The Future Of Transportation That Will Never Be

Podcars:

A Reality in an Alternate Universe

car1.JPGI’m picturing visions of Logan’s Run or something out of Disney’s Tomorrowland.

Imagine podcars as the public transportation of the future.  AKA, personal rapid transit, would be a system of vehicles that provide on-demand, private travel. I mean if you think about it, this idea is hardly new or revolutionary.  More like it has not been very popular of a concept for those who own and control the auto industry, the oil industry, etc, etc.

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Able to carry people as well as light freight, PodCars would ride on small guideways like a monorail. They could be powered by electricity, or hey, how about that electro-magnetic gravitics we have been withheld by TPPTS?

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The podcars would travel on main lines like a freeway with on and off ramp legs that would stop at stations where you can get on and off. A good size would be vehicles that hold up to 4 people, but be cost effective to run even with just one person riding.

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Some estimates gauge cost at $25 to $40 million per mile including the rail, vehicles and stations.

Compare this to $100 to $300 million for subway or light rail systems.

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Currently, a podcar system called ULTra is being built at London’s Heathrow airport.

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Oh yeah, that looks like fun.  Seriously, except for driving enthusiasts, this would allow people better use of their time while commuting and traveling. Minor issue of those who are germaphobes – how do you sanitize each car after use?  For that matter, how  and how often would they be cleaned?

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For example, what if someone just came off the beach with their great dane and got in a podcar prior to you using the same car?  Wet and covered in sand and dog hair, not to mention the lingering smell to remind you of the prior occupants, could you request a different car or what?

Hmm. . . sounds like a whole slew of business opportunities and jobs for podcar support that might not be readily considered!

Decluttering Defined

Here’s a nice little tidbit for all you Clutter Bugs out there who are feeling overwhelmed with all the piles of stuff everywhere.  I’m going to keep it short and simple as pac-rats tend to be anything but.

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Help! I’m buried under a plethora of paper!

The concept of Decluttering is based on the theory that clutter drains both physical and mental energy.

Decluttering involves two components:

  1. Releasing things (clothing, papers, furniture, objects and IDEAS) that no longer serve a good purpose in one’s life.
  2. Creating a simple system of personal organization that is esay to maintain and guards against accumulating things that are neither necessary or nourishing.

This can be accomplished by one, being present in the now and not daydreaming while surmising your environment, and two, by enlisting the help of a friend or family member in cleaning out.

For serious cases, there are even professionals who you can hire to get your space cleared out.  Your sanity will thank you and your productivity and creativity will expand.

**UPDATE April Fool’s Day 2011**

This is not a joke. I recently discovered a MUST HAVE book for everyone who wants to get their life back and make the task of eliminating clutter simple and fun.>>> Clutter’s Last Stand

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Tell Me Again Why I Have Health Insurance?

blue floridaThis is a good illustration of one reason why health insurance is so screwed up.

Ok, I don’t need a string of comments telling me the obvious, WHAT IF? CATASTROPHE Stuck and I had some serious medical  bills.

But this goes along with one reason why I went for some 15+ years without paying for health insurance.  Youth and health on my side coupled with healthy lifestyle choices kept me out of the doctors offices and hospitals for all those years.

Like I pointed out in a previous post, it should be called Disease Management and Potential Catastophe Insurance and not Health Insurance.  The lifestyle choices I make are more aptly named insurance than any silly policy I can pay for.

Now here’s my rant.

I received my year in review report from blue cross today and i had a total of $1700 in bills for health care for 2009

BCBS only paid $500 and I had to pay $250 out of pocket. This doesn’t include the $2600 I paid in premiums.

So, if I could convince the labs and doctors to let me pay the same negotiated amounts that they get if it went thru insurance then I would have only been out $750 dollars last year.

And even if I had to pay the full amount, I would’ve paid $1700

Instead, because I have health insurance, I had to pay out of pocket, $2850. . .

or about $1150 more than if I had none even possibly $2100 in savings if I could pay only what they get from insurance/co-pay.

Tell me again WHY I have health insurance????

I am going to look into catastrophic health insurance as an alternative and switch to that if it is cost effective.

Simon’s Cat Gets His Own Book

IF you haven’t seen Simon’s Cat on YouTube, you gotta check it out.  Thru simple line drawing cartooning, on-spot sound effects and observations, the personified cat in Simon’s cat will have you laughing your ass off.  Unless of course, you hate cats…. But why would you hate cats? Twit.

Simon's Cat Book

Simon's Cat BookSimon’s Cat.
Now in his very own book.

Based on Simon Tofield’s animations that have taken YouTube by storm with over thirty million hits, SIMON’S CAT depicts and exaggerates the hilarious relationship between a man and his cat. The daily escapades of this adorable pet, who will do just about anything to be fed, and his exasperated but doting owner, come to life through beautiful black and white line drawings. With a huge fan following that is growing even larger by the day, SIMON’S CAT is set to become a major new comic creation.

Simon Tofield is an award-winning illustrator, animator and director at Tandem Films in London.

Trade Paperback
240 pages
$12.99
Publication date: September 24th 2009
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Pre-order now at:
Simon’s Cat @ Amazon

What People Are Saying about the book:

I was a little afraid Simon’s Cat would be lacking because you can’t hear his little mews, but it’s just as funny if not more! Tofield does a great job with little “mini-strips,” and stories that every cat owner can appreciate. There is a ton of variety, and it’s ALL illustrated brilliantly! Absolutely hilarious!


I love the antics of Simon’s Cat. His expressions are absolutely priceless.

Simon’s Cat book is probably the most brilliant of the kitty books in market. Funny, creative and real. Sometimes I think this cat is real. Of course, his antics can hurt Simon when he is asleep or watching tv but he is so adorable you’re able to forgive him. What has struck me most is that how Simon’s graphics teach us to treat animals humanely and with special care. I am one of the fans and it is an excellent book. Loved it. Plus this book makes a great gift.

Brilliant!

I have been enchanted by Simon’s Cat on YouTube for 2 years now. I wasn’t sure how this would come across in book format but it is brilliant! It maintains the same tone with its wordless cartoons – and every picture defintely tells a story. I am owned by several cats and Simon definitely understands feline behavior and portrays it indescribably well.

Get Your Copy Of Simon’s Cat Here
Here’s Latest Simon’s Cat Video:



F-N-F | Friday Night Film | The Disclosure Project

F-N-F : Friday Night Film, Febuary 19, 2010

Ok, this one is a little old and I only heard it on the original website as the video wasn’t working.

Very compelling. How many people do YOU know that even heard about this back in 01?

The Disclosure Project, May 9th, 2001

You Tube

Google Video

On Wednesday, May 9th 2001, over twenty military, intelligence, government, corporate and scientific witnesses came forward at the National Press Club in Washington, DC to establish the reality of UFOs or extraterrestrial vehicles, extraterrestrial life forms, and resulting advanced energy and propulsion technologies.

The weight of this first-hand testimony, along with supporting government documentation and other evidence, will establish without any doubt the reality of these phenomena, according to Dr. Steven M. Greer, director of the Disclosure Project which hosted the event.

MORE INFO http://www.disclosureproject.org/


How To Fix The US Government | Yes, It DOES Need Fixin

Buddy of mine sent this to me – I thought it simple and straight forward and eliminates all the bullshit that has transpired in the US government over the last 100 years.  I can’t see anyone who’s NOT a current or former congressman having an issue with this proposal.

Congressional Reform Act of 2010


1. Term Limits: 12 years only, one of the possible options below.

A. Two Six year Senate terms
B. Six Two year House terms
C. One Six year Senate term and three Two Year House terms

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.  The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

2.  No Tenure / No Pension:

A congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.  The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

3.  Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security:

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund moves to the Social Security system immediately.  All future funds flow into the Social Security system, Congress participates with the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.  The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, server your term(s), then go home and back to work.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan just as all Americans.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.  The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.  Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.  The Founding Fathers envisioned  citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.


6. Congress looses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.  The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

7. Congress must equally abide in all laws they impose on the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.  The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.
8. All contracts with past and present congressmen are void effective 1/1/11. 

The American people did not make this contract with congressmen, congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.  The Founding Fathers envisioned  citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.


Health Care or Disease Management?

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dingdongYo, Step away from the Ding-Dong!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three-fourths of health care spending now goes to treat “preventable chronic diseases.”  Not all of these diseases are linked to diet — there’s smoking, for instance — but many of them are.

We spend $147 billion to treat obesity, $116 billion to treat diabetes, and hundreds of billions more treating cardiovascular disease and the many types of cancer that have been linked to the so-called Western diet.

Cheap food is going to be popular as long as the social and environmental costs of that food are charged to the future. There’s gobs of money to be made selling fast food and then treating the diseases that fast food causes. One of the leading products of the American food industry has become patients for the American health care industry.

Take for example the market for prescription drugs and medical devices to manage Type 2 diabetes, which the Centers for Disease Control estimates will afflict one in three Americans born after 2000.

So you might be thinking, what about the insurance companies? Where’s the incentive for them to encourage prevention over disease management?

As for the insurers, you would think preventing chronic diseases would be good business, but, at least under the current rules, it’s much better business simply to keep patients at risk for chronic disease out of your pool of customers, whether through lifetime caps on coverage or rules against pre-existing conditions or by figuring out ways to toss patients overboard when they become ill.

Maybe if they made it so you can’t deny pre-existing conditions for new customers and not charge exorbitantly higher fees, then the insurance companies might be enthusiastic fans of healthy lifestyle choices.

fat-guy

The status quo is slow to change and to entertain the idea of expulsion of those currently running the show is a bit ridiculous and likely to cause too much mayhem and chaos in the process.

True education and the desire to own and rediscover each of our divine personal power and use our waning ability to think and question for ourselves is a much more long term solution to this epidemic.

The secret to saving the world (assuming that it even needs to be saved)  is to start with yourself first and don’t worry about what the other person next to you is doing.  Get your own house in order. If these words are heeded by a majority, then we’ll be in pretty good shape.

and Hey! Put that Twinkie down!

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Vertical Farming

I’ve seen the Future and Vertical Farming is It

Vertical Farming, or more definitive, Vertical Hydroponic Organic Urban Farming is coming to a town near you.  Or it should be, in my opinion. Yes, I know I’ve been on a farming bender lately with my blog, but hey, after air and water, food is pretty important to staying alive.

Even though I currently reside in a condo and don’t currently fancy myself possessing a green thumb unless it’s from paint, thanks to my mother and grandfather  et al, I’ve got  farmer’s blood  in me. And it is true that I’ve always been into quality food, health and nutrition.

Before I get into the cool pics and advantages of Vertical Farming, I need to bring up something else about our relationship with . . .

FOOD

Now of course, this ties in directly to the elephant in the room many people try to avoid confronting.  And that is the horrendously unhealthy typical American diet and its catastrophic effect on the out-of-control health care in this country.  Wait, we’re still calling this Health Care? More like Disease Management.

It’s the quality of food we eat – mostly processed and devoid of enzymes and basic nutrients in adequate levels. It’s the quantity too – most of us eat way too much food, much of it garbage.

It’s also when we eat.  Too many people skip breakfast or think a cup of joe is a sufficient breakfast. This is followed by eating the biggest meal of the day at dinnertime – often much too late in the evening.

Finally, lack of quality fresh food, effective, bio-available nutritional supplements, and eating while under time stress  and other stresses creates the inability to absorb and digest what we DO end up shoving in our mouths.

Artists Conceptions Gallery

There are a myriad of ‘pie in the sky’ artist conceptions and designs.

Perhaps a smaller model would be more easily created in a shorter amount of time.

Here’s a few interesting ideas:

Advantages of Vertical Farming

Year-round crop production; 1 indoor acre is equivalent to 4-6 outdoor acres or more, depending upon the crop (e.g., strawberries: 1 indoor acre = 30 outdoor acres)
No weather-related crop failures due to droughts, floods, pests
All VF food is grown organically: no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers
VF virtually eliminates agricultural runoff by recycling black water
VF returns farmland to nature, restoring ecosystem functions and services
VF greatly reduces the incidence of many infectious diseases that are acquired at the agricultural interface
VF converts black and gray water into potable water by collecting the water of
evapotranspiration
VF adds energy back to the grid via methane generation from composting non-edible
parts of plants and animals
VF dramatically reduces fossil fuel use (no tractors, plows, shipping.)
VF converts abandoned urban properties into food production centers
VF creates sustainable environments for urban centers
VF creates new employment opportunities
We cannot go to the moon, Mars, or beyond without first learning to farm indoors on
earth
VF may prove to be useful for integrating into refugee camps
VF offers the promise of measurable economic improvement for tropical and subtropical
LDCs. If this should prove to be the case, then VF may be a catalyst in helping to reduce or even reverse the population growth of LDCs as they adopt urban agriculture as a strategy for sustainable food production.
VF could reduce the incidence of armed conflict over natural resources, such as water
and land for agriculture

As the world’s population has already surpassed 6 billion and billions more on the way, before we know it the traditional soil-based farming model developed over the last 12,000 years will no longer be a sustainable option.

Irrigation of crops uses 70 percent of the fresh water that we use. The excess agricultural runoff, contaminated with silt, pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, is unfit for reuse.

VF food production will take advantage of hydroponic and aeroponic technologies. Both methods are soil-free.  Hydroponics allows us to grow plants in a water-and-nutrient solution, while aeroponics grows them in a nutrient-laden mist. These methods use far less water than conventional cultivation techniques, in some cases as much as 90 percent less.

For every indoor acre farmed, some 10 to 20 outdoor acres of farmland can return to their original ecological state (mostly hardwood forest).

A vertical farm will behave like a functional ecosystem, in which waste is recycled and the water used in hydroponics and aeroponics is recaptured by dehumidification and used over and over again. The technologies needed to create a vertical farm are currently being used in controlled-environment agriculture facilities but have not been integrated into a seamless source of food production in urban high-rise buildings.

High rises aren’t the only structures that could house vertical farms. Farms of various sizes and crop yields could be built into a variety of urban settings — from schools, restaurants and hospitals to the upper floors of apartment complexes. By supplying a continuous quantity of fresh vegetables and fruits to city dwellers, these farms will help combat health problems, like Type II diabetes and obesity.

Vertical farming can finally put an end to agricultural runoff, a major source of water pollution.

City dwellers will also be able to breathe easier – literally. Vertical farms will bring a great concentration of plants into cities. These plants will absorb carbon dioxide produced by automobile emissions and give off oxygen in return

One estimate for proof of concept: constructing a five-story farm, taking up one-eighth of a square city block, will cost $20 million to $30 million.

An actual indoor farm developed at Cornell University growing hydroponic lettuce was able to produce as many as 68 heads per square foot per year. At a retail price in New York of up to $2.50 a head for hydroponic lettuce, you can see how profitable this and other similar crops can be.

Learn more about Vertical Farming @ http://www.verticalfarm.com/

Say Goodbye to Shampoo

Say Goodbye to Shampoo

my friend’s mama always said, and I paraphrase,

Soap is cheap. No excuse for not being clean

But most soaps and traditional shampoos are actually quite harsh for the skin and hair.

That’s why I love to use Wen hair conditioner products. They are amazing.

A former girlfriend of mine introduced me to this fantastic product.

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Wen Fig 32oz

There are several types – not to be used based on your nose’s preference but rather the type of hair you have.

For fine and medium hair the proper choices are Lavender, Cucumber Aloe, or Sweet Almond Mint.

If you have medium coarse or ethnic hair then Fig, Lavender or Tea Tree are your best bets.

She gave me the Fig conditioner to try and I have to say, I didn’t think I’d like the scent, but after using it I find I do.  Plus it feels great working it into your scalp.  That’s the key to using hair products I found out.   To get rid of dirt and balance the scalp’s oils, you need to work your fingers down in there.  And when it comes to conditioning the hair, the ends need it the most.

I really like that Wen is a very natural product that has no sodium laurel sulfate which is pretty much in most all shampoos and body soaps on the market today.  Sure, they get you clean but they are WAY to harsh on the skin and hair.

What the company says:

WEN is designed to eliminate shampoo and its harsh and damaging effects, without sacrificing the integrity and beauty of your hair. WEN is the only cleanser/conditioner you will need to use in your daily routine, and can be used as often as necessary.

Fig Cleansing Conditioner is a universal cleanser which, due to its rich, dense consistency, works exceptionally well to moisturize, hydrate and replenish dry, heat-damaged, color-treated, or dehydrated hair. This cleansing conditioner is free of sodium laurel sulfates and detergents, and cleanses without lathering or stripping the scalp or hair of natural moisture.

Due to the harsh detergents and sodium laurel/laureth sulfates found in most all shampoos, they would experience color fading/stripping, dull, lifeless, frizzy, dry hair, dry scalps, oily scalps, scalp disorders, hair loss, etc., damaging their scalp, hair, health and environment. That was when I started to implement my new concept in cleansing, eliminating the detergents and harsh chemicals that lather and strip your scalp and hair, and introduced the WEN product line to the world.

WEN Cleanses with astringent and antibacterial properties without lathering; it adds sheen, luster, moisture, strength and manageability to the hair. Color lasts much longer and it stimulates the scalp promoting blood circulation, stopping hair loss and promoting healthy hair growth. WEN is formulated with the perfect balance for all hair types and performs amazingly well on ethnic hair, due to its moisture content.

Learn more about the specifics

http://www.chazdean.com/t-aboutwen.aspx

Monsanto – May Their Hubris Bring On Their Fall

I would love to see Monsanto be destroyed by it’s own corruption and greed – and any other company with equally diabolical plans and schemes such as theirs. Patenting life and trying to own and control the world’s food supply.  The way they conduct their business makes me extremely distrustful of anything they say as being accurate or truthful.

With that bit of zing, I want to share with you an article I was sent today by a friend.

Monsanto: The evil corporation in your refrigerator

02-04-2010

When we consider the rogue’s gallery of devilish, over-sized, greedy and disproportionately powerful corporations, we generally come up with outfits like Microsoft, Bechtel, AIG, Halliburton, Goldman-Sachs, Exxon-Mobil and the United States Senate. Yet somehow, Monsanto, arguably the most devilish, over-sized, greedy and disproportionately powerful corporation in the world has been able to more or less skulk between the raindrops — only a household name in households where documentaries like Food Inc. are regarded as light Friday evening entertainment. My house, for example. But for the most part, if you were to ask an average American for their list of sinister corporations, Monsanto probably wouldn’t make the cut.

It should.

Founded by Missouri pharmacist John Francis Queeny in 1901, Monsanto is literally everywhere. Just about every non-organic food product available to consumers has some sort of connection with Monsanto.
Anyone who can read a label knows that corn, soy and cotton can be found in just about every American food product. Upwards of 90% of all corn, soybeans and cotton are grown from genetically engineered seeds, also known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). These genetically enhanced products appear in around 70% of all American processed food products. And Monsanto controls 90% of all genetically engineered seeds. In other words, Monsanto controls — and owns patents on — most of the American food supply.

When you consider, as Walletpop originally reported, that one-in-four food labels is inaccurate, that the F.D.A.’s testing is weak at best, then how can we trust one corporation to have so much control over our produce? The answer is, we can’t.
Recently, a study by the International Journal of Biological Sciences revealed that Monsanto’s Mon 863, Mon 810, and Roundup herbicide-absorbing NK 603 in corn caused kidney and liver damage in laboratory rats. Scientists also discovered damage to the heart, spleen, adrenal glands and even the blood of rats that consumed the mutant corn. A “state of hepatorenal toxicity” the study concluded.

This hasn’t slowed down Monsanto’s profit machine. In 2008, Monsanto cleared over $2 billion in net profits on $11 billion in revenues. And its 2009 is looking equally as excellent.

Author and food safety advocate Robyn O’Brien told me, “Monsanto is expecting gross margins in Q2 2010 of 62%, its corn and soy price mix to be up 8-10% and its glyphosate revenue to expand to an estimated $1 billion in gross profit by 2012, enabling Monsanto to further drive R&D into seeds and to price those seeds at a premium – further driving price increases on the farm and in the grocery stores.”

This, O’Brien says, in the same year when farm income declined by around 34%.

Because Monsanto claims that its GMOs create higher yields and therefore comparatively higher revenues per acre for struggling American farmers, they’re certainly a tempting option. On the surface, that is. Monsanto controls its seeds with an iron fist, so even if you happen to own a farm next to another farm upon which Monsanto seeds are used, and if those seeds migrate onto your land, Monsanto can sue you for royalties.

Additionally, if you use seeds from crops grown from Monsanto seeds, a process known as “seed cleaning,” you also have to pay royalties to Monsanto or it will sue you. All told, Monsanto has recovered $15 million in royalties by suing farmers, with individual settlements ranging from five figures to millions of dollars each.

Back in 2004, farmer Kem Ralph served eight months in jail and was fined $1.3 million for lying about Monsanto cotton seeds he was hiding in his barn as a favor to a friend. They weren’t even his seeds (yeah, that’s what they all say!). By way of comparison, the fine in Ralph’s home state of Tennessee for, say, cocaine possession, is $2,500.

In keeping with the Orwellian nature of modern marketing, one of the first phrases you see on the front page of the Monsanto website is “we help farmers.” Funny. In a cruelly ironical way, that is.

In fairness, the argument in support of Monsanto is generally “it makes more food for lower prices.” Of course this is a red herring. Basic economics proves that choice and competition create lower prices. Not monopolies. This applies not only to American grocery stores, but also in terms of feeding developing nations where food is scarcer.

Moreover, stronger Monsanto herbicides, compatible with herbicide resistant seeds, are giving rise to mutant Wolverine-ish super weeds that have adapted and are rapidly spreading through the air to farms that don’t use Monsanto GMOs, destroying obviously vulnerable crops. Say nothing of the inevitable mutant bugs that will adapt to the pesticides that are implanted into the Monsanto Mon 810 genetic code. And if further studies indicate similar organ damage in humans, the externalized costs to health care systems will begin to seriously out-weigh the benefits of cheaper food.

Ultimately, there are better, healthier ways to make cheaper food. Until then the best thing we can do is to demand further investigations and buy organic products whenever practical.

And if you can’t afford to buy organic, O’Brien recommends, “A great first step, given how pervasive these ingredients are in processed foods that often use these ingredients to extend shelf life, is to reduce your exposure to processed foods and stick with pronounceable ingredients and foods that your grandmother would have served her kids.”

Meanwhile, let’s endeavor to make Monsanto a household name. But not in a good way.

On January 15, the Obama Justice Department launched an anti-trust investigation against the corporate behemoth over its next generation of genetically modified “Roundup Ready” soybean seeds. The very next day, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, which challenges the safety of genetically modified agricultural products — the centerpiece of the Monsanto empire. If the investigation fails, farmers will have to switch over to the next generation of Roundup Ready seeds in 2014. And the cycle of corporate abuse and monopolization will continue.