All posts by marlenedotterer

Science Fiction and Fantasy writer

New Toys

New toys, but hopefully useful ones. We both got new phones, with Himself finally making the plunge to a smart phone. So we’re getting them set up with apps and games, and just generally getting used to them. Also getting them used to us, as I have a Galaxy S5 with a personal assistant that takes some effort to teach.

You know the cliche about the 40-year-old geek living in his parents’ basement, who never moves from his tech equipment, with mounds of soda cans and take-out boxes around, and hasn’t showered in a week?

Yeah, that’s us. Almost, anyway…

If You Want to Stop Wasting Water and Energy, Stop Wasting Food | TakePart

The first three paragraphs of this article sum up the problem nicely. This is a very important point. In our house, I’m a rampaging soldier when it comes to not wasting food. I even consider it a failure if I have to put something in the compost. If it’s edible, we eat it. If we don’t eat it right away, I preserve it until we do. I freeze trimmings from produce to make stock with them.

We even try not to waste restaurant food. If we don’t eat everything (and we rarely do), it comes home for another meal. Sometimes two more meals given the size of portions in some restaurants.

This is also why I have no sympathy for California’s big farmers. They complain furiously about water rationing, without any acknowledgement that they are growing the food completely the wrong way. And frankly, they are growing too much food. Sure, maybe they manage to sell everything to stores and distributors, but almost half of it spoils or isn’t bought by the consumer, or the consumer throws it away.

All that, and we still have hungry people in the world. No sir, I’m not at all impressed with the argument that America ‘s “conventional” agriculture is feeding the world.

Anyway, here are the first three paragraphs of the linked article. The whole article is definitely worth reading.

We Americans worry constantly about how our appetites affect our waistlines, but we spend almost no time wondering how our food consumption affects our waste streams. In the United States, 40 percent of the food grown each year is discarded uneaten. That’s a significantly higher amount of waste than the global average, which runs around one bite of food thrown away for every two bites eaten.

As a result, food waste is the single largest source of refuse heading for American landfills. Once buried in a landfill, discarded food decomposes anaerobically and creates methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

And of course, growing all that food just to throw it out wastes water. According to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization, the U.S. wastes 50 cubic kilometers of irrigation water each year growing food that’s never eaten. That’s about one-fifth the total output of the Ohio River where it flows into the Mississippi. And growing that uneaten food also means wasted fossil fuel and pesticides: About 300 million barrels of oil globally go into growing, transporting, and preparing discarded food each year.

If You Want to Stop Wasting Water and Energy, Stop Wasting Food | TakePart.

Elizabeth II (And Me) –

What a great discussion here, with Elizabeth Warren and Paul Krugman. Krugman seems to mostly be there to agree with Warren, but he makes some excellent points, too.

It’s long (almost 1.5 hours), so you might need to watch it in increments. Well worth it!

Elizabeth II (And Me) –

Asking the right questions…


This article gets to the elephant in the room, especially the last paragraph. My entire childbirth course revolves around teaching couples how to “get around” the medical system. Yet, how wonderful it would be to actually fix that system!

Originally posted on Talk Birth:


A couple of weeks ago a list of sexual assault prevention tips made the rounds on Facebook. Containing reminders such as, “When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone” and “Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone ‘on accident’ you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do,” these tips are absolutely perfect and so very appropriate. I spent several years working in domestic violence shelters answering the hotline. The number one question/comment I used to get from people about this work was, “why doesn’t she just leave?” And, we always used to reply that that is the wrong question, “the question isn’t, ‘why does she stay?’ but ‘Why does HE do it?!'” And, why, as a society, do we accept it? The same website that created the SA Prevention Tips poster…

View original 1,062 more words

Respected Medical Journal Sold To Scammers Willing To Publish Anything… For A Fee | Techdirt

Here’s another problem with almost no solution. This one can destroy our civilization: if it become impossible to know which scientific studies are legitimate and which are not, we will flounder and drown in a sea of conflicting, nonsensical information.

Respected Medical Journal Sold To Scammers Willing To Publish Anything… For A Fee | Techdirt.