October 28th, 2005

Organics and Organizations

Thursday October 27, 2005. This year, the Wedge (my organically correct food coop) had its Annual Meeting combined with the Linden Hills coop's meeting. It was held at First Universalist Church, within easy walking distance of where I live.

In past years, the Wedge provided too much food for the Annual Meeting. This year, with both more Wedge and more Linden Hills members showing up, there wasn't quite as much as there should have been. But it was still a good feed.

Eating and talking in the large room downstairs for about an hour. Then upstairs to where the services are held, for a talk by Lucia Watson of Lucia's Restaurant.

Then the business meetings. Wedge members stayed there, Linden Hills members went downstairs.

Election results: The board candidates I'd voted for had won. Financial reports. The new General Manager spoke, making a good balance between praising her predecessor and talking about changes she'd been making.

Dissatisfied members expressed dissatisfaction.

At certain times, I reminded myself that for writerly purposes I needed to observe how such meetings go. At other times, I read a book:

***Sean McMullen, Call to the Edge. 1992 short story collection, published in Australia. Each story followed by author's notes.

After a while, I realized the notes were written more interestingly than the stories. It's not unusual for writers to be less interesting in The Important Stuff; for example, it's why the Whole Earth Catalog sometimes rejected articles but accepted the cover letters.

And now I'll need to analyze what McMullen did in the stories that he didn't in those notes, and vice versa.
Writing: "Pygmalion's Daughter, Galatea's Son" (working title) -- initial notes set down. Girl builds boy, girl loses boy....

Self-help information:

Decluttering: Trash out.


Science News

From New Scientist; unfortunately, subscription required to view these:
Box of tricks takes surgery into the sticks *
A solar-powered "hospital in a box" fits into a Land Rover and can be taken hundreds of miles into remote locations, almost anywhere in the world http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg18825236.500

Conference report: Vertebrate Palaeontology *
New Scientist reports on slow-breathing sauropods, the giant sloth's demise, and how T. rex had a nose to die for
From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php:
Public Release: 28-Oct-2005
A genome wide search for genes underlying anxiety disorders turned up unexpected candidates
Increasing the activity of two enzymes better known for their role in oxidative stress metabolism turns normally relaxed mice into "Nervous Nellies," according to research conducted at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and reported in the early online edition of Nature.

Public Release: 28-Oct-2005
Hunger in America rises by 43 percent over last five years
Hunger in American households has jumped 43 percent over the last five years, according to an analysis of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data released today. The analysis, completed by the Center on Hunger and Poverty at Brandeis University, shows that more than 7 million people have joined the ranks of the hungry since 1999.

Public Release: 28-Oct-2005
Climatic Change
Study: Arctic undergoing holistic climate-change response
From glaciers to caribou, rivers to roads, Arctic climate change is having a broad effect on almost every aspect of life in the North. That's the conclusion University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers and others outline in a paper to be published in the October 2005 issue of the journal "Climatic Change."
National Science Foundation

Public Release: 28-Oct-2005
Picky female frogs drive evolution of new species in less than 8,000 years
Females typically have the upper hand in choosing mates, and this choice can rapidly give rise to new species, according to a study by UC Berkeley's Craig Moritz and Univ. of Queensland's Conrad Hoskin. They found a frog species in Australia that originated less than 8,000 years ago. Female choice amplified a difference that had evolved when the species was split in two a million years ago, creating reproductive isolation from both populations.
National Science Foundation, Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Management of Australia