atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#3011: Friday evening already?

Last night I woke up at 2 AM and couldn't sleep, so I ended up staying up until almost 11. I ran an errand on the motorcycle, then came home and went to bed.

I slept all day, until 7:30.

Considering that I left the house before 10 AM to run my errand, it was too damn cold outside to be riding the bike without more clothing. I need to find a way to keep my legs warm, and I need winter-weight riding gloves. Also, something to keep my neck warm. (Can't use a scarf because they can catch on things.)

Other than that, it was fine.

I'm hoping to get out on the thing Saturday afternoon, when it's supposed to be in the low sixties, but God knows what I'm going to feel like tomorrow.

* * *

It's a national crisis and something must be done to stop the spread of counterfeit maple syrup!

* * *

What if the US government didn't need to sell treasuries to fund its deficit spending? Simple: the US government could then lower tax rates. If the government sold a limited number of treasuries per year, the scarcity would make them a more attractive investment to boot.

* * *

Arse Technica has a more in-depth explanation of the Lytro "light field" camera I was stammering about yesterday.

* * *

It'll be a race to see who gets to have a Pandarian named "Genma" first, I think. Are you kidding? I expect the new WoW expansion to debut sometime around Thanksgiving in 2014, because all the expansion packs have been spaced that way; and 2014 will be twenty years since I first got into anime.

...by watching a series about a guy who turns into a girl when splashed with cold water, after he visits a cursed Chinese martial arts training ground with his father...who is cursed to turn into a panda whenever he is splashed with cold water.

* * *

Apparently the pollen from cotton works in any kind of plant. That's the only thing I can conclude when I hear about this kind of thing.

How else can that happen? I mean, if I have genetically-modified cotton growing, and some of those cotton genes are showing up in weeds growing near the field--how does that happen? Is the weed of the same species as cotton? Is there something else going on?

...in fact, the article is 100% bullshit and scaremongering.

"It is claimed that pesticide use in India has increased 13-fold since Bt cotton was introduced" SIC: the writer didn't bother to add a period to the end of his sentence. The article does not say how much Indian cotton farming has increased in the same time frame.

"And soya growers in Argentina and Brazil have been found to use twice as much herbicide on their GM as they do on conventional crops." One of the big advantages to GM crops is HERBICIDE RESISTANCE. Okay? When you listen to the radio stations that the farmers listen to you hear things about "Roundup-ready" strains. These are plants which can tolerate herbicide levels that unmodified plants cannot; so you can spray more herbicide on the field without worrying about killing your crops. This is a feature, not a bug.

This is a masterpiece of lies, twisted statements, and half-truths:
The Global Citizens' Report on the State of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) refers to American and Australian studies which found that conventional crops outperformed GM crops.

It also warns that when crops are modified to withstand herbicides, nearby weeds can develop a resistance to the chemicals.

The extremely hardy pigweed, which grows at a rate of an inch per day, is a particular concern.

The problem is so severe that farmers have had to resort to the expense of hiring labourers to tour fields with scythes to clear them.
Notice that the article does not explain which studies nor what conditions were required for unmodified crops to outperform GM crops.

It does not explain how weeds can develop resistance to herbicide. If I"ve got Roundup-ready corn growing in my field, how is its herbicide resistance going to end up in milkweed and thistle? Natural selection? That won't take more than a few thousand years to work its way out.

Then they imply that pigweed has already become resistant to herbicides; but they don't say it explicitly, so if someone pops up and says, "Pigweed's not herbicide resistant!" they can say, "We didn't say it was! We just said it's a 'problem'."

Then:
Other crops such as maize and cotton have also been altered to make them resistant to certain pests.

However, recent research suggests some of the toxins included in GM food plants have reached the bloodstreams of pregnant women and their unborn babies.
My God! The horror! If only the human body had a way of dealing with "toxins"!

...and the writer intones gravely, "The harms this may cause are not yet known." Which is another way of saying, "There isn't any evidence that this causes any harm at all, but it's franken-food! OF COURSE IT CAUSES HARM! THOSE UNBORN BABIES WILL GET CANCER AND DIE!!!!!!!"

Finally,
The study accuses Monsanto of gaining control of over 95 per cent of the Indian cotton seed market and pushing up prices.

High levels of indebtedness among farmers is thought to be behind many of the 250,000 deaths by suicide of Indian farmers over the past 15 years.
Completely unmentioned in this pack of lies is the fact that--for years--India has forbidden the export of grains. Indian farmers would plant their crops, then have no buyer for them at harvest time; the crops would rot in the field. (As mentioned by Alan Caruba here.)

Big surprise you have farmers in debt when they can't sell their damn crops. But it has nothing to do with the price of seed.

The article is nothing but the usual bullshit from the usual eco-Luddite assholes, who would much rather see people starve to death by the millions than allow any technological progress.

* * *

And speaking of making shit up, the Washington Post made up a story about Marco Rubio claiming that his parents fled Cuba under Castro.

* * *

MIssorah.com has another humorous Venn diagram.

* * *

Department of Energy caught removing names from old press releases. Trying to revise history, eh? Because it's gonna make you guys look bad?

* * *

Even though I got plenty of sleep today, I still don't feel like doing a damn thing. I feel like a freakin' zombie.

My sinuses are drying up, though. I've got the scratchiness in the back of my throat which is typical of what happens when the mucous membranes return to something approximating normal, which means the antibiotics are moving into full swing and my body's starting to fight off the infection.

But it's still hard to think, and it's a lot easier just to lay down and forget everything. I'll probably go do more of that once this post is done just because I don't have the energy to do anything else. I want a shower, but it's just too much work. *sigh*

Oh well. It could be worse. Thank God it's not.
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