Thursday, January 31, 2013

Giant Killer Everything

The problem with (best part of?) reading science news is how much of it would make awesomely terrible (terribly awesome?) book plots. For example:

The First Sea Monster
Title needs some work, but set that baby loose on an unsuspecting* seaside town and/or freighter filled with illicit cargo and dangerous characters and let the magic** begin!

Prefer your disasters a little more global in scale? Well, no worries, Nature's got you covered.

Supervolcanos are nice enough, if you like that sort of thing, though the action is kind of a one-off and it's hard to sustain an entire story unless you can find a way of including Pierce Brosnan. Though I do like the idea of scientists cavalierly drilling into the top of an active volcano, unaware of the havoc they're about to unleash. But maybe that's just me.

Fungus could be interesting, but only if it's like that one that infects ants, takes over their brains so they climb to a high point and then explodes its spores out of their heads. That's a parasite with a sense of drama.

Solar flares have been done. A gamma burst is probably only going to be good if you want to set up a post-apocalypse situation, since there doesn't seem to be anything to be done about it.

But underwater landslides? Now we're talking. Especially if, let's say, a megalomaniac tycoon had just built an ultra-luxury underwater hotel in a remote part of the south Pacific, and in his careless pursuit of profit triggered a small but deadly slide, and created the potential for a much larger one threatening the coast of, let's say, Australia.

I think you can take it from there.

*As opposed to all those seaside towns that are constantly suspecting extinct underwater creatures.
** Where magic=decapitations.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013



Lettuces (mixed)
Chard (of the rare, heritage "blurry" variety)
Fava Bean (related to the chard)

Nanogreens Salad:

1. Pick desired greens. Use tweezers if necessary.

2. Prepare dressing:
300 ul Extra Virgin Olive Oil
100 ul Red Wine Vinegar
20 ul Dijon Mustard
500 ng salt
20 ng pepper (finely ground)

3. Add dressing to greens. Invert gently to mix.

4. Wash tweezers and reuse for serving.

Serves 0.00002

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The Garden Plot

(One of my resolutions for this year is to post on this blog more often. Also, no drinking on weeknights.)

This week in last month's news: We bought a house! It is lovely and very large. I feel a bit weird posting pictures of the front of it online*, but here's a shot of the staircase.

But more on that later.** Right now I want to talk gardening. Longtime readers*** may recall that I have an enthusiastic but spotty history of growing things, particularly tomatoes. But one of the things that came with our house was a big, sunny, south-facing backyard, with enough space to grow almost anything we want, just as soon as we have to soil tested to make sure it isn't too contaminated with the lead paint that's been flaking off the house since 1905.

In the meantime, let's start some sprouts:

Back row: beets Middle Row: kale, spinach, lettuce Front: chard Not Pictured: fava beans, edamame

We really should have started most of these last fall, for a winter crop, but we didn't actually, technically own the house then, and that might have presented some problems.

The above picture is from Day 0, when we planted everything but the legumes. (It was taken in the sunroom, planned future home of tomatoes and peppers, because it gets really hot in there.) How have they progressed since then? So glad you asked:

I think it's going rather well.

*50% Privacy concerns, 50% embarrassment about how badly it needs painting.
**So, so much more. Seriously, you have no idea.
***Hi, Mom!