nutrition – is corn killing me?

I’m no wimp when it comes to nutrition.

But with my processed food diet, sounds like I won’t live long enough to read a 400 page book about food: The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan.

But the Slate.com book review club delivered a terrific audiocast. Stephen Metcalf is a particularly eloquent and articulate reviewer. Listen to that podcast.

For reasons historic and political, corn is used to feed American cattle. Unfortunately a corn diet can kill a cow. Thankfully we have drugs to keep the poor beasts alive until slaughter date. (About 18-months-old, I believe.)

Consider a McDonald’s lunch. Corn feeds the cow that turns into the burgers. Corn is the oil that cooks the fries. And corn syrup sweetens the shakes and the soft drinks. Corn even makes up 13 of the 38 ingredients in Chicken McNuggets.

If you wisely avoid Rotten Ronnie’s, know that a quarter of the products in your grocery store contain corn.

Avoiding corn is as easy as avoiding things made in China.

This cannot last much longer. So much petroleum is needed to keep the corn economy running that the corn economy is not sustainable long-term. Something must change.

New Zealand was held up as a non-corn-based model. They dropped all agricultural subsidies long ago.

Omnivore\'s Dilemma

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book – Our Grandmothers’ Drums

GrandmothersDrum.jpgJust finished A Portrait of Rural African Life & Culture by Mark Hudson.

It’s an astonishing insight into the lives of rural Islamic Gambian women in the 1980s.

What slice of the world do I know less about?

The female circumcision rites were less grizzly than I expected. The male circumcision rites (obviously far less traumatic) were more grizzly. Children get butchered at about age 10.

The eloquent and honest book won both Somerset Maugham and Thomas Cook book awards.

I would recommend it certainly if you planned to travel to West Africa.

I listen to Rush Limbaugh

Only in the States (feeling the “vibe“) and only in rent-a-cars. And only on white trash AM radio.

But I have to admit โ€” the big, fat idiot makes the miles fly by.

Rush Limbaugh – Wikipedia

He is a master Republican defender. And gutsy. I even heard him spin the absolutely indefensible Mark Foley and make it sound like Bill Clinton’s fault.

Limbaugh’s an intelligent guy, obviously. I can’t imagine he believes everything he spouts. Perhaps he does. There is a consistency to his line of argument.

Those who listen only to Limbaugh, watch only Fox News, should check out the anti-Limbaugh โ€” Al Franken.

Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot

book – advice on escaping

Everyone is raving about Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel.

More a philosophy book than than travel guide, Rolf Potts urges that “anyone with an adventurous spirit can achieve the feat of taking extended time off from work to experience the world.”

An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel

(via World Hum)

Dave Barry is funny

Just finished Dave Barry’s Greatest Hits โ€” absolutely hilarious. His grocery list could crack me up.

In December 2005, Barry said “he will not be resuming his weekly column, though he would continue some features such as his yearly gift guide, year in review, his weblog, as well as an occasional article or column.”

Dave Barry\'s Greatest Hits

publishing your book

Of the vanity publishing options, seems Blurb is the best.

Blurb BookSmart is the only start-to-finish publishing service simple and smart enough to make anyone an author. (This means you.) Better yet, the software is free. So download and play all you like โ€“ you pay only when you publish your bookstore-quality book. How sweet is that?

Blurb | Frequently Asked Questions

If you are actually able to write a book, you can print just one copy if you wish. Cost ranges anywhere from $30-$80 / book. Less if you print more copies.

blurb-sample.jpg

Arthur Black – comedian

My Mom treated me to an entertainment by Arthur Black.

He spoke just down the street at the Parksville City Hall. Black was on tour flogging his 11th book, Pitch Black.
Pitch Black

After the late, great, beloved Peter Gzowski, no other personality was more the voice of Canadian radio to me than Arthur Black. He retired to Salt Spring Island, BC 11-years-ago โ€” but he is still in fine form, as sharp and witty as ever.

I had forgotten that Black first introduced the comedian who played Father Guido Sarducci who went on to Saturday Night Live fame. The Stephen Colbert of the 1970s, Sarducci posed as gossip columnist and rock critic for a Vatican newspaper.

ยป next travelogue post on this trip – flee to Coombs, BC