Saturday, August 28, 2010

Greek archaeologist discovers Odysseus' palace in Ithaca

A Greek archaeologist has claimed to have unearthed the palace of the legendary Odysseus on the island of Ithaca in the Ionian Sea.

Thanasis Papadopulos, who has been carrying out excavations on the Greek hero's home island for 16 years, said he had discovered the remains of a three-storey palace and a well, which date back to the 13th century BC, which is when the Trojan war, described in Homer's Iliad, is believed to have taken place.

Similar wells have been unearthed in Mycenae, 90 kilometers southwest of Athens, and in Tiryns on the Peloponnese Peninsula, the two centers of the Mycenaean civilization, which flourished between 1600 BC and 1100 BC.

The remains matched the description of Odysseus's palace in Homer's Odyssey, reputedly written around the 8th century BC, Papadopulos said.

Factory farms kick out tainted food while government goes after small farms

Dairy Herdshare Told to Cease Operations by Massachusetts Dept. of Agriculture

from Kimberly Hartke:
It seems the ag officials in Massachusetts don’t like her sharing her cow with others. On August 8, a cease and desist came order through the mail, a second one was waiting for her at the post office, plus, a third copy was hand delivered to her door. The regulators apparently don’t approve of private contracts, and sent their disapproval in triplicate.

In their order, the government cited her farm’s listing on the site. This website helps consumers learn about the dietary benefits of grass-fed cow and goat milk, and lists farms in each state where these dairy products are available. This Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, the Weston A. Price Foundation.

The day I interviewed Brigitte, someone had just called her asking about raw milk. “I am not at liberty to say. It makes me so angry that I am not free to say what I do."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

One third of Brits take a teddy bear to bed

More than half of Britons still have a teddy bear from childhood and the average teddy bear is 27 years old, the poll found.

Travelodge, the hotel chain, surveyed 6,000 British adults and found that respondents said sleeping with a teddy a “comforting and calming” way to end the day.

The survey also found that 25 per cent of men said they even took their teddy away with them on business because it reminded them of home.


Corrine Sweet, a psychologist, said cuddling a teddy bear was an ‘important part of our national psyche’.
London Telegraph

Friday, August 13, 2010

Monks battle funeral cartel for right to sell caskets

The monks of Saint Joseph Abbey have been making caskets for over a hundred years. People who ask for them want to share in that noble simplicity that our coffins express. We’re not a wealthy monastery and we need the income that Saint Joseph Woodworks could generate for the health care and the education of our own monks.

On November 1, 2007, the monks opened their Saint Joseph Woodworks. But before they could sell even one casket, they were threatened with crippling fines, jail time and even a lawsuit.


Because the Louisiana funeral industry cartel had no interest in the competition. Even from a small group of monks.

To sell caskets legally, the monks would have to convert their monastery into a “funeral establishment” which means adding all sorts of needless equipment for things like embalming human remains. Further, the monks would have to apprentice with a cartel member for a full year and then take a government-approved casket test.

Keep in mind, a casket is just a box.

Curiously, in Louisiana it is perfectly legal to bury a human body straight into the ground. You can also wrap a bed sheet around a human body and bury it. And you can make your own casket. Or you can use a casket made by a friend or stranger – so long as you don’t pay for it.

But it’s illegal to pay for a casket…unless that casket is made by a member of the cartel.

This March, the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors subpoenaed two members of the Saint Joseph Abbey – Abbot Justin Brown and Deacon Mark Coudrain. If found guilty, the Abbot and Deacon will be subject to 180 days in jail and thousands of dollars in fines.

To clarify: The funeral cartel in Louisiana is attacking monks that make simple caskets for people that want them, which helps cover the cost of the monks’ monastic lifestyle. And for the “sin” of selling these caskets, the monks face crippling fines and even jail.

More at the New Orleans Times-Picayune
Lindy Bill

Friday, August 6, 2010

Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operate

Julie had become enamored of the idea of having a stand after watching an episode of cartoon pig Olivia running one, said her mother, Maria Fife. The two live in Oregon City, but Fife knew her daughter would get few customers if she set up her stand at home.

Plus, Fife had just attended Last Thursday along Portland's Northeast Alberta Street for the first time and loved the friendly feel and the diversity of the grass-roots event. She put the two things together and promised to take her daughter in July.

The girl worked on a sign, coloring in the letters and decorating it with a drawing of a person saying "Yummy." She made a list of supplies.

Then, with gallons of bottled water and packets of Kool-Aid, they drove up last Thursday with a friend and her daughter. They loaded a wheelbarrow that Julie steered to the corner of Northeast 26th and Alberta and settled into a space between a painter and a couple who sold handmade bags and kids' clothing.

Even before her daughter had finished making the first batch of lemonade, a man walked up to buy a 50-cent cup.

"They wanted to support a little 7-year-old to earn a little extra summer loot," she said. "People know what's going on."

Even so, Julie was careful about making the lemonade, cleaning her hands with hand sanitizer, using a scoop for the bagged ice and keeping everything covered when it wasn't in use, Fife said.

After 20 minutes, a "lady with a clipboard" came over and asked for their license. When Fife explained they didn't have one, the woman told them they would need to leave or possibly face a $500 fine.
full article

An interesting follow-up event:

The Lemonade Revolt!

We are proposing a lemonade bloc next thursday. Get together with your friends and family and come up with a creative lemonade. Rosemary, lavender, mint, honey, agave, mate, carob, whatever you can come up with, show up early on alberta and 25th to 26th streets around 11 or 12 in the daytime, set up a table and offer lemonade for donation, or free. We should fill the entire bloc with lemonade stands! The state will come, but we will NOT leave. We will fill the streets with dance and revelry in the spirit of last thursday's origins, an autonomous, anarchistic freak show that reclaims the streets, the neighborhoods and our lives.

Some thoughts on this from Karen DeCoster
Analyzing Anarcho-Lemonadism

Reporters take on black conservatives at press conference