Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Gleanings

An interesting article about the possible effects of 80% of job losses being for men. 
I feel fortunate to have passed into an ostensibly more mature stage in my life with marriage, and hopefully before long, kids. In fact, at 25, I feel very behind. Life is too short to squander on years of drunken nights that all blend into one. And fortunately, there are others who agree with me in asserting that exotic travel with small children is not such a bad idea after all (see the latest edition of the Atlantic).

On an entirely different matter, I read something interesting while teaching my 8th graders today (!). According to our MSA Finish Line books, "Many farmers [in Pennsylvania] practice traditional methods, using only the natural fertilizer from there cattle. Their picture-postcard farms are more productive than many larger agricultural operations that depend on chemical fertilizer. The trouble is that the manure runs off into the streams. They in turn flow into the Susquehanna River. And the Susquehanna provides half the fresh water for the Chesapeake Bay."
I guess I just thought the giant industrial chemical farms were the bad guys? 


1 comment:

  1. I did a load of research on this stuff last quarter for writing a research paper on pollution in the Shenandoah. The problem is the large amount of Nitrogen and Phosphorus contained in Animal waste. This is why duck feces is such a big deal (for instance the lake at French Creek). Several things can occur from this increase in Phosporus and Nitrogen. Firstly large levels can be straight up poisonous. Also, they facilitate massive amounts of plant growth which can choke up waterways. There is then an overload of bacteria growth in response to all the new rotting vegetation. This bacteria is not only bad for organisms in the water but can also use all of the oxygen in the water. I think this process is called eutrophication.

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