Marvin Holt, Attorney, Minneapolis

I miss you Marvin.
You are too not spoken.

You cared if I was livin’.
You cared I might be dead.

Even fathers do that.

For fun, we can always ask,
Is a bell necessary on a bicycle?”

Marvin A. Holt, lawyerMarvin A. Holt passed away 11/07 at age 94.

Survived by his wife of 57 years, Isabel Holt (a skater with Shipstad and Johnson Ice Follies); sons, Bradley Holt & Reed Holt; 5 grandchildren.

Marvin was a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus and William Mitchell College of Law. He crossed the English Channel as Captain for the 1944 Normandy Invasion and then served in the Judge Advocate Office in Naples, Italy, until September 1945.

In 1951 the army ordered him to report for duty for the Korean War. His wife joined him while he was on duty in Japan. In 1952 he returned to his private law practice. He also, with his wife, were members of the U.S.A. Power Squadron. [obit link]

Nude dirt

Soil is rising.
Dirt is near top of the list of how we’ll reduce the effects of global warming.

Browning the Earth
From an earlier post, ‘Earth without dirt‘, it’s undeniable we will not green the earth until we fix brown.

It’s an exciting time to be a soil scientist because we might manage carbon when we learn dirt.

Dust belt of the 1930's, thumbnailIn the industrial north, conventional farms lose soil about 90 times faster than new soil is produced – 24 billion tons of soil blows or washes away each year. The costs and impacts are enormous.

Across the rest of the world, soil exploitation is the primary contributing factor to desertification.

What’s soil exploitation?

Harvesting crop residues for use as [biofuel in cars], fodder for livestock, fuel for cooking and heating, construction material, and other competing uses is a reality in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, China, and other developing countries.

Therefore, it is not surprising that these are also the regions that have been plagued with severe problems of soil degradation.

After a time, soils do not respond, even to fertilizers.

With demand greater than supply, the first problem of all our problems, Philip Small warns, “The temptation is to mine the soil of its vitality…. “

Repairing soils and stopping deforestation,
can retain about
10 times more greenhouse gas
than produced from the burning of fossil fuels.

NYT reports: “In a withering evaluation of the World Bank’s record on African agriculture, the bank’s own internal watchdog concluded in October not only that the removal of subsidies had led to exorbitant fertilizer prices in African countries, but that the bank itself had often failed to recognize that improving Africa’s declining soil quality was essential to lifting food production.”

Mekes me a shirt.

: fix brown :

BTW, not a bad reminder to fix the Republican Party policy too.

The Achilles heel of Facebook

Incisive summary of Facebook:

“It spends my social capital inefficiently, making me look like a doofus. Moreover, it uses up my social capital in ways that don’t benefit me. How long will it take members to figure out that Beacon is a Freudian revelation of a system designed to feed, vampire-like, on your social energy while minimizing the creative latitude you have to grow, add value and collaborate with your peeps?”

Somewhat summarizes, ey?

“In tribal cultures, your identity is completely wrapped up in the question of how people know you,” he says. “When you look at Facebook, you can see the same pattern at work: people projecting their identities by demonstrating their relationships to each other. You define yourself in terms of who your friends are.” – Michael Wesch in the NYTimes, via Susan Mernit

Birth of William Blake

William Blake, a pioneer of persons, was born 250 years ago. A commemoration at The Guardian says Blake was ‘poet, prophet and public activist‘.

“Politics today is largely a question of management and administration. Blake, by contrast, viewed the political as inseparable from art, ethics, sexuality and the imagination. It was about the emancipation of desire, not its manipulation.

“Desire for him was an infinite delight, and his whole project was to rescue it from the repressive regime of priests and kings. His sense of how sexuality can turn pathological through repression is strikingly close to Freud’s. To see the body as it really is, free from illusion and ideology, is to see that its roots run down to eternity.

“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”

“Political states keep power by convincing us of our limitations.

“They do so, too, by persuading us to be “moderate”; Blake, however, was not enamored of the third way.

“He sees that Jesus’ ethics are extravagant, hostile to the calculative spirit of the utilitarians. If they ask for your coat, give them your cloak; if they ask you to walk one mile, walk two.

“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom, and those who restrain their desires do so because their desires are feeble enough to be restrained.”

“Everything that lives is holy.”

William Blake's Newton
To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.

William Blake

A space for life

Science Daily tells us we may soon lose more than one-quarter of our birds.

I suppose we’ve used the habitat.

This is what the Earth looks like at night

This post is cruel. To birds. To us. The raw helplessness of losing wildlife starkly rises against the realization we carpet the earth in our styled civilization. Neither birds nor we could explain what we’ve done or why.

But let’s face it. Humans have abraded the so-called natural earth, and its air. There will be additional incursion too. Scientific American reports a study of increased population showing we’ll jump from today’s 6.5 billion to 10 billion before rates of growth might stabilize.

Europe at nightThe most valuable behavior for us is to face reality.

Our curiosity can join our relentless ambition as we create new options.

The world we are coming to has changed. Much damage cannot be reversed, but many of our impacts can be adjusted.

We must enjoy our new challenges. The years ahead are the first of an era. We will learn to live sustainably.

Killing us in public

Other than merely you and me, naturally, what kills us?

Over 50 years, there are many causes, more threats, but few studies.

Because there are too few studies, take this analysis with a grain of too few studies, but would you believe violence in our media is #2?

Maybe smoking, but not pollution, not guns.

Media is killing us.

“Exposure to violent electronic media has a larger effect than all but one other well known threat to public health. The only effect slightly larger than the effect of media violence on aggression is that of cigarette smoking on lung cancer.”

Find out for yourself.

AGGRESSION RESEARCH PROGRAM, chart of public health threats

When good isn't enough

The egg
The egg at McDonalds

sodium acid pyrophosphate
citric acid
monosodium phosphate
soybean oil
partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil
hydrogenated cottonseed oil
soy lecithin
mono- and diglycerides
sodium benzoate
potassium sorbate
artificial flavor
citric acid
vitamin A palmitate
and beta carotene

Cream at McDonalds

sodium phosphate
sodium polyphosphate
Di-Acetyl Tartrate Ester of Monoglyceride
sodium stearoyl lactylate
tetra sodium pyrophosphate
sodium hexametaphosphate
sodium citrate
and carrageenan

Chicken at BurgerKing

Chicken Breast with Rib Meat, Water, Seasoning (Maltodextrin, Salt, Sugar, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Garlic Powder, Spices, Natural Flavors, Onion Powder, Modified Corn Starch, Chicken Fat, Chicken Powder, Chicken Broth, Disodium Guanylate and Disodium Inosinate, Citric Acid, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Dehydrated Garlic, and Artificial Flavors.), Modified Corn Starch, Soybean Oil, Salt, Sodium Phosphates. Glazed with: Water, Seasoning [Maltodextrin, Salt, Sugar, Methylcellulose, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Partially Hydrogenated Sunflower Oil, Modified Potato Starch, Fructose, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Dehydrated Garlic, Spices, Modified Corn Starch, Xanthan Gum, Natural Flavors, Disodium Guanylate and Disodium Inosinate, Chicken Fat, Carmel Color, Grill Flavor (from Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil), Chicken Powder, Chicken Broth, Turmeric, Smoke Flavor, Annatto Extract, and Artificial Flavors], Soybean Oil.

Rice at Taco Bell

note: optically clear; used in silicone caulk, adhesives, and as an anti-foaming agent.

Article at NewsTarget, with citations.

Numbers That Matter 2

TruthNews reports the suicide rate of our heros: – 17 per day.

Earlier this year, using the clout that only major broadcast networks seem capable of mustering, CBS News contacted the governments of all 50 states requesting their official records of death by suicide going back 12 years. They heard back from 45 of the 50.

From the mountains of gathered information, they sifted out the suicides of those Americans who had served in the armed forces.

What they discovered is that in 2005 alone — and remember, this is just in 45 states — there were at least 6,256 veteran suicides, 120 every week for a year and an average of 17 every day.

The war death rate from violence in Iraq is 25 per week.

There has been a monthly average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theater of operations during the last 22 months, and a total of 2,112 deaths. [source]

Let's clear up our spectrum

With no criticism intended, our dilemma is crippled when the solution is enabled.

Here’s an example of a layman question followed by an answer.

Q: I am familiar with WiFi, but am curious regarding how Cellular network operate.

A: The answer you seek would fill volumes. Fundamentally, GSM and CDMA employ different ways of reserving frequencies for users on the network, but both specifications do reserve spectrum. There is no intentional contention, in which manner GSM and CDMA (and their third-generation flavors HSPA and EVDO) are akin to WiMax, which uses OFDMA to reserve data slots (either by time or frequency). GSM uses time division multiple access (TDMA) or multiplexing to reserve periods of time for each receiver; CDMA’s very definition is code division multiple access, which assigns unique codes which allow multiple transmissions over the same frequency at the same time.

People compare their gains to others

Armin Falk, an economist, says, “The fact that we are social beings is a well-known fact.” But we’re happier when others get less and we feel more successful when others fail. reports that there’s “a mountain of survey data collected by modern economists and psychologists that suggests people care very much about keeping up with the Joneses.

A Touh of EnvyMany scholars believe that social comparison helps to explain why, even as much of the world gets ever richer, people today don’t report being happier than people did 50 years ago.

It turns out the negative response to earning less is usually stronger than the positive response to earning more….”

Reality hits US economy

“The splurge is over, folks. As the days of easy money come to an end, what will America look like? Maybe we’ll see a recession in the short term, but more importantly over the long term: the American middle class will have a truer understanding of what it can and cannot afford; a truer sense of what’s really happened to its paychecks; and a more realistic view of where and to whom the economic gains of the last dozen years have actually gone.”

Robert Reich has a blog. Reich was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton. He’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations.

As the dollar falls, the expert looks to export from the USA. Search for USA product.

To carry the law

Robert A. Levy:

Significantly, the 2nd Amendment refers explicitly to “the right of the people,” not the rights of states or the militia. And the Bill of Rights is the section of our Constitution that deals exclusively with individual liberties.

Media's dinner

The three letters in the FCC contain three words: compromise, failure, betrayal. But another most important word must be added: easy.

Here’s a brilliant example of Washington Spin.

F.C.C. Chief Forced to Scale Back Cable Plan

“In the face of a lobbying blitzkrieg from cable television executives and their lobbyists, the head of the Federal Communications Commission said this evening that he had struck a compromise to salvage…”


There’s a population of millions being hustled by cable, a pipe that ingeniously drains cash from our homes, but the Washington media finds a way to induce our sympathy because a tiny crew with offices on one D.C. street has stumped a coward on his way to lunch? This might be the blitzkrieg Hitler overlooked.

Cartoons for spaghetti at The PalmHow to speak easy:
The ‘power words’ [wiki] compacted by this brilliant NYTimes powdered wig would sink attendance at a Hudson Valley poetry reading, but for poor Americans these words are merely funding the palm at a piety reading in Washington.

Thomas Jefferson recommended that the capital of the United States must be relocated to a new location with a new staff each generation in order to prevent the lifting of a more dangerous elite than Europe had ever dreamed.

Numbers talking

sobering statistic:

There has been a monthly average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theatre of operations during the last 22 months, and a total of 2,112 deaths. That gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000 soldiers.

The firearm death rate in Washington D.C. is 80.6 per 100,000 persons for the same period.

That means that you are about 25% more likely to be shot and killed in the U.S. Capital than you are in Iraq .