Daily Archives: November 7, 2017

Oldest known astrolabe found in shipwreck

UFOmania – The truth is out there
Published on Oct 26, 2017

Marine archaeologists have discovered the earliest known example of an astrolabe navigation tool. Once used by ancient mariners to determine the position of the Sun, the artefact was found in a shipwreck off the coast of Oman and dates back to between 1495 and 1500.

The Science is Out: Scott Pruitt just blocked expert scientists from EPA advisory boards.

Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Citing the risk of conflicts of interest, the EPA administrator instituted a sweeping change to the agency’s core system of advisory panels on Tuesday by barring scientists who receive EPA grants from membership.

In practice, the move represents “a major purge of independent scientists,” Terry F. Yosie, chair of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board during the Reagan administration, told the Washington Post. Their removal paves the way for a fresh influx of industry experts and state government officials pushing for lax regulations.

The advisory boards are meant to ensure that health regulations are based on sound science, but that role may be changing. As of Tuesday, the new chair of the Clean Air Safety Advisory Committee is Tony Cox, an independent consultant, who has argued that reductions in ozone pollution have “no causal relation” to public health.

The new head of the Science Advisory Board is Michael Honeycutt, the head toxicologist at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, who has said that air pollution doesn’t matter because “most people spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors.”

The figureheads of science denial were on hand to celebrate Pruitt’s announcement. Representative Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, called the move a “special occasion.”

Eric Holthaus Oct 31, 2017

Session 3 Part 1: GROW BIOINTENSIVE: A Beginner’s Guide — Garden Bed Preparation

John Jeavons
Published on Dec 21, 2010

This is the third installment in the how-to GROW BIOINTENSIVE series from John Jeavons (the author of the sustainable gardening classic “How to Grow More Vegetables”) and Cynthia Raiser Jeavons. The whole series is available as a full-length uncut DVD at http://www.johnjeavons.info/video.html With this revolutionary organic gardening method, you will learn to grow more food in less space, to build truly sustainable soil fertility, and to save money by reducing water, energy and fertilizer use! This self-teaching series provides an excellent introduction to the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method and will get you out into the garden in 8 sessions! Other topics in the series include garden bed and soil, transplanting, composting, harvesting, saving seeds, choosing your crops, and maintaining your garden. For more information about the GROW BIOINTENSIVE Method, or to take an in-depth workshop taught by John Jeavons, go on a tour of Ecology Action’s Biointensive research mini-farm at The Jeavons Center in Willits, CA, or download a free copy of The Biointensive Farmer’s Handbook, go to www.growbiointensive.org. For a wide selection of Biointensive how-to publications, organic open-pollinated seeds, the quality tools used in these videos and more, visit Ecology Action’s online store, Bountiful Gardens at www.bountifulgardens.org

GROW BIOINTENSIVE workshops with John Jeavons

GROW BIOINTENSIVE Workshops offer an excellent opportunity to acquire a wealth of information on the most efficient gardening method we know. This information has been gathered from over thirty-five years of research, and is currently in use in over 130 countries around the world.

John Jeavons has been the Director of the GROW BIOINTENSIVE Mini-Farming program for Ecology Action since 1972. He is the author of How to Grow More Vegetablesand Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains, and Other Crops Than You Ever Thought Possible On Less Land Than You Can Imagine, the primer on sustainable Biointensive Mini-Farming, which is currently available in English, Spanish, German, French, Arabic, Hindi and Russian.

John says it is better to grow small fruits in grow tents. This frees up space. And for those who don’t have enough land a grow tent is excellent opportunity.

Vegetable can also be easily grow in a grow tent. However depending on the size of vegetables one must choose grow tent accordingly. For example, if you are growing a vegetable the size of your fist then 4×4 grow tent is best suitable. If the size of fruit or vegetable is larger then you need to opt for 8×8 grow tent or even 10×10 grow tent.

For those who find it difficult to buy and set up a grow tent, John recommends purchasing grow tent packages

A grow tent package comes with all the necessary kits. You don’t have to do anything. Just install the grow tent and start growing

If you need a complete list of grow tents check this site out. It has listed more than 20 different types of grow tents. Sizes ranges from 2×2 up to 10×20 for large growers.

See also

and biographical background:


John Jeavons, director of Ecology Action, introduces us to four remarkable individuals making a difference in the world through their involvement in the Biointensive farming movement. Meet Mary Zellachild from California, Samuel and Perris Nderitu from Kenya, and Juan Manuel Martinez Valdez from Mexico. See people of all ages making a difference throughout the world. Become inspired to get started yourself, growing food and working toward a promising future of good food for all.
Copyright 2015 Ecology Action, Willits, CA All rights reserved.


Biointensive Gardening: www.agrifutures.co.nz

Published on Nov 7, 2017

Agrifutures interview with Rachel Rose, demonstrating philosophy and application of biointensive gardening techniques.

Harvard students come face to face with refugees

Harvard University
Published on Nov 7, 2017

A large shipping container is on campus to serve as a “portal” equipped with immersive audio-visual technology that allows people to have live, person-to-person conversations with individuals in displaced communities in Iraq, Jordan, and Germany (refugees from Syria) who are in an identical shipping container across the globe. The effort at HDS is being organized by the Religious Literacy Project. Diane Moore, its director, traveled to Iraq within the last year and heard from refugees that they want people to hear their stories, and that they were frustrated so many people have little understating of what’s taking place. Students in Moore’s class participated, in addition to high school students from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.

Stirring the Pot: A History of African Cuisine: James C. McCann

Africa’s art of cooking is a key part of its history. All too often Africa is associated with famine, but in Stirring the Pot, James C. McCann describes how the ingredients, the practices, and the varied tastes of African cuisine comprise a body of historically gendered knowledge practiced and perfected in households across Africa’s diverse human and ecological landscape. McCann
reveals how Africa’s tastes and culinary practices are integral to the understanding of African history and more generally to the new literature on food as social history.

Stirring the Pot offers a chronology of African cuisine beginning in the sixteenth century and continuing from Africa’s original edible endowments to its globalization. McCann traces African cooks’ use of new crops, spices, and tastes, including New World imports like maize, hot peppers, cassava, potatoes, tomatoes, and peanuts, as well as plantain, sugarcane, spices, Asian rice, and other ingredients from the Indian Ocean world. He analyzes recipes, not as fixed ahistorical documents, but as lively and living records of historical change in women’s knowledge and farmers’ experiments. A final chapter describes in sensuous detail the direct connections of African cooking to New Orleans jambalaya, Cuban rice and beans, and the cooking of Americans’ “soul food.”

Stirring the Pot breaks new ground and makes clear the relationship between food and the culture, history, and national identity
of Africans.

Records from Ancient China Reveal Link Between Epidemics and Climate Change – Scientific American

Flooding in China has historically contributed to epidemics, and climate change could make that even worse. Credit: VCG Getty Images

A new study suggests that long periods of cold, dry weather helped drive epidemics in ancient and pre-modern China

Scientists are worried about the effects of long-term warming on human health and infectious disease, but a new study finds a link between epidemics and a cold climate.

By analyzing Chinese records throughout nearly 2,000 years of history—from between A.D. 1 and 1911—researchers have found that climate-driven disturbances like floods, droughts and locust outbreaks were associated with disease epidemics. The findings, published yesterday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, particularly suggest that climate-related agricultural failures may have led to famines and declines in human health and nutrition, which made communities more susceptible to infection.

Interestingly, the study suggests that long periods of cold, dry weather were the primary facilitators of epidemics in the past. The records suggest that cold periods in ancient and pre-modern China were associated with an increase in the frequency of droughts, as well as attacks of locusts.

(read more).

Don’t Convert Africa’s Savanna to Agricultural Land – Scientific American

Credit: 1001slide Getty Images

Leaving the continent’s grasslands intact is good for the climate, for biodiversity and for the health of the soil

To feed the increasing number of Africans who are poor, hungry and malnourished, during the launch of the Transformation of the African Savannah Initiative, the African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina proposed developing Africa’s 400 million hectares of cultivatable savanna lands. The soils are healthy there and can support the cultivation of many crops, including corn and soybeans.

To begin this initiative, the AfDB plans to convert approximately 2 million hectares of savanna into farmland in eight African countries: Ghana, Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, and Mozambique. It will be used to cultivate maize and soybeans, and to keep livestock.

While we understand why the AfDB has made this proposal, we disagree with it. Of course, there is precedent for the suggestion of development, like in the United States, where grasslands are major contributors to food and livestock production. But we see there are many benefits to leaving Africa’s savanna grasslands intact and not developing them.

(read more).

Social History & African Environments | William Beinart, Joann Mcgregor

The explosion of interest in African environmental history has stimulated research and writing on a wide range of issues facing many African nations.

This collection represents some of the finest studies to date. The general topics include African environmental ideas and practices; colonial science, the state and African responses; and settlers and Africans’ culture and nature. The contributors are Emmanuel Kreike, Karen Middleton, Innocent Pikirayi, Terence Ranger, JoAnn McGregor, Helen Tilley, Grace Garswell, John McCracken, Ingrid Yngstrom, David Bunn, Sandra Swart, Robert J. Gordon, and Jane Carruthers.