Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tomato Trouble

Perhaps the most jarring aspect of the widespread salmonella outbreak brought to us by certain varieties of tomatoes is that where the offending tomatoes came from cannot be determined. What does that say about the food chain? No one knows where these tomatoes originated? Looks like another argument for buying locally and just being content with whatever produce is in season in your area.
There have been numerous accounts of how the supply of fruits and vegetables for consumption far and wide is negatively affecting the environment. We want strawberries in December? They have to be shipped in from someplace that can produce them and that someplace may not have the same environmental regulations that we have here. But it is another case of "I want it and I want it now, and I can afford it, so there".
I’m not suggesting we go back to the Prairie Days when we could consume only what was grown in our own gardens or nearby. But having it all whenever we want it dilutes the appreciation for, not only the environment, but for that strawberry or kiwi we are putting into our mouths in December in Manhattan.
Take a look at a New York Times article on the subject:

Saturday, June 7, 2008

New film from Granite Films

From the inspiring folks who brought you "In the Bedroom."

Here's a link to the just-posted trailer for "Childless," with Joe Mantegna, Barbara Hershey, Jim Naughton, and Diane Venora.

It looks best if you click the button right under the screen that says "watch in high quality."

Please feel free to leave a comment or rate it, and by all means forward the link to friends and strangers alike.

Thanks for taking a look. Hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Social InSecurity

Notice the growing numbers of competitors vying to lock up your identity—for a fee-- so that it is forever protected from nefarious thieves? No doubt—identity threat is a real and serious and growing problem. But what is to blame for the spiraling number of cases? The seeds of this kudzu vine were sown decades ago when, almost insidiously, more companies and entities started asking for Social Security numbers. Were we not always told, “Do Not Use Your Social Security Number for Identification Purposes”? Over time, however, more of us have been asked more frequently for our social security numbers---colleges, medical practitioners (including dentists), banks (understandably—but this started long before 9/11) utility companies, veterinarians, all want to know the number we were told we should never give out.

You can refuse in some cases but you have to be aware of this option. Here is what the Social Security websites states:

You should be very careful about sharing your number and card to protect against misuse of your number. Giving your number is voluntary even when you are asked for the number directly. If requested, you should ask:
Why your number is needed;
How your number will be used;
What happens if you refuse; and
What law requires you to give your number.
The answers to these questions can help you decide if you want to give your Social Security number. The decision is yours.