Good Ideas

More Than Crop Yields

Do you have pods in the basement or are you just writing science fiction? If you’re looking for sci fi plot ideas, go no further than this link:

The tentacles of agricultural research reach way beyond the farm. Years ago, I used to work for USDA’s agricultural Research Service and often thought that some of that research could fuel stories as fascinating as Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park.

Here are a few examples reported in the last several issues of Agricultural Research Magazine at the link above. They may spark plot possibilities for you.

Jan 2016: Scientists work on replacing fossil-based fuel, such as petroleum, with a renewable source of sustainable energy made from agricultural wastes like crop and forestry residue and animal manures. Key advances were made in a process Continue reading “More Than Crop Yields”


Art as Business

Have you seen the video on You Tube of 89-year-old Dick Van Dyke dancing? Talk about energy and fun. Good to see.

Last week I attended a two-morning course called “Art Collecting 101” taught by Ann Wiker, who frequently teaches the subject in local colleges and universities and also curates art for hotels, restaurants, and public places. Her class is another excellent and low-cost course offered by my local community college.

I have often wondered how an artist develops a career path from emerging artist just out of school to a world-famous artist like Picasso. Ann emphasized that contemporary art should not be bought as an investment because it is too new to judge whether Continue reading “Art as Business”

The Life Changers

The Life-Changers

They say opportunity knocks only once, and it seems to me that a lot of people are stone deaf. I am talking about the opportunities for career success and enriched life offered by organizations in the community. How can these opportunities be ignored? Yet low enrollments cause cancellations of many excellent classes–classes that could change a life.

Helaine Jeffrey’s class called “Face to Face: Present Your Best You!” is one life-changer. Talking loud to control nervousness and using pauses for emphasis are tips I picked up Continue reading “The Life Changers”

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