Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 9:38 am
The first prehistoric chef who looked out at a field of grass in Africa and said, "dinner!" may have helped our ancestors use new resources in new locations.
Credit Roberto Schmidt / AFP/Getty Images
Picture, if you can, a prehistoric Bobby Flay — an inventive 3 million-year-old version of the Food Network star chef. He's struggling to liven up yet another salad of herbs and twigs when inspiration strikes. "We've got grass here, and sedge," he says. "Grass and sedge, that's what this dish needs!"
His pals take a tentative taste of this nouvelle cuisine. Sedges usually aren't considered gourmet fare, after all, by these human ancestors. They're tough grasslike plants that grow in marshes. But wow! Not only is this a new taste sensation, it's found in many places.
It was 1569, or maybe early 1570, when it happened: A young French gentleman was out for a ride with his workers, all of them on horseback, when suddenly, "like a thunderbolt," he felt something thick and fleshy slam him from behind. (It was an overzealous, galloping assistant who couldn't stop in time.) Michel de Montaigne's horse crumbled, he went flying up, then down, he crashed to the ground. Then things went black.
In February 1932, the United States was in the midst of the Great Depression. Franklin Roosevelt was plotting a run for the White House. And in northeast Pennsylvania, the Morris Run Coal Co. had just finished drilling a 5,385-foot-deep gas well on a farm owned by Mr. W.J. Butters.
A sea of self-motivated individuals or a web of interdependent talents? Both, of course.
Credit Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images
... we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.
... our destiny is shared ...
... this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among these are love and charity and duty and patriotism.
Among the difficult decisions facing President Obama is whether to give the go-ahead for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would bring oil from Canada down to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.
Environmentalists want it blocked. They are concerned about endangering the Nebraska sand hills, under which is the largest aquifer in the country. It provides drinking water and irrigation water for several states.
Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 3:44 pm
By Michaeleen Doucleff
Mah Bow Tan, a member of Singapore's Parliament, inspects Chinese cabbage growing at the commercial vertical farm. Troughs of the veggies stack up to 30 feet in the greenhouse.
Credit Courtesy of MNDsingapore.
Singapore is taking local farming to the next level, literally, with the opening of its first commercial vertical farm.
Entrepreneur Jack Ng says he can produce five times as many vegetables as regular farming looking up instead of out. Half a ton of his Sky Greens bok choy and Chinese cabbages, grown inside 120 slender 30-foot towers, are already finding their way into Singapore's grocery stores.
Here's a big, giant question for you: Why do we believe what we believe? And how is it that two people can look at the exact same set of circumstances and see two completely different things? That philosophical question is at the center of a new book where, to put it another way, one person's beautiful miracle is another person's ecological crisis.