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Hometown: Northern VA
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 10:34 AM
Number of posts: 41,637

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Um, you first...

The Google Doodle today is for the 107th B-day of Mario Moreno Cantinflas


With all this talk on Space Force, I need to remind everyone of the Kurt Vonnegut short story,

"The Big Space Fuck" which he wrote for Harlan Ellison in 1972. It was republished in his collection, Palm Sunday in 1982.

Luckily the entire story can be read here:


I recommend reading it. It is quite short.

Here's one paragraph:

The man who was interviewing Senator Snopes asked him to stand up so everybody could get a good look at his cod-piece, which the Senator did. Codpieces were very much in fashion, and many men were wearing codpieces in the shape of rocket ships, in honor of the Big Space Fuck. These cus-tomarily had the letters “ U.S.A.” embroidered on the shaft. Senator Snopes’ shaft, however, bore the Stars and Bars of the Confederacy.

The horticulture industry's age problem is bigger than you think

But horticulture is facing its own crisis. As older plant growers, nursery managers and groundskeepers reach retirement age, there are too few Nora Palmers arriving to replace them.

And to state something so apparent it seems forgotten: Everyone needs plants. Plants feed us, oxygenate us, heal us, shade us and clothe us. Plants are the stuff of legal booze and illicit drugs, and, perhaps more obviously, they simply delight us. Despite this reliance, most Americans are said to be able to identify no more than 10 species growing around them. This indifference seems to be one of the woes facing the green industry.


“We have more employers calling us than we have students to fill the jobs,” said John Dole, associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University. “We aren’t meeting the needs of the industry.”

According to a 2015 study, nearly 58,000 jobs become available each year in agriculture-related fields, but only 61 percent are filled by qualified graduates.

Good article by Adrian Higgins of the Washington Post

Entire article here:

Want to be happier? Stop scheduling your free time.

Your social calendar might be sucking the joy out of activities that are supposed to be fun or relaxing, according to an upcoming paper co-written by a professor who studies time management.

The paper argues that when a leisure activity is planned rather than spontaneous, we enjoy it less.

That’s because we tend to mentally lump all our scheduled activities in the same bucket — whether it’s a dentist appointment or grabbing coffee with a friend. And that makes the pleasurable activities more of a chore.

“It becomes a part of our to-do list,” wrote Selin A. Malkoc, one of the study’s authors, in an email to The Washington Post. “As an outcome, they become less enjoyable.”

Really cool study

More by Allison Klein at the Washington Post:


It's official - spending time outside is good for you

Living close to nature and spending time outside has significant and wide-ranging health benefits - according to new research from the University of East Anglia. A new report published today reveals that exposure to greenspace reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress, and high blood pressure.

Populations with higher levels of greenspace exposure are also more likely to report good overall health – according to global data involving more than 290 million people. Lead author Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “Spending time in nature certainly makes us feel healthier, but until now the impact on our long-term wellbeing hasn’t been fully understood.

“We gathered evidence from over 140 studies involving more than 290 million people to see whether nature really does provide a health boost.” “We found that spending time in, or living close to, natural green spaces is associated with diverse and significant health benefits. It reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, and preterm birth, and increases sleep duration.
“People living closer to nature also had reduced diastolic blood pressure, heart rate and stress. In fact, one of the really interesting things we found is that exposure to greenspace significantly reduces people’s levels of salivary cortisol – a physiological marker of stress.

“This is really important because in the UK, 11.7 million working days are lost annually due to stress, depression or anxiety.”


Weekend plans? The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai just showed up on Prime.

Wherever you go, there you are.

Hey Floyd, I was reading a book on antigravity.

I found it hard to put down.

A rookie ICE agent makes an embarrassing mistake

From Tom the Dancing Bug

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