Monday, March 16, 2009

Alice's Restaurant

If you're a Baby Boomer like me, you probably remember Arlo Guthrie's 1967 song Alice's Restaurant. The Alice in the song was Alice Brock, a restaurant owner in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. If you're not a Boomer, and you want to learn a little about a fun, satirical piece of American music history, click here to see what Wikipedia has to say about Alice, Arlo Guthrie and the song.

But, Alice Brock is not the Alice I want to introduce you to today. As my regular readers know, I'm a big fan of 60 Minutes. Last night they ran a story on Alice Waters, and her World-famous, French bistro, Chez Panisse, which she started in 1971 in Berkeley, California.

In stark contrast to my February 17th post about the Heart Attack Grill in Chandler, Arizona, which proudly serves artery-clogging burgers that "are worth dying for," Alice only sells locally-grown, organic food that is healthy for us. There's a great story on the CBS News website you can read by clicking here, or you can view the piece with corespondent Lesley Stahl here:

It is very refreshing to see such a positive story about how one woman is making a huge difference in her community and especially in a Berkeley middle school.

What could we do about the obesity problem we have if every middle school in the country were to offer the opportunity to learn about growing organic food, eating healthy and the effects it can have on their students' health?

To look on the other side of the coin, there are many areas of the country that can't grow their own food year-round. Nor, do they have the time to do so, or cook "slow food" as the piece calls it. It is a dilemma with no easy solutions.

As always, I welcome your comments.



Monday, March 9, 2009

Obama Did It!

If you haven't already heard, President Obama overturned the ban on government-funding for embryonic stem cell research today by signing an executive order in the White House. I couldn't be more thrilled!

The thought of what lies ahead for this exciting science is truly mind boggling! You can read the entire article from by clicking here.

Here is a video of his statement just before he signed the order:

A direct quote from the article:

"In recent years, when it comes to stem cell research, rather than furthering discovery, our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values," Obama said at the White House.

"In this case, I believe the two are not inconsistent. As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research — and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly."

Also from the article:

Former first lady Nancy Reagan also issued a statement Monday thanking Obama for lifting the ban.

"These new rules will now make it possible for scientists to move forward," Reagan said. "Countless people, suffering from many different diseases, stand to benefit from the answers stem cell research can provide. We owe it to ourselves and to our children to do everything in our power to find cures for these diseases."

President Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease after leaving office — an affliction that many scientists say eventually may be cured with the help of embryonic stem cell research.

I'm guessing the spirits of both Christopher Reeve and Ronald Reagan are smiling today.

I could write a lot more about my feelings on this subject, and how it will potentially benefit not only me, and literally millions of people; but instead, I think I'll save it for a chapter in my book. After all, that is one of the reasons I'm doing this blog. Remember, I'm not done yet!

Have I said yet how thrilled I am about this?

I welcome your comments.



Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Nature Is Truly Amazing!

A few days ago, my aunt sent me these pictures and a story behind them. I decided to share them with you because I doubt many of us will ever see something like them again.

According to, the exact location of this siting is not clear. Wherever these were taken, they show us an amazing feat of Mother Nature.
Based on the tree line and the topography in these pictures, they were probably taken in Canada or Alaska. One site listed the date as 2006. As you can well imagine, an albino moose is VERY rare. That's right, I'm going to show you an albino moose!

But before I do, Dale Toweill, of the Idaho Fish and Game Commission, states, "Albino moose have been showing up near Soda Spring in Southeastern Idaho for several years." He is the trophy species manager for the fish and game commission. Normally, only 1 in 100,000 moose have the albino trait, which is recessive. But the gene appears to run in the herd in Southeastern Idaho, where Toweill theorizes the probability of an albino moose may be 1 in 10,000.
Again, according to, these moose are not actually albino, but rather white-colored. You can read the entire story and their explanation by clicking here.

I did a quick Google search on albino moose and came up with a good deal of information on both the albino moose and white-colored moose. I found it fascinating. One fact I especially liked was sightings of albino moose go back for centuries. Some Native American tribes regard these rare animals as spiritual and mystical or even a re-incarnation of a tribe member.

Look at these photos:

Now, if the odds of actually seeing an albino moose are extraordinary based on the probabilities I mentioned above, how astronomical are the odds of seeing two of them at the same time?

To quote the story that came with these pictures, "Once in a while there is an opportunity to take in a piece of nature you may never see. In these days of unrest and turmoil, it is great to see Mother Nature can still produce some wondrous beauty."

I couldn't agree more.

Any comments?



P.S. A regular reader saw this post the other day and sent me this note and incredible picture:

I just saw your post about the moose, those are great pictures. On a similar note, our friends who live across the river from Wabasha have seen many albino deer. It's not legal to shoot them in Wisconsin. A few years ago we had our motion camera at their place and got several pictures of this one.