Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Daubenton's bat on the hunt

Amazing BBC video of the Daubenton's bat hunting insects. So cool how it scoops up prey with its tail membrane.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How would "clean coal" help miners working in horrific conditions?

The death of 25 workers in a West Virginia coal mine, owned by a company fined for repeated severe safety violations, is yet another reason why "carbon capture and storage" technology (aka "clean coal"), even if it existed, would "solve" only a fraction of the nightmares associated with our addiction to coal. It would have no impact at all on the dangers caused by extraction of raw material—including miner fatalities, sludge disposal, destruction of mountaintops and water pollution.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Park Seed files Chapter 11

Fifty percent of the seed sales in the world are rung up by Monsanto and Dupont. How long will it be before Monsanto has all of the world's seeds in its dirty, greedy pockets?

I received this press release from Park Seed/J&P today:
On Friday, April 2, 2010, the Geo. W. Park Seed Company, Inc., Park Seed Wholesale Company, and the Jackson & Perkins Company voluntarily filed to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of South Carolina. Customers should not be affected by the filing. Park Seed/J&P’s Greenwood, SC, business office, Garden Center, Call Center, and websites are open and functioning normally. Shipping and receiving areas are continuing their daily operations, delivering products to gardeners around the country as their hardiness zones open for the Spring.

According to a company spokesperson, “The horticulture industry is challenging and highly seasonal in the best of times. As the general economic situation declined starting in 2008, demand for luxury, non-essential purchases dropped sharply. All of our brands experienced significant decreases in sales for core products, including roses, perennials, and garden-inspired gifts. This created cash-flow issues that worsened with each passing season. Despite deep cost-cutting and numerous attempts to execute supplier payment programs on our own, we simply could not meet our short- and long-term operating cash requirements. Seeking court protection and restructuring is clearly our best option for returning to a position where we can focus on delighting our customers and resuming sound relationships with our supply chain partners.”

The companies are currently functioning as a “debtor in possession,” under the leadership of a court-appointed Trustee. The companies have 120 days following the filing to prepare a plan that contains a new capital structure for the company and that treats all creditors equitably. The Park Seed Company/Jackson and Perkins management team is confident that this experience will ultimately strengthen the business and lead to long-term success.

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The Geo. W. Park Seed Company, Inc. ( has been providing innovative, top-quality gardening products to generations of American gardeners since 1868.

Founded in 1872, Jackson & Perkins is America’s premier name in roses and garden-inspired gifts (

Park Seed Wholesale has everything needed to run a small to medium-sized greenhouse, nursery, or growing operation. Since 1870, Park Seed Wholesale ( has been known for delivering world-class products with downhome, friendly service.