California is the #1 producer?

California’s percentage of the total U.S. crop are:

Olives – 100%
Almonds – 99%
Walnuts – 99%
Figs – 98%
Kiwis – 97%
Pistachios – 96%
Apricots – 95%
Celery – 94%
Tomatoes – 94%
Broccoli – 93%
Plums – 93%
Nectarines – 93%
Strawberries 90%
Carrots – 89%
Lemons – 89%
Grapes – 88%
Garlic – 86%
Avocados – 84%
Dates – 82%
Lettuce – 78%
Peaches – 76%
Honeydew – 73%
Asparagus – 55%
Cantaloupe – 54%
Bell Peppers – 47%
Onions – 27%
Cabbage – 22%
Milk & Cream – 21%
Artichokes – 19%
Honey – 18%

[hardworkin’ trying out something new Blog of Note link]

Principles of perception

Few engineers have taken the time to study art and few artists have spent time programming or conducting usability tests. But times are changing.

Visual designers working on the web need an understanding of the medium in which they work, so many have taken to code. Many have entered the usability lab. But what about the other side?

Are developers and human factors professionals immersed in literature on gestalt and color theory?

Principles of perception:

types of visual perception

proximity, similarity, continuance, and closure.

But understanding the psychological manner in which we group visual information is not enough if we want to be able to communicate a specific message. In order to do that, we need to know how to use visual relationships to our advantage —we need to know what makes things different.

Visible Narratives: Understanding Visual Organization

Is cancer inherited?

It seems that cancer is not inherited.

Ariel Frailich of Ginseng Press reports:

Science believes that genes play a major role in our health. We believe that, if our parents lived a long life, so will we, and if they had a major illness, we’re bound to get it too. Much research is devoted to finding the genes responsible for all kinds of diseases and conditions as well as ways to manipulate the genes to prevent the disease from being passed on.

Now some doubt has been cast on this theory. While many things are inherited, it seems that there are very few diseases that we’re likely to get just because our parents got them. Cancers, for instance, which are thought to be strongly inherited, turn out not to be.

In a study conducted in 2000 that looked at nearly 45,000 pairs of twins, researchers found only three types of cancer that are likely to occur in both twins. And even for those, the probability was very low: if one twin had the disease, the chances of the other one getting the same cancer was only 15%.

This, and much more, is described in a wonderful article in “The New York Times” (“Live Long? Die Young? Answer Isn’t Just in Genes”).

Emotion and motivation

The idea that creative geniuses might not be entirely sane isn’t exactly new. But just how much do creative types have in common with people suffering from psychosis?

A new study shows that poets and artists have as many ‘unusual experiences’ as people with schizophrenia.

What saves them from the disabling effects of schizophrenia is that they don’t suffer from the lack of emotion and motivation – known as ‘introvertive anhedonia’ – also associated with the illness.

More posted at the British Psychological Society Blog

And mathematicians? They reported even fewer unusual experiences than the healthy controls, but that they tended to score highly on lack of emotion and motivation – the opposite pattern to artists and poets.

Rating local services

I saw this brave site rating, ranking and recommending local home services for Toronto – plumbers, cleaners, roofers — and I wondered what local American neighborhoods would be like in twenty years. Will we flush out the hustlers? Will a new ability to choose top quality and fair prices emerge? If the Yellow Pages could rate a peach…

dead site:

New Way to Generate Peace

Antiwar Orgasm Day FoundersLiving on their houseboat off the Marin County coast, anti-war activists Donna Sheehan and her partner, Paul Reffel, concocted a way for the world to communally create a lot of peaceful vibes.

They want everyone to have an orgasm on the same day.

On Dec. 22, they’re asking the world to contribute to the Global Orgasm for Peace. Sheehan said not to worry if you don’t have a partner.

Busy multitaskers shouldn’t despair about trying to cram this global activism into their busy schedules, either, she said. Take any time during the 24-hour period at the beginning of the winter solstice to join the demonstration. Just make sure to think of peace before or after participating.

Once you’ve committed, there’s even a secret sign to show others that you plan to take part: Flash the universal “OK” sign and wink. Or, as it has been redubbed, “The O” sign.

“to effect change in the energy field of the Earth through input of the largest possible surge of human energy.” [link to more]

And don’t forget to wink.

via the eclectic drmenlo

Germ fighting with silver

Silver in clothing keeps odors away – Associated Press – a silver bullet for keeping the stink out of your socks. Not to mention your underwear, workout clothes, travel outfits, and hiking and hunting gear.

Scranton-based Noble Biomaterials, embeds silver in clothing worn by U.S. soldiers, elite athletes and weekend warriors alike – thus capitalizing on the precious metal’s increasing popularity as a way to keep clothes smelling fresh, even after multiple wears without a wash.

Noble is among a handful of companies that produce silver-coated textiles for use in the burgeoning market for high-tech performance clothing. The 10-year-old, privately held company’s sales have grown an average of 50 percent per year, and doubled in the last 18 months.

Silver kills odor-causing bacteria; it also redistributes body heat, keeping the wearer warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather.

Samsung Electronics Ltd. has launched a line of washing machines and refrigerators that use silver to kill germs. Sharper Image Corp. offers food-storage containers lined with tiny silver particles. Curad sells silver bandages. And Motorola Inc.’s i870 phone includes an anti-bacterial silver coating.


Silver Institute:

Abuddha link love

Brian Hayes’ weblog, which I’ve entered at left as the one stop thought shop, epitomizes the kind of find that keeps me abuzz. Leafy green aside, this is a meaty endeavor of web-enriching marinated filet d’idee in a delicious gravy of brainwaves.

Everyone should see this graph

The 5% sickest people in our country make up HALF of our costs.
The HALF of us that are the healthiest make up 3.4% of our costs.

And the sickest people aren’t generally people that you see and think “Wow, they look ill.” They’re 10 times sicker. They’re people that spend months—MONTHS—in an ICU. They get admitted for something serious, and then they get a hospital infection. Or they have something else bad happen to them. They’re incredibly, incredibly sick. They’re on 20+ medications. They’re probably at least 50, if not 60, 70, 80, or 90. They probably have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol.

So see? When all the Talking Heads talk about “Health Savings Accounts” and being in control of your health care dollars, they’re focusing on a leaking faucet when there’s a Niagara Falls right next door.

Kaiser healthcare costs chart

Working employees until they leave

Forty-seven percent of your most productive, most creative, most valuable workers are mailing out resumes, going on job interviews, even contemplating other offers.

Even worse, many managers are actually accelerating those departures by how they treat those employees, said Mark Murphy, chief executive of Leadership IQ and co-author of The Deadly Sins of Employee Retention: Cutting Edge Strategies for Keeping Your Best People.

“Frankly, we treat our high performers worse than any other employee,” he said.

more from Hugh MacLeod

Learn directly from Nobel Laureates

Designed to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists, The Honeywell – Nobel Initiative establishes a forum for students worldwide to learn directly from Nobel Laureates in Chemistry and Physics through a combination of live on-campus events, interactive content and broadcast programs that expand upon’s educational outreach efforts.