· Naughties
· · 2005
· · · March
· · · · 26 (3 entries)

Borlaug · Here’s a ter­rif­ic ar­ti­cle, out­sourced from The At­lantic, on Nor­man Bor­laug, who, they say, has prob­a­bly saved more hu­man lives than any­one in his­to­ry. He is a No­bel Peace Prize win­ner and gave my Dad a job in 1978. The ar­ti­cle dis­cuss­es (but not in much depth) and de­rides some of the Green op­po­si­tion to Borlaug’s intensive-agriculture prac­tices. While that op­po­si­tion has per­haps on oc­ca­sion been mis­guid­ed, its ex­is­tence was nec­es­sary. As I saw in my Dad’s think­ing, the com­mu­ni­ty of Agri­cul­tur­al sci­en­tists at one point had de­vel­oped a mas­sive en­vi­ron­men­tal blind spot, and tend­ed to mea­sure suc­cess on­ly in terms of yield per hectare. This has pro­duced, along with pret­ty se­vere en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age, anoma­lies such as the taste­less pink toma­toes and taste­less shiny ap­ples the su­per­mar­kets try to sell you. Hav­ing said that, it’s ob­vi­ous that his­to­ry will judge Nor­man Bor­laug and his co­hort of agronomists pret­ty fa­vor­ably; you re­al­ly can’t ar­gue with sav­ing the lives of a bil­lion or so peo­ple.
Daddy Moment · You on­ly get maybe one of these per child and, like they say, “You nev­er forget” ...
Telephone Pain · Dave Shea ex­plains the painful choic­es fac­ing Cana­di­ans who’d like a bet­ter phone. I am in ex­act­ly the same boat, ex­cept for I’m near the end of my ser­vice con­tract with Telus and when it laps­es I am so out of there. By the way, if you get a GSM phone they’ll try to sell you one that’s locked so that when you’re in Europe you can’t put in that SIM card you bought in a grub­by Brus­sels store­fron­t; but I have it from re­li­able sources that most re­tail­ers will un­lock it for a few bucks in cash mon­ey un­der the coun­ter. Espe­cial­ly if you make it clear that the al­ter­na­tive is you walk out.
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