Saturday, December 23, 2006

Really hybridized corn

Really really hybridized corn - a very early nanoscape...I promise not to give up painting to explore plant genetics... If, however, you are interested in homicidal plant geneticists, look for Emma Lathen's Green Grow the Dollars (1982, Simon and Schuster; 1983 Pocket Books). "Emma Lathen" is/was two women who met in the early 1960s in a library at Harvard. One became a lawyer, the other an agricultural economist. Together, they used the device of the Trust Department of the Sloan Guaranty Trust, the third largest bank in the world, and its Senior Vice President, the supremely unflappable John Putnam Thatcher, to explore literate and civilized murder and mayhem in a wide swath of industries. The gore is always off-stage, and they assume that you know that "defenestration" means throwing yourself out the window. It's hard to pick favorites, but those set in the automobile, candy, ice hockey, home-delivered fried chicken and oil businesses come quickly to mind. They also wrote together as R.B. Dominic, with just five books featuring Ben Safford, a Congressman from Ohio. Using the power of Congressional investigation, they explored Supreme Court appointments, defense contracting, wildly abusive medical professionals (before it was "normal" for doctors to testify against one another in malpractice suits), and my personal favorite, Murder Sunny Side Up (Paperjacks, Ltd., 1985), which centers on a process for producing shelf-stable "fresh" eggs. Sadly, the Dominic books are out of print, but you can often find them used.

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