Deep Sheep

Rather than spend a whole lot of time commenting about 2014’s ongoing Christmas hacking war (Microsoft/ Sony vs. Rosneft/ Transneft), I think it’s best to move on and look ahead to our next major holiday: the Chinese New Year.  Sure, there’s a solar New Year less than one week away, but that’s just a lame excuse for glitter and litter in New York’s Times Square … and Kim Jong-un‘s annual New Year’s message (which might be kinda fun this year).  Instead, in February the Year of the Horse will be coming to its fore-ordained conclusion, so the Year of the Sheep/Ram/Goat is right around the corner in the next pasture. The portents are already available for those who know where to look … in Reno, Nevada (of all places).

Vince Thomas has come up with a new use for his family-owned goat herding business, “Goat Grazers.” Thomas is launching a new program on Friday to use his 40 goats to help recycle Christmas trees. “They’ll eat the pine needles and leave nothing but the branches.  I did a lot of research, and it’s OK for the goats,” Thomas said. “With cattle and some other animals, [pine needles] can cause miscarriages. But for goats, it’s a natural de-wormer, and pine is very high in vitamin C, so it’s healthy for them.”

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For what it’s worth, Taoist ascetics in the Tang Dynasty era believed that a diet of pine needles would permit them to fly through the air and attain immortality.  But I digress:

Thomas got tired of watching people discard the trees in landfills or dump them on public property, where they became a fire danger. “It was amazing to see how many Christmas trees people would just toss out there [in the desert],” he said. “Because we’re in the desert, they don’t decompose, they just get drier and drier and it really becomes a serious fire hazard.”

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