The October Thing #11 – Potatoes and Israel – October 2, 2011

Potatoes and Israel

OK, now we’re getting somewhere. Brian notes the wisdom of relying on potatoes rather than wheat. He’s correct; potatoes will grow almost anywhere, store well, can be kept for years dried and provide a family effortless source of carbohydrates. Of course you must avoid the Irish mistake by planting a variety of species and keeping a year’s supply dried. Potato bread, potato pancakes, potato pasta, potato soup, etc. give potatoes much the flexibility of wheat. Low on protein, potatoes must be combined with high protein sources such as beans or nuts. One of the best easy-to-grow vegetable-sources are melons, largely ignored in the U.S. Poor Mexicans train melon-vines to grow all over the house—which also cools the house. Rich Israelis do the same. The stereotype of poor U.S. slaves loving watermelon comes from Africa where watermelons still grow easy and well.

Diane notes the anomaly of little Israel surrounded by Arab states. But because Israel has 100+ nuclear missiles, and because most Arab-country populations are heavily concentrated in one or two cities, Israel is probably safe for a long time. Another little noted fact is that many Arabs are not Muslim and admire Israel for taking in Palestinians, Ethiopians, and others. Remember also that many smaller-than Israel countries—Monaco, Andorra, Liechtenstein, San Marino, etc—have been around a long time.

Also remember that, a couple centuries ago, today’s most peaceful nations—Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark—were at each other’s throats. Education works wonders. Another unlikely-today-but-likely-in-the-future scenario is cooperation: Catholic Goa and Hindu India, atheist Hong Kong and Confucian Communist China. Multi-religionist Indonesia or United States are also curious future models.

Diane also notes the use of cell phones in medical diagnosis; it might be termed the return of the house-call. Also, cell phones can measure temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, sweat, etc. and patch those readings directly to diagnostic programs. What other critical cell phone apps do you know about?