Everyone’s drug of choice

Four hundred years ago, Coffea arabica, a tropical shrub bearing glossy green leaves and bright-red berries, was virtually unknown outside of the Arab world and the corner of Ethiopia where it had been discovered in the ninth century—by a goatherd who, legend has it, noticed that his animals would get frisky and stay up all night after nibbling its berries. In the years since…we have given it more than 27 million acres of new habitat all around the world, assigned 25 million farming families to its care and feeding, and bid up its price until it became one of the most valuable globally traded crops…

Coffee owes its global ascendancy to a fortuitous evolutionary accident: The chemical compound that the plant makes to defend itself against insects happens to alter human consciousness in ways we find desirable, making us more energetic and industrious—and notably better workers. That chemical of course is caffeine, which is now the world’s most popular psychoactive drug, used daily by 80 percent of humanity. (It is the only such drug we routinely give to our children, in the form of soda.) Along with the tea plant, which produces the same compound in its leaves, coffee has helped create exactly the kind of world that coffee needs to thrive: a world driven by consumer capitalism, ringed by global trade, and dominated by a species that can now barely get out of bed without its help.

I love it.

Sunlight Iris

Most of the iris transplanted years ago from Helen’s grandma’s garden have reverted to white. This slender spear was different; so, we moved it to the living room – to an east window.

This morning it opened.

Blue Origin/New Shepherd 8th Test Flight, Sunday morning, 29th

Click to enlarge
New Shepard Booster landing after a successful Mission 7

❝ Launch preparations are underway for New Shepard’s 8th test flight, as we continue our progress toward human spaceflight. We are currently targeting launch on Sunday, April 29th – with the launch window opening up at 8:30 a.m. CDT.

Livestream will be available on BlueOrigin.com, more info to come.

Gradatim Ferociter!

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

Is this the newest addition to the species known as Walmartian?

An Oklahoma woman shopping at a Walmart in Tulsa, Okla., last week saw something a lot more shocking than the store’s rolled back prices.

During a trip to the women’s restroom, Beth Davis says she discovered a naked man standing in the mirror masturbating with his pants at his ankles.

“There’s a naked man in the bathroom masturbating,” she shouted, leaving the restroom. She continued yelling for help, but the man emerged before anyone heard.

After he came out of the bathroom, Davis began filming him with her cell phone. He told her that he didn’t know it was the women’s bathroom, but that answer didn’t fly with Davis.

She followed the man, identified as 37-year-old Brian Hounslow, yelling, “Someone stop him!” and “Do not let him go out that door. Stop this man!”

Hounslow ran out of the store and escaped in his car, but not before someone was able to take down his license plate number. He was arrested at his home two hours later.

“Who gets up at 8:30 in the morning and decides they’re going to go to Walmart, take off all their clothes and masturbate in the women’s bathroom?” Davis said. “It’s pretty sick … How could you think you weren’t going to get caught?

There is a whole sub-group of crook, looney and inbred demento who wander their disturbed path through life confident in their invisibility, inviolable, untouchable.

Sometimes – if they stick to the fringes of society – no one ever notices. Sometimes – they wander out into traffic right in the middle of the freeway of life.

Something to think about while shopping for the holidaze.