February 23rd, 2020


Salad Greens

Despite the title, they are not all lettuces, but they make a nice variety.  Different sprouts also add interesting flavors and textures.

I don't know why local-America sells "spring mix" but not "winter mix."  Here are some things you can grow or buy to make your own winter mix.

However, do keep an eye out for the "bright herb" versions of spring mix.  These add things like basil and thyme to the usual spring mix of lettuces and baby spinach.  The effect is similar to what I get by picking a bowl of random herbs and throwing them into the plain spring mix.

If you like brightly colored food, consider adding edible flowers to your salad.  Last year's effort was such a success that I got asked to do it again.  If you enjoy onions in your salad, definitely try regular (pink) or garlic (white) chive flowers.  They are small, crunchy, pretty, and pungent.

Poem: "Refoulement"

This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls. It fills the "Six of Stones - Exploitation" square in my 4-30-19 card for the Tarot Bingo fest. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] librarygeek. This poem belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

WARNING: This poem contains graphic physical and sexual violence that may disturb many readers. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes refugees, multiple attempts to escape from the war zone in Syria, refugee camps, references to kidnapping and murder, loss of family, loss of home, ruins, rape, refoulement, human trafficking, beating, filming sexual assault, official disbelief, reference to forced medical exams, scars, and other mayhem. This is hurt without comfort, although the main character does make it to a safer location in the end. Please consider your tastes and headspace before deciding whether this is something you want to read. It does not connect directly to any other storyline, so skipping it is no problem.

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... comes down to a matter of yards.  Some places, like museums, attract a wide range of income levels.  Schools are the most segregated.  But in between, places like stores and restaurants, people just seem to ... sort themselves.  They don't like being around others from different income levels, so they avoid each other, or in some cases establishments cater so firmly to one group that others feel unwelcome.  No amount of top-down efforts can fix a problem that's based on people not liking  each other.

Land-Use Changes

... reduce biodiversity in dangerous ways.  We need to protect grasslands and forests from turning into croplands or housing or whatever else people want.

I'm also interested in how to restore damaged habitats.  So consider the types of damage:

* Farming reduces nutrients and humus, often going all the way down until the land becomes unfarmable.  This would logically be improved by applying large amounts of organic matter such as compost, fresh stall-sweepings, cover crops, etc.

* Tilling changes the soil structure.  This one can largely be reversed by leaving the soil alone after the above nutrient repairs have been made.

* Species diversity suffers greatly and recovers slowly if at all.  This might be assisted by replanting native species and perhaps capturing some fauna for redistribution.

However, the best approach is connectivity.  Wild strips such as fencerows, grass-lined runways for water, and riparian zones around rivers make it much easier for wildlife to travel between larger sections such as parks or nature reserves.  Nothing may happen for a while, but then this species or that one has a boom year.  If the dispersing young have places to go, they will recolonize empty niches.  If not, they get pushed out into inhospitable areas where they die.

Year-Round Wildfires

 ... are making parts of the world less and less inhabitable.  It's a form of environmental foreclosure.  People need to stop building in the most flammable areas, stop rebuilding houses that burn en masse, and re-establish a wider boundary between those areas and residential ones.  We will lose fewer lives if we move people now than if they stick around while the firestorms get even worse.

Today's Adventures

We went up to Champaign today.

Collapse ) was very pleased with his gourmet burger. If you like elaborate assemblies, it's well worth a try. I'm not really their target market. I assembled one of my own with a multigrain bun (excellent), provolone cheese (good), and turkey burger (all I could taste was pepper). Although the custom option included sauces, which didn't interest me, there were no other toppings like vegetables as were available on the standard burgers. :/ So that totally does not compete with Five Guys or Meatheads where I can mix and match whatever they have. However, there is one other standout not offered at other locales: choice of protein patties. You can get beef, turkey, vegetarian, and they had chicken and salmon in other sections. You can also get wraps if you don't want a bun. If you have a diverse party of diners who want different things, this is worth consideration. The sweet potato fries were very good. So while it doesn't compete well with other restaurants in terms of what I would choose, if someone else wanted to go there, I could find things to eat.

It was a good day in all.</div>

KiLiKi Language

KiLiKi is the first invented language presented in a film from India, Baahubali.

It looks like an interesting language.  There are some clever features, like opposites being reversals of each other.  It also includes clicks, which are rarely used phonemes, so that's fun.

The writing system is a wreck, though.  It's clear enough to read -- but it would be a real nuisance to write.  I think it must have been invented with the intention of only typing.  It's a good clear script for a screen.  Even the reading is awkward: you have to zigzag up and down because the vowels and consonants are stacked on top of each other.  If you know the history of linguistics and literacy, however, you can see not only parallels with other examples but how these symbols would probably evolve over time.  The more complex ones would simplify and the vowels would probably contract into little extra marks added to consonants to avoid the choppy pattern.

Anyhow, invented languages outside the English-speaking realm are very rare, so if you're into this field at all, definitely check out this example.

That Time It Rained for 2 Million Years

Also known as the Carnian Pluvial Event.  It started when the temperature rose about 3 degrees due to volcanic eruptions, and the whole climate of the world reversed from desert to swamp.

I am amused by the global climate congruency because it's a feature often mocked in pulp science fiction, with one-weather planets.  But that actually can happen.

It makes me laugh at the 40-day flood.  I think the next time some Christian annoys me with that reference, I'll say "Try 2 million years" just to watch smoke come out their ears.