Monday Morning Musing

I had a busy weekend editing my humorous memoir, A Dead Tomato Plant And A Paycheck, getting it ready to publish. It will be on Kindle first, and available at the end of the month. This is a book I’ve been working on off and on for several years and is a compilation of weekly humor columns I wrote for a suburban Dallas newspaper for about five years. This was back when Carl and I were raising our kids, and I started writing about the nonsense that went on in the house, mainly to save my sanity.

For a while I basked in the glory of being known as The Erma Bombeck of Plano. What an honor.

This photo may or may not end up on the cover. Dany Russell is still working on the cover design.

Sometimes I find really interesting stories on TED Talks Daily.  In case you are not familiar with the podcast,TED stands for technology, entertainment, and design. Many of the talks are about the latest innovations in those categories, and this one about computers creating farms really snagged my attention.

The question that Caleb Harper, director of the Open Agriculture Initiative at the MIT Media Lab asked at the start of his talk was, “What if we could grow delicious, nutrient-dense food, indoors anywhere in the world?”

Then he talked about an apple he was holding. He asked the audience if they knew how much time had passed between the time the apple had been on a tree to when he bought it at a grocery store. The answer was astounding — a year. And even more astounding was the fact that it had lost all nutrients while being in cold storage on the various legs of the trip from tree to hand, so now it was nothing but a ball of sugar.

And here I thought I was being so nutrition-conscious by eating an apple every day. It was a habit I picked up from my father, and he lived well into his nineties. But now that I think of it, my mother outlived him by three years, and she rarely ate apples. She didn’t like them.


Anyway, while still in its infancy, Caleb created the Open Agriculture Initiative in 2015, the MIT lab has successfully made computers that can grow food. As he talked, I kept envisioning the computers aboard the fictional Star Trek spaceships that dispensed food when the passengers asked for it, and perhaps the process is similar. On the lab website there is a link for Build A Personal Food Computer.

This is an innovative, and necessary, advancement in farming as our world changes and not many are called to be farmers in the sense we have always known them. Part of me is excited for the advancement. Just think of having fresh apples right at our fingertips that are not just a ball of sugar. But another part of me is a little sad that the farmers as we have always known them will slowly disappear.

Technology may not be able to reproduce the same wisdom that farmers have passed from generation to generation for, well, generations. That is the beauty of the family farm where men and women work side by side and bring up their children with values treasured in the Heartland of America, and beyond. Will the computer scientists be passing on these tidbits of wisdom?

  • Live a good, honorable life. Then, when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.
  • Don’t interfere with something that ain’t bothering you.
  •  If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
  • Sometimes you get — and sometimes you get got.
  • The biggest troublemaker you’ll ever have to deal with watches you from the mirror every morning.

You can read more words of Wisdom HERE

Another uplifting story I found over the weekend was on Newsmax, and it has some good news about Alzheimer’s detection before symptoms start showing up.

The latest Alzheimer’s breakthrough is focused on eyes, which researchers are saying can be “read” for early detection of the disease.

A new study by the Washington School of Medicine, published in the Alzheimer’s and Dementia journal, found a connection between degenerative eye diseases and Alzheimer’s disease, The Express reported.

People with eye conditions such age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma were found be at a higher risk of developing the degenerative brain disorder, which leads to cognitive decline and memory loss.

Read the full story at Newsmax: Eyes Can Be ‘Read’ for Early Detection of Alzheimer’s, Study Says |

I hope you’ll follow the links and read the stories and listen to some of the TED Talks. You never know what you will learn.

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