When did that phrase 'There's no such thing as a free lunch' emerge? I vaguely remember first encountering it in the 80s? in some sort of college class? And the speaker or context it was used did NOT make it clear to me its intent.
The response at the time, and many times in later years, was OF COURSE there is a free lunch! I am getting one tomorrow (my co-workers WILL take me out for my birthday a week late). Right?
The intent of the phrase is that everything in the environment is connected to everything else. If you change one thing, there will be an effect on other things. Take the small change of starting to feed birds in your backyard...the effects are probably a tiny increase of those species in your local area and maybe other indirect effects such as those species displacing others in the area or an increase in the area of predators to those species.
Likewise, an obvious big change might be the warming of average temperature globally. We are seeing how widespread and inter-related the environment is with this change.
As promised, here's a picture of the small 6" cake I splurged on last week for my low key bday.
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White on white. For picture perfect flower girls and easter bunnies.
Red Black & White. Dramatic girls only!