In November, California voters will decide on a ballot initiative that would require labeling of all foods containing ingredients from genetically modified crops. The initiative made it to the ballot after almost 1 million Californians signed a petition in favor of it—nearly double the 504,760 signatures needed under the state's proposition rules. The campaign that organized the push to get the measure on the ballot focused on possible health effects of GMO foods. This news will not likely be applauded by my friends over at Croplife America, the main trade group of the GM seed/agrichemical industry. The big GMO crops—corn, soy, sugar beets, and cotton—are processed into sweeteners, fats, and additives used widely by the food industry. Everything from high fructose corn syrup-sweetened Coke to soybean oil-containing Hellman's mayo would have to bear a label reading something like "Contains GMO ingredients."...
Tag Archives | California
An update to this story, a California woman who brought home a handful of greenish rocks her children found on the beach had a very painful surprise when the rocks caught fire in her pocket. She suffered second and third degree burns due to the flaming stones. Her husband suffered similar injuries while attempting to help her.
Lab reports indicate that the rocks contained “elevated” phosphate levels, most likely contamination from a man-made source. San Clemente Island, just miles off the coast where the woman’s children found the rocks, is owned by the military. They’ve denied any responsibility for the pollution and injuries, and for now the investigation continues.
Read the full story at the Washington Post.
Interesting report from Austin Johansen on death and taxes:
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Andy Caffrey is a 54 year-old candidate running for Congress from California’s 2nd District. Aside from the Crocodile Dundee-esque hat and his sweeping, silver ponytail, Caffrey is a fairly unassuming man in the state of California. He’s tired of both Republicans and Democrats, loves his country and has his own ideas to make improvements, which is more than some politicians can say. He also takes pride in being a part of the Green Movement … in more ways than one *cough cough.*
In the 1991 Oakland Firestorm, Andy “lost everything.” He writes on his website that he spent five years as a homeless man and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder following his sister’s suicide. His ailment led him to become a prescribed medical marijuana patient, and he’s on the campaign trail to make his defense of its medicinal use perfectly clear … or a little hazy.
California beachcombers may need to be more careful about picking up cool looking rocks to take home, although no one can explain how these combustible rocks arrived. Rick Rojas reports for the LA Times:
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What could possibly cause rocks picked up at a popular state beach to ignite in the pocket of a woman’s cargo shorts?
To scientists, the answer is — well, there is no clear answer.
The case of an Orange County woman severely burned after rocks collected last weekend from San Onofre State Beach ignited in her pocket has puzzled scientists, who say they’ve never seen anything like it and aren’t quite sure how it happened.
“It’s pretty implausible,” said Larry Overman, a professor of chemistry at UC Irvine.
The 43-year-old San Clemente woman, who remained hospitalized Thursday with second- and third-degree burns, visited the northern San Diego County beach last Saturday with her family, authorities said.
Via the Daily Galaxy:
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A sonic boom heard in California last week had an out-of-this world origin as ”a large meteoric event” according to NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. Scientists now estimate the blast measured in near 5 kilotons or roughly 1/3 the power of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan during World War II. Bill Cooke of the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, estimates the object was about the size of a minivan, weighed in at around 154,300 pounds.
“Most meteors you see in the night’s sky are the size of tiny stones or even grains of sand and their trail lasts all of a second or two,” said Don Yeomans of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “Fireballs you can see relatively easily in the daytime and are many times that size — anywhere from a baseball-sized object to something as big as a minivan.”
The meteor appears to be much more valuable than scientists first thought.
I started planting flowers in earnest starting March 1st. The 100th one was planted last night. But today I got an email from Bill Harris who works for the city. I had expected it, and was considering an obstinate stance. After a 15 minute phone call, I decided to work with them, and plan an ending. He started the call with "Congratulations on making it to 100." He explained how people within the city had gone to great lengths to find a way to keep them. They even contacted other cities to find out what they did. "Even Berkeley takes them down," he told me. The problem is that the stop sign is a traffic sign.
Reports Victoria Kim in the LA Times:
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Radioactive particles released in the nuclear reactor meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami were detected in giant kelp along the California coast, according to a recently published study.
Radioactive iodine was found in samples collected from beds of kelp in locations along the coast from Laguna Beach to as far north as Santa Cruz about a month after the explosion, according to the study by two marine biologists at Cal State Long Beach.
The levels, while most likely not harmful to humans, were significantly higher than measurements prior to the explosion and comparable to those found in British Columbia, Canada, and northern Washington state following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, according to the study published in March in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Giant kelp, or Macrocystis pyrifera, is a particularly good measure of radioactive material in the environment because it accumulates iodine, researchers said.
Reuters offers a hypnotic glimpse inside a desert community which blurs the line between homeless encampment and off-the-grid utopian commune. Populated by hippies, the blue collar elderly, and families with young children, it features a golf course, a 24-hour library, an internet cafe, and plenty of good times:
Somewhere on the edge of reality is this place. A former military base that was closed after World War II, Slab City is a place on the fringe both geographically and philosophically. It attracts a variety of people, including jobless and financially struggling recession refugees who can no longer pay for food and housing.
Don't hate us because we're beautiful. Or do. It turns out the left-most state is also America's most-hated, according to a recent survey by Public Policy Polling. And California's left-leaning politics seem to have a lot to do with it. The Golden State is the most-disliked in the union, and Hawaii is the most-liked. In fact, ours was one of only five states that received majority-negative views by our fellow Americans, according to PPP: Americans generally have a favorable view of most states. Only five are in negative territory, led by California (27% favorable and 44% unfavorable), Illinois (19-29), New Jersey (25-32), Mississippi (22-28), and Utah (24-27). Barack Obama's home state of Hawaii was the most-loved, with 54 percent of us viewing it positively. (Of course — it's America's vacation state) ...