Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Who uses it: Agricultural historians and organic farmers
What it means: Enriching farmland by adding marl, a calcium carbonate-rich type of earth (marl can be sand, silt or clay).
How to use it: When you're fertilizing with something that isn't manure.

I ran across this word in a manuscript recently, and had to look it up. That led me through several distracting articles about agricultural techniques throughout history, one of which casually mentioned that no one grew potatoes for sale in Europe until sometime after 1700 -- and that sent me searching for more fun facts about the history of the potato, because I'm extremely fond of potatoes, which I swear has nothing to do with my ethnic background.

And while we're threatening indignation over cultural stereotypes, here's a little fuel to the fire:
Nursing home keeps spirits up with own pub

DUBLIN (Reuters) - A nursing home in Ireland has hit on a cheering way to keep up the spirits of its elderly patients -- by providing its own pub.

St Mary's Hospital in County Monaghan, near the Irish border with Northern Ireland, believes ready access to a good pint may help its patients -- average age 85 -- actually live longer.

"We would say the whole social aspect of life does extend the years -- it means the patients aren't bored to death," Rose Mooney, assistant director of nursing told Reuters.

The pub, which opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 9 p.m. and charges normal bar prices, had also led to an increase in the number of visitors, she said.

Having its own bar made the hospital, which has around 140 patients, unique in Ireland, she added.

On the one hand, I'm wincing about this -- come on, does it have to be Ireland? On the other, I'm wondering whether I can already put my name down for admission in 2050.

1 comment:

Jim Winter said...

I should live that long.

No, really. To send myself off in a haze of Jameson induced bliss in an Irish pub. Now that's a final exit.