At the start of the week I decided to try to collect some information together regarding the Forestry Commissions’ owned woodland and map that data so we can see the scale and find out which ones are locally owned. (Jump to the app here if you’re impatient!).
Just put my hydroponics windowsill kit back to work after I cleaned it up months ago – hopefully we’ll get a nice harvest this time. Last time my mountain strawberries grow very well… they just didn’t produce any fruit. I’m hoping that was just a consequence of the plant dying off before it had a chance, and that I’ve now removed the reason for it’s death too. I think I also made the mistake of letting them grow as tall as they could, when a better idea would have been too cut them back going for more outward than upward growth.
Just spent a few hours rescuing my hydroponics greenhouse. OK, so that’s a slight exaggeration, it’s probably more realistic to call it a hydroponics TOY. But it’s been sitting on my Kitchen windowsill for many months in desperate need of some attention – all the plants are long dead…
It was doing the job of growing a strowberry plant with only water very well, but then it caught a nasty infection – almost certainly from the mouldy leftovers next to it meant for the compost heap.
So my first job was to clean up the growing medium which no doubt had remanents of the attacking spores as well as all the dead plant material. I’m not sure what the growing medium is but it looks like small white pebbles, that absord water, a bit like packing paper but harder… anyway, I had to filter all the rubbish out, so I commandeered the kitchen for its utensils.
First a filtered out the large things with the collinder, then used the strainer to get out the tiny particles – I attempted to seperate again by shaking up the particles in a bottle and by floating in water, but neither gave satisfactory seperation, but that was ok as much of the filtering had been successful.
Then to wipe out any remaining infection I boiled up the growing material in some water (the smell wasn’t very nice, you might like to cover you mouth here), now it’s sitting on the side drying. I also washed the plastic parts thoroughly, and I think it’s no ready for another go.
Ad the fast show once said: This year I’ll be mostly growing tomatoes. I’ll let you know how it goes. I might also attempt some scientific tests on it. Check out amazon for your own: http://www.amazon.co.uk/ExpertShopper-Hydro-Greenhouse-2/dp/B000A6T52S
The UK goverment now lets people create online petitions which amongst others, the prime minister will see. Not a bad idea.
If you want to have a look click here:
Also note that these few petitions are for solutions to the problem of light pollution, something which I get quite annoyed about, so please go ahead and support these ideas, I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to.
Some people don’t even realise that there should be 1000′s of stars visible in the night sky, a view which makes us far to inward looking. Also, less light pollution equals less electricity used, so less greenhouses gases released as well as less pollution. It’s a no lose decision!
Yesterday will officially be called “Powercut” day from now on, at least around oxfordshire anyway. High winds knocked several trees over on to the pylons producing a spectacular, if brief, display of lights.
Unfortunately (snigger, snigger) my office had no power so there was little work that could be done. “Why doesn’t everyone go home now”, eventually came after waiting an hour, “well OK” , I said, “I think there’s work I can be doing at home anyway” (snigger, snigger).
So, I get in my car and “Top 10 at 10″ is playing on the radio and it starts with “Fantastic Day” by Haircut100, and I find my self think this really is a great day, (at least from my perspective), I get to go home on a work day, a free holiday if you will, and no one pestering my with questions of demands and I’m getting payed for it.
Then the thought of all the power that would have been used during this day hit me, so how much was that:
there was about 45’000 house holds without power (from here: bbc news)
Average emissons from home electricity use 1693.62 kg of CO2 per year (from here: Scottish electricty couldn’t find english one)
Which is about 4.5 kg per day, now we have to assume that some houses had their electricity back quicker than others, so lets say each house had on average no power for half a day.
So our total carbon saving number is = 45’000 * (4.5 kg * 0.5)
thats 5000 kgs of carbon not sent into the atmosphere (Or more than three households woth of carbon)
Not bad, but really a drop in the ocean, what we really need is more powercuts… (enter the “Ecowarriors”?)
Note, that this is just a bit of fun. (I doubt any of this is accurate!)
Good news yesterday in the Independent newspaper and also available online.
The UK goverment is going to make light pollution a criminal offence. Good news for everyone who has ever looked up in the night and wondered where all the billions of stars have gone.
I also discovered a goverment sponsered review on light pollution, here, that say’s if some simple measures were put in to operation then within 20 years we could once again see the rest of our galaxy, the Milky Way.
Lets hope by 2020 we will all be seeing the stars with 20/20 vision.
#Flag: Astronomy, “Milky way”, “light pollution”. link