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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Real or Imagined?

I just finished reading Kelly Milner Hall's In Search of Sasquatch.  I must confess, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about unknown, mythic creatures like Bigfoot.  The only aliens I spend time thinking about are on The Neighbors.  And I've never desired to go to Scotland to search for the Loch Ness Monster.  That said, Kelly's book was fascinating.  Who knew there was such a thing as cryptozoology to study creatures not recognized by traditional science?  The more I read, the more intrigued I became.  I started to remember my fascination with giant squids when I worked on my book Oceans.  At one point they also fell under the cryptid category.  Now we know they are real.  Perhaps some day we'll know Sasquatch is also real.

In Search of Sasquatch is well-researched, as are all of Hall's nonfiction tittles.  Readers are not guaranteed to become believers in the Sasquatch theory, but they certainly will look at the "myth" with the eyes of a scientist in the future.  Well presented and a great book for discussion!




Monday, March 11, 2013

Sing Out!

Have you heard Sean Lennon's new song about fracking?  He's certainly following a great tradition of protest and environmental songwriters!  Think of all those singers, beginning with Woody Guthrie, who focused their pipes on the good Earth!  I grew up with Pete Seeger's Clearwater sailing on the Hudson and his songs still ring out!  Take a listen to Garbage.    My Earth Day playlist also includes his song My Dirty Stream. Kudos to Sean Lennon for joining in!

Hey, want to read more about Woody Guthrie?  Read Elizabeth Partridge's book, This Land Was Made For You And Me: The Life and Songs of Woody Guthrie.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Great Famine Spud Returns!

With St. Patrick's Day just a week away I thought this an interesting time to share some news I learned about the Lumper.  Hmmm, it's not ringing a bell?  Well, the Irish Lumper was the potato species behind the Great Hunger.  And the Lumper is in the news again! Thankfully, the news is not dreadful.  On the contrary, the Lumper is making a comeback after 170 years!

The Irish Lumper was known for it nutritional value.  It was introduced to Ireland in the early 19th century, and, as you all know, met a dire fate with the onset of the blight that wiped out the Lumpers in the 1840s.  A farmer decided to try to bring back the Lumper five years ago.  Last summer Michael McKillop of Glens of Antrim Potatoes took the Lumper to the Delicious Ireland consumer show and was amazed by the positive reception it recieved.

The Irish Famine was one of the worst environmental/agricultural disasters in history.  Who could imagine that the Lumper would ever be found on tables again?

Read more about the Iris Famine in Susan Campbell Bartoletti's book, Black Potatoes.  And keep an eye out for the Lumper  -- you might find it at a grocery store soon.