Giving thanks to our robotic bee saviors

    As we were recently talking about honeybees, the epidemic known as colony collapse, and the need for more local beekeepers, I thought that you might be interested in this recent Indian study showing that cell phones could play a part in hive collapse. Here’s a clip from an article on the study:

    …when a mobile phone was kept near a beehive it resulted in collapse of the colony in five to ten days, with the worker bees failing to return home, leaving the hives with just queens, eggs and hive-bound immature bees…

    I haven’t read the study, and the article, from an Indian news agency, isn’t terribly informative, but, still, I think it’s worth considering along with all the other possible reasons being suggested for Colony Collapse Disorder. Regardless of the cause, though, there’s hope on the horizon.

    And it doesn’t involve the possibility of getting stung.

    I just happened across the following comment left by a reader of Boing Boing, in the wake of an article on tiny, swarming robots:

    I was actually just talking with someone who was working with a research team at Harvard looking to make some kind of prototype robotic “bee.”

    My first assumption was that he meant a little, flying robot that would be used for spying or something like that.

    It turned out that it was more literal than that: they want swarms of little, flying robots that could actually pollinate flowers if real bees ever become endangered or extinct…

    Now, if there was just a way to have them also eat belly fat and excrete gasoline.

    Posted in Agriculture, Environment, Food, Sustainability | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

    Charlie LeDuff of the Detroit News on why he’s here

    I was just stumbling around the internetz tonight, and happened across this video interview with Charlie Leduff, a Detroit News reporter who, within the last year, has written several articles that we’ve discussed here on the site. I wouldn’t exactly call myself a fan of his work, but he’s definitely chronicling a part of our regional history that others aren’t. He’s written of Detroiters forced by circumstances to catch and eat raccoons. He’s written of our local manufacturing infrastructure being auctioned off to China and Mexico. And, perhaps most notably, he’s the journalist who broke the story of the Detroiters who continued to play hockey, knowing that, just yards away, a dead man lay frozen, half-submerged in the ice. He comes across as whack job in this video, but I think some of that can probably be attributed to the never-ending series of beers placed before him by the interviewer from Vice Broadcasting System, the television spinoff of Vice Magazine… At any rate, it’s fun to watch a reporter get drunk and start screaming about how NPR has ripped him the fuck off.

    Posted in Detroit, Media, Michigan, Rants | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

      Now that’s what I call Community Policing

      Yet one more piece of evidence that Ypsilanti is fast becoming a Libertarian utopia… Last night, during a police chase through the city, a 52 year old bystander, living on the 600 block of Martin Place, decided to help out by opening fire on the passing car. The following comes from AnnArbor.com:

      …Officers located a loaded .357-Ruger on the porch, the (police) log said. The man – who said he was only trying to help – had a blood alcohol level of 0.19, the log said….

      Yes, it was a terribly stupid act, and I don’t condone it by any means, but, if it’s one of our regular MM.com commenters, I say we take up a collection for bail… I’ve said before that I intend this site to be “a friend to the friendless,” and I certainly mean that. Everyone of us… even the most paranoid of those clutching to their Bibles and guns… deserves someone.

      Posted in Ypsilanti | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

      Glenn Beck, at it again

      To Glenn Beck’s credit, he isn’t dialing down the crazy in response to the extremely successful boycott of his FOX News show… Check this out:

      That’s right, he’s suggesting that Obama is spending half a “trillion” dollars on the creation of a private army to do his bidding.

      Only problem is, it’s just a little over $100 million, and it’s not for a modern version of the SS. It’s for the AmeriCorps program. Here’s the breakdown from Tree Hugger:

      …In the clip, Beck argues that Obama asked for half a trillion dollars for AmeriCorps, putting it on par with the Pentagon in terms of funding. In reality, for fiscal year 2010, the president requested less than two billion dollars for the Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps’ parent agency, and Congress appropriated $110 million…

      One wonders what’s next.

      Oh, and if you want to see what the kind of cold-blooded killers Obama is assembling for this elite SS-like squad of his, just look at these terrifying images of current AmeriCorps personnel. What this Kenyan has in store for us, America, is absolutely diabolical.

      Posted in Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 52 Comments

      The poetry of spam

      I just got back from camping up in northern Michigan, and, at the moment, I’m deleting spam comments from the site. There are some 350 of them. Following are some of my favorite phrases, slightly edited, for your enjoyment. I think they make a lovely poem.

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      I call this piece “indisputable ejaculation”.

      If only Sir John Gielgud were alive to read it.

      Posted in Art and Culture, Found Objects, Other | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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