Hastily packaged seeds from my collection, now waiting for germination with samiholloway!


If I still remember my high-school-genetics, I’d say mitochondrial mutation? 

Is it a chimera, or just weird?

The first cacti and succulent seedlings are already up: the germination chamber seems to work in a jiffy!

The top photo is Sand Dollar Cactus (Astrophytum asterias), and the bottom photo is Sempervivum (mixed sp.).

According to my folia record, the former was sown 6 days ago, and the latter 5 days ago.

#germination #cacti #succulents

Couple Jailed for Raising Chickens


The justification given by the aggressors was that the couple was guilty of the heinous action of “junk and blight.”

They want to control our food. Keeping chickens should not get you arrested. This is hardly the first instance of something like this happening. This is the outcome of a legislative move to criminalize backyard farms and small, residential farming operations…

Your right to use your own property to create sustenance is going the way of the right to forage, hunt, make liquor, camp, fish, coppice, smoke, and swap seeds without state interference; corporations retain rights to use natural resources and sell them to you, but heaven forbid you want to make a little moonshine, pick some wild mushrooms, or gather firewood. Next thing we know the health department will have to come for an inspection if you want to grow and eat your own lettuce. But it’s for your own good!

Making it as difficult as possible for people to create wealth for themselves creates poverty.

#food politics #chickens #animal husbandry #the commons

Portraits of Bees
Sam Droege

#bees #insects #photography

(via oncemoreintothevoid)

A Different Kind of Green Movement: Seedling Growth in Space


ISS - Seedling Growth-2 mission patch.

October 16, 2014

Plants—literally rooted in Earth—lack locomotion. And although plants may appear static, even the tiniest seedlings are sophisticated organisms that sense and respond to their environment.
Read more
#biosphere #technology
The ever-acerbic Dylan Moran, on the meaning of life.
Shades of Candide (and my personal motto): “Il faut cultiver notre jardin.”
#humour #meditations

The ever-acerbic Dylan Moran, on the meaning of life.

Shades of Candide (and my personal motto): “Il faut cultiver notre jardin.”

#humour #meditations

Photograph by Paul Chesley



Photograph by Paul Chesley



Discovery of Youngest Toba Tuff localities in the Sagileru Valley, south India, in association with Palaeolithic industries

  • by James Blinkhorn, Victoria C. Smith, Hema Achyuthan, Ceri Shipton, Sacha C. Jones, Peter D. Ditchfield and Michael D. Petraglia

The Indian subcontinent contains a number of volcanic ash deposits representing the Youngest Toba Tuff (YTT) volcanic eruption of 75,000 years ago, though relatively few localities have been reported in detail. Here, we identify tephra deposits in the Sagileru Valley, south India, in association with Palaeolithic industries. The glass shard and biotite composition of the Sagileru tephra matches that of the YTT from other terrestrial sites in India and from the Toba caldera, and are distinct from earlier large eruptions from Toba. Moreover, our survey identified rare associations between lithic artefacts and YTT deposits, makinthe Sagileru Valley one of the few globally identified locations with both ash and archaeology. The identification of ash deposits and stone tool assemblages in the Sagileru Valley provides another source of information for understanding Late Pleistocene climate change, depositional environments and hominin occupations of South Asia” (read more/open access).

(Open access source: Quaternary Science Reviews, in press 2014 via Academia.edu)

#soil science #archaeology #anthropology #India


Pollution Linked To Lethal Sea Turtle Tumors

DURHAM, N.C. — Pollution in urban and farm runoff in Hawaii is causing tumors in endangered sea turtles, a new study finds.

The study, published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed open-access journal PeerJ, shows that nitrogen in the runoff ends up in algae that the turtles eat, promoting the formation of tumors on the animals’ eyes, flippers and internal organs.

Scientists at Duke University, the University of Hawaii and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) conducted the study to better understand the causes behind the tumor-forming disease Fibropapillomatosis, which is the leading known cause of death in green turtles, said Kyle Van Houtan, adjunct associate professor at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

“We’re drawing direct lines from human nutrient inputs to the reef ecosystem, and how it affects wildlife,” said Van Houtan, who is also a scientist in NOAA’s Turtle Research Program.

This research builds on a study published in 2010 that found the disease was more prevalent in areas with high levels of nitrogen runoff. That study hypothesized the disease might be linked to how algae that the turtles eat store extra nitrogen, and designed this study to test that idea.

“In this paper we drill down on whether excess nitrogen inputs are causing a nutrient cascade in the system that’s ending up in these tumors in green turtles,” said Van Houtan.

Read more here.

(via ScienceDaily)

Text credit:  Kati Moore

Photo credit: Chris Stankis

#pollution #Hawaii #nitrogen #fertilisers

(via mamitah)