Economic Migration’s Impact on Moldova (Video)

Have you ever heard of Moldova? It’s a poor, mostly Romanian-speaking nation situated between Romania and Russia. A significant portion of the population is living and working in other countries, sending money back to support their families. This grim reality is similar to some of what is seen in Romania as well, with parents leaving behind children to work in other countries. This brief report shows what this situation looks like in Moldova as well as in the Moldovan diaspora.

This Fungus Can Survive Radiation (Video)

In the video above it is stated that scientists are studying the genome of this fungus to see how it might help astronauts. I can’t imagine how it would, unless they were to find some genes that help the fungus recover from gamma radiation damage, and begin splicing it into humans.

That’s not a bad idea, but we have to get past the ethical questions and take some serious time in testing it out and then begin producing human embryos with the gene.

Somehow, I don’t think any of that is what anyone but me has in mind. It sure would help human expansion into the solar system and beyond, though.

How The Swahili Language Took Hold Across Africa, And Beyond (Podcast)

Many years ago I read that many black Americans were learning Swahili as a way to get in touch with their African roots. I also read a criticism of that, stating that with so many languages spoken on the continent, singling out that one was misguided. The podcast episode above seems to dispel that notion, as Swahili is quickly becoming a unifying lingua franca for the nations of Africa.

A particularly good morning at @SummitUU. Both services had infant dedications as well as Bread Communion.

The water for the dedication came from our Water Communion a couple of months ago, wherein members were encouraged to bring in a little water from their summer travels.

The bread was likewise contributed by members, with a loaf from each for the service, and a second loaf to be donated to feed the hungry. We had more than enough bread for the service, and so the surplus was added to the donation. (at The Unitarian Church in Summit, NJ)



Thousands of years of human breeding transformed wild species into the domesticated varieties we enjoy every year. Most of these foods were originally found in the Americas. Some of my favorite details:

  • The original domesticated carrots were purple. Carrots were bred to be orange by Dutch farmers in the 17th century, and then used as a political symbol of the ruling family – the House of Orange.
  • The ancestors of pumpkins were mainly eaten by mastodons and giant sloths – they were too bitter for smaller animals to stomach.
  • Turkeys were bred to have white plumage so their skin would be more uniform in color.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Don’t Thanksgiving leftovers look a little better now? -Emily