Saturday, November 15, 2008

Economy of Brazil

If you are interested in how the people of Brazil have been dealing with recent national economic problems you might do well to begin by learning a bit about Jose Sarney.

Changes in Nutritional Values

If I could learn to link posts within this blog you might know that I have been making some efforts to find out about changes in the nutritive values of our fruits and vegetables over recent decades. I am close to giving up those efforts.

I have found that recent nutritional values of many foods have been nicely and authoritatively laid out by Susan E. Gebhardt and Robin G. Thomas in Home and Garden Bulletin Number 72 of the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA. However, they make no comparisons, with past values.

I have also learned that David Haytowitz, a Vegetable Nutrition Data Specialist for USDA might know of such comparisons, But have not been able to contact him. Many of the people on government agencies are home on vacation.

Shirley Evans King, Ed. M., R. D. of the Food and Nutrition Information Center of the Information Research Branch of the National Agricultural Library,
301-504-5225 tells me that such information might be available from Truck Crops Experimental Station (part of the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond, MS).
P. O. Box 231
2024 Experimental Station Rd.
Crystal Springs, MS 39059
phone 601-892-373
fax 601-892-2056 may have pertinant information, but I have failed to follow up.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Family Pedigree One

My interest in my family background has grown a bit. I know a bit of it from having lived it. I learned a bit more by attending to stories told by parents and other relatives. Those stories were usually interesting, but not always reliable. Just a very few years ago I began to realize that my sister's interest in our family background was practical, active, and quite well developed. She had, through practice and study, gained a high level technical knowledge of genealogical research. She is the expert on our family pedigree.
A bit or her enthusiasm rubbed-off on me. Then she told me that my neice, Gloria, had had some DNA testing done. Sounded like something easy enough for me to do. I could sit back and let others do the work. I contacted Gloria about the testing. I was easily convinced that if I were tested, my results would complinment the results of her testing and visa versa.
I sent an inner cheek sample (just like on TV) to Genealogy by Genetics at and had myself tested for 67 markers.
No compliments yet, but I have begun to learn a bit about genealogy; genealogy by paper-trail research and genealogy by genetics. Learn the most by looking at the results of my sister's research. "Paper-trail" research does seem to be the most fruiful.
Still, when a paper trail is lost, genetics, it appears, has a chance of finding it again.
My sister now tell me that her other daughter, Debra, has developed her family tree so far as to have over 8000 individuals in it!

7950 or thos individuals must be from her husbans family. The development of my family tree seems to be barred my a number of 'bars sinistre' as well as by the results of political disturbances in Prussia and Ireland.


Have you read:
The Origins of the Cuban Revolution Revisited
by Samuel Farber?
Me neither.
I read that it goes into recently declassified U.S. and Soviet documents and Cuban biographical and narrative literature to reinterpret the island nation's radical shifts between 1959 and 1961.
What were you doing during those years? I ended up in Colombia after a slow trip through Central America. While I was in Honduras I was offered a 'beca' to study in Cuba. Went to Columbia instead.
The Origins of the Cuban Revolution Revisited was published fairly recently by The University of North Carolina Press.
Might prove enlightening.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I've just published a comment about me getting to the age whereat I repeat myself and find I am getting to the age whereat I don't remember which post I publish a comment to. Help.


Harriett got me to thinking of India, soo ....

Krishna was born in prison at Mathura and was smuggled out. As a teenager he returned to Mathura and killed Kamsa, the king; openinging the way for the old king, Ugrasena, to regain the thrown. Krishna and his Yadav clan became the de facto rulers.

Krishna was soon sent to Guru Sandipani's ashram to complete his education.

Kamsa's relatives and allies came to regain the thrown and Krishna returned to help his clan, but soon he and his clan had to retreat.

He retreated far and built a fabled city at Dwarka on the western coast of India. He built on the sunken ruins of of other important cities of even more ancient fable.

If we studied the texts of the Mahabhrata and of the Bhagwat Puran we might discover more or those fables.

Does my retelling seem true

Overheard at the Rodeo

A: "What kind of world is it when some of the best cowboys are indians?"

B: "One where some of the best indians are cowboys."

Turning Pages

I was just turning the pages of a handsome coffee table book on Jackson, Mississippi.
While I was doing so I got to thinking that it would be interesting to find a book that dealt with how the people of the “southern states” learned to be “southerners” from the time Lee and Grant quit fighting until we decided to kill Europeans in WWI. Can anyone recommend to me a social history of The South during that period?

Then I got to thinking that I’d like to find a similar history of the perceptions of the French people and the American people of their interactions from the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the Louisiana Purchase. It might be called “What Have They Ever Done for Us?” or “Thank Them for What?”

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

From Art

"Hi Richard,I'm sending you this email so your new address gets into my address book. How are you? Where are you? Art-- Aging is really, really bad for you. It shortens your life. So please look at my website today for a promising solution to end aging, (Note: I make frequent additions to this website so come back often).(And to "see" me, "roll-over" my name on top)"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Studs Terkle

He is dead. I miss him already.
He had brains and balls.
He was a gentle man.
He loved people and persons.
Considering his brains and balls, which do you think were Jewish and which do you think were Polish? Can any American not care?
Check with the Chicago Historical Society.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Federal Follow-Up

Thank you.


Thank you for contacting the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA requested that your query be addressed by the staff of the National Agricultural Library. Your question has been forwarded to a reference librarian and will be answered within five business days.

Research and Reader Services Team
National Agricultural Library
10301 Baltimore Ave.
Beltsville, MD 20705
...advancing access to global information for agriculture

From: Webmaster [mailto:Webmaster@ARS.USDA.GOV] Sent: Friday, November 07, 2008 4:32 PMTo: Agricultural ReferenceSubject: FW: Question from Ask the Expert-- Agricultural Research - 1225934058261

From: []Sent: Wed 11/5/2008 8:14 PMTo: WebmasterCc: Experts, -USDASubject: Question from Ask the Expert-- Agricultural Research - 1225934058261
This question was received by the Ask the Expert inbox on Wed, Nov 5, 2008. Please reply to the customer within five (5) business days, by Wed, Nov 12, 2008.If this email has been routed improperly, please return this email to the USDA Webmaster with the phrase Improper Routing added to the beginning of the subject line. Thank you.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Where can I find information on changes in the nutritional value of truck crops in recent decades?Who handles such data?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Mago Bill

I have mentioned one of my great grandfathers, M. William Sheehan in two previous posts.
My sister Gerry, the family genealogist, says that her research shows that the "M" in M. William Sheehan stands for Mago, and she is a woman who stands behind her research. So, the name is Mago William Sheehan, Mago Sheehan.

My great grandfather is Mago Bill.

Best Buckin' Bulls

The U. S. has the best bucking bulls in the world.

Today the best bucking bull riders are Guilherme Marchi and Robsen Palermo.
Marchi, and Palermo are both from Brazil.

I wondered why in Brazil I was asked about bucking bulls. My answer was something like my standard, "What does riding a bull have to do with cowboying or horsemanship? Followed by, "You have to be crazy." I wondered why my questioners responded politely but unenthusiastically. My more productive response might have been, "Why do you ask?"

There are good U.S. riders coming up and Justin Mcbride, the best for years, just retired.

Good Old Blue Eyes

Wasn't it Frank Sinatra who said, "do be, do be, do?" I'm thinking he had it right. I've sometimes thought that I should throw out "be" as too big to handle. Frank apparently suggests keeping the "be," but placing the emphasis on "do." Being sometimes seems pretty hard to me. Being good, being human, being happy, being joyous, being free, being an man all seem pretty difficult much of the time. Just "being" a husband, son, brother, or just a friend can seem overwhelming.

However, when I look at doing words, things look a bit less difficult. There are a lot of them. Even some 'being words' can become 'doing words.' Doing words, verbs, can be difficult too. 'To exist' may seem a difficult to know how to do. "Relax and enjoy it." is advice given about may doings; not always easy advice to take. Still many verbs seem more congenial to me than nouns. For example, if I am told to dance, I feel more capable of doing so than if I am told to be dance.

I heard a man say that his object in life was to be happy, joyous, and free. I believe that he tried to reach that goal. I don't know whether he succeeded or not. If he did, I bet it wasn't easy.

If someone tells me to be happy, it seems liked a good idea. But then when I consider how; how to put it into practice seems a bit of a problem. However, when I consider doing happy, or how happy is done, or doing something happy, I feel more capable. How can I tell if a person is happy? Isn't a smile an indication of happiness? I can smile. I can do happy. I can do something happy. I can do a happy act. I can smile.

If I am told to be good, it seems a big deal. It seems to be more that just "sit down and shut up." If I am told to do good, possibilities begin to open. If I decide to do something good, I think that it is probably possible to do so. I think I am capable of a good act. I think I can make a good move.

If I tell myself to be human, it seems that I have to do it all, and it seems difficult to me. However, when I try doing human, when I try to human, when I try one human act at a time, I can do it. I can walk. I can talk. I can crawl on my belly like a reptile(that's an act).

Being joyous seems easier than being joy. Doing a joyous act or making a joyous move seems easier yet. I can ask myself, "How does a joyous man look?" Well, if I see a man singing and dancing, and throwing his arms open to the universe I could call him mad, or I might call him joyous. I could do one of those joy acts.

Sounds a bit like the "fake it until you make it" suggestion, doesn't it. Well, is being a 'copy cat' all bad? Does "monkey see, monkey do" necessarily lead to mortal sin?

If I must be free, how do I do that. Well, 'to free' is a 'doing word.' I can do something to free myself from these tight shoes. by loosening these laces. I can free myself to spend more time in my garden by rearranging my time.

If I must be a man I may run into difficulties. Still, I usually feel capable of putting my pants on one leg at a time. That's a man thing. That is an act of a man. That is a way "to man."

I feel capable of doing a friendly act, or a brotherly thing even when I may not be sure of how to be a friend, or how to be a brother.

Thanks Frank. I have high hopes.

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