Grazing the Net
Greg Henderson and Friends
Our editors spend some time roaming the web looking for stuff cattle people and others in agriculture might find useful or entertaining.
Factory Farm of Dumb Questions
Jan 29, 2014
NFL players have started calling media day at the Super Bowl the "factory farm of dumb questions." Since we routinely poke fun at the stupid things people do that make news on the Net, let's take a moment to honor the stupidity of some paid journalists. At yesterday's media day, for instance, Broncos' linebacker Shaun Phillips was asked, "Is this a must-win game?"
But that question probably doesn't make the top 10 all-time dumbest. John Elway was asked, "Are you going to watch Stevie Wonder perform at halftime?" Emmitt Smith was asked, "What are you going to wear in the game Sunday?" Heath Irwin, who played for the Patriots representing the AFC, was asked, "Would you like to see the AFC win the Super Bowl?"
Farm Bill Fallout
It was touted as a bipartisan agreement, but the ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee and the Democratic Chairwoman voted differently. The agreement on a new five-year farm bill came Monday, hailed by Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) as a bill "that makes sense." Here’s the $956 billion farm bill in one graph. The proposal angered livestock groups, however, since the new bill did nothing to address the problems created by country of origin labeling (COOL) regulations. Earlier this week, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and other groups vowed to oppose the bill. "We're going to work it hard." They apparently already have support from Kansas Republican Senator Pat Roberts who tweeted, "I did not sign the 2014 Farm Bill conference report. I cannot march backwards and deliver more spending, more regulations and more waste." You can read the entire 959 pages of the bill here.
Waning or Waxing? The Werewolf Diet
If your farming roots can be traced back to ancient times – like before cell phones – you likely know a little about checking the Old Farmer's Almanac for favorable planting dates. Ancient farmers noticed that different plants grow better when planted during different phases of the moon, and that knowledge was passed along for centuries. Can the same reasoning be applied to dieting? The folks promoting the Werewolf Diet think so, but dieticians and health professionals say it's just another fad diet. The diet is based on the theory that since the moon's gravitational pull influences the tides of the ocean it will do the same to the water in our bodies. (Wait, it gets better.) The diet calls for fasting during the full moon, with specific eating plans for the various other phases of the moon. During the waning moon dieters are told not to eat after 6 p.m. when moon light starts to become visible. If you haven't already concluded the Werewolf Diet is mere snake oil, consider that websites promoting the plan warn that it's not safe to stay on the diet more than 6 days. Case closed.
Aussies Fear Developing El Nino
An El Nino weather pattern is developing in the eastern Pacific, and that has Australian farmers and ranchers worried. The El Nino phenomenon – a warming of the Pacific waters – causes drought in Australia and parts of Asia while bringing rains to South America. It's been almost five years since the last event, which typically occurs every two to seven years, according to Indonesia's Meteorological, Climatology and Geophysics Agency.