Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Too Many Tabs Open, Part 2

Human taste buds have one type of receptor for sweet, one for salty, one for sour and one for savory... but we have 25 different ones for bitter. "Scientists believe this variety of bitter receptors capable of detecting thousands of different compounds helps to protect us since poisons and toxins found in nature tend to be bitter tasting." (From a MinnPost story about research to develop bitter blockers that could be used in medicines, food and beverages to soothe that bitter edge.)

The Gulf oil disaster is just another chance to realize that privilege is a headache you don't know that you don't have. Nigeria constantly experiences as much devastation and more from oil spills as we're seeing in the Gulf of Mexico. For decades. Every year. FYI, Nigeria supplies 40 percent of the oil used in the U.S. From the Guardian.

Chalk one up for the law of unintended consequences when it comes to cracking down on illegal immigration. Allowing many more immigrants to enter the country and work legally would alleviate many of the problems perceived by the anti-immigration crowd:

Trying to lock down the border has not stanched the flow of unauthorized newcomers from the south, but it has made the trip much more dangerous and expensive. So illegal foreigners who once came and left now come and stay.

Thirty years ago, nearly half of undocumented arrivals departed within a year. Today, only one in 14 does.

If most of the 12 million illegal immigrants were to gain authorized status, many would feel free to return to their native countries, and some would remain there. Permitting more legal immigrants, oddly, could reduce the number of total immigrants.
From Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman's A Paradox: Fix Immigration by Growing It.

The writer of the Fixit column, Karen Youso, is taking a buyout from the Star Tribune. As I've written about Fixit before, "This column is such a reminder of the value of the general interest newspaper. I wasn't reading it because I was looking specifically for information on [that day's topic]. But there it was, sprinkled in among the dance and theater reviews, just across from the Sudoku and crossword puzzles. So I saw it. I think that's called serendipity." David Brauer at MinnPost published Youso's letter of goodbye to her coworkers, and colleagues and readers added some nice comments about her and her work over the years.

1 comment:

Michael Leddy said...

This post and the earlier one on Karen Youso make me wish I could go back to 1981 and start following her column.