Here's the thing, I used to think everyone understood certain things about how our food is produced, processed, stored, and transported. I realize now that I was assuming facts not in evidence. I throw myself on the mercy of the court and plead too many years of reading OMNI Magazine instead of socializing. I just didn't realize most people think the above question is reasonable, rather than quaintly naive and uninformed, mayhap even ignorant. You may have, like Bernie Sanders, wondered about this. I think there are three good reasons many reasonable people don't want mandatory label laws.Read More
I don't like to write too much about writing. It bores non-writers, and most writers have already heard it all. I'm not Stephen King or George R. R. Martin. No one cares about myprocess. But every now and then I feel the need to defend writers of all kinds. Yeah, I have a hero complex, I guess. I also feel the need to correct false information, no matter how well intended. And I love my fellow wordsmiths. So imagine what my reaction is every time a skeptical friend suggests that reading is not research.
Ok, to be fair, I am fully aware that they are referring specifically to people who think they can argue science with scientists based on a few hours of Google U. It's just that when you say people who do their research online, or in a library, are doing inferior research to those wearing white lab coats, you are doing a disservice to both groups. So, for my skeptical friends, and my many unskeptical friends and family, indulge me while I talk about research and its importance to writing.Read More
Labels annoy writers and scientists alike. I'm not talking about labels like stupid or Democrat. I mean labels that seem perfectly legitimate, logical, and provable. Just as soon as you think you've got your collection all categorized the way you like it, neat, clear, logical... that's when some upstart from two labs down throws a duck billed platypus into the works. There was a time when we knew that dinosaurs were reptiles, alligators were strict carnivores, and humans were the next evolutionary step after apes, right? When we were growing up, men were men, women were women, and there were no other options, or so our Dick and Jane readers seemed to imply. But today, we're told sexuality is a spectrum, autism is a spectrum, there are no true herbivores or carnivores, dinosaurs had feathers, and Pluto isn't even a planet! Oy.Read More
Both these kids are smart, articulate, good looking, and media savvy. They’ve also both become representatives for a cause. And that’s what I want to talk about today. Remember when the girl who played Matilda wrote about how terrible it was for her fellow child actors? Remember how we all thought parents shouldn’t do that to their kids? Well, I don’t know, but I’m feeling a little dirty for the way these two kids have been adopted (or vilified) by opposing sides in very contentious debates. What does a twelve year old, or even a junior high school aged child know about politics, economics, health, regulatory policy, agriculture, big business, or the terrible media shit storm that comes when your video reaches a million hits? Well, they are finding out that last one. Unfairly, it seems to me.Read More