Cool April Fools – Jocularity, High Jenks, and Tom Foolery rein

People think I don’t have a sense of humor but I do. It’s just truncated. Viewers be warned this is outright theft BUT the title alone is worth the ride:

April 1, 2009

American Airlines Launches

Zero Emissions Zeppelin Service


Starting next month, American Airlines will replace jet service on the transatlantic sector with solar powered LZ-2 airships – at zero emissions. The new 100% photovoltaic powered vessels will transport up to 500 people in the lap of luxury, featuring private suites, bars and restaurants, spectacular lounges, and an 18-hole frisbee golf course.

Twenty five years of cooperation between Boeing and the Poof Slinky company reduced even the manufacturing process of the LZ-2 to a zero emissions, zero waste process based on recycled material gathered in the North Pacific Gyre and re-purposed to aircraft specifications.

On a maiden test flight between New York and Helsinki last week, American Airlines CEO Gerard J. Arpey shared champagne with company spokesman Robert Plant remarking:

American Airlines is proud to usher in a new age of travel where humanity can once again relax – free from leg cramps, nonexistent overhead bins, and inedible snak paks.

To which Plant replied, “I believe I’ve lost my frisbee.”

To save additional resources, passengers may disembark over any landmass by ejecting in parachute bound pods  

Below, airship #23 arrives in New York:




1. Rigid Airship Frame with Helium Chambers
2. Photovoltaic Cell Network
3. Retractable Polycarbonate Roof
4. Terraced Deck with Lap pool
5. SkyView Lounge
6. Main Atrium with Climbing Wall
7. EarthView Restaurant & Bar
8. Spa Treatment & Library
9. Private Suites
10. Kitchen & Staff Rooms
11. Captain’s Bridge
12. Gantryway
13. Propulsion
14. Bungee Jumping Platform

But yah know, the more you think about. Please go to the website above and click on more April 1 Fun. The articles are real funny.


Colbert And The Look Of The Space Station – Got to be careful with the jokes

This is Beautiful:



This is not:

NASA in Colbert conundrum over Space Station

By Irene Klotz

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) – NASA’s outreach to the public to drum up interest in the International Space Station started innocently enough with an online contest to name the station’s new living quarters.

But Stephen Colbert, a comedian who poses as an ultra right-wing news commentator on cable television’s Comedy Central, nosed into the act with a grass-roots appeal that has backed the staid U.S. space agency into a corner.

The comedian’s supporters cast 230,539 write-in votes to name the new module at the $100-billion space outpost “Colbert.” The top NASA-suggested name, “Serenity,” finished a distant second, more than 40,000 votes behind.

Contest rules stipulate that the agency retains the right to basically do whatever it wants, but it may not be that easy.

Last week, U.S. Representative Chaka Fattah, a Pennsylvania Democrat, called on NASA to do the democratic thing and use the name that drew the most votes.

“NASA decided to hold an election to name its new room at the International Space Station and the clear winner is Stephen Colbert,” Fattah said in a statement. “The people have spoken, and Stephen Colbert won it fair and square — even if his campaign was a bit over the top.”

NASA is taking some time to ponder its next move.

“We have a plan and we’re working with some folks and in a couple of weeks you’ll know what the answer is,” NASA’s associate administrator Bill Gerstenmaier said.


Who is laughing now Mr. Colbert..hmmmmm?



Gardening And The Environment – If it saves energy it must be good.

So Fall is falling, and much of your garden is either dead, bolted or in weeds. It is September and your thoughts turn to hunting or downhill skiing. If it is your first garden and you are tired, wash, sharpen and stow your tools. Store your seeds in a dark dry place and enjoy the fruits of your labor.


Fall Checklist
•Clean and lightly oil your shovels and spades to prevent rust.
•Sharpen your hoes, pruning equipment and saws.
•Drain your watering equipment.
•Clean and service your lawn mower and tiller.


How to Clean and

Store Gardening Tools for the Winter

Putting garden tools away properly for the winter can add years to the life of your equipment. Your tools will be protected from rust and wear, and better yet, they’ll be ready to go the moment spring fever hits on that first balmy day next year.


But if you ARE a vegitarian:

OR you really got into the gardening experience:

Then it is time for fall or late season Gardening. Almost everything that you planted in the Spring you can plant in the fall:

Growing a Fall Vegetable GardenRevised 1/99 — Author Reviewed 2/99 HIL-8100

Erv Evans, Extension Horticultural Specialist
Department of Horticultural Science

Many vegetables are well adapted to planting in the summer for fall harvest. Planting a fall garden will extend the gardening season so you can continue to harvest fresh produce after earlier crops have finished. The fall harvest can be extended even further by providing protection from early frosts or by planting in cold frames or hotbeds.

Many cool-season vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, produce their best flavor and quality when they mature during cool weather. In North Carolina, the spring temperatures often heat up quickly. Vegetables, such as lettuce and spinach, tend to bolt or develop bitter flavor when they mature during hot summer weather.

Growing a productive fall vegetable garden requires thoughtful planning and good cultural practices. July and August are the main planting times for the fall garden. Table 1 provides recommended planting dates. Vegetables that have a 60 to 80 day maturity cycle should be planted around August 1 in the piedmont. Planting of quick maturing vegetables, such as turnips and leafy greens, can be delayed until September. Keep in mind that the planting dates can be as much as 7 to 10 days earlier in western North Carolina and 7 to 10 days later in the eastern North Carolina. Be sure to adjust the planting dates for your specific location. For a more accurate planting schedule, consult Figure 1 to determine the average date of the first killing frost in the fall. Count backwards from the frost date, using the number of days to maturity to determine the best time to plant in your area.

Know Your Season

Vegetable plants can be classified as either cool- or warm-season crops, named for whether they prefer cool or warm weather. Examples of cool-season crops are lettuce, greens, peas, onions, broccoli, brussels sprouts, beets, carrots, and potatoes. Most cool-season vegetables can withstand a light frost, and some, such as collards and kale, can tolerate 20° Fahrenheit temperatures. Types of warm-season crops include beans, melons, peppers, tomatoes, okra, eggplants, squash, and corn. These are very sensitive to cold and must be planted in the spring after all danger of frost has passed. Their harvest will come to an end with the first frost of fall.
Depending on where you live and the length of your growing season, you will either have lots of warm-season vegetables or lots of cool-season vegetables, but either way, you’ll have lots of veggies. Your local Lowe’s Garden Center will sell plants at the appropriate planting time. Warm-season veggies are available in spring, cool-season veggies generally in early spring. In southernmost areas where winters are mild enough to allow a cool-season garden in the fall, cool-season veggies are available in late summer and fall.

Sketch a Plan

When designing your garden this fall, map out the location of cool-season crops first because you will be starting with these. Consider where your spring crops will grow as well. Place the tallest plants on the northern side of your vegetable garden so that they don’t shadow other plants. Practice succession planting: As a cool-season crop finishes, pull it, and plant a warm-season crop in its place. Or surround one crop with another that you’ll harvest first, as long as their growth habits don’t choke each other out. For example, plant bush beans in a 3-foot-diameter circle around tomato plants. You’ll harvest the beans as the taller tomato vines fill out. You also can practice succession planting with any crop that has a limited harvest season. For instance, plant bush beans, radishes, beets, corn, or carrots every two weeks during the appropriate growing season.

Consider Irrigation

Vegetables are about 90 percent water, so it’s vital to water crops. An overhead sprinkler does an effective job, as long as you water very early in the morning. This will allow leaves to dry early, in the same way that dew dries. Keeping leaves dry overnight will help prevent diseases.

Soaker hoses and drip irrigation efficiently deliver water directly to soil and plant roots. In municipalities with watering restrictions, opt for soaker hoses or drip-irrigation methods, which are regulated differently from overhead watering.

In very warm zones, such as Florida and California, irrigation is the secret to wonderful fall harvests. In all zones, mulch crops to conserve soil moisture. Use straw or pine straw, and it will add organic matter as it breaks down.


Finally when it gets too cold, Dig up what you got and Bring it inside. I believe that tomatoes cooked in a big pot, and placed in a freezer will last all winter. I intend to find out later this year:

Container Gardens as a place to Meditate

Benefits of Gardening in Containers: Do you live in an apartment complex where digging up a little sod is out of the question? Or, maybe you just don’t have the physical ability to tend a large garden, but still want the benefits and rewards of having one. like having a spiritual retreat for meditation? Techniques for meditating vary, but there is no better place to meditate than your own garden. Have you considered container gardening?

Container gardening is simply growing your garden in – you guessed it – containers! It was born of a strong desire, and in some cases a need, to produce herbs, vegetables, and flowers within a limited amount of space and/or poor soil conditions, all which can be controlled by gardening in containers.

Container gardening can be beneficial for many individuals and situations:

• The disabled and the elderly – container gardening offers easy access.
• Problem soil – containers allow you to control your own high-quality soil.
• Space – Container Gardens utilize minimal space.
• Apartments/Condos – addresses limited access to garden plots.
• Gourmet cooking – easily grow fresh herbs and vegetables for cooking.
• Plant enthusiasts – for those who just can’t get enough gardening!
• Mobility – container gardens are easy to move around as needed.
• Convenience. Keeps your flowers, vegetables, or herbs close at hand.


An Environmental Funny – Or never take yourself to seriously

I have spent the last 30 or 40 days since we got back from California going on about dire things happening with the planet, ways to save energy in your house, and the crazy commodity prices that I sometimes forget that you have to laugh. Why be on the planet if you don’t. This was brought home to me by a blog that Dan Piraro just posted.

In that Post he talks about going to a school in Indianapolis and talking to some kids. He made a joke which I thought was pretty funny about being loaded when he was there. First he got hopped by locals who thought putting the kids picture on his blog would endanger them somehow. Then they hopped him for saying he was loaded….That really got to me. Part of it was that I had planned to go see him there and had to cancel for a very important event, my inlaws 60th Wedding Anniversery. Such things are irreplaceable and though many plans for the trip had been made…still your 60th Wedding Anniversery is huge. l I felt bad because here Dan had gone and done a nice thing and probably turned on (every pun intended) some youngsters to Art while volunteering his time. But also Dan will probably not come back to Indianapolis again because of his treatment and that is as close as he usually gets to Springfiel, IL.

It might be because another of my favorite funny guys the Sports Writer Mike Nadel got fired by the GateHouse people to save money. I mean GateHouse is like the Tribune, they are what’s wrong with this country. They took on trillions of $$$s in debt to produce an inferior product. He is still being funny here:

So please give him a read and if he ever produces anything accidentally about the environment I might post it here. Then I started thinking about all the funny guys I have been missing,

Lewis Grizzard

Who must be laughing in heaven because his last book came out two years after he died.

Dave Berry (pulizer prize winning Dave Berry I might add)

who was retired and whom championed the Lawn Rangers:

Gary Larson who kinda retired too:

And Berkley Breathed who kinda retired too (pulitzer prize winning):

The point being that this cartoon has languished in a pile oh stuff for ever, because more serious things had to be posted. As penance I put it up on Sunday (when I normally don’t post) this Dan Piraro gem from early December:




Ed Begley, Jr. And His Bicycle Powered Toaster – Is this really good for the environment?

Is Ed Begley, Jr.  Silly? The answer is not so easy to discern.

September 17, 2007 5:01 AM PDT

Human energy harvesting–

a very silly idea

Posted by Peter Glaskowsky

Power to the people” was a popular rallying cry among anti-establishment activists in the 1960s.

“Power from the people” appears to be the latter-day equivalent.

The theory behind the slogan is that humans move around a lot, and the only result of all this motion is that the humans end up in a different place.

According to some, this isn’t good enough.

The MIT News reports that two MIT graduate students in architecture have proposed to extract energy from the motion of humans through public spaces such as train stations:

A responsive sub-flooring system made up of blocks that depress slightly under the force of human steps would be installed beneath the station’s main lobby. The slippage of the blocks against one another as people walked would generate power through the principle of the dynamo, a device that converts the energy of motion into that of an electric current.

But if there’s enough motion to provide harvestable energy, there’s enough motion for the humans to notice. Ever walked along a pedestrian suspension bridge that bounced under your feet? It takes more energy to walk on such a surface than it does on a rigid surface.

Where does that energy come from? From you, of course. It’s like carrying a parasite that takes a little bit of your energy. In fact, this approach is also called parasitic power generation. By keeping the parasite fed, you get a little more tired and you eat a little more food. In effect, you become a highly inefficient motor that runs on food.

Food calories are inefficient to produce. A wheat field is a giant biochemical solar panel that turns a small part of the sun’s energy into chemical compounds that you can eat.

And then those compounds have to be kept cool and transported large distances, then cooked and eaten. By comparison, traditional electric power generation is hugely more efficient.

So when you see celebrity Ed Begley Jr. using a stationary bicycle to turn a generator to power his toaster, remember that this is a crime against the environment–not environmentalism.

The same goes for parasitic energy generation–it creates exceptionally expensive energy. Nevertheless, there are places where this approach is entirely appropriate.

Piezoelectric energy harvesting

The piezoelectric effect converts mechanical strain into electrical current or voltage. This strain can come from many different sources. Human motion, low-frequency seismic vibrations, and acoustic noise are everyday examples. Except in rare instances the piezoelectric effect operates in AC requiring time-varying inputs at mechanical resonance to be efficient.

Most piezoelectric electricity sources produce power on the order of milliwatts, too small for system application, but enough for hand-held devices such as some commercially-available self-winding wristwatches. One proposal is that they are used for micro-scale devices, such as in a device harvesting micro-hydraulic energy. In this device, the flow of pressurized hydraulic fluid drives a reciprocating piston supported by three piezoelectric elements which convert the pressure fluctuations into an alternating current.

Piezoelectric systems can convert motion from the human body into electrical power. DARPA has funded efforts to harness energy from leg and arm motion, shoe impacts, and blood pressure for low level power to implantable or wearable sensors. Careful design is needed to minimise user discomfort. These energy harvesting sources by association have an impact on the body. An international Workshop is organized by Virginia Tech on Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting [2] every year which reviews the past developments and current state of the technology .

The use of piezoelectric materials to harvest power has already become popular. Piezoelectric materials have the ability to transform mechanical strain energy into electrical charge. Piezo elements are being embedded in walkways [3] [4] to recover the “people energy” of footsteps. They can also be embedded in shoes [5] to recover “walking energy”.

Pyroelectric energy harvesting

The pyroelectric effect converts a temperature change into electrical current or voltage. It is analogous to the piezoelectric effect, which is another type of ferroelectric behavior. Like piezoelectricity, pyroelectricity requires time-varying inputs and suffers from small power outputs in energy harvesting applications. One key advantage of pyroelectrics over thermoelectrics is that many pyroelectric materials are stable up to 1200 C or more, enabling energy harvesting from high temperature sources and thus increasing thermodynamic efficiency. There is a pyroelectric scavenging device that was recently introduced, however, that doesn’t require time-varying inputs. The energy-harvesting device uses the edge-depolarizing electric field of a heated pyroelectric to convert heat energy into mechanical energy instead of drawing electric current off two plates attached to the crystal-faces. Moreover, stages of the novel pyroelectric heat engine can be cascaded in order to improve the Carnot efficiency.

(:=}) The Human Batterry site is a movie site using a flash player technique. It argues that many houses use 3,000 watts a day that can be offset by energy harvest. There is also a game where you can generate electricity from typing on the key board of your computer. (:=})

This month’s Works in Progress column has four contributions. The first examines how harvesting environmental energy in sensor networks changes the way an application developer views energy management, and discusses prototype devices. The second proposes devices that combine energy harvesting and data acquisition. The third explores novel approaches for optimizing the power extracted using piezoelectric materials. The final one explores kinetic and thermal energy harvesting from human users’ activities.

As the power requirements for microelectronics continue decreasing, environmental energy sources can begin to replace batteries in certain wearable subsystems. In this spirit, this paper examines three different devices that can be built into a shoe, (where excess energy is readily harvested) and used for generating electrical power “parasitically” while walking. Two of these are piezoelectric in nature: a unimorph strip made from piezoceramic composite material and a stave made from a multilayer laminate of PVDF foil. The third is a shoe-mounted rotary magnetic generator. Test results are given for these systems, their relative merits and compromises are discussed, and suggestions are proposed for improvements and potential applications in wearable systems. As a self-powered application example, a system had been built around the piezoelectric shoes that periodically broadcasts a digital RFID as the bearer wal 

Over the past few decades, the use of portable and wearable electronics has grown steadily. These devices are becoming increasingly more powerful, however, the gains that have been made in the device performance has resulted in the need for significantly higher power to operate the electronics. This issue has been further complicated due to the stagnate growth of battery technology over the past decade. In order to increase the life of these electronics, researchers have begun investigating methods of generating energy from ambient sources such that the life of the electronics can be prolonged. Recent developments in the field have led to the design of a number of mechanisms that can be used to generate electrical energy, from a variety of sources including thermal, solar, strain, inertia, etc. Many of these energy sources are available for use with humans, but their use must be carefully considered such that parasitic effects that could disrupt the user’s gait or endurance are avoided. This study develops a novel energy harvesting backpack that can generate electrical energy from the differential forces between the wearer and the pack. The goal of this system is to make the energy harvesting device transparent to the wearer such that his or her endurance and dexterity is not compromised. This will be accomplished by replacing the strap buckle with a mechanically amplified piezoelectric stack actuator. Piezoelectric stack actuators have found little use in energy harvesting applications due to their high stiffness which makes straining the material difficult. This issue will be alleviated using a mechanically amplified stack which allows the relatively low forces generated by the pack to be transformed to high forces on the piezoelectric stack. This paper will develop a theoretical model of the piezoelectric buckle and perform experimental testing to validate the model accuracy and energy harvesting performance.



Witches And Sarah Palin Make For Crazy Energy Policy – Better give the kids their candy or it’s a nasty trick for you

Witches are so cool. Feared because they were powerful woman who paid no mind to no man. But then some people fear them, well, because they are fearful all the time:

Palin once blessed to be free from ‘witchcraft’

By GARANCE BURKE Associated Press Writer
9/25/2008  9:41 AM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A grainy YouTube video surfaced Wednesday showing Sarah Palin being blessed in her hometown church three years ago by a Kenyan pastor who prayed for her protection from “witchcraft” as she prepared to seek higher office.The video shows Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate, standing before Bishop Thomas Muthee in the pulpit of the Wasilla Assembly of God church, holding her hands open as he asked Jesus Christ to keep her safe from “every form of witchcraft.”“Come on, talk to God about this woman. We declare, save her from Satan,” Muthee said as two attendants placed their hands on Palin’s shoulders. “Make her way my God. Bring finances her way even for the campaign in the name of Jesus. … Use her to turn this nation the other way around.”Palin filed campaign papers a few months later, in October 2005, and was elected governor the next year.

Palin does not say anything on the video and keeps her head bowed throughout the blessing. She was baptized at the church but stopped attending regularly in 2002

Come on, talk to God about this woman. We declare, save her from Satan,” Muthee said as two attendants placed their hands on Palin’s shoulders. “Make her way my God. Bring finances her way even for the campaign in the name of Jesus. … Use her to turn this nation the other way around.”

Palin filed campaign papers a few months later, in October 2005, and was elected governor the next year. 

 Blumenthal, in addition to his on the scenes reporting, posts video of the sermon which Palin references (footage begins at 7:30). In it, the minister implores Jesus to protect Palin from “the spirit of witchcraft.” Earlier, he states, “We need God taking over our education system. If we have God in our schools, we will not have our kids being taught how to worship Buddha, how to worship Muhammad. We will not have in the curriculum witchcraft and sorcery.” He also preaches, “The other area is the media. We need believers in the media. We need God taking over the media in our lives.” 


This stuff seems rather ho hum until you go from Halloween to the real world.


MINISTRY STUDENTS: Governor asked them to pray for troops, pipeline.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told ministry students at her former church that the United States sent troops to fight in the Iraq war on a “task that is from God.”

Palin asked the students to pray for the troops in Iraq and noted that her eldest son, Track, was expected to be deployed there.

“Our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God,” she said. “That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that plan is God’s plan.”

A video of the speech was posted at the Wasilla Assembly of God’s Web site before finding its way on to other sites on the Internet.

Palin told graduating students of the church’s School of Ministry, “What I need to do is strike a deal with you guys.” As they preached the love of Jesus throughout Alaska, she said, she’d work to implement God’s will from the governor’s office, including creating jobs by building a pipeline to bring North Slope natural gas to North American markets.

“God’s will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that,” she said.


Now I know what you are thinking, many oil Executives have prayed and prayed that their pipelines got done on time and under budget. But that was so they didn’t lose any money. Sarah’s praying to get the pipelin to happen. Geez, I thought that was Congress and the EPA’s job. Happy Halloween!

Oh and for a real witch:


Dan he is funny, oh I mean damn – never mind


They Say Environmentalist’s Have No Sense Of Humor – But we do But we do But

My favorite humorist right now is Dan Piraro who allows me to steal his cartoons shamelessly (well I have some but don’t tell him). He does environmental stuff about 4 times a year and I try to give him a little extra boost. (like he needs it and we give him what maybe 3 extra viewers) So with out further dodo here it is:


Dan Piraro Is One Of The Funniest Cartoonist Alive – Well at least to me

I am told that unofficially and off the record, Chris Robertson and the people at Peak Sun Silicon think so too.

I think the Peak Oil People are wrong. I think Oil Speculation has DOUBLED the price of oil. The Saudi’s claim that they believe oil is worth 70$$ a barrel. The real question is who tried to corner the Oil Market and Why? The second question is like the Hunt Brothers before them (in silver) when will they go to jail?

A bigger question is will the Saudi’s give the money back that they made as a result? Unfortunately they may have screwed the pooch because people are switching to mass transit and scooters.




Will Field Corn Kill Us? No but it’s killing the cows..

Many people were horrified by the scandal surrounding cattle that were so weak that they were either being prodded with a forklift or actually carried to the kill room with the fork lift. Most people, not being involved in agriculture, wondered how anyone could be so callous. BUT the most disgusting thing you run into when you look into the issue of Factory Farming Cattle (and there are a lot of nasty things here) is that the corn that is feed to the cattle after they are weaned is killing them. So to slaughterhouse staff and meat packers its a matter timing whether they get them in the kill room before they die.

 Meatpacker in Cow-Abuse Scandal May Shut as Congress Turns Up Heat

Write to David Kesmodel at david.kesmodel @
and Jane Zhang at Jane.Zhang @
February 25, 2008; 
CHINO, Calif. — Last year, a man carrying a hidden video camera took a $12-an-hour job at a little-known beef slaughterhouse here. Now the meatpacker is about to collapse, and has become a flashpoint in a national debate over meat safety and the quality of food Americans serve their schoolchildren.

Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co., one of the biggest suppliers of beef to the national school-lunch program before videos showing animal cruelty at the plant helped trigger the biggest meat recall in U.S. history, probably will shut down permanently, according to the company’s general manager, Anthony Magidow.


As John Robbins points out modern cattle raising is all about carving up cattle quick:

What About Grass-fed Beef?

 Feeding grain to cattle has got to be one of the dumbest ideas in the history of western civilization.

Cows, sheep, and other grazing animals are endowed with the ability to convert grasses, which those of us who possess only one stomach cannot digest, into food that we can digest. They can do this because they are ruminants, which is to say that they possess a rumen, a 45 or so gallon (in the case of cows) fermentation tank in which resident bacteria convert cellulose into protein and fats.

Traditionally, all beef was grass-fed beef, but in the United States today what is commercially available is almost all feedlot beef. The reason? It’s faster, and so more profitable. Seventy-five years ago, steers were 4 or 5 years old at slaughter. Today, they are 14 or 16 months. You can’t take a beef calf from a birth weight of 80 pounds to 1,200 pounds in a little more than a year on grass. It takes enormous quantities of corn, protein supplements, antibiotics and other drugs, including growth hormones.

Switching a cow from grass to grain is so disturbing to the animal’s digestive system that it can kill the animal if not done gradually and if the animal is not continually fed antibiotics. These animals are designed to forage, but we make them eat grain, primarily corn, in order to make them as fat as possible as fast as possible.
 All this is not only unnatural and dangerous for the cows. It also has profound consequences for us. Feedlot beef as we know it today would be impossible if it weren’t for the routine and continual feeding of antibiotics to these animals. This leads directly and inexorably to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These are the new “superbugs” that are increasingly rendering our “miracle drugs” ineffective.


Letting Corporations into anything in agriculture besides processing is turning out to be a disaster in many respects from beginning to end. To this end we could talk about any plant or animal that we eat, but if we keep our focus on corn it becomes clear that all the corporate ag production affairs require one thing energy and lots of it.

While the movie, King Corn, has a lot going for it, like cute college kids out for a lark and the absurdity of growing an acre of anything in the current farm system, it is actually a pretty good look at why growing as much corn as we do is stupid and corporate farming only compounds that.


While the planting, growing and harvesting of field corn takes an incredible amount of energy, the real energy comes after it has been harvested. You can’t eat the stuff so it all has to be PROCESSED to be used or eaten by animals most of which don’t like the stuff but eat it if they are forced to. As the film makers themselves say:

Almost everything Americans eat contains corn: high fructose corn syrup, corn-fed meat, and corn-based processed foods are the staples of the modern diet.  Ready for an adventure and alarmed by signs of their generation’s bulging waistlines, college friends Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis know where to go to investigate.  Eighty years ago, Ian and Curt’s great-grandfathers lived just a few miles apart, in the same rural county in northern Iowa.  Now their great-grandsons are returning with a mission:  they will plant an acre of corn, follow their harvest into the world, and attempt to understand what they—and all of us—are really made of.


But where will all that corn go? Ian and Curt leave Iowa to find out, first considering their crop’s future as feed.  In Colorado, rancher Sue Jarrett says her cattle should be eating grass.  But with a surplus of corn, it costs less to raise cattle in confinement than to let them roam free: “The mass production of corn drives the mass production of protein in confinement.”  Animal nutritionists confirm that corn makes cows sick and beef fatty, but it also lets consumers eat a $1 hamburger.  Feedlot owner Bob Bledsoe defends America’s cheap food, but as Ian and Curt see in Colorado, the world behind it can be stomach turning.  At one feedlot, 100,000 cows stand shoulder-to-shoulder, doing their part to transform Iowa corn into millions of pounds of fat-streaked beef.


Following the trail of high fructose corn syrup, Ian and Curt hop attempt to make a home-cooked batch of the sweetener in their kitchen.  But their investigation of America’s most ubiquitous ingredient turns serious when they follow soda to its consumption in Brooklyn.  Here, Type II diabetes is ravaging the community, and America’s addiction to corny sweets is to blame.


The breadth of the problem is now clear: the American food system is built on the abundance of corn, an abundance perpetuated by a subsidy system that pays farmers to maximize production.  In a nursing home in the Indiana suburbs, Ian and Curt come face-to-face with Earl Butz, the Nixon-era Agriculture Secretary who invented subsidies.  The elderly Butz champions the modern food system as an “Age of plenty” Ian and Curt’s great-grandfathers only dreamed of.


 November pulls Ian and Curt back to Iowa.  Their 10,000-pound harvest seems as grotesque as it is abundant.  They haul their corn to the elevator and look on as it makes its way into a food system they have grown disgusted by.  At a somber farm auction, Ian and Curt decide to tell their landlord they want to buy the acre.  The next spring their cornfield has been pulled from production and planted in a prairie, a wild square surrounded by a sea of head-high corn.


OKOKOKOKOK So maybe corn IS killing us but will we miss it when its gone because of energy prices. Probably not one bit though the first winter maybe tough if gasoline goes to $100 a gallon. The first to go though will be the exporting of grain. Do you believe we actually pile billions of tons of corn on diesal power ships so that other people can refine (errr spend their energy on) it? They can’t eat it either.

For more:

Iowa Corn
Get info on biotechnology, corn products and Iowa corn growers.

Corn Palace Convention and Visitors Bureau
As seen in KING CORN, Mitchell, South Dakota’s Corn Palace is a monument to the country’s leading crop.

American Corn Growers Association
“America’s leading progressive commodity association, representing the interests of corn producers in 35 states.”

A Zillion Uses for Corn!
An extensive list of products that contain corn.

Putting DNA to Work: Improving Crops: From Teosinte to Corn
See photos of corn’s ancestor and read about how its genetic makeup has evolved.

EWG: Farm Subsidy Database
View graphs and databases on corn subsidies in the United States.

Mountains of Corn and a Sea of Farm Subsidies
Reprinted from a 2005 New York Times article, this piece examines how the country’s corn overproduction is affecting its farmers.

No-Till Farmer
Top tips on growing monoculture corn.

Corn Refiners Association
Learn about corn refining and resulting products.

High Fructose Corn Syrup
HFCS, how it’s made and how it affects your health, plus other links.


Juche – a simple name for a nasty idea. Kim Il Sungism

Jodie Foster, Pregnant Man, Iran, Prince Philip, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, American Idol, Obama, China, Beyonce, Rolling Stones. (sorry for the deception but please read below)

Normally I wouldn’t bother to cover this but since it’s on the list I felt I needed to “dis” it as much as I could. I even took the time to get Buzzes top searches for the week to punch it up a bit. I even checked every category Energy Tough Love has to publicize this human indignity. The list of “Religions” that I used to start this meditation on the relationship between Religion and the Environment placed Juche well down on the list but with 18 million adherents that still alot of folks. I had never heard of it before and I even asked a couple of people if they had heard of it. Imagine my suprise when I typed it into a search engine and up popped this Prick who claimed he was god:


During his lifetime he forced millions of people in North Korea to worship him. Can you imagine anything more degrading or disgusting then a man who points a loaded gun at your head and demands that you treat him like a god. You must pray to him. Oh most Divine Leader. Makes me want to puke. But then he is followed by this buffoon:


Now they are “worshiping” something no better than a trained monkey. If they had an ENVIRONMENTAL group in North Korea, I wish them the best of luck but I ain’t gonna publish it. I ain’t even gona type it into a search engine. If anybody ever deserved to get a nuke shoved up his poop shoot. This would be it.