The burgeoning US-China agriculture-trade relationship was evident late last week when the first-ever bulk shipment of American grain sorghum reached the Asian nation.
The 2.36 million bushel shipment, the first of several scheduled for China this year, reached the port city of Guangzhou, the south China city historically known as Canton, on Oct. 18.
The cargo is designated for animal feed and demonstrates the continued modernization of China’s feed industry, according to Bryan Lohmar, US Grains Council director in China.
“The Council believes US sorghum has significant potential to become a regular feed ingredient in China,” he said. “Sorghum imports from the United States can help keep food prices low and improve China’s overall food security.”
Sorghum, a grain, is among the most efficient crops in conversion of solar energy and use of water. It is known as a high-energy, drought tolerant crop, according to the National Sorghum Producers.
Sorghum was planted on approximately 6.2 million US acres in 2012, with Kansas, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and South Dakota the top five-Sorghum producing states.
As large daily newspapers continue to gasp for life like oversized carp thrashing in ever-shrinking pools of muddy water, an interesting phenomenon has occurred:
Free weekly publications appear to be thriving across the US.
These “newspapers” are usually little more than a whole mess of advertising wrapped around a handful of inane drivel – often about the advertisers themselves – which is passed off as news.
Unfortunately, the modus operandi of these publications is to carpet bomb as many homes as possible with papers in order to boost circulation numbers.
The higher the circulation, the more publications can charge for advertising. As a result, the companies behind these papers tend to deliver to anything that looks even remotely like a home: run-down trailers, dog houses, tool sheds, etc.
Of course, what is undisclosed is how many or, more accurately, how few people actually read the publication. Also undisclosed is the anger that tends to build up when those that receive the unsolicited publications are unable to end delivery.
Low-grade unprocessed cotton could prove an effective cleanup tool following oil spills at sea, according to recent research.
A study published in the most recent issue of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research reveals that one pound of low-micronaire cotton can absorb more than 30 pounds of dense crude oil, according to research conducted at Texas Tech’s Nonwovens and Advanced Materials Laboratory.
In addition, the natural waxiness of raw, unprocessed cotton fiber keeps water out, making cotton an efficient and effective material for addressing ocean-based oil spills, according to the publication, published by the American Chemical Society.
“The new study includes some of the first scientific data on unprocessed cotton’s use as a crude oil sorbent,” according to Southeast Farm Press.
About 10 percent of the cotton grown in West Texas is low micronaire, according to Seshadri Ramkumar, lead author of the study and manager of the Nonwovens and Advanced Materials Laboratory at Texas Tech.
“It doesn’t take a dye well, so it has little value as a textile fiber. However, because it is less mature, more of it can be packed into a given area,” he said. “We show through sophisticated testing that low-micronaire cotton is much finer and can pick up more crude oil.
About all that stands out in TopGear.com’s review of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S is the end of the second sentence – “ … it’s more powerful than ever, and it’s louder” – along with the accompanying photos of the stylish sports car.
But, then again, power, noise and flashy pics can do much to mask muddled writing.
Yes, for the vast majority of us plebeians, dreaming of owning an Aston Martin is akin to window shopping on Beverly Hill’s Rodeo Drive – except, perhaps, you might get something a little more tangible for your money.
Perhaps that’s why TopGear loaded its review of the V12 Vantage S with jargon that makes it practically incomprehensible at first glance.
Following on from the Rapide S revealed earlier this year, the new Vantage S replaces the old V12 Vantage, and sports Aston’s new AM28 6-litre V12 engine, producing the same figures as the Vanquish. So you’re looking at 565bhp – up from 510bhp – 457lb-ft of torque and a top speed of 205mph. The old car did a piffling 183mph; positively pedestrian.
I make no apologies for my disdain for weddings.
It’s hard to respect an event which costs, on average, nearly $28,000, turns (relatively) sane people into selfish boors and generally highlights all the deplorable excesses of society in a single day.
Worse, far too many brides focus months or sometimes years of attention on their wedding day, rather than the fact that, if things go well, this will be the person they’ll be spending their next 50 or so years with, while too many grooms see their wedding as just another opportunity to get their high school or college buddies together for one more booze-fueled festival of inanity.
And there are plenty of companies all too happy to exploit this ever-increasing celebration of the individual, rather than what it’s meant to be: The joining of a couple.
Weddings provide an interesting barometer for just how far off the deep end a sizeable proportion of society has tumbled.
As columnist Alexandra Gekas wrote not too long ago, “I really think a lot of people put more thought into their wedding than into whether or not they are marrying the right person. … They act like finding and catching that man is a victory of some sort and as if getting married is an accomplishment in itself, for which the reward is a big, gaudy party. Newsflash: Getting married is not an accomplishment, staying married is.”
That a Frederick, Md., brewery recently bottled its first batch of beer from a Civil War-era recipe and is now distributing is testament to the creativity of American business. What better time to recreate an alcoholic beverage from the 1860s than the sesquicentennial of the War Between the States, right?
What’s troubling is the apparent lack of respect the Moncacy Brewing Co. is showing for the event to which it’s tying its product.
The first of nine ales to be released by Monocacy in commemoration of the 1861-65 conflict is called “Antietam Ale” and marks the Sept. 17, 1862, battle near Sharpsburg, Md., that resulted in 23,000 casualties.
“The Battle of Antietam changed the course of the Civil War, helped free over 4 million Americans and still ranks as the bloodiest single day in American history.”
In reality, only that last of those three statements is true. While Antietam is still the bloodiest single day in US history, it didn’t change the course of the war nor did it help free more than 4 million enslaved blacks.
The Canadian government recently announced it will stop fighting international efforts to label asbestos as a dangerous substance, potentially sounding the death knell for what was once one of the country’s largest industries.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is no longer going to oppose efforts to include asbestos in the United Nations’ Rotterdam treaty on hazardous materials, according to The Canadian Press.
Industry Minister Christian Paradis, who hails from central Quebec’s asbestos belt, made the announcement last month, speaking in his hometown of Thetford Mines, a community still dotted with imposing tailing piles that remind locals of role asbestos once played in the area.
Canada for many decades enjoyed a reputation as the world’s top producer of asbestos, once hailed as the “magic mineral” for its fireproofing and insulating characteristics in construction materials.
While asbestos mining began several thousand years ago, it did not start on a large scale until the end of the 19th century. For many decades, the world’s largest asbestos mine was the Jeffrey Mine in the town of Asbestos, Quebec, 90 minutes northeast of Thetford Mines.
Asbestos became increasingly popular among manufacturers and builders in the late 1800s because of its sound absorption, resistance to fire, heat, electrical and chemical damage, and its affordability.
No one would dispute that a bit of “creative license” is to be expected when it comes to advertising.
Few distort reality with more regularity and aplomb than American brewery companies.
These are the folks that would have you believe that the low-grade swill they pump out daily in quantities equivalent to that of a supertanker is a full-bodied, uniquely brewed, refreshingly satisfying beer.
In reality once you’re of legal drinking age you quickly come to the realization that not only do the ads in question leave a bit to be desired in terms of promises versus reality, but that you’re reluctant to even dump the slop in question into the steaming radiator of a rusting ‘63 Studebaker Lark for fear the suds will eat their way through the cooling system.
Indeed, it would seem that the more a beer ad promises and the more effort the company puts into selling its product, the lower the quality of the brew.
Take one of the latest advertising efforts by Budweiser, called “Return of the King.”
The Baldwin Locomotive Works produced more than 70,500 locomotives between the early 1830s and mid 1950s. During a 10-year period between 1898 and 1907, Pennsylvania-based Baldwin, the dominant American locomotive manufacturer, built nearly 17,000 steam engines alone.
Today, it is believed fewer than 1,300 Baldwin locomotives remain. Among these is a 1927 4-6-0 model built for the Hampton and Branchville Railroad, a logging line that operated northeast of Charleston.
Old No. 44 sits at the South Carolina Railroad Museum in Winnsboro, where it has been for the past 20 years. The museum, one of best in the Southeast, is in the midst of restoring the locomotive under an effort called “Project 44.”
The goal is to have the locomotive restored to operating condition for use on the museum’s operating rail line, which includes five miles of track, although plans are in place to refurbish more existing track for use.
The South Carolina Railroad Museum is a 501©3 nonprofit and donations for Project 44 are tax-deductible.