Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Solstice 2012: Of Beer and Bollocks

Well, time has run out for time to run out. The pseudo-Mayan apocalypse has not transpired, although that did not stop Stevens Point Brewery from manufacturing a novelty beer called 2012 Black Ale:
Thousands of years ago the ancient Mayans of Central America developed a "Long-Count" round calendar that ends ominously on December 21, 2012. Some predict this symbolizes the end of time as we know it. Inspired by this mystery, we offer Point 2012 Black Ale to help contemplate this 'end of time' or perhaps a 'new beginning.' Dark rich roasty and complex, Point 2012 Black Ale is hand-crafted with Pale, Munich, and Roasted Malts with Cluster, Saaz, and Cascade hops for the robust flavor and finish. Enjoy--while there's still time.
The brewery even recommended food pairings for its Long-Neck-cum-Long-Count libation:
Point 2012 Black Ale pairs well with steak tips, grilled salmon or pork chops. The mild burnt/roasty flavors and malty sweetness tends to complement grilled meats very well and are perfect for pairing up with dark chocolates.
While referencing the Mayan calendar was merely a clever marketing ploy for this particular company, the widespread gullibility of a scientifically illiterate public compelled NASA to publicly counter such misinformation. For reassurance, one can check out their end-time FAQ entitled, "Beyond 2012: Why the World Won't End." Cheers!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


A One, A Two, A Cha Cha Cha! by Barbara Boylan & Bobby Burgess on the Lawrence Welk Show. Carpe diem!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Human Rights Day 2012

Human Rights Day is celebrated annually on December 10 to mark the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted on this date in 1948. The Declaration was proclaimed through United Nations General Assembly Resolution 217 A (III):
. . . as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.
Although not itself a binding legal document, it has "inspired more than more than 60 human rights instruments which together constitute an international standard of human rights."

The Declaration has been translated into more than 300 languages and dialects, from Abkhaz to Zulu. The English version is available here, while other versions are available via an online database. A guide to UN Human Rights documentation as well as various related UN databases are also accessible on the UN Human Rights web site.

In the video above, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay presents her message for this year's Human Rights Day, December 10, 2012.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Plant Ahead! 2013 Seed Savers Exchange Catalog Now Available

Founded in 1975 by Diane Ott Whealy and Kent Whealy, Seed Savers Exchange (SSE) is now the largest non-governmental seed bank of its kind in the United States. With over 13,000 members, SSE conserves and maintains heirloom seeds for thousands of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. Its mission is:
. . . to save North America's diverse, but endangered, garden heritage for future generations by building a network of people committed to collecting, conserving and sharing heirloom seeds and plants, while educating people about the value of genetic and cultural diversity.
Located on the 890-acre Heritage Farm in Decorah, Iowa, SSE is open to visitors from April to October, and sponsors special events such as seed starting, grafting, and gardening workshops. It also hosts an annual conference and campout. To learn more about Seed Savers Exchange and the benefits of membership, visit its website.

The amazing 2013 Catalog can be downloaded as a PDF, or a copy in print can be requested free of charge. Also of interest is the book authored by co-founder Diane Ott Whealy, Gathering: Memoir of a Seed Saver.