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What do Sen. Cardin, Norway and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have in common?

From the Department of Press Releases You Don't Get Every Day comes this dispatch, courtesy of Sen. Benjamin Cardin's (D-Md.) office: "Red Hot Chili Peppers Arrive in Sub-zero Arctic Seed Vault."

What's that you say? The seminal Los Angeles alterna-rock-funk band is playing ... in a seed vault? In the Arctic? Well, no. But it's almost that interesting.

Cardin is the chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, otherwise known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission. The agency is best known for its work on human rights issues but also works on economic development and other topics. And so Cardin is leading a seven-member congressional delegation to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault "deep in a mountain on a remote Norwegian archipelago near the North Pole," as the release describes it.

Their mission: To deliver the seeds of chili peppers -- the kind you eat, not the kind on your iPod -- and the seeds of many other plants to the vault, which is designed to serve as a backup system and preservation site in case some man-made or natural disaster destroys a large portion of the world's crops.

"The world is interdependent when it comes to crop diversity, the essential raw material needed for a healthy and robust food supply," Cardin said in the release. "As we manage the impact of climate change and other natural and man-made disasters around the world, the seed vault in Svalbard will be the safety deposit box that ensures we can keep that food supply intact."

The seed vault is roughly 4,000 miles from Washington, D.C., but Cardin did not mention what kind of music the members listened to on their flight.

By Ben Pershing  |  July 12, 2010; 2:28 PM ET
Categories:  Ben Pershing  
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Karen Traviss wrote a series of science fiction novels where a back-to-nature religious group escapes from Earth with a collection of plant and animal DNA to a planet 75 light years away, corporate interests sends a group to bring back the collection years later, and aliens come to Earth to kill off 2/3 of the human population to clean up the environment.

Looks like Senator Cardin is moving in the right direction to save Earth from humanity.

Posted by: cdreimer | July 12, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

This is a very short article to actually contain 3 attempts at humor by referencing the band instead of the plant. ha ha.

Posted by: tombest610 | July 12, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

The web headline is incorrect and misleading "Senator stockpiles seeds for doomsday." It is the vault that does the stockpiling. The Senator is just delivering the seeds.

Posted by: ObamasArizonaLawsuitWillBeTheDownfallOfTheDemocratsInNovember2010 | July 12, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but these are not off-site backups, and are not worth crap as a result. Nice idea, but it's obvious these people don't know squat about proper backups & DR sites. If he was sending them to the Moon colony that we don't have, I might think it was worthwhile.

Posted by: Nymous | July 12, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Well, assuming the vault curators know what they're doing and the seeds actually survive, this is actually a good thing to do. Ditzy as it sounds, of course.

I trust the seven-member Congressional delegation have some other reason for making the trip. If not, FedEx would have made better use of my tax dollars.

Posted by: TexLex | July 12, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

What a waste of tax dollars. Why isn't Cardin on a commission to bring more jobs to Maryland or a commission to cut the taxes and federal deficits? He needs to focus on the here and now or he will be a short term senator.

Posted by: VikingRider | July 13, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

What a waste of tax dollars. Why isn't Cardin on a commission to bring more jobs to Maryland or a commission to cut the taxes and federal deficits? He needs to focus on the here and now or he will be a short term senator.There are homeless people in Maryland who need help, there are many peole losing their homes via foreclosure, unemployment compensation is being cut off to other Marylanders, and yet Cardin has time to leave the country on a fantasy mission??

Posted by: VikingRider | July 13, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

What exactly qualifies Cardin to be on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, much less chair it?? It must be testament to the Commission's relevance.

Blacks in MD were duped by the Democrats once again by being force fed this old white geezer that has no clue of what it takes to survive in a PG county public school system. In turn, they lost Michael Steele to be devoured on the national stage by the racist media.

Posted by: Digitalman08 | July 14, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

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