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In 1972 I had waited two years to receive an invitation to visit China and then four days to get a seat on the train from Hong Kong to Guangzhou. The travel time to Guangzhou, via Hong Kong, by commercial airline and train, was about twenty-six hours. In the years that followed I made many trips to China. Each time the visits became easier, there was no waiting for invitations to visit the country. In the 1980s tourism became a major source of income for China as the country opened up to the western world. It had a lot to Read on →
When I first heard the music of Bob Marley years ago, the Jamaican reggae singer-songwriter, guitarist and philosopher, I found myself moving to the music. Somewhat to my surprise, I seemed to be responding automatically to his enlightened suggestion to "lively up yo'self." Music has always been a challenge to me. I guess part of the difficulty has been my insistence on wanting to know how it works rather than just sitting back and letting it work on me. Too much left- and not enough right-brain dominance. Seven years ago, I joined a small ensemble at James Madison University that was Read on →
"The Stone Age came to an end not for a lack of stones, and the oil age will end, but not for a lack of oil." -- Ahmed Zaki Yamani, former Saudi Arabian Minister of Oil, 2000 The Great Transition has begun. I know, because our household is part of it. I speak of humanity's transition from the bondage of addiction to fossil fuels -- addiction that has fouled our air and water, disrupted our climate and ravaged our earth -- to the liberation of renewable energy. You're looking at our house. On February 4, we installed a 12-panel solar photovoltaic (PV) array Read on →
The premise is simple: pigs raised on the ground instead of concrete pens are happier pigs and produce better and tastier meat. That’s the theory at Thompson Farms here in Dixie, Ga., where Andrew Thompson produces pork, selling almost all his production to Whole Foods stores throughout most of the South. There’s a local connection: he is the brother of Mike Thompson, an attorney in Technology Park/Atlanta at Peachtree Corners. For the last several years, Thompson Farms has taken the middle man out, selling directly to Whole Foods, which pays a premium price for the high quality and more expensive-to-produce meat. And Read on →