March 13: Lawns, Urban Burning, Spring, Brown Sauce, Envy
Humans spend excessive time and energy on maintenance of tame grasses they call “lawns.” Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and gasoline are all used in abundance on these largely useless grassy areas. They are pollution pits and wastes of fossil fuels. The tendency to try to manage the environment seems universal among humans, but urban lawns are a particularly radical, and way too popular, example. City ordinances sometimes preclude reasonable people from doing the right thing: they force the pollution and waste that goes with lawn maintenance on homeowners. Androp favors those humans getting over it. Late winter burning of unfertilized native plants seems more reasonable.
The decorative magnolia trees and Bradford pears bloomed two weeks ago, so this last blast of freezing temperatures in town was due. The return of cold corresponded with a return to Daylight Savings Time, so confusion and disorientation resulted.
DST was adopted nationally by most states in 1966. The primary result was supposed to be energy savings. Now, nearly nobody approves of switching time twice a year, and no real energy savings result. However, switching back to not switching time would take an act of Congress, and everyone knows that will not happen.
The culinary note involves a brown sauce (gravy), in this case, made for serving over rice and seared scallops.
The easiest way to make gravy is to put equal parts flour and butter in a pan, brown a bit, and then add whatever is desired for flavor. In this case, onions were browned, then some crushed garlic was added. Those were removed, then scallops were seared. Finally, 1 tbl butter and 1 tbl flour (plus salt and pepper) were added and the flour was browned. Then 1 c milk and the browned onions and garlic were added back and heated until bubbly. Hint: for white gravy, the flour is not browned, but this results in a somewhat doughy-tasking gravy. Androp prefers to brown the flour.
Finally, under humans are strange, Androp has been considering the source of envy. Probably, recognition of good resources is adaptive, and a desire to take those away from other troupes of humans could be seen as adaptive.
Modern humans manifest this desire for resources a yearning for material goods such as automobiles and houses. Ironically, survival and reproduction of modern humans in the developed world is not enhanced by owning these types of resources. High social status might also have improved fitness throughout most of our evolutionary history, but not any longer in the developed world. The current desire for high social status may partly explain our fascination and admiration of celebrities. Possibly, this explains partly the election of he who must not be named. Humans are an exceptionally strange species, and possibly are becoming more and more ill-adapted to the environment they have created for themselves.