California is running out of water. Almonds take a lot of water to grow. California accounts for 80% of global almond cultivation (and 99% of U.S. production). The obvious conclusion, as the BBC put it, is that “almonds are sucking California dry“. You can tell a similar story about walnuts and pistachios, if you wanted to.
But misguided as that conclusion may be, some people have taken this set of facts as a reason to reduce their overall nut consumption — and, as usual, the internet is here to help them out. Last month, Treehugger published an article titled “5 nuts not grown in California”. It explained, “National almond, walnut and pistachio crops are very thirsty, and predominantly grown in drought-stricken California; if you’re looking for alternatives, consider these.”
Seems reasonable enough. So let’s find out: which five nuts does Treehugger have in mind (cumulative nut count in parentheses)?
Continue reading I expect better from a website called *Tree*hugger
In a recent episode of Parks and Recreation, evil millionaire Dennis Feinstein (Jason Mantzoukas) taunts a group of protestors before relating the following instruction to his minions:
(I’ll take Ron Swanson’s line:) What hounds?
Continue reading A television mystery: Is Parks & Rec borrowing plot points from Sherlock? [spoilers, duh]
Over the past week, demonstrations have been held across the United States in reaction to a spate of tragic police killings. Here’s the BBC’s roundup:
In New York City on Friday, protesters briefly laid down in Macy’s flagship store, at Grand Central Terminal and at an Apple store.
Hundreds streamed along Fifth Avenue and other parts of Manhattan, with banners and chants of “Black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe” – a reference to the words of Eric Garner as he was being restrained by a white police officer.
In other protests on Friday:
- Activists marched through central Miami, Florida, and blocked a major causeway connecting Miami to Miami Beach
- Hundreds of people in Providence, Rhode Island, blocked streets and police had to stop some from walking on to Interstate 95
- Crowds of protesters in New Haven, Connecticut, marched to the courthouse
- Dozens of students from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, brought rush-hour traffic to a crawl and forced the city to postpone a tree lighting ceremony scheduled at Monument Square
- In Minneapolis, some protesters blocked traffic by marching or lying in the middle of a highway
Meanwhile, in Boston (and possibly elsewhere; I haven’t done the research):
Continue reading This weekend’s demonstration you probably missed
If Benedict Cumberbatch had only become engaged, dayenu.
But the actor’s also making headlines (“Benedict Cumberbatch goes old-school with engagement“) for how he and the prospective** missus made the announcement:
Instead of releasing a statement through an army of publicists or posting a photo of engagement rings on Instagram, Cumberbatch went old-school and posted an engagement notice in the Wednesday edition of UK paper The Times.
Here’s what that looked like:
Continue reading Benedict Cumberbatch is a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life,* and mean
Forty-five United Nations peacekeepers from Fiji were released by Syrian rebel group Nusra Front. They were taken hostage when the Al Qaeda-linked organization seized control of the Quneitra crossing on August 28th.
According to the BBC, in exchange for releasing the peacekeepers, Nusra Front had “demanded to be taken off the UN’s list of designated terrorist organisations, wanted humanitarian aid be delivered to parts of Syria, and sought compensation for three fighters killed in a gunfight with Undof forces in the Golan Heights.”
None of these demands were fulfilled. So why did the rebel group release the peacekeepers sua sponte?
Continue reading If you understand why the U.N. peacekeepers were released in Syria, you understand the conflict
Late last week, BBC revealed the various worldwide release dates for Sherlock Series 3. The return of Sherlock early next year has left me with a series of my own — this one of gripes and complaints.
In no particular order [to avoid spoilers, skip to #2]:
1. Whoever is in charge of headlines over at Huffington Post clearly did not actually watch the existing episodes of Sherlock. Here’s a screengrab from the site:
Continue reading Three kvetches about Sherlock Series 3 scheduling
Greek “footballer” Giorgos Katidis had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Sunday.
As you may or may not be aware, Giorgos Katidis was banned for life from playing for the Greek national football team after he celebrated a winning goal with a Nazi salute.
Let me back up for a moment. As you may or may not be aware, Wikipedia tells me that “football” is “a sport played between two teams of typically eleven players, though other variations in player numbers such as 5 and 7 are also played, with a spherical ball.” Presumably, scoring a “winning goal” is a good thing, but I have no idea, I don’t watch soccer.
Here’s what it looked like:
Continue reading BBC wonders: “Can you accidentally do a Nazi salute?” You tell me
From the BBC article, Strauss-Kahn questioned in prostitution ring inquiry:
Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been detained for questioning by French police investigating a prostitution ring.
Mr Strauss-Kahn, once a front-runner for the French presidency, could be held for 48 hours at a police station in Lille, northern France.
Investigators have already questioned a number of prostitutes who have admitted having sex with Mr Strauss-Kahn. He insists he did not know that the women were prostitutes.
“I challenge you to distinguish a naked prostitute from any other naked woman,” his lawyer Henri Leclerc has told French television.
“Your Honor, if I may draw your attention to Exhibit A…”
Continue reading Law school should certainly be interesting*