Jan 26, 2013

Stan Musial | Costas shares memories of Musial - Video | cardinals.com: Multimedia

Thank you Bob for that! A great tribute to a great man... if that does not get to your emotions, nothing will... Wow... I admired this man since I was 9 years old... Monte

Costas reflects on "The Man"
Bob Costas recounts some of his favorite memories of Stan Musial and his impact on others during the late Hall of Famer's funeral

ST. LOUIS -- Family, friends and fans gathered on Saturday to say goodbye to one of St. Louis' finest, Hall-of-Famer Stanley Frank Musial, who died a week ago at the age of 92.

Musial's life and baseball career were celebrated during a two-plus hour funeral mass at St. Louis' Cathedral Basilica, which had been the site of Musial's public visitation service two days earlier. On this day, the Basilica was full, with several baseball luminaries among those in attendance.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and MLB executive Joe Torre were there, as was former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and his successor, Mike Matheny. Nearby sat former Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, a man who once shed his "El Hombre" nickname as a show of respect to Musial.

Cardinal teams from the last several decades were represented by the club's Hall of Famers, all of whom were dressed in their red sport coats, the same one Musial was to be buried in during a private ceremony later Saturday afternoon. Mike Shannon, Jim Edmonds, John Mabry and Jason Motte also sat in the Basilica pews.

Team president Bill DeWitt III served as one of eight pallbearers who brought Musial's white casket into the Basilica shortly after 11 a.m. CT. When the hearse arrived, bagpipes played outside the Basilica doors. Those inside sang "Amazing Grace" as members of the Musial family took their seats.

"He was a great player, but he was a better person," said Motte, who traveled from Memphis with his wife and their newborn daughter to pay his respects to a man he met a handful of times at Busch Stadium. "That's why he touched so many people. To be here for him and his family, I wouldn't have missed it. He is one of those people that we can learn from in this organization about how to do things the right way."

That was the message that several men delivered from the pulpit on Saturday.

Bishop Richard Stika offered a personal homily, during which he recalled those days after mass that Musial would open his trunk and pass out trinkets or sign autographs for those who had helped him and his late wife, Lil, to their car.

Another four individuals then delivered remarks of remembrance, beginning with Cardinals principal owner Bill DeWitt, Jr., who first met Musial when he was a young child. DeWitt, whose father was a baseball executive, grew up around Sportsman's Park.

"Stan Musial represented and personified [a] standard of excellence for almost 70 years," DeWitt said, adding that while Musial was friends with presidents and Popes, he is most remembered for being a friend of the masses.

Famed sportscaster and St. Louis-native Bob Costas stepped to the microphone next and, after stealing Yogi Berra's line of -– "Always go to your friend's funeral. Otherwise they won't come to yours." -– he delivered some the funeral's most poignant stories.

Costas first captured the context of Musial's career, asserting that perhaps Musial lacked appropriate national appreciation simply because he went about things the right way and did so outside of the bright New York City lights.

"What was the hook with Stan Musial?" Costas asked. "Other than the distinctive stance and one of baseball's best nicknames, it seems all Stan had going for him was more than two decades of sustained excellence as a ballplayer and more than nine decades as a thoroughly decent human being."

Costas, who had been asked by Musial to speak at the funeral, choked back tears twice during his remarks. He did so the first time as he retold the story of Musial's actions at an All-Star Game during the 1950s, when Musial walked over to a group of black players who were playing card games and said, 'Deal me in.' No other white ballplayers had approached the group.

"That was his way," Costas said, "of letting those players know that they were welcome."

Costas had to gather himself again a few minutes later, when he spoke about a dinner he once hosted when Mickey Mantle was in town. Stan and Lil Musial had been invited to join. After the Musials left that night, Mantle, as Costas recalled, turned to him and offered the following:

"You know, I had as much ability as Stan, maybe more. Nobody had more power than me. Nobody could run faster than me. But Stan was a better player because he's a better man than me. Because he got everything out of his life and his ability that he could. And he'll never have to live with all the regret that I have to live with."

Two members of Musial's family followed Costas, beginning with Andrew Edmonds, one of Stan and Lil Musial's 11 grandchildren. He told of a grandfather who made people happier just by his presence.

Edmonds said that he'd often be asked what it was like to have Musial as a grandfather. Edmonds said he would answer by noting that Musial "was the same loving, caring patriarch that a lot of family's share." He remembered his grandfather as the one who'd bring McDonalds over on Sunday mornings and who would attend his grandchildren's sporting events.

Closing out the funeral mass was Musial's son-in-law Martin Schwarze, who opened with Musial's trademark quip of "Whaddya Say! Whaddya Say!" He went on to note that "what you saw in the public is what we saw in the private," adding that the family, in the days after Musial's death, had brainstormed a list of adjectives to best describe Musial.

That list included the following: Modest. Sincere. Humble. Kind. Classy. Sustained excellence. Approachable. Gentlemanly. Untarnished.

Following Schwarze's remarks, the Musial family filtered out of the Basilica and into awaiting vehicles. As the processional made its way to Busch Stadium, onlookers stopped on the sidewalk to pay respect to the 22-year Cardinal who had made St. Louis his permanent home after retirement.

When the family reached the Stan Musial statue at the ballpark, they were greeted by hundreds of more fans. Many had red No. 6 flags in hand. Musial's family laid a wreath and some flowers at the base of the statue. Before they left for the burial service, the crowd began to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

Inside the ballpark, a No. 6 logo was displayed alone on Busch Stadium's primary scoreboard. Projected on a nearby screen were four pictures of Musial, whose celebrated baseball career had ended back on Sept. 29, 1963, with a 2-for-3 day against the Reds.

For those who had never heard or didn't remember Harry Caray's radio call from Musial's final at-bat that day, Costas relived it as a close to his eulogy.

"Harry said: 'Take a look fans. Take a good long look. Remember the swing and the stance. We won't see his like again.'"

Costas paused, then added:

"Harry was right. We never have. And we never will."

Related Links:
Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial Dies at Age 92
Bob Costas’ Eulogy For Stan Musial Was Midwestern Sports Reverence At Its Finest

Jan 24, 2013

Frontline Gets Its Man: Lanny Breuer Leaves DOJ After Exposé | BanksterUSA

Watch The Untouchables on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Great Job by Frontline!!!  Monte

Frontline Gets Its Man: Lanny Breuer Leaves DOJ After Exposé
Mary Bottari on January 24, 2013

In a testament to the power of independent media, the award-winning public television show Frontline this week helped push a top Department of Justice (DOJ) official out the door.

On Tuesday, Frontline aired a report called "The Untouchables” detailing the DOJ’s failure to prosecute the big banks for the 2008 financial meltdown and zeroing in on Lanny Breuer, the former White House legal counsel for Clinton who headed the DOJ’s criminal division under Obama.

On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that Breuer was stepping down. Breuer's Legacy: Enshrining "Too Big to Jail" as Legal Precedent Many had criticized Attorney General Eric Holder and Breuer for failing to take action against the mega banks on Wall Street, and watched with disbelief last December as the DOJ decided to pass on criminal penalties against HSBC for laundering drug money and helping to finance terrorists. The behemoth bank was ordered to pay a record civil fine, but no criminal charges were lodged against any HSBC official.

A New York Times editorial called the decision a "dark day for the rule of law." But this time around, the Frontline crew had unparalleled access to Breuer which generated a number of key revelations: Frontline documented that Breuer/Holder failed to use the tools available to them to really dig.

FRONTLINE: We spoke to a couple of sources from within the Criminal Division, and they reported that when it came to Wall Street, there were no investigations going on. There were no subpoenas, no document reviews, no wiretaps.

LANNY BREUER: Well, I don’t know who you spoke with because we have looked hard at the very types of matters that you’re talking about. Frontline documented that Breuer/Holder failed to reach out to key whistle blowers.

FRONTLINE: Another criticism that has been thrown at you is that you’ve not done enough to go looking for the whistle-blowers that are out there. We have been able to contact a number of people who were inside the banks, doing due diligence work as contractors, who all told us that they were never contacted by the Justice Department.

BREUER: I can’t talk in general about nondescript, anonymous whistle-blowers. But here’s what I can tell you. Whenever I personally have been in any public setting, I’ve invited whistle-blowers to come forward. Frontline documented that Breuer/Holder worried more about the fragility of the banks than cleaning up corruption on Wall Street.

FRONTLINE: You gave a speech before the New York Bar Association. You talked about your use of nonprosecution and deferred prosecution agreements. And in that speech, you made a reference to “losing sleep at night over worrying about what a lawsuit might result in at a large financial institution.” Is that really the job of a prosecutor, to worry about anything other than simply pursuing justice?

 BREUER: I think I and prosecutors around the country, being responsible, should speak to regulators, should speak to experts, because if I bring a case against institution A, and as a result of bringing that case there’s some huge economic effect, it affects the economy so that employees who had nothing to do with the wrongdoing of the company….. If it creates a ripple effect so that suddenly counterparties and other financial institutions or other companies that had nothing to do with this are affected badly, it’s a factor we need to know and understand. Just this week

Propublica put out another blockbuster report about the corruption at Morgan Stanley before the financial meltdown, unveiling documents where employees dubbed the securities they were peddling: "Subprime Meltdown," "Nuclear Holocaust," "Shitbag." This information was garnered not from the federal government prosecutions, but from a private lawsuit against the bank.

Before his appointment at the DOJ, Breuer had worked at the Washington office of Covington & Burling LLP alongside Holder.

The firm specializes in helping big name corporations, including tobacco firms, evade taxes and get off the hook for crimes and malfeasance. Breuer is likely to return to that natural perch, unfortunately he will be leaving Holder behind to continue business as usual at the DOJ.

 Related Links: Frontline Gets Its Man: Lanny Breuer Leaves DOJ After Exposé | BanksterUSA

James Taylor - Charlie Rose Interview + Much More

Click on image to go to video interview
Charlie Rose Video Interview With James Taylor

A very good and humble man! Life has brought "great wisdom" to this musician, entertainer, and song writer. Nice to be able to admire, enjoy, and share his music and humanity, throughout my life...  Monte

James Taylor about John Lennon on BBC
December 2010: James Taylor speaks to the BBC about his friendship and admiration for John Lennon and performs an intimate "In My Life" from his barn. This raw interview footage was incorporated into the BBC's documentary, "The Lennon Legacy" honoring the 30th anniversary of John Lennon's death.

James Taylor - National Press Club - December 7, 2012

James Taylor at Williams College Commencement

James Taylor Building Fence

James Taylor's Cat Ray Fishing

Related Links:
James Taylor's YouTube Channel - Wonderful bunch of videos!
James Taylor - "Fire & Rain"
James Taylor - "Carolina in My Mind "
James Taylor - Sweet Baby James (Live: BBC - 1970)

Jan 23, 2013

Does this fire you up? | 350.org

On Sunday, February 17, thousands of Americans will head to Washington, D.C. to make Forward on Climate the largest climate rally in history. Join this historic event to make your voice heard and help the president start his second term with strong climate action.

Pro-Keystone XL Letter Dripping in Fossil Fuel Money --> http://grist.org/article/pro-keystone-xl-letter-dripping-in-fossil-fuel-money/

What Happened in Rural America in 2012

Full Link:
What Happened in Rural America in 2012 » Market to Market » Iowa Public Television

How salt stops plant growth

Breakthrough: How salt stops plant growth
January 23, 2013 
This is a confocal microscope image of a branching root (lateral root). The cell boundaries are in red and the the GFP fluorescent signal marks the endodermis. Credit: Image courtesy Jose Dinneny 

Until now it has not been clear how salt, a scourge to agriculture, halts the growth of the plant-root system. A team of researchers, led by the Carnegie Institution's José Dinneny and Lina Duan, found that not all types of roots are equally inhibited. They discovered that an inner layer of tissue in the branching roots that anchor the plant is sensitive to salt and activates a stress hormone, which stops root growth. The study, published in the current issue of The Plant Cell, is a boon for understanding the stress response and for developing salt-resistant crops. 

Salt accumulates in irrigated soils due to the evaporation of water, which leaves salt behind. The United Nations estimates that salinity affects crops on about 200 million acres (80 million hectares) of arable land and not just in developing countries, but areas such as California as well. 

As Dinneny explained: "An important missing piece of the puzzle to understanding how plants cope with stressful environments is knowing when and where stressors act to affect growth." 

Roots are intimately associated with their environment and develop highly intricate branched networks that enable them to explore the soil. The branching roots grow horizontally off the main root and are important for water and nutrient uptake. 

The scientists grew seedlings of a laboratory plant (Arabidopsis) that is a relative of mustard using a custom imaging system, which enabled them to measure the dynamic process of root growth throughout the salt response. This ability to track root growth in real time led the scientists to observe that branching roots entered a dormant phase of growth as salt was introduced. To determine how dormancy might be regulated, Lina Duan surveyed the role of different plant hormones in this process and found that Abscisic Acid was the key signaling molecule. 

"We are familiar with how animals use a fight or flight strategy to face external challenges. While plants can't run for safety, they can control how much they grow into dangerous territory," commented Dinneny. It turns out that Abscisic Acid, a stress hormone produced in the plant when it is exposed to drought or salty environments, is important in controlling the plant equivalent of fight or flight." 

To understand how Abscisic Acid controls growth, the investigators devised a strategy to inhibit the response to this hormone in different tissue layers of the root. They developed several mutants in which the response to the hormone was suppressed in different root layers. They found that a significant portion of the salt response was dependent upon how a single cell layer sensed the hormone. The live imaging allowed them to watch what happened to root growth in these mutant plants. 

"Interestingly, the 'inner-skin' of the root, called the endodermis, was most critical for this process. This tissue layer is particularly important as it acts like a semipermeable barrier limiting which substances can enter the root system from the soil environment." remarked lead author Duan. 

"Our results mean that in addition to acting as a filter for substances in the soil, the endodermis also acts as a guard, with Abscisic Acid, to prevent a plant from growing in dangerous environments," said Dinneny. 

"Irrigation of agricultural land is a major contributor to soil salinity. And as sea levels rise with climate change, understanding how plants, particularly crops, react to salt might allow us to develop plant varieties that can grow in the saltier soils that will likely occur in coastal zones."

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-salt-growth.html#jCp

Jan 22, 2013

How to make a wood iPad Stand

Published on Sep 11, 2012

Barent Hoffman, Carpentry Instructor at Green River Community College, demonstrates how to make a simple iPad stand from inexpensive 2X6 lumber.

Children Raised on Farms Develop Better Immune Systems

Published on Jan 15, 2013

Research shows exposure to animals and other aspects of farm life are good for health.

Risk and Responsibility: Farming, Food, and Unconventional Gas Drilling

Michelle Bamberger and Robert E. Oswald (Photo credit: Marcellus Protest)
Full Story:

Extraction of hydrocarbon gas from tight shale formations using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has been advertised as a path toward energy independence for the United States and is being promoted worldwide. This is tempered by environmental and societal concerns that have led to banning the practice in some countries (e.g., France), at least one state in the U.S. (Vermont), and numerous towns and cities in the United States. In the United States, the process itself is largely regulated at the state level, with exemptions from federal laws regulating air, drinking water and hazardous waste disposal. Regulation at the state level varies considerably among states with significant shale deposits, as does the level of enforcement of regulations. The argument often given to suggest that the process is safe cites the fact that in the sixty years since the first gas well was hydraulically fractured, the industry has not found proof it finds acceptable that drinking water has been contaminated. This assertion is not universally accepted because of at least two factors.


First, it is based on a narrow definition of hydraulic fracturing, that is, solely the process of stimulation of the well; whereas, the public and many in academia are more concerned with the entire life-cycle of the drilling and extraction process with many possible routes of environmental contamination. The second issue is the burden of proof. Is it the public or the government that bears the burden of proving that environmental harm has occurred or should the industry be required to provide scientifically acceptable proof of the safety of the process? In this paper, we will discuss regulation briefly followed by a more detailed discussion of health effects of shale gas extraction, and possible impacts on food safety.


In a recent issue of Independent Science News (1), William Sanjour carefully reviewed the inherent problems of regulatory agencies. While his view was informed by thirty years of experience working for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), his comments raise important concerns for state regulatory agencies as well. One important point that he raised was: “Agencies which enforce regulations should not write the regulations.” This was recognized by the US Department of the Interior after the Deepwater Horizon blowout when the Minerals Management Service, with allegedly strong connections to industry, was divided into permitting (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) and regulatory (Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement) branches.

Taking the example of New York State, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which has written the proposed hydraulic fracturing regulations, will be responsible both for issuing permits for the wells and enforcing the regulations. The two most important concerns are that the NYS DEC has been chronically understaffed, particularly with regard to permitting and regulating gas wells. Expansion of the program to high volume shale gas wells will only exacerbate the problem. Secondly, the agency has the dual missions of extracting minerals efficiently and protecting the environment. While an increase in state or federal bureaucracy will never be politically popular, there is an inherent conflict of interest between these two missions and it makes little sense to charge a small staff with this dual mandate. Careful oversight of this global industry, which is in the best interest of the public and the industry, can only be done if regulatory agencies are truly independent and have sufficient staffing to detect problems and provide effective enforcement.

Health Issues

We have noted previously (2) that health issues surrounding shale gas extraction have some similarities to that of tobacco. Whereas no medical or public health reasons exist for treating nicotine and its delivery system differently from any other drug that is regulated by the FDA, for political reasons, companies selling this product were not subjected to federal laws controlling drug sales. Likewise, no proof of the safety of the product was required. Instead, the burden of proof fell on government and academic scientists, who eventually demonstrated the dangers associated with tobacco use. Demonstrating the potential for the political process to work against the pubic interest, this carcinogenic product remains freely available and the adverse health consequences remain a burden on our medical system. In a similar manner, proponents of shale gas extraction have simply asserted that the process is safe, based on experience with low volume vertical wells. If held to this standard, one could imagine that Merck could have asked for approval of Vioxx® based on the safety record of ibuprofen or aspirin.

Our interest has been on the use of animals as sentinels of human health in areas experiencing extensive shale gas and oil extraction. Animals tend to have greater exposure to environmental threats than humans because they typically have greater exposure to air, soil and groundwater and have more frequent reproductive cycles and shorter generation times. For example, animal owners can often afford to purchase drinking water for their own use, but purchasing drinking water for a herd of cattle can be beyond the means of some farmers. Thus, the cattle have a much greater exposure to potentially contaminated water than the farmer.

The question is whether or not any of the processes associated with shale gas and oil extraction have led to adverse health consequences in animals or humans. We have published an analysis of case reports from 24 families with plausible exposures to toxicants associated with one or more phases of the drilling process (2). One approach to obtaining more definitive evidence might be to determine if specific chemical residues can be found in the environment following hydraulic fracturing operations that were not present before those operations began, identify a route of exposure, and then attempt to determine if the concentrations present in the exposure pathway could have caused health problems. On the surface, this is a logical approach that has been used for many years by environmental toxicologists.

But the problem faced in analyzing the health effects of shale gas extraction is not as simple as finding hexavalent chromium in the drinking water. It is an extremely complex problem with the potential of exposures from multiple chemical entities (known and unknown), multiple routes of exposure, and unknown interactions between chemicals. Furthermore, recent evidence suggests that the effects of chemicals at high doses cannot accurately predict effects at lower does (nonmonotonic dose response curves; 3). This is particularly true for endocrine disrupting chemicals that have been reported to be components of hydraulic fracturing fluid (4). For these reasons, the maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) of specific compounds that are used to determine the safety of drinking water are questionable. The problem is compounded by inadequate or nonexistent predrilling testing of air and water in many cases and by nondisclosure agreements tied to victim compensation that remove the details of specific cases from further study.

A good example of the approach described above is the extensive investigation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) exposure by the Texas Department of State Health Services (TxDSHS) in Dish, Texas (5). Whereas this expensive and exceedingly well done study provided no evidence that residents were exposed to VOCs from shale gas operations, the authors note that this negative evidence represents only one time point. It does not rule out exposures at other times or locations. The authors wisely chose to include metabolites of VOCs, which extends the time scope of the study as the metabolites remain in the body longer than the parent VOCs. However, the fact remains that this study describes only ongoing or recent exposures at only one time point using a limited population and cannot really be used to prove that a process is safe.

Our view is that animals (including humans) can be used as biological integrators and that disease state can, if used properly, be a readout of toxicity. This might be used in studying effects of human and animal exposures as well as possible impacts on the food supply. In a first-pass investigation, this circumvents problems of multiple exposure pathways, multiple toxicants, nonmonotonic dose response curves, etc. The question is how to collect information and analyze it correctly. For this, we turn to the medical literature as one might view the problem as similar to, albeit more complicated than, a possible disease outbreak. One approach is to begin by analyzing individual cases to determine the characteristics of the disease and possible routes of exposure (2).

The idea is to use this information to inform further studies of prevalence and cause, as a large number of cases provides a stronger case for further studies. This is where the use of animals as sentinels of human health becomes important. A farm family living near a drilling operation provides only a limited number of cases. If the couple has reproductive problems, suggesting that the drilling operation is to blame is tenuous without many other cases showing similar problems. However, if this is a cattle farm with careful record keeping, it may be possible to show that, for example, one hundred heifers have reproductive problems that correspond temporally with drilling operations or specific violations (e.g., leak of a wastewater impoundment, well casing failure). Again, this does not provide definitive proof, but the increased sample size serves to guide further work regarding possible effects on reproduction by some aspect of the drilling operation.

One can take this a step further by analyzing more specific exposures. In several cases, we have found herds that have been split between two or more pastures (2). In those cases, the portion of the herd exposed to impoundment pond leaks, contaminated well water, or creeks into which wastewater was allegedly illegally dumped displayed reproductive failure while the unexposed portion of the herd was not affected. Likewise, this is not definitive evidence of cause-and-effect, but raises serious red flags and points the way to further studies.

Documenting individual cases will always be limited to individuals that are willing or able to talk to investigators but in our research we have run into significant unnecessary obstacles. For example in one small area of Pennsylvania, residents were surveyed as to whether drilling had impacted the perceived quality of their water supply (the water was supplied by wells between 40 and 200 feet deep). As of this writing, 50 of 132 families indicated that they noted changes in water quality (Prof. John Stolz, Duquesne University, personal communication) but only a small fraction were willing to provide further documentation.

In other cases, residents having presumed issues with water quality have signed nondisclosure agreements in exchange for compensation from industry. This is a worrying distortion of an important business practice. If we take the example used above of a pharmaceutical company, it would be considered unethical to compensate individuals suffering from an unknown side effect of a drug and then require them to sign nondisclosure agreements in an attempt to keep the drug on the market. The use of the nondisclosure agreement in issues relating to public and environmental health should be illegal (6).

In all of the cases that we have studied, the burden of proof for demonstrating harm has fallen squarely on the shoulders of those that have allegedly been impacted. Given that drilling has been concentrated in rural areas with low per capita income, the ability to prove harm is sometimes economically difficult or impossible. This brings up the subject of environmental justice. In New York State, for example, the New York City and Syracuse watersheds will be exempted from any drilling activity due to dangers inherent in the process. After securing this exemption, New York City’s mayor called for the expanded use of hydraulic fracturing to provide more energy for New York City. The division of New York State into zones of environmental privilege and zones of potential environmental sacrifice is contrary to any realistic notion of environmental justice–but is a likely consequence of current policies.

So What is the Next Step?

We believe that more careful epidemiological studies are needed. Despite our emphasis on animal health, public records are far more sophisticated for human than animal health. For example, milk production seems to have fallen in areas in Pennsylvania experiencing extensive drilling (7), but the analysis is at the level of individual counties, and the data are not available for an analysis at higher resolution. In a preliminary report, Hill (8) has found in human databases that babies born near drilling operations tend to have lower birth weights and reduced APGAR scores. Although details are not yet available, two large healthcare systems serving Pennsylvania and southern New York, Geisinger Health System and Guthrie Health, have embarked on a study of potential health effects of drilling using their patient database (9). The advantage of these epidemiological studies is that the databases were generated for other purposes and do not have biases associated with the drilling issue and the large datasets provide considerable statistical power assuming that proper controls are employed.

Analyzing health effects on the level of individual counties or similar coarse-grained geographical unit is relatively straightforward. However, more detailed studies that define risks within a certain distance from a source of pollution are more difficult. One of the problems in analyzing all of these data is defining the x-axis. That is, in principle, one might consider a gas drilling operation as a possible point source of pollution. However, the problem is not that simple and is becoming more difficult with time. If one considers Bradford County in Pennsylvania and maps all of the gas wells within a ten-mile radius of a given farm, it is not unusual to find five hundred or more wells (only a percentage of these would be high volume hydraulically fractured wells).

At this point, only about 2% of the total number of planned wells have been drilled in Bradford County, so defining the x-axis as the distance from a well (i.e., point source) is problematic and constantly changing. When we take this one step further, we realize that some of these wells have not had any problems, whereas others may have had a casing failure, a blowout preventer failure, or the leak of an impoundment pond. For this reason, any fine-grain analysis of health issues will have to be approached with care. Nevertheless, we believe that careful epidemiological studies are essential in order to define the prevalence of health problems that may be associated with drilling operations and perhaps to define the practices that are most problematic in terms of human and animal health. With careful epidemiological studies, it may be possible to identify particular risk factors in drilling operations. Of course, the downside of this approach is that those living in proximity to drilling operations (and those consuming food produced near them) become unwitting experimental subjects.

Whereas we believe that careful studies should proceed and continue to inform policy decisions, the question of how science can be used to make effective regulatory decisions is a topic common to many environmental and public health risks (10). The common gold standard of proof is statistically rejecting the null hypothesis with a probability of a false positive of 1 or 5%. One might start with a null hypothesis that states that proximity to a well pad has no correlation with an adverse health effect. But in the case of human hazards, minimizing false positives may be less important than minimizing false negatives. That is, if a correlation between an adverse health outcome and proximity to a well pad is found to be statistically not significant at the 0.05 level, perhaps having a p value of 0.06, then the null hypothesis that the adverse health outcome is unrelated to the proximity to a well pad would be accepted. This standard of proof is accepted practice in a laboratory situation because of the essential conservative nature of science, which is to avoid making incorrect conclusions at the expense of missing important effects. But laboratory science moves at a deliberate pace and the daily workings of an individual laboratory rarely affect the immediate quality of life for a large population.

In our drill pad example, however, the implications of accepting the null hypothesis may be much greater than the implications of rejecting it. Perhaps improving the survey instrument or taking a slightly larger sample could push the data to a significant result. Without these enhancements, we have a false negative, and an incorrect result. In this example, framing the null hypothesis is equivalent to defining the burden of proof, and the burden of proof does not fall upon the oil and gas industry. And we know that the lack of proof of harm is equated by politicians and policymakers with the lack of harm.

A more nuanced approach to analyzing environmental data is therefore essential to avoid a statistical bias against false negatives. Different levels of proof, which may be more appropriate for assessing any potential harm associated with drilling, are discussed in a report from the European Environment Agency (10). Using verbal descriptors, the levels of proof include “beyond all reasonable doubt,” “balance of evidence,” “reasonable grounds for concern,” and “scientific suspicion of risk.” By more carefully identifying the areas of ignorance and taking a realistic approach to false negatives, we believe that science can effectively inform public policy on this important issue.

Food Safety

The impacts of shale gas drilling on food safety have not been carefully studied and little is known. Again working from case studies, we have reported (2) that cattle exposed to wastewater from drilling operations have been taken to slaughter without further testing. In many instances, those that have died following exposures to drilling operations have been taken to rendering plants, where their flesh has been processed into feed for other animals (e.g., chickens, pigs, fish). These are concerns without definitive proof. No routine testing is done before allowing the products derived from animals exposed to environmental contaminants to enter our food supply, nor is there adequate information on appropriate hold times (time between exposure and slaughter) for production animals with known exposures to environmental toxicants. Equally, nothing is known about impacts on vegetable and fruit crops. We have visited farms with crops growing within tens of feet from produced water tanks (i.e., tanks containing fluids that return from the well along with the gas) and well-heads, and fields of corn and squash near impoundment ponds that contain wastewater at different stages of the drilling process. The extent to which this is a concern is not known, but deserves careful study.


The unconventional gas-drilling boom has swept across the globe in recent years without evidence that environmental and public health can be protected. In the United States, the industry enjoys extensive subsidies, which include, among many others, exemptions from federal laws regulating clean air, clean water, and the disposal of toxic substances. A patchwork of state regulations allow secrecy rather than disclosure of substances used in all steps of the process, and nondisclosure agreements have been used to block access to information on specific cases that could provide meaningful public health information. Without complete transparency (disclosure of all chemicals used and outlawing nondisclosure agreements in cases involving public health) and complete testing, science cannot proceed unimpeded. Without careful science demonstrating, not the absence of proof of harm, but rather the clear absence of harm to public health, neither state nor federal regulations can assure that the food supply and the health of individuals living near gas drilling and processing operations will be protected.

Until we can protect public health with greater certainty, unconventional shale gas extraction should be severely limited or banned, using the subsidies currently provided to support this industry to instead develop and deploy renewable forms of energy.

Regulators Discover a Hidden Viral Gene in Commercial GMO Crops

January 21, 2013
by Jonathan Latham and Allison Wilson
Full Story: http://independentsciencenews.org/commentaries/regulators-discover-a-hidden-viral-gene-in-commercial-gmo-crops/
How should a regulatory agency announce they have discovered something potentially very important about the safety of products they have been approving for over twenty years?

In the course of analysis to identify potential allergens in GMO crops, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has belatedly discovered that the most common genetic regulatory sequence in commercial GMOs also encodes a significant fragment of a viral gene (Podevin and du Jardin 2012). This finding has serious ramifications for crop biotechnology and its regulation, but possibly even greater ones for consumers and farmers. This is because there are clear indications that this viral gene (called Gene VI) might not be safe for human consumption. It also may disturb the normal functioning of crops, including their natural pest resistance.


What Podevin and du Jardin discovered is that of the 86 different transgenic events (unique insertions of foreign DNA) commercialized to-date in the United States 54 contain portions of Gene VI within them. They include any with a widely used gene regulatory sequence called the CaMV 35S promoter (from the cauliflower mosaic virus; CaMV). Among the affected transgenic events are some of the most widely grown GMOs, including Roundup Ready soybeans (40-3-2) and MON810 maize. They include the controversial NK603 maize recently reported as causing tumors in rats (Seralini et al. 2012).

The researchers themselves concluded that the presence of segments of Gene VI “might result in unintended phenotypic changes”. They reached this conclusion because similar fragments of Gene VI have already been shown to be active on their own (e.g. De Tapia et al. 1993). In other words, the EFSA researchers were unable to rule out a hazard to public health or the environment.

In general, viral genes expressed in plants raise both agronomic and human health concerns (reviewed in Latham and Wilson 2008). This is because many viral genes function to disable their host in order to facilitate pathogen invasion. Often, this is achieved by incapacitating specific anti-pathogen defenses. Incorporating such genes could clearly lead to undesirable and unexpected outcomes in agriculture. Furthermore, viruses that infect plants are often not that different from viruses that infect humans. For example, sometimes the genes of human and plant viruses are interchangeable, while on other occasions inserting plant viral fragments as transgenes has caused the genetically altered plant to become susceptible to an animal virus (Dasgupta et al. 2001). Thus, in various ways, inserting viral genes accidentally into crop plants and the food supply confers a significant potential for harm.

The Choices for Regulators
The original discovery by Podevin and du Jardin (at EFSA) of Gene VI in commercial GMO crops must have presented regulators with sharply divergent procedural alternatives. They could 1) recall all CaMV Gene VI-containing crops (in Europe that would mean revoking importation and planting approvals) or, 2) undertake a retrospective risk assessment of the CaMV promoter and its Gene VI sequences and hope to give it a clean bill of health.

It is easy to see the attraction for EFSA of option two. Recall would be a massive political and financial decision and would also be a huge embarrassment to the regulators themselves. It would leave very few GMO crops on the market and might even mean the end of crop biotechnology.

Regulators, in principle at least, also have a third option to gauge the seriousness of any potential GMO hazard. GMO monitoring, which is required by EU regulations, ought to allow them to find out if deaths, illnesses, or crop failures have been reported by farmers or health officials and can be correlated with the Gene VI sequence. Unfortunately, this particular avenue of enquiry is a scientific dead end. Not one country has carried through on promises to officially and scientifically monitor any hazardous consequences of GMOs (1).

Unsurprisingly, EFSA chose option two. However, their investigation resulted only in the vague and unreassuring conclusion that Gene VI “might result in unintended phenotypic changes” (Podevin and du Jardin 2012). This means literally, that changes of an unknown number, nature, or magnitude may (or may not) occur. It falls well short of the solid scientific reassurance of public safety needed to explain why EFSA has not ordered a recall.

Can the presence of a fragment of virus DNA really be that significant? Below is an independent analysis of Gene VI and its known properties and their safety implications. This analysis clearly illustrates the regulators’ dilemma.

The Many Functions of Gene VI
Gene VI, like most plant viral genes, produces a protein that is multifunctional. It has four (so far) known roles in the viral infection cycle. The first is to participate in the assembly of virus particles. There is no current data to suggest this function has any implications for biosafety. The second known function is to suppress anti-pathogen defenses by inhibiting a general cellular system called RNA silencing (Haas et al. 2008). Thirdly, Gene VI has the highly unusual function of transactivating (described below) the long RNA (the 35S RNA) produced by CaMV (Park et al. 2001). Fourthly, unconnected to these other mechanisms, Gene VI has very recently been shown to make plants highly susceptible to a bacterial pathogen (Love et al. 2012). Gene VI does this by interfering with a common anti-pathogen defense mechanism possessed by plants. These latter three functions of Gene VI (and their risk implications) are explained further below:

1) Gene VI Is an Inhibitor of RNA Silencing
RNA silencing is a mechanism for the control of gene expression at the level of RNA abundance (Bartel 2004). It is also an important antiviral defense mechanism in both plants and animals, and therefore most viruses have evolved genes (like Gene VI) that disable it (Dunoyer and Voinnet 2006).


This attribute of Gene VI raises two obvious biosafety concerns: 1) Gene VI will lead to aberrant gene expression in GMO crop plants, with unknown consequences and, 2) Gene VI will interfere with the ability of plants to defend themselves against viral pathogens. There are numerous experiments showing that, in general, viral proteins that disable gene silencing enhance infection by a wide spectrum of viruses (Latham and Wilson 2008).

2) Gene VI Is a Unique Transactivator of Gene Expression
Multicellular organisms make proteins by a mechanism in which only one protein is produced by each passage of a ribosome along a messenger RNA (mRNA). Once that protein is completed the ribosome dissociates from the mRNA. However, in a CaMV-infected plant cell, or as a transgene, Gene VI intervenes in this process and directs the ribosome to get back on an mRNA (reinitiate) and produce the next protein in line on the mRNA, if there is one. This property of Gene VI enables Cauliflower Mosaic Virus to produce multiple proteins from a single long RNA (the 35S RNA). Importantly, this function of Gene VI (which is called transactivation) is not limited to the 35S RNA. Gene VI seems able to transactivate any cellular mRNA (Futterer and Hohn 1991; Ryabova et al. 2002). There are likely to be thousands of mRNA molecules having a short or long protein coding sequence following the primary one. These secondary coding sequences could be expressed in cells where Gene VI is expressed. The result will presumably be production of numerous random proteins within cells. The biosafety implications of this are difficult to assess. These proteins could be allergens, plant or human toxins, or they could be harmless. Moreover, the answer will differ for each commercial crop species into which Gene VI has been inserted.

3) Gene VI Interferes with Host Defenses
A very recent finding, not known by Podevin and du Jardin, is that Gene VI has a second mechanism by which it interferes with plant anti-pathogen defenses (Love et al. 2012). It is too early to be sure about the mechanistic details, but the result is to make plants carrying Gene VI more susceptible to certain pathogens, and less susceptible to others. Obviously, this could impact farmers, however the discovery of an entirely new function for gene VI while EFSA’s paper was in press, also makes clear that a full appraisal of all the likely effects of Gene VI is not currently achievable.

Is There a Direct Human Toxicity Issue?
When Gene VI is intentionally expressed in transgenic plants, it causes them to become chlorotic (yellow), to have growth deformities, and to have reduced fertility in a dose-dependent manner (Ziljstra et al 1996). Plants expressing Gene VI also show gene expression abnormalities. These results indicate that, not unexpectedly given its known functions, the protein produced by Gene VI is functioning as a toxin and is harmful to plants (Takahashi et al 1989). Since the known targets of Gene VI activity (ribosomes and gene silencing) are also found in human cells, a reasonable concern is that the protein produced by Gene VI might be a human toxin. This is a question that can only be answered by future experiments.

Is Gene VI Protein Produced in GMO Crops?
Given that expression of Gene VI is likely to cause harm, a crucial issue is whether the actual inserted transgene sequences found in commercial GMO crops will produce any functional protein from the fragment of Gene VI present within the CaMV sequence.

There are two aspects to this question. One is the length of Gene VI accidentally introduced by developers. This appears to vary but most of the 54 approved transgenes contain the same 528 base pairs of the CaMV 35S promoter sequence. This corresponds to approximately the final third of Gene VI. Deleted fragments of Gene VI are active when expressed in plant cells and functions of Gene VI are believed to reside in this final third. Therefore, there is clear potential for unintended effects if this fragment is expressed (e.g. De Tapia et al. 1993; Ryabova et al. 2002; Kobayashi and Hohn 2003).

The second aspect of this question is what quantity of Gene VI could be produced in GMO crops? Once again, this can ultimately only be resolved by direct quantitative experiments. Nevertheless, we can theorize that the amount of Gene VI produced will be specific to each independent insertion event. This is because significant Gene VI expression probably would require specific sequences (such as the presence of a gene promoter and an ATG [a protein start codon]) to precede it and so is likely to be heavily dependent on variables such as the details of the inserted transgenic DNA and where in the plant genome the transgene inserted.

Commercial transgenic crop varieties can also contain superfluous copies of the transgene, including those that are incomplete or rearranged (Wilson et al 2006). These could be important additional sources of Gene VI protein. The decision of regulators to allow such multiple and complex insertion events was always highly questionable, but the realization that the CaMV 35S promoter contains Gene VI sequences provides yet another reason to believe that complex insertion events increase the likelihood of a biosafety problem.

Even direct quantitative measurements of Gene VI protein in individual crop authorizations would not fully resolve the scientific questions, however. No-one knows, for example, what quantity, location or timing of protein production would be of significance for risk assessment, and so answers necessary to perform science-based risk assessment are unlikely to emerge soon.

Big Lessons for Biotechnology
It is perhaps the most basic assumption in all of risk assessment that the developer of a new product provides regulators with accurate information about what is being assessed. Perhaps the next most basic assumption is that regulators independently verify this information. We now know, however, that for over twenty years neither of those simple expectations have been met. Major public universities, biotech multinationals, and government regulators everywhere, seemingly did not appreciate the relatively simple possibility that the DNA constructs they were responsible for encoded a viral gene.

This lapse occurred despite the fact that Gene VI was not truly hidden; the relevant information on the existence of Gene VI has been freely available in the scientific literature since well before the first biotech approval (Franck et al 1980). We ourselves have offered specific warnings that viral sequences could contain unsuspected genes (Latham and Wilson 2008). The inability of risk assessment processes to incorporate longstanding and repeated scientific findings is every bit as worrysome as the failure to intellectually anticipate the possibility of overlapping genes when manipulating viral sequences.

This sense of a generic failure is reinforced by the fact that this is not an isolated event. There exist other examples of commercially approved viral sequences having overlapping genes that were never subjected to risk assessment. These include numerous commercial GMOs containing promoter regions of the closely related virus figwort mosaic virus (FMV) which were not considered by Podevin and du Jardin. Inspection of commercial sequence data shows that the commonly used FMV promoter overlaps its own Gene VI (Richins et al 1987). A third example is the virus-resistant potato NewLeaf Plus (RBMT-22-82). This transgene contains approximately 90% of the P0 gene of potato leaf roll virus. The known function of this gene, whose existence was discovered only after US approval, is to inhibit the anti-pathogen defenses of its host (Pfeffer et al 2002). Fortunately, this potato variety was never actively marketed.

A further key point relates to the biotech industry and their campaign to secure public approval and a permissive regulatory environment. This has led them to repeatedly claim, firstly, that GMO technology is precise and predictable; and secondly, that their own competence and self-interest would prevent them from ever bringing potentially harmful products to the market; and thirdly, to assert that only well studied and fully understood transgenes are commercialized. It is hard to imagine a finding more damaging to these claims than the revelations surrounding Gene VI.

Biotechnology, it is often forgotten, is not just a technology. It is an experiment in the proposition that human institutions can perform adequate risk assessments on novel living organisms. Rather than treat that question as primarily a daunting scientific one, we should for now consider that the primary obstacle will be overcoming the much more mundane trap of human complacency and incompetence. We are not there yet, and therefore this incident will serve to reinforce the demands for GMO labeling in places where it is absent.

What Regulators Should Do Now
This summary of the scientific risk issues shows that a segment of a poorly characterized viral gene never subjected to any risk assessment (until now) was allowed onto the market. This gene is currently present in commercial crops and growing on a large scale. It is also widespread in the food supply.

Even now that EFSA’s own researchers have belatedly considered the risk issues, no one can say whether the public has been harmed, though harm appears a clear scientific possibility. Considered from the perspective of professional and scientific risk assessment, this situation represents a complete and catastrophic system failure.

But the saga of Gene VI is not yet over. There is no certainty that further scientific analysis will resolve the remaining uncertainties, or provide reassurance. Future research may in fact increase the level of concern or uncertainty, and this is a possibility that regulators should weigh heavily in their deliberations.

To return to the original choices before EFSA, these were either to recall all CaMV 35S promoter-containing GMOs, or to perform a retrospective risk assessment. This retrospective risk assessment has now been carried out and the data clearly indicate a potential for significant harm. The only course of action consistent with protecting the public and respecting the science is for EFSA, and other jurisdictions, to order a total recall. This recall should also include GMOs containing the FMV promoter and its own overlapping Gene VI.

1) EFSA regulators might now be regretting their failure to implement meaningful GMO monitoring. It would be a good question for European politicians to ask EFSA and for the board of EFSA to ask the GMO panel, whose job it is to implement monitoring.

Related Links:
What "Corporate Bully" Monsanto does not want yoto know

Jointer Fundamentals by Bob Black

Published on Jan 22, 2013

GWA Class 09-29-12
GWA member Bob Black explains how to adjust your jointer to optimize results using tools normally found in metal working and machinist shops. Bob demonstrates how to achieve parallel knives-to-tables for accurate and repeatable results.
Full Video (01:39:05) Filmed and uploaded in HD

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Robert Kennedy Announcing the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Indiana 1968

I believe this is one of the greatest speeches ever given...
all about the compassion and love for our fellow man, we all have in us... 

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Ripple of Hope - Movie
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Robert F. Kennedy's speech on the assassination of Martin Luther
Landmark for Peace Memorial

Jan 21, 2013

How to Cook Vegetables: Organic Gardening

Think a raw-veggie diet is the best way to go for optimal nutrition? Think again. Cooking vegetables helps to soften their tough fibrous exteriors and loosen up all the nutritional good stuff that lies inside. In fact, some vegetables, such as tomatoes, are actually more healthful if you eat them cooked, because the process of cooking them boosts their levels of the potent antioxidant lycopene. The only problem is, not all cooking methods are the same. Some boost nutrient content; some take it away. Some add unwanted fat, while others add the crucial amount for your body to absorb all the nutrients in vegetables.

Here’s what you need to know about cooking your veggies for optimum nutrition:

1. Microwaving

When in doubt, microwave your veggies for maximum antioxidant preservation. According to a Spanish study of how various cooking methods impact vegetable antioxidant capacity, microwaves reign supreme in prepping vegetables to retain their nutrients. Exception: Keep cauliflower out of the microwave; it loses more than 50 percent of its antioxidants if nuked.

Photo: Photodisc

2. Griddling

Beets, celery, onions, Swiss chard, and green beans cook particularly well on the griddle—yes, that pan you pull out only for Sunday-morning pancakes. Griddles allow vegetables to retain as many antioxidants as microwaving, according to the Spanish researchers. Word of caution: Griddles are often coated in nonstick chemicals that make cooking and cleaning convenient but may contain toxins linked to cancer. Shop for one without the coating, or use a thick frying pan with no oil.

Photo: (cc) Jeremy Keith/Flickr

3. Baking

Baking, or roasting, is hit-or-miss. Based on the study results, bake your artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, and peppers, all of which retained their antioxidant values, but not your carrots, Brussels sprouts, leeks, cauliflower, peas, zucchini, onions, beans, celery, beets, and garlic, which all saw decreases in nutrient levels. Where baking really shines is with green beans, eggplant, corn, Swiss chard, and spinach, all of which saw their antioxidant levels increase after baking. Toss a handful of those veggies into your next casserole.

Photo: (cc) Leon Brocard/Flickr

Extra Delicious: Eggplant & Mozzarella Rolls

4. Frying

It’s probably no surprise that this method fails the test when it comes to antioxidants and nutrition levels. In addition to adding way too much fat to your meal, it caused a loss of between 5 and 50 percent of each vegetable’s nutrients.

Photo: Bananastock Ltd.

5. Pressure cooking and boiling

Generally speaking, don’t use these methods if you want to retain antioxidants in your vegetables. “In short, water is not the cook’s best friend when it comes to preparing vegetables,” says lead researcher A.M. Jimenez-Monreal. Peas, cauliflower, and zucchini are particularly susceptible to losing nutrients through boiling. If you do need to boil your vegetables, save the nutrient-rich boiling water and use it the next time you make a soup or sauce.

Of course there are always exceptions, and in this case, it’s carrots. A 2008 study from Italy found that boiling carrots boosted their carotenoid content more so than steaming or frying them.

Photo: Photo Alto

Learn More: How to Use a Pressure Cooker

6. Steaming

Those same Italian researchers found that steaming is the best method for preserving antioxidants found in broccoli and zucchini. But contrary to what you may think, this may not be the healthiest way to prep vegetables anyway. Many of the vitamins and nutrients in vegetables are fat soluble, meaning your body absorbs them better in the presence of fat. If you prefer steaming your vegetables, toss them with a small amount of olive oil before serving to boost nutrient absorption.

Photo: Rodale Images

Growing Guide: Zucchini

7 Sautéing

None of the studies on nutrient levels and cooking techniques have included sautéing vegetables over high heat in a little bit of oil. However, the process of sautéing is similar to that of microwaving: cooking your vegetables over high heat in a short amount of time. That minimizes nutrient loss, and the oil in which you’re sautéing them helps your body absorb more of the nutrients.

Photo: Mitch Mandel

Continue Reading: Grow a Good Mood Garden
Source URL: http://www.organicgardening.com/living/best-and-worst-ways-to-cook-vegetables

[1] http://www.flickr.com/photos/adactio/484146055/
[2] http://www.flickr.com/photos/acme/2937409025/
[3] http://www.organicgardening.com/cook/eggplant-and-mozzarella-rolls
[4] http://www.organicgardening.com/cook/cooking-under-pressure
[5] http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/zucchini-growing-guide
[6] http://www.organicgardening.com/living/grow-a-good-mood-garden

Bill Mollison interview - Permaculture Design

This interview is done by Frank Aragona, on the Agroinnovations Podcast.

Bruce Charles 'Bill' Mollison is a researcher, author, scientist, teacher and naturalist from Australia. He is considered to be the 'father of permaculture', an integrated system of design, co-developed with David Holmgren, that encompasses not only agriculture, horticulture, architecture and ecology, but also economic systems, land access strategies and legal systems for businesses and communities. He received the Right Livelihood Award in 1981 with Patrick van Rensburg.

Jan 20, 2013

What "Corporate Bully" Monsanto does not want you to know... THE REAL SCIENCE! - Don Huber, PhD Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology at Purdue University (55 years of research) --> GMOs, Glyphosate "ROUNDUP" & Tomorrow


Lance Armstrong drugged himself for his personal gain.

Monsanto is drugging our soil, seeds, animal feed, and humans for their corporate gain.
What "corporate bully" Monsanto does not want you to know...
They are weakening our soils, seeds, animal feed, animals health, human food and human health.

They are worsening our food plants ability to cope with drought and increasing the amount of water needed for agriculture.

Astounding and convincing evidence on the many negative short and long term effects of Glyphosate (generic herbicide formerly known as "ROUNDUP") and GMOs on crop and livestock production as well as human health!  

A must view video ...!            Monte Hines


"GMOs The Compelling Research", LAX Hilton Hotel October 6th, 2012 Don Huber, PhD

May 2011- Interview Acres USA - Distinguished Professor, Scientist Reveals Growing, Multi-Faceted Problems in Glyphosate & Crops Created to Survive It

Don Huber, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. His agricultural research the past 50 years has focused on the epidemiology and control of soil-borne plant pathogens with emphasis on microbial ecology, cultural and biological controls, and physiology of host-parasite relationships. His research also includes nitrogen metabolism, micronutrient physiology, inhibition of nitrification, and nutrient-disease interactions.

Related Links:
Regulators Discover a Hidden Viral Gene in Commercial GMO CropsSeedsofDoubtConference

Tony La Russa calls Stan Musial the 'best that you can be' | cardinals.com: News

Full Story

Stan Musial: 1920-2013

Complete coverage
Beloved Musial dies at 92
Justice: Humility exceeded prowess
Many tributes for 'Stan The Man'
Cardinals family tips caps
Bauman: Revered on and off field
La Russa: 'The best you can be'
Musial, Weaver two sides of coin
Winter Warm-Up turns into tribute
Musial gets Medal of Freedom
Bio | Stats | Timeline | More
Submit your tribute to Musial

MLB.com remembers Musial
Network on Musial's career
Tribute: In Loving Memory
Costas on Musial, Weaver
Bowa shares thoughts on Musial
Young fan's Musial memory
Fans discuss Musial's impact
Randall on Musial's greatness
Wainwright on meeting Musial
Freese remembers Musial
Bochy recalls Musial fondly
Cardinals honor their legends
Musial gets Medal of Freedom
Musial waves to fans
Musial joins Hall of Fame
Musial forever No. 6
Musial's walk-off homer
Musial through the years
Hall of Fame gallery
Remembering Lil Musial

Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial Dies at Age 92 - ABC News

Greatest Cardinal Ever!   In his 92 years he never disappointed us (like lots of today's athletes do)... Monte
Stan Musial - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hines Farm Blog - MLB Complete Coverage
Hines Farm Blog: Stan Musial, The Greatest Living St. Louis Cardinal
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Musial Several people have written in to say that they cannot find the blog post I wrote a couple of years ago about Stan Musial. So I am reposting that story here — this year Musial turns 90 — and, yes, I immodestly include a ...
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Feb 15, 2011
WASHINGTON • Stan Musial has been here before, walking with presidents. He's met every U.S. president since Dwight D. Eisenhower. Musial campaigned for John F. Kennedy and became friends with JFK. Musial talked ...
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Musial was still proudly wearing the medal as he paused to speak for a few minutes on the sidewalk in front of the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue. He sat in a wheelchair, wearing leather gloves to ward off the chill, with ...
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Feb 15, 2011
“When I was 10 years old, I got a Rawlings special, a Stan Musial model.” He waved the small glove, still relatively supple, with the new silver trace from a felt pen — the beautiful signature of Stan Musial, just applied in person ...

Story By R.B. FALLSTROM AP Sports Writer
ST. LOUIS January 20, 2013 (AP)
Full Sory: http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/cardinals-hall-famer-stan-musial-dies-age-92-18260677

No last name necessary.

A slew of batting titles. Corkscrew stance. Humble. A gentleman. All-around good guy.

Stan the Man.

Stanley Frank Musial, the St. Louis Cardinals star who was one of the greatest players in the history of baseball, died Saturday. He was 92.

"I never heard anybody say a bad word about him — ever," Willie Mays said in a statement released by the Hall of Fame.

The Cardinals announced Musial's death in a news release and said he died at his home in Ladue, a St. Louis suburb, surrounded by family. The team said Musial's son-in-law, Dave Edmonds, informed the club of the slugger's death.

Earlier Saturday, baseball lost another Hall of Famer when longtime Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver died at age 82.

Musial, the Midwest icon with too many batting records to fit on his Hall of Fame plaque, was so revered in St. Louis that two statues in his honor stand outside Busch Stadium — one just wouldn't do him justice. He was one of baseball's greatest hitters, every bit the equal of Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio even without the bright lights of the big city.

Musial won seven National League batting crowns, was a three-time MVP and helped the Cardinals capture three World Series championships in the 1940s.

He spent his entire 22-year career with the Cardinals and made the All-Star team 24 times — baseball held two All-Star games each summer for a few seasons. He had been the longest-tenured living Hall of Famer.

"Stan will be remembered in baseball annals as one of the pillars of our game," Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson said. "The mold broke with Stan. There will never be another like him."

A pitcher in the low minors until he injured his arm, Musial turned to playing the outfield and first base. It was a stroke of luck for him, as he went on to hit .331 with 475 home runs before retiring in 1963.

Widely considered the greatest Cardinals player ever, Musial was the first person in team history to have his number retired. Ol' 6 probably was the most popular, too, especially after Albert Pujols skipped town.

"I will cherish my friendship with Stan for as long as I live," Pujols wrote on Twitter. "Rest in Peace."

At the suggestion of a pal, actor John Wayne, Musial carried around autographed cards of himself to give away. He enjoyed doing magic tricks for kids and was fond of pulling out a harmonica to entertain crowds with a favorite, "The Wabash Cannonball."

Scandal-free and eager to play every day, Musial struck a chord with fans throughout America's heartland and beyond. For much of his career, St. Louis was the most western outpost in the majors, and the Cardinals' vast radio network spread word about him in all directions.

Farmers in the field and families on the porch would tune in, as did a future president — Bill Clinton recalled doing his homework listening to Musial's exploits.

"We have lost the most beloved member of the Cardinals family," team chairman William DeWitt Jr. said.

Musial's public appearances dwindled in recent years, though he took part in the pregame festivities at Busch Stadium during the 2011 postseason as the Cardinals won the World Series. And he was at the White House in February 2011 when President Barack Obama presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor for contributions to society.

At the ceremony, President Obama said: "Stan remains to this day an icon untarnished, a beloved pillar of the community, a gentleman you'd want your kids to emulate."

He certainly delivered at the plate.

Musial never struck out 50 times in a season. He led the NL in most every hitting category for at least one year, except homers. He hit a career-high 39 home runs in 1948, falling one short of winning the Triple Crown.

"Major League Baseball has lost one of its true legends in Stan Musial, a Hall of Famer in every sense and a man who led a great American life. He was the heart and soul of the historic St. Louis Cardinals franchise for generations," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "As remarkable as 'Stan the Man' was on the field, he was a true gentleman in life. All of Major League Baseball mourns his passing."

In all, Musial held 55 records when he retired in 1963. Fittingly, the accolades on his bronze Hall plaque start off with this fact, rather than flowery prose: "Holds many National League records ..."

He played nearly until his 43rd birthday, adding to his totals. He got a hit with his final swing, sending an RBI single past Cincinnati's rookie second baseman — that was Pete Rose, who would break Musial's league hit record of 3,630 some 18 years later.

Of those hits, Musial got exactly 1,815 at home and exactly 1,815 on the road. He also finished with 1,951 RBIs and scored 1,949 runs.

All that balance despite a most unorthodox left-handed stance. Legs and knees close together, he would cock the bat near his ear and twist his body away from the pitcher. When the ball came, he uncoiled.

Unusual, that aspect of Musial.

Asked to describe the habits that kept him in baseball for so long, Musial once said: "Get eight hours of sleep regularly. Keep your weight down, run a mile a day. If you must smoke, try light cigars. They cut down on inhaling."

One last thing, he said: "Make it a point to bat .300."

As for how he did that, Musial offered a secret.

"I consciously memorized the speed at which every pitcher in the league threw his fastball, curve, and slider," he said. "Then, I'd pick up the speed of the ball in the first 30 feet of its flight and knew how it would move once it has crossed the plate."

It worked pretty well, considering Musial began his baseball career as a pitcher in the low minors. And by his account, as he said during his induction speech in Cooperstown, an injury had left him as a "dead, left-handed pitcher just out of Class D."

Hoping to still reach the majors, he turned to another position. It was just the change he needed.

Musial made his major league debut late in 1941, the season that Williams batted .406 for the Boston Red Sox and DiMaggio hit in a record 56 straight games for the New York Yankees.

Musial never expressed regret or remorse that he didn't attract more attention than the cool DiMaggio or prickly Williams. Fact is, Musial was plenty familiar in every place he played.

Few could bring themselves to boo baseball's nicest superstar, not even the Brooklyn Dodgers crowds that helped give him his nickname, a sign of weary respect for his .359 batting average at Ebbets Field.

Many, many years before any sports fans yelled "You're the man!" at their favorite athletes, Stan was indeed the Man.

Dodgers pitcher Preacher Roe once joked about how to handle Musial: "I throw him four wide ones and then I try to pick him off first base."

Brooklynites had another reason to think well of Musial: Unlike Enos Slaughter and other Cardinals teammates, he was supportive when the Dodgers' Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier in 1947. Bob Gibson, who started out with the Cardinals in the late 1950s, would recall how Musial had helped establish a warm atmosphere between blacks and whites on the team.

"I knew Stan very well," Mays said. "He used to take care of me at All-Star games, 24 of them. He was a true gentleman who understood the race thing and did all he could."

Like DiMaggio and Williams, Musial embodied a time when the greats stayed with one team. He joined the Cardinals during the last remnants of the Gas House Gang and stayed in St. Louis until Gibson and Curt Flood ushered in a new era of greatness.

"Sad to hear about Stan the Man, it's an honor to wear the same uniform," current Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday tweeted.

The only year Musial missed with the Cardinals was 1945, when he was in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was based in Pearl Harbor, assigned to a unit that helped with ship repair.

Before and after his military service, he was a star hitter.

"St. Louis has been lucky to have a player like Stan Musial. He will always be Mr. Baseball," Hall of Fame Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog said. "It's a very big loss. You can go around the world and you'll never find a better human being than Stan Musial."

Musial was the NL MVP in 1943, 1946 and 1948, and was runner-up four other years. He enjoyed a career remarkably free of slumps, controversies or rivalries.

"Stan was a favorite in Cooperstown, from his harmonica rendition of 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' during Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies, to the reverence he commanded among other Hall of Fame members and all fans of the game. More than just a baseball hero, Stan was an American icon and we will very much miss him in Cooperstown," Hall of Fame chairman Jane Forbes Clark said.

The Cardinals were dominant early in Musial's career. They beat DiMaggio and the Yankees in the 1942 World Series, lost to the Yankees the next year and defeated the St. Louis Browns in 1944. In 1946, the Cardinals beat Williams and the visiting Red Sox in Game 7 at Sportsman's Park.

Musial, mostly a left fielder then, starred with Terry Moore in center and Slaughter, another future Hall of Famer, in right, making up one of baseball's greatest outfields. Later on, Musial would switch between the outfield and first base.

Musial never played on another pennant winner after 1946. Yet even after the likes of Mays, Mickey Mantle and Hank Aaron came to the majors, Musial remained among baseball's best.

The original Musial statue outside the new Busch Stadium is a popular meeting place before games and carries this inscription: "Here stands baseball's perfect warrior. Here stands baseball's perfect knight."

"Everybody's a Musial fan," Herzog once said.

Musial gave the press little to write about beyond his grace and greatness on the field. He didn't date movie stars, spike opponents or chew out reporters or umpires.

In 1958, he reached the 3,000-hit level and became the NL's first $100,000-a-year player. Years earlier, he had turned down a huge offer to join the short-lived Mexican League. He never showed resentment over the multimillion dollar salaries of modern players. He thought they had more fun in his days.

"I enjoyed coming to the ballpark every day and I think we enjoyed the game," Musial said in a 1991 Associated Press interview. "We had a lot of train travel, so we had more time together. We socialized quite a bit and we'd go out after ballgames."

He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1969, his first year of eligibility.

"It was, you know, a dream come true," Musial once said. "I always wanted to be a ballplayer."

After retiring as a player, Musial served for years in the Cardinals' front office, including as general manager in 1967, when the Cardinals won the World Series.

In the 1970s, he occasionally played in Old-Timers' Day games and could still line the ball to the wall. He was a fixture for decades at the Cooperstown induction ceremonies and also was a member of the Hall's Veterans Committee. Often, after the Vets panel had voted, he'd pull out a harmonica conveniently located in his jacket pocket and lead the other members in a rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."

Into the 2000s, Musial would spend time with the Cardinals at spring training, thrilling veterans and rookies alike with his stories.

Ever ready, he performed the national anthem on his harmonica at least one opening day at Busch Stadium. Musial learned his music during overnight train trips in the 1940s and in the 1990s was a member of a trio known as "Geriatric Jazz" and collaborated on a harmonica instructional book.

Stanley Frank Musial was born in Donora, Pa., on Nov. 21, 1920, son of a Polish immigrant steelworker. He began his minor league career straight out of high school, in June 1938, and soon after married high school sweetheart Lillian Labash, with whom he had four children.

Musial fell in 1940 while trying to make a tough catch and hurt his left arm, damaging his pitching prospects. Encouraged by minor league manager Dickie Kerr to try playing the outfield, he did so well in 1941 that the Cardinals moved him up to the majors in mid-September — and he racked up a .426 average during the final weeks of the season.

In his best year, 1948, he had four five-hit games and batted .376, best in the National League. He also led his league that year in runs scored (135), hits (230), total bases (429), doubles (46), and triples (18).

In 1954, he set a major league record with five home runs in a doubleheader against the New York Giants. He hit .300 or better in 16 consecutive seasons and hit a record six home runs in All-Star play, including a 12th-inning, game-winning shot in 1955.

In 1962, at age 41, he batted .330 and hit 19 home runs. In his final game, on Sept. 29, 1963, he had two hits at Busch Stadium against the Reds and the Cardinals retired his uniform number.

He was active in business, too. He served as a director of the St. Louis-based Southwest Bank. He was co-owner of a popular St. Louis steakhouse, "Stan Musial and Biggie's," and a bowling alley with former teammate Joe Garagiola (leading to a bitter fallout that eventually got resolved). He later ran Stan the Man Inc., specializing in merchandise he autographed. Musial was known for handing out folded $1 bills.

A prominent Polish-American, he was a charter member of the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame and was warmly regarded by his ancestral country, which in 2000 dedicated Stan Musial Stadium in Kutno, Poland. Musial also was involved politically, campaigning for John F. Kennedy in 1960 and serving as Lyndon Johnson's director of the President's Council on Physical Fitness.

Musial's versatility was immortalized in verse, by popular poet of the times Ogden Nash, who in "The Tycoon" wrote of the Cardinals star and entrepreneur:

"And, between the slugging and the greeting,

To the bank for a directors' meeting.

Yet no one grudges success to Stan,

Good citizen and family man,

Though I would love to have his job

One half tycoon, one half Ty Cobb."

The Cardinals said Musial is survived by his four children, Richard, Gerry, Janet and Jean, as well as 11 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

Musial's wife died in May 2012.

Funeral arrangements had not yet been finalized, the Cardinals said. The team set up a memorial site around one of Musial's statues at Busch Stadium.