DIRT! – The Movie

February 16, 2010 by Rick


Well Done! Enjoy this trailer and let me know where and when it plays in Tampa.




http://www.dirtthemovie.org/ Also follow the blog there and enjoy seeing some things that you will possibly never forget. I hope so.


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Is Your Flower Pot Half Full? part 3

November 5, 2009 by Rick

Sometimes gardeners get overwhelmed with weeds and pests. Florida and the south are getting overwhelmed with exotic invasive's. Good news is there is significant progress on some of the most devastating invaders. The Old World Climbing Fern Lygodium microphyllum has found it's way around most of the state. It is heavily infesting many of our forests and you may have seen it covering long stands of trees and power lines by highways like the Florida Turnpike in Saint Lucie and Martin counties. The USDA Agriculture Research Service has worked for 12 years to control the climbing fern that was on the verge of covering 1/3 of Florida with the potential for devastating fires that could kill all the trees in the forests if it is not controlled.

According to this recent 2009 article, in 2008 the ARS released a little moth known as Neomusotima conspurcatalis—nicknamed “Neo”. The moth larvae is currently the most successful of all the biocontrol agents that have been tested by the Fort Lauderdale scientists. Other biocontrols are being tested so there is much to be hopeful for.


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Is Your Flower Pot Half Full? part 2

October 21, 2009 by Rick

The ARS is on the verge of victory in the battle of an aggressive invader that has swallowed much of the south.


The invincible, KUDZU. Seems they have figured out how to infect it with a fungus, Myrothecium verrucaria, specifically effective on Kudzu. This fungus works so quickly that plants sprayed in the morning with Myrothecium show signs of decline by the afternoon with killing potential of nearly 100% and no injury to other trees and plants tested so far. They are still testing it for safety and formulating sprays that have good shelf life and efficacy. There is even hope that it will be useful controlling weedy purslane and spurge in vegetable production. Wouldn't it be nice if it works on Air Potatoes and Skunk Vine too? This has to be a more sustainable way to control weeds and pests, return the environment to a sustainable state and replace some reliance on synthetic and salt based herbicides. It likely could be certified as organic. Homeowner formulas would be nice but it is too soon to know if the use is too narrow for marketability or other use complications make private use unavailable.  

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Is Your Flower Pot Half Full? part 1

September 13, 2009 by Rick

Ray Kurzweil gave this presentation about the exponential effect of technology on the advancement of science and the standard of living. Listening to this you get a feel for where we have come from and where we could be going with the current and future advancements at hand. Definitely a glass half full presentation.

If you really want to get your hopes up read this story or listen to this recent NPR report. It states that scientists at MIT have developed a new, more environmentally friendly way to make batteries. Their approach employs an unusual component: genetically engineered viruses. These new batteries have the same energy capacity as other lithium batteries of the same size and show potential to develop even more powerful batteries. They can be made in water at room temperature without organic solvents or pollutants. Exxon owns the patents on nanotubes and buckminsterfullerene . I hope there is no conflict of interest with them on MIT developing major energy saving devices too quickly?

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