Friday, September 25, 2009

The Post in which I talk about Botany Porn

Aha! I knew that would get your attention.
I don't have much time (class starts in 10 minutes), but I just recieved my new edition of National Geographic....
and well...
mmmm..... how can I say this?

They have a centerfold in there that is beautiful. The limbs on it. The shape. Wow! I mean, it wasn't just a 2 fold centerfold. I think I had to flip that paper out 5 times! Anyways, its not the same as on the paper, but here is the internet link that you can read. They have a video on how they assembled that amazing picture. But, get a hold of the National Geographic and see what I'm talking about!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mapping Land Use

So lately all I have time for is looking through other people's blogs and reading what is goin' on outside of the campus (which is definitely more fun than reading what is goin' on at the campus), but I read Highly Allochthonous today, and found this post by Ms. Jefferson.

Land use has been mapped globally and regionally and everywhere in between looking at different use practices to use types (and yes those are different). However, what caught my attention to this was the use of the word "biome". It is a word that is usually applied to natural ecosystems that share climatic characteristics that affects the biotic systems found in those areas. Consequently, those biomes would also affect the land use. This map plots the types of usage, but more interestingly these land use types roughly approximate the biomes that are found there as well.

Picture from "A Framework for Ecology & Earth Science in the 21st Century" by Erle C. Ellis and Navin Ramankutty

Picture from Wikipedia entry "Biomes" - Vegetation - No Legend

Pretty much the general trend is that humans will use whatever land they can (or plants can) survive in. I would like to see what they mean by each of the types of land use, such as the definitions of their use of "Rice Villages" and "Irrigated Villages". However, this is a great example of GIS and land use mapping. Now, to see if I have time to explore more of the Ecotope website...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday TED Talks XII

Cary Fowler talks about saving genetic diversity through cold storage of seeds.

He is the Executive Director of Global Crop Diversity Trust where their mission is to store their seeds in a safe remote place.

However good the message is (and I agree with keeping a seed bank to preserve genetic diversity for other reasons), I question the seeds' value if the temperature rises as "in many countries the coldest growing seasons are going to be hotter than anything those crops have seen in the past." If these crops have not seen these temperatures in the past, what good will they do if kept for the future because of systematic crop failure? They couldn't have evolved different mechanisms to live in the hotter climate.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I will be taking a "Small Hiatus"

"Ha! Another one of those" I sure you, my silent readership are saying. Yes, I know that a couple were not small, and another time I said I was not going to post a lot, I ended up posting at least 2 per day.

Anyways, I just started school again (my courses are OK, although I've only been to 2/4 yet), my little Seedling is going to 2 competitions this weekend (road trip!), and its the long weekend in Canada. So hopefully the weather cooperates and makes this a very nice week.

Those are my excuses, and so I will not be posting lots of material, although I will be updating you (whether you are the one who wants it or not) on how it goes. (It = school and road trip).

So hang in there and enjoy your labor day long weekend (and those other countries out there... nya nya nya!)