Apr 22, 2009

Because Nature Is Always Smarter

Weeds, Senecio Vulgaris (Groundsel), Close-up of Yellow Flower

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Add this to the litany of horrors unleashed by Frankenfood giant Monsanto. Genetically modified crops are now besieged by superweeds.

The gospel of high-tech genetically modified (GM) crops is not sounding quite so sweet in the land of the converted. A new pest, the evil pigweed, is hitting headlines and chomping its way across Sun Belt states, threatening to transform cotton and soybean plots into weed battlefields.

In late 2004, “superweeds” that resisted Monsanto’s iconic “Roundup” herbicide, popped up in GM crops in the county of Macon, Georgia. Monsanto, the US multinational biotech corporation, is the world’s leading producer of Roundup, as well as genetically engineered seeds. Company figures show that nine out of 10 US farmers produce Roundup Ready seeds for their soybean crops.

Superweeds have since alarmingly appeared in other parts of Georgia, as well as South Carolina, North Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri, according to media reports. Roundup contains the active ingredient glyphosate, which is the most used herbicide in the USA.

Yes, just as antibiotics have led to the creation of superbugs, Roundup infused crops are now overrun by herbicide resistant weeds.

In the U.S. alone, glyphosate use jumped by a factor of 15 between 1994 and 2005, CFS claims. And this herbicide gusher has given rise to a host of "superweeds" -- weeds that tolerate heavy doses glyphosate. How do farmers deal with superweeds? By jacking up the dose of glyphosate.

The trend of increased rate of glyphosate use is clear. For soybeans, per-acre applications of Monsanto's herbicide jumped by a factor of 2.5 between 1994 and 2006. Corn farmers didn't really embrace GMOs until 2002; accordingly, between 2002 and 2005, glyphosate use on corn "jumped from 0.71 to 0.96 lbs./acre/year, a hefty 35% increase in just three years."

Farmers of Roundup Ready crops appear to have entered a pesticide treadmill. They have to raise application rates to keep up with resistance; and every time they do, they create hardier and hardier weeds. Monsanto, which expects to rake in $1.4 billion in profit from Roundup sales alone this year, is evidently laughing its way to the bank.

More fun still: They're also producing pesticide resistant bugs. So, we've got that goin' for us. But, Michelle Obama should definitely use pesticides in her organic garden, because not using them makes the nice people at MACA "shudder." Yeah. Nature's scary.

"Cursed (although I curse myself) be the hands that formed you! You have made me wretched beyond expression."

~ from "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley

Apr 21, 2009

William Henry on Stargates

This video series was recently posted to YouTube. It's from his Conscious Media Network interview. The original can be found here. There appears to be a variety of problems with YouTube players, right now. This video series can also be found in my playlist, so one way or another, it should be viewable.

Apr 8, 2009

John Anthony West Explains Egypt

Temple of Luxor, Luxor, Egypt

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I first learned of John Anthony West when I read Graham Hancock's Fingerprints of the Gods, many years ago. West's theories on the real age of the Sphinx figure heavily into Hancock's ideas about an antediluvian civilization from which Egypt and Latin America may have inherited much. West originally put forward his ideas about Egypt in Serpent in the Sky; a book designed to introduce the much earlier work of R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz. It is a conception of ancient Egypt very different from the that of most Egyptologists. West has devoted years to exploring a symbolic system he thinks is far deeper and richer than is understood by prevailing interpretations.

West's symbolist interpretation of Egypt is graphically depicted in the television series Magical Egypt. Some industrious soul has uploaded the entire series to YouTube and I've been very much enjoying it. I've broken it down into episode by episode playlists, which are posted on my channel. I cannot recommend these enough, so I'm posting them all.

I should say that West's overall interpretation accords with my own experiential sense of the Egyptian mysteries and the past life memories that I can never seem to escape. One of the most intriguing aspects of the shows is in the introduction. Woven into the opening theme music is something that sounds like a strange, unintelligible whisper. It's a little like the din of conversation one might here at a party, except that it's somehow distorted and diffused; a conversation that you can hear, but can't, even though it's going on right over your head. This is the sound of what I call the "whispering room" of the Egyptian exhibit at the Met. In this room, where a number of the mummies are displayed, this strange, barely audible whisper is ever present. I always find it hard to leave that room to look at the rest of the exhibit. I find it, somehow, comforting. I'm not the only person to have heard it there, and I suspect West has heard it as well; probably in Egypt, itself.

Posted below are all the episodes. DVDs of the entire series are also available for purchase in the bookstore.