Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's that time again! Arrrrrr!

Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day (ITLPD) where we're all encouraged to talk like a pirate to whatever degree one's surroundings permit. I will be participating at our county's Heritage Days pretending to be a Lewis and Clark expedition member, so my opportunities will be limited.

The ITLPD website has a page on how to talk like a pirate in German, so I leave you with this:
"Eine steife Brise in den Segeln und immer eine Handbreit Wasser unter dem Kiel"
Most of the words are direct cognates of their English equivalent, so I won't bother translating.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug dies at 95 -

Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug dies at 95 -
"(CNN) -- Nobel laureate Norman E. Borlaug, an agricultural scientist who helped develop disease-resistant wheat used to fight famine in poor countries, died Saturday. He was 95.

Borlaug died from cancer complications in Dallas, Texas, a spokeswoman for Texas A&M University said."
The world has lost a giant in the field of agriculture and humanitarianism. Norman Borlaug spent his life not only doing research in increasing crop production, but spending his time living in the areas which stood most to gain by higher yields in crop production.

A little over two years ago I posted an article on the occasion of his being awarded a Congressional Gold Medal for his work. I repeat a quote from that posting:
Norman Borlaug has not been without his critics, especially for his emphasis on fertilizer and large-scale mechanized agriculture. His answer is a real zinger: "some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They've never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they'd be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things."
Much of Borlaugs work can be summarized in what has become known as the "Borlaug Hypothesis" -- By increasing the efficiency of crop production, the need for deforestation for agricultural purposes is reduced. His work had and will continue to have far-reaching effects.