Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Tech & Culture news for August 17, 2005

Hi folks,

“Cindy Sheehan” is still the top search term in Technorati. Haters on both sides of the debate have jumped on this story en masse, so I don’t read the posts very much any more. Candlelight vigils in support of Cindy Sheehan will be held around the US tonight. has more information on this if you are interested.

I was happy to find three new posts on mountaintop removal in technorati since my last query. The recent Mountain Blog post is particularly interesting to me for several reasons. First, it’s always nice to find relevant content on the Appalachian region to supplement the paper-thin Internet resources related to our area.

To quote a friend: “We aren’t just quilts and apple butter here.” I agree and believe that its high time “The Internet” reflected this fact.

Second, the Mountain Blog author mentions, with an understandable contempt, the “trash trees” (locust) that grow back in MTR areas. I used to hate these trees, too, but they intrigue me now.

A few years back the power line near my home was sprayed with a powerful herbicide that killed more or less everything, and these locust trees were the first thing to pop back up. At first I tried to uproot them, but it was a hopeless task. Now I am experimenting with ways to incorporate them into a little land reclamation project I have undertaken along the power line, and it seems to be working pretty well.

Yes, these trees are terribly aggressive, and it is depressing to think of them replacing zillions of acres of native forests. But you do what you can. These trees are native to my area, and they are legumes so they fix nitrogen in the soil.

So far I have been pleasantly surprised how well the land has bounced back, both in terms of aesthetics and soil quality. Not that I would ever want someone to parlay this bit of optimism into an excuse to continue raping the land. Far from it. It just makes me happy to see living things beat the odds like that.

So for sheer staying power, these trees get my respect.

The Christopher Walken presidential campaign (wink wink) has lost a little steam but it is still showing up in the Technorati top ten…a well-deserved honor for such an entertaining hoax. Let's hear it for the Cowbell President.

Wishing you a pleasant afternoon,