Bits and Pieces: Appalachian Trail, Wasted Resources, Nuclear Weapons and More

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Millions of people hike the Appalachian Trail each year.
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Millions of people hike the Appalachian Trail each year.

Who’s giving whom a break today?  According to a report in Nutrition Action, a
McDonald’s Restaurants franchise owner has moved his entire
operation right into the Benton High School cafeteria in
Benton, Arkansas . . . and has managed to build a booming
business by replacing fruits, vegetables, and “other
unpopular foods” with Cokes, shakes, fries, and Big Macs.
The owner is quoted as saying that “We’ve had no complaints
from parents except for one mother, who said she wished we
wouldn’t serve McDonald’s food at lunch because that’s what
she likes to feed her child at dinner.”

Folks who raise rabbits, chickens, or other small livestock may be
interested in a new 13-page booklet entitled “Accounting
for the Homestead”. The publication–which explains
and illustrates a simple method for keeping accurate
cost-versus-production records–is available for $2.00
from the Institute for Tomorrow, 4900 Vulcan Ave., El Paso,
Tex. 79904.

The President’s Council on Environmental Quality has reported that up to 90 percent of all
cancer in humans is caused by environmental factors, many
of which are man-made. Despite that fact, however, most of
the $800 million doled out every year by the National
Cancer Institute is spent in pursuit of a virus . . .
existence of which remains unconfirmed after
decades of study. Critics of the so-called “war on
cancer”-including Dr. James Watson, a Nobel prizewinning
biochemist-charge that “the American public is being sold a
nasty bill of goods”, and that much of the money involved
is used just to “perpetuate pre-existing programs”. They’re
also quick to point out that the cancer cure rate has
increased by “only about 1 percent” since the 1950’s . . .

Just exactly how much does “The Wasteful Society” waste? Well, according to the National Association
of Recycling Industries’ 1975 figures, the story goes
something like this: enough aluminum to build 18,700 jumbo
jets, enough paper to save 765 million trees, enough steel
and iron to build 80 million cars . . . and tens of
millions of tons of copper, lead, zinc, textiles, and other
perfectly recyclable materials. And yet, municipal
officials all across the country are scratching their heads
and wondering what to do with all the “trash” that’s
filling their cities’ landfills.

Mahegnay Souamin of Bombay, India has discovered a new–although somewhat
questionable–technique fog recycling automobiles.
According to the Zodiac News Service, the Indian fakir has
managed to eat an entire Chevrolet by dismantling the car,
cutting it into tiny pieces, and then swallowing a few
tidbits each day.

The Appalachian Trail is being “loved to death” according to Paul C. Pritchard, executive
director of the Appalachian Trail Conference. In 1968,
approximately 600,000 men and women walked portions of the
Maine-to-Georgiapathway, but–this year–the number is expected
to jump to over 4 million. At some points, says Pritchard,
hikers pass each other every 20 seconds.
Meanwhile, other less “famous” trails go virtually unused,

Looking for a way to find and finance a homestead all in one fell swoop? Then you might
take a tip from Mr. and Mrs. John Klein who have renovated an old
school bus and now operate a kind of “budget travel
service” from Cincinnati to San Francisco. The Kleins make
one four-day trip every month during the spring and summer
and–each time–carry 17 to 20 passengers who pay
just $59 apiece for the one-way ride. The cash goes toward
the couple’s future homestead . . . which they have plenty
of time to search for on their way back to Ohio.

“Wasted people” as well as people’s waste are recycled as a result of Newark, New Jersey’s
“Project Resource”. The two-year program has put
approximately 150 so-called “unemployable” former convicts
to work collecting old newspapers (which are then sold to
recycling centers). Officials say that–before the
project–approximately $430,000 worth of paper was
tossed away into city landfills every year. Now, however,
much of the “waste” is profitably retrieved . . . and the
ex-prisoners gain on-the-job experience which prepares them
for other employment.

A poignant reminder of man’s foolish and irreversible ways is served up in A Passing In
a booklet which tells the tragic story of
“Martha”–the last passenger pigeon on
earth–whose death in 1914 marked the end of “the most
impressive species of bird that man has known”. Published
by the Department of the interior as part of its
“Bicentennial historical vignettes” series, the book is
available for 65¢ from the Superintendent of
Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington,
D.C. 20402. Ask for stock number 024-000-00824-0.

19 countries are now capable of producing nuclear weapons, and–according to a report issued
by the Stockholm International Peace Research
institute–the number will in all likelihood grow to
thirty by 1980. The Institute’s studies also show
that–in 1975 alone–the nations of the world
spent $280 billion on weaponry. And half of all the arms
sold that year, says SIPRI, went to the Middle East . . .
“the most militarized region in the world”.