Greetings again, Tumblrers and Hipsters who still use Instagram on your site. It’s gardening time!
This year marks the fourth year of gardening and a change of how things are done. The Square Foot Garden Method will be used as well as container gardening. It is a plan I’v had ever since I got started with gardening.
The benefits are that I will no longer use any of the soil in my back yard. An unsettling revelation about what’s been going on at the creek behind my house over the the past fifty years involving the Mallinckrodt during the Atomic Age (see FUSRAP), along with the remediation of the dirt near the creek for Uranium, Radium, Thorium, and other This-will-give-you-cancer-ium isotopes has me thinking about where the dirt came from in my own backyard that wasn’t the dirt that I put in.
Now before everyone gets into a panic, ionizing radiation is practically in everything on this planet. Electronics, including cellphones, produce non-ionizing (low energy) radiation, which is harmless. But the high energy (ionizing) is the stuff that can cause cell damage and cancer.
Interesting enough, plants are more used to radiation exposure. After the Chernobyl disaster, Sunflowers were planted by farmers and discovered that sunflowers could absorb the thorium fallout that contaminated the dirt. The stereotype of nuclear goo (which could really just be a rock emitting ionizing radiation) making mutant large plants are only half true. Some plants will grow larger from radiation exposure, but they won’t turn into bizarre mutant monsters.
Since Chernobyl, the evacuated ghost city of Pripyat, Ukraine has been overrun with plant overgrowth. The plants are now the rulers of the city in the former Soviet republic.
However, my problem isn’t even close to a Chernobyl problem. Not even by a long shot. But it still doesn’t feel right to plant the plants I eat in dirt with possible above average radiation levels. I’m not afraid to live where I live. And the majority of cancers that have occurred in the neighborhood were the result of the kids playing in the creek (which they shouldn’t have even without any warning that the water may have been tainted) or coincidental.
So there is really nothing wrong with living here, just don’t play in the creek and help Florissant Mayor Tom Schneider demand the clean up of the Westlake Landfill which could do much worse damage to North County than what’s in Coldwater Creek as it is where some of the materials from FUSRAP were transfered but could seep into the water table or get flooded out and potentially contaminate the water supply throughout North County.
OK, enough with this nuclear crap. (Go green! Buy a solar panel. I know. I’m working on it.) Time for the gardening part.
As always, this Tumblr site is used to upload pictures of my progress with the garden. A new smartphone this year will probably produce some better detailed pictures of my garden and the places I go to look at other people’s gardens.
The magnolias are in bloom as I speak and cheery blossoms and dogwood should soon follow. Expect pictures.
This year’s garden will concentrate more on herbs and flowers rather than long large plants like last year. Seeing how quickly all my zucchini and pumpkin were decimated by pest bugs last year really got me more motivated to do my gardening indoors, at least until late April or May.
On advice by a local gardening expert at my local TrueValue hardware store, indoor seeding should generally start around the March full moon, which has recently passed. I got a little eager and started some of my herbs indoors early. A couple week later I started most of my usual including peppers and tomatoes.
New plants have been added including peas, garlic, green tomatillo, spinach, lettuce, and broccoli of two types regular and romanesco. The latter will look very awesome to take photos of as it produces natural fractal patterns and have an interesting taste to them supposedly.
I’m hoping to share extra seeds with the neighbors if they are interested.
That seems to be everything for today. Stay tuned for more awesome garden photos.
A 360-degree look at at the street across from St. John Regional Medical Center in Joplin. The hospital was hit by Sunday night’s tornado, and the area around it was destroyed.
Another Joplin neighborhood:
Photos by Jess Baker, @borntorunnergrl
IT’S ALL GONE! Everything is flattened except for the hospital. You look at these pictures and can see in all directions that just about everything is flattened as far as the eye can see.
A storm report will be posted later by the National Weather Service office in Springfield, Missouri. According to KODE-TV, a press conference is scheduled for 3:00 PM. They have a stream of live updates posted on their website.
I am incredibly disappointed with Yuggoth’s weather software.
Last night as a terrible severe thunderstorm rolled through the St. Louis Area, the short bash script I wrote as a shortcut to pull up my local weather data and any weather alerts failed to do the latter task of fetching weather alerts. While I was safe in the confines of my basement as the windstorm did damage to from what I can tell everywhere except my neighborhood, the fact that this software doesn’t use a practical means of fetching weather alerts, nor does it organize a full list of weather information unless you invoke several commands that pull up other weather information is a problem.
Today, I am more motivated than ever to learning Python. But now I have a new task to complete: Writing a comprehensive weather program.
Because Yuggoth’s program did not include a complete list of metropolitian areas (St. Louis surprisingly was one of them), emphasis on creating a central hub of information. That is, a table which lists how to translate SAME codes to METAR (Meteorological Aerodrome Reports) data.
Since it is clear that Yuggoth’s code is not designed to handle severe weather information like it should, especially for the stormy Midwestern spring and summer months, the new program, which I am calling Tiempo (Spanish for “weather”), will work.
Eventually, I’d like to figure out how to set up notifications, but to be honest, I don’t use the UNIX mail daemon. I’ve been meaning too, but I don’t run my own e-mail server so I haven’t had a need to.
Other features will include pulling up weather information by Zip Code or Area code, using colors (something more Linux Programmers should learn), and displaying Forecast Discussions which appear to be quite popular with the weather geeks as well as professional meteorologists. I might ad an option to translate the meteorological shorthand use the the Forecast Discussions in to plain English. Sunrise, Sunset, and moon phases will also be considered. I don’t have a lot of experience with tides so that will be a long term goal.
I plan on making separate applications for hurricane and earthquake weather. Although, last night must have been quite interesting for the folks in Arkansas who had a 4.7 trembler which occurred at the same time the severe weather rolled through.
Just one more thing to keep me busy. But the thing that will make my programs better is my understanding of various text processing tools.
I didn’t know there were any on tumblr
any followers on an FRC, FTC, or VEX team?
St. Louis will host the FIRST Championship April 25-30 at the Edward Jones Dome. We are rather excited about it.
Locally, the St. Louis FRC Regional Competition will be held at Chaifetz Arena on the campus of St. Louis University March 16-19 from 7am to 5pm
Dates and times may change, so check their websites, especially the US First Website.