Tuesday Shorts…Short takes from my reader feeds….

This morning was another of those mornings when the weather outside is livable. Too bad it will not last…

Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 91. Heat index values as high as 102. East wind between 5 and 10 mph.

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Andy Griffin is on roll with another essay that is a great read…It ends thusly…

Water Under The Bridge at The Ladybug Letter

My kids got bored as I stood there looking out across the Golden Gate, and they tugged at me to leave.

So I left.

I knew what had happened to the organic food movement I’d come of age in, and I keep in touch with my friends at Star Route Farm, but I left wondering whatever happened to the clerk, the pimp/librarians, the thief, and my drag queen toll taking angel. So much water under the bridge, but what a beautiful bridge.

Go read the beginning…and the rest.

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This is the side of industrial agriculture that I feel will come to be what finally does it in. Between the antibiotics and the growth hormones, industrial ag will eventually be held responsible for what it has done to Americas health…

Antibiotic Runoff – New York Times

One of the persistent problems of industrial agriculture is the inappropriate use of antibiotics. It’s one thing to give antibiotics to individual animals, case by case, the way we treat humans. But it’s a common practice in the confinement hog industry to give antibiotics to the whole herd, to enhance growth and to fight off the risk of disease, which is increased by keeping so many animals in such close quarters.

This is an ideal way to create organisms resistant to the drugs. That poses a risk to us all.A recent study by the University of Illinois makes the risk even more apparent. Studying the groundwater around two confinement hog farms, scientists have identified the presence of several transferable genes that confer antibiotic resistance, specifically to tetracycline. There is the very real chance that in such a rich bacterial soup these genes might move from organism to organism, carrying the ability to resist tetracycline with them. And because the resistant genes were found in groundwater, they are already at large in the environment.

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Finally, some of the best news in a long time…The New York Times will be dropping it’s subscription only TimesSelect starting tonight…

Times to Stop Charging for Parts of Its Web Site – New York Times

The New York Times will stop charging for access to parts of its Web site, effective at midnight Tuesday night.
The move comes two years to the day after The Times began the subscription program, TimesSelect, which has charged $49.95 a year, or $7.95 a month, for online access to the work of its columnists and to the newspaper’s archives. TimesSelect has been free to print subscribers to The Times and to some students and educators.

In addition to opening the entire site to all readers, The Times will also make available its archives from 1987 to the present without charge, as well as those from 1851 to 1922, which are in the public domain. There will be charges for some material from the period 1923 to 1986, and some will be free.

While I have never objected to the Times charging for it’s content, I have missed reading Paul Krugman. I just couldn’t justify the cost to read Paul and a few other “select” articles each week. I look forward to having that opportunity again. Thanks New York Times, I’ll even read the adds…

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Weather Update:

The coming weekend could be busy…

Wunder Blog : Weather Underground

The four reliable computer models for forecasting tropical cyclone genesis all predict that once this area of disturbed weather crosses Florida and emerges into the eastern Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, wind shear will drop enough to allow a tropical depression to form. The path such a storm might take is highly uncertain, and the models have diverged significantly since yesterday’s runs. A strong ridge of high pressure is setting up over the eastern half of the U.S., and is expected to remain anchored in place for at least ten days. This is the type of steering pattern we experienced during the Hurricane Season of 2005, and favors westward-moving storms. This ridge will act to steer any developing storm in the Gulf of Mexico towards the west, to the Texas coast, or even west-southwest, to the northeastern mainland Mexico. However, this steering pattern will be complicated by the presence of an upper-level low pressure system over the Gulf of Mexico. This upper-level low is currently forming over northern Florida, and is expected to drift southwestward or westward over the Gulf later this week, and gradually weaken. Depending on the strength and movement of this low, a storm that forms in the eastern Gulf could be steered anywhere from the Florida Panhandle to northeastern Mexico. One model, the NOGAPS, predicts that the storm will move west-southwest into the Bay of Campeche (southwestern Gulf of Mexico), and stall out for many days. The UKMET, GFS, and ECMFW models foresee that the storm will make landfall in Texas or Louisiana Sunday or Monday. All residents along the Gulf of Mexico coast need to consider what actions they might need to take if a hurricane develops in the Gulf this weekend. The highest danger region is from New Orleans westward to Brownsville, Texas. A hurricane hunter airplane is on call for Thursday afternoon.

(emphasis above is mine)

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