July 05, 2011

Don't bee a stranger

When I was a small child, our family lived next to the kind of people who probably don't exist anymore. They were an elderly couple, the Richmonds, and they were what I can only describe as bedrock Appalachians, real mountain people. They knew all the old ways and skills of survival.

The man, Hinton, knew where to find fish in the river. He hunted for ginseng in the hills. And he claimed--and I believed--that he could follow honeybees to their hives. Hinton attempted to educate me about the benefits of honeybees. I was a hard sell since these creatures seemed to have been designed specifically to sting my feet when I played barefoot outside.

It took me a while to get the memo, but eventually I became a bee fan. I was sad to learn of the recent unprecedented decline in the bee population due to a mysterious syndrome known as colony collapse disorder. This was bad news not just for bee-keepers but for the many plants and crops that the bees pollinate.

Eventually, this hit home. For the past two summers, I don't recall seeing a single honey bee at Goat Rope Farm. I am pleased to announce that they are back and were as welcome to me as the return of a long lost friend. I hope they stick around.

TALKING SENSE. Here is Paul Krugman doing battle with bad economic ideas.

FAUX NEWS. Here's a look at 14 propaganda techniques used by a certain "fair and balanced" news network.

FROM EVIL TO HEROISM. Philip Zimbardo, the Stanford psychologist of prison experiment fame, is trying to see whether heroism can be taught. (Search Goat Rope archives in upper left hand corner for several posts on Zimbardo's work.)

A SENSE OF FAIRNESS AND JUSTICE may be innate in humans. Too bad some people apparently didn't get the memo.


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