Wednesday Link Waterfall

tomato seedlingsClick the picture for a closer look at tomato seedlings growing in 4″ soil blocks. In the last couple of weeks they have grown taller, but I am most happy with how robust their stems are. The tomatos are accompanied by a riper lemon and bunch more seedlings in soil blocks.

A cascade of goodness, starting with my own posts, published since the last link roundup.

How to Make Butter.

A lovely short film about honeybees, with lots of slow-motion. Look at the guard bees making themselves look big; see them come in for a landing on a flower. I happened to write a bit about swarms and native pollinators, and within days my friend Lyndsay called me, breathless. She was watching a swarm that very minute and didn’t know what to do. All’s well that ends well. I googled up a beekeeper in her neck of the woods and he came to collect them.

And a piece of the sustainability jigsaw—Joseph Tainter on Complexity.


And now, what I have read, am reading, or wish I was reading….

I am actually reading an advance copy of The Once and Future World, the new book from J.B. MacKinnon, of 100 Mile Diet fame (that is Plenty to you U.S. locovores).

It is absolutely mesmerizing—beautiful and upsetting. Paradigms are being tossed like plates at a Greek wedding. Order an advance copy online or from your favourite local bookmonger.

Salmon Confidential is a sickening film about fish farms.

Salmon Confidential is a new film on the government cover up of what is killing BC’s wild salmon. When biologist Alexandra Morton discovers BC’s wild salmon are testing positive for dangerous European salmon viruses associated with salmon farming worldwide, a chain of events is set off by government to suppress the findings. Tracking viruses, Morton moves from courtrooms, into British Columbia’s most remote rivers, Vancouver grocery stores and sushi restaurants. The film documents Morton’s journey as she attempts to overcome government and industry roadblocks thrown in her path and works to bring critical information to the public in time to save BC’s wild salmon.

The film provides surprising insight into the inner workings of government agencies, as well as rare footage of the bureaucrats tasked with managing our fish and the safety of our food supply.

Shocking for a different reason, read this Guardian article about people who do the abacus in their heads. Be sure to watch the video of two young girls adding numbers—while playing a word game—then weep for our basic education. This takes me back to a little martial arts supply shop in Japan which calculated my bill on a combination calculator-abacus. They would do the addition on the calculator, and then check the calculator’s sums with the abacus. Fantastic.

A free guide on de-paving.

I have long been a passionate fan of Low Tech Magazine, where Kris De Decker presents very informative articles about all sorts of interesting things, from Chinese wheelbarrows to tidal mills. But, I did not realize there was a No Tech Magazine, which is the amuse-bouche version—short and delicious. There are so many awesome things there, they are just going to have to wait until next time.

Finally, an actual infographic from Copenhagenize.



Wednesday Link Waterfall.

IMG_0579There is a lot to do around here: flats and flats of seedlings, a sewing project, pruning, and so much more. Even though lemon, lime and olive have handily survived our mild winter, I am teasing the Norns by putting my tomato seedling out in the unheated greenhouse with temperatures dropping to 5°C overnight.

I am putting them inside a tunnel to keep an extra couple of degrees inside, but, as is often the case, the internet is a contradiction. Some people say my tomatoes will surely wither and die. Others say what doesn’t kill them will make them stronger, and I will have seedlings that look like Charles Atlas. I am going to cross my fingers and keep them outside, because I need space for more seedlings.

But, its contradictory nature notwithstanding, today the internet provided. So much that my computer was making like 1998—I had to close some tabs. And so, a murder of crows, an unkindness of ravens, an inundation of links.


That Daily Shower Can Be a Killer. The inimitable Jared Diamond, talking about real risk.

The other morning, I escaped unscathed from a dangerous situation. No, an armed robber didn’t break into my house, nor did I find myself face to face with a mountain lion during my bird walk. What I survived was my daily shower.

John Thackera consults, teaches, writes the Doors of Perception, and is just very, very smart. This piece compliments the new website. Core message—and governments take special note of this simple idea—your website is not to impress your bosses, it is not for you at all. Big, Hairy, and Agile.

With grace and class, Niigaan Sinclair responds to  a stupid editorial in the Morris Mirror.

I ask you to be more than the words we have inherited.
And, I ask you to talk. Share food. Discuss how we can be more.
You have said that you are not ready. That’s OK. Change is hard. I am ready.
I will wait for you.

If you are on the bookface, this is a nice list of forageable foods. Of course, since I know what almost none of these are, pictures would be even nicer.

And just about the best slideshow I have ever seen—Modern Farmer brings us 21 Pictures Of Hands Gently Cupping Dirt.

black and white threshold edited

For some reason, in the last 24 hours I have been served many articles on a topic that rhymes with ‘prolapse’. Enjoy!

It is pitchfork time. 300 people have as much wealth as the poorest 3 billion people. Global Wealth Inequality—the extreme truth about how wealth is divided globally. Inspired by the amazing Wealth Inequality in America video. If you haven’t sharpened your pitchfork by the time you finish the videos, here is a rebuttal from Forbes to inspire you with the justifications of the wealthy.

What If A Collapse Happened And Nobody Noticed?

No reason to fear the collapse-look around, you’re already living through it even as you read these words, and you’re presumably still here. Take a deep breath. Relax. Have a beer. Listen to some music. No Zombies Required.

Austerity In America: 22 Signs That It Is Already Here And That It Is Going To Be Very Painful. This article illustrates the punchline of the previous article—we are already living through it.

Road to Reality: Towns Rip Up the Pavement
This article was originally titled Roads to Ruin, but I took the liberty of rewriting the head to make it better.

Pre-traumatic stress disorder is shorthand for the fact that we are fully aware of the future trauma, the moral injury that we individually and collectively suffer, the effects on the Earth of that injury, and our inability to act in time. Essentially pre-traumatic stress disorder, the environmentalist’s malady, is a result of our inability to prevent harm. From Common Dreams.

The New York Times provides as good a description of why I grow beans as any I have heard:

These policies have brought America to an end-stage metastasis. The way out would be so radical it can’t happen. It would necessitate a sweeping divorce of the state and the market economy. It would require a renunciation of crony capitalism and its first cousin: Keynesian economics in all its forms. The state would need to get out of the business of imperial hubris, economic uplift and social insurance and shift its focus to managing and financing an effective, affordable, means-tested safety net.