Donkey Discovered In Muddy Field With Hooves So Long He Could Barely Stand Up

Donkey Discovered In Muddy Field With Hooves So Long He Could Barely Stand Up
No one knows exactly how long a donkey abandoned in a muddy field in Ireland suffered pain just from standing on his own four feet, but from the look of his twisted and overgrown hooves it must have been many months, if not years.

It was just after Christmas last year when Echo’s saviors brought him to The Donkey Sanctuary’s rescue center Ireland. Here, the abandoned donkey was given a full medical exam.—More…

By News on the Net - Thursday, November 29, 2018

Kindling The Flame That Is God

Kindling The Flame That Is God
When my boyhood best friend and mentor Jaybird, a master teacher, intended to plant life lessons indelibly in my mind, he often clarified the unfamiliar by discussing the familiar. Once when I asked how I could serve God as well as he did, he pointed to flames flickering in his fireplace and began a lesson that made the unfamiliar familiar.

“Imagine a little flame inside you wanting to join the big flame from which it came: God Himself. Even if a man ignores his conscience — God’s voice — for so long that only a tiny spark of that little flame remains, even then it yearns to burst into a roaring blaze, signifying a loving bond with the Divine Flame that is God, the light of the universe.”

By Jimmy Reed - Monday, November 26, 2018

Questions We’re Often Asked: Horticulturalist

Questions We're Often Asked: Horticulturalist
Why are some people regarded as horticulturalists and others as gardeners? The smart explanation is that the former is merely a gardener with a panel van. Cute, but . . .

Go back far enough and it is suggested that gardening is the oldest occupation. (Occupation, please note; a pair of professions have been claimed to be the most ancient . . .). As with a surprising amount of the English language, horticulture finds its roots in Latin, the ancient Romans knowing more than a thing or two about the subject. Hortus then is a garden coupled with cultura or cultivation. So here we have, by extension, explanation for both horticulturalist and gardener—and are no further ahead.

By Wes Porter - Saturday, November 24, 2018

I’m Blessed

I’m Blessed When asked by the Barna Group, “Do we have a personal responsibility to share our faith with others?” a majority of Christians answered in the affirmative.

100% of Evangelicals and 73% of born again Christians said yes. When this conviction is put into practice however, the numbers shift downward. Only 69% of Evangelicals and 52% of born again Christians say they actually did share the Gospel at least once this past year to someone with different beliefs in the hope that they might accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.

By Dr. Robert R. Owens - Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Thanksgiving At The Gin

Thanksgiving At The Gin

In 1968, when I returned to the Mississippi Delta after overseas military service, my father hired me as his farm manager.  One year, when harvest season was near, he said, “Son, we’ve got a fine cotton crop to gather. I’ll spend all my time in the fields. You’ll have to manage the gin. Jaybird will show you the works.”
Even though I found comfort in knowing that my boyhood best friend and mentor Jaybird would train me, I was still petrified. I not only had to keep the gin’s machines synchronized and running at peak efficiency, but also I had to manage an eight-man crew: four Blacks and four Hispanics.

By Jimmy Reed - Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Hot New Horticulture

A newly-discovered fungus could also assist in the battle against plastic pollution
When you graduated in horticulture from college you believed the world is your oyster plant, Tradescantia spathacea. Better to have heeded the words of wisdom from your supervisor. In a decade or so everything you have learnt will have changed.

Horticulture, and its sister science agriculture, are among the fastest growing such studies. This is what makes its offshoo, gardening the fascinating hobby that it is. Better yet, you can take it or leave it and still have a flourishing home life. Would that it be with certain other segments of society.

By Wes Porter - Saturday, November 17, 2018

6 top tomato innovations from Israeli experts

6 top tomato innovations from Israeli experts
Next time you chop some luscious red tomatoes into your salad or sauce, you can thank Israeli scientists.

Tomatoes didn’t originate in Israel, but our agricultural wizards transformed this wild fruit into a flavorful, long-lasting, nutritious, disease-resistant commercial crop enjoyed everywhere as a fresh ingredient and as a source of healthful extracts.

By ISRAEL21c - Sunday, November 11, 2018

Happy Houseplants

Happy Houseplants
Over the years, these columns have recorded many a commercial attempt to relieve the black thumb brigade of their responsibilities. As Zora Neale Hurston once observed, “Trees and plants always look like the people they live with somehow.” Who wants to look like a houseplant past its prime?

Of course, today the pressure is on as never before to have rooms full of happy, healthy plants. It is a scientific fact that not only do they remove pollutants from the air, but plants contribute to mental health also. Strangely, in glossy magazine pics promoting celebrity spreads, there is all too often a dearth of greenery. Perhaps this reveals something about their mental stability. Other professionals also: “Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died,” advised the late Erma Bombeck.

By Wes Porter - Saturday, November 10, 2018

A high-tech way of explaining bad schools

A high-tech way of explaining bad schools
A logic bomb is code designed to destroy data in a computer.

Imagine you programmed someone to ask people on the street, “Are you from Jupiter?” If people don’t say, “Yes, of course,” you knock them down. Thus they are bombed one by one, as you work your way across the city, until no one is left standing. All very logical.

By Bruce Deitrick Price - Thursday, November 8, 2018

A newly discovered, naturally low-caffeine tea plant

Tea drinkers who seek the popular beverage’s soothing flavor without its explosive caffeine jolt could soon have a new, naturally low-caffeine option. In a study appearing in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists report that a recently discovered wild tea plant in China contains little or no caffeine and, unlike many industrially decaffeinated products, could potentially provide many of the health benefits of regular brewed teas.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, November 8, 2018

Sometimes It Bees That Way

Sometimes a fellow stumbles into calamities worse than he could ever imagine. Consider mythological Actaeon. He and his dogs were out hunting when he spied Artemis, bathing butt-naked in a stream. Lusty, red-blooded god Actaeon froze as he ogled the gorgeous goddess.

Suddenly, Artemis spotted him, and residing higher on Mount Olympus than he, and therefore having more powers, batted her eyes, clapped her hands, turned him into a deer, and his own hounds made hash of him.

By Jimmy Reed - Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Tools, Manure and Houseplants

Tools, Manure and Houseplants
Two and a half millennia ago the Chinese sage Confucius observed, “He who would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.” As implements are stored away for the winter clean, removing all debris, sharpen working blades and lightly oil. In the day of the use and throwaway culture it remains a truism that gardeners may be judged by the way they treat their tools—and Confucius was correct.

By Wes Porter - Saturday, November 3, 2018

The Blessing Of Balance

The Blessing Of Balance
Until Jaybird joined his Heavenly Father, just shy of his ninetieth birthday, my boyhood best friend and mentor enjoyed good health, although the beloved old black man’s lifestyle was not entirely healthful: He smoked cigarettes and drank beer, both of which he enjoyed in moderation.

By Jimmy Reed - Saturday, October 27, 2018

Questions We’re Often Asked: Talk to Your Plants

Talk to Your Plants
Back in 1986, Prince Charles caused a consternation. “I just come and talk to the plants, really very important . . . They respond I find,” His Royal Highness revealed during a television interview. But floral confabulation is nothing new.

Rewind back to 1848 and the noted German professor Gustav Theodor Fechner (1801-1887). In that year he published Nanna oder Über Das Seelenleben der Pflanzen (Nanna, or About the Soul-life of Plants) popularizing the idea of talking to plants. Written under the pseudonym Dr. Mises, his book went through further editions in his lifetime. Ever-popular, many have followed since, the most recent just last year in 2017. It remains widely available, including from such outlets as Indigo Books & Music.

By Wes Porter - Saturday, October 27, 2018

How to catch fruit flies (VIDEO)

WASHINGTON—You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar — or can you? In this video, Reactions explains the chemistry behind why fruit flies love vinegar so much that some entomologists call them “vinegar flies”

By American Chemical Society - Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Phantom of the Poincianas

The Phantom of the Poincianas
Beneath the awesome flame-red flower display in Australia’s Top End wanders an eerie apparition. Known to longtime Darwin locals as the Poinciana Women, tales are told of her origin. But although oft alleged, she is seldom seen—or heard. Urban legend, Asian myth or historical figure?

Once upon a time, ‘tis said, a beautiful brown-skinned Malay woman was raped by a group of Japanese fishermen out on East Point.

By Wes Porter - Saturday, October 20, 2018

Ta-Wit All You Want

I’ve never asked Gene “Spook” Knight a question about birds he couldn’t answer. The Audubon Society should bestow upon him an honorary Ph.D. degree. Then he would be Dr. Knight, son of “Doc” Knight, the beloved University of Mississippi football team’s trainer for so many years, who patched up countless gridiron warriors and sent them back on the field to render opposing warriors in need of patching up by their trainers. Recently, my neighbor Mrs. Munn, Spook, and I were having a backyard chat, and I described a bird.

By Jimmy Reed - Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Man Eaters and Other Nefarious Plants

Man Eaters and Other Nefarious Plants
Botanically boisterous and man-eating plant tales abound. Hapless horticulturists stumble on all too frequently into voracious vegetation. At least they do in fictional encounters. These are often illustrated, despite the sexist term man-eating, with amply endowed damsels in dishabille.

H. G. Wells wrote at least nine stories commencing in 1887 and a Text-Book of Biology in 1893 before his ‘The Flowering of the Strange Orchid’ (1894) was published in the Pall Mall Budget. A new species of orchid is revealed to be (gulp) carnivorous but meets its demise when its hothouse is destroyed.

By Wes Porter - Monday, October 15, 2018

Blue roses could be coming soon to a garden near you

For centuries, gardeners have attempted to breed blue roses with no success. But now, thanks to modern biotechnology, the elusive blue rose may finally be attainable. Researchers have found a way to express pigment-producing enzymes from bacteria in the petals of a white rose, tinting the flowers blue. They report their results in ACS Synthetic Biology.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, October 11, 2018

Bewitching Botanicals: Plants Used by Witches

Plants Used by Witches
From Shakespeare through W.S. Gilbert to Sylvia Fine and Roald Dahl, witches have been all the rage—along with the occasional warlock—and the plants they used about their professional projects.

“Double, double, toil and trouble” declaim the three witches in Macbeth. “Fire burn and cauldron bubble” they continue in the great Sottish play. King James I of England (and IV of Scotland) won the label of “the wisest fool in Christendom.” His interests extending to witches—he even wrote a treatise on them—so Shakespeare gave him witches in Macbeth.

By Wes Porter - Monday, October 8, 2018

Roku’s streaming stick gets upgraded with 4K and more

Roku's streaming stick gets upgraded with 4K and more
It’s getting hard to ignore Roku’s effect on the home electronics market. Not only does the company make a wide variety of devices that can turn your dumb TV into a smart TV, but the technology is showing up built right into many TV’s these days.

Clearly, the company must be doing something right – or at least something that consumers like – with its products.

By Jim Bray - Sunday, October 7, 2018

Mistuh and Miz Goat

Mistuh and Miz Goat
“He’s cute now, but won’t be long,” Mama said, when I brought home a baby goat for my daughters. As Italians are wont to do for emphasis, she fluttered her hands in my face, and said, “Remember that old Italian proverb, ‘He who lets the goat be laid on his shoulders is soon after forced to carry the cow.’”

I shrugged, as if to say what I wouldn’t dare say aloud, “Mama, that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever said.”

By Jimmy Reed - Sunday, October 7, 2018

Our Beloved Bogart Crossed the Rainbow Bridge

Bogart 2016
After a fitful night of sleep and crying, I woke up this morning imagining that I heard Bogart’s meow from his room. The house seems oppressively quiet and empty without him. The large candle I lit yesterday is still flickering on the mantle.

I opened the windows – the sun is up and the sounds of the forest are alive with the happy chirping of birds. The resident squirrels are busily collecting acorns from the large oak tree in front of the deck. They are not alarmed, the cat is away forever. It’s been a long time since Bogart had been able to chase squirrels, snapping turtles, or raccoons. Always fearless, he encountered a few foxes and a coyote in the woods, but came away unscathed.

By Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh - Friday, October 5, 2018

We Wrestle Not Against Flesh and Blood

We Wrestle Not Against Flesh and Blood
Watching the recent political theater that our ever more divided country serves up as leadership reminds me that the natural man cannot receive the things of God for they’re foolishness to him.  The mockery of the late night political hacks masquerading as comedians or of the not even close to being funny Democrat shills haunting SNL reminds us that weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.

I wonder if someone came forward and said that Nancy Pelosi sexually abused them when they were a minor but they can’t remember where, or when, how they got there, how they got home, and everyone they said was a witness denied it … do you think the Congressional Ethics Committee would investigate it?  Would the ABCCBSNBCPBSCNNMSNBC Cartel do wall-to-wall panel discussion about the validity of the claims?

By Dr. Robert R. Owens - Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Copper Scroll Project By Shelley Neese

“Within two full years will I bring back into this place all the vessels of Hashem‘S house, that NeBuchadnezar king of Bavel took away from this place, and carried them to Bavel;” Jeremiah 28:3 (The Israel Bible™)

The author of the Copper Scroll Project, Shelley Neese, has created a riveting and true story of one man’s epic search for the lost treasures from the First Jewish Temple, which stood on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

In this first book by Ms. Neese we meet Jim Barfield whose motivation, since he began his quest in 2006 to find the treasure, marks him as a deeply religious man who wants only to “return the Temple artifacts to the Jewish People.” As he says, “It’s time.”

By Victor Sharpe - Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Solo Blu-ray looks and sounds great – but there’s more to Star Wars than that

The second Star Wars spin-off movie since Disney bought the universe from George Lucas – not to be confused with the two “Episode” movies that have come out as well – is a flawed attempt with a troubled gestation. Yet it’s still well worth watching.

If only the filmmakers hadn’t bitten off so much that they didn’t need to chew (no Wookiee joke intended).

Yet even with its issues, and in its final form as found on this otherwise great Disney Blu-ray (alas, no 4K disc was sent for review), it’s better than the last “official” Star Wars film, The Last Jedi. It isn’t nearly as good as Rogue One, however, which in my never humble opinion is the best Star Wars film since the original trilogy.

By Jim Bray - Monday, October 1, 2018


“As the leaves of autumn wither and fall, so has my own life become barren,” bemoaned a despondent Ludwig von Beethoven. Not so for gardeners in northern temperate climes. Fall is full of fun. In medieval England a mix of garlic and holy water drunk from a church bell was said to divest those possessed of demons—and in many parts of Canada it is municipal elections time . . . and at the end of the month deter witches by copying Ancient Greeks and hanging out strings of garlic.

By Wes Porter - Monday, October 1, 2018

Our new Time-Share …

Sunset on the Bay; photo by the author… right on the shores of a big lake with beautiful scenery.

I’ll admit, with less than 240 square ft. of inhabitable space, it’s not exactly a mansion. But it suits our purposes and, quite apparently, also those of our guests.

The new abode had hardly been in place when already a thousand fish showed up to inspect it –an adult bowfin (Amia calva) herding an estimated 2,000 of its small finger-nail size newly hatched offspring in shallow water. This is a rare sight that I only experienced a few times in several decades.

Our new “time-share” property sports other wondrous sights as well. For example, the sunsets on the bay can be quite spectacular, as seen in the picture, near here. We’ll take reservations now for another season.

By Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser - Sunday, September 30, 2018

Natto, the stinky, slimy soybean snack (VIDEO)

WASHINGTON — Natto, a food made from fermented soybeans, often turns off newcomers to Japanese food due to its strong smell and stringy slime. But many people love its earthy, cheesy flavor or eat it for its supposed health benefits. In this video, Reactions explains the chemistry of natto — and we try some for ourselves.

By American Chemical Society - Saturday, September 29, 2018