Could an App Make Cockroaches Pets?
Oct 21, 2013
We’ve never given much thought to whether cockroaches have free will, but we may need to consider that after reading this story about how these guys at Backyard Brains have developed a device to control the movements of cockroaches with a smart phone. The device is called RoboRoach and the Backyard Brains guys say they created it to inspire a new generation of neuroscientists. The RoboRoach app requires that the roach be fitted with small wires into their antennas, which creates a cockroach that follows your directions. Seems like a lot of effort to make a pet out of a cockroach.
Mystery of Meatless Monday Missing
We mostly ignored Food Day last week, chiefly because it’s the three-year-old brainchild of Center for Science in the Public Interest, a group whose main interest is putting livestock producers out of business. But this article on the Huffington Post that attempts to join in the Food Day fun really sticks in our craw. Here’s the headline: "Meatless Monday -- Bite into Real Food For Food Day." One would expect to open that story to read a diatribe of how eliminating meat from your diet can fix everything from the federal deficit to flat feet. Nope. The story doesn’t even mention Meatless Monday, though the author claims to be a vegetarian. We think the headline should read: Meatless Mondays Turned My Mind to Mush.
The "Spin" on Michelle’s White House Garden
Recent stories about the White House garden being "overgrown" with weeds during the government shutdown are false and were not written by a journalist who ever had dirt under his/her fingernails. We know because, well, any farm kid can tell you that the growing season is mostly done by Oct. 1 at the latitude of Washington, D.C. So, while we can believe that some pumpkins and other vegetables may have gone to waste during the government furlough, weeds springing up and overtaking the garden is just creative copy from some junior journalist. In Washington-speak such copy is called "spin."
More Misleading Messages about Monsanto
We’re on our soapbox today about journalists misleading folks about agriculture. This guy named Ocean Robbins writes a blog at www.foodrevolution.org, which contains a lot of inaccuracies, but a recent article published by The Huffington Post just ain’t so.
First, it’s clear Robbins is not a fan of Monsanto or GMOs, and that seems to taint his perspective. He writes: "Just three days ago, Mexico banned genetically engineered corn." USAgNet reminds Robbins that Mexico in fact banned GMOs in 1998, not three days ago.
Apparently not one to let facts interrupt a good anti-Monsanto storyline, Robbins writes: "This means that companies like Monsanto will no longer be allowed to plant or sell their corn within the country's borders." Ummm, yeah, if you’re referring to the 1998 law, but that’s not what the judge said.