? A native of the freshwaters of Korea, Russia and China, the snakehead is considered an invasive species in American waters. It may be an urban myth, but some say Fishzilla can live under ice and maybe in ice, and on land for days on end. As reported by Marc Santora and Vivian Yee in the New York Times, a fisherman, when asked what he would do if he caught one said, “RUN”.
I hear snakehead are good eating – somewhat of a delicacy in some parts of the world. I bet you could make some “killer” split pea snakehead soup or maybe some Fishzilla balls seasoned in Cajon spices, battered and deep fried in peanut oil, like the gar balls featured on the Animal Planet show, Swamp’d. I’d fry one up and serve as snakehead fish-n-chips. Kids would probably love fishzilla sticks.
Filed under: humor, Reality Shows, TV | Tagged: Animal Planet, Boraxo, fish, Fishing, fishzilla, gar balls, Harlem Meer Central Park, snakehead fish, Swamp'd | 3 Comments »
Posted on April 27, 2013 by ribbie
After a brief hiatus, Hostess Twinkies and Orange Cupcakes are back or soon will be. And thank goodness. I had not realized just how addicted I had become to the succulent cupcakes that are
teaming oozing with 55 ingredients. I’m not sure which ingredient had me so completely hooked, but I think it was Polysorbate 60. I do. One of the more common, yet controversial components of the orange cupcake is the partially hydrogenated canola oil. I don’t why they don’t just fully hydrogenated the oil, but I guess to make a profit, Hostess had to cut some corners. One of the more baffling ingredients in these delicately delectable treats is beef fat. As a unrepentant beef lover, I have to say that these cakes melt in my mouth like a rare Filet Mignon topped with a thin coat of melted blue cheese butter. I just have one question for Hostess: is that beef fat grass fed?
Filed under: food, Food and Wine, Health, humor, News | Tagged: 55 ingredients, beef fat, grass fed beef, Hostess, hostess brand, Orange Cupcakes, Twinkie | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 24, 2013 by ribbie
Gators love Gatorade. It was made for them back in the 60′s, and they are addicted to it. One of my sources, who wishes to remain anonymous, says that a band of gators from Florida and Mississippi who participated in a focus group overwhelming favored the Orange flavored Gatorade and I think I know why. The florescent colored sport juice of crocks and gators contains an addictive ingredient that reptiles crave – brominated vegetable oil. They love the stuff. Those who fish gators in the swamps of the deep South know this and squirt Orange Gatorade on their baits and hooks. Gators can’t resist.
And now gators are being deprived of the juice with the oil they so love. It’s true! Gatorade removed brominated vegetable oil from its recipe and now the gators won’t bite and many have been seen on the banks of the Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida swamps with their mouths wide open, transfixed, and in a state of extreme thirst. It’s an ugly sight. The good news is that some gators have taken to Orange flavored Vitamin water, bottle and all.
Filed under: humor | Tagged: aligators, brominated vegetable oil in Gatorade, crocodiles, gatorade, humor, humour, it's a joke, laugh | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 21, 2013 by ribbie
Senators voted down the bi-partisan Manchin amendment to expand background checks for gun purchases by a slim margin, 54-46. Actually, the 54 who supported the bill lost to the 46 who voted against it. How could this be? A simple majority doesn’t carry a vote? You mean the side with the fewest votes wins? It might come as a surprise to know that a simple majority doesn’t win in the Senate anymore. Because of a rules change, too complicated to explain here, it takes 3/5 or 60 votes to pass anything in the Senate.
If people kill and not guns, how could anyone be against background checks at gun shows and on the Internet, where they are not currently required? How do expanded background checks violate the 2nd amendment? Should convicted felons, fugitives from justice, drug addicts, and people involuntarily committed to mental institutions have the right to bear arms?
Contrary to what the NRA says, the bill doesn’t create a national registry of gun owners; in fact, it makes it illegal for a federal officer to use information obtained from background checks to try to create one, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Gun control is just common sense. It’s not about the 2nd amendment at all. It’s about keeping our streets, schools and public spaces safer.
Filed under: Opinion, Politics | Tagged: 54-46 background check vote, expanded background checks, gun control, Manchin Amendment, National Rifle Association | 1 Comment »