Dust in the Desert

I listened to this piece on NPR this morning while driving in to work. It says we have a dust problem in arid areas of the western states because the biologically produced crusts on the soils there are being disturbed. Off-road vehicles and cattle-ranchers are blamed, “…dust storms are the result of tires and hooves.” …

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Matchmaker Lawsuit

Only in California could you pay a matchmaker $125,000 to introduce you to men to date and later sue and win $2.1 million when you don’t meet one you like. I hope Overlawyered sees this.

A Contract Written in Blood

That used to be a figure of speech, but the LA Times tells us of a real one that is the center of a lawsuit in Orange County. It’s an IOU for $170,000 written in blood on a cocktail napkin. The dead-tree edition has a picture of it – sorry they didn’t post it on …

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Reading Leigh Fermor

I’m glad Steve posted on Patrick Leigh Fermor who he and Robert D. Kaplan introduced me to recently. Kaplan tells of a memorable luncheon he had with Sir PLF at the conclusion of his excellent book Mediterranean Winter. After reading “A Time of Gifts” and “Between the Woods and the Water” he is rapidly becoming …

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Quote du jour

“I can’t die yet: I have too many people left to kill!” Yojimbo

“Particular Spaces”

Pluvialis has just posted a nothing less than brilliant piece that starts at the Oxford animal labs, roams through various “AR ” issue such as the invisibilty of slaughter and the “squeam” factor, and ends with a ringing phone. Her notion of the different spaces that our culture is beginning to make for animals and …

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Another Hero..

.. of mine, anyway, is my friend Bill Wise. He is a writer, sportsman, hunter, and shooter, and a former surfer. He has flown in gliders, dived, and saied with Hobie Alter. He has shot more than a few whitetails,and he has drunk beer and eaten green chile at the famous Owl Bar in San …

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Prairie Mary found this nice paragraph in Cook’s Illustrated: “Home is an overused term but still a powerful idea….The concept of home even applies to horses. In Argentina, gauchos refer to the region where a horse is born as the querencia. (Querer means “to love.”) In the days before fences, a horse would always try …

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The other New Yorker profile is on the man who, if my arm were twisted, I might claim as my favorite writer of the 20th century. Patrick Leigh Fermor’s life reads like slightly improbable fiction. In his teens he walked from Holland to Istanbul, eventually reulting in two of the best travel books ever written, …

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Heroes and Villains

I let my sub lapse for two weeks and the New Yorker publishes articles on two of the most fascinating characters of the 20th century– Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen and Patrick Leigh Fermor. I’ll take “M” first. As an excellent bio by Mark Cocker has it, he was a “soldier, scientist, and spy”. For some reason …

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