Romeo Cruz ProfileSilver City-Grant County Chamber of Commerce Director Romeo Cruz will provide a weekly column to the Beat, featuring items and announcements of interest to the community.

When is a poison not a poison?

In the 1920s, Wisconsin researchers raced to find the source of an epidemic affecting cattle. Cattle were bleeding to death after minor injuries incurred in routine procedures, such as castration. Researchers discovered a link between a certain type of moldy hay and the strange deaths, and eventually extracted a compound they called dicoumarol, which caused a dangerous and potentially lethal thinning of the blood in cows that consumed it.

Further research led to a commercial application. In 1948, Warfarin, named after the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, came onto the market as a rat poison. The poison was very effective on rodents. The pleasant scent attracted them, and because it wasn't immediately lethal, they weren't afraid to eat enough to kill them.

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Tom Sawyer the Marketing Guru

A few days ago, I decided to take my own advice and read a novel. The one I chose was Mark Twain's immortal love-letter to childhood-The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I've only had time to read a couple of chapters, but I've already discovered why the book is considered a classic. The writing is laced with Twain's irrepressible humor as he leads the reader into the world of a clever, adventurous boy growing up in a town by the Mississippi River in the 1840s. I was even more surprised to find that in the second chapter, Tom gives his readers a lesson in marketing.

As a punishment for Tom's numerous offenses, which include fighting, stealing jam, and sneaking out of the house, his Aunt Polly assigns him a job that will require an entire Saturday to complete. Twain describes Tom's predicament:

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2023 Grant County Community Awards Banquet

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2023 Grant County Community Awards Banquet held on December 14, 2023. This annual event focused on celebrating and awarding Grant County community members who have dedicated time, energy, and so much more to our community. We would also like to thank everyone who nominated an individual, organization, or business to be recognized for their hard work, dedication, and contribution to the Grant County community.

Thank you to Gaffney-Oglesby Detachment 1328 Marine Corps. League, for presenting the colors, and thank you to Kaili Martin for singing the National Anthem. We would also like to thank Q’s for catering drinks, and Savory Kitchen and Catering LLC for catering a delicious meal.

The 2023 Grant County Community Award Winners are:

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Dining with the Pharaohs

As human beings, we’re hardwired to put things into categories. For prehistoric humans, such thinking was the basis for survival. We divided what was safe to eat from what was poisonous; we separated what we were hunting from what was hunting us. We drew distinctions between our tribe and neighboring tribes. For paleolithic people with stone tools, it was a necessity. However, to become the dominant species on the planet, we had to follow a different path. Instead of making decisions by separating one thing from another, we learned to see how those things were connected. Connections are everywhere, between people and nature, across regions and oceans, and even across time. Everything is connected, even two things as different as S’Mores and ancient Egypt. Believe it or not, the S’More has its origins in the time of the Pharaohs, thanks to the gooey, sweet confection we know today as the marshmallow.

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2023 Community Awards Banquet Invatation

The Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce warmly invites you to attend the 2023 Grant County Community Awards Banquet! This Winter Wonderland-themed banquet will be on Thursday, December 14, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. at the Grant County Veterans Memorial Business and and Conference Center.
See full PDF for event below:

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These Are Our Traditions

We observe holidays to celebrate and to remember the things most important to us as a society or culture. Some are religious, some nationalistic, and others appear just to be for fun. But one thing all holidays seem to have in common is a tendency for widespread irrational behavior. I’m not talking about the kind of behavior that involves alcohol, because if that were the case, then every Friday night could be considered a holiday for some people. I’m talking about the fundamental traditions that separate holidays from more prosaic, regular days.

Take Fourth of July, for example. For 364 days a year, parents, firemen, and other important people make it very clear to children that fire is dangerous and should not be used as a means of entertainment. Then, on the 4th of July, we throw that very good advice out the window and eagerly hand out not only matches, but cardboard tubes filled with gunpowder and tell the children to go have fun. And we do it in the middle of summer, perhaps because the dry weather adds to the allure.

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We Can Learn New Tricks

Every morning I open the door and let my dog Bleu out. He waits, tail wagging, for the chance to sample the smells and sights that await him in our yard. He patrols the fence line, learning everything he can about what happened while he was away. It's beautiful to see him run, his paws kick up bits of grass and dried leaves. He runs for the sheer joy of it. His joy becomes my joy as I watch him. I see him, and all dogs, as the embodiment of joy, something we as humans desperately need more of. Dogs can teach us about happiness, forgiveness and gratitude. There are some traits that dogs have that we probably should leave to them, like peeing on trees and rolling around in foul-smelling substances. But there are many that warrant emulation as well.

Dogs seek out the new and unfamiliar. Dogs love nothing more than to follow an interesting scent. What if we gave ourselves permission to explore and discover the way dogs do naturally? We might find new interests or discover a new way of looking at the world or even find a new approach to a business problem. Leaving ourselves open to new experiences, as dogs do, will certainly enrich our lives. Yes, there is the possibility that doing this will lead to a face full of porcupine quills or the occasional spray from a skunk, but there's no reward without accepting some risk.

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True Hard Work

In 1848, John Marshall reached into the tailrace of the lumber mill he was building and changed history. He realized that the shiny metal he'd pulled from the water was gold, and with that, the Gold Rush was on. Between 1849 and 1853, 300,000 people streamed eastward across the Plains and over the oceans, searching for a small piece of the California dream. Most didn't find it, at least not in the gold fields. Mining gold was dangerous, labor intensive, and usually unsuccessful. One who did find his fortune was a German immigrant named Levi Strauss. But Strauss never set foot in a gold mine or picked up a shovel.

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