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Monday Morning Fish Fry*

Right now I’m working on:

1. Redesign of my blog. Rick, who doesn’t think much of templates, is writing code to achieve our new look. For one thing, I’ll be able to go wide screen with good photos (a la https://cabinporn.com/) and have more control over layout than I do now in Blogger.

2. My book on the ’60s will be on the new blog in its own category (a blog within a blog). Here, I don’t feel the need to adhere to the linear necessity of a print book. I can post things out of sequence, and people can chime in.

3. We’re going to the Rebuild Green Expo in Santa Rosa on Friday, February 23rd. We’ll have a table and be passing out my “Open letter to Californians Building New Homes After Recent Fires, and selling copies of Shelter II (which contains a manual on stud-frame building) at a 50% discount. The idea is that we can do things better this time around. It’s at Santa Rosa Veterans’ Hall, 1351 Maple Avenue, Santa Rosa. Come see us if you’re in Sonoma County. I’ll be there along with Evan and Em-J.

4. We continue making videos — a couple a month. We’re working on one on me skateboarding last week, and going to do one on office workout equipment.

5. We just completed my latest book, Driftwood Shacks: Anonymous Architecture Along the Northern California Coast (82 pages, 8″ by 8″). It’s the first in a series of short-run digitally-printed small books. This is a way for me to publish some not-ready-for-prime-time books, ones that we may just sell via mail order.

We’re using Ingram’s Lightning Source, and for a variety of reasons, I’d recommend them over Amazon’s CreateSpace.

I’ll post details on the new book within a week.

The next book in this series will be Pop’s Diner — America Is Still Out There, Folks, a 48 page hand-lettered scrapbook with color photos that I put together after a 2-week trip to the southwest, April 1-15, 1989. Hot springs, barns, canyon backpacking, 4-wheel drive, Log cabins, Valley of the Gods…

6. I continue roaming beaches. Yesterday it was spooky warm for this time of year.

7. I gave up on making chairs with a tenon cutter. I’m now going to try making chairs out of driftwood, using grabbers for connections.

*San Francisco columnist Herb Caen used to have the occasional “Friday Fish Fry” column, using 3-dot journalism to write a bunch of unrelated short bits.

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Kevin Kelly in Mongolia

“…The wildness is a deception. Scattered in nearly every vista of Mongolia are the round white tents of nomads. We know these tent houses as yurts; they call them ger (pronounced gair). They are the primary home to about 1 million nomads. Today’s nomads retain a lifestyle relatively unchanged from that of their forebears in important ways. Living as I do—in a world teeming with smartphones and Wi-Fi, smart TVs and self-driving cars—it is a remarkable thing to travel among them.

The nomads are herders and typically own about 1,000 animals—mostly sheep and goats, but cows, horses, dogs, camels, and yaks as well. You could think of them as ranchers who move their ranch seasonally. They set up their ger in spring for maximum summer pastures, then they move it again for winter feeding. This movement is not north to south as might be expected, but from lowlands to highlands, or even from open valley in summer to hidden hilly nook in winter to escape the wind, which is more punishing than the cold.…”

-Kevin Kelly

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California moving to seize public beach closed off by tech billionaire

In this Feb. 10, 2014, file photo, Julie Graves, left, of Albany, Calif., and Chris Adams, second from left, of Berkeley, Calif., hold up signs in support of a beach access bill that Democratic state Sen. Jerry Hill introduced near Martin’s Beach in Half Moon Bay, Calif. California’s Coastal Commission is asking the public to document its use of Martin’s Beach after billionaire landowner Vinod Khosla closed the only access road to it. Eric Risberg AP file

Current news on the beach:
Sorry for the screwed-up formatting here. This is what happens when you can’t write code.
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Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky in morning, sailor's warning…

I finally looked it up.

Usually, weather moves from west to east. In the mid-latitudes, the prevailing winds are westerlies. This means storm systems generally move in from the West.…


Red sky at night, sailors delight When we see a red sky at night, this means that the setting sun is sending its light through a high concentration of dust particles. This usually indicates high pressure and stable air coming in from the west. Basically good weather will follow.

Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning A red sunrise can mean that a high pressure system (good weather) has already passed, thus indicating that a storm system (low pressure) may be moving to the east. A morning sky that is a deep, fiery red can indicate that there is high water content in the atmosphere. So, rain could be on its way.…

In the Bible, (Matthew XVI: 2-3,) Jesus said, ‘When in evening, ye say, it will be fair weather: For the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be foul weather today; for the sky is red and lowering.’”

https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/weather-sailor.html

Another source: https://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2009/09/14/q-a-sailors-delight-fact-or-fi/

Photo from: https://simple-pleasures.org/2013/09/05/red-sky-orange-sky/

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Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops

In October 30, 2016 issue of The New York Times

“LONDON — The controversy over genetically modified crops has long focused on largely unsubstantiated fears that they are unsafe to eat.

But an extensive examination by The New York Times indicates that the debate has missed a more basic problem — genetic modification in the United States and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides.

The promise of genetic modification was twofold: By making crops immune to the effects of weedkillers and inherently resistant to many pests, they would grow so robustly that they would become indispensable to feeding the world’s growing population, while also requiring fewer applications of sprayed pesticides.

Twenty years ago, Europe largely rejected genetic modification at the same time the United States and Canada were embracing it. Comparing results on the two continents, using independent data as well as academic and industry research, shows how the technology has fallen short of the promise.

Broken Promises of Genetically Modified Crops

About 20 years ago, the United States and Canada began introducing genetic modifications in agriculture. Europe did not embrace the technology, yet it achieved increases in yield and decreases in pesticide use on a par with, or even better than, the United States, where genetically modified crops are widely grown.

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