Nitpicking

TMI
Ok, I went into too much detail regarding cleaning kitchen drawers1.  Kinda like Barbara Kingsolver going overboard describing the canning of tomatoes in Animal, Vegetable, Mineral, the story of her family living off the land (locavores) in southwestern Virginia.  (I loved her previous books, but I put this down into page ten of tomatoes.)
More TMI: when folding my sweaters to put them in their new sweater boxes in the newly cleaned closet2, I noticed that two of them, knit by my mother probably twenty years ago, had holes.  So I called a knit shop in town to ask who could do repairs and met with their recommended person at the Eegees at Ina and Thorneydale.  Boy, has that corner of town grown in forty years!  She was very nice, and the price was reasonable.  We’ll see how the sweaters turn out.
Because that infamous article about closets had me thinking of buying an electric defuzzer for my sweaters, I got online to look.  Found a video where a woman shows you how to defuzz a sweater with your bic razor!  Tried it on a knit top I had thought to throw out due to the unsightly pilling, but used my bic (product endorsement here!) and the top looks 99% better.

More Bugs
Segue into Bugs (the class I’m taking1).  The word nitpicking comes from picking the nits (louse eggs) off someone, such as getting them out of your child’s hair!  (Defuzzing a sweater is a bit of nitpicking.)

Last week’s lecture was on lice, which carry typhus, and fleas, which carry bubonic plague, and how those diseases have affected mankind.  (Need to read Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond.)

Because we had discovered DDT, which killed the lice which carried typhus,

Delousing stations were established for troops on the Western front during World War I, but the disease ravaged the armies of the Eastern front, and typhus caused at least three million deaths.

DDT probably helped us win both world wars.  (This photo of DDT being sprayed on soldiers during WWII.)

Rachel Carson’s seminal 1962 environmental tract Silent Spring was the first to call attention to the nasty little fact that DDT produced fertility and neurological problems in humans and accumulated up the food chain in wildlife, poisoning birds. Use of the compound plummeted, and in 1972, DDT was banned in the U.S. entirely.

You’ve heard of the Black Death (plague) which occurred between 1348 and 1350, and which, after killing 25 million people in China, went on to kill 30–60 percent of Europe’s population, but do you know that we still have cases of bubonic plague in Arizona (Four Corners), where 10 to 20 human cases are reported each year?  Fifteen people have died of it there since 1992.  Don’t go handling any prairie dogs!

The 47%
The election is still a week away (even though I’ve already voted) so a bit more politics.

Fundraising in this election has already crossed the billion-dollar mark.  The official campaigns and outside groups have already raised over $1.4 billion.3  Mega-donors giving $500,000 or more to these unlimited money groups remain the biggest source of funds, accounting for 68 percent of all contributions.
Think of all of the bake sales to help schools buy supplies, sports events (such as the Tour de Tucson) to help fund cancer research, NPR’s radiothon for All Things Considered, elementary kids saving pennies to build schools in Pakistan.  Imagine what that billion dollars could do.  But no, donating isn’t about the 47%, or even the 99%.  The billionaires want deregulation of their industry, support for their cause, whatever.

Read Harper’s It’s a Rich Man’s World – How billionaire backers pick America4.

1http://notesfromthewest.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/page-2/
2http://notesfromthewest.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/diary-of-an-obsessive-compulsive/
3http://thecrowdwire.org/post/31741030299/ready-aim-fact-check-a-look-at-the-new-superpac
4http://harpers.org/archive/2012/04/0083856

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: