Nov 162012

By Noe Torres (Reuters) A leftist Mexican lawmaker on Thursday presented a bill to legalize the production, sale and use of marijuana, adding to a growing chorus of Latin American politicians who are rejecting the prohibitionist policies of the United States.

The bill is unlikely to win much support in Congress since a strong majority of Mexicans are firmly against legalizing drugs, but may spur a broader debate in Mexico after two U.S. states voted to allow recreational use of marijuana last week. U.S. officials have said it remains illegal and that they are reviewing the state actions.

“The prohibitionist paradigm is a complete failure,” said Fernando Belaunzaran, the author of the bill from the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), who presented the proposal in Mexico’s lower house of Congress.

via Mexico lawmaker introduces bill to legalize marijuana | Reuters.

 November 16, 2012  Posted by at 8:18 am Comments Off
Nov 082012

(PhysOrg) A study conducted by scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (UK), in collaboration with scientists in Ethiopia, reports that climate change alone could lead to the extinction of wild Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) well before the end of this century. Wild Arabica is considered important for the sustainability of the coffee industry due to its considerable genetic diversity.

The Arabicas grown in the world’s coffee plantations are from very limited genetic stock and are unlikely to have the flexibility required to cope with climate change and other threats, such as pests and diseases. In Ethiopia, the largest producer of coffee in Africa, climate change will also have a negative influence on coffee production.

The climate sensitivity of Arabica is confirmed, supporting the widely reported assumption that climate change will have a damaging impact on commercial coffee production worldwide.

via Arabica coffee could be extinct in the wild within 70 years, study suggests.

 November 8, 2012  Posted by at 5:14 am Comments Off
Nov 042012

By Booth Gunter (Salon) Hunted Down Like Dogs. Joseph Farah, who leads the far-right, conspiracy-mongering website WorldNetDaily, is under no delusions about his fate. “If [Obama is] re-elected, it’s gonna be war,” said Farah, who swears he saw a drone surveilling his Northern Virginia property. “We will be hunted down like dogs.”

via Six most paranoid fears for Obama’s second term –

Apr 272008

Photograph by Anita Brown, 2008

One of my favorite discussion lists is book_arts-l, which serves the worldwide community of book artists, bookbinders, conservators, curators and other book people. Most of the threads are usually about technical matters, such as how long you can keep wheat paste, how to remove odors from old or damp books, and so on, but from time to time the nature of the book itself as an object rather than a reading experience comes under very thoughtful consideration.

For the past few days, the main topic has been the relevance of the book in the Internet age. You can see the full thread in the April archive .

The principal problem with digital books is technological obsolescence. I wrote a little about this in my book, “Mortality and Mercy on the Internet’s Pynchon-L@Waste.Org Discussion List,” published by Intangible Assets Manufacturing in 1997. Electronic media depend on reading devices that have changed with bewildering speed. Try accessing a wire recording, or even a document saved on a 5.25″ floppy. I have a complete book that I translated in 1989 on a 5.25″ floppy. I will need to pay to have it restored if I should need it again. The disk itself may not even be good any more.
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 April 27, 2008  Posted by at 9:12 am Comments Off