Religion and Foreign Policy: Politics By Other Means

by Conn Hallinan
Friday November 09, 2007

“Religion, sometimes, is a continuation of politics by other means,” notes Jon Alterman, director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies Middle East division, and it was hard to avoid that thought about last month’s conference of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) in Washington, D.C. -more-

Looking for Solutions to the Water Riddle for Plants

Friday November 09, 2007

Water is the primary problem to solve if we’re to raise plants. I suspect this has always been the case almost everywhere (and offhand I can’t think of what the theoretical exception would be) and likely will be, at least until some theoretical descendants are working hydroponic plantations outside the orbit of, say, Mars, where the problem will be sunlight. Probably there’s some smiling herb grower now who’s working on an electricity-sparing solution to that. -more-

Living With Old Plaster Walls

Friday November 09, 2007

I tend to stare at the ceiling a lot. I think it’s only to be expected. If you sleep on your back or lie on the couch reading Jane Austin (as we all must), you’re bound to spend a certain amount of time staring off into space and guess what’s there … between you and space but your ceiling. There it hangs (Yes, that’s what it’s doing, hanging.) between the walls, with all those cracks and stains and Grateful Dead posters and you think, “Maybe I should do something about this mess but what can I do? It’s a ceiling, not a casserole. I don’t know where to begin!” -more-

Snakes in the Reservoir, and Other Booms and Busts

Wild Neighbors: By Joe Eaton
Tuesday November 06, 2007

Sometimes I miss out on interesting natural phenomena. It wasn’t until last month, while cruising the posters at the biennial State of the Estuary Conference, that I learned about the water snake invasion of Lafayette Reservoir. I’d go check it out, but it’s too late; they’re all gone. Another exotic-species boom gone bust. -more-

Gardener’s Gold

By Shirley Barker
Tuesday November 06, 2007

Every now and then I see a teenager in one of my trees. From a window I thought at first it might be a small UC student locationally adrift, in a striped shirt. A closer look showed it to be a young Cooper’s hawk, glaring down at me in comparably dauntless fashion. Thanks to Joe Eaton’s bi-weekly column, I can guess that it is drawn to the sparrows and finches at the thistle feeder, though the ducks keep an eye skywards when it appears, and my female cat skedaddles into the house. Smaller than the ducks, she is I hope still too large for the crow-sized Cooper’s. -more-