Archive for » March, 2013 «

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013 | Author:
I was apart of a class during the summer that did something similar to this on the side of the Kiln room at Melchers.  We used large bottles. Great idea!

I was apart of a class during the summer that did something similar to this on the side of the Kiln room at Melchers. We used large bottles. Great idea!

Watching Food, Inc in class was not the first time that I have seen it.  I have watched it before but to be honest, it struck me the same all over again.  After talking about cloned food, and not knowing what we are really eating and putting into our bodies, I felt like I didn’t even want to eat anything at all for days.  Of course, that didn’t happen, I probably ate right after getting home for lunch, but I look at the food and know its not the best for me.  To change our habits of eating “bad” food to healthy, or even just organic food is a big change.  Habits are hard to break sometimes.  I bite my nails, yes I know a bad habit, and have struggled with it for a long time, so I know I am a creature of habit.  Some habits need to be broken, and that the easier way to do things, is certainly not always the best.  Here is an article on habits I thought was interesting.  I do not do well at eating vegetables, and I truly want to change that.  I received some free seeds from Subaru a few weeks back and planted them (basil and oregano) in a pot that was already growing some spider plants.  They have begun to grow!  I was suprised and so happy at the same time, so that little encouragement got me thinking about growing other things that I will use, like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and probably a few others.  I have never had a garden and decided to look online at some ways to grow gardens.  I think if more people started to grow some of their own food during the season we wouldn’t need to have so many worries about running out of food.  Another topic completely for me is, people just eat too much food now anyway.  I have been slowly looking at ways to grow a garden and people have some great ideas! Share the knowledge!

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Monday, March 18th, 2013 | Author:

Sen_joint_vetch

 

Do the words Aeschynomene Virginica mean anything to you? How about Sensitive Joint- Vetech?  They may not mean anything in the future, other than another history item to reflect upon, due to the fact that it is a plant that is going extinct.  The SJV is a federally threatened plant.  I learned of this plant from a talk by Alan B. Griffith, who is studying these plants.  Something to always keep in mind is that extinctions are perfectly normal events, and in fact there have been 5 major mass extinction events recorded in geologic history.

Professor Griffith shared with us the ideas of zero extinction vs. conservation triage.  Zero extinction idea is to halt the extinction of all endangered species, and  conservation triage is basically picking and choosing which ones would be best to save.

Getting back to the SJV he discussed with us,  this plant lives in very specific places and isn’t considered to be a “fighter”.  The world distribution of it is extremely limited to a few tates in the U.S. Found at the edge of Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and New jersey, this endangered plant is finding even less homes, due partially to itself and human interaction. The SJV lives in freshwater tidal wetland, can disappear for a couple years but reappear again, unless another competition plants takes its place or humans built structures where they could grow.  When we transform the land, we take away areas for plants and animals to live.  This particular plant does not adapt.  The seeds are pods, and can float, which is thought of as being the way they distribute themselves.  Most of the seeds however in his experiments fell withing a half meter of the main plant.

Most maps show the plant in Pennyslvania, however in discussion we learned it is not there.

Most maps show the plant in Pennyslvania, however in discussion we learned it is not there.

There are multitudes of questions that can be asked in dealing with the extinction of plants and animals, and some of the main ones are ” how do we put a value on a species to help save it?”, ” is it going extinct on its own, or because of human interferrance?”, How can we stop a species from going extinct?.”

For me, there was no easy answer, I didn’t know how to get deep into discussion with it, because I am looking at the loss of so many plants and animals as devestating, especially because of human interfearrance.  Is it better to spend the funds on the animals and plants that we feel are best for us to keep around? Or the ones that have the best chances? Can we actually have a zero extinction?   For someone like Professor Griffith who has spent much time with the SJV, it is worth keeping around, and trying to save, even though there is not definite benefit for the human species.  He values it, so in that thought, Value itself, is a very tricky thing.

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