Hey Texas! Show Your Support for the Open Internet

The debate on Net Neutrality is coming to Texas — and this is your chance to speak out.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai is holding an open forum on Net Neutrality at Texas A&M University in College Station on Tues., Oct. 21. Don’t miss out on this chance to show a key decision maker that you support real Net Neutrality.
Here are the details:
What: Rally and Speakout for Net Neutrality
When: 9 a.m. on Tues., Oct. 21
Where: Outside Hagler Auditorium, Annenberg Presidential Conference Center, 4347 TAMU, 1002 George Bush Drive W, Texas A&M, College Station
Bring: Bring a sign expressing your support for Net Neutrality.
Note: Right after the rally we’ll head inside Hagler Auditorium at 10 a.m. for the commissioner’s forum.
Commissioners rarely leave Washington to meet with the public, and as of now this event is the only one of its kind on the calendar. But Pai’s hardly a Net Neutrality advocate — in fact, he’d be happy to let a few mammoth companies lock down the Internet and charge us more money.
That’s why we need you there on Oct. 21.
RSVP today to tell Commissioner Pai that you’ll stand for nothing less than real Net Neutrality.




Bare Bones Biology 226 – Garden Recycled

“Because if I know how it works, I don’t need to be someone else’s victim. I can take care of myself.”   That’s what I said in (Bare Bones Biology 224 http://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/) and here is your example.

140930-canyon-asc_2120RLSs copy 2The most important things we need to know about how the Biosystem works are described in Bare Bones Biology 225 (http://FactFictionFancy.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/), that summarizes the three rules of how life stays alive. Rule number one describes very briefly that the Biosystem recycles all the materials of life, everything except energy, and especially organic macromolecules, such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, and related compounds that make up most of our bodies after water. Organic macromolecules are made by living organisms. That’s why they are called organic. They are recycled as food throughout the Biosystem.

Even more important, we need to understand that the Biosystem is not separate from us and we are not separate from it. In fact, we are a part of the Biosystem, and so are our gardens and other sorts of agriculture. All of our food, water, air and energy comes from the Biosystem. Healthy food comes from healthy gardens that are created using healthy organic materials, healthy water, and healthy air. And of course healthy seeds.

“So what;” you may say. “I just want healthy food, I don’t want to learn chemistry.” This is fine. I don’t blame you. I had to take the course three times before I figured out what they were talking about. But the bottom line is that most of our body (in addition to water) is made of organic macromolecules. Organic macromolecules are put together in cells of organisms using materials recycled from their food. Or they were, until humans learned how to make them.

140924-squash-ASC_1997RLSs copy 2Now humans can “make to order” organic molecules to do various functions outside the human body, and frankly, as a scientist, I doubt very much if most of these compounds are adequately tested to determine what harm they may do inside our bodies. If you don’t want to learn chemistry — then the next best way to protect yourself from unnatural molecules of any kind, is not to eat them. Or drink them. Or breath them. Or touch them.

We do know that most of our foods are treated with pesticides and fungicides and other chemical molecules. The suffix –cide means that it kills – pests, fungi, insects. If the pesticide molecule, or a fungicide, or an insecticide gets into the cells of a peach and you eat the peach, what happens to the molecule? How does the killing agent kill? Does it break down in your body? If the manufacturer of the pesticide tells you it is safe, why do you believe him? Why does it break down? How does it break down? What are the side effects and the waste products? What ends up inside the peach cells that you eat?

What about hormones? For example, the hormones and pesticides you put on your dog’s shoulders or feed to your dog every month. These hormones and poisons can enter into the cells and tissues of the dog. That’s why you put them there. Do you want them in your cells? Your child’s?   Who says they are safe? How do they know? What tests have been run? Are the tests valid?

As individuals, we don’t have any good way to find out the answers to most of these questions, but one thing we know for sure. These compounds are now released into the biosystem and they will continue to circulate in all parts of the Biosystem long into the future. They will eventually be broken down into their components, but it’s Rule Number One of Biosystem function: they will not go away.

The most straightforward way to make sure you have healthy plants to eat is to grow your own plants in healthy soil using healthy water and healthy air.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy and KEOS radio, 89.1, in Bryan, Texas.

The podcast of this blog can be downloaded at: http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_226_-_Garden_Recycled.mp3

Bare Bones Biology 224 http://FactFictionFancy.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/

Bare Bones Biology 225 http://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/




Net Neutrality in Bryan-College Station


Texas Forever: Stand Up for Net Neutrality in the Lone Star State

Clear eyes. Full heart. CAN’T LOSE.

That’s the attitude we’re taking in Texas, where FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai is holding an open forum on Net Neutrality at Texas A&M University on Oct. 21. Pai is hardly a Net Neutrality advocate — in fact, he’d be happy to let a few mammoth companies lock down the Internet and charge us more money.

That’s why Free Press is organizing a rally right outside the forum venue. This is our chance to show a key decision maker that we will speak out and speak out and speak out until the FCC does the right thing and protects real Net Neutrality.

Commissioners rarely leave Washington to meet with the public, and as of now this event is the only one of its kind on the calendar. For months now we’ve been pushing FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to host public hearings on his terrible Internet rules, but so far he hasn’t budged.

We’re about to announce our own hearings in communities around the country — but right now we’re grabbing this opportunity on Oct. 21 to stand up for the Internet we love.

If you live in Texas or adore it enough to be there on Oct. 21, we need you to sign up. We’re going to hold a rally at 9 a.m. right before the event, and then we’ll head into the forum together. We’re offering free bus rides to people traveling from Austin, Houston and San Antonio and can also help folks set up carpools.

Here are the details:

What: Rally and Speakout for Net Neutrality
When: 9 a.m. on Tues., Oct. 21
Where: Outside Hagler Auditorium, Annenberg Presidential Conference Center, 4347 TAMU, 1002 George Bush Drive W, Texas A&M, College Station
RSVP: Sign up here.
Bring: A sign showing your support for Net Neutrality

We’ve already made amazing strides in the fight to protect the open Internet. Millions of people have spoken out against Wheeler’s plan to allow discrimination online, and many leaders in Congress have done the same. And just last night President Obama had this to say:

I am unequivocally committed to Net Neutrality. It is what has unleashed the power of the Internet, and we don’t want to lose that or clog up the pipes.

I know that one of the things people are most concerned about is paid prioritization, the notion that somehow some folks can pay a little more money and get better service, more exclusive access to customers through the Internet: That is something I’m opposed to.

My appointee, Tom Wheeler, knows my position. I can’t — now that he’s there — I can’t just call him up and tell him exactly what to do. But what I’ve been clear about, what the White House has been clear about, is that we expect that whatever final rules emerge, to make sure that we’re not creating two or three or four tiers of Internet. That ends up being a big priority of mine.

It’s a big priority of ours too. Sign up for our Net Neutrality rally on Oct. 21. If you can’t make it please help us spread the word about the event on Facebook and Twitter.

Texas has a reputation for going it alone, but we’re all in this fight together — and we won’t rest until we win.


Net Neutrality has a lot in common with Citizen’s United. Both have to do with equality of citizens’ rights. We were not paying attention to our monopoly laws that were on the books to protect our rights, and the corporations took over all the media except the net and they took over our citizens’ voting right to one vote for one person (and they evidently took over the supreme court that claims corporations are individual voting persons). Now they are trying for control of the internet on the basis of money, which is more or less along the same lines.   My blog, for example, will not be treated equally with the advertisements of those same corporations.

I suggest if we lose our right to speak out on the internet we might as well pack it up and stop pretending that we care about the principles on which this country was founded. I follow the issues that I believe are most important to the futures of our children. Not everything that’s wrong, but the three or four or five issues without which we cannot grow a decent future for the children.   If we make it past those major issues, I trust that everyone else will be working on the other problems that are also important. But of course if there is no future – NOBODY can work on the “lesser” issues.

Net neutrality is in the top three, about third on my list. If you want to hear the President’s statement on that issue got to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmZ_WLqSw2Y#t=3992 and start listening at 1 hour 6 minutes when a blond woman asks a question about equal access. He sounds political of course, but he does have an opinion, which is refreshing.

Bare Bones Biology 225 – First Frost

And as I said — last time was it? (http://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2014/10/02) If we know how a thing works we can make much better decisions about how to work it.

And now the garden is over for this year (http://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2014/07/21) and we are thinking about how to grow healthy food next year. We are thinking about how Life works to make food.

141007-BackYard-ASC_2272RLSss copyFood is made first by plants and consists of materials that cells are made of, and the energy to do the work. Energy cannot be recycled, but the materials recycle all the time through the Biosystem. Through us. Through the pine tree out my window. How do you think it stands up there? It’s made of very strong macromolecules, and these materials have recycled on the living earth through all the Life of earth.

The first miracle of the whole living earth http://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2014/07/21 is that it can use the same materials – rather the subunits, assemble them, take them apart, re-assemble them, over and over and over again, maintaining the balance of all the parts of Life, so that whenever and wherever they are needed, all the basic materials to make a living organism are available in the environment.


Our garden is now ended for this year. And now the “organic matter,” that is, the living things that have died, will recycle their substance to grow another crop of living things next year. Our job is to help this process without causing harm, and to figure out why some gardens grow food that is more healthy than other gardens (that we’ll talk about next week).


Anyone can make a garden. Plant a seed and the garden makes itself. But for us to design a healthy garden in an age of toxic advertising, we do need to understand the very most basic concepts of how Life stays alive. It doesn’t take science to tell us the first miracle of life. That Life recycles the materials of which it is made. So our first question is: “What is Life made of?”


141007-leaves-ASC_2297RLSss copy copyLife on earth is made of cells. Cells are alive, but they are composed of molecules that are not living things. Mostly the molecules that make up cells are five types. Water is one. Without water, nothing would happen in cells, and our gardens would not grow, so water quality is important. The other major parts that cells are made of are macromolecules. Macromolecules are huge (well, huge for molecules) and they are made of smaller molecules that I refer to as micro-molecules. Cells are mostly made of four classes or types of macromolecules: carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. Carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids are macromolecules that the cells make by stringing together micro-molecules. The micro-molecules are made of atoms, mostly carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. Molecules and atoms are not living things; they are chemicals. All materials are made of atoms, but the macromolecules are made inside of cells and they are made by the cells. These are called “organic” molecules because they are made by organisms.


Every living thing makes it’s own macromolecules that it needs to be alive. Whenever it dies, what is left is a body that is mostly made of water plus organic macromolecules (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids). These organic macromolecules are then taken apart by some other living thing until what remains is micro-molecules and water that can be put back together to make the macromolecules of another living thing.


When we eat a beet, for example, we digest the beet macromolecules into micro-molecules so that our bodies can put the micro-molecules back together again in the form of human macromolecules, to make more human cells.


The Life of Earth stays alive by using molecules and atoms and micro-molecules over and over and over again. That is why the first miracle of Life is Death, because without death our environment would run out of atoms and molecules that it needs to grow cells. There would be no gardens and no Life.


So, anyone can plant a seed and it will grow itself if it has enough water and micromolecules, but our question is how to understand recycling in a way that will make healthy life in our garden. Next week.


Bare Bones Biology is a production of FactFictionFancy and KEOS radio, 89.1 FM in Bryan, Texas. The podcast can be dowloaded at: http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_225_-_First_Frost.mp3




Bare Bones Biology 224F – Healthy Living – What Goes Around

The question is not: “What should I do?” And it is not: “Whom should I believe?” Those are victim questions. The question is: “How does it work?” Because if I know how it works, I don’t need to be someone else’s victim. I can take care of myself. I can recognize the frauds and wheeler dealers. And I can figure out for myself what to do and whom to believe and why. So our question now is how does life stay healthy, that is, “sound, vital and functioning properly.” (http://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/) .

And the answer is, all of Life works pretty much the same, from the entire Earth Biosystem to all the different organisms including us, to all the cells that also are alive, except a few cells in hot springs and deep in the ocean or earth, that use a different system for getting energy. All of these different parts of Life recycle the materials of which they are made, using the energy from food to do the work of being alive, and using an “operating system” that is encoded in the genes and selected by the processes of evolution to maintain a healthy balance.

.The Biosystem survives by balancing these three essential sub-systems that are at work in all of us and interact with each other to maintain life:

(1) Recycling Materials – The materials that our bodies are made of come from our food and water. The materials are mostly atoms (such as carbon, oxygen and hydrogen and nitrogen) and molecules (such as lipids, carbohydrates, proteins and nucleic acids). The materials are recycled all around the world and used over and over again in every body on earth including the body of the Biosystem. The molecules are “digested” (taken apart) and then reassembled every time a new body grows. For example, if you eat a bean, the bean proteins are taken apart and the parts are reassembled to make person proteins, which are slightly different from be140927-canyon-asc_2013RLSss copyan proteins. When we die or excrete materials, they are broken down further into atoms (mostly carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen) or smaller molecules such as water and carbon dioxide. These atoms and molecules enrich the soil and clean the water by feeding organisms that live in healthy soil and clean water – and they maintain the balance of the healthy air. Then the same atoms and molecules are used to make molecules and cells in plants that grow in the soil. So, the atoms and molecules of all of earth are put together and taken apart – forever — as they are used and discarded by living creatures. That is Biosystem recycling. It’s not human recycling.

And the same thing happens to all materials that we put into the biosystem. Including non-biological toxic compounds such as plastics, modern perfumes. Nothing “goes away.” Everything is recycled except energy, and we get it in our food.

(2) Capturing and Using Energy – The energy that our bodies use to do all this work of taking apart and putting together – energy for life — also comes from our food. Energy is the ability to do work, and there are different kinds of energy that do different kinds of work. The energy used by our living bodies is food energy. Plants are able to capture energy from the sun and change it into food energy and use that energy to make plant cells.  But energy does not recycle, so the food energy is put into the food by plants and then we eat the plants and use some of the energy to make human molecules (proeins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids) and human cells, and to grow healthy bodies.

140930-canyon-asc_2130RLSs copyWhen the food energy has been used to do that work of growing and maintaining health, it is released as heat. Heat energy and energy from oil wells or fracking or solar are all different forms of energy that cannot be used by our bodies. Food energy is the only kind of energy that can be used to keep our bodies alive and healthy. But energy does not recycle, and our technologies cannot make food energy. So our food is critical to our health, both to provide healthy materials and to get energy that plants can make but we cannot make. The supermarket or McDonalds do not and cannot make food. Only the Biosystem makes food, using earth, air, water and plants.   (Free download, Bare Bones Ecology Energy Handbook under chapter 2 on the right side of the blog http://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com)

The Operating System. The Law of Life. All of this recycling of materials and capturing of energy requires an operating system. The operating system for Life maintains the balance among all the millions of processes that are required to do the recycling and to flow food energy to all parts of the system, and to maintain a healthy balance of the Earth Biosystem. I call this the Law of Life. It is a natural law that is more important to Life even than gravity. The Law of Life is encoded as genetics acted upon by evolution responding to the environment. It is the Law of Life that maintains or changes the climate to keep the whole system in Balance.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy and KEOS, 89.1 FM, in Bryan, Texas.

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at:     http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_224_-_What_Goes_Around.mp3



Free download, Bare Bones Ecology Energy Handbook under chapter 2 on the right side of the blog http://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com

Bare Bones Biology 223 – Why?

Sorry to be so late this week.  As you know, I got involved with quite a lot of photography related to the climate change march.  And today’s blog will talk (again) about the root cause of climate change.  If we ignore the root cause (of anything) it will just circle around and come back to bite us in a different form, so all you climate change marchers, you need to ALSO deal with the root cause or you cannot succeed in your projects unto the seventh generation (or even the third, that would be your grandchildren) and beyond.  Here is this week podcast transcription140920-ClimateMarc-ASC_1731RLRLSs

God did not design a world in which we can have everything we want. And what a good thing that is! We would have messed it up in short order. We are not God and we do not have the wisdom or the capacity, even with computers, to understand and keep track of and balance all the millions of interacting parts of a sustainable life form such as our Earth. And of course all of our food, water and air, that is our survival, comes from our living earth.

Instead, the miracle of this living earth is precisely that it is designed to sustain itself. If we don’t completely mess it up, we can be quite certain that there will be a future for us to live and strive for because the Life of Earth is sustainable. However, it does not operate solely to serve human desires, and as Chief Oren Lyons said to Amy Goodman on Democracy Now (DN130809). “The Laws of Nature are such that we will suffer in direct ratio to our transgressions. It’s as simple as that. People should understand this, there is no mercy in nature. None whatsoever. Only the Law. Only the rules. If you follow those laws and rules, you’ll have regeneration, again and again, and if you want to challenge those laws, then you suffer the consequence, and that’s where we are right now.”

That is a reason to be alive. For the future. That we should not create more suffering, now or in the future, because of us being a part of all Life.

I guarantee the reason for human existence is not profit — or fame. Probably, the purpose for our lives is that very sustainability — that very intricately balanced sustainability. Or maybe it is the search for deeper meaning, in fact to reach out for God, within the task of sustaining and growing His creation.

In any case, we all do have an obligation to the future, and one of the best expressions of this fact that I’ve heard are again in the words of native American Chief Oren Lyons, this time speaking to Bill Moyers   “We are now. Now is us. We’re the seventh generation. I’m sitting here as the seventh generation because seven generations ago there were people looking out for me. Seven generations from now someone will be there, I know. And so each generation makes sure that seven generations is coming, all the time. . . And that’s accountability. We’re accountable. We and you and I, we’re accountable, yes we are, and they are going to call us. They’re the ones who are going to say Why did you do this, or Why did you not do this?”

Indeed we could grow a sustainable future, with much resources for everyone, so long as we limit our numbers to what the earth has available to give, both to ourselves and to the other Earth species that are responsible for maintaining the viable conditions of air water and food energy, and at the same time every child could have at least the chance at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, in other words, a rewarding life.

But not, as we are doing today, not if we continue to produce more children than we have resources to support. Sooner or later, regardless of our technological genius, a population that grows greater than the available resources, like any Ponzi scheme, falls down into a terrible morass of suffering.   And we will have nobody to blame but ourselves. Not the Bible, not God, not nature – because we know what we are doing to cause the suffering and we refuse to stop doing it.

Of course we do understand that overpopulation will end in disaster. Our problem is that, at the same time, we must all honor our humanity, and part of that human imperative is our built-in sense of compassion.

As an American Buddhist friend has said:

“About babies – totally agree there are too many. Governments need to stop subsidizing them. No tax deductions after the first birth. No fertility clinics – adopt, borrow, or put up with it. But I’m less hard-hearted about letting people die, though the logic hasn’t changed. Only because I was on a scary small plane ride with a young woman with a tiny baby, coming back from hospital birth. It would have been her second, but the first time the weather had stopped planes from flying so she couldn’t get to the hospital. Before that I would have said, this is normal and how it should be. Just like if it were my children and grandchildren getting ebola, I wouldn’t be able to say it’s normal, it cuts the population problem.“So if we’re going to protect individual lives, we really, really have to change our norms about having babies. Every child deserves full attention of at least five adults, that’s what I say.  I’d like to see a movement.”

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy and KEOS FM radio in Bryan, Texas.

A copy of the podcast is available at:




Democracy Now DN130809

Bill Moyers,








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