|Maremma sheepdogs of Middle Island, Australia|
[Anonymous selections from recent correspondence]
“Australia Deploys Sheepdogs to Help a Penguin Colony Back From the Brink.” [Austin Ramzy, NY Times] Excerpt:
“Massacred,” read the banner headline in the local newspaper — just the single word, as if describing an act of war. Below it was a photo of dead penguins and other birds, the latest casualties in Australia’s long history of imported species’ decimating native wildlife.Only in Australia:
Foxes killed 180 penguins in that particular episode, in October 2004. But the toll on Middle Island, off Victoria State in southern Australia, kept rising. By 2005, the small island’s penguin population, which had once numbered 800, was below 10
Today, their numbers are back in the triple digits, and much of the credit has gone to a local chicken farmer known as Swampy Marsh and his strong-willed sheepdogs.... [read more]
|Oneida community |
[photo from Syracuse University Library]
“Because of its endearing sexual code,” it was “the merriest” of America’s 19th century utopian communities, wrote critic and memoirist Alfred Kazin.Always remember the “child” within you & laugh—often—with your whole body, being, & self! It releases endorphins & other beneficial hormones & substances to keep you in the peak of health.
The name Oneida is one you may recognize as a brand of forks and spoons — if you know the name at all.
But the original Oneida metalsmiths were a commune that preceded by more than a century the latter-day hippie free love groups.
And the real surprise, given its sexual code of “complex marriage”: Oneida community was Christian. They called themselves Christian Perfectionists, based on the idea that as Christians they had transcended sin. [read more]
|Merry Cemetery - Romania|
The door sign above is curiously pertinent to a 3-part series in the NY Times about the contracts by which you agree to settle disputes by private arbitration [think of those agreements you sign to apply for a credit card, use a cellphone, get cable or Internet service, or shop online]. The first part of the series is “Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck of Justice.” [Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Robert Gebeloff] Excerpt:
Some state judges have called the class-action bans a “get out of jail free” card, because it is nearly impossible for one individual to take on a corporation with vast resources.
Patricia Rowe of Greenville, S.C., learned this firsthand when she initiated a class action against AT&T. Ms. Rowe, who was challenging a $600 fee for canceling her phone service, was among more than 900 AT&T customers in three states who complained about excessive charges, state records show. When the case was thrown out last year, she was forced to give up and pay the $600. Fighting AT&T on her own in arbitration, she said, would have cost far more.
By banning class actions, companies have essentially disabled consumer challenges to practices like predatory lending, wage theft and discrimination, court records show. [read more]
Limerick of the week:
Writer and editor since mother’s teat,[...in case you haven’t seen what the sidebar says about the blog’s editor in chief – or didn’t realize it was a limerick.]
in old age manages a weblog beat,
in rhyming lines,
and chooses words to set in measured feet.
|Copyright © 2015 by Morris Dean|