Experts Baffled by Mysterious Underground Chambers

Where does legend end and reality begin?

There are more than 700 curious tunnel networks in Bavaria, but their purpose remains a mystery. Were they built as graves for the souls of the dead, as ritual spaces or as hideaways from marauding bandits? Archeologists are now exploring the subterranean vaults to unravel their secrets.

(link) [Der Spiegel International]

15:06 /Asatru | 0 comments | permanent link

Draft horses bring fiber optics to remote locations

Because some things are just done better the old fashioned way...

The problem is as old as rural electrification. Vermont’s difficult terrain and sparse population make it unprofitable to develop rural infrastructure — a situation that left the towns of Victory and Granby dark until 1963, when Central Vermont Public Service finally ran electricity to those towns.

(link) [Vt Digger]

14:55 /Agriculture | 0 comments | permanent link

Black Friday Violence Reported at Stores Across the Country

Black Friday, indeed.

Despite a lagging economy and high unemployment rates, shoppers made a mad dash to stores this Black Friday even inciting moments of violence among bargain hunters this holiday season.

(link) [Fox News]

11:01 /Home | 0 comments | permanent link

Agricultural Marketing Fees: Not Just for Christmas Trees

There has been much brouhaha in the media over the so-called "Christmas tree tax". I'm glad to see it recognized as a tax, because that's exactly it is, even though it's technically a fee collected by USDA that goes to the Christmas tree growers trade association.

But where's the outrage over all of the other "agricultural marketing fees"? I've had to pay $1 per head when I sold my pasture raised beef cattle to support a beef industry association that is doing it's level best to convince the public there's no difference between pasture raised and feedlot beef! In short, I'm forced to fund advertising for my competitors! Mercifully, I'm exempt on the egg checkoff because I don't have enough hens, and I always make sure I sell lambs in lots of four or less to exempt myself there. But I'd be taxed on those, too, again to essentially support advertising my my larger competitors.

Follow the link for a more or less complete listing of current checkoff programs (and their fees). If we really want a free market, we need to end all of these.

The fees, which were supported by an industry group called the Christmas Tree Check-off Task Force, were earmarked for industry marketing efforts. USDA’s role was to make sure that all growers helped pay for those efforts, whether they supported them or not. Those growers, at least for now, have been given a reprieve. But the ill-starred Christmas tree tax was far from the only such mandatory marketing levy on agricultural products from popcorn and blueberries to mangos.

(link) [Heritage Foundation]

10:26 /Agriculture | 0 comments | permanent link


An appreciation of the greatest video game ever.

In 1992, game developer id Software needed something special to follow up the hit that was Wolfenstein 3D. What could be a better denouement to my battle with Hitler than an alien world full of demons and zombies where I get to don my space marine outfit?

(link) [The Register - Hardware]

09:47 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

A nation of suckers


If any reporter were caught doing the things alleged against some members of Congress, they’d be out. Canned. That afternoon. And they’d be barred from the industry for life. They’d be serving soy lattes for the rest of their days.

(link) [Marketwatch]

19:20 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

Favorable market for lamb has farmers flocking to sheep

There certainly seems to be a buzz building around sheep here. One of these days I'll get around to detailing some of what we've been working on for the past few years in our flocks.

At the Johnson County farm where he began raising sheep as a 4-Her in 1945, Stan Poe is participating in a revival of the lamb.

(link) [Indianapolis Star]

23:58 /Agriculture | 0 comments | permanent link

Wisconsin Judge: No Right to Decide What to Eat Without Permission from State

There's a lot of folks getting awfully bent out of shape over this (and other rulings involving raw milk). And rightly so, I might add. But I have to wonder - where were these folks when the state declared that farmers may no longer grow hemp and consume it? Or poppies? Why are cows so special?

If you're going to oppose state intervention in food production, a little consistency might go a long way.

Demonstrating his ignorance of core values enshrined in common law and what Judge Cooley defined as the “right to be left alone” from overly pernicious government interference, a Circuit Court judge in Wisconsin has ruled that people who consume raw milk have no right to do so.

(link) [Fact Over Fiction]

20:55 /Agriculture | 0 comments | permanent link

Cutting back on salt: Does it help?

I've blogged a lot about this topic in the past, but given my recent cardiac experience it's taken on a whole new urgency of late. This aggregation seems to confirm what I'd come to conclude, but with a new twist: blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels rose on a restricted salt diet!

Maybe that'll get somebody's attention!

Anyone who’s tried to reduce the amount of sodium in their diet knows how hard it can be to lower levels down to the government’s recommended limit of 1,500 milligrams a day for whites 51 and older, all African Americans and others with certain chronic health conditions such as hypertension and chronic kidney disease.

(link) [Los Angles Times]

23:14 /Politics | 1 comment | permanent link

Hinduism spreads in Ghana, reaches Togo

Here's a lesson for us heathens:

"We have not achieved this through the winning of souls as other religions do, but have attracted people into the practice of Hinduism simply by the lives we lead," he [Kwesi Anamoah, national president of the African Hindu Temple] said, adding: "Our lives shine in the community to attract people."

From just two dozen people in the mid 1970s to 3,000 families now, Hinduism is spreading in Ghana and has also made its way into neighbouring Togo.

(link) [Times of India]

23:04 /Asatru | 0 comments | permanent link