monarda's recent activity

  1. Comment on ‘A poor man’s rainforest’: Why we need to stop treating soil like dirt in ~enviro

    monarda
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    ...

    Topsoil is where 95% of the planet’s food is grown and, like rainforests, is extremely fragile; it takes more than 100 years to build 5mm of soil, and moments to destroy it, according to the Royal Society.

    Unfortunately, humans have been treating soil like dirt, losing it 50 to 100 times faster than we are able to rebuild it.

    ...

    Soils hold twice as much carbon as the atmosphere, and when soil degrades, the carbon is released. In the 30 years from 1978, the soil in the UK’s croplands lost 10% of the carbon it could store.

    “Like ‘canaries in the coalmine’, when soil organisms begin to disappear, ecosystems will soon start to underperform, potentially hindering their vital functions for humankind,” researchers, led by Guerra, wrote in a paper published in Science that urged policymakers to take account of soil when considering conservation priorities.

    “If we do not protect soils for the next generations, future above-ground biodiversity and food production cannot be guaranteed,” the 29 soil scientists warned.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on How will plants cope with fewer pollinators? in ~enviro

    monarda
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    Last year I took several classes in pests. One was an identification class. Since the class couldn’t be in person, I had to go out and find and identify them on my own. So out I went with my...

    Last year I took several classes in pests. One was an identification class. Since the class couldn’t be in person, I had to go out and find and identify them on my own. So out I went with my camera and loupe to find them. I didn’t realize I had so many pests in my yard, they were everywhere. But what really floored me was how many predators I had! That’s why I rarely saw damage from the pests. Everywhere I went I could find pests, and I quickly learned that how much damage was done by them seemed to correlate with how much habitat was available for predators. That habitat is often places like your untamed lawn!

    2 votes
  3. Comment on The great work in ~life

    monarda
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    This article resonated for me because these are the reasons I took to tending to animals and plants: I like not being gazed upon, I like making room for others to find their way, and I like seeing...

    From the beginning, the Farm was a place where David and Peter could break the limitations imposed on people with developmental disabilities. David abhors condescension, and he hates that people like Peter are sometimes confined and excluded under the guise of care. His approach has always been to make space for spontaneity and to let Peter take the lead. Life on the Farm is thoroughly anti-systematic: there are no programs and no therapeutic outcomes, just the quiet routines of preparing and sharing meals, tending to a few animals, and passing the time. In that sense, the Farm is a lifelong extension of the moment when David and Peter first walked out of the classroom and took to the streets.

    This article resonated for me because these are the reasons I took to tending to animals and plants: I like not being gazed upon, I like making room for others to find their way, and I like seeing how others are doing the same sorts of things. David’s farm isn’t concerned with making any money, but even when profits are needed, there can still be room for people to do only what they can.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on How will plants cope with fewer pollinators? in ~enviro

    monarda
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    A recent paper highlights a critical research gap, and reveals the potential for finding new data in old places.

    2 votes
  5. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of April 12 in ~health.coronavirus

    monarda
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    I got the Moderna vaccine on Thursday! I was super excited. Oddly, As it was being injected I had a metal taste, like when getting contrast for an MRI. In the car afterwards, my tongue then my...

    I got the Moderna vaccine on Thursday! I was super excited.
    Oddly, As it was being injected I had a metal taste, like when getting contrast for an MRI. In the car afterwards, my tongue then my gums started going numb followed by nausea and blurry vision. After an hour it all cleared up. I was a bit scared and will discuss it with a doctor before getting the second shot.

    My husband gets the Pfizer tomorrow!

    8 votes
  6. Comment on Is content moderation a dead end? in ~tech

    monarda
    Link Parent
    *Noise I appreciate that you did a strike-through instead of a delete. Not only do I think edits in general should be dealt with that way (unless it's within minutes of being posted), but editing...

    *Noise
    I appreciate that you did a strike-through instead of a delete. Not only do I think edits in general should be dealt with that way (unless it's within minutes of being posted), but editing that way allows us all to learn. Thank you!

    7 votes
  7. Comment on What are some analog alternatives to digital services or products that you use? in ~talk

    monarda
    Link Parent
    I resistd having a smartphone for a long time. So did my husband, and then we sort of broke down together at bought them at the same time. Our very next vacation together was so different. The...

    Another thing I like to do whenever I can: Be in a moment, and NOT take a picture or video. Take it in with your senses, and relish the feelings, and just let your natural memory (your mind) store the moment for future reminiscing. Some examples: Watching a sunrise; visiting a tourist destination; playing in a park; watching a sporting event; eating your meal at a restaurant (without taking a pic of it first); giggling with a niece or nephew; first time doing or going to something. Especially when someone else I'm with is shooting with their phone, I'm pretty much guaranteed not to do it. Their doing it lets me be free to enjoy the moment without holding a rectangle to my face.

    I resistd having a smartphone for a long time. So did my husband, and then we sort of broke down together at bought them at the same time. Our very next vacation together was so different. The amount of time we spent "capturing" the moment made for a very different experience. We've reflected on it since. First of all, we took hundreds of photos each, and we've never looked at them since immediately on our return. The taking of photos and video slowed us down in a way where we didn't do as much as we had hoped. But also we didn't interact with each other as much either as we were too busy trying to get the best photos. We spent way more time thinking about wither something would make a good photo than we did enjoying what it was.

    8 votes
  8. Comment on What are some analog alternatives to digital services or products that you use? in ~talk

    monarda
    Link Parent
    I've worked for both Honda's and Toyota's service departments. The Prius is a freaking beast in regards to upkeep. I've seen taxi drivers come in with 400k miles that besides oil changes have only...

    I've worked for both Honda's and Toyota's service departments. The Prius is a freaking beast in regards to upkeep. I've seen taxi drivers come in with 400k miles that besides oil changes have only ever replaced the battery (which as expensive as that is, is much cheaper than most cars maintenance over the same miles). But I would never be able to work on one. And that is what I'm saying. There was something liberating about learning to work on cars that new cars don't give me. I can change the oil or a tire sure, but that's about it. There's something about not being able to fix something that feels - feels unsustainable.

    Radio stations have always sucked in the American heartland and they suck more now than they did before (radio in general does). We agree. But I don't mind silence when driving. For longer hauls through the country, I'll pull the CB radio from the truck and put it in the car (I don't know why I think it should live in the truck, it just always has). There's some very interesting shit going on in the middle of nowhere over CB. And unlike podcasts, they are more people of the road, or people of the small towns you're driving through, than most podcasts.

    8 votes
  9. Comment on What are some analog alternatives to digital services or products that you use? in ~talk

    monarda
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    I like cook books and use them way more than online recipe aggregates. There's something about leafing through a book of recipes, and going "That looks interesting!" that lends itself to the...

    I like cook books and use them way more than online recipe aggregates. There's something about leafing through a book of recipes, and going "That looks interesting!" that lends itself to the experience of exploration in a way that looking for a recipe online never matches.

    In the same way, I still like physical maps when I am going somewhere new for fun. Part of the fun for me is tracing my finger along different routes and trying to get to the the destination while also exploring the way there that looks the least traveled. I might also pick other areas of interest along the way, like a lake or a weirdly named town, just because. Having a navigator, missing turns, ending up somewhere unexpected and still making it to the destination (or maybe not) broadens my awareness of the world that exists between point a and point b. There's a sense of "I don't know what's going to happen" that is missing when using gps apps.

    I like going to the library. Being honest, it's been a while. But it's that same sort of exploration. Running my fingers along spines of books, waiting for that title to say "look at me." There's something about not having infinite choices that's calming.

    I also prefer the radio when on road trips. Radio connects me to the place I am driving through. If I don't like what I can find, I'm usually okay driving in silence.

    I prefer cars that are plainly mechanical. I don't mind rolling down my own windows or manually locking my doors. I actually prefer it because if it breaks, I find it easier to fix. I have a 1954 Ford stepside that I've owned for 30 years. I'm not particularly mechanically inclined, but I can usually fix it when something goes wrong. If I can't fix it, the old guy at the shop near me loves it so much that he'll show me how and allow me to use his shop. My newer vehicles (1994 F150 and 2005 Honda) have so much more going on, that I often can't diagnose what's wrong with them.

    10 votes
  10. Comment on Collapse possible at Manatee County (FL) wastewater reservoir in ~enviro

    monarda
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    Once again, we're going to be on the hook for not only the destruction of our environment but for the financial costs to clean it up. Florida Senate makes first appropriation of money to clean up...

    Once again, we're going to be on the hook for not only the destruction of our environment but for the financial costs to clean it up.
    Florida Senate makes first appropriation of money to clean up Piney Point
    Oh, and they want to use pandemic relief dollars to do it.

    5 votes
  11. Comment on What are you doing in your garden? in ~hobbies

    monarda
    Link Parent
    Pumpkin curry is one of my favorite things to do with pumpkin (actually curry in general is one of my favorite things since it's so versatile)! I know a lot of people like to roast them or make...

    Pumpkin curry is one of my favorite things to do with pumpkin (actually curry in general is one of my favorite things since it's so versatile)! I know a lot of people like to roast them or make pies from them, but I am not a fan of either of those things. I also like to grow a lot of winter squashes because they store well through a good portion of the winter, and there's nothing like pulling out a squash I grew through the summer during the cold winter to make something spicy.

  12. Comment on Tildes Screenless Day Discussion Thread - April 2021 in ~life

    monarda
    Link Parent
    It was. Thank you so much for taking the lead and making this a thing for us!

    but I hope it was valuable as well.

    It was. Thank you so much for taking the lead and making this a thing for us!

    3 votes
  13. Comment on Hi, how are you? Mental health support and discussion thread (April 2021) in ~talk

    monarda
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    So today I did my first "30 minutes doing nothing." That physical presence of anxiety reared itself in all its glory and I confronted it and asked it what it was. There is the ever looming feeling...
    • Exemplary

    So today I did my first "30 minutes doing nothing." That physical presence of anxiety reared itself in all its glory and I confronted it and asked it what it was.

    There is the ever looming feeling like I should be productive, and I was "happy" to let that be the voice of the anxiety. But it is not that, and I have known that's not where the root of it lies, but I skirt it's perimeters not really wanting to touch what IT is.

    I know what it is.

    I am afraid that my husband is disappointed that he chose me as a mate. I'm afraid that at any moment he will cut me from his life. I am afraid that when he does so, I will have nothing. I'm afraid that I'm not good enough to be kept around. I am afraid that these last 22 years were a waste. I'm afraid that he does not get the comfort from being around me that I get from being around him. I am afraid that the things I like about myself are just lies that I tell myself to feel better and that they aren't actually anything special or worth loving. I am so fucking afraid that I am too hard to be around, that I am too hard to love, that the man I love does not love me back.

    I watched Marc Rebillet's Easter live stream today, and he said "tell someone you love them." I told my husband, he asked me if I was buzzed.

    THERE WAS NO ONE I WANTED TO SAY THAT TO OTHER THAN HIM. I LOVE HIM EVERYDAY. and it was joke.

    my anxiety has a name, and now that i have named it, i have no idea what is next.

    10 votes
  14. Comment on What creative projects have you been working on? in ~creative

    monarda
    Link Parent
    I have made no progress on the quilt, but I am making slow progress on the embroidery. I tend to fall into a trap of not moving forward with new skills when I am afraid of not doing it right, so...

    I have made no progress on the quilt, but I am making slow progress on the embroidery. I tend to fall into a trap of not moving forward with new skills when I am afraid of not doing it right, so every time there's a new stitch in the project, I have to psyche myself up to do the next bit.

    I can't wait to see your finished skirt!

    5 votes
  15. Comment on Tildes Screenless Day Discussion Thread - April 2021 in ~life

    monarda
    Link Parent
    Reflection What did you do? I dithered most of the day (not a pleasing dither either). I spent some time in the garden, did a bit more on my embroidery project, read a bit of a book, walked in...
    • Exemplary

    Reflection

    What did you do?

    I dithered most of the day (not a pleasing dither either). I spent some time in the garden, did a bit more on my embroidery project, read a bit of a book, walked in circles, drank beer, listened to the birds, tried to sit quietly with myself, but instead wondered why I was having such a rough time.

    How did it feel?

    It felt awful. I felt lost most of the day.

    Was it difficult? Easy?

    It was difficult. I usually wake up a bit before dawn but went back to sleep because I didn't know what I was going to do. It used to be that that hour before dawn I would smoke on the porch, drink coffee, play a couple daily word games on my phone, then turn on the computer and read for about a half hour. It used to be my quiet time before the day started, but has morphed into doing what I do all day. I've been unemployed before, but this is the first time since my kids have been grown. I used to have them to ground me into a schedule, so even if I didn't do anything, I felt "productive" taking them to places they needed to be, cooking meals, playing games, harping about homework, etc. I don't have any external pressure to do anything, and I don't, and I was made super aware of - had to live with - my lack of direction, and I didn't like it. I only made it to 5:30 pm, at which time I was totally inebriated, and went to bed to watch tv and play on my phone. I hadn't been to reddit since the quitting reddit thread, yet I found myself scrolling r/all (which I haven't done in 7 years).

    Did anything surprise you?

    Two things really surprised me.

    1. I used to be able to go to the toilet without a phone to play games with. WTF. I found myself extremely impatient with the toilet process.
    2. I've smoked for about 40 years, way before smart phones were a thing. I've smoked outside since my children were born. Smoking used to be a pause, where I could be quiet and look and listen to the natural world or maybe chat with someone. I didn't realize that I don't pause like that anymore. I go outside, and I have to have my phone. I didn't realize how much I've been missing with my head pointed down to the screen. How did that happen?

    Were there any unexpected challenges/breakthroughs?

    The entire day was a challenge and that was unexpected. I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything per se, but scrolling either on my phone or at the computer is so habitual that not doing it was challenging. I did have a breakthrough too. Lessons once learned have this way of coming back around when they are forgotten. I know that change can be uncomfortable, it can hurt, it can take time, that it's easy to regress during the process - that it can fucking suck - but I had forgotten that I knew this. Upon reflection of yesterday, I realize that those feelings I felt yesterday aren't some failing on my part, but what change can feel like. Old ways often want to hang on even after they have become harmful. They are are familiar to us, and even when they make things difficult, we know the path. I'm tired of this path. Starting today, I will spend 30 minutes every day doing nothing. I give myself permission to not fill the nothing with something "productive."

    If you plan to do it again, what would you change? What would you keep the same?

    I will do this again, but I will do it differently. When we do this again next month, I accept that I may feel uncomfortable. I won't plan to do the entire day, instead will set a time limit, like 5-8 hours. It feels more doable. (Actually next month I will be out of town, so it will be easier, but the month following that!)

    7 votes
  16. Comment on Why I’m switching to raised beds for my survival garden in ~enviro

    monarda
    Link Parent
    PNW gardener here. Yes, you can turn your raised beds into full year harvests. Not all salad greens are created equal, look for varieties that talk about performance during the winter. Here's a...

    PNW gardener here. Yes, you can turn your raised beds into full year harvests. Not all salad greens are created equal, look for varieties that talk about performance during the winter. Here's a great post from West Coast Seeds about winter harvesting The biggest mistake people make is not getting their stuff in the ground soon enough for things to mature in time for winter harvests. Once we go into cooler weather, growth slows down and in many cases stops. A lot of winter harvesting is harvesting things that have paused, we're just holding them outside, keeping them fresh until we need them. Gardens have many different climates, so the first couple of years it's best to experiment with many varieties to find the ones (and maybe even collect seeds from) that do best for the particular climate of your beds.

    4 votes
  17. Comment on Why I’m switching to raised beds for my survival garden in ~enviro

    monarda
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    I think raised beds are great. I've built them for lots of people but don't have any in my own yard though they are sorely needed. I have only one area in my yard that gets full sun, and a smaller...

    I think raised beds are great. I've built them for lots of people but don't have any in my own yard though they are sorely needed. I have only one area in my yard that gets full sun, and a smaller area that gets enough sun to grow some cooler crop vegies. Both areas are a chore to work. The full day sun area has two distinct areas, a higher, sandy area, and a dip that takes all the run-off from the sandy area and is mostly clay. The dip is also filled with horsetail, morning glory, and blackberry. The smaller area that has enough room for cooler crops is nothing but tree roots. Raised beds in the three areas would solve most of my problems.

    A few years ago I salvaged a lot of corrugated metal roofing from a barn that was being torn down. I've been using it for various projects around here, but the reason I got it was to make raised beds similar to these. Mine won't look as pretty, but I don't care. What I do care about is being to grow things without constantly battling weeds that have been damn near impossible to get rid of, soil that's not conducive to what I want to do, and wasted areas that could be productive.

    Not everyone has land where everything is working in their favor to be productive. I think the OP of this article is taking the right steps to address their issues. The OP and I both have more than just a yard for our gardens, but I've installed raised beds on much smaller parcels, and I think it's those places where the raised bed truly shines. Many urban areas have poor and even toxic soil, raised beds bypasses those issues. Smaller yards often means easier access to irrigation, making it perfect for automation. People who don't have a lot of time to garden can often find the time for raised beds because they require less input once up. I often used the "set it and forget it" line when encouraging clients to go with raised beds.

    I'm all in on anything that makes gardening lower effort, and more accessible to people, and raised beds is certainly one of those things.

    3 votes