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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Springfield
Home country: Planet Earth
Member since: Mon Aug 9, 2004, 01:39 PM
Number of posts: 25,364

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Excellent! As long as it's implemented with consideration to this:


By so narrowly defining useful landscapes, the craze to farmify our surroundings has made it all about humans. There’s nothing wrong with a utilitarian view of nature. The problem is that we are ignoring the utility of plants like wildflowers and native ornamentals in favor of imported fruit trees.

All around us, even in cities, there are natural processes at work that we depend on. Although largely overlooked, these “ecosystem services” are critical to the survival of our species.

Pollination is one such service. The transformation from flower to fruit does not happen in a vacuum. Plant sex requires an intermediary, in this case, wild bees. They do the work of spreading pollen from flower to flower — a sperm delivery service. (Though European honeybees were imported to pollinate our crops, our native wild bumblebees and other insects pollinate a significant portion, and may be more productive.)


A farm-filled landscape would undermine this critical ecological process. Bumblebees rely on wildflowers for a steady supply of pollen and nectar. But fruit trees bloom for only a few weeks a year. When forests and meadows are lost (to development or farming), places for bees to eat also disappear. These wild bees feed us, but we are not feeding them.

You are a Constitutional scholar?

You have top secret clearance and know every detail of the program to ensure it doesn't violate the Fourth Amendment? Because some version of this has always existed makes it a-ok legit?

Just because the government says something is legal doesn't mean it is legal or ethical and shouldn't be questioned. Please see historical precedent: US revolution from Great Britain, the end of slavery, the end of Jim Crow laws, the end of prohibition, the legalization of abortion, etc. Having other problems that need to be addressed does not negate the fact that this program also needs to be addressed.

Almost every day.

I work at a library!

As such, I see many people who come to the library on a daily or weekly basis. Some are retired who want to be some place safe and comfortable to read the daily paper or weekly magazines - for free. Some are unemployed who come to use the computers to search for and apply to jobs. Some are teachers who order multiple copies of books for their classrooms; at least one is a school librarian from a nearby school district that has pretty much cut their school library out of the school budget. Some are parents who bring their kids for our reading and early childhood educational programs. Many are kids who need some place safe to go after school and over the summer. Many are people who come for the free movies, music cds, and downloadable emedia (including ebooks).

My branch is in a fairly upscale part of the city, and we are the busiest branch in the system. We offer free adult programming such as cooking classes, local history presentations, bicycle maintenance, crafts, book clubs, financial planning guidance, how to start a business lectures, English as Second Language classes, and music presentations, to name a few. During the summer our children's programming includes visits from magicians, a local bird of prey rescue group, story tellers, crafts for ages 5-18, and a reading program that offers prizes like tickets to the local Six Flags, professional soccer games, gift cards, iPods, and a grand prize of a laptop. HOAs & other community groups rent out our meeting room for the bargain basement price of $25/hr.

Our Central library is a depository for federal documents and houses the largest collection of western history in the country. One of our branches holds the largest collection of western African American history. These special collections are invaluable for people conducting genealogy, labor, religious, and racial research.

You are mistaken if you think public libraries are no longer viable in the 21st century. They are invaluable - though sadly underfunded and unappreciated in many communities in the country. That's out of ignorance - a modern public library is as relevant today as it was to its time a century ago.

Happy Honey shots

You all may remember I got Honey from a local shelter back in January, after she was rescued by the side of a road in NM, almost starved to death and nursing 8 puppies. We think she might have been a res dog who probably got pregnant the first time she went into heat. She seems very young.

We had oodles of problems with her at first. She was incredibly hyper-vigilant during the night, hounded (pun intended) our cats mercilessly, stole food and went in the trash any second we turned our backs, was terrified to get in the car, and, when we started our veggie gardens, she dug through them trying to dig up the compost (to eat, presumably). It's taken her all this time to get the hang of being a pet. Best of all, she's actually relaxed enough to smile now! The day she first smiled - about 2 weeks ago - was a happy day at our casa!

So I wanted to share some photos of our happy, smiling, adjusting-nicely girl.

Here she is, our own little flower child:

Just digging the fine weather, lying out in her very own yard:

Smirking in her sleep, content on the couch:

*Edited to add: Holy crap, that's a lot of dog hair on my couch!
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