Column: Dispatches From the Edge: The Story Behind Colombia’s Attack

By Conn Hallinan
Friday March 14, 2008

Colombia’s March 1 attack on an insurgent camp in Ecuador appears to have been an effort by the right-wing government of Alvaro Uribe to derail efforts by Venezuela and France to free hostages held by the group, intimidate a growing movement against Bogotá’s close ties to rightwing death squads, and put the squeeze on the U.S. Congress to pass a joint trade agreement. -more-

Column: Undercurrents: Democratic Presidential Contest Turns Nasty

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday March 14, 2008

One ought to avoid writing political commentary when angry. It doesn’t make for coherent thought. But it is difficult not to get angry about recent events in the Democratic Presidential race between Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It’s even more difficult to try to ignore it, and write about something else. So let’s give it a shot. -more-

Garden Variety: Plants That Turn the Tables

By Ron Sullivan
Friday March 14, 2008
A nepenthes trap-a leaf part, not a flower-welcomes little bugses in with gently smiling jaws.

Coming up on 35 years, our relationship gets ever more harmonious. I have a stapelia—a starfish flower that attracts flies to pollinate it—on the office windowsill, and Joe has a collection of carnivorous plants on the front porch. When my stapelia blooms, I cope with its decidedly rank fragrance by putting it on the porch with the Venus’ flytrap and the sundews and the various sarracenias and they all have a party. -more-

About the House: Don’t Let Your Plumber or Electrician Be a Cut-Up

By Matt Cantor
Friday March 14, 2008
Avoid cutting up your walls such as this if you want them to stay standing.

I’m a Sci-Fi buff from way back and one of my favorite writers was always Robert Heinlein. Robert said the following: -more-

Wild Neighbors: Mourning Cloak Mysteries: The Butterfly that Hibernates

By Joe Eaton
Tuesday March 11, 2008
An elderly mourning cloak basks in the late winter sun.

We were out at Lafayette Reservoir a couple of weeks ago, looking for the bald eagle that wasn’t there. But there was a fair amount of butterfly action: a probable echo blue, some small hyperactive orange jobs, and three or four mourning cloaks, sparring or courting—it’s hard to tell with butterflies. -more-