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The Swine and the Swill

Posted on June 29th, 2021

The physicist Edward Teller emigrated to the United States from Hungary in the 1930s and played an integral role in the Manhattan Project. He later derived the principles behind the hydrogen bombs that make up much of our present nuclear arsenal. Teller was also known for his irascible personality and political conservatism, and his testimony […]

Manure Matters: IA 2020 Nitrate Summary

Posted on March 1st, 2021

Preface: I hit the wrong button and accidentally posted this for about 5 minutes before I was done, and realizing my mistake, took it down. What you see here is the final product. You may have noticed the mistake. Witold Krajewski once told me aging is something that is impossible to understand until it actually happens […]

The ethics of a pig

Posted on March 4th, 2020

Note: some of these ideas came from Smith Fellow Dr. Bonnie McGill. Writing with a great nom de plume, O. Henry1 (William S. Porter) may have been the G.O.A.T. short story writer and his best one was the ironic comedy, The Gift of the Magi. O. Henry also wrote one titled The Ethics of Pig, […]


Posted on October 3rd, 2019

An article authored by Anna Jones recently appeared in the U.S. on-line version of The Guardian about Iowa and our struggle with nitrate pollution. One thing in particular about the article caught my eye and it was the description of a Marshall County farmer’s management of hog manure. He and his brother borrowed $1.5 million to […]

Fishing in the Rain

Posted on September 25th, 2019

I’ve always liked fishing in the rain for several reasons, not the least of which is that the fish bite. But it can’t be just any rain; a slow and steady warm rain with no wind and no lightning is best. Fish won’t bite if there’s lightning, and besides I’m terrified of lightning and if […]

The Swine Republic

Posted on June 28th, 2019

I have written some things about manure lately (link, link, link, link). If you were able to make it to the end of those essays, you found these points were made: · We have a lot of livestock animals in Iowa · These animals produce a lot of waste · This waste is used to […]

Déjà Vu All Over Again

Posted on May 15th, 2019

Even with an everyman’s body of 5’7”, 194 pounds, Lorenzo Pietro Berra (1925-2015) was one of America’s greatest athletes and was a cog on ten world championship teams with the New York Yankees. He was also one of our more courageous citizens, volunteering for the D-Day invasion as an 18-year old and later earning the […]

Hogs in a confinement facility.

Iowa’s Real Population

Posted on March 14th, 2019

Iowa has around 3 million people, a total that has not changed much over the last 80-90 years. People are large animals, and as such our bodies produce a lot of waste. That being said, we produce much less waste than the animals that we eat. Take hogs, for example. A feeder pig is about […]