If Trees Could Scream

If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.
Jack Handey

A friend forwarded me a provocatively-titled article by Natalie Angier in the science section of The New York Times: Sorry, Vegans: Brussels Sprouts Like to Live, Too. The premise is that plants are sophisticated organisms with complex defense mechanisms, and therefore have as much of a right to life as any other organism.

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Academic Exercises

Clive Thompson writes in Wired about what he calls “the New Literacy.” He describes a vast survey of student writing by researcher Andrea Lunsford.

The first thing she found is that young people today write far more than any generation before them. That’s because so much socializing takes place online, and it almost always involves text. Of all the writing that the Stanford students did, a stunning 38 percent of it took place out of the classroom—life writing, as Lunsford calls it.

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Veg-Table.net Vegetarian Restaurant and Travel Guide

Update, 30 August 2011: Veg-Table is no longer available at veg-table.net, but is still accessible at http://veg-table.wikidot.com/. As far as I know, it isn’t being actively maintained by anyone, but it is still possible to sign up and contribute.

My original post about Veg-Table follows, but much of it is no longer up to date.

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The Difficulty of Keeping Focus

A few weekends ago, through a combination of stupidity and bad luck, I managed to leave my eyeglasses on a train. Without them I can see about three feet in front of me pretty clearly, and beyond that, everything is pretty much a blurry haze.

To make the situation worse, I was traveling for work at the time, 2,812 miles from home and my extra pair of specs. Luckily, I was in the second-least-horrible place in the world this could have happened: Washington DC. I grew up just outside the city, worked in it for six years, and spent most of my free time between June 1998, when I left school in Pittsburgh, and April 2005, when I moved to San Francisco, in the neighborhood where my hotel happened to be. I still know the city well enough that I was able to stumble my way around and find food for two more days without being able to read any of the street signs or storefronts until I was just about right on top of them. But it was not fun, especially when it came time to try to navigate the airports on my way home.

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Objectives for 2009

I’m generally not in the habit of making New Year’s resolutions. I know they’re more often abandoned than fulfilled, and I’ve always thought that if you’ve identified a need for change in your life, why wait for an arbitrary starting date? Why not start right away?

That said, I have a handful of long-standing intentions that never seem to turn into action. Or, really, they’ll turn into a short spurt of action whenever I’m feeling particularly guilty or inspired about them, that quickly fizzles out as soon as something else comes up.

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Of Names

I’ve always liked my name. Tim Moore: it’s short, easy to spell and not often mispronounced. Even when expanded to its formal entirety — Timothy Marcus Moore — it’s hard to get it wrong.

What my name has going for it in simplicity, however, it lacks in uniqueness. Although my Googleability has risen quickly in the last year and a half or so, if you search for “Tim Moore” you’ll tend to come across Amos ’n’ Andy actor Tim Moore, ’70s AM radio soft pop singer Tim Moore, Michigan Republican Representative Tim Moore, or British travel writer Tim Moore before you find any mention of yours truly. The Wikipedia disambiguation page for my name doesn’t even mention me among the nine “people called Tim Moore.”

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10 Reasons Why Being 30 is Better Than Being 20

Well, as of three days ago, I’m officially in my fourth decade. It seems like it should feel more momentous than it actually does, but to be honest it actually feels pretty good. Even though it doesn’t seem like that long ago that I was just turning twenty, looking back a lot has happened since then, and I’m in a far better place in my life now than I was ten years ago, for a number of reasons…

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