Books

A kind poster said I directed him/her to "Omnivore's Dilemma" and "Teaming with Microbes" and is enjoying the former and preparing to read the later. "Teaming with Microbes" is important in understanding humanity's impact on soil whether you garden or not. "Omnivore", though, takes you places where you've never been and explains thing that you never thought of and in doing so gives an incredibly enabling overview of human nutrition, or the lack of it, additionally, it is also a real page turner. I feel fortunate to have read it.
There are two other books that I would like to recommend that also deal with the biosphere, both are crammed with information that seems to flow effortlessly from the books, and they are both by Jared Diamond. The first is "Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies" which, in part, traces the development of our food supply. You will see the world with new eyes. (Amazon.com product link shortened)
The other book is "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed", which exhibits societies from the Bitterroot Valley of Montana, to the Viking outposts of Greenland, to the ancient land of Australia that show good stewardship of the land and those that didn't. A wonderful read. (Amazon.com product link shortened) 2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid08368189&sr=1-1
Both these books are real page turners and you will feel much wiser for having read them.
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Billy

The Murder of Rachel Corrie
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wrote:
[...]

You really bought into that propaganda from the Palestinian playbook? How sad. Truly, a lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get out of bed. Done any real research?
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Don't the pictures tell it all? At least a half dozen international monitors have be shot in broad day light by the IDF. Robert Fisk dissembles too? And Noam Schomsky? And Bishop Tutu? And the general assembly of the United Nations. See the DVD documentary "Death in Gaza". If you saw the news in almost any other country, you would know what is going on there. You seem to think you know something. Tell me.
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Billy

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wrote:

Mearsheimer and Walt are two academics with a bat in their belfry re: Israel. They are laughed out of any SERIOUS discussion of Israel-Arab relations. OTOH, their work is widely exploited in anti-Israel circles.
Some anti-Mearsheimer/Walt sites:
http://www.adl.org/Israel/mearsheimer_walt.asp
http://www.jcpa.org/brief/brief005-20.htm
http://normblog.typepad.com/normblog/2006/03/a_reply_to_mear.html
etc.
Bottom line: Everybody else can have a lobby, but not Israel. The usual double standard.
Diogenes
Diogenes
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In article

"Omnivore's Dilemma" has me searching for more information in other areas. Chapter one was a quick overview on the chemistry of plants. The author states that there are five C-4 edible plants, "corn" is one, later on in the book "cane sugar" is another. What are the others?
I have been looking for a book that describes what these acronym's mean: C-3, C-4, F-1, F-2, H-1... I have seen these acronym's often on seed packets and I am curious of the meaning of what these terms are. Know of any books?
"Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed". Sounds cool also. I am an avid reader of science fiction. Why I like science fiction is they often describe "what if societies" and from these books from: Robert A. Heinlen, Neal Stephenson and Vernor Vinge. From these books I have a good idea how societies might succeed or fail, even from an agricultural point of view.
From this book, "Please Understand Me II by David Keirsey" second edition. Tells me <indirectly> why societies will Fail or Succeed. From this book I found in short order who I will probably get along with and who I will not. Why some people will listen to reason and those who will not. Why many people will bend to fear and those who will not. Most people will not listen to reason no matter what proof one has. Why some care about others and why others will take advantage of others. The author states our brains are hard wired from birth into sixteen personalities. I am an "ENTJ", a messed up "ENTJ" but still an "ENTJ". Everyone on this plant has been type casted, you can believe it or not. This is also a top ten favorite book of mine.
After reading "Omnivore's Dilemma", I can comfortably state that "I am maize" :) and uncomfortably state that "I was unknowingly a product of Cargill" :(
A kind poster .... sometimes :) Enjoy Life ... Dan
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Google C3 plants, C4 plants, F1 plants, F2 plants, and C4 plants, one at a time. C3 and C4 refer to the sugars that the plant uses to make cellulose, the structural material of the plant. F1 is first generation in genetics. You will also buy F1 hybrid seed which are very gregarious plants. F2 hybrids tend to be something of a mess however and may have no resemblance to their parents, other wise F2 age just the second generation of a genetic breeding program. H1, you got me but Google will tell you all about plant histone H1.

Don't forget the other bastard, Archer Daniel Midlands (ADM).

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Billy

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C3, C4 relate to different ways that the plant does photosynthesis. C4 have some advantages in that they can keep doing photosynthesis better in hot conditions. Unless you have some background in chemistry the explanation of how and why is going to be very heavy going.
F1, F2 relate to the breeding of organisms. The "F" stands for fillial, ie child. So F1 is the first child generation , F2 the second etc. The reason that seed packets refer to F1 is that if bred in a particular way it may have the advantage of hybrid vigour. Remember that generally genes come in pairs and every child gets one of each pair from each parent.
The way the hybrid breeding works is that you keep two strains of breeding stock pure, that is for the gene that you are interested in each stock has a matched pair of genes. So for example if a certain gene (call it the Aye gene) has forms A and a, then stock one would all be AA and stock 2 would all be aa. When you cross the two stocks the first (and only the first) generation are all Aa because they must get an A from one parent and an a from the other. If the Aa combination is advantageous compared with either AA or aa then you have an F1 that is uniformly Aa and has a hybrid advantage.
Plant merchants love this setup because the only way to get Aa in all the progeny of a generation is as described above, so you have to either run your own breeding program or buy new seed every year. The reason is that if you breed the F1 together to get F2 it will be a mix of AA, Aa and aa, so if what you want is Aa then on average only half the F2 will have it. The F3 and so on will all be various mixtures. In summary hybrids cannot be true breeding.
This is just an example relating to one gene (Aye), obviously there are many in each species.
Contrast this with heritage, open pollinated varieties. These are all AA (or aa). Now they may not have the same hybrid vigour but this may not matter, in many cases it doesn't. What they do have is true breeding. So if the parents are AA the F1 will be AA (because they must get and A from each parent) and so will F2 etc. So you can save your seed and be confident that as a population the next generation will be the same as the last for the Aye gene. No breeding program required, no need to buy new seed every year.
Just an example of how the Gods mock us, the major food crop that has the C4 advantage (corn) also is a poor performer as a true breeder, that is it takes great benefit from the F1 hybrid strategy.

"Collapse" is a very good series of case studies combined with explanation of the principles being illustrated. Evan if you don't accept all of his explanations the case studies are very informative. He shows that there are many factors that are needed together to produce a robust healthy society and failures all lack one or more.
Given the rate of failure of the past this can be rather depressing looking at the future. I find the only way to avoid such depression is firstly, to be optimistic that by understanding these modes of failure we can avoid them, and secondly, to try to live accordingly. And before I am accused of being too bloody holy - remember I said try.
David
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On Thu, 17 Apr 2008 14:01:56 +1000, "David Hare-Scott"
Thanks David for that insight. Great post, very informative.
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I agree ... Now where did I put that chemistry book.
Enjoy Life ... Dan
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These are known as the Myers Briggs personality types and you can do online tests for them these days.
What fun.
I just did a couple and, much to my surprise given that my responses were very quick and dirty, they both said I was an ENTP. This is exactly the personality type I was told all those years ago when I did a lot of Management training. And it was one of the very few items of management training that I thought was useful. I realised after I had done it why I had always made sure I recruited someone who was a strong SJ for my area. they liked doing the things I hated like the detailed garbage work and they could always be relied upon to make sure I always kept an eye on deadlines for my area. http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp
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I have a feeling most people on this news group are NT's. Into science and how nature works. Other types tend to shy away from computers. Yes, Myers Briggs was the original creator of the modern personality types. David Keirsey like most scientist stood on her shoulders and made it better.
In the past when looking for a good job, some places gave out personality test. It was obvious most employers look for SJ's. NT's minds tend to float from subject to subject, hard to focus. However, SJ's and NT's tend not to get along. I like my current job, I am by myself and as long as the work gets done, no complaints. I think you are lucky to be the recruiter, otherwise you would not be employed by your own standards.
If I was rich, I would become a hermit, tend my garden, run my experiments and read my books and let the world go by and rot. Other subjects I plan on reading are "Independence on five Acres" and "Quantum Mechanics".
Enjoy Life ... Dan
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Ok, I just took that on-line test I turned out to be "INTJ". It has been years since I took the test. Might be closer to the truth. Thing is I do like to talk to people (extrovert). However the more I talk to people in person the more I hate them. NT's and NF's I get along well with, they however are far and few between.
Enjoy Life ... Dan
I or E was close to 50/50.
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