Helen of Marlowe's Blog

The Pope is With Us

Posted in Environment, global warming by helenofmarlowe on June 18, 2015

This is great fun to watch.   It’s a two-minute video.


I don’t know who created the video.

“Our Marketplace is Rigged by Polluters”

Posted in "North Carolina", Ecology, Government, Winston-Salem by helenofmarlowe on November 10, 2011

We went to see Robert F. Kennedy Jr. last week.

The Yadkin Riverkeeper sponsored Mr. Kennedy’s visit to WFU, and he was the best, most enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and entertaining speaker I’ve heard in a long time.

I had pen but not paper, so I took notes in the tiny white spaces around a tri-fold Honda ad.

Kennedy, an environmental lawyer and activist, called for a major government investment in a smart grid to deliver wind-turbine and solar energy to homes nationwide and free the U.S. economy from its dependence on Middle East oil. The United States is rich with clean energy resources, from geothermal heat in the Midwest to wind farms in Montana, Texas and North Dakota to solar energy in the Southwest, he said.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Wait Chapel, WFU

Kennedy advocated a transition from a carbon-based economy to one powered by solar and wind, saying clean energy is key to our economic and national security. He spoke of the wind farms in the Great Plains and Midwest states, and solar power fields in the sunny Southwest, such as the Nevada desert, saying they could provide all the electricity needed for every building and vehicle in the U.S., and said there is enough wind in just North Dakota, Kansas, and Texas to meet all of the country’s electricity needs. In a true free market, solar would out-compete coal, oil, and nuclear, but our marketplace is rigged by polluters. When coal claims to produce electricity at 11 cents per kilowatt hour, it’s not counting the $345 billion/year tax subsidies and it’s not counting the tremendous environmental pollution that taxpayers pay to clean up. It’s always been illegal to pollute, he said, citing the 1888 Rivers and Harbors Act. In the 17th c people were executed for polluting the commons.

Kennedy was erudite, but his message was sobering.  We can’t count on our representatives in Raleigh, or in Washington.  Currently, he said, “we have a marketplace with rules written by polluters.” He cited several specific examples, including political interference in 2007 by J. Stephen Griles, then deputy secretary of the Department of the Interior and a former lobbyist for the National Mining Association, who managed to change the definition of the word “fill” instead of preventing the coal companies from contaminating rivers with their mountain-top removal fill.

Kennedy talked about electric cars, which he said cost about 6 cents mile and are becoming more affordable, and he spoke with some optimism of Vantage Point Switch bulbs.  These were not new ideas (I already have some of the expensive Philips LED bulbs in lamps), but his enthusiasm made it all seem new, and he added fine details that were new to me.  He talked about Liquid Robotics – robots that move across the ocean at about 1 1/2 knots, powered by underwater wings. Looking something like window blinds, the wings tilt up when the craft is lifted by a wave, rising through the water and pulling it forward. On a down wave, the wings sink and tilt downward, pulling the craft forward.

Leaving the auditorium, I had the fleeting thought that it would be good for Kennedy to follow the footsteps of his uncles into public office, into the White House, but on second thought, he is probably doing more good where he is,  defending the environment against industrial polluters.

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Vegetarian Eating in Winston-Salem

Posted in Ecology, Planet Care by helenofmarlowe on October 30, 2010

Winston-Salem doesn’t have a strictly vegetarian or vegan restaurant, as far a I know, since the closing of The Grilled Asparagus (and not for lack of business!). But there are many good restaurants that offer good vegetarian entres. Here are some that I happen to be familiar with. My favorite places are marked with *. This will mean nothing to you unless you know what sorts of places I prefer. Let me know of places I’ve missed.

(Note:  I’m making no great effort to keep up with changes to menus, but if a change/error comes to my attention, I’ll fix it.)


*Vincinzo’s, 3449 Robinhood Road— my favorite at this family-owned Italian restaurant is the spinach ravioli. My husband loves the eggplant parmigiana. The pasta primavera is also good. Music is quiet, for easy conversation.  Booths are comfortable, staff is attentive.

Providence Restaurant, 5790 University Pkwy, 27105.  A few vegetarian entres on menu, and daily specials.  Very good food, good service. All proceeds, as well as additional donations made in lieu of tips, provide support for the program Second Harvest Food Bank.

Ichiban, in Thruway Shopping Center, has very good vegetables tempura.

*Elizabeth’s, Hanes Mall Blvd. — spaghetti with marinara is wonderful. Egglant parmesan pretty good, and pasta primavera. Music is not too loud.  Comfortable if you can get a booth.

*Golden India — lots of vegetarian entres. My favorites are malai kofta, navratan curry. Quiet Indian background music makes for easy conversation. Attentive staff.

Senor Bravo,  corner of Marshall and Brookstown.     —   Chile rellenos,  chile poblanos,  cheese enchiladas.  Good service.

*Amazing Thai – Reynolda Manor.  Almost all the dishes are offered with either fish or tofu.  I especially like the panan curry.

Bayberry Bistro, 420 High St. (at Hawthorne Inn) – 777-3000   Signature Dish: Fish & Chips

Christopher’s, 712 Brookstown Ave. – 724-1395
Signature Dish: 3 Course Dinner for $45
Main course options include Honey Lavender Glazed Salmon with a Dijon peppercorn sauce

Downtown Thai, 202 W. Fourth St. – 777-1422
Pad Woonsen: Stir fried glass (clear) noodle with mushrooms, carrots, baby corn and scallions in a delicious sauce with tofu.

Foothills Brewing, 638 W. Fourth St. – 777-3348   Signature Dish: Fish & Chips

*West End Cafe, 4th Street —  veggie burgers, portobello sandwich, veggie pita.  Really really good vegetarian reuben sandwich.

Fourth St. Filling Station, 871 W. Fourth St.- 724-7600 —  Asiago & Pesto fettuccini,  Absolut tomato pasta, Portobello sandwich

Hutch & Harris: 424 W. Fourth St. – 721-1336
Salmon filet in a spicy pecan crust w/ horseradish sauce- w/ pasta & veggies;  White bean cake w/ tomato sauce.  Menu changes, but I’ve always found something good without meat.

Honey Pot –  Fourth St.  —  not entirely vegetarian, but lots of delicious — really! — vegetarian dishes to choose from.   I’ve had the falafel  over couscous, and the  Farmer’s Plate, which on the day I was there was bok choy, cooked not too much,  several other vegetables, served with a warm and delicious carrot sauce (mostly pureed carrots).

Mooney’s Mediterranean Cafe: 101 W. Fourth St. – 722-4222
Lots of vegetarian dishes including  Hummus, Baba Ghanouj, Falafel, Jeweled Coucous, Tabouli, more

Diamond Back Grill, 751 N. Avalon Road  –Vegetarian black bean burrito, tomato pie, enough sides to put together a vegetable plate.

Mozelle’s Bistro: 878 W. Fourth St. – 703-5400  ’til 10 pm    Pan Seared Scallops, tomato pie, vegetables

Lighthouse Restaurant, Burke Street– Soups, salads, or put together a vegetable plate.  Great crabcakes,  bleu cheese dressing.

*Trido’s, North Point  –Japanese, lots of fish, also rice with vegetables. Or just get the very good salad and miso soup. Nice quiet music, attentive staff

Alex’s Cafe 750 Summit Street. Salads, falafel, hummus, spinach and vegetable pies, veggie pitas

Jason’s Deli, 1005 Hanes Mall Blvd    Vegetarian sandwiches, salads

Breakfast of Course, 723 Trade St. 336-725-5764 — omelets with tofu, tempeh; vegetarian sausage, a vegan burger, or choose items for a sandwich from a fairly long list.

Sweet Potatoes, 529 N. Trade St. – 727-4844  Lunch : 11- 3 Mon – Sat. Dinner: 5:00 – 10:00 Tue – Sat   Pan-fried catfish fillet topped with spicy Creole sauce served over rice

Willows Bistro, 300 S. Liberty Street (336) 293–4601    — Black bean burger, seafood, vegs, pimento cheese, salads

Mellow Mushroom: 314 W. Fourth St. – 245-2820   Offers vegan and vegetarian pizzas and sandwiches.  Pizza dough, which is also used for pretzels, is vegan.

2520 Tavern    2520 L-Clemmons Rd, 27012    vegetables, portabello sandwich, seafood

Roselli  109 E Main St 5:30 to 8:30 pm     East Bend, NC 27018    Straight out Reynolda Road for 20 minutes.  699-4898 vegetables & veg. entrees, tiramisu  Very good reviews

La Botana 25 vegetarian entrees;  Kester Mill Village Shopping Center     1547 Hanes Mall Blvd., 11:a.m to 9:00 pm   336-768-6588

Mizu  Japanese restaurant–  3374 Robinhood Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27106,  good food, nice quiet music.  The Mizu salad (greens, avocados, pecans, etc.) is delicious and filing enough to be the entire lunch.

Miami’s Cafe, Cuban, Caribbean Restaurant ·     2225 Old Salisbury rd, 27127      Thur- Sat. 11-8 and Sun 12- 6    (336) 788-9440

Sakura Japanese Restaurant  548 S Stratford Road,  Veg. tempura, vegs.,  (336) 777-8744    can’t find hours on web page

Village Tavern til 11 pm     221 Reynolda Village   vegs, veg pasta, veg sandwiches  336-748-0221

Bonefish Grill  300 S Stratford Road 4 pm – 10 pm   seafood, vegs, desserts  Phone: (336) 724-4518

For thoughts on the virtues of plant-based eating, see my post “Planet Care” and consider that we are destroying our planet as we turn our rain forests into grazing land for cattle.   And consider the unbearable fear and pain endured by the animals that are raised in misery and then slaughtered in terror so that human animals can eat them.


We cannot eliminate suffering from this world, but we should not contribute to it unnecessarily, and factory farming of animals for meat is an unnecessary cruelty.

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To Justify the Ways of God to Man (and to other animals as well)

Posted in Ecology, Planet Care by helenofmarlowe on September 24, 2010

Introduction:  Our grandson sent email to my husband and me with a link to a New York Times OpEd, and the message, “Your thoughts?”

Here is the link that he sent us,


and here is my reply:


Bob and I finally — finally! — got the last of our tax documents off to the accountant late last night,
and so we both printed a copy of this to read.

Bob was reading it when I fell asleep, so he will likely send you comments today too, comments more philosophically sophisticated than mine.  The article is interesting for sure,  and some of his comments about animal cruelty at the hands of humans seem, surprisingly, new to me.   Surprisingly because when I read them they seem obvious.

I do not believe the author is serious in his suggestion that we might try to eliminate carnivores from the planet.
So why does he explore the idea? I guess to explore the outer limits of the observation that

Our own form of predation is of course more refined than those of other meat-eaters,
who must capture their prey and tear it apart as it struggles to escape.  We instead employ
professionals to breed our prey in captivity and prepare their bodies for us behind a veil of
propriety, so that our sensibilities are spared the recognition that we too are predators…

I think he cannot be serious, not because it would be “playing God” (his second response to that
accusation is good enough for me) but because it simply makes no practical sense.  (I can speak more to
that upon request but my guess is that you agree.)

Or maybe he explores the idea of eliminating carnivorous species as a way of mocking the arguments that I do take seriously,
The main one (to me) being

The reality behind the veil is, however, far worse than that in the natural world.  Our factory
farms, which supply most of the meat and eggs consumed in developed societies, inflict a lifetime
of misery and torment on our prey, in contrast to the relatively brief agonies endured by the victims
of predators in the wild.  From the moral perspective, there is nothing that can plausibly be said in
defense of this practice.

And this, for me, is the crux of the matter.  We cannot eliminate suffering from the world, but we should not contribute to it unnecessarily.   And factory farming is unnecessary.  (I would go further and say eating animals is unnecessary, but that argument is not necessary for this particular point and might lead us toward than infamous tangent.)

Your thoughts?


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