Monthly Archives: October, 2012

Climate Change, or Just Rhode Island Weather?

Still Buzzing

Hey, it’s Rhode Island. You never know what to expect. But my Mom’s rhododendrons are on a second bloom, with bees.

Income Inequality May Take Toll on Growth –

Stare this ugly fact right in the face — we are killing our country with income inequality.  It’s a significant factor in the stunting of American economic growth.  If Mitt Romney gets elected, income inequality will get even worse, and our economy will become even more stratified and vulnerable.

Income Inequality May Take Toll on Growth –

Binders Full of Women Now Voting for Obama

I’m glad someone brought in some binders full of women for Mitt Romney to review for his cabinet as Governor. Otherwise, how would he know how to reach out to this foreign constituency?

And on another note, Ninjanurse details Romney’s new stance on pro-choice issues:

Rosie Perez Sets Mitt Straight about the Latino Vote

Kiersten Marek:

Are we creating the “zombie generation?”

Originally posted on aceloewgold:

An article in today’s New York Times describes a disturbing trend in which children, even without an ADD/ADHD diagnosis, are being prescribed adderall to improve their performance in school. This is especially prevalent in lower-income families where, as the pediatrician who is the focus of the article states, “We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid.”

And this from a physician who describes ADHD as a “made-up” disorder to begin with. Children as young as three are being diagnosed as bipolar and prescribed powerful mind-altering drugs–Drugs which we don’t understand to begin with, being used on the brains of children which aren’t even remotely close to being fully developed. The US is the most medicated country in the world, and it’s because of a psychopathic pharmaceutical industry and an essential institutional paradox: That in order for the…

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Kiersten Marek:

How do you reconcile a “free market” with driving instability in food prices that may leave many starving?

Originally posted on Faith in Food:

Fruitful future? Perhaps not while investors are betting on the price of food in the developing world. Picture: Stevant Bruno

There is money to be made from hungry people – that is the unpalatable fact at the root of an article by journalist Graeme Green.

In the feature, which was published in the Metro newspaper in October 2012,  he says campaigners are claiming that financial investors are ‘driving up prices and putting the lives of millions at risk’ by betting on the world’s food crisis.

He writes: ‘Last month it was revealed Barclays made about £500 million over the past two years on food speculation. In Britain, the average household food bill increases by about five per cent each year. But in the developing world, where a higher proportion – up to 90 per cent – of income goes on food, rising prices can be a matter of life…

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Kiersten Marek:

This one’s for you, Joe, I know how much you love brussel sprouts. LOL!

Originally posted on Eat and Beat Cancer:

anti cancer cabbage tipsNovember 2013 update: Please read the groundbreaking news about crucifers! Scientists have recently discovered that lightly steamed cabbage has more anti-cancer compounds than raw cabbage (with one exception: nappa cabbage is best raw)–and that you can cook any cabbage any way you want as long as you eat a little raw crucifer in the same meal. Radish, mustard, watercress, wasabi–any raw crucifer will do.     

Most people will tell you to eat cabbage for its anti-cancer compounds, but they don’t explain that how you prepare it is key. If you want to get the anti-cancer benefits from cabbage, then heed this advice:

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Kiersten Marek:

A very long and thorough look at Hostess Brands as it goes through bankruptcies and tries to avoid its pension obligations.

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

Just after the New Year, Hostess Brands, the largest producer of baked goods in the United States, filed for bankruptcy. Formerly called Interstate Bakeries Corporation, the company had previously filed for bankruptcy protection in 2004. It emerged from what became the most protracted bankruptcy process in history in 2009 and renamed itself Hostess Brands. The resolution of that previous bankruptcy filing was secured through major concessions by the company’s unionized employees in exchange for equity in the company, infusions of cash from GE Capital and three private equity companies–one of which, Ripplewood Holdings acquired a 50% share of the company–and the termination of public trading of the company’s stock.

Now, just two years after emerging from that historically protracted bankruptcy process, the company is filing for bankruptcy again. Analysts estimate that the company has between $500 million and $1 billion in assets, and the company’s management claims that its biggest…

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Steve Stycos: Update from the Pawtuxet Farmer’s Market

From Steve Stycos:


Saturday, the Pawtuxet Village Farmers Market’s will feature the annual Pumpkin and Paw Paw Festival. Paw paws, a tropical tasting fruit native to the Mid-West will be available for sale from Rhode Island’s exclusive paw paw grower, Warwick’s Rocky Point Blueberry Farm. The fruit is rarely available, so try one.
A bake sale to benefit the local Cub Scouts and hay rides through Pawtuxet Village sponsored by Friends of Pawtuxet Village will also happen during the festival. Tickets for the hay rides may be purchased at Twice Told Tales. Advance ticket purchase is recommended.

Saturday is also the Halloween costume swap at the market. Those who have already turned in costumes may select new items until 11 AM. The swap is open to everyone else after 11 AM.

Finally, Saturday is the last chance to buy chances on the market coupon book containing a five dollar coupon from each market vendor. Proceeds will provide an incentive for SNAP recipients to shop at the market.


October 20, the market will feature a composting demonstration, free electronics recycling and a plant pot collection. The plant pots will be reused by our farmers. If you missed last week’s pot collection, remember to bring them next week.


In an effort to combat global warming, Great Britain plans to phase out the use of peat, according to the New York Times. Use of peat in public parks will be banned in 2015, in backyard gardening in 2020 and in commercial operations in 2030. Supporters of the ban say that peat bogs store more carbon dioxide than rain forests. Although some tout peat as a renewable resource, it takes 100 years for a healthy bog to restore just one half inch of peat.  Most peat in the UK comes from Ireland. American peat primarily comes from Canada.

And yes, someone told me Pamela Anderson starred on the TV show “Bay Watch,” not Christy Brinkley. Oh well,

See you at the market.

Kiersten Marek:

This looks like a very interesting book.

Originally posted on Yale Press Log:

What if the constant panic about the rising costs of health care and higher education in America were somewhat unfounded? What would this entail for this country? A giant, collective sigh of relief?

This is the premise of famous economist, Willian J. Baumol’s new book, The Cost Disease: Why Computers Get Cheaper and Health Care Doesn’t. He argues that these exponentially rising costs stem from the need for human labor; health care and education cannot be mechanically run. There are no interchangeable, automated parts that can be substituted to increase productivity. Yet, this does not mean these services are unattainable.

In a recent article for Forbes,Baumol writes:

Nearly half a century after William Bowen and I were led by our cost-disease analysis to foresee this prospect for education, I now offer a new and surprisingly happy ending. I contend that the cost of education will remain within…

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