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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Random Thoughts

There have been a couple of quotes of late that grabbed my attention.  The first made me ponder how solutions are so intertwined.  Good housing impacts health leading to impacting the national debt.  The second was just the most logical explanation of evolving I have come across in reading. Not something I expected to find in the summer 2016 edition of Wildflower, a magazine from the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center here in Austin.

The first was a statistic published in the May, 2016, habitat, The Magazine for Habitat for Humanity International.

  • There is a "12% decline in total Medicaid expenditures after people moved into affordable housing."  
  • Research was conducted by Enterprise Community Partners and the Center for Outcomes Research and Education.
  • The research represents one of the first studies to directly assess the impact on health care costs in the U.S. as related to low income individuals living in affordable housing.
The second quote was discovered while reading Wildflower article titled "Some Like It Hot".  The article was about plant adaptation to different climates.  It is a great article using the Sonoran Desert as one example of a ecosystem for dry landscapes.  The different plants of the region are touched on to show how they manage the desert's infrequent, short and intense rainstorms.  The following are a distilled set of statements drawn from the article written by Karen Bussolini.
  • From the saguaro cactus to the paloverda the plants of the Sonora have systems to adjust to the climate conditions.  
  • The saguaro's roots are wide reaching and shallow with tiny hairs covering the roots. 
    • The adaptation sucks in as many as 200 gallons of water during a rainstorm.
    • The cactus can weigh tons with the stored water.
  • Paloverda drops leaves in the fall or during extended drought.
    • Photosynthesis ability is lost with the loss of leaves.
    • The green bark of the tree carries on photosynthesis. 
The opening lines in the last paragraph of the "Some Like It Hot" article states, 
"Evolution didn't only happen eons ago to help weather the weather.  Super-weeds that have become unaffected by herbicides are among the indications the evolution continues all around us." (Wildflower, Summer 2016, pg. 19, Karen Bussolini)

No, monkeys did not turn into humans last month in the Sonora desert.  But things evolve. Diseases become resistant to antibiotics.  That is a fact.  That is evolution.  Just as I hope my writing evolves with my experiences and practice.

Coming up on the weekend so everyone be safe and stay cool!  Later 'gators.