October 20, 2009

Thinking about fencing

archaeological evidence of ancient woven willow

My garden needs a fence. Its a matter of privacy, wind break and particle block as a major road and a snoopy neighbour invade upon my sense of bucholic. I have planted some trees (pines, poplar) but I have decided to put up a fence as well to hasten my peace of mind.

I built a fence on my last farm in the Kootenays with the curvaceous cedar slabs dripping bark, that the mill was going to burn, and dropped off to the farm for free. I wove them when they were wet between sturdier pieces of cedar that came in the load. It was funky and each panel was different. It was free with the exception of the posts, which in the Kootenays were 4 bucks each.

I built a woven willow fence this spring that really looks beautiful...but the maintenance and weed control needed for a stretch along the road next to my garden is far to long; woven willow there is too much work for me to take on.

I'm going to build a wattlish fence. I was inspired by the Acadian fence I saw at the village in Pubnico to keep in chickens. My friend down the road has a hundred acre wood and is open to trades....there is plenty of wood to thin and I love that work. I daydream about this fence, how I will weave, add windows and sculpt features along the length of her. A tall wattle fence that will become apart of the living shelterbelt as the trees grow in time. It will need to be anchored with substantial posts to carry the weight of the wattle with our winds, and have enough room for the wind to whistle through. It will have plenty of surface for honeysuckle, sweet peas, climbing curcurbit and the likes.

October 19, 2009

Haitians present Jatropha petition

Of the many peasant protests world wide on World Food Day this caught my attention:

Peasant Groups Present Petition Against Jatropha to Haitian Parliament

www.Alterpresse.org, 16 October 2009

"A group of several peasant organizations presented a petition to the Haitian Parliament containing 31,198 signatures against the proposed development of plantations of the agro-fuel jatropha on the land of Haitian peasants, noted Alterpresse.org.

“This struggle which came about during the thirty-fifth anniversary in March 2008 of the Peasant Movement of Papaye is about raising awareness of the call to all of society to contribute to a mobilization against this project to exterminate the peasants,” stated Chavannes Jean-Baptiste of the group “4 je kontre” (literally, the convergence of two pairs of eyes) several hours before the petition was submitted to the Haitian Parliament.

Several dozen peasants, representing the ten departments of the country, marched from the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Turgeau (Port-au-Prince) with slogans and demands. “The little earth that is the country Haiti, that our ancestors left to us, must produce native food to nourish the population; national food production – yes; production of agro-fuels, no; Down with the production of gas for the tanks of foreign cars; Down with all death projects against the peasants,” are among the demands of the peasants who have the support of the international peasant movement Via Campesina."

Read more of the translation from Konbit Pou Ayiti

October 16, 2009

World Food Day

“The farming world is dying”, Damien Greffin, president of the “Young Farmers” organization of the Ile-de-France (regrouping Paris and the surrounding departments) told Agence France Presse. “What we’re asking for, it is an increase in the price of raw material” he added, pointing out that a kilogram of wheat is sold 9 centimes these days for a production cost of 14 centimes"

To make their point French farmers burned hay bales and tires along the Champs des Elysees, one young farmer saying farmers cannot alone be responsible for food security.

Watch them here:

This was one of many protests carried out on a global day of action.

"In Brazil, Via Campesina members carried out actions in the headquarters of Monsanto and Syngenta. In Europe, where nine countries have prohibited GMOs, Via Campesina organized an anti-Monsanto brigade traveling throughout the region. In India, thousands of farmers and allies are carrying out hunger strikes and occupying lands. Actions are being carried out in at least 20 countries and all nine regions where La Via Campesina is present".

Read more

October 10, 2009

a.g. update

I am still in Edmonton waiting for my job to start on Monday, staying with an elderly woman who grew up on a farm in Scotland and who has laboured since a young woman on ships, trains and camps as a cook for the boys. I am the nextgen female resource cook for the winter, staying with her between postings up North; I have been here 2 winters before. Her home is an oasis of sustenance, laughter and canine furred friends for dispossessed across this country...farmers and natives and "foreign" workers who pound the pavement briefly in this boomtown. She is a toughened survivor on the exterior and a frightened little girl elsewhere as the effects of dementia play mischief. Her life is a miracle.

My garden back home is producing salads galore which my friends are harvesting for market. Its hard at this moment to really miss the frost bitten hands in the early morning fall dew. I've donned a groovy jacket and have burrowed in the library, coffee house or dance floor these days and am having those gloriously serendipitous city adventures- when I'm not homemaking with the darling Scottish lass. I'm hoping she'll come back with me to the farm come springtime, when the energies for such awesome work reinvigorates. Perhaps she will sow some miracles there.

farm in the ring; CERN

Any one know of a farm with a front row seat in this ring? The Hadron collider is back in the news, not with the story of the resumption of activities geared to a new go at the experiment "27 km-long tunnel in which proton beams will collide at high speed, simulating the creation of the first particulate matter in effect, the creation of the universe itself".

No its this news:
particle collider suspected of terrorist links
Friday, October 9, 2009 CBC News

I figure the story is a distract from the real news which is harder to understand, yet no less gripping:

"In addition to the Higgs boson, other theorized novel particles that might be produced, and for which searches are planned, include strangelets, micro black holes, magnetic monopoles and supersymmetric particles.

Technical Design

The collider is contained in a circular tunnel with a circumference of 27 kilometres (17 mi) at a depth ranging from 50 to 175 metres underground. The tunnel, constructed between 1983 and 1988, was formerly used to house the LEP, an electron-positron collider.

The 3.8 metre diameter, concrete-lined tunnel crosses the border between Switzerland and France at four points, although most of its length is inside France. The collider itself is underground, with surface buildings holding ancillary equipment such as compressors, ventilation equipment, control electronics and refrigeration plants.

The collider tunnel contains two pipes, each pipe containing a beam. The two beams travel in opposite directions around the ring. 1232 dipole magnets keep the beams on their circular path, while additional 392 quadrupole magnets are used to keep the beams focused, in order to maximize the chances of interaction between the particles in the four intersection points, where the two beams will cross. In total, over 1600 superconducting magnets are installed, with most weighing over 27 tonnes. 96 tonnes of liquid helium is needed to keep the magnets at the operating temperature.

The protons will each have an energy of 7 TeV, giving a total collision energy of 14 TeV. It will take less than 90 microseconds for an individual proton to travel once around the collider. Rather than continuous beams, the protons will be "bunched" together, into 2,808 bunches, so that interactions between the two beams will take place at discrete intervals never shorter than 25 ns apart. When the collider is first commissioned, it will be operated with fewer bunches, to give a bunch crossing interval of 75 ns. The number of bunches will later be increased to give a final bunch crossing interval of 25 ns.

Prior to being injected into the main accelerator, the particles are prepared through a series of systems that successively increase the particle energy levels. The first system is the linear accelerator Linac 2 generating 50 MeV protons which feeds the Proton Synchrotron Booster (PSB). Protons are then injected at 1.4 GeV into the Proton Synchrotron (PS) at 26 GeV. Finally the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) is used to increase the energy of protons up to 450 GeV.

The LHC will also be used to collide lead (Pb) heavy ions with a collision energy of 1,150 TeV. The ions will be first accelerated by the linear accelerator Linac 3, and the Low-Energy Injector Ring (LEIR) will be used as an ion storage and cooler unit. The ions then will be further accelerated by the Proton Synchrotron (PS) and Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) before being injected into LHC ring, where they will reach an energy of 2.76 TeV per nucleon. Six detectors are being constructed at the LHC, located underground in large caverns excavated at the LHC's intersection points. Two of them, ATLAS and CMS, are large, "general purpose" particle detectors.

ALICE is a large detector designed to study the properties of quark-gluon plasma looking at the debris of heavy ion collisions. The other three (LHCb, TOTEM, and LHCf) are relatively smaller and more specialized. A seventh experiment, FP420 (Forward Physics at 420m), has been proposed which would add detectors to four available spaces located 420m on either side of the ATLAS and CMS detectors.

The size of the LHC constitutes an exceptional engineering challenge with unique safety issues. While running, the total energy stored in the magnets is 10 GJ, while each of the two beams carries an overall energy of 362 MJ. For comparison, 362 MJ is the kinetic energy of a TGV running at 157 km/h (98 mph), while 724 MJ, the total energy of the two beams, is equivalent to the detonation energy of approximately 173 kilograms (380 lb) of TNT, and 10 GJ is about 2.4 tons of TNT. Loss of only 10-7 of the beam is sufficient to quench a superconducting magnet, while the beam dump must absorb an energy equivalent to a typical air-dropped bomb.

These immense kinetic energies become far more spectacular when you consider how little matter is carrying it. At its maximum energy rating (2.76TeV per particle with a total of 362MJ), there is just 1.15E-9 grams of hydrogen in the system (or 0.026 of one cubic millimeter)". here

October 9, 2009

The language that goes with "urging" swineflu jab

The CDC is "urging" Americans to get the H1N1 Swine flu vaccine. as described in this excerpt (from my "H1N1 vaccine" google news alert) it is clear indication of the slippery deceptive language the CDC and others are using to push the vaccine.

Even though "four Canadian studies involved about 2,000 people, ... found people who had received the seasonal flu vaccine in the past more likely to get sick with the H1N1 virus" (CBC story), and given the fact of fast tracked, inadequate trials for a grab bag of recombinant vaccines produced using novel arts (Vero cells, Insect cells), and companies that have made some well documented big mistakes - these words are suspect:

"Schuchat (CDC) addressed concerns she knows exist about the new vaccine."Some people have reservations, they aren't really sure about this vaccine."

She said that vaccination against flu is the best way to protect yourself and those around you. "This isn't a new vaccine," she said. "The vaccine is being manufactured exactly the same way as the seasonal flu vaccine. It is basically a vaccine made against the H1N1 instead of the seasonal viruses [expected to circulate in the upcoming season]. Based on everything we know now, we are expecting a good safety record for H1N1."

Results of H1N1 Trials

Vaccines against both H1N1 and seasonal influenza can be given simultaneously, said Fauci. "We embarked on a study in August with 800 people," he said. The question: if you gave both vaccines at once, would there be any interference with immunity?

Based on early results from 50 of those participants, he said, simultaneous administration does not impact the immune response of either vaccine."

October 6, 2009

Peddle Bike: The E Rocket

A generator and lithium batteries. 80 km an hour down the Autobonn. À transport revolution. But why so expensive