Prince, the recently passed artist, has apparently left no instructions as to the distribution of his estate. His music and properties, valued in the hundreds of millions will no be subject to probate, that is that a court will decide upon where they go. A sister, Tyka Nelson, has filed papers with the court asking for the appointment of a mediator to determine the outcome.
For many years, initially on the ferry runs to the San Juan Islands in Washington state, but now on several of the ferry routes, jigsaw puzzles have been left, uncompleted, for subsequent travellers to finish. Generally they are put together, than disassembled and left for others to begin again. It’s a quaint local tradition that usually brings a bit of happiness to what can be a mundane bit of commuting. But now and then a rider with a mischievous turn will claim a piece of the puzzle as their own, pocket it and leave the puzzle unable to finish.
The haggling over the puzzle left behind by Prince, legally Prince Rogers Nelson, will now begin and each person with an interest in its outcome will struggle to complete the process. Some will strive for an equitable resolution that makes sense to all, but there may be one in the mix that pockets a piece and leaves the legacy less enjoyable for the rest. For an example consider the disposition of Martin Luther King Jr. The power of his words and thoughts are not freely usable by the public due to the greed of his heirs. Let’s hope Prince’s music isn’t treated the same way.
Now would be a good time to consider our own mortality as well and the puzzles we may leave behind. The writing of a will isn’t tough, just claim to be of sound mind, ask for your debts to be settled and declare what assets should go to whom. It’s not iron-clad, once you are dead the enforcement of your wishes is no longer in your purview. See a attorney for a will or trust if your estate is complex or problematic but bear in mind this axim, which Prince’s heirs should consider as well, “There is a short moment in time when two people exchange something when it belongs to neither one. In that moment a lawyer manages to grab most of it.”
Camas blossoms and buttercups on Orcas Island
It was all uphill and for nothing. The legs burned all the way up and grew shaky and wobbly on the way back down. The goal was the top and nothing short of it would do. A sweat worked its way into the clothes, layer after layer came off until even the the hat was carried by hand. But goals are goals and must be met. Past the magnificent Garry oaks and their vistas of the over 400 islands below, clouds shrouding the peak, the goal. past the rocky outcrops covered in lush green moss, past the luxurious spring meadows spread with thousands of bright purple camas blossoms like a hundred thousand aubergine stars. Past the white and yellow blooms of wild strawberry and buttercup and past the hundreds of shades of new green, dark or pale, bright, shiny, dull, smooth, fuzzy, prickly, variegated and veined, all the greens that make the Pacific northwest the penultimate gardener’s paradise. On past it all, the goal Turtleback peak on Orcas island still obscured by clouds. The trail went from broad to narrow and back again, sometimes a gravel main wide enough for a pickup, then two parallel dirt paths where friends could walk side by side, then a single foot trail and onto soft green hummocks that had most of the fall and winter to develop while there was little traffic. At each turn there was a hillside above where trees informed that the top had not been achieved until finally a bit of sky shone through them and it was seen the clouds had moved on. But no vista, a pleasant meadow at the top, more flowers and rocky outcrops with moss but the trees surrounded all and obscured the view. Forget Turtleback and just drive to the top of Constitution and catch the astounding view from the stone tower at the highest point in the San Juan Islands. Mount Rainier can be seen on a clear day as can Vancouver Island, the Canadian Cascade range, the refineries of Birch Bay and Anacortes, Mount Baker and Glacier peak, Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands, eagles soaring thousands of feet above the straights, cargo ships that are mere linear dots that leave white trails in the blue water. Forget the hike to the top, and the pastoral views of Crow Valley, the wonderful friendly pace of Orcas island and the bouquet of bright flowers on the outdoor table at the organic market in Eastsound and the beautiful young woman who arranged them and left them than for no other reason than to make a lovely day even more lovely. Forget that hike, if you can.
As the population increases and our human endeavors expand in scope and scale it is only logical that the waste we generate becomes more of a pertinent issue. What to do with it? Piling it all in the back yard helps the rats and mosquitoes multiply. Burning it exacerbates the ozone problem. Hauling it off to the dump costs money and our neighbors aren’t happy when we fill up their cans.
There really isn’t a problem existing that creative thinking can’t turn completely around into a net gain. The cup you see pictured above is but one example. Well, not the cup but its contents.
Chocolate, that sweet energizing treat that enjoys world wide popularity, as an industry, has its own set of unique challenges. Along with the growing, harvesting and production of cocoa and its many derivatives comes a mountain of husks. The plant itself is prolific and only so much of the husk material cost could be repurposed into mulch. What to do, well as turns out the stuff makes a great tea!
The taste is similar but distinct from that of cocoa, sort of a smooth, strong aromatic memory of chocolate itself and it has a tiny little caffeine kick. Not bad for a waste product.
It’s now marketed in boutique tea shops and worth a try if one is in the mood for something pleasantly different.
North Korea is behind the Zika virus outbreak in Columbia in the hopes it will decimate the general population of the world and leave Kim Jong Un it’s undisputed leader, a source from within the renegade nation has stated. The Zika virus, as well as other biological agents were reportedly smuggled into Columbia months ago, well ahead of the upcoming Summer Olympic games. Only the virus was released into the wild in an effort to fully establish the resultant disease in the country’s abundant Aedes Aegipti prior to the games, knowing that the large diverse population of visitors and athletes would then further spread the illness over the globe.
North Korea will also send a contingent of participants to the Games but it’s members have not been informed of the risks they face upon arrival. Kim Jong Un, or little fat man number three as he is known to neighboring China, has closely controlled the reclusive nation’s borders as well as the information its citizens have access to and considers this small group of his nations athletes expendable in any case. His overarching desire is to rule the world and dissemination of the virus is only part of what he has planned for the games. Several other biological agents will be released in the days before the games begin, most of them viruses which take a shorter time to develop but whose symptoms are undetectable for weeks or months before affecting their victims.
All the dire warnings about global warming may not be so bad after all. What if a climate change means things get better. “For as long as mankind has populated the earth most of the habitable landmasses with climates favorable to our species have been situated in a narrow belt centered around the equator.” anthropologist Gus Fring, (no relation to the character in the Breaking Bad tv show) says. “We inhabit and prosper in what are known as the temperate zones. Too close to the equator it becomes hot and dry, bad conditions for a species whose makeup is 90% water. Too far north or south and it’s too cold for our species for about the same reason, we freeze.” Fring adds. “It is likely that all the gloom and doom forecasts have got it wrong. Yes, the areas we inhabit will become more intolerable to us, low lying areas will flood, dry areas will become drier, weather patterns will change but some areas will benefit from these global alterations.” He continues. “Think of the Russian steppes, Siberia for example. Located in the high northern latitudes its landscape and resources would be similar to America’s Montana and North Dakota if situated a few degrees more south. Or, at the extreme, Antaritica, which is so cold it had no resident population of humans until scientists and researchers braved the conditions in state-of-the-art dwellings. With the changes that are currently predicted, areas of the Antarctic could become as livable as New Zealand, which isn’t that far away.”
Fring, an anthropologist specializing in human adaptation at the University of Washington in Seattle, notes that as the earths most adaptable species it may be wrong to look at climate change as a bad thing, better to think of it as just another challenge to mankind. “People are either optimists or pessimists in about equal numbers.” He says. “Maybe we should stop fighting it and just go with the flow.”
A Fort Meyers Beach, Florida woman has released some photographs of what she calls grey aliens. “I began hearing a couple voices in 2015,” she said. “They started as murmurs and finally full blown communication,” The Floridian has told numerous sources that since the “communications began,” objects have started to come up missing from her house. “Currently, over 400 items (that I can list and have proof of owning most, picture, receipt) have vanished. When it first started, I hadn’t seen anything, and would call the cops for stuff like an entire shopping bag from Target of brand new items vanishing. They never believed me.” The 3 pictures, taken with an iPhone, are outdoor images with a humanoid figure hiding behind different places. “The last year I have taken so many pictures of these grey aliens,” explains the woman. “It is literally unreal.”
Is there an alien here?
An ominous figure hides behind the thick vegetation in this photograph from 2015.
A “grey alien” with big black eyes and thin nostrils shows its face through a screen door in this 2015 photograph.
She says the greys have been nothing but trouble. “The police never believed me. I was constantly put in the hospital and am still looked at as semi-crazy by the social networking world. I eventually got an investigator on the case, but the calls never went through, and he eventually sent a certified letter saying he had dropped the case because of no communication,” she says. The woman claims that they have taken total control of her surroundings and strange things are happening with her pets. “My dogs failure to mature. I endure a daily torture, there is constant communication.” She says the aliens “can appear as almost anything” and orbs are sometimes seen “flying toward” the creatures. “They have large heads and big dark eyes. Once I thought I saw myself, but I was passing through a closed door. I have a picture of a figure that looks human and like me,” she explains. And it looks she is not the first one in her family to have reportedly experienced this. “My entire life, my mom was talking to something… she was eventually killed after starting menopause at 52. She would hide things in the craziest places, behind clocks…”
Fort Myers Beach is a town located in Estero Island and has a population of 6,300. Police are looking into why some of the womans missing items have turned up in a pawn shop owned by the man pictured below.
A couple claim they saw an ape-like creature in a wooded area in northern Ireland.
63-year-old Caroline Breen said she and her husband were walking their dogs in Ballyboley Forest when they spotted it.
“We approached a small patch of dead trees one day when we caught sight of something crouched behind the bushes,” she explains. “We thought at first it was a human, but as it raised its head in the air, we saw it.”
Breen said her husband walked towards the creature and it growled at him.
The creature reportedly was carrying a stick and it “smashed the stick against the tree” before taking off at high speed.
She described it as having a chimpanzee-like face but with a “broader nose” and it was covered in “dark brown black fur”. The animal was approximately 8 feet tall.
When she reported the sighting to the local constable he scoffed, saying “That was probably MacGuffy, he’s a nudist what lives up there.”
A grade school field trip to a large food processing plant should be enough to have given anyone the heebie jeebies about industrially processed foods. Vats of yellowish glop as big as railcars moving slowly by, led by grizzled old men in hair nets who flick their cigarette ashes on the floor, huge complicated machines that spin and knead and portion and bake the items that are later wrapped in cellophane by equally Rube Goldberg – like contraptions operated by scrawny, meth addicted toothless women of an indeterminate age who obliviously pick at their hair. It should be enough to put anyone out in the garden to grow their own fruits and veggies. Even a visit to the kitchen of a local restaurant, where the big bellied chef alternates between flipping the steaks and scratching his yarbels would have a person cooking at home. But wait, don’t be so quick to condemn, without mass produced, institutionally produced food we’d all starve.
Patrick Wainright is more than just a scientist and lobbyist for Con Agra, he’s a certified nut, (his own words) about spreading the word about how important the advances of modern farming and food production are. “Without industry’s involvement in foodstuffs, the worlds population would be less than one fifth of what it is today.” he said, swiveling his gray lab-stool around from the tray of pipettes he had been using for samples of a dye he’s testing that could replace the current, carcinogenic tincture used to give maraschino cherries their distinct, bright red hue. “Think back a hundred years ago. Only the rich were fat, the average person was thin, and hungry. Just look at the photos of groups of enlisted men from World War II. Out of thirty or forty men, most of them appear malnourished. And remember that the population of the earth was very much smaller then and there still wasn’t enough food to go around.” he added as he returned to his work.
The data backs him up. In 1920 the an average adult weighed 93 lbs. That’s the global average, taking into account all sexes, statures and races. In the US, which had only begun to track such statistics, the average male weighed in at 122 lbs and the average female at 103lbs. Today’s figures put the global average at 126 lbs for males, 114 lbs for women. and US men average about 188 lbs and women about 137 lbs, (Persons in the southern US skew the average by tipping the scales at 417 for men and 392 for women.).
And his remarks about the global population benefiting from advances in food science are borne out as well. The world’s population was less than 200 million in 1900 and is almost 800 million today and climbing fast, driven largely by increased food production and advances in technology. So feel free to putz around in your garden this spring and harvest a few lettuce leaves and scallions for a salad but remember when you flip a chicken breast on the grill and garnish it with rosemary that it was all made possible because the chicken is less than six weeks old, raised in a cage that never saw daylight and was fed ground up everything nothing else would eat, including the remnants of it’s own brethren along with loads of growth hormones even Lyle Alzado would have condemned.
A second year King’s College student from the UK named Saima Ahmad is getting noticed on the internet today. After she bought an 8-pack of KitKats, she has demanded that she get a lifetime supply for free. Why? Because the pack she bought was missing the wafers.
According to Yahoo News, she wrote a letter to Nestle with her demands.
She wrote, “The truth of the matter is; manufacturers owe a duty of care to consumers. The specific duty you owe in consistency in your manufacturing process. The failure to take due care in the manufacturing process resulted in a product being defective.”
“The loss I have suffered is of monetary and emotional significance,” she continued.
Not only does she want a full refund, she says she “wouldn’t rule out taking this further” if Nestle doesn’t apologize and compesate her “adequately”.
She believes Nestle is in the wrong, referencing forum posts from other people with similar complaints against the company about missing the necessary crunch.
“Nestle has a huge following and I don’t think these mistakes are acceptable,” she says. “I’m trying my luck, if you don’t ask you don’t get.”
Protesters occupying the Malheur wildlife refuge in remote eastern Oregon have been killing and eating the waterfowl the reserve was created to protect. Two weeks in the novelty of the anti-government occupation has worn off as bitter cold temperatures and meager rations have had an impact on morale. The men came north to protest the treatment of two ranchers who were convicted of setting wildfires in the sensitive habitat of the reserve. The protesters, led by Ammon and brother Ryan Bundy, scions of Nevada scoflaw rancher Cliven Bundy who infamously has refused to pay grazing fees on the cattle he ranges on BLM land began hunting the Malheur’s protected birds when their dogs were running low on Ol Roy dog food. Faced with having to desert their command and run to town to keep the hounds fed, Ammon and Ryan took one look at the proliferation of guns and ammo they had brought to the party and both had the same thought, “We can manage these resources way better than them government wildlife scientists can!” whistled up the mutts and went for a stroll on the boardwalk. Too eager, most of the early duck they shot were just mallards and gadwalls, but good enough for the dogs. Soon all the protesters were dining on duck and canadian goose. The birds at the refuge were unfazed by the gunfire, accustomed to being harmlessly observed by the tourists, international and local, who normally stroll the elevated walkway casually observing and checking new species in their life lists, and failed to take wing. But after a couple of days of pot-shotting by the Bundys and their rough and ready cohorts most of the birds took flight. Hunting became more of what is expected in the rest of the continent, the game was wary and only the restricted species, which are used to being overlooked were left, defenseless. The protesters have now commandeered the portable blinds once used by the research biologists and are laying in wait for trumpeter swan, north Americas largest waterfowl, it looks as big as a carnival ride afloat and a B-52 flying by, and are hoping to feast on roast swan soon.
The protesters have stated that they will stay as long as needed for the government to accede to their demands, which include:
- Freeing the two Oregon ranchers convicted of arson. ( Who do not agree with the protesters and are currently serving their prison sentences.)
- Returning control of all public lands in the US to the states and regional authorities where they are situated so they can be bought, abused and plundered as is man’s god given right to do
- Cessation of persecution of their father, Cliven Bundy so he can continue to sell pizza and make a profit running cattle when other honest ranchers are unable to do so.
- A continual, rotating bus tour of visitors from the Las Vegas Strip, male and female between the ages of eighteen and twenty four along with soap, towels and liquor for the protesters at each visit.
- Cancellation of the debt for the $530,ooo SBA loan Ammon Bundy took out in 2010 for his Arizona-based truck maintenance company, Valet Fleet Services
- Hostess Snowballs, they are wanting some dessert with their duck