quickie – three interesting articles

Inspired by my husband’s frequent posts, here is a quickie post about three articles I read & enjoyed today.

The first, “On the Wing”, by Tom Jenkins, is about a program Nature Conservancy is running to pay Central Valley rice farmers to leave their fields flooded for longer than they would normally, in order to provide “wetlands” for birds migrating through the Central Valley. A great example of conservation thinking in an unintuitive way. One of the most interesting parts to me was how the conservancy used a “reverse auction” to try to find the cheapest price they could pay the farmers to keep their fields flooded:

In a reverse auction, farmers were asked to submit bids for what they would charge per acre to keep water in their fields at the most critical time for migrating birds. After an initial “discovery round,” in which each farmer was informed how his or her bid roughly compared with the others’, they were given the chance to refine their bids.


Earlier this week as I was moaning about another sleepless night to a co-worker he asks, “Why does anyone do it?” meaning, why does anyone have kids? Certainly it’s not for everyone and I made sure to say that too him, but I also mentioned that it seems like the highs you feel are higher and the lows you feel are lower. Everything seems more intense as a parent. On that note, here’s mom Lisa Morguess posting about “Motherhood: The Big Fat Fuck You”. (Yes, that has been me at times recently.) Favorite quote:

Sometimes motherhood just feels like a big, fat Fuck You, though. This is why people say that motherhood is a hard job. Not because it’s especially intellectually challenging or physically demanding – I mean it is those things, but there are certainly other pursuits that require for far more intellectual and/or physical output than motherhood. Not because it requires a great deal of bravery – of course, it does call for that, too, but certainly not as much as being a soldier or a police officer, for instance. No, it’s not those things. It’s because it’s so fucking emotionally taxing.


And lastly, an intriguing piece from Paul Ford about being polite: “How to Be Polite”. What the author said resonated with me, though in a subconscious way– I don’t think I’ve recognized the value of politeness like this before.

Personally, I am a mixture, I think. Sometimes I’m quite polite and other times I don’t respect people’s personal space or their privacy. It’s something I may be getting better at though. What really hit home for me:

There is one other aspect of my politeness that I am reluctant to mention. But I will. I am often consumed with a sense of overwhelming love and empathy. I look at the other person and am overwhelmed with joy. For all of my irony I really do want to know about the process of hanging jewelry from celebrities.


The first article I found because I give money to the Nature Conservancy and in return receive their bi-monthly magazine. The last two articles I found through A Practical Wedding‘s Happy Hour Link Roundup. Also, strangely coincidental, Paul Ford is a father of twin boys and Lisa Morguess a mother to twin girls (as part of a brood of seven.)