Problems in the US Food Supply

This is a first for me, folks. I have never posted anything like this where I ask readers to watch a video in order to learn something. I assume you are here to read, and maybe look at photos, but if you ever eat a bite of food in the United States, this concerns you.

Did you know that the US has the highest cancer rate in the world? Did you know that 9 out of 10 breast cancers are not caused by genes? Did you know that food allergies are rampant in the US, having doubled between 1997 and 2002? This little video very powerfully explains why we have these problems, along with others, in less than 20 minutes.

If you want more information, check out Food, Inc. Netflix has it in case you only want to rent it. One helpful and inspiring book and DVD set to help one get away from some of this is the Forks Over Knives book and DVD set. My doctor recommended the book when we were talking about nutrition recently. The DVD explains a lot about food and health; the book is mostly recipes. (We had the Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash last night and the Banana Ice Cream dessert and it was delicious!)

I think we can change the situation, and in the meantime, we can all eat more healthful foods. I’m even more inspired now. I hope you are, too.

I Wonder What Russell Hantz Thinks?

If you are a Survivor Fan, you know who Russell Hantz is – the fellow who could get two or three people under his control and use them to control the whole tribe. I wonder what he thinks about this upstart named Colton Cumbie? This is truly one of, if not the most, fascinating seasons ever!

I’ve been watching how each tribe talks about and treats the other tribe. There are several things to watch, but this is definitely the most interesting. At first, the men said the women were controlled by their emotions and not thinking logically. They said this because the women were a mess in challenges, and didn’t have any sense of cohesion going for them. It looked like a totally unorganized tribe of women was going to be decimated. That’s not fascinating.

However, there’s this guy, Colton, who is gay and said he didn’t fit with the men, so he kept trying to hang out with the women. (This is the first season that both tribes have been set up within view of each other.) He was telling the women that he didn’t fit with the men and he wanted to hang out with them and there was all this “I love you!” and “I love you, too!” talk. That was my first clue that he was going to be a problem if he turned on someone. Any time someone is so quick to “love you” my alarm bells – the ones that say “Manipulative, Vengeful Person Ahead”  – go off.

Well, the women told Colton he was going to have to go home and work things out with his own tribe, that he wasn’t part of their tribe, and it wasn’t right for him to be over there all the time. So, Colton stayed away from the women.

Then one of the women found a personal immunity idol, but it had a note with it stating that it had to be given to a member of the other tribe before the next tribal council. She gave it to Colton.

In the meantime, at the men’s tribe, there was a group of young fellows who thought of themselves as the ‘muscle guys’. They planned to get rid of what they thought of as the ‘misfits’ on their tribe and go to the end and win the million. There were two problems with this. These guys had more muscles than brains because they didn’t seem to realize they didn’t have good solid numbers to control anything. The second problem was Colton. He had an idol and he let the ‘misfits’ know and got them all around him. At that point he was controlling most of the tribe.

So, after saying the women were controlled by their emotions and thinking they were going to have an easy go of things, the women started winning, the men had to go to tribal council, and guess who was a goner? One of the ‘muscle men’. Guess who controlled that? One of the ‘misfits’. The one named Colton.

This is the part that made me wonder what Russell thinks. Last night, after being beaten three times in a row on challenges, the men won tribal immunity. The women were going to have to go to tribal council again. But then there’s Colton. He controlled who went to tribal council. What? How? Why?

He said he didn’t like – no…that’s not what he said. He said he “hates” this one man, Bill, and wanted him gone and he wanted him gone NOW. Everyone knew Colton had the numbers on his side, so everyone – with Leif thinking he had no chance (because he was caught in a betrayal and Colton chewed him out royally) and might as well vote with everyone else, and Bill thinking that Leif was going to be voted off – all agreed to go to tribal council. The women were shocked to see the men come over and hand them the immunity idol, but their shock was nothing compared to the look on Jeff Probst’s face when he saw a tribe of MEN walking into tribal council.

So, the men, who thought the women were controlled by their emotions, are now all being controlled by a man, who is playing according to his own emotions. He’s a man who said he didn’t fit in, and who also said he gets what he wants, that he is able to make people do what he wants them to do.

In my opinion, Russell Hantz knocked Johnny Fair Play off the throne as the most villanous player. I hope Russell didn’t get hurt when he was knocked off the throne by Colton last night. I’m not that far from Dayton, TX, and I think I heard him scream.

The Little Snakes Are Awake

Things are blooming early this year. I’d say spring has sprung. More than just the flora, the fauna are awake, too.

Last week, I was getting weeds out of the garden and I found a little brown snake. He’s the one we were told was a ‘Ground Rattler’ when we were kids. I think everyone told us that so we wouldn’t pick them up. Like this:

He’s really a Rough Earth Snake and he probably wouldn’t bite if he could. Which he can’t. See how tiny his mouth is? He couldn’t get a human finger to fit between those tiny jaws if he wanted to, and I don’t think he does.

This fellow also can’t bite, but I do think he wanted to. He was so mad at me for picking him up he pee’d on my thumbnail. See?

I guess I wrecked the beginning of his day. He’s a Texas Brown Snake and he was trying to scrunch himself up so I wouldn’t see him when I was sweeping the walkway. Here he is trying to scrunch himself up in my hand. Too late, Dude (or Dude-ess, as the case may be). I see you!

It was easy to get lots of photos of him even after I put him down, because he was still trying to hide. Not the smartest of creatures. Or else, so angry he couldn’t think straight. I’m not sure how snakes think, but he was mad. Kept sticking his tongue out at me. Really, he was smelling something – probably his pee on my thumbnail. I think he’s pretty. See the black mark under his eye? That’s how I know, along with the black marks on his lips, that he is a Texas Brown Snake and not a Marsh Brown Snake.

See the big scale right behind his eye? A Marsh Brown Snake would have a vertical black line on that scale and not a dark spot below the eye. Also, he would have no markings on the scales by his lips. (If you are finding it hard to see these marks, click on the photo and it will enlarge it. Then click the Back Arrow to get back here.) Oh, and I didn’t just have all this scale marking info in my head. It’s in my great Field Guide to Texas Snakes, published by Texas Monthly.

I’m glad to see some snakes this year. Last year’s drought was rough on everything that doesn’t have a faucet in their house with a ready supply of water. We all need to watch for the Big Bad Boy Snakes. I’m sure they’re out, too, now. Oh! I hope there are some Louisiana Milk Snakes around. I used to have several of them before I moved a brick pile. They are so pretty.

Well, y’all be careful, and enjoy nature.