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Friday, February 23, 2007

Interesting Items in the News

I read a really interesting article this morning about solar power in the Telegraph. I'm pretty sure it's the London Telegraph, but since it doesn't specify the city, I'm erring on the side of caution. The part I found particularly fascinating was that new technology is emerging in this area so quickly, that the people interviewed believe solar power will be cheap enough within five years to compete with our current modes of energy.

Someone in the article is even quoted as saying that they don't need subsidies, that all they need is for the governments around the world to do "no harm." Which of course, got my brain swirling with potential story ideas. :-) What can I say? It's the hazard of being a writer. Anything and everything can spark the imagination.

I also saw a report on the TV about organic fruits and vegetables. I watched it on the web. (Have I mentioned I love having a high-speed connection?) This story talked about how expensive organic produce ran and what you should buy organic and what was okay to buy "regular."

There are some fruits and vegetables that have pesticide residue even after repeated washings, and according to the report, these are the "dirty dozen" that you'd be better off buying organic:

Apples, bell peppers, celery, imported grapes, peaches, nectarines, pears, potatoes, red raspberries, spinach, cherries and strawberries.

Merely buying organic for these items can cut your pesticide intake by 90%. Now, isn't that reassuring? Gah! After reading this, I shudder when I think of all the apples I've eaten.

Here's the list of produce that are the most consistently clean:

Asparagus, avocados, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet corn, kiwi, onion, pineapple, and sweet peas.

No new story ideas from this, however, I did find it interesting. Pesticides, genetic engineering, hormones, and other crap like this in the food supply worries me, but with organics so expensive, it's nice to know what I can skip spending extra on.

I think I'll quit here because the other item that interests me is the snowstorm from hell that's supposed to hit the Twin Cities today. And while I'm from Minnesota and there's nothing we love better than to talk about the weather, I know it bores people from other states. Y'all don't know what you're missing, though. :-) We can have twenty minute conversations with complete strangers and there's never an awkwardness as we search for a topic. ;-)