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- U.S. Foreign Policy Landscape Is Bleak (MSNBC News)
"From deteriorating security in Afghanistan and Somalia to mayhem in the Middle East, confrontation with Iran and eroding relations with Russia, the White House suddenly sees crisis in every direction."
" 'North Korea is firing missiles. Iran is going nuclear. Somalia is controlled by radical Islamists. Iraq isn't getting better, and Afghanistan is getting worse,' said William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard and a leading conservative commentator. 'I give the president a lot of credit for hanging tough on Iraq. But I am worried that it has made them too passive in confronting the other threats.' " 07-06
- -09-10-09 From Landfills to Landscapes (Time.com)
Describes a model program to reclaim a landfill for a park. 09-09
- Landscape Design (Landscaping.About.com)
"You will save time in the long run by using landscape design plans before doing landscaping. Some of these resources show you how designers think and put ideas on paper; see how these professionals draw their landscape design plans before implementing them. Others are free landscape design plans already drawn up for your viewing." 06-06
- Grateful Dead, The (RockHall.com)
"The Grateful Dead wrought a psychedelic revolution upon the cultural landscape of the Sixties. They also kept the spirit of the Sixties alive in the decades that followed, building a massive, supportive network of fans known as 'Deadheads.' "
"From jazz, the Grateful Dead adapted an improvisational approach. Heavily steeped in Americana, the group derived from blues and bluegrass. From the culture of psychedelia, as pioneered by Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, the Dead grew attuned to the broad palette of possibilities that could be tapped when imagination was given free reign." 9-03
- 10-20-03 U.S. Study Predicted Problems in Iraq (International Herald Tribune)
"A yearlong State Department study predicted many of the problems that have plagued the American-led occupation of Iraq, according to internal State Department documents and interviews with officials of the Bush administration and members of Congress."
" 'Here was the problem: State has good ideas and a feel for the political landscape, but they're bad at implementing anything. Defense, on the other hand, is excellent at logistical stuff, but has blinders when it comes to policy. We needed to blend these two together.' " 10-03
- Editorial: Deepening Divide Between Red and Blue (Christian Science Monitor - Marlantes)
"With President Bush winning the first popular-vote majority in 16 years over Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, but adding almost no new states to his column since 2000, the 2004 election has revealed a political landscape that remains deeply, and almost immovably, divided - but one in which Republicans now seem to hold a clear upper hand." 11-04
- Marshall, Thurgood (ThurgoodMarshall.com)
Provides a picture and a short biography of this influential African American. "Thurgood Marshall was America's leading radical. He led a civil rights revolution in the 20th century that forever changed the landscape of American society. But he is the least well known of the three leading black figures of this century. Martin Luther King Jr., with his preachings of love and non-violent resistance, and Malcolm X, the fiery street preacher who advocated a bloody overthrow of the system, are both more closely associate in the popular mind and myth with the civil rights struggle. But it was Thurgood Marshall, working through the courts to eradicate the legacy of slavery and destroying the racist segregation system of Jim Crow, who had an even more profound and lasting effect on race relations than either of King or X." 1-05
- -03-25-05 Baghdad Now an Eyesore (MSNBC News)
"Known for centuries as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Baghdad's landscape has been marred by concrete blast walls and barbed wire, its crumbling buildings pockmarked by bullet holes or ransacked by explosions." 3-05
- Plan to Reduce U.S. Military Bases (CBS News)
"Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is proposing to close and shrink hundreds of bases to create a leaner, more cost-effective force. If accepted, the plan would alter the domestic military landscape and greatly affect the four services branches and communities that are home to the installations." 5-05
- GAO: Tax Expenditures Creating a Financial Disaster (MSNBC News)
"Tax breaks cause nearly $730 billion in revenue losses every year, the GAO said in a report released Friday."
"To put that number in perspective, $730 billion is just slightly less than what the federal government spent in 2004 on all military outlays and on the Medicare health insurance program for the elderly combined."
"In Washington lingo, these tax breaks are called 'tax expenditures.' They 'grant special tax relief for certain kinds of behavior by taxpayers or for taxpayers in special circumstances,' according to the new GAO report released Friday."
"Walker does not have the hurricanes primarily in mind. He’s thinking of the fiscal crisis that will hit the nation during the next 30 years unless Congress changes course."
“ 'We are on an imprudent and unsustainable fiscal path,' he told reporters Friday. 'We were already deeply in the hole before Katrina hit…. We face a large and unprecedented demographic tidal wave, the retirement of the Baby Boom generation. Unlike most tidal waves, the waters of this tidal wave will never recede. It is a permanent change in the demographic landscape of this country, with profound economic, fiscal, budgetary and workforce implications. Unlike natural tidal waves, evacuation is not an option.' ” 9-05
- Permafrost Disappearing (Scientific American)
"The top 11 feet of soil in the Arctic continues to thaw. Sinkholes are opening, highways buckling, houses and forests tilting, all of which is wreaking havoc on landscapes, wildlife and cities from Murmansk to Juneau. This permafrost layer--defined as soil that remains icy cold for more than two years--covers nearly a quarter of the land in the Northern Hemisphere. But that total is shrinking and new models show that it may nearly disappear by the end of this century."
"Even more troubling, this permafrost layer contains anywhere from 20 to 60 percent of the carbon trapped in soils in the world." 12-05
- -11-09-06 Parliamentarians: End of Six-Year Nightmare for the World (ITWorld.com)
"The seismic shift that midterm elections brought to Washington’s political landscape was welcomed by many Wednesday in a world sharply opposed to the war in Iraq and outraged over the harsh methods the Bush administration has employed in fighting terrorism." 11-06
- -11-09-06 Landscaping Business Rejected from Association for Refusing Services (MSNBC News)
"Farber’s e-mail reached the Harrisburg, Pa., offices of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, which said that the Farbers were misrepresenting themselves as current members of the group and no longer belong."
" 'It has come to our attention that a former member has declined a professional engagement on the grounds of the prospective clients’ sexual orientation. This conduct does not conform to the policy and practice of APLD,' the organization said." 11-06
- How to Buy a Flat-Screen TV (MSNBC)
An options explosion has littered the shopping landscape with numbers, features, and terminology that even experts sometimes have trouble tracking. So we've tried to boil the choices down to the basics that can actually do you some good, and we've noted which are important. (In audio and video, never forget that just because something has a number to describe it doesn't mean it really matters!)."
"We've grouped the specs into three categories: important, somewhat important, and minor." 06-07
- -11-26-07 Skin Cells into Stem Cell Breakthrough? (Christian Science Monitor)
"Colonies of tiny cells flourishing in petri dishes in the US and Japan are reshaping the political and ethical landscape surrounding human stem-cell research."
"In the process, these diminutive colonies also may level the playing field in stem-cell research – internationally and domestically."
"These are some of the effects analysts say they see coming out of this week's announcements that two teams have genetically reprogrammed skin cells so that they take on the traits of embryonic stem cells." 11-07
- Seed Project to Preserve Species (ARS.USDA.gov)
"The National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (NCGRP) conserves genetic resources of crops and animals important to US agriculture and landscapes. Preservation of genetic diversity in ex situ genebanks such as NCGRP is important for conservation of biological diversity and utilization of genetic resources for economic and environmental sustainability. Formerly called the National Seed Storage Laboratory (NSSL), our facility changed its name in 2001 to reflect an expanded mission beyond seed storage. In addition to being a seed bank, NCGRP is a repository for animal genetic resources in the form of semen and plant genetic resources in the form of graftable buds or in vitro plantlets. Genetic resources are preserved using state-of-the-art technology that often involves cryogenics. A research team with cryobiology expertise works to develop cryopreservation technologies." 12-07
- -06-16-08 Gray Water (OasisDesign.net)
"Any water that has been used in the home, except water from toilets, is called grey water. Dish, shower, sink, and laundry water comprise 50-80% of residential "waste" water. This may be reused for other purposes, especially landscape irrigation."
"It's a waste to irrigate with great quantities of drinking water when plants thrive on used water containing small bits of compost. Unlike a lot of ecological stopgap measures, grey water reuse is a part of the fundamental solution to many ecological problems and will probably remain essentially unchanged in the distant future." Also called grey water, graywater, or greywater. 06-08
- -04-16-09 Supreme Court May Determine Limits on School Searches (USA Today)
"Drug searches, along with drug tests for students in athletics and other extracurricular activities, have become common in schools across the nation. But the search of Savana at Safford Middle School on Oct. 8, 2003, ignited a legal dispute that has landed before the U.S. Supreme Court — and could transform the landscape of drug searches in public schools." 04-09
- Cash for Grass (KCRA)
"The program helps homeowners with everything from landscape design to plant selection and irrigation systems."
"The program allows $1 per square foot and up to $1,000 per site, but the real incentive is saving water." 05-09
- Geoglyphs (Survive2012.com)
"The lines at Nazca aren't the only landscape figures this region boasts. 850 miles south of Nazca is perhaps the world's largest human figure, etched into the side of Solitary Mountain. The Giant of Atacama at Cerro Unitas is an incredible 393 feet high and is surrounded by lines similar to those at Nazca." 11-05
- Apple's New iPad: Not Just a Bigger iPod Touch (MSNBC News)
"When you hold the Apple iPad in landscape mode, the keyboard is nearly big enough for touch typing — and improvement over the virtual buttons on the iPhone." 01-10
- PiCycle (USA Today)
"Already, electric bikes have gained mass acceptance in China, where 22 million are expected to sell this year, and are taking off quickly in Europe. In the U.S., they are still struggling to gain ground. But a growing number of analysts say the next few years could determine whether these bikes become a part of the U.S. cycling landscape or remain a novelty." 02-10
- Gardens That Grow on Walls (New York Times)
"Vertical gardens — which began as an experiment in 1988 by Patrick Blanc, a French botanist intent on creating a garden without dirt — are becoming increasingly popular at home. Avid and aspiring gardeners, frustrated with little outdoor space, are taking another look at their walls and noticing something new: more space. And a number of companies are selling ready-made systems and all-in-one kits for gardeners like Mr. Riley who want to do it themselves. (For those who prefer to leave it to the professionals, landscape designers can build vertical gardens for a hefty fee.)" 05-10
- Legal Issues Surrounding the Oil Spill in the Gulf (CNN News)
"To help readers navigate the legal landscape surrounding BP's mammoth oil spill (or "oil spew," as some argue it should more properly be called) in the Gulf Coast, I have looked into some of the law-related questions and statements that keep surfacing as the press and bloggers keep up with the crisis. I rely mainly here on an interview with Christopher B. Kende, an international insurance law specialist at the firm of Cozen O'Connor. Kende also teaches attorneys about the legal issues stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as a lecturer for HB Litigation Conferences." 05-10
- -Editorial: The Very Angry in the Tea Party (New York Times)
"Sometimes it is hard to know where politics ends and metaphysics begins: when, that is, the stakes of a political dispute concern not simply a clash of competing ideas and values but a clash about what is real and what is not, what can be said to exist on its own and what owes its existence to an other."
"The seething anger that seems to be an indigenous aspect of the Tea Party movement arises, I think, at the very place where politics and metaphysics meet, where metaphysical sentiment becomes political belief. More than their political ideas, it is the anger of Tea Party members that is already reshaping our political landscape."
"It is not for the sake of acquiring political power that Tea Party activists demonstrate, rally and organize; rather, Lilla argues, the appeal is to 'individual opinion, individual autonomy, and individual choice, all in the service of neutralizing, not using, political power.' "
"My hypothesis is that what all the events precipitating the Tea Party movement share is that they demonstrated, emphatically and unconditionally, the depths of the absolute dependence of us all on government action, and in so doing they undermined the deeply held fiction of individual autonomy and self-sufficiency that are intrinsic parts of Americans’ collective self-understanding." 06-10
- Nine Energy Sources for the Future (U.S. News)
"The world must face a glaring fact: Demand for energy is growing, and countries need to expand their energy sources if they want to keep up. The Obama administration made a commitment to clean energy. But here's a source-by-source look at nine types of energy that could change the landscape in the United States."
Editor's Note: This article includes sources, such as fuel cells and nuclear fusion, which are not close to ready for "prime time" and ignored major sources that are cost-effective and practical now, such as biomass. 07-10
- Xoom Tablet and Atrix 4G Smartphone (Electronista.com)
"The [Xoom] tablet is already fast enough with its dual-core Tegra 2 chip to play HD video, which was much more in evidence on the 1280x800 screen. Motorola reps reminded us that the 16:10 ratio screen helped address complaints about thumb typing on devices like the iPad: it's narrower and thus easier to reach the full keyboard with your thumbs, but it's still very large when watching movies in landscape."
"The Atrix 4G we had real if brief time to use. While 4G speeds weren't available to gauge, the NVIDIA Tegra 2 isn't quite as fast as it might seem. Based on a quick navigation around the main interface, the phone still had a slight stutter for visual transitions. We also have misgivings about continuing to use Blur; the Atrix 4G is a power user's phone, and the UI not only gets in the way but will invariably delay upgrades to Android 2.3 or later."
"The notebook add-on itself is fairly well thought-out and hides the docked phone in the back. It uses a well spaced chiclet-style keyboard and a fairly colorful 11.6-inch display; we were surprised to see some cleverly hidden speakers on the back corners." 01-10
- Water Footprint (ColoradoCarbonFund.org)
"We're all aware that it is good to drink 8 glasses ofwater a day, but 32,911 glasses a day - come on, that can't be right, can it? Unfortunately it is when itcomes to daily water use. According to the Water Footprint Network, when you factor in the water used for all of our energy, food, clothing, transportation, and other needs, this value is what the average American uses. In fact, more than 95% of this water is used for either growing or producing all of what we use and need."
"Water use can be broken down into three categories: Blue Water, Green Water, and Grey Water. Blue Water is directly extracted from the natural landscape around us in the form of rivers, lakes, snow melt and groundwater. Green Water is sourced from direct precipitationthat falls on crops and serves the agricultural sector. Finally, Grey Water is the amount of water necessary to dilute or clean polluted water back into a usable condition. All of these conditions areintegrated into the final assessment of our water footprint."
"Here in Colorado in 2010, our average direct consumption equated to around 172 gallons per person per day. 04-12
- Status Report on Waste-to-Energy Technologies (Waste-Management-World.com)
"Sanchez admits he is facing similar challenges with interested companies requesting data from the Texas facility. Until this facility comes online to produce needed data and the waste agreement with the City of McAllen finalised, Plasma2Energy could find it a challenge to roll out a second full-scale facility."
"But, with claims that microwave plasma gasification is 60% more efficient than existing processes, and the ability to produce 70% diesel as a by-product; the ABA process really could be game-changer on the WtE landscape." 04-12
- -Agricultural Urgency (New York Times)
"But industrial agriculture’s ability to produce gargantuan amounts of food also makes it exceptionally susceptible to climate change. Relying on vast monocultures — the miles and miles of cornfields one passes when driving in Iowa — captures economies of scale. But that lack of diversity invites trouble. A monoculture’s uniformity means that if temperatures spike or a new pest arrives, the damage is likely to spread throughout the entire planted area. By contrast, the diversified landscapes of organic agriculture — corn planted between, say, other vegetables and chicken pens — tend to limit damage."
"Farmers can best boost resilience to climate change, scientists say, by improving their soil’s fertility and capacity to retain moisture. That means cutting back on chemical fertilizers, which kill many of the microorganisms that ventilate soil, and shifting to compost and manure fertilizers and crop rotations."
"Instead, leading lobbyists for agribusiness want to retain the current production system but shift the mounting climate risks to the taxpayer. Both versions of the farm bill would expand the $11 billion crop insurance program, a move championed by the National Corn Growers Association. The Senate bill, for instance, would authorize $3.8 billion a year for additional insurance."
"But neither version would require farmers to take other measures to reduce their climate vulnerability, like investing in healthier soil. In fact, the draft bills would actually make it harder for farmers to do that because the expanded crop insurance would be paid for by cutting the Conservation Stewardship Program, which helps farmers improve their land’s ecological health."
"Shifting federal policy from a longstanding emphasis on industrial agriculture to moreorganic approaches is too large a task to complete by Sept. 30. But Congress could pass a one-year extension of the old bill and direct the Department of Agriculture to use the extra time to develop, with farmers and other stakeholders, a plan to segue to climate-smart agriculture as soon as possible. As the summer of 2012 has reminded us, this agricultural superpower has already waited too long to take climate change seriously." 09-12
- Albania Profile (BBC News)
"With a landscape including rugged mountains and a lengthy stretch of Adriatic coastline, Albania is home to a rich blend of religions and cultures."
- Andorra Profile (BBC News)
"Almost hidden on the border between France and Spain, the tiny principality of Andorra is a land of narrow valleys and mountainous landscapes."
- Guinea, the Republic of (LonelyPlanet.com)
"Guinea’s landscape is spectacular. The country has some of the world’s few remaining tropical dry forests, and the rainforests that remain in the south are lush and verdant and full of wildlife. The waterfall-rich Fouta Djalon Plateau in the west has breathtaking scenery and some of the best hiking in West Africa. Guinea is not well endowed with beaches, but those it has are superb; and often empty. It's capital, Conarky, while not heavy on the must-sees, has a vibrant nightlife and is safer than most other West African capitals." 03-09
- Organic Fertilizer
"Before the use of chemical fertilizers, the earth and animals worked together to enhance the fertility of the soil. Through the decomposition of raw, natural proteins such as bone, blood, fish and feathers, soil received the nutrients needed to maximize fertility. Then, with growth, came the need for synthetic fertilizers. Although organic fertilizers are offered in the market, chemical fertilizer sales far outweigh those of natural fertilizers. Do natural/organic fertilizers work better for landscapes than synthetic fertilizers?" 04-07
- Organic Fertilizer
"Before the use of chemical fertilizers, the earth and animals worked together to enhance the fertility of the soil. Through the decomposition of raw, natural proteins such as bone, blood, fish and feathers, soil received the nutrients needed to maximize fertility. Then, with growth, came the need for synthetic fertilizers. Although organic fertilizers are offered in the market, chemical fertilizer sales far outweigh those of natural fertilizers. Do natural/organic fertilizers work better for landscapes than synthetic fertilizers?" 08-07
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[Dr. Jerry Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org.]